Dating and relationships can be a special type of shit show in your twenties.
Between trying to be a real adult and figuring out what you want to do with your life, how does anyone have time to find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?
The struggle is too real. So we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish they knew about dating and relationships when they were in their twenties. Here’s what they said:
1. “Assume that you can get anyone to fall for you if you want them to.”
“It might not be true, but you should go into every date with that assumption, instead of worrying about whether or not the guy is into you.” –kristencarol
2. “Making the first move is terrifying but it will be the most awesome terrifying thing ever.”
3. “The best pick up line in the world is ‘Hi, I’m (insert your name here).’”
–Joey Hamilton, Facebook
4. Follow the “Three Month Rule.”
“Follow the Three Month Rule: If after three months there’s something you can’t live with then move on. People don’t change.” –Tracy Evette Paul, Facebook
6. And feel free to actually say no when you want to.
“It’s okay to turn someone down. And it’s okay if the person you turn down gets upset, that is beyond your control. I went on so many unwanted dates because I felt bad saying no.” –MrsH810
7. Don’t feel pressured to achieve any specific milestone by any specific time.
“There is no specific timeline that you have to achieve any specific milestone. Some of your friends are going to get married and start having babies early. Others will wait a bit longer. If you’re not one of the first to achieve either or both of those milestones (if that’s what you want), it’s okay. It will happen when the time is right. It’s better to be single than stuck with the wrong person.” –Jen Stone, Facebook
8. Believe people’s actions, not their words.
“If he/she’s not contacting you, or playing games, or being flaky, etc., it’s pretty clear what they actually think, despite what they may have said.” –Mcfly7719
10. Make sure you date on your own terms.
“Write a contract with yourself to date on your own terms. Be clear about what those terms are and advocate for yourself if it’s not working.” –Sean Fitch, Facebook
11. Have no regrets.
“Regret NOTHING!! You will learn from it all in the end.” –Justin Hilton, Facebook
12. Know that your “ideal” partner can change over time. So just do you right now.
“Focus on yourself, your goals, and with time, the right one will come around. After all, your 20s are the perfect time for you to explore and really find yourself. Besides, what you saw as an ‘ideal’ partner back in college may be totally different now!” –Valeria Marquez, Facebook
13. And just completely forget about dating if you’re sick of it.
“Ugh. Just get a cat.” –Shannon Hooper, Facebook
14. First, learn to be okay by yourself.
“Be okay with being by yourself. You’ll enjoy it so much more when you add someone meaningful to your life and even when things don’t work out, you’ll still have that joy of being with yourself.” – Danit Ehrlich, Facebook
15. And don’t feel like you need to change for anyone.
“Don’t change who you are for ANYONE! You can adapt and try to take an interest in things that they love, but never change the essence of you. Never lose yourself. The right person would never want you to.” –NurseTina3938
16. Just because they’re perfect, doesn’t mean they’re perfect for you.
“They may be the perfect person, but they may not be the perfect person for you. You’ll know when it’s the right person to stick with.” –Sharon Walles, Facebook
17. “Find someone who you can laugh with and have fun with, any time and anywhere.”
18. Don’t stay in a dead relationship just because you’re comfortable.
“Just because it’s comfortable, doesn’t always mean it’s right for either of you. Don’t be afraid to go after what you want, and do not be afraid to be on your own. You are far stronger than you think you are!” –Cait G.
19. Don’t try to find yourself through a relationship.
“Find yourself, then the right relationship will find YOU. A relationship will never work out when one or both people are only half done downloading.” –John Shinners, Facebook.
20. And don’t give SO much of yourself without getting anything in return.
“You need to both be in a position where you can sacrifice and compromise.” –Alice Louisa Davies, Facebook
21. Really take into consideration what your friends and family have to say.
“If all your friends and family tell you that he/she is a creep, hear them out. Especially if they tell you this repeatedly. They love you and want you to be happy.” –janetm43885b0d5
22. But don’t let them make the decisions for you.
“Don’t let your parents pick out who to date. You’re not in high school anymore, you can tell your parents no.” –Sharon Walles, Facebook
23. “Know when to throw in the towel.”
“You can’t strong arm someone into their potential.” –Kate Morrone, Facebook
24. And don’t feel like you ALWAYS need to be in a relationship.
“Going from one relationship to another is not healthy; have a single break!” –Claire Reading
25. Absolutely don’t let anyone mistreat you.
“Do not stand for bad behavior of any kind — cheating, shouting, lashing out at you and making you feel like shit — if any of this happens, LEAVE!” –Gabi Garb
26. Remember that there is such a thing as giving too much.
“When you do that, whoever you date will grow a sense of self-entitlement rather than gratitude.” –Laurann Rilmen, Facebook
27. “Know that you’re good enough. Anyone would be lucky to have you.”
28. Don’t stay with someone because you think you can change them.
“You CANNOT change that very interesting ‘bad guy.’ Don’t be afraid to set limits. Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs. If he isn’t able to fulfill them or at least compromise, it won’t work out.” –kaa
29. Be with someone who genuinely makes you reallysuper happy.
“No one should make you cry more than they make you laugh.” –hanny12080
30. “No scrubs.”