Frustration and Long Term Relationships

As a 20-year-old who has been in a steady relationship for four years, I naturally feel like an outsider. While it is not true that I am the only person with this experience, it is common among us young persons in a LTR (long term relationship). I bear no grievances to those who partake in casual dating, friends with benefits, one night stands, etc. I want others to be happy and I want to be happy. If your favorite weekend routine is bagging a one night stand, great! You love chilling with your FWB, cool! I have no judgements. I do, however, get annoyed when people ask these four questions: 1. Are you going to get married?

I don’t know. Maybe someday? I am literally just trying to pass my research methods class and scrape together enough change to get a coffee from the vending machine in the basement of AD. My main goal in life is not to get married, it will be a nice side dish but not necessarily the main course. Asking someone if they are going to get married is not only weird but pressuring. An equivalent would be “Are you going to be a spinster for the rest of your life?"As a 20-year-old, I really don’t know what the future will hold- a cliche I know. It is true though. According to a Census Bureau study, the average American woman gets married around 28 and men around 30.  So, if I want be within the “average," I have eight years to figure it out.  


2. You shouldn’t be bestfriends with your significant other.

I don’t really know how this dating “rule” got started, but it sure is obscure. If you are in a long term relationship your partner is your best friend-great. If you are in a long term relationship and you have a different best friend then your partner - also great. It shouldn’t matter if your best friend is the 3 legged-squirrel that hangs out in the front of Grasselli, as long as you are happy and comfortable is all that matters.


3. Aren’t you bored?

I am bored of being asked this. In general, if I (or most other young persons in a LTR) were bored, we would end the relationship. Personally, I am happy to be comfortable with my boyfriend and just read/hang out/plan trips/etc. My relationship is not my sole purpose of existing - I have dreams and goals, too. A good relationship is like a venn diagram:

4. Don’t you want to explore/try new things/etc?

Yes, I do. If you mean increase the number of guys I “hookup” with or dates I go on, then no. I studied abroad and solo-backpacked to over 20 countries alone. I saw the Pope, drank mint tea in Morocco and learned how to dance at a Christmas market in Hungary. I love exploring and gaining new experiences. Just because I’m young doesn’t mean I have to hit X amount of Y. I understand that early adulthood is traditionally a time where people are adventurous and like to rack up tons of experiences- that is not a fast and hard rule. Am i “lame” for not following these expectations? No! That being said, I am lame for taking three hour naps in the middle of the day and forgetting my literature textbooks, but not for dating only one person.