In today’s world, there is so much pressure to be in a relationship. The songs we listen to, the things we watch, and posts on social media all seem to revolve around love and relationships. We are made to feel embarrassed if we haven’t received attention from potential suitors and it can feel like a competition among friends.
Growing up, I never had a boyfriend. In school, some of my friends were in relationships but I never even talked to boys. I felt like something was wrong with me and wondered why no one showed an interest in me.
I was embarrassed to say I had never dated anyone before but I had no idea why I felt this way.
The peer pressure we experience starting as early as our pre-teen years causes us to feel like we need a relationship in order to feel validation. This isn’t the case and it took me finding my first love to realise this. I know it may seem counter-intuitive to say this but it’s true. I always wondered why I didn’t have a boyfriend or why guys didn’t seem to give me the time of day. And the truth is there were two reasons why I wasn’t in a relationship until my twenties.
The first reason is that I had no self-confidence. I was insecure about my appearance and my experience with boys. You can’t expect someone to love and accept you if you don’t have love for yourself. I didn’t start coming into my body and accepting myself the way I am until I was around 19 or 20. Before that, I would have been way too insecure to go on a date with someone but as I learned to love myself, I also grew in my self-confidence. I honestly wasn’t ready to start dating during my teens, and that’s okay. It took me until my twenties to actually have the courage and confidence to start dating. Before I went on my first date I read this list here and tried to prepare with some fun questions that I could ask my date. I’m so glad I went prepared since it made me much less nervous.
I’m glad I didn’t force something that would have made me feel uncomfortable and anxious. Dating is supposed to be fun.
The second reason I had never been in a relationship was that I hadn’t met the right person yet. I learned through my first dating experiences that there’s no point in trying to force something with someone who is clearly not right for you just for the sake of saying you’re dating. If you haven’t met someone you have a connection with, that’s okay. It’s okay to wait until the right person comes into your life because timing is everything. It’s better to wait and have faith that the right person will come along at some point in your life. Waiting until that happens is better than feeling uncomfortable or self-conscious around someone that isn’t right for you.
I still have friends in their early to mid 20’s who have never been in relationships. For me, the best part about finishing school is no one cares if you have a boyfriend or not. Some people may not want a relationship and some people may just be waiting for the right time, so don’t ever feel pressured by society to have a partner. There’s no right or wrong time to have your first kiss or go on your first date, so don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed if you haven’t experienced these things at the same rate as your peers.
We have our whole lives to date and experience love so there really is no need to rush into something.
Since meeting my current boyfriend, I’m really glad I waited to start dating and to be with someone who I truly have a connection with. Your time will come. You don’t need a relationship to show your worth. Continue to be who you are, work towards loving yourself first, and eventually the right person will come along when the timing is right.