Don’t Let Tinder Break Your Heart (Tips for Dealing with Dating in Your 20s)

The funny thing about Maxie and me is that we have had our fair share of ups and downs in the dating scene over the course of our friendship. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent more time on Skype with Maxie going through each of our own woes and giving each other the best advice/support we can muster. Not to point fingers at anyone, but there was one time when I had a less than ideal gchat conversation with a guy (damn you twenty-first century) and I kid you not, Maxie was on the phone with me the whole time talking me off the edge of the cliff. Love her for that. Dating is hard. I’ve had my fair share of bad first dates and even worse last dates… Loving Maxie’s tips and advice:
Yesterday a guy texted me out of the blue, six weeks after he pulled a Houdini. Rewind to the beginning of the year where we had been talking a lot, had a few great dates, and he displayed all the signs of someone worth seeing again. Until literally out of no where he performed a not-so-entertaining disappearing act. And then yesterday…there he was, popping up on my phone like nothing was the matter. 
So confusing right? But holy moly is that just the tip of the iceberg of weird things that will happen when you’re dating in your twenties (trust me, do I have some stories for ya). I’m here to tell you it’s normal, even borderline expected, and it’s all part of the entertaining journey that is dating. As crazy as you can feel sometimes as you’re meeting different people, or you’re on the world’s worst date where he/she talks about him/herself the entire time and you’re watching ESPN on the monitor behind his/her head, or after potential suitor falls off the face of the earth with literally no trace…embracing the crazy is the only choice you have.
Look, I’m not about to tell you how to date in your 20s, because I’m surely no Hitch. But what I can share with you are some tested strategies on how to deal with it. How to make sure you enjoy dating more than you hate it. How to come out of the weird situations alive. How to keep going at it even when you want to throw up your hands and resort to a life of cats instead.
It’s not going to work until it does…
I know that after that first amazing night of drinks, the first hot kiss, or the laughing ‘til the sun comes up kind of evening can leave you day dreaming about the amazing lifetime partner potential. But just stop. I’m the queen of being optimistic, but when it comes to dating you really have to remember that it’s not going to work until it does. It may not be some horrible break up, it may not end up in flames, but if you’re actively dating, the majority of them aren’t going to work. If your funnel is open, and there are all kinds of dating leads coming into you life, having a realistic understanding that most of them aren’t going to work out will keep you from having your first date dreams shattered. 
Have a close guy you can call on….
Dudes know their fellow specie better than we could ever dream of. Literally any time that I get a weird text from some guy I’m seeing and I don’t know how I should react…my poor (lucky?) bestie, Kyle, will receive a screenshot from me with “WTF. Please help decipher” and his advice to ignore him, make him wait, or never see him again is always spot on. Because while we want to justify and accommodate to the dude, a guy friend will be the first to call his BS. He’ll be the first to tell you to stop worrying. He’ll remind you to throw on some lipstick and high heels, order a dirty martini with three olives (we call this operation holy grail) and you’ll feel better and flirty in no time. You need this perspective. While having your best galpals is one of life’s greatest gifts, your guy friend will see this dude’s actions for what it is and help you navigate the situation with success. After all, he’s one of them.
Get out of the rabbit hole….
We all know that our minds can be our greatest strength and our biggest enemy. And when things are going wrong with someone that we’re dating, our mind can become a terrible place. It’s like we’re stuck in the rabbit hole, in the maze of misunderstanding. And we can’t get out. Down there we find our insecurities and vulnerabilities in the darkness, and we question our self worth. You have to get out of that hole in your mind quickly. Know that it’s going to happen, but then be able to call on your best friend, go for a sweaty workout, or act on a creative outlet. It will help you let go of all that self defeating crap and just take it as part of the dating process.
Remember your value….
You are a high value woman. At the end of the day, if you can remember that, you can navigate whatever dating situation will come your way. Put perfectly in one of my favorite relationship books, “in order to attract extraordinary people, we have to be extraordinary.” And you already have that mastered. You know what you care about in this world. You’re amazing to your friends and family. You make people laugh. You have a beauty that radiates. You’re caring, and energetic, and extraordinary…just as you are. When you can remember that, your heart will remain in tact. And from there these crazy, awesome, sometimes weird and awful dating experiences will be just that… experiences. 

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Love this post and very sage wisdom! If the 33 me today could only go back to the 20 something me of yesteryear, the things I would say. 20's are such a magical, mystical and infuriating time, sorta like puberty for adulthood! Loved it, so glad its over! 🙂

Emily Rizer

I like that you're starting to post more about dating. So happy for you Carly, you truly seem to be in a great place!


Andrea Ruiz

Thank you for sharing your wisdom Maxie! I wish I could've read this 6 months ago, I would have spared so much time in that rabbit hole! When it comes to dating I'm the most paranoid person on earth and I definitely think too much. Carly, you and Garrett seem very happy together, I wish you two the very best!
Andy from Savor each bite