“I am going to find myself.” How many times has that line been thrown around by an idealistic twenty-something? The twenties are a decade of individuality. There is no suburban family, house payments, etc. to tie down the twenty-year-old, which means that she is free to explore various career opportunities, splurge on that first unrealistic but sporty car, and most excitedly, take advantage of the dating world.
There is nothing like the butterflies before a first date or a first kiss. It is the perfect chance for a Liminas woman to discover which qualities she prefers in a man and which qualities are downright turnoffs. After all, this is 2012. Women are not only equal, but are powerful figures in society. We can have as many men as we want without the demeaning 1950s stigma hovering over our reputations. So, in a world where men will strive to impress us with fancy dinners, cute coffee dates, teddy bears, and flowers, the obvious and most thrilling option is fluttering from date to date, right? Why not experience a whirlwind of “butterfly-firsts”?! Why instead choose…monogamy?
Monogamy. One man. This choice leaves little to explore in the sea of eligible bachelors, which will undoubtedly shrink into a puddle as the years go by. However, as limiting as it may sound at first, monogamy can be ideal for “finding yourself.”
A string of dates with various men will eventually lead to one conclusion: some men will shine over others. Once the butterflies have settled, the issue becomes compatibility. Thoughts such as “he makes me laugh” versus “he drones on and on about the stock market,” become more important than “does he like me,” “when will he call,” “what’s he thinking.” The mind games phase out, and one can open up to that man who shines over all the rest.
The slow waltz to coupledom is where the individuality part of being a twenty-something comes in. The man and woman reveal bits and pieces of themselves that they do not show the outside world. Secrets emerge that would never suit a first date conversation, and corky habits become endearing. Basically, a Liminas in a healthy relationship is free to be herself. She does not have to hide things like how she loves watching Star Trek with her dad, and she accepts his borderline O.C.D. need to fold his tee shirts exactly right. Furthermore, the man loves the Liminas lady for who she truly is! A monogamous relationship built on genuine love fosters security and the confidence to be true to oneself.
While the thought of a man loving a woman for her true self is a beautiful thought, the reality is not so easy. Liminas ladies, being yourself means exposing yourself, revealing what you never had to show in the brief interactions during your dating life. The possibility of rejection becomes much more personal, as it is you the man will be rejecting, not the show you put on for the first date. The risk is greater, vulnerability is deeper, but let’s get real, the higher stakes make the monogamous lifestyle that much more exciting. The hurt will be greater, but so will the rewards.
If “finding yourself” is what the twenties are all about, a monogamous relationship is the very opposite of limiting. A monogamous relationship draws out a Liminas woman’s deepest secrets, darkest fears, and genuine smiles. This lifestyle grants the twenty-something the freedom to be herself, and in exposing who that actually is, she might even learn something! In exchange for this exposure, she discovers a man’s true self, what makes him laugh and what makes him afraid. While dating around is exciting with all the butterflies, the chance to be with a man who accepts and loves you for who you are surpasses the need to see what else is out there.
Warning: this will only work with the right man. Otherwise the need to keep searching will force any limina to stray from the monogamous life. But when she finds him, the right man, together they can tackle the problems twenty-something life throws their way, possibly growing a love that can last a lifetime.