It seems not a week goes by without a study telling us the optimal age for us to be doing something. As if all the constant comparisons we're making between our own lives and those who we spend hour after hour scrolling through on social media weren't doing enough to fuck our brains and our self-esteem up.
A new study, carried out by Match.com, found that the average age women in Britain find 'the one' is 25, while for men it's slightly older, at 28. The research spoke to 2,000 men and women and so obviously means it has to be true. Err.. or not.
Now, you could be 25 and totally nodding along to the study all like yup, that's me! You may even be totally nailing life with a house you bought and a dog that roams in your huge back garden and a job that allows you to go on holiday whenever and wherever you want, and a relationship with an ideal person you’ve been seeing for like evs. Or, more likely... you're not.
So in the interest of Not Telling People What To Do Or When They Should Do It, here is my own scientifically researched list of reasons why actually 25 is probably *not *the age you're going to find the one.
1. Dating Is Shit Now
Forrealz, though, how are we even meant to meet anyone these days when everyone is holed up Netflix And Chilling? On the rare occasion people do venture out from the comforts of their cosy four walls (thanks winter, you're further throwing spanners in this), a quick glance around a bar or uber cool pop up and everyone's just scrolling through their phones, no doubt swiping left or right on people they'll probably never really bother to meet up with or uploading photos about the totally awesomeeeee time they're having hashtag BLESSED, LIVING, GOALS.
2. You're Still A Child
25 in 2016 is definitely not the same as 25 back in the day. At 25 my mum was engaged to be married with the man she'd been with for ten years. Today, 25 looks like something totally different. And thank God. Not to mention the fact that, I don't know about you guys but I still have a whooole bunch of shit I want to do before I 'settle down', namely take over the world, thank you very much, I also don't feel like very much of an adult. At all.
Yes life is short but it's also long. If you find 'the one' and settle down at 25 what the fuck are you going to do for the rest of your life? Why not save some of that commitment until later so that when people ask you about your twenties, you can smile and say, ‘fuck yeaaah’ rather than ‘Oh it was the same as this.’ This being your fifties.
3. You Don't Really Know What You Want Yet
So this is kind of a continuation on the last point but the chances are you don't even know where you want to go on holiday this summer, or what you want to have for dinner tonight, let alone who you want to spend the rest of your life with. We're still changing loads all the time and I personally feel like a totally different person sat here typing this aged 26 in January 2016 than I did last year or even last month, so if there is a 'the one', who the fuck knows if it's going to look the same next week as it does today? Also, this is a whole other question but... can you really find yourself (wanky mini violin and self-help blockbuster playing in the background) when in a relationship? I've found that the most growing I ever do is when coming out of one.
4. You'll Probably Fuck It Up
Plus, if you do find 'the one', chances are you'll fuck it up and throw away a wonderful person because you're too young and stupid and still running around trying to do all those things / people you want to do.
5. And Who Said There's A 'The One' Anyway?
Statistically speaking, if we had soulmates, we'd all be fucked. Seven billion people in the world and the paths of fate are favourable enough to you to make sure you meet that one special person? Mmmm... unlikely. It's way more likely that there are some people out there you're suited to, and some you aren't. Eventually someone will come along that you're happy to let piss you off for the rest of your life, and if it doesn't last, you'll be able to find another.
Not much makes me angrier than that stupid Plato quote that says humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and two faces; split up by Zeus, who feared their power, and thus condemning them to spend the rest of their lives searching for their other half. Other than the fact that it's pretty much the stupidest thing of all time, I definitely don't have the time, desire or even the slightest bit of interest in searching high and low for someone who is half a person. Fuck that. And to all those people who feel like halves out there - well done for keeping yourselves propped up all this time. I'd much rather find another human being who is whole souled and be two wholes. Also, why is there only one person that could fulfill that role? There are literally millions and millions of fish in the sea. Also the sea is something easily traversable now, made all the more so by cheap travel and the good ol' Internet. I much prefer Samantha's (from Sex and The City, obvi) ideology: 'The right guy is an illusion. Start living your lives.' Another gem: 'I love you, but I love me more.'
6. We Really Don't Need More Age-Shaming
As mentioned above, not a week goes by without a new study telling us the optimal age for us to be doing something. STOP TELLING US WHAT TO DO! Life is full of upsetting milestones as it is without another '30 Things To Do Before You're 30' list making us want to stab ourselves with our birth certificates.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.