So I think maybe I'll throw out a little something to people in their teens and late 20's, and 30's...hell, even 40's... I have no clue where this post will go, or if it will even relate towards to topic, but here I go. Firstly, we all have baggage - whether from family life, home life, relationships, work, school, etc. It's all a matter really of how you handle it, how strong you can make yourself to overcome what seems so trivial at this point in our lifes (mine would be staying in an abusive relationship for many years, when I could have walked away any time I wanted...and it took it's toll on me, up until recently, where I broke free) Now, you need to ask yourself How can I take all the baggage I've accumulated throughout these past few years, and apply them to a knowledge database in my head - something that triggers the next time I walk into such a situation - so rather than fall into the same cycle, I can LEARN from past mistakes? The key here is learning. If you don't learn from your past mistakes, you fall back into abusive relationships, depressions, etc...Don't drink milk if you're lactose intolerant. The end result is chapped. Let's just leave it at that A lot of this also has to do with applying a sense of value to yourself. You need to understand that "the one that got away" ultimately hurt you, or wasn't for you, and that there are plenty of fish in the man-sea, at least a few with whom you are compatable with. Now, here's the hardest thing for me to learn, which I picked up easily once I really thought it through. "I don't need to date now, I don't need emotional fullfilment at this time, and once I'm settled into a lifestyle (work, home, etc...) - perhaps that is the best time to find a suitable mate, someone in a similar situation. " It's a lot more complex now. Stop thinking you need to "be" with someone constantly. You don't. Especially if you're in your 20's. You have a lot of other things you should be focusing on, such as securing a life for yourself. Men and women come and go, but YOU are always with yourself until you die. Take care of YOU first. Everyone else comes next. TRUST ME on this, for I spent most of my life living and placing others first. People in general are ungrateful, and do not appreciate. Impress yourself before impressing others. If you don't, you'll live a miserable life wondering why it is you give so much of yourself, yet receive nothing in return. Now here's what I also thought about. When wanting to date, I always wanted to find someone like myself (but never did), my age, because that means they'd have less experience, and wouldn't have been around as much, and so on...but, I never found that. So I dated something similar, and realized how fast the conversation fizzled. We had nothing to talk about. At this point, I ultimately realized that I'm more comfortable settling with a lover when I'm much older, maybe late 30's or 40's (even though ideally, I'd love to meet someone and fall in love, and spend the rest of my life with them). WHY? Because they'll have 38 years of their life to tell me, little by little. The places they played, the places they've cried, and where they spent their 30th, and who they dated, and who they hurt, and who they loved, and so on so forth. I used to think "I need to find someone NOW and stay with them forever" But that's not what I want, now that I think about it. I'm not interested in your highschool life, or what you did for summer camp. WHY? I because I did it too. I don't need to be repeated to. It is once we actually LIVE life that we have worthy instances to talk of. Aside from promiscuity, I feel that is why relationships at our 20's don't last all that much. We have little to talk about - so they pick topics like Madonna and Paris Hilton, and the relationship dies. As I grow older, I realize more and more. It's great. I love this life, and the way things work. I'm not perfect, I didn't know all this a few years ago. We all make mistakes. I wish I did know this a few years ago - it would have saved me a load of heartache. But like I said, it only makes us stronger as long as you're willing to learn from it. Now, when I'm 40, and meet someone who is 40, we have 80 years of memories to share with one another, 80 years of combined experience to share, 80 years of just combined "stuff". Then, we can together MAKE another 40 or 50 years of memories. Maybe it'll happen when I'm 30, or 25...who knows...maybe it will never happen. I'm willing to continue learning from this life. So why not date someone older now? Because I can't give someone 40 years of my false experience. I need to make it on my own. I *could* date an older man, but, to me, as mature and amazing as I am *cough cough*, I have more important life issues to focus on rather than holding back someone who is older. As mature as I'd like to think I am, we all have drama, and I'm not selfish enough to want to bring someone down with me as I rise to the top (If that made sense?) Hmm...I'm not sure that last part came out correctly. I'll keep it there in case anyone understands. Just keep learning...and don't fall into the same traps over a guy. It's never worth it. We're worth too much to have other people destroy our lives as such.