So you’ve graduated from college/trade school/etc. and you’ve entered into the world of adulthood. You’re fresh from the educational institution and you’re ready to face the world with your empowering sense of accomplishment and wonder. Things are looking up. You’ve (hopefully) had plenty of dating experiences while you were in your late teens and early 20s and you’ve got a good sense of what you like and don’t like. However, you’ll very soon realize just how difficult dating is as an adult.
Here’s the main reason why dating is difficult for adults: they’re removed from large social environments.
School provides an education, of course, but it offers something just as important. Schools offer an incomparable social environment. Everyday you’re seeing hundreds of peers as you trek through hallways on your way to class. For 45-90 minutes at a time you’re in a room with 10-30 people who usually share things in common with you. You’re open to meet and network with a numerous amount of people who are usually just like you. But that all changes as soon as you cross that stage.
Suddenly, you’re tossed into the jungle of corporate work environments. At first you had the opportunity to meet countless peers at your school, but now you’re limited to the handful of people you work with on a day to day basis. Your options are immediately limited. The only place it seems that you can meet potential love interests is the one place you dread going:
Bars and clubs.
You’re done with the partying and hooking up. You’ve done enough of that while you were playing beer pong and slurping tequila off the stomachs of horny strangers. If you’re a woman you realize the clubs are full of posers just looking for one night stands. If you’re a guy you realize that the clubs are full of attention seeking girls just out to have fun with their friends. You realize that the clubs are just the feeding grounds of shallow hyenas just looking to prove their social worth. You don’t wanna play this game so you choose the next best option:
Join a dating app.
So, you’ve given up on finding a significant other in bars. You’re probably not a drinker anyway and you definitely don’t like the charade of trying to prove your social worth in those environments. Next, you download tinder and start swiping away. You get a match here and there but the conversations are often uninteresting or randomly dropped altogether. Like, wtf just happened? Every once in a while you may meet up just to find out that the person you thought you matched with is completely different than the real thing. Surprise, you’ve been catfished!
Now you’re frustrated and completely hopeless. Everywhere you look you see happy couples who will probably be together forever. You start thinking that maybe something is wrong with you. You ask yourself things like “where’s my mr./mrs. right”, “will I ever be loved?”
So what are you to do?
Gonna be honest with you, there is no magic solution. What I’ve realized is that if you’ve reached this desperate point in your dating life the best thing to do is be patient and focus on self improvement. I won’t spend too much time talking about how to follow your passions and become a better version of yourself because I did that here. Another thing that could possibly give you hope is understanding that there are countless people out there just as hopeless and full of love as you are. It’s your job to meet them.
Sometimes, the thing that you want the most is just outside of your comfort zone. Do things that make you nervous. Approach and make conversation with that cute girl in line at the coffee shop. Ask that guy for help with your form in the gym. Focus on living your day to day life but take the chance to meet people who catch your attention. The process of getting comfortable with being uncomfortable will help you develop self esteem and strength. You’ll eventually be shocked at the person you can potentially become.
Being single as an adult is a soul-defining opportunity for you to get to know yourself. Your job is to focus on your growth and put yourself out there and meet people. The more you do it, the better you’ll get and it will only be a matter of time before you meet that person you can share your life with. Until then, realize that dating does suck as an adult. But it doesn’t just suck for you, we’re all going through it.