THE LOVE DIARIES: CHAPTER TWO ’16
For those who don’t know already, The Love Diaries is my latest writing project and I will be sharing these stories over the next few weeks.
I asked a group of very different twenty-somethings to share with me their experiences of love and loss in their twenties.
These are real women and real stories. Nothing has been romanticised.
This is just life, as it happened.
Chapter Two: What Were Your Expectations Of Love In Your Twenties?
“When we were teenagers it was so easy to think short-term about being with a guy. We wanted to be around people who were fun and easy-going, and never really thought about how a relationship would actually work once we reached our twenties.
Suddenly, all of the things we used to think were major issues seemed ridiculous now.
We were hit with the reality that we had to think of relationships not just with our heart, but with our head.
Is he ‘switched on’ enough to work for the next fifty years? Will he be a good dad? Will he let me be a moody bitch sometimes? (most of the time…) Is he the type of guy that would marry me and then run off with his secretary?
I expected it to be easy, but in reality it is this frustrating mix of not wanting to waste your time with someone, but also trying to enjoy life and live in the moment. There is no easy answer, and despite how much you want to “be married by the time I’m 28 and have one-on-the-way before I hit 30”, you realise there are some things you just can’t control.
I guess the only thing left to do is focus on what you can control: work hard, be nice, and get drunk as often as possible.”
“I don’t know what my expectations of love in my twenties were, but it sure as hell wasn’t this. I feel a little let down.
Why did nobody tell me that boys in their twenties still have the same mental capacity that they did when they were 16?
I’m seriously considering just becoming a lesbian until I turn 30.”
“When I was younger I was filled with all sorts of unrealistic expectations of what love was supposed to be and when it was supposed to happen.
You think that one day you will meet ‘the one’, fall in love, live in perfect harmony until your mid twenties, and then decide to get married and have kids. It has taken me quite a long time to come to terms with the fact that this ‘concrete timeline’ I had made up in my head doesn’t exist.
There isn’t a timeline at all.
Life just happens- it’s filled with love and lust, envy and anxiety. It’s one hell of a ride and it’s only now at 23 years old that I’ve realised the one thing you truly have control over is your happiness.”
“I think the hardest part of being in a relationship in your twenties, as opposed to our relationships in high school, is that there is more internal pressure to think ‘long-term’.
I found that even when I was with him, even when we were at our happiest, I knew in the back of my mind that he wasn’t ‘the one’.
So I was constantly weighing up whether I should just go with the flow and have fun, or cut ties and stop wasting my time on a relationship that I knew wouldn’t last in the long run.”
“I thought that when I reached my twenties I would be so sure of who I was and what I needed in a loving, stable relationship. But the reality is that I still have no idea who I am and therefore keep finding myself in destructive relationships.
Basically I feel like Hannah from Girls. But without a boyfriend who looks like a sexy lumberjack.”