I hit the Quarter of a Century milestone this year. Luckily, I already had the quarter-life crisis when I graduated and was like “what the fuck do I do with my life?”. However, there’s a new crisis that happens when you hit the big 2-5 and you’re yet to find a husband. The mid-twenties crisis.
A funny thing happens when you hit your mid-twenties. You’re still living the life of an overgrown teenager- living in a flatshare, seeing friends, getting drunk at the weekends- basically like you’re still a student but you work. Then one day, you look around you and realise everyone else your age is either a) engaged, b) married, or c) buying a house. I look at the bloggers who are blogging about their engagement, and realise with a jolt that most of them are younger than me. And I’m like, what am I doing with my life?
Don’t get me wrong. I realise that it’s not all bad. I’ve got a job in the industry I wanted to work in. My social life is decent. I’ve done some amazing trips abroad. I know people my age who have dropped out of 3 different university courses, or still doing unpaid internships because they can’t make up their mind. But there’s one piece of the puzzle that’s missing. I’m single. Most of my friends met people through friends when they were in their late teens. I’m not a hardcore careerist of a Sex And The City party girl- I want a husband and (maybe) kids. I would have been totally down with the “childhood sweetheart” thing. But I just didn’t meet anyone. So I’m suspended in this limbo of perpetual teenagerhood while everyone else moves on.
Now, we get onto the second part of the problem. How do you actually meet people in your mid-twenties? When I was a teenager, I’d go out underage drinking in a field or car park every Friday, and new people would come and go. Then at university I met people in halls or through my job at the student bar. Now, I’m at work all day.
So I try online dating. And Tinder. And basically every other app or dating event going. And I get dates. But I’ve just never clicked with those guys. Most were nice enough (although you get the occasional oddball), but we were just mismatched. Not people I would have dated if we’d met in the “real world” beforehand. Another difficult thing is, most of the guys I’ve met from apps who were reasonably attractive were just looking for something casual. Dating apps are a bit of a paradox: without them we’d never meet anyone, but with them any guy half decent has unlimited options. And I just find the whole thing quite forced. I’d rather just meet people through friends with no expectations, hang out, maybe there’s someone where a spark develops, then start going on dates.
But that just doesn’t happen anymore. In London, I know no-one. My previous job and classes I’ve tried completely weren’t sociable, so my only avenue to make new friends is Bumble BFF. So I organise a drinks thing, half the people going flake on the day, and it turns out to be a vaginafest. Back home in Reading, I organise a drinks thing and 20 people show up. But I’ve known then all since I was 16.
I think the best thing to do is find someone at school or university, then marry them. Ironically, I would have been up for that. But I was told at the time that I couldn’t do that. I distinctly remember being 18, and constantly being told “WHY DO YOU WANT A RELATIONSHIP? YOU’RE ONLY 18!” Yet, 18 is the best age to find someone. Most of my friends met The One at 18, and they’re all buying houses. I think it’s one of those situations where the western cultural narrative goes against what actually makes us happy.
Are you having a mid-twenties crisis? Single and happy? In a relationship and loved up, or settled down too young and now regretting it? Let me know in the comments!