I've never been in a long-term relationship, but not because I don't consider myself a "relationship girl." So, why have I never settled down (as much as you can settle down for a girl that's only 20)?
It's not that I love the hook-up culture that is so prevalent in our society these days. It's really rather the opposite. I don't understand how so many girls make it a mission to go out and go back home with a guy, whether they previously knew him or not. Everyone's different and if that floats your boat, go for it. But, this will never be something for me.
My father always told me that if you're going to do something in life, do it right. This applies to absolutely everything, every aspect of one's existence. If you're going to dive into a relationship, you should be in a position where you are able to give it all the elements it needs to thrive. Why do something just to do it? Being single is better than being in a broken relationship.
Personally, I have never found myself in a place where the timing was right and I had found someone I liked enough to devote a big portion of my life to. I have always been very independent. I have never felt like I have needed someone to be happy. I don't think it's healthy to put yourself in a position where you lose yourself when you're not with someone. Find yourself first, love yourself first, and then the rest will come as it should.
This is not to say that I've never really liked certain guys. The unfortunate thing about this is sometimes I realized my feelings too late, therefore allowing my indecision or delayed realization to hinder the possibility previously there for a relationship.
I think there is also a part of me that has been scared to be in a long-term relationship. Relationships put each individual at their most vulnerable, as a quality relationship allows each partner to see each other for who they really are and accept and love all strengths and weaknesses. Trust is also one of the biggest elements for the foundation of a strong relationship. I have seen many of my closest friends get cheated on or betrayed by the guys they loved. For a long time, I thought it would be easier to distance myself from this possibility by distancing myself from being in a relationship.
Now that I'm older, I have realized that there are no guarantees with anything in life. When you embark on a relationship with someone, you take a leap of faith and you hope for that person to take it with you. There are no certainties of eternal loyalty and there is always the possibility of heartbreak. On the flip side, there is also the chance it could be one of the best decisions and experiences of your life.
I know now that I would rather try and risk getting hurt than take the safe route and never know. Life isn't for sitting on the sidelines and taking the path of least resistance. It's for being bold, putting yourself out there, and possibly risking it all.
Sometimes I think back to former guys in my life and wonder about what could've been. I try to snap out of it quickly, though. Things happen for a reason and maybe at some point in the future, the timing could be right. Nevertheless, that is not something to angst over, as it's not something that we can control.
All I know is that I'm moving forward with an open heart and an open mind. Next time something good comes around, I won't let it slip through my fingers so easily.