Finding a relationship can be hard, and sometimes the "will we, won't we" of dating can be seriously detrimental to your mental health.
Even though going for long stretches without a relationship can be very isolating (if you want one), it's not uncommon to feel like you'll end up alone. Which is why we can relate to a recent Humans of New York story posted with a photo of a man from Colombia.
“I think I’m obsessed with the idea of finding a girlfriend," he said in the post. "I think about it all the time. I really want to know what it feels like. I’m twenty-four. I’ve never been in a relationship. I’m terrified by the idea of being alone."
He explains a sense of desperation that he feels has affected his chance at having a relationship in the past.
"The last girl I dated told me that I just needed to ‘let it flow,’ and ‘see what happens.’ But I don’t know how to do that. I tried too hard to please her."
His anxiety about whether they were or were not together ruined the relationship, he said in the post. "She felt like my last chance to not be alone," he said. "When I finally get a girlfriend, I’m not sure how it will feel. Maybe it will be great. Or maybe then I’ll just be terrified of losing her.”
While it's possible that he feels more anxiety than most about finding a relationship, he describes something that seems familiar — at least to me.
A former partner once told me that she always planned to be married by 30 (she was 29 at the time and our relationship certainly wasn't headed toward marriage) and just the other day my mom told me that I "sure am taking my time" to find someone who will love me forever. I'm 25.
Maybe it comes from romantic movies or from previous generations who found their true loves just out of high school, but there seems to be a pressure to find "the one" before you hit 30 and your life is over.
And it's not just me and this guy from Colombia who feel the pressure. Several people have commented on his post with their own stories of dating woes.
Others on the post have offered the same advice as the last girl this guy dated. "Just let if flow" and "see what happens."
While it's not the easiest thing to do when it feels like the clock is ticking away in the background, this seems like pretty good advice. Worrying about finding your "one true love" takes all of the fun out of dating. And at 24, and 25, this guy and I still have plenty of time to find someone.