If Brian Emery, 26, of Oklahoma City, had to sum up dating in his 20s, he would call it an adventure. Emery has yet to find “the one.” However, the 2012 Single in the City participant said he isn't worried.
“I haven't ever really felt that pressure,” he said. “My philosophy is kind of, you know, I am obviously dating to find the right person for me, so I don't want to spend a bunch of time with people who aren't the right person.”
Dr. Meg Jay, author of “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now,” says 80 percent of life's most defining moments happen by age 35. A 2008 Pew Research Center study found that 62 percent of college-educated individuals are married or have been married by age 30.
But Emery is not alone, said Donnie Van Curen, owner of Counseling 1820. Curen finds that people in their 20s are more concerned with establishing themselves than with dating.
When those in their 20s do attempt to date, they are more focused on external factors, such as whether someone is “cute” and fun to hang out with, Curen said.
Dating isn't at the top of the to-do list for Sophie Birdwell, 27. “I eventually want to have a family, but I don't want to rush it,” she said.
But the recent University of Central Oklahoma graduate said she is slightly concerned that dating will change after college. In college, she was surrounded by people. Now, she has to make an effort to meet new people. In her experience, various bar happy hours and coffee shops are the prime spots for forming new relationships.