The Toxic Timeline

Raise your hand if you are feeling victimized by people announcing all of their milestones on social media.

We live in a world fueled by a culture of comparison. Every day we are served the highlight reel of everyone else’s life as we scroll through social media. It’s a constant looming feeling that we are falling behind in the toxic timeline that we set for ourselves.

You are not running out of time.

“Okay well if I want to have my last kid at 32, and I want 3 kids all 2 years apart then that means I have to start having kids by 27/28. I want to be married for a few years before kids so that means I have to be married no later than 25. I want to date someone for a year before I get engaged, and I want to have at least a year long engagement, so that means I have to meet the love of my life by 23.”

If you’re a girl, you have probably mapped out a similar timeline in your head. If you’re a guy, I’m here to confirm that yes, we really are this crazy.

Stop letting your relationship status define you.

Single? Cool. In a relationship? Swell. Married? Neato, mosquito.

Whatever your status may be, enjoy it! Or at least stop complaining! Stop thinking the grass is greener somewhere else. If your hobbies only revolve around putting yourself in situations where you can meet your future spouse, you are going to be disappointed.

Spoiler alert: This is not the part where I give you the “you are perfect just the way you are” monologue. If you need to hear that, I suggest you look elsewhere because I am about to serve up some tea de la truth that might hurt your feelings.

“No one wants to date me.”

This is straight-up incorrect. If that weird girl in elementary school who genuinely thought she was a horse can find someone, why can’t you give yourself some credit?

In all seriousness, if you really think no one wants to date you, ask yourself “why not?”. Everyone has insecurities and everyone has baggage, but it’s important to understand the difference between the insecurities that are solved with acceptance, and the insecurities that are solved with active change.

  • Are you boring?
  • Are you desperate?
  • Do you think you don’t bring enough to the table?

I’m not saying any of this is actually true, but if you are feeling this way about yourself- what are you actively doing to change? If you wouldn’t want to date someone like you, that’s a problem. Stop waiting for someone to come into your life and show you how to be what THEY think is better. Be what YOU think is better.

“So, what do you like to do for fun?”

If this question makes your palms sweat, it’s time to readjust. Think about the most interesting people you have met. The people who made you think “Wow, they are so much cooler than me”. Why do you think they’re so cool? Is it because in their spare time they cliff jump? Or volunteer for causes you care about? Chances are, they didn’t stand out in your mind because their answer to this question was “Uhh idk, binge drink on the weekend with my friends?”

Think of the person you want to be when you grow up. I’m not talking about just the career you want. I’m talking about the friends you picture yourself having, the talents you’d like to acquire, the kind of person you wanted to be. Like it or not, becoming the person you want to be is a process that you have to actively be apart of.

“Find your ‘better half’.

I’m sorry, but who came up with this saying?! Stop looking for someone who will complete you. COMPLETE YOUR OWN DAMN SELF.

  • Go do something that will make a cool story
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Go somewhere you never thought you’d go with friends who make your stomach hurt from laughing so hard
  • Go on a trip by yourself and realize that you have the sense of direction of a door knob
  • Figure out what makes you sad, and then figure out a way to change it
  • Think about the habits, traditions, or beliefs you have because you have just always had them or grown up with them and figure out if you want to keep them

Figure out a way so that when you’re asked “So what do you like to do for fun?” You have an answer that you think is cool.

Plot Twist: You’ll be okay.

You have the rest of your life to be committed to one person, celebrating anniversaries, and be up to your elbows in dirty diapers. I have two suggestions:

  1. Don’t wish this time away that is perfect for reinventing yourself.
  2. Your “happily ever after” will be so much cooler if you stop trying to stick to a toxic timeline that doesn’t work for you.

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