If I had to compare my relationships in my 20s versus those in my 30s, I’d say they are two extremes. While my 20s would be a spicy Achcharu, my 30s are an Angus beef steak. Both are incredibly satisfying, however, they are poles apart and serve two types of cravings. Some of my friends found their ‘true love’ in their 20s, some others in their 30s, and even some in their 40s.
When I was 19 I thought that I *had* to be married or in a relationship with ‘The One’ when I was 25. I had been single for two years when I celebrated my 25th and I felt like a desolate pariah. I hated Cupid with a vengeance – that winged, loin-cloth wearing b*tch. Now, at nearly-31 I think even 40s are the best years to be hitched. If anyone thinks that ‘older’ means ‘less valuable’, you’ve never been farther from the truth. I thought I’d venture on a comparison to look at how time, age, and maturity benefit us (Note to reader – the terms age and maturity are independent of each other).
I was mildly disappointed when the hashtag of ‘You Do You’ saw its last tag. The latter part of 2015’s selfies was sprinkled with this hashtag that seemed to make all the difference. In yours 20s, you base your entire life on your partner. You just didn’t know any better. In your 30s, you realise that you understand that every stable relationship is based on prioritising yourself. The saying ‘happy wife, happy life’ is not meant to be taken lightly. If you’ve reached a place in your life, you’re pursuing your dream career; you slowly learn how to make pancakes, you know you don’t need to look out for happiness – it’s already in you.
2. Roping in Price Charming:
In your 20s, my ‘wish list’ for the perfect husband was as simple as A B C – ‘A’ for abs, ‘B’ for business-minded and ‘C’ for can cook; the list would go on. Now, in my 30s the theme is brevity. I wanted someone who was on the same page as me, someone who was like a hardcover, and someone who would be a bookmark during trying times.
3. Financial Frisking:
A decade ago, if someone said that I had to have a financial transparency with my significant other, I would have used an AK47 and ended my life. I would have done it with much happiness. My theory was if I made the dough, why do I need to tell others about it? What I earn is my business, why should I share it with anyone else? It’s my private information – I don’t need anyone telling me how to manage what I earned. With the right (key) person, this transformation can happen; it will take time. However, when you get to that you’re somehow proud to show your achievements.
4. Mrs No-Name-Surname:
I never wanted to change my surname. Ever. In my 30s, I’m kind of looking forward to it. Why? Well, I already love my surname, however, I’ve come to understand who I am is not my lineage or my name, it’s who I’ve become. Just because I change my surname, I’ve rationalised, that it will not change my accomplishments or identity.
5. Fantasy Freeloaders:
Remember how you would dissect every part of your relationship when you were in your 20s? In your 30s, you keep the details of the ‘D’ only for your ‘V’. Some information, you realise, are only for your keeping.
6. Hoe-No, Cowboy:
You want to wait for the right person. Meaningless hook-ups seem like a terrible choice when you’re 30. Stop while you can. There’s no resume in the world that asks for sexperience.
7. Dress Down:
I remember being incredibly superficial about always wearing eyeliner and the works every time I met the significant other. In my 30s I couldn’t care less about ‘looking sick’ or puffy.
8. Socially Yours:
I had been on my own for a greater part of my twenties. When I was in a relationship, ‘selfies’ weren’t invented. I couldn’t wait to be in a relationship just so I could post those captions that have no relation to the picture. In my 30s, I only log in to Facebook purely for business reasons.
When you’re in your 20s, you are constantly looking for reassurance. Reassurance that Coco Veranda’s carrot cake is still available; that your shade of red complements your skin tone; and that he loves you, even if I've spent 6 minutes without texting him. In yours 30s, you still love talking to him, but there’s mutual respect for each other’s work and you don’t spend every waking second hogging the phone.
10. Moving On:
Like many times in your 20s, you won’t be damaged beyond repair when it ends. You will pick up the pieces, binge-eat KitKat for 2 weeks straight and get over him.
With that, I just know that 30s aren't all that bad – but, I'm thankful for my 20s and the lessons learned from relationships in both decades.
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