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If you're ready to start dating later in life or someone who started after you friends, it can be easy to feel like you're the only one.

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What is my age: I am 25

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By 25, almost all of my friends have been in long-term relationships, were engaged, and even married. I on the other hand, had never even been on a date.

Why it's ok to have your first relationship in your 20s

Call it an effect of the quarter-life crisis, or pressure from my traditional South Asian family in finding a life-long partner, but I decided that at 25, I would take the plunge…by online dating. I remember filling out my online profile, completely not knowing what to expect. Being busy with pursuing an education and career, dating was the furthest thing from my mind.

It was after a chat with some co-workers that I finally decided to take a shot. After all, you never know unless you try!

Whether the response is positive or negative, you at least gain some clarity. When will you ever get the chance to spontaneously explore San Francisco at 2 AM, or eat your first oyster ever? Yes, I also never had an oyster until I was 25!

It can be easy to ask anyone and everyone you meet about relationship advice…and that can get confusing since everyone has different opinions on what to do. Find a few, trusted friends or family members who you can be yourself with and pour your heart out to them.

I didn't start dating until i was 25—here's what i learned

It was after dating guys from different backgrounds and heights where I realized where the truly important factors lay: if you can carry a good conversation with them, the chemistry you have with them, and if they treat you with respect. It was after things fell through the second time around that I finally got the picture.

Sometimes what you need is the reality of your actions and that second break-up to help you learn and move forward. I once was on a first date where I had a somewhat good conversation, but the chemistry was lacking. I had strong doubts about this and after going against it, I still went out with the guy a second time…where I still felt absolutely nothing—and I knew this from the first date!

I spent the rest of the night trying to be interested, when all I wanted to do was go home. It will not only save your time, but his as well. There are some people who will say anything and do everything to try to get you to sleep with them. NO ONE should ever pressure you into having sex, even if you have a great connection.

Talk about what you want and what your boundaries are from the start. Sometimes, nothing needs to be said about why it ended.

But sometimes, you really want to know why. Reaching out to initiate an honest conversation is never a of weakness or craziness. Even if you do reach out, be prepared to not get a response. This is closure in itself—knowing that you have the strength to be open and honest. And that could happen 5 years from now, or even tomorrow.

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Dating can be exhausting! From the slew of options when it comes to dating apps and websites, to the emotional ups and downs of good and bad dates, sometimes you just need to step back to regroup.

Home Love I didn't start dating until I was 25—here's what I learned. I didn't start dating until I was 25—here's what I learned.

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