I think we all have expectations of when certain things will happen in our lives. Consciously (people with 10 years plans) and subconsciously (people who just thought 'it'll happen'), I guess I'm in the later category. When I was 16 I assumed by 19 I would've met someone. When 19 came and went I just assumed I'd meet someone by the time I was 23. When I turned 24 I went, huh maybe that won't happen on it's own.........then I thought nah they always say it happens when you least expect it. Besides I was young and I didn't have to worry yet. 25 was really a defining year, it was the most miserable birthday I could remember, suddenly I was on the clock-sure I was still young but I wasn't in the early twenties brigade anymore and I was out of the 'young and stupid' is acceptable stage. I freaked out. I've never done stupid things but I suddenly felt resentful that (even though I didn't want to) my chance to party all night, experiment and do things on a whim had disappeared. And on top of that was all information I could gather pointed to the unavoidable fact that: under 25 never had a relationship=sort of cute over 25 never had a relationship=red flag,abort!
I wanted to try and at least get my first kiss before 26 (only a decade or so late....) but as you can all guess that didn't work out. 25 was a really shitty year, I had my first up all night shivering shaking what-if-it-never-happens-for-me freak outs, I cried a bit about being so abnormal, questioned the universe: why me?, I lost weight because I wasn't interested in food and I desperately searched for likeminded souls and stories about people like me on the net. This was in some ways reassuring (I'm not the only one! And this person was x age before it happened for them) and in some ways not (everyone seems to think it's really weird. This person is x years old and it never happened for them). I've moved on now from the freak out stage, I've realised theres no point moping over what hasn't happened yet, there's no point my sitting here worrying myself silly over it-I might as well at least try and do something worthwhile in another part of life whilst I'm working on this part. Of course romantic expectations are only part of it. As a female I have to consider my age in relation to having a family, at the moment I'm not 100% set in cement sure wether I do or don't want kids (lets just say my niece is being pretty effective birth control these past few weeks...) but if I get to 35 without a partner I'll have to make the decision wether to go ahead and have a family on my own-this is not only expensive but hard as I'd have no partner nor extended family for support, apart from my mother who will be of an age where it would be unreasonable to expect her to do much. I'm sure it would be great and all but it's not what I imagined, for me or any children, I was very close with my dad and I just can't imagine not having had him in my life. I don't want to have to make that decision. Unlike my sister who scorns marriage I want to walk down the aisle one day, I want to pick out a dress and one day I'd like to pick the colours out for a nursery too. And then there are the other smaller expectations I had about what I'd have experienced by now, like road trips, solo travel, going to university and having met more adult friends. I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps I've not been influenced wrongly by movies and books-not everyones life is a constant movement of fun and friends. How many friends do most people really have? From some of the hobbiest forums I'm on it would seem most people are lucky to have 1 or 2 friends. And as adults we're often not that close to our friends either, we may talk once or twice a month but we're not in constant contact. Of course there are people who do have a big social circle and are in constant communication, they seem like the happiest people but not all of us are able to do that. And then there's the fact that not having a gaggle of friends seems to be another red flag amongst the dating crowd. As I get older I also notice how young everyone else is, I feel like I'm the oldest person doing any given thing, there's always some up and coming person who is super talented and together and is 20, life and praise seems to be for the under 25's once you turn 25 you're meant to no longer need praise nor reassurance apparently. But maybe I just feel that way because I missed out on all those experiences I think I should have had. I've also noticed, as is invertible I guess, that people my age are starting to get serious about relationships (I had the exact stats somewhere but I can't find them...) they start getting engaged and married, or they're living together, or they have a kid together. When you're 19-25 relationships are evolving all the time, hookups, breakups, makeups most people aren't seriously attached and it's arguably the best time to meet someone. By 26 it would seem like about 60% of people are in serious relationships, I'd only imagine it grows more and more the older you get. And then there are divorcees and stepchildren which add another complexity to an already complex situation, then chuck in someone with 0 relationship experience and the whole thing just seems impossible. There's also the fact that men in the 30-40 age range tend to date down (20-28) leaving even less interested men in the 30-40 age group for women.
I've found a couple of over 26 first experiences:
On the bright side apparently I'm a unicorn. I like unicorns. And I can still pat one. So there.
And just to brighten this post up here's a really pretty dress that I want:
PS Don't you hate that those % of single people stats include people who are in relationships but not married? I don't consider them single.......