Dear Life ‘N Stuff,
I am a 25 year old man in University. When I was 22, I met a girl through a friend of a friend. Again, she pursued me, we had a good 3 year relationship, then she cheated on and dumped me 2 weeks ago. I was hooked on that deep connection and the happiness that comes with sharing life with someone I was so compatible with. It’s something I very much want again, but I don’t know how to do it. I’m in school right now, which should seem like a great place to meet women, but so many of them are so much younger than I am, and I’m afraid they won’t want committment because of it. Most women my age are already in serious relationships, and I don’t know where the one who aren’t are hiding. I want a partner, but I don’t know how to find that partner in what feels like a rapidly shrinking pool of already sparse possibilities. I’ve been in relationships more often than not most of my adult life. Never been the pursuer. Don’t know how to date. Help? -- New Persuer
Dear New Persuer,
First of all I would like to extend my deepest sypathies toward the loss you feel. I know that often the ending of a long term relationship involves its own mourning process. For this reason I think its important to take some time for yourself before jumping right into a relationship. Also, feel free to check out Concordia’s counciling services during this difficult time, I assure you the pay off is more than worththe time commitment, even for a busy student. Take the oppourtunity to make new friends, try new things, and rebuild yourself. The loss of a loved one is devastating, and your next relationship is likely to be unhealthy if your carry around your baggage from the last. Its a new semester, so there is nothing wrong with just focusing on school for a while.Everyone’s hearts are different but the rule of thumb is to wait one third the duration of the last relationship before entering into a new one. That means your reccommended single life will be one year, but since you’re quite eager (and not getting any younger) I would reccommend you take four to six months just worrying about you. That being said, you can set yourself up for success while you are rebuilding yourself.
This may come as a shock to you, but being a university student is a great way to meet new people. Do not dismiss women who are younger than yourself so easily. When you were 22 you entered into a serious relationship, so isn’t it possible that many other 22 yearolds want the same thing? Or for that matter, people in their early twenties in general? Also many young women seek out slightly older men because often women mature at a younger age then men. Any campus is full of single women in their early twenties, many of whom are in search of long term compatability. Furthermore, there are many single women your age and older who have either come out of unsuccessful long term relationships, like yourself, or have set aside dating at a young age to focus on their career, and are looking now. The real trick to dating women (older or younger) is meeting them.
Meeting new people, usually means trying new things. Joining a club or taking up a new hobby will not only help in the rebuilding stage after a breakup, but will allow you to meet and become friends with possible future partners. Do not be afraid to jump out of your comfort zone! Your twenties are supposed to be the greatest time of your life, so do not waste it on a comfortable routine. If you the sound of taking on another extra curricular while in school frightens you, then strike up a conversation with a stranger at a coffee shop you frequent or chat up a girl at your local grocery store. Develop new friendships with men and women alike because you never know who will introduce you to your next love interest. These new friendships will get you up and out of the house on those darker postbreakup saturday nights where all you can think of is your ex and lay in bed. Furthermore, the relationships you develop with women will allow you to see how compatible you two would be in a romantic partnership, while still protecting your heart.
Once you have reached a point in your life where you genuinely feel ready to take one your friendships to the next level, be straight with her. Tell her that you like her more than a friend and that you would like to persue a romantic relationship with her. Communication is key for every relationship, so its important that you both fully understand the expectations of the other during the transition. I’ve always found that dating a friend is a great experience because you’ve already gotten to know each other, so awkward silences, or uncomfortable topics don’t play as much of a role. I do, however, recommend taking the physical aspects of the relationship slowly or she may get the wrong idea about your true intentions.
Although breakups are hard, stay positive. Your ex just freed you up to meet the love of your life, and have new amazing experiences with her. Good luck in your love endevours!
-- Life ‘N Stuff