Let's be honest and call a spade a spade here, your 20's are for fuck ups. For the mistakes that you enjoy making, because you know deep down you're young enough to get away with them... Most of the time. As I near the end of my 20's, I am genuinely shocked at how much time was spent (note: not wasted) on guys that were so wrong for me, and that I was so wrong for. I put up with so much, tolerated all the wrong things and took liberties in areas that I shouldn't have.
One of the great things about approaching your 30th is seeing how far you've come, being able to laugh at all the mistakes you've made and most importantly, knowing you'll never make them again. Here are some of the mistakes I will never repeat.
I Searched For The Guy Who Needed To Be 'Fixed'
Some women have an innate need to find a guy that's messed up in some way and 'fix him'. This is wrong on so many levels. This was me. If there was a guy within a 10 mile radius that had commitment issues/saw women as conquests/was a total player, I'd find them and it would be my mission to get them to fall in love with me and change their ways. This worked for a while, I saw great results. I 'fixed' them so that all they wanted was me. It resulted in huge satisfaction... initially. The problem with this is, I was going for guys because of who they were or what they lacked and totally disregarding what I needed or wanted. This meant that as soon as they were fixed, I saw them for who they really were, and as lovely as it was that they were now 'changed men,' they weren't who I wanted. Establish what it is you want first, because at the end of the day, that's what you'll be left with.
I Thought It Was Okay To Be High Maintenance
'Why can't we watch the movie I want to watch?', 'No I don't want to go out with your friends', 'Why didn't you write back to my message when you were online?'
Woah! On what planet is it okay for girls to essentially be bitches to their boyfriends? (This goes for guys too by the way, I've had boyfriends who were so high maintenance they used up my phone battery with text messages by lunch) Is it sexy? Does it make them feel powerful/in control? I honestly don't know, and I was prime example of a genuinely nice person that was a total nightmare when it came to boyfriends. Your relationship should be partnership, if you wouldn't speak to your best friend like that, then you shouldn't be speaking to your boyfriend like that. It doesn't make you powerful, it doesn't put you in control, all it does is instil resentment and disdain. How about being good to each other, actually wanting them to be happy? I can tell you now, that gains a hell of a lot more respect than barking orders.
I Thought Making Them Jealous Would Make Them Want Me More
Nope, nope and just hell to the fuck no. This is a common misconception that I think (hope) most people grow out of by their 30's. Making someone jealous does not make him want you more. It does not make you more attractive and it does not bring you closer. All it does, and this is coming from a lot of experience, is make them question your loyalty and make them feel insecure which then breeds possessiveness and mistrust. Your boyfriend likes you, he really, really likes you, that's why you're together. He doesn't need to see that other guys find you attractive, he already knows how guys minds work and he is fully aware of how they see you. The best thing you can do for your relationship is be loyal. If he's the only one you think about or fancy, let him know. It doesn't make you look weak, it makes you look confident.
I Tolerated Disrespect
'Love' does crazy things to people, one of them being losing sight of yourself and who you are as a person. Too many times I let genuine deal breakers go, because I let that person convince me that it was a fuck up and they loved me. Mistakes happen, I get that, but don't let yourself be walked all over, it doesn't make you laid back and easy going, it makes you a doormat - and people will continue to push to see how far they can go. Trust me.
I Only Worried About What They Wanted In Bed
It seemed totally natural for me cater to all their sexual needs, that's just what sex was to me and it didn't seem strange or odd, it was just... normal. That was until I realised that sex is a two player game, and the more you understand what you like and want, the better it is for both parties. It's not all your partners fault. A lot of the time they just know what they want and, if they're with someone who's willing, then why the hell wouldn't they have it their way? Us girls need to put the time in, figure out what it is we like and then let our partners know in one way or another. It's sexy, it's confident, it's 100% essential for a healthy relationship.
I Sacrificed Travel
Something that always makes my heart a little heavy is thinking back to a college summer when my boyfriend was staying home so I stayed with him. All my friend left at the end of May to have what I know was the best summer of their lives. I missed out because I was worried we wouldn't survive it. Long story short, we didn't survive anyway because I resented him so much despite the fact that it wasn't his fault - it was my decision. Your 20's are your selfish years, please don't surrender them to someone else.
I Let My Other Relationships Slide
I neglected my family during times of need, I let plans with my friends slip by the wayside, all because I was too afraid to be without him. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that maintaining relationships with your friends and family, even if you're in the throws of love, is the most important thing. These people will be there for you no matter what if you're lucky, but they deserve a lot better than your 'spare' time.
Do yourself a favour, write down what kind of relationship you really want and don't stop until you get it, because you will get it. It will take compromise, work, and lots of trust... But you'll get it, and when you do, it will be magic.