By 30, you should know...
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
Personally, I believe that if you find the right person - someone who accepts you for who you are, accepts not just what you look like but what you enjoy and what you want from life - you don't need to worry about losing yourself. For me, it's this guy:
The thing is, Steve and I have a *ton* in common, but there are also some core beliefs where we differ pretty greatly. I won't say we never argue, I won't say that we never ever drive each other nuts, but in general he lets me be me far more than Ex ever did. And of course, by the time I started dating Steve I had already wasted far too many of my adult years lost in what was a bad relationship anyway...so I knew better than to fall into that trap again, thank God.
2. How you feel about having kids.
Can I say that I disagree with this one? Please? No? Okay. Sigh. Because I definitely don't know how I feel about having kids yet. Some days I think I maybe want them. Most days I think "hhheeelll no". To be completely honest I think Steve wants them for the wrong reasons and that we'd be silly to have them for those reasons, so nope...don't know yet and probably won't before I turn 30 at the end of the year.
That said, I have two nieces and a nephew and I love them to pieces, but they also drive me crazy whenever I spend more than a couple hours with them and that adds to my chagrin over the idea of having my own one day. Though my newest niece, who we call "CC Bear" (long story), is pretty much the best baby ever and if anyone was going to change my mind about this whole kids thing, it would be her:
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
Oh I'm good with this as I've done all three. Haven't liked doing any of these things, that's for sure, but the experience is there at least.
Quit a job: The last time I did this I gave at least two weeks' notice (I actually think it was three), had a written and signed letter of resignation with me but also asked for a private meeting with my boss. I sat down, explained why I was leaving, handed her my letter and that was that.
Break up with a man: I avoided using the cliche "it's not you, it's me" with Ex, though I was also as kind as I could possibly be (though maybe too kind, considering some issues that cropped up later). I told him we weren't right for each other, we'd been forcing things to "work" and not doing a very good job of it, that we weren't getting any younger and it was time to cut our losses and move on. I was honest and straightforward and I even apologized a lot while explaining all of this. I don't think I could have done it any better than I did, to be honest.
Confront a friend: I've probably "confronted" most of my close friends at least once. I'm not the type to keep my mouth shut when someone is acting a fool ;) As I'm still friends with most of the people I've confronted in the past, I guess I do an okay job of it. Honestly I don't even know if "confronting" is the best word to use because if a person you care about is acting like an idiot and you feel the need to do something about it, the best way possible (in my opinion) is to sit them down in person (or on the phone if you really can't be in person...I despise confrontation through email/Facebook message/text), explain why you're there and why they are there, and just be mature about it. If the friend is worthy of your time, he or she will listen and a discussion will ensue and things will work out.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
I learned this one the hard way, but I learned it nonetheless. Honestly this isn't something I could ever really explain or teach; when you reach this point in a relationship you. just. know. and I don't think it would be possible for anyone who isn't in your relationship to know. For me...gosh, it was a moment over four years in the making, really, with the last six months or so of those four years being just constant build up to the realization that there was no more TRYING. I lost count of the number of people who told me I should keep trying and how many times they told me as much. I lost count of the number of people who said "Why the hell are you still trying?" and how many times they told me as much. And then I knew what I had to do and it still took one weekend and four great people to remind me why I was doing it. Shout out to Cabin Crew 2008!
And by the way, that decision that I was tired of TRYING - because though relationships never "just work", at least not forever, they also shouldn't be constantly forced - that decision to walk away - was possibly the best decision that I ever made. I've never regretted it, not for one moment of one hour of one day since it happened nearly four years ago.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
I don't like this at all, or maybe I just don't like the way it's worded? It implies that if I kiss someone a certain way they have every right to "misunderstand" what I would or wouldn't want to happen next, and couldn't that then mean that they have a right to try something I don't want, or to even try to force something I don't want on me???
I mean for God's sake, sometimes a girl just wants to kiss. And when I say kiss I mean KISS, in every sense of the word. It could be the sexiest hottest most amazing kiss ever but that doesn't mean I want your hand on my boob or up my shirt or down my pants or on my ass or a million other things that a person would assume a kiss is leading to or should lead to.
Maybe I'm just a forward enough person. If I want something more than a kiss, trust me...you'll know. So in that way I suppose I have this down. But again, I think this little "rule" needs to be re-worded. Or something.