If you made it all the way through high school without going out on even one date — however mortifying and awkward — you’re not alone. Despite what pop culture films, TV shows, and books would have us believe, not everyone enters their 20s with several years of dating experience under their belt. Don’t let the mistaken belief that you’re “behind the curve” affect your confidence as you dip your toe into the dating world as a 20-something.
But even if you did have a high school sweetheart, there’s still plenty to learn about dating in your 20s.
What do people look for in a potential partner? What should you talk about or do on a first date? Are blind dates safe?
Our experts have the answers.
One important thing to understand is that dating will always feel nerve-wracking. That’s because it’s exciting! You’re meeting someone new… someone attractive… someone who thinks you’re pretty cute too! Of course it’s anxiety-inducing, but on the other side of that anxiety is the potential for a lot of fun. Don’t hold back on waiting for the “right” time… even a small desire to date is a good enough reason to give it a try.
And yes, everyone is someone’s type!
Even if you don’t look like a Hollywood superstar, you’re attractive, especially when you smile and get excited about a topic you love.
Fortunately, you don’t need your friends to set you up on a blind date or to try to flirt with every person you meet to land a date. The modern world offers a wonderful advantage called online dating. Sign up, talk to people, and see how you feel about some of them. If you seem to have an easy time talking about your interests, pick a safe place to meet for coffee one afternoon. Dating becomes easier with practice, and yes, it’s okay to “practice” by meeting many people rather than settling down with one person right away, as long as you’re clear with your dates that you’re keeping your options open.