At 22, I’m Ready For A Serious Relationship

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Hi Meredith,

I am a 22-year-old recent college graduate who has moved back to Boston with family. I am working temp office positions while searching for my “dream job.” I am also in a weird place relationship-wise. After getting out of a serious relationship in my junior year of college, I spent the remainder of my time caught up in the hookup culture of college.

This mindset, however, has changed as I settle into post-grad life. I now find myself wanting something more serious. I’m looking for someone who seeks a long-term partner, but it seems like the men my age (and even older) are looking for the typical short-term flings I was once OK with. I’ve tried adjusting my dating priorities/standards to look for people who say they seek more, but I feel like I’m stuck in the same situations time and time again. I guess my question is: how do I find someone who also wants something long-term, or at the very least wants the same things I do?

I feel like a fish out of water being the only young person who wants something serious right now, and I’m feeling discouraged.

– Discouraged


Dating isn’t an on-demand service like takeout. Apps make it easier to find people who want similar things, but it’s not as simple as going on Tinder or Hinge and ordering up a partner. The looking/searching/messaging takes time, and that’s probably a good thing.

You say you want a big relationship now, and I believe you. But this is a great time to grow every part of your life. You can be dating while making new friends, finding hobbies, and building a network that keeps you busy, even if you’re single.

I’m sure you know all of this, but I want to remind you.

As for the dating piece of it, you can try apps that require more of people’s patience and time. Not all services involve unlimited swiping. Some give you a few matches a day. People seeking more serious relationships might gravitate to those experiences.

Also, setups can be helpful. Tell your community what you’re looking for, and you might find out that your Aunt So-And-So knows a neighbor who wants to find someone special.

Most of all, this is about acceptance. You’ve had so much happen right on time, but life doesn’t always work that way. You might be single for a bit when you’d rather be coupled. Do your best to find what you want, but learn to love the waiting. Some of my best memories were made while sitting around, hoping for something else.

– Meredith

Readers? Thoughts for someone who wants a big relationship at 22?

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