What Dating Is Like Every Year in Your 20s, Because What You Want And What You'll Tolerate Totally Changes

There’s no doubt that some things get better with age — wine, cheese, sex. But there are other things that change so much year-by-year, that it’s hard to look back at where you once were. And if you’ve been trying to find something shiny in a pool of lackluster dates, then you likely know that dating is different in your early 20s than it is in your late 20s.

Go ahead now and ask for forgiveness for what you tolerated when you were 21, because the approaching-30 you would shake your head at what once impressed you. The nice part about being single for multiple years — is that you figure out more and more what you want, what you don’t and what you’re willing to compromise on. And in some very powerful, awesome, ways, you also learn how to care less about how it all goes and expect more out of yourself and your future partner.

In case you need a good belly laugh or you a reminder of how far you’ve come — or where you’re headed — here’s what dating is really like in your 20s. Naturally, in GIFs, because those are fun through the entire decade.

Age 20: I So Don't Need A Boyfriend/Girlfriend.

Being single in college is so fun! There are so many parties, so many eligible people, I don’t want to settle down. I have time. I mean, it’s not like I’m 25 or something.

Age 21: Wow. That Person Just Bought Me A Bud Light. I Think They're In Love With Me.

I mean, they spent a whole $5 and didn’t even try to kiss me… yet.

Age 22: Will I Ever Find A Job?

Are starting salaries really that low? Apartments are how much? Health insurance takes how much out of every paycheck? Damn. Maybe dating = free food?

Age 23: I Can’t Believe I Stayed Out Until 3 a.m. Last Night And Made It To Work On Time. Oh Wait. They Texted!

Age 24: Ugh. I Really Thought I Was In Love With That 30-Year-Old.

I can’t believe they were so emotionally unavailable. Everyone's the worst.

Age 25: All Of My Friends From My Hometown Are Getting Married. WTF?

Already?!

Age 26: How Is It Possible That I've Been On So Many Dates And Yet, Nothing Turns Out?

I knew there would be a lot of dating before I met the so-called ‘The One’ — but c’mon. This is exhausting.

Age 27: I Haven't Had A Date In Months, And Frankly, I Could Care Less.

I’m traveling, catching up with friends and family, and I totally nailed that presentation at work. Did I mention I’ve also managed to go the gym three times this week? Who cares about dating? Not me!

Age 28: Next, Next, Next.

I I used to give people three chances, now they get one. I don’t have time for this nonsense.

Age 29: Whoa, I'm Almost 30?! So Why Am I Still Single, You Ask?

Because I'm doing me, bishes.

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