Mar 21, 2015

Dating: 12 Year Old Expectations vs. 21 Year Old Reality

It's undeniable that progress is a constant thing in human society and that our world is always undergoing cultural evolution.

It's not always linear (remember that half-a-second reemergence of chokers?) and sometimes a progressive step is derivative of a much earlier version (ie: T-swift's signature crop top/high-waisted pant/skirt pairing, a classier take on the early 2000s crop top/hip-hugger pairing).

Mom Jeans

So yes, the world is changing. But somethings, like human interactions, stay fundamentally constant. In that case, part of why the world seems so different today is a shift in perspective as you age!

Now that I'm at the ripe old age of 21, with a past relationship experience of my very own (spoiler: it ended), I have a very different understanding of dating than I did when I was 12!

Twelve Year Old Me: When you're old and boring, your equally old and boring 'other half' will show up and instantly be your boyfriend. Or man-friend. Or whatever.

I'm a college graduate, so I qualify as old, and I no longer make mud pies, so I qualify as boring. But this magical pair-finding thing hasn't happened to me yet.

                    I'm Waiting! - I'm Waiting!  Misc

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but dating somehow seems to involve a lot of awkward first dates, sub-par cups of tea, and awkwardly avoiding second dates.

Twelve Year Old Me: You and your boyfriend/man-friend will communicate exclusively through telecommunication, secret handshakes, and eyebrow sign language.

I've had one of those elusive boyfriend people, a person who you actually like and who likes you back, but telecommunication still eludes me. The coolest secret handshake I've ever seen is still the one Lindsay Lohan had with herself and her butler in The Parent Trap.

Parent Trap Handshake Scene

I'm also not Cara Delevingne, so my eyebrows aren't their own sentient entity.

Twelve Year Old Me: And then they lived Happily Ever After.

And then they broke up, were pretty bummed, and were set up on too many bad semi-blind dates by well-meaning but tragically ill-advised friends.

cat animated GIF
When you're desperately trying to end the date, but the guy won't take a hint.
It takes a few many tries to reach that HEA. If ever.

Twelve Year Old Me: Boys will suddenly be super cool and fun and interesting.

Yes, there are cool, fun, and interesting boys. And yes, dating can be fun.


But let's be real. Sometimes it's just all a bother and you'd rather get a mani-pedi with a girlfriend, read a book, or log a few extra hours of work.

And that's totally fine! WOOOO singledom!

How has your perspective on interpersonal relations changed over the years?


  1. Thank you for this post!
    Im actually having my first date this week and Im nervous. I really want to and don't want to go. Im almost 18 so maybe my 12 year old self thought the same as you hahaha :) xxx

  2. @RA - Don't be nervous! You'll be just fine :D He's just as nervous as you are, I'm sure! Definitely go, you never know what might happen :) Dating can be so bothersome, but meeting someone special can be so worth it. Have an awesome week and a fun date!


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