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Dating in your 20s is both a balancing act and a labyrinth. When women decide to enter the dating scene, we unknowingly sign up to encounter a wide variety of men, some good and some bad. Either way, we continuously choose to subject ourselves to a game like that of Russian roulette. We never know what we are going to get, but what I do know is that there are five types of men women encounter while dating in their twenties. 

1. The “Emotionally Unavailable” Guy

We all know this guy and have gone out on at least one date with him. An excruciatingly painful date. This type of guy often replies to texts hours later as if he hadn’t seen the text when posting on Snapchat, avoids meeting your friends as if they’re lepers and always leaves you wanting more, whether that be emotionally or sexually. Even though this guy usually presents several classic red flags, we are intrigued by the mystery and enthralled by the chase. We often find this guy on Tinder, Bumble or other various dating apps and find ourselves captivated by his stereotypical thirst trap  photos. Don’t fall for this faux pas. Save your time and effort for someone deserving. Anyway, even though the chase may be exhilarating and arousing, there is little for us to gain from this type of man, so it’s time for him TO GO. 

2. The “Clingy” Guy

To me, this is the worst type of guy that all women in their twenties meet. He hounds you with texts, calls and may even show up unannounced to your home. I remember my first encounter with this type of guy…it was truly a shit show. He followed me around like a lost puppy for quite some time. Several ignored phone calls later, he decided the best course of action was to make an impromptu visit to my home. While lounging in bed with only an oversized T-shirt on, popcorn and a bottle of Pinot Grigio in hand and “Sex and the City” on the television, the last thing I expected was for this man to show up at my door. Following a bang on the door and a ring of the doorbell, I immediately knew who was outside: the lost puppy. You would think that he would’ve gotten the hint after waiting outside my door for ten minutes, but of course not. He’s a man. After 30 minutes of waiting and refusing to leave the safety of my bedroom, my doorbell went off once again – it was the Chinese food I ordered. So, I hurried to the door, ready to devour the orange chicken and fried rice in the bag only for the delivery guy to be the one person I was trying to avoid…the puppy, with my Chinese food in hand, peeking through the windows of my home. I dropped to the ground with my stomach pressed firm against the cold wood and the Pinot Grigio convinced me that there was only one solution. What was the answer to my problem, you ask? To army crawl under the open windows and reach up to close my blinds while making eye contact with said unexpected guest. I swear, the Pinot Grigio convinced me it was a good idea. Long story short, I ate leftovers that night and purchased a Ring doorbell. Take it from me: the clingy guys, while flattering at first, are suffocating.

3. The “Older” Guy

Everyone has their own opinion as to what is considered “older,” but to me as a 22-year-old “older” in terms of dating means any man over the age of 35. There is both a good and bad side to this guy. The older guy can be a positive experience if he offers insight, maturity, sophistication and much more, but this man can also be too demanding, judgmental of your age, too ready for marriage or even more immature than men your own age. Older guys used to appeal to me more so than guys my own age, however, after one bad apple, I have never gone back. I had met a 27-year-old guy on Tinder (and before you say anything…I know, I know, terrible mistake). Everything seemed to be going great until I realized he was as mature as a 15-year-old boy. We dated for an entire summer, went on vacation and intermingled our friend groups. I was under the impression that everything was going well, but unbeknownst to me, I was merely one of many. He had a stockpile of younger women he utilized for specific desires, which he listed under the contacts of each of his “conquests.” I bet you’re wondering what he gained from seeing me. The answer is simple: money. I was so caught up in the moment I failed to see the red flag. $5,500 later, the escapade finally concluded with him asking me to buy him new rims for his truck. Take it from me, older men are not always the remedy to the lack of maturity we witness from men our age.

4. The “Friend Zone” Guy

This is the guy who you most likely have been friends with for years and have always thought of as a friend, until one night. Although it may be tempting after a few glasses of wine when boundaries are blurred and the only thing on your mind is how well he knows you, comforts you in times of need and how conversation with him is so easy, DON’T DO IT. Keep that friendship sacred and do not intermingle friendship with sex because it never works out. Yes, the best type of relationships need friendship at their core, however, there is a difference between that and “friend zone” guy. If you do happen to fall victim to this, be prepared for the “friend zone” guy to transform into the “clingy” guy because it is likely that the next morning, you will regret your decision and he will not. 

5. The “One”

Wow, we finally made it! Mr. Right, Mr. Big, or whatever you decide to call him, he is out there, I promise you. What sets him apart from those we previously dated is that he is the one who you see yourself moving in with, meeting the family of, exploring the riches of life with and the one who you see getting down on one knee. There is a societal norm that emphasizes that all women must kiss a few frogs to meet their prince and we’re taught this from an early age through Disney films and romance novels. We’re also taught that Mr. Right is supposed to sweep you off your feet with a grand gesture or that we will meet the “one” in some whimsical fashion, but that is not always how it happens. Although I think this concept has overstayed its welcome, I do believe that many women, including myself, meet Mr. Wrong before they meet Mr. Right. One of my closest friends found her now husband on Tinder, another friend found her longtime boyfriend in Austin while stumbling out of a bar on Sixth Street, and another when she rear-ended him at a stop sign. Mr. Right can be anywhere at any time. 

Your twenties are meant to be a time characterized by exploration, adventure and personal growth, so there is no rush to find Mr. Right. So what, we must deal with a few (or a lot) of bad apples, but it helps us gain an understanding of what we desire in a relationship as well as what we view as being a dealbreaker. Do not feel obligated to participate in anything that you derive no pleasure or happiness from. Let go, let loose and have fun.

Senior English Literature undergraduate student at Baylor University with a focus in law. With minors in both Latin and Classics.
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