I think society, music, and movies have steered us wrong. Life is not a fairytale. Love is not like the movies. Things are complicated.
As little girls, we're lead to believe that we go through our childhood, grow up, go to school, find a partner, marry them, and live happily ever after. And sure, it's true that for the most part that is to a certain extent what happens. But, as a young 20-something, it often feels like we're stuck in between stages- namely the go to school, find a partner, and get a happily ever after stage. It's a hard place to be in because we weren't prepared for it. The realities of life, of love, aren't often told to little girls- at least they weren't told to me.
If I had to guess, I would bet that most millennial women float between not wanting to deal with anyone, but also wanting to be wanted by everyone. Why are we so afraid to be alone? There are stages to this thing called life. And for most of us, our early 20's don't involve the person we are going to marry or spend our lives with in some matter. So, why do we spend so much time talking to people who deep down we know aren't it, were never it, and ain't never gonna be it, for us? Why is it so hard for us to be still, spend some time on ourselves/friendships, and not push the issue?
As young women who are ambitious, enterprising, and tenacious, we have to have enough self-esteem to walk away from situations, situationships, and people that don't serve or grow us. We also have to acknowledge what we and any potential partner have going on. Stages baby, stages. They are hard to mix and cannot be rushed. And there's nothing wrong with wherever it is that you're at. Trust your process.
So, the next time that person you keep on reserve that you know you're not interested in hits you up, maybe just be upfront and tell them what's up so neither of your time is wasted. And, the next time you start talking to someone in a different stage of life than you, recognize that "things might not click exactly how're they're supposed to." It's to no fault of your own, it's simply a product of the context of your situation. I'm not saying don't date, or flirt, or have fun. I'm not saying close yourself off to the world or whomever it is you're attracted to.
I'm saying, maybe, instead of pursuing and being pursued, let what and whom is meant for you come to you. Be deeply committed to yourself, because at this stage in life, you maybe should only be pursuing you.