From online dating to family dynamics, relationships change in your twenties. These are stories from our writers about those changes.

How I Learned to Swipe Left on Online Dating

I moved back to Nashville over four years ago and the vast majority of the time since, I have been single. The first couple of years I wholeheartedly embraced this. I had spent the bulk of my college years in a long term relationship and to be honest, I wanted to embrace my singledom.

And I did. I took the time to focus on myself and to strengthen the bonds with my family and my childhood friends.

How I Stopped Caring What Everyone Thinks Of Me

I worked very hard for the majority of my life to make sure that in all cases and at all times, I remained extremely likable. 

When I was a kid we moved around a lot. This meant that there was always a new school or a new neighborhood to settle into.  I was prone to extreme shyness, but elementary school taught me that If I could walk into a room and make people laugh, they would automatically like me. Wala! It was magic!

Why You Should Prioritize Your Grandparents in your Twenties

“When I was your age, my grandfather was in the hospital and my grandmother called me. She said he wanted to see me. But I was young and selfish and stubborn, and I only went a couple of times. I could’ve gone every weekend.” My boss paused and took a breath. It was the last week of February, and I was sitting in his office, torn between staying and resigning. “I barely got to say goodbye to him before he died.”

What I’ve Learned About Real Adult Relationships

For the past 5 years or so, I’ve been in and out of relationships. Most of them have started with magical stories and ended in drama, tears, and excruciating heartbreak that I mitigated by finding someone else to take their place. This pattern has left me confused, dependent, and skittish. Now, after actually committing to take some “alone time” as an adult, I’ve been able to process them and move on. 

twenty something

The Art of Being the Third Wheel (in the South)

There are many cultural characteristics that separate The South from the rest of the United States. Some are of a more generic variety and seem to be almost innate. For instance y’all is part of the regular vernacular, we deep fry more than we should, churches take the place of Walgreens on every street corner and saying, "yes Mam" or "yes Sir” is one of the first lessons learned. There is one aspect of southern culture that I was not so privy to until I began stumbling through my twenties, and that is everyone gets married. And they get married young.

twenties couple on couch

Marriage: How Do You Really Know When the Time is Right?

Growing up, I, as many youths do, had lots of questions about the ways of the world. Where does the wax disappear to when you burn a candle? Can you breathe through your nose and your mouth at the same time? How come Alyssa was allowed to get her ears double pierced but I’m not?? Many of the questions of my youth have cleared up over time (Wax oxidizes. Yes, you can breathe through both at the same time with practice. “Because you’re not Alyssa and you will follow my rules in my house”). But the answers to others have long eluded me into my young adulthood. But one of the questions I found myself wondering more often than others was, “How do you know when to get married?”

How to Start Surviving Parenthood

By Courtney Wright

How wonderful it is to be a parent. The joy of finding out your *ahem* hard work as husband and wife have paid off as you look down at the double pink lines with a twinkle in your poor naïve eyes. How long you have dreamt of the cool sleepovers and pink ribbons, or muddy cheeks and Tonka trucks as you browse your already full “baby” board on Pinterest. And, as if the little mustard seed already living in your body senses that you know about his or her existence, the morning sickness hits you like a sack of bricks. Whoa! Hey! Sorry. My bad. This is supposed to be about how to parent; not how to survive pregnancy. 

How to Survive Living With Roommates After College

Since graduating high school and leaving my childhood home, I have always lived with roommates. In college it was one, after graduation it became two, and just recently I moved in with three. Like most others who live with roommates, I share a living space due to financial necessity. Splitting rent obviously makes the expense of shelter and utilities more affordable. 

But despite this large stipulation, even if I had the financial means to live on my own, I don’t know that I’d care to. 

The Five People I’m Unfriending Online

By Allie Stoehr

We've all seen (or maybe posted) the yearly "friend clean-up" status on Facebook.

Ok, I'm going through my friends list and deleting anyone I haven't talked to in the last six months.

When I entered into the adult life that is called a career, I began to try to organize certain aspects of my life I thought needed some attention. I looked at my closet and got rid of (most of) my graphic tees. I stood in tears at the foot of my bed and decided to replace my purple sheets with some expensive linen, (which really didn’t make much of a difference considering I still sleep with an E.T. stuffed animal.) The plastic plates in my cupboard turned to glass and I slowly became part of the working class. But upon reflection of what else I needed to “upgrade”, I felt like social media was an off-limits place I was afraid to touch.