Confessions of a party girl ...
Q: My situation is that I am fresh out of college, 22 years old, and love to go out and have fun. I was in one serious relationship at the beginning of college, and once I got a taste of the partying single life, I was hooked.
I don't take anything or anyone seriously when I go out. I find myself engaging in one night stands often, without a second thought. In the past four years I have truly liked one person that I have gone home with. It obviously didn't work out because otherwise I would not be writing this letter.
Recently, I ended up going home with a guy who I definitely did not like. But for the night, it was fun. He continued to call me and promise me the world. Who doesn't like a little attention? So I went with it, never took it seriously, but enjoyed dating while it lasted … for a whole three weeks. When it ended, it ended on his terms because "I was too much like him and he doesn't think he would be able to trust me when I went out without him.” And I picked up where I left off with my lifestyle choices, no harm no foul.
And even though he wasn't who I wanted to be with, I could not get past the fact that he ended things. Then I got to thinking … maybe it's not me who doesn't take anyone seriously ... maybe it’s everyone not taking me seriously.
And worse, I don't want to change. I like being spontaneous and meeting new people. I like no limits or restrictions, and I don't think I could say no to an opportunity to have fun with a guy in hopes of finding chemistry. I am not shut off to relationships and just being with one person. I would love nothing more than to find someone to be with and love consistently. I know that I do not have an unfaithful bone in my body so if I met the right person I could be content. But I just don’t know why none of these guys to want to be with me all the time, and not just after the bar. And more disconcerting is the fact that I don't see myself slowing down unless I meet Mr. Right. I guess what I'm wondering is, do I have to change my outgoing, willingness to meet new people, party girl personality in order to meet anyone?
I mean we're all looking for someone to love and care about us long term ... but while I wait for that guy, is there something wrong with so many Mr. Right Nows?
– Confused, Concerned, and Maybe a Little Bit Promiscuous in Waltham
A: I think it's fine that you're running around town, meeting new people, and being 22, CCAMALBPIW. Most people wish they had done a bit more of that when they were 22. If I could take a hot tub time machine back to 22, I would take things a bit less seriously … probably with guys in Paw Sox caps. (At 22, I was living in Providence.)
The real question here is whether getting intimate with these guys so quickly and behaving like a party girl ruins your chances of having a solid relationship. My answer is yes and no.
Yes, it matters that you flit around sending out a vibe that you don't take anything seriously. If you're not really getting to know these guys, if you're that girl at the bar hooting the lyrics to "Livin' on a Prayer" while you down another Corona, you might be passed over by some men you'd really like.
That said, I don't think your quickness to go home with people for pajama time disqualifies you from being taken seriously. I mean, yes, there are guys who would never pursue a woman who had a pajama party with them on the first night, but that's quite the double standard. If a guy really digs you and wants to know more about you, he will follow up with a call. This recent guy didn't bail because you were intimate with him quickly. It took him three weeks to realize that you weren't his thing. He wasn't your thing either, and he probably picked up on that vibe.
I'm not endorsing your string of one-nights. But I am saying that you're you, and you should continue to be you. You don't have to go against your instincts to be taken seriously. You said it yourself -- when you meet a guy you actually like, you'll sign on. You might even surprise yourself and have no interest in quick pajama time with a guy who seems like he might have real potential. You haven't met anyone like that yet so it's impossible to know.
My advice is to be the best 22-year-old you that you can be. Don't be the promiscuous party girl who doesn't care about herself or anyone else. Be the party girl who is engaged in great conversations, spirited about love, and comfortable in her own skin. If you're that 22-year-old party girl, I think it's OK.
And maybe talk to some guys outside of bars. Just a thought.
Readers? (A reminder to watch your language so we don’t have a million comments removed.) Is 22 about taking guys home? Is her behavior preventing her from being taken seriously? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.