Coming to college at 17, going on 18, I had never had a boyfriend. I would finish out my freshman year of college still not yet having that experience, but over the summer, that changed.
When I went home the summer after freshman year, I ended up talking to a guy a lot more than I had in the past. After hanging out with him a lot during the beginning of the summer, we started to date.
Mind you, I live 800 miles away from where I go to school. In high school not having a boyfriend was a mutual agreement with my parents so I could focus on my academics and extracurriculars like the softball team I was on our service organizations I was a part of. My freshman year I was timid of starting a relationship since I lived so far away from a lot from the people that I met. When the opportunity arose when I was home for the summer, I decided to just go for it and not think about the difficulties that would arise later on.
For the summer, I had someone to do pretty much everything with and it was awesome. I always had a friend to hang out with and go out with. I like to approach most situations I find myself in as learning experiences, and this definitely was one of those.
I felt a lot of socially stimulated shame for not having had a boyfriend before then and like I needed to have a relationship in college to be "normal". However, I had an amazing first year at college with my friends and I know I would have missed out on so many adventures if I had had a boyfriend then.
About a week before coming back to school for my sophomore year, we broke up. My fear of distance was a large contributor, but I'm grateful for the time I was able to spend with my ex. From the experience, I really value the fact that I waited so long to have a boyfriend. I know that if I had tried to in high school something else would have had to suffer from the obligations you have in a relationship and emotionally I definitely wasn't ready for all that in high school.
Everyone goes through life at their own pace and that's how it should be. Not everyone has the same path and it helps us develop into different people through our different experiences influencing us at different times.