By: Jenna Michelle Reiss for Liminas Magazine
(As a Liminas woman, you quite possibly could be the single gal amongst friends who are dating their college boyfriends, or engaged to their high school lovers. This perspective is written for those women, so they know that they are not alone in dating as a twentysomething, and that their hitched girlfriends, are undoubtedly more than excited to hear the single gal stories.)
I thought I had gone through all of the most influential firsts that happen in ones life: first kiss, first heartbreak, first home away from home and first college party.
These firsts will never be forgotten; however, they are moments of your life that you experience differently than the firsts that come your way as a twentysomething woman.
Sometime in your mid-twenties you find yourself at your first real job, paying for your first set of groceries, and living in what is probably your first self-financed apartment. It’s this time in your life, that you realize, whether you are newly single, or well into the game, you will be entering the real world of dating for the first time. This world, for many, can be of the utmost feared firsts for a twentysomething.
As one can imagine, when my college boyfriend and I broke up, I felt a number of emotions. In general, we had both known it simply wasn’t working. So, when we had “the talk”, although of course I felt sadness, I also found myself feeling a wave of relief. That relief lasted about as long as your first sexual experience, because it quickly turned to fear when I realized that I was now entering the real world of dating. Now, on top of all the other emotions you feel when walking away from a loved one, I was feeling terrified. I was not only starting my first real job, (well, first job that I cared about), but I was also entering the real world of dating. I was horrified to play the game.
Meeting men in the real world. What does that even mean? Well, first of all it means not having classes to use as an excuse to study with your crush, not having your posse of girlfriends to use to get word to the new hottie that you’re interested, and it means no drunken bash to use as a sighting point. No, instead it means meeting men at weddings, at the gym, or at happy hour. It means taking a risk and putting yourself out there to be rejected, or adored. It’s terrifying.
But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my heartbreak round-two, it’s that the relief I felt was there for a reason. I didn’t have to allow myself to dwell in fear. No, instead I could recognize that fear was there, and change my perspective. I decided to let my fear instill excitement. Now, I was going to be experiencing first hand, everything I’ve been reading about in Cosmo since I was seventeen. I will now understand the horror of a bad date, and the laughter that comes when telling your girlfriend about it. I will understand the wonder and anticipation preceding the first date with that cute boy from Trader Joes, and the butterflies one feels when the new boy next door finally asks you out. The dating world is just another first that, as a twentyomething woman, I am ready, and now excited about experiencing.