Must. Find. Boyfriend. As soon as I graduated from college, it seemed like every girl whose sole priorities were once partying and getting hungover bagels with her friends suddenly had one totally different priority, and one priority only: finding a boyfriend. Girls all around me (and some guys, but mostly girls in my experience) were running around demanding answers and screaming “WHERE IS HE?!?!?” with the passion of Teresa Guidice as she flipped the table on Danielle Staub. It’s like everyone in my life was one bad date away from a Tinsley Mortimer circus breakdown (fast-forward to 3:50), since we’re already talking about the Housewives.
Anyway. The more emphasis those girls placed on finding a boyfriend, the more girls who didn’t and hadn’t had serious relationships got down on themselves. I felt like many of my friends were questioning WTF was wrong with them for not having had a serious relationship yet. I was always the hype woman behind them exclaiming, “You’re only 25, you just haven’t met the right guy yet!”. But soon enough, even I—who has had countless three-month flings in my twenties but nothing super serious—started to get down on myself. Was I the problem? My narcissism was wearing off, and in its place seeped realistic, down-to-earth thoughts about potentially maybe starting to think about… looking inward.
So, Is It Weird?
My first step in cracking the super obvious solution of not dating f*ckboys anymore was speaking with Lindsey Metselaar, host of the millennial dating podcast We Met At Acme, to get her opinion. Her first thought on the general topic of not having had a serious boyfriend by your mid-twenties was, “it’s less that it’s weird and more that it’s a reflection on your choices and overall maturity.” Totally fair. Like, ohhh, I should STOP going for the guys that still text “thx” instead of the grueling “thanks”? That might be a start.
This post isn’t about me, though. We want to help you pinpoint if not having a serious relationship yet should be of concern to you. So, if the following situations/behaviors sound familiar, then yes, perhaps it is weird and perhaps you are the problem. Read up, buttercup. Yes, it is weird if:
No One Tries To Set You Up
If there’s a deafening silence every time you hint at being set up with your friends’ hot (or maybe even mediocre-looking, since you’re desperate) brother? Then yeah, people are clear on the fact that you repel love interests.
You’re Constantly Getting Broken Up With For The Same Reason
If more than once you’ve heard that you’re too needy, or that you’re too high-maintenance, or that you’re too [INSERT ANYTHING] more than once—maybe it’s time to change that! “It will never hurt to do some introspective work,” shares Lindsey. “You can always learn something about yourself.” So even if you are totally perfect, as most betches think they are, take that time to look inward, and see how you feel!
“Drinking too much, smoking too much weed—it’s excessive, and can definitely do damage,” says Lindsey. If you’re still that f*cked up girl that needs babysitting, then the only guys you’ll attract are either super controlling guys à la Joe Goldberg from ‘You’, or sociopathic frat boys. How charming!
You Have A ‘Type’
“It’s helpful to notice your patterns in relationships, especially while in therapy,” explains Lindsey. “Recognize those negative patterns, stop having a type, and be more open-minded to people you weren’t open to in the past.” Is going for clearly emotionally unavailable guys a negative pattern? Asking for a friend.
“Accept the love you deserve,” says Lindsey, while also remarking that she knows it’s corny. It’s so true though! “If you are someone who continues to date the same person and keeps making the same mistakes, you can’t trust yourself,” she explains. Makes sense.
You Have Bad Habits
“People don’t want to face that their bad habits can affect their personal relationships,” explains Lindsey. Quite frankly, we all have bad habits, so I think it’s more about meeting the person that you’re willing to change those habits for. Like, we’re all addicted to our phones, so it’s about caring enough to put the damn thing down. Though I wonder how much practice that takes.
Tips For Moving Forward
Okay, so you’ve looked inward. As have I! Luckily, Lindsey also shared some reassuring tips on how to approach relationships moving forward, even if you’ve already pushed absolutely everyone away! I kid, but we can all benefit from a little advice.
“Go into dating with no expectations,” says Lindsey.
Me: Yeah, I’m not really putting too much thought into this date, whatever happens, happens, no expectations, just totally chill.
Also me: I will pass away if this date does not go well.
“Every time you meet someone that you think could be special, be sure to protect yourself. Don’t make assumptions that it’ll turn into anything, or else you’ll have all of your eggs in one basket which can lead to getting hurt,” explains Lindsey. “I’ve seen so many people try to force things with someone who’s not ready to sacrifice for them and, you know, wants to sleep at their own apartment every night.”
As someone who has a thorough 10-step skincare routine, sleeping out is never particularly exciting for me. This really made me realize, you have to do things you might not want to do to be in a relationship, even if it means enlarged pores! *Crying but also growing up*
“If you’re ready for a relationship, you’ll be willing to compromise,” explains Lindsey. With that, I end this investigation!
Image: @pablomerchanm /Unsplash, Giphy (3); uuppod / Instagram