Adulting: Navigating dating in your twenties

If you are looking for ways to make the most of dating and relationships in your twenties, you’re right where you need to be.

For starters, I want to inform you that this period will yield one of the most memorable experiences of your life when it comes to relationships of all kinds; friendships and romantic relationships alike. So, relax, and let’s explore what dating in your twenties is like and how you can find your soulmate.

In your early twenties, you’re young, open-minded, excited that your glaring physical features appeal to the opposite gender, you are in high spirits to explore and enjoy love. It’s good to start early, but how do you surf the dating waters without drowning? You either do this the easy way or the hard way. I learned the hard way.

Growing up, I was quite shy. So, even though I had cool friends, I was often quiet and observant. I liked to hang around girls and they loved me too (why not? Duh). So, when I got into the university, it was quite easy for me to have female friends, but on a platonic level. I wasn’t interested in a relationship at first because I didn’t want anyone deep in my emotional space. But shortly after, all my friends had gotten girlfriends, and I was the only single guy in the clique. We would attend parties and I would hang at a corner watching their girlfriends rock and grind on their bodies like worms on salt.

When we returned, there would be endless conversations about how much one loved his babe, or how we all saw another friend making out with his girlfriend. I enjoyed the laughs that came with it, then the pressure began. I wanted to feel that kind of intimacy with a babe I could call my own too.

At one of our numerous parties, I locked eyes with a pretty girl, innocent looking and with nice features. We didn’t initiate any conversation until the next time we met. After a few hangouts to justify the “talking stage” we had our first kiss and the relationship began. Just like that. It is worthy to note that she was officially my first relationship as previous endeavors were merely crushing. However, I was her third boyfriend at the time, so she was more “experienced” at dating and relationships.

 There’s something you should know before we continue. As a twenty-something year old, it is advisable to build genuine friendships with the opposite gender before diving into the stormy waters of relationships because trust me, even if a lifeguard finds you, you will still drown before you are rescued. Just ask your favorite Twitter influencer. (I didn’t mention names oh).

 One mistake I made as a young lover boy was, I saw this relationship as a fountain of love, and I wanted to explore all aspects of it right away. Contrary to why most people date (for the fun of it or to ‘explore and enjoy) I went into this relationship with long-term goals. Naive to the pros and cons of dating a Unilag girl (They’re not all the same), I gave the totality of my heart to her, without asking why she wanted us to date in the first place. That was my first fuck up.

PLEASE USE YOUR TALKING STAGE TO DEFINE WHAT YOU BOTH WANT OUT OF YOUR RELATIONSHIP.

Two months into the relationship, I was already planning our 1st anniversary. We didn’t last 6 months. We were two people with completely different reasons why we were dating. One of us was bound to get a complimentary breakfast in bed. I got it on a platter. it turned out that I was merely another stop as she was passing through her wild explorations. She tried tho, at least she didn’t wait till the anniversary.

I was devastated. For weeks I wasn’t myself. When I finally got over the relationship, I knew I would be single for some time, but I didn’t know it would be as long as 6 years. These six years made me realize several things. We did not want the same things from the relationship. Our ideas on how we wanted to be loved were different. So, I took on a relationship counseling program. I didn’t want to experience that or have anyone close to me experience the same. But I can’t save everyone. Some people don’t even want to be saved.

 That’s another thing. Some people in their early twenties still want some sort of validation from the opposite gender, and they crave the wrong attention because of that. These sets of people are the least kind of human beings you need in your relationship. A girl that is constantly stalked and sexually harassed online, but rejects every help she gets because she “likes the drama and attention”. A dude that has decided that his life goal is to have sex with every girl he possibly can as a form of trophy collection.

shaydee looks irritated by a couple dating
A-nya-ma (Nonsense)

Imagine dating a girl that complains that her boyfriend is too loving and kind, he’s always sweet and cares for her, doesn’t cheat and even when she initiates a fight for no reason, he’s the first to apologize for peace to reign. She wants some drama, she wants him to cheat and let her catch him so that she can break up and take him back after a short while. She wants him to spark an argument that gets her to post receipts of their fight on social media.

You date a guy who is a social media fanatic. Always seeking validation from influencers or has resorted to being the social media community penis. How do you trade your peace of mind for such relationships just because you don’t want to be single? It’s not worth it.

Now playing Pa salieu energy

Your twenties are a very crucial time in your life and you need to build healthy relationships that do not scar you for life. Do not jump into a relationship because all your friends are in one or just because there was sexual tension between you both at one party.

