I've Been Single My Whole Life

I've Been Single My Whole Life

And I'm Okay With That

I am a month away from being 19 years old, and I've never had a boyfriend. Well, I've never had a real boyfriend. I dated around in pre-school just like most kids, snagged a few boys in middle school and called them my boyfriends even though all that meant was awkward notes passed in the classroom, and sitting by each other at lunch so we could trade fruit snacks and animal crackers. The closest I ever got to an actual relationship was my freshman year of high school, and since that romance consisted entirely of text messages, 20 questions, and occasional nervous sweaty hand holding at youth group under the watchful eye of our ever-present parents, I don't actually think it counts. I had crushes, was crushed on, and nearly dated (as in I've only been on one date in my entire life) several times in high school, but never have I had a serious, committed romantic relationship with another person. I've also never been kissed, which is another weird (and slightly embarrassing) thing to admit to the world, but it's true and I have a reason for saying it.

You'd probably think to go all these years without a boyfriend I'd either have to have a terrible personality, or just simply not be attractive. I don't think I'm either of those things, and it's taken me 18 years of being single and coming to terms with it to realize that. For the longest time in high school I felt like a boyfriend was right around the corner. I looked at all the people around me in happy, loving relationships and convinced myself that I would find someone. I wasted months crushing on boys who either never gave me a second look, or just always looked at me as a friend and, yes, it affected me. It made me question my looks, my personality, the clothes I wore, the way I put on makeup (to be honest though it probably was not on point in middle school anyway). It was a major part of my massive self image issues, and then one day it wasn't.

One day, or rather, after years of feeling like I just wasn't good enough for anyone to want me, I realized hating myself for not being able to find a boyfriend was a ridiculous thing to do. Part of that realization was the friends I had, some of whom have been and still are eternally single like myself, and part of it was just accepting that my life wasn't always going to take the path I so desperately wanted it to take. I didn't need a boyfriend to make my life worth living, or to prove that I am attractive and smart. In fact, the only person I needed to prove that to was myself. But through all of this, I discovered that I actually like being single. I am who I am today partly because I've been single my whole life, and for the first time I'm actually pretty happy with who I am.

Being single throughout my whole life allowed me to define myself without having to worry about another person defining me. I've watched too many girls get caught up in a boyfriend and lose themselves in the process, and I never even got close to having that experience. I also got to figure myself out and learn to love myself all on my own, and all without having to worry about figuring someone else out and loving them as well. I can't say I've never experienced heartbreak, but I've also never been truly hurt by a person I was in love with, because I've never been in love.

I've learned that platonic love is just as important (if not more important) and beautiful as romantic love, and I've never had to worry about a boy coming between me and my friends. I know how to be alone and be okay with that, and how to enjoy and appreciate my own company. I'm not hating on people in relationships or saying they can't experience these things. I'm just saying that being single, just like having a boyfriend, taught me a lot about myself and molded me into the person I am.

Saying all this doesn't mean I'm not open to a relationship, or that I turn my nose up at people my age who have had plenty of relationships. I'm just as open to dating as I've ever been (probably more so actually because I was not feeling that vibe my senior year of high school), but I know now that I don't need to rush into a relationship just to be considered "normal."

I know that there's someone out there for me, and I also recognize that someone wasn't in my past but in my future. I still believe in true love, and I probably always will. Unless I'm like 70 and still single, then I'll settle for a few cats and a dog or two instead (which, if we're being honest, is the truest form of love there is). Being single your whole life isn't sad, and it isn't something to look down on. It took me a long time to realize that not ever having a boyfriend didn't mean I wasn't worthy of being loved in that way, and I wish I'd had someone to tell me that I was just as worthy as any other girl.

If you've never had a boyfriend, or never been kissed, know that you're not alone and that you really are beautiful and lovable, you just haven't found the right person to fall in love with you yet. My soulmate wasn't in the hallways of my high school and he may not be on the campus of my college, but that's OK. I love being single. I'm not ashamed of never having a boyfriend, and you shouldn't be either. Love yourself, love your friends and your family, love your dog, and don't be afraid to not be in love with anyone.

Cover Image Credit: Jordan Dark

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Just Because I Check My Boyfriend's Location Every Hour Doesn't Make Me A 'Psycho Girlfriend'

No, checking his location every hour does not make me psycho.

My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for a few months now. He has come up with describing my actions sometimes as “psycho girlