This is a common issue that people struggle with:
I (F 24) feel like I met “the one” too early in my life. Anyone else feel this way?
Title pretty much says it all, but I’ve been dating my boyfriend for two years and I totally see myself ending up with him, we talk about getting married one day. But I always pictured myself dating around in my twenties before I met him, and now I can’t shake this nagging feeling that comes up when I watch a romantic movies where two people meet or see my friends on dating apps and enjoying/hating those weird hookup experiences that happen in your 20s and feeling like I’m missing out in a way? (note: obviously this feeling started pre-quarantine, my friends aren’t going out and meeting anyone right now)
I had a phase in college where I was kind of just doing my own thing and hooking up with guys without getting too attached and it felt so empowering and independent and even though I’m happy now, I sometimes find myself feeling so nostalgic for those days. It feels as if I wasn’t quite ready to meet my boyfriend when I did.
At the same time, I love my boyfriend so much. He’s one of my best friends and can’t really imagine being without him. I always think that if we had met five years from now, I would never have these thoughts. It has nothing to do with not loving him, contrary to what some people might think when they read this. I know it sounds selfish, but it feels like I’m two different people who want two different things. Has anyone else felt like this and have any advice? Honestly just down about it and want to see if anyone can relate.
TL;DR: I always thought I’d “settle down” when I was older (like in my 30s) and use my 20s to date around. Now, I have an awesome boyfriend whom I love, but I can’t shake this nagging feeling that we met too early in life, and I’m wondering if anyone has any advice for me or stories about what they did in a similar situation?
Roosh had an interesting take on this dilemma for men,
Many men have come to me with the same dilemma: they’re in a relationship with an ideal girl who would be a great mother but still want to bang other girls. They ask me if they should stay with their current girl or dump her for the purpose of sleeping around.
This scenario usually happens to men in their mid-to-late 20s when, through sheer luck, they met a good girl by happenstance. Problem is that they aren’t yet finished with “finding themselves” through the vaginal multitude. They feel like they’re missing out on experiences that could be rewarding in their development, or they simply desire to experience a rock-star lifestyle of repeated casual sex encounters, which is blocked by having a dedicated girlfriend you either live with or see many days of the week.
…Unfortunately, he will lose either way. It doesn’t matter what he does—he will be just as dissatisfied as before. The real problem is that he is divided. He wants to experience two things at the same time: stability and excitement. This is not possible, because they are opposing qualities. The only solution is to remove the division and either dedicate yourself to pursuing stability or excitement.
We human beings always want more. Sometimes this is good because it pushes us to do and become more than we thought we could be. It can also be bad though because it can lead to us letting go of the bird in our hand to try to grab two in the bush.
On the male side, you can sometimes want to sleep with women just to validate yourself. “If I’ve slept with X number of women, it means I’m good with women, which makes me feel like more of a man.” There is also a lot to be said for variety and the thrill of conquest. When you’re with a new woman, it’s probably the same sort of feeling at a base level that a lion gets after he takes down an antelope. It can be easy to want to live in those feelings.
With women, what she’s talking about is part of the standard map society pushes women towards these days. Spend your twenties hooking up with men, having a good time and building a career. Then, in your thirties, meet Mr. Right and have some kids if you want. Unfortunately, women lose their looks even faster than men do and there are an awful lot of women in their thirties who USED TO be attractive, who aren’t anymore, but still want the same quality of guy that they could have gotten at 25. Next thing you know, they’re going downhill faster, creeping towards infertility and they have to either stay single long term or settle hard.
So, if she says she is happy, would it make her life better to dump Mr. Right to go find Mr. Right Now? That’s doubtful. It would be a different experience, but it’s unlikely to be a better one and there are no guarantees she will find another Mr. Right down the road. What should she do? That depends on whether this is a, “Oh, that might be fun,” thing for her or whether it’s bordering on a need. If it’s the latter, she’s probably going to do it now or later and she doesn’t want to do it AFTER she’s married. If it’s just a want, should she ditch this guy she sees herself ending up with to get railed by different hot guys for a few years? Probably not.