“It’s Just Not the Right Time.”

Okay, I’m going to go a little Carrie Bradshaw on you fabulous unwind readers.

Lately I’ve been reflecting on a string of similar issues in the dating lives of my friends.  These are girls and guys who are in the 18 to 26 age range. (Because who would ever write about their own dating experiences in a public sphere such as this… because then I would have to admit being slightly narcissistic, right? ) Anyway,  the issue at hand: timing.

One of my friends was intensely pursued by a French foreign exchange student and at one point she told him, “I’m just too busy! I don’t have time to date.” In all seriousness, he wrote her an email that said, “How do you not have time for love?” Now please just imagine a French guy, who looked like a Gucci model, actually saying those words out loud. Hilarious or insanely attractive?

Let’s think for a second, is there ever really a good time to start a relationship? In high school people told you, “Oh you’re not going to marry this person, you haven’t even experienced college yet!” In college everyone said, “Oh, I’m in college, I just wanna have fun!” And now my friends living the post-grad life are caught in the bind of, “I just graduated, I need to find myself before dating someone.”

Let’s decode this a little further.

High school girl to boyfriend: “What I really mean is that I want to know what dating an older guy is like.”

College guy to girl: “What I really mean is I wanna have fun and if you wanna have fun with me-that’s great. Just don’t be mad if I’m having fun with your best friend next weekend.”

Graduate male to potential girl: “What I really mean is I need to find myself by still partying like I did in my frat days even though I’m 25.”

Graduate female to potential guy: “What I really mean is you’re cute-but you need to move out of your parents house before I can date you.”

Funny how we all seem to speak in code.  Admit it-you know you’ve done it to avoid having to say the dreaded words:  “I’m just not that interested.”

Now that our generation is getting the hint that we don’t all have to get married at the age of  20, “timing” seems to be the best excuse out there on the market.

Now I want to point out that I fully support the idea that you need to love yourself before you can love someone else. That may mean you need to go climb Mount Everest after college before you jump into the dating world.  And independence is something you should wear proudly.  It’s just that if those of us who want to be independent and single for a while made that a little clearer from the get-go, then we might save a few hearts on the other line from being crushed.

So I think it’s important that the next time you say, “It’s just not the right time,” think about what you really mean. Because although the statement “I need to find myself” sounds profound, if you really just want the freedom to hook up,  you might not be as deep as you would like to think.

Honestly, when that right person comes along, you’re not going to give a crap about timing. You’re going to give a crap about making it work, no matter what.

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