Your 20s are for Fun and your early-30s are for processing the mistakes the Fun inevitably leads to. If, by some freak accident, you should meet The One when you’re, say, 27, it only means you’re going to have to *LOSE* The One a few years later. The 20s-to-30s are not stable years. The higher the value you assign to a given attachment at that age, the more spectacular the failure of this attachment shall prove to be.
Concentrate on yourself. Develop your skills. Identify and hone your interests/ inclinations. Fuck for Fun, Health, Tenderness and Companionship at Dinner/ The Movies. Don’t Fuck for status or control or in a chess game against Solitude. Everyone you Fuck should be a friend… not a possible future co-parent. Not until much later.
As you develop, you’ll start collecting the very attributes you’ll be looking for in The One (so stay fit and witty as you age, if you’re into looks and social graces; don’t eat, and TV, yourself out of the possibility of attracting your ideal). By the time you’re 35-40, you should have enough of these attributes in the bag (and/or the bank) to attract worthy Possibles.
Hollywood (and every other media source) has sold you on the premature notion of the power and glory of finding The One when you’re still young. But that’s bullshit that even famous actors (who should know better) fall for. Stop setting yourself up for infinitely unfulfilled longings. Stop emulating and/or competing with Tall Tales of the Media Age and other Fantasies.
98% of the women I said “I Love You!” to (when I was between the ages of 20 and 35) I can barely remember now. There were some spectacular relationships I blew by subjecting certain women (just as they subjected me) to the unnatural pressure of being The One. We could have had so much more Fun if we’d said: “Listen: I kinda love you and you kinda love me, but, five years from now, we’re going to be totally different people! Why pretend this is forever? Let’s lighten up and be good to each other until it’s time to move on!”
Obviously, being mature enough to make such an announcement takes time (ironically; by the time you’re wise enough to say it, it may no longer be true). What Hollywood doesn’t tell you is that when you finally meet THE ONE, he/she will have a couple of wrinkles*. Which will be fine, because you will, too.
*Actually, I’m being slightly disingenuous here (and maybe more than a little PC): my Wife is seventeen years younger than I am and we find the age gap more than perfect. I still, after 12 years together (and an 11-year-old Daughter) I can’t keep my hands off of her and she gracefully indulges me in my Romantic Animalism. The one “wise” thing Martin Amis ever wrote was: “Marry your sexual obsession”. Your sexual obsession may not be sexually obsessed with you but two sane people can always work out a mutually satisfying arrangement.