The way we date has significantly changed over the past 20 years. With the introduction of cell phones, social media sites and even apps that allow you to choose someone out of a photo album to go on a date with (yup, it’s called Tinder), our options are limitless.
While this allows us to be “picky” and choose our mates more carefully, it has also lead to taking others for granted, overlooking valuable qualities in light of superficial ones, and an increased tolerance for disrespect.
While many of us twenty-somethings idealize a future with a husband and children of our own, just as you did, with each bad date comes the stress of this fairytale romance never coming to fruition. We are stuck in between our hopes of a monogamous future like our parents, and the reality of today’s ADD dating landscape.
If your daughter is twenty-something and single (as I am), the last thing she needs to hear is “why haven’t you found a good man yet?”.
She also does not need looks of pity, suggestions of men that she may like, or random blind dates with your best friend’s son.
It isn’t our lack of interest or options, but most often our conflict of finding someone to spend our life with, with our self-worth. Do I want to be with someone who wants to continue texting other girls? Who says I’m his favorite (out of how many)? Of course I don’t. However, if I believe that I need a man to feel whole I may justify being with a man who treats me this way because “it’s just the way dating is these days”.
As a mother, you look to understand and support your daughter. Why else would you suggest places for her to meet someone? Because you believe finding someone will make her happy, of course.
We know you love us and you are trying to help. To truly help though, your daughter only needs to hear one thing – that she is perfect and beautiful and wonderful and she does not need to be in a relationship to feel that way!
The grass always appears greener on the other side of the fence, and all we need to do is change our outlook. As a first step in appreciating my singleness, I took out a pen and start jotting down reasons I was grateful to be single. I wrote 101 of them and shared them with my mother (who is also single), who joyfully agreed with them all. Here are a few you can share with your daughter:
- EXCESSIVE INDULGENCE
There is no sneaking in the door with your tub of quality cookie dough ice cream and feeling the cringe of resentment when your significant other asks to share. The tub is just too small for two spoons! When you’re single you can inhale that whole thing, then sit on the couch and feel fat with no one to judge you. Unzip those jeans and dig in sister!
- YOUR VERY OWN BED SPACE
The bed is all yours, do with it what you will. Sprawl out, starfish, or just thrash about randomly because you can (which does actually feel amazing. Seriously, go do it now).
What else? Oh yes, no worries about being throat punched in the midst of your enjoyment of ample dream space. True story – a boyfriend actually punched me in the night while he was sleeping. Apparently he was in a big wrestling match and forgot to inform me that I was fighting against him. According to him though, he won the fight and felt amazing. You better have.
- OWN THE THRONE
When living with my ex I would often get up in the middle of the night to pee. I would either have to turn a light on to check, or feel around to see if the seat was down (which yes, was so gross). When you’re single, you know it’s always down. No surprise bum-dunking in the middle of the night.
Your daughter just needs to know that she does not need someone in her life to make her feel whole, and that being single does not reduce her worth. If she can appreciate being on her own, she will then be able to appreciate being in a relationship if/when the right individual comes along – because she won’t be looking for someone to fill a void, but rather someone that compliments her many strengths!