Dating at 21: What Matters, and What Doesn’t

What doesn’t matter:

How much money either of you have/think you will make

You’re young; it’s okay if you can’t afford expensive dates. Make dinner at home together, or get a pizza and go for a picnic. You don’t need a guy to buy you stuff. Buy your own stuff. He should be one of your best friends, not your bank account. You have no idea what’s truly ahead; either of you could end up on the opposite of the salary spectrum that you’re planning on- so don’t pick/not pick a guy because of the career he’s planning on.

How many kids you want/when to get married

Don’t get me wrong, these things will be important eventually. At 21, though, who cares if you want 2 kids and your partner wants 4. You’ll probably both change your mind when you’re actually ready to start having kids. And as long as neither of you want to be marching down the aisle in the next year or two, you don’t need to be sitting down hashing out when the ring needs to come. Just enjoy the time you have now. Some day, you’ll be missing these, easy, carefree days. 

What does matter:

Being able to laugh together

Whether it’s after an argument, or in the middle of a lazy Sunday, it’s important to be able to lose yourself in a world of laughter. There are going to be awkward moments, but if you can just shake it off and laugh together, you’ll get through it.

Whether he/she genuinely cares about you, and can show it

This is an important one, arguably the most important. It doesn’t have to be anything big; just little things that remind you that you’re appreciated and valued. Here are a few examples from my sweet guy-

  • Any tiny complaint prompts him to offer a neck massage. I’m not kidding you- he offers all the time, and he genuinely wants to.
  • The other day, when he got gas on his way over, he called and asked if I wanted any candy from the gas station.
  • He’ll let me ramble on and on when I’m stressed, and then give me helpful advice when I finally shut up, {and sometimes he brings over a bottle of wine}.
  • On Valentine’s day, he made sure we got flowers for my roommate, too, because she didn’t have any.

None of those things are huge, grand gestures; they’re just little things that show me how much he cares about me, and even the people in my life. Everyone deserves someone that makes the feel cared for. I hope I do the same for him.




That you like each other

This sounds obvious, I know. But I truly mean it. You have to really like each other. You won’t like everything about each other. For example, I don’t like that Sam thinks pasta should be eaten every single day, or that he listens to a new song 3000 times in a row-but I do like him. I like how he treats people, I like how he makes me feel, I like how positive he is, I like the way he takes over cooking dinner when I get too anxious about it. You’ll love each other, but you also should probably like each other. 



We have our whole lives to stress about money, kids, marriage

We don’t have our whole lives to be young and in love.

Focus on that for now. The rest will fall into place



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1 Comment

  1. Rachael stray

    October 30, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    A really refreshing post. I love your pictures too. I think it’s really important to be in a relationship for the right reasons and because you like each other not because you like the idea of being with someone.

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