What it s like to have your first boyfriend at 25
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What it’s like to have your first boyfriend at 25: ‘I would act like everything was okay’
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– lifestyle contributor
October 31, 2022 at 7:18 AM.- Read for 6 minutes
A Millennial’s Dating Diary series explores the real-world interactions and obstacles to dating in Southeast Asia. The series follows the dating stories and ill-fated adventures of Arika, a 26-year-old straight marketing executive and heavy drinker, and other millennials5.
(*The name has been changed upon request.)
If you grew up on romantic comedies and TV shows, you may have fantasized about falling in love and becoming romantically involved. If pop culture has any bearing on how we date, it seems like school or college is the best time to meet someone to marry.
Natalie, 26, said she never thought about dating until she was in her 20s, watching movies and TV shows.
Growing up in the relatively safe neighborhood of Batam, Indonesia, Natalie didn’t get the chance to date.
During her high school years, she mainly focused on studying English while taking after-school classes and coaching basketball. Her weekends were spent with her family, friends and piano lessons.
“In Batam, people don’t date randomly. Instead, once they show interest in someone and they return the favor, it automatically becomes a formal relationship.”, “Batam is a very small island, so everyone knows each other and has a connection,” he explains. That’s why I usually don’t go on random dates because if I do something bad, I might go back to my parents.”
It wasn’t until she turned 20 and moved to Singapore that Natalie met people on dating apps and finally decided to date.
It was then that she realized how different Batam’s dating culture was from Singapore.
She was shocked that someone was so enthusiastic about ‘just wanting to sleep,'” she confided.
Struggling with the concept of casual dating
“Even though I was attached to people I had just met and casually dated them, I often held expectations of ‘I want them to do this’.
After several months of dating, Natalie began to feel that she was not suitable for dating.
She thought, “She wants to take some time off and enjoy her life. She was pretty obsessed with not getting emails back from some guys, and it made her realize how unhealthy it was to feel that way.”
But as she got older, her friends back home started making fun of her for her peculiar age. The culture in Batam is really different,” she revealed.“In Batam, most women marry early. My best friend from my hometown is the same age as me and she already has two children. I think it is. “
Eventually Natalie meets Josh, 25, on her Bumble.
After speedwriting, the two found that they had a lot in common. First, they were enjoying the same mobile game. Also, both of them liked fashion and enjoyed being fashionable.
“On the first Date’s method is to decide on a shade and wear clothes accordingly,” he laughed.
Being in a relationship is hard work
However, Natalie soon learned that being in a relationship was really hard for her and that she had a lot to grow up with as well.
She confessed, “When I became exclusive, I often wondered if the relationship would last, and if it wasn’t my destiny, why I was dating.”
Natalie said she opened up her heart to Josh and she felt it was very difficult for her to get to know her, even more than she had her own doubts.
She was afraid that if she expressed something unhappy, the other person would leave her. So even if there were some complaints, I always acted like nothing happened because I didn’t want to disturb the peace,” she elaborates.
However, embracing everything only makes her thinking worse.
Natalie’s thoughts influenced her actions, and her actions with Josh were difficult to understand.
I’ve always wanted to spend time with him, and I saw him almost every day, so when she explained that she “needs some time to herself to rest and recharge,” I took it personally. I accepted it and thought, “Do you really like him?”
“I took a personality diagnostic test and explained that I had a disordered attachment style. Therefore, I doubt people and its intentions, and what I really want is a real connection. He explains that he creates a wall around himself.
“By finding an effective way to communicate with Josh, I was able to realize that such a disturbing idea is not always a reality. I just learned to do it. “
Bonding over a lack of experience
According to Natalie, adapting to a new relationship and a lon g-term relationship has been proved for Josh for an adaptation period.
Before Natalie, Josh has only dated once. Fortunately, as a result of communication, both noticed their real weaknesses and committed their lack of experience.
In retrospect, I am grateful that Natalie had little edge.
“Love is positive about learning how to improve yourself, without having a lot of luggage or feeling like others.”
However, he thought he should have touched more diverse romance content, such as a romance column and an SNS account on love.
“I have been exposed to some kind of human relationships since I was young, so I think I was able to solve that trouble.
One year later, Natalie thinks that he has grown more and more.
“I’m definitely happy to have been dating for a long time since I was single and easy. I’m definitely happy that I can’t think of any man anymore.”。
So what are the biggest advice from her for a single person?
“Don’t chase love, the appropriate people come at the right time”
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