Your 20s can be a perilous and exciting time. All of those fresh, new experiences like moving out of your home, learning who you are, landing your first real job, drinking beer legally… And, if you’ve been using Hardline, finding yourself smack in the center with that special someone. But what to do once you have them? You want to keep them around, right? Ensure that’s the case by figuring out how love works when you’re still in your 20s. Because believe us, your teenage rules no longer apply!
Don’t Settle Down Until You’ve Done the Things You’ve Always Wanted to Do Alone
Being single is the time to find out who you are. Being attached is what you do after that. So make sure you don’t regret the love of your life by never having crossed the appropriate things off your bucket list. Whether it’s traveling, trying a new hobby, living with your friends, going to school for something you enjoy, or just plain taking risks with your job, now’s the time! It can be incredibly hard to try any of the above when you’re in a committed relationship. While relationships can be fantastic, they nonetheless change the way you live life. Be prepared for that.
Don’t Rush to Move in Together
Moving in too soon threatens even the best relationship. If you’re still in the honeymoon phase, it’s best to wait until it passes before having any serious talks about living together. Every relationship grows at its own pace, and moving in may try to push it to too high of a level too fast. If you’re not yet used to using the bathroom while your lover is in the shower, dealing with him clipping his toenails while watching television, or accidentally breaking wind in front of him, then you need to wait until those things are happening organically. You otherwise risk monitoring yourself (and him) constantly in your own living space. And how in the world is that healthy?
Don’t Rush to Buy a Pet Together
Especially if it’s a dog. A dog is pretty much the gay man’s answer to having a child. And even if your pet is simply a step in the direction of having children one day, it’s still best to take your time making that commitment. Make sure you and your partner are fair and balanced with your house chores and workloads already. Especially in the case of a dog (or, Lord help you, a puppy), there will be all manners of walking and feeding and grooming and training and driving to the vet. A pet will also make you less able to simply go on vacation or stay at a friend’s place for the weekend, which will change the way you socialize with others. Make sure you and your partner are capable of working together to happily and fairly own an animal, lest you risk bitterness and regret toward one another.
Opt for Mischief Over Lust
Sexual attraction will always be important in a relationship, but it becomes less so the older you get. If you’re looking to keep someone for the long haul, make sure there’s more happening than just physicality. You could end up with this person for years, and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to recognize that familiarity can become boring. Keep yourself from that fate by finding someone who’s as mischievous as you are. You don’t need to be constantly pulling pranks on one another, but make sure you both have an interest in life and are about having a good time. Be curious, try new things, and don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Those are the qualities that will make your relationship last. But if you happen to also still be having sex when you’re 75, good on you.
Breaking Up Gets Easier As You Get Older
Unfortunately, breakups happen. And for some of us, they happen plenty. While it isn’t the best consolation if your heart is hurting right now, know that these things will eventually get easier as time goes on. It’s not so much a frequency of breakups that make it a little less painful, but rather the maturity to recognize that it’s not on you. As you get older, you’ll likely become more secure in your sense of self and your worth as a person. You’ll become one of those people that isn’t simply told that they’re a great catch, but actually believes it.
What do you think of our dating advice for gay men in their 20s? Have you learned anything new? Do you have anything to contribute? Tell us in the comments!