Why I Haven't Dated Anyone in 20 Years
"I'm almost 20 years old and I've never dated anybody... is there something wrong with me?"
When I was eight I remember having my first crush on my best friend’s older brother and, even though he was mean to me, I was totally infatuated with him. Every time I saw him I would get a feeling of butterflies in my stomach and I would blush ferociously.
My family and I were on a vacation with a few other families and I told one of my friends to go and tell this boy that I liked that I “really, really, really liked him.” When she did I hid in the bathroom for 20 minutes until one of his friends came over and told me that he also really, really, really liked me and that he wanted to kiss me. When I heard that I got really nervous and when I saw him the next day I ignored him and pretended that nothing had ever happened. After that (I guess you could call it my romantic awakening), my love life was pretty stagnant, with a few crushes scattered throughout the rest of elementary, middle, and high school.
It wasn’t until high school when all of my friends started dating people that I began to get concerned. Why didn’t guys pay attention to me like they did my friends? Why were all of my friends having first dates and first kisses on Friday nights while all I was doing was staying home and watching reruns of Friends?
There’s an entry in my journal from my junior year of high school that says, “Why haven’t I ever had a boyfriend? I know that I shouldn’t rely on boys to make me happy, but I can’t help but wonder... is there something wrong me?” I feel like a lot of girls go through this same exact thing. I’m in my second year of university now and I know a lot of people who never dated anybody in high school; it's a completely normal thing.
Not having any relationship experience while all of your friends are on their fourth boyfriend makes your self-confidence drop significantly. Looking at what I wrote while I was in high school you can see that I obviously knew, in my head, that there was nothing wrong with not having a boyfriend and that I should never rely on a boy for happiness, but I still felt like there was something wrong with me because some boy had never chosen me to go on a date with.
Even in college I still struggle with these feelings regularly. I still haven't dated anyone, and sometimes I'll think to myself, "Why don't boys like me? What's wrong with me? Am I hideous and disgusting?" And how toxic is that thinking? Girls everywhere feel like this just because they aren't the object of a man's affections.
I believe that media plays a big part in girls feeling like this. Thinking back to the TV shows that I watched throughout high school (90210, Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, The Vampire Diaries), I can see why I, and girls everywhere, might feel like there's something wrong with them because they aren't actively dating. All of the teenagers on the shows I watched (and shows I watch currently) were constantly dating different people; there was a new significant other every season.
To all girls in middle school, high school, college, or beyond: IT IS COMPLETELY OKAY IF YOU'VE NEVER DATED ANYBODY! Society makes young people, especially young girls, think that if they aren't always dating someone there is something wrong with them. But I am here to tell you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you, and you'll start dating eventually. Or maybe you won't. And that's completely okay.