This year has been weird dating-wise for me.
I have dated people whose ages have ranged from nineteen to thirty-eight. I have dated people who have well-developed careers, people just entering the work force, and people still at university. I have dated people who have emigrated to New Zealand, and people who have lived here their whole lives. I have dated people who have no idea what they want to do with their lives, and people who have grabbed opportunities with two hands.
I’m slightly picky when it comes to who I want to date. Sometimes it takes a while for me to figure it out; sometimes I can pick it up within a couple of days. Either way, I’m always that person who ends up crushing the other and I hate it. It is not a good feeling. The only comfort I get out of it is the knowledge that I’m doing what is right for me. I always say that it’s a case of “hurt now or hurt later”. Which one would you pick?
Sometimes I feel like college has this weird stigma that you should be dating someone or sleeping with someone all the time. If you aren’t in a relationship then you should be pursuing one; if you’re just “casually seeing”
sleeping with someone then you should be trying to turn it into a solid relationship; if you’re in a relationship then you should be moving towards that famous next step (whatever that may be for your relationship). There’s the ultimate one as well: if you aren’t sleeping with someone, then you should be. Where did these unwritten rules come into play? When did my relationship status dictate what kind of person I am? Did I miss a lecture that was all about relationship status and its reflection on your social standing?
When did it become a ‘bad thing’ to be single?
Personally, I have been single more often than not in my adult life. I’m certainly not complaining either. I like the freedom. I like not having to answer to anyone. I like being responsible for myself. I’m 20-something, I feel like I should be allowed to do whatever I want; if that is dating then awesome, but I shouldn’t be judged for being happy in being single.
Putting the celebration of my ‘singledom’ aside, I have also faced a lot of judgement because I have chosen to date people who are older than myself. When I say older, I mean it; some of these men have been almost double my age. I have had several comments made to me (from strangers) that I have a “sugar daddy” and that I’m just dating these men for their money. That is nothing short of a slap in the face. Money comes and goes. If you have it then great, but it isn’t something that makes you attractive
(to me, I’m sure there are some gold-digging hoes out there somewhere).
I have been given the side-eye by many, many people (male and female) when I have walked into a restaurant with my date. I have seen people doing comparisons of our features. I have seen them doing the math to see if I could be his daughter, his apprentice or his date.
I understand that the ‘age factor’ can be of a concern to some people. I understand why some people give me the side-eye when they see me walk around with my date. I am twenty but I look about sixteen, and that is the legal age of consent in New Zealand. I understand that people are concerned of one person taking advantage of the other. I understand that people don’t ‘get it’. Here’s the beautiful thing: you don’t have to.
I feel like I might have gone off on a tangent in this post.
Oopsie. However, I’m not going to apologise because these really are some things that bother me on a daily basis. I know that my (our) choices are going to be called into question, especially if we are happy.
Date whoever you want or not at all. Do whatever
whoever makes you happy. Go on dates when you’re single. Go on dates when you’re in a relationship. Heck, keep dating your husband.
This is your life.
Just do you.