Another thing to look out for in dating as a young adult is CONSENT (respect). Consent is NOT only relevant in sex. Your relationship is a joint effort, a collaborative journey that often involves seeking the opinion of your partner on several matters including work, diet, sex, priorities, spirituality, career, and marriage. In this context, you and your decisions are respected out of love, not an obligation. When there is respect for one another, you will discover that it will be even difficult to cheat or be cheated on. You shouldn’t be with someone that doesn’t place your concerns and preferences as a priority. You’ll end up complaining about their actions most of the time.

Thank God for the woman I met that changed my life. Showed me that I could be loved for who I am and that I didn’t need to be perfect to be perfectly loved. During this relationship, I realized that my previous encounter dented my emotional wagon. It took her endurance and devoted patience to teach me how to love myself again, so I could love her like I ought to.

Couple in love as it should be

 

Now playing DKT – a song by Oxlade | Spotify

Everything I learned during my relationship counseling program would have meant nothing if I didn’t put them to use in my relationship. This brings us to COMMUNICATION and UNDERSTANDING.

In every stage of your dating career (as it has become a job for some people) you must learn to convey your emotions with courtesy and caution. Here’s what I mean; you’ve found someone you like, you spend time together and you feel butterflies in your tummy whenever their text pops up or when you hear their voice. Communicate, but apply common sense. Not everyone is on the same emotional wavelength as you are and that’s okay. Do not overload your emotions on your newfound friend because you want them to know how you feel about them. Take it easy, little words of enlightenment, cute gestures of affection, and without suddenly dropping the bomb, tell them how you feel and what you genuinely want from being together.

Don’t forget, not everyone will accept you or what you want from them. You need to understand that for every relationship to work, there has to be mutual understanding. If they are not on the same page as you are, duck and face your single life. Do not hang around with hopes that they’ll come around and give you all you want simply because you stuck around. They’ll just be servicing your engine without any spare parts in stock. Male and female alike.

By the time you realize that you’ve been wasting your time and your soul yearns for a soulmate, your engine would have lost its lucrative prowess or your heart would have been so broken that you’ll likely need therapy to truly love again. But, different strokes for different folks. *pun intended*.

While attempting to date in your twenties, endeavor to pray without ceasing. Don’t joke with prayer even if you think you’ve found ‘the one’, stay prayed up. You need God or whatever higher power you believe in to draw your match to you and keep your relationship healthy because if you do it solely on your own, you might just find yourself listening to Ric Hassani’s Thunder fire you on repeat for a long time.

As we close this session, if there’s nothing you take out of this, take this; Not all that glitters is gold. Do not jump into a relationship because the dude looks good, spoils you silly with food and gifts, or appears to be an angel (the devil was once an angel). The girl may have a banging body (we all like that), speak queen’s English, or even be Kim Kardashian’s protege. There is no blueprint set in stone for a perfect relationship. Nobody is perfect and there is no perfect relationship because everyone has their flaws. We only understand that this individual admits that they are flawed and works on being better for themselves and for you. Love yours.

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11 Comments

  1. Chiioma September 4, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    Not Osas dropping this when I really needed to read something like this…thank you to our guest writer…more wisdom

    Reply
  2. Lammy A September 4, 2021 at 4:54 pm

    Some people have really made dating a job lol learning to unload my emotions in subtle ways rn, cos i don’t even express myself when I like someone. Thanks for this insight on how to shoot my shot, Shivarr

    Reply
  3. 21jumpstrr September 4, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    I won’t lie, this was an amazing read. Every point was a gem to remember. Thankyou Osas for allowing us taste another jollof today

    Reply
  4. Habibah September 4, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    I needed this. Thank you osas and the guest writer

    Reply
  5. ProFineGirl September 4, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    This was an amazing read. Atleast now I’m able to convince myself properly that I’m not wanting too much but seriously a relationship is a lot of work.

    Reply
  6. Oj_numii September 4, 2021 at 9:14 pm

    I’m not even going to lie ese it was an amazing read…..I think he was worth the chance to write on ur blog

    Reply
  7. Stella September 4, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Thank you Osas, thank you Guest Writer. Got wisdom and took screenshots of them.

    Reply
  8. Cheche September 4, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Lovely read, really enjoyed it fr.

    Reply
  9. Aderonke September 5, 2021 at 5:51 am

    This is amazing

    Reply
  10. Omobolanle September 5, 2021 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for this,it was really lovely to read.

    Reply
  11. Tee September 6, 2021 at 7:36 am

    Enjoyed every bit of this Really nice .

    Reply

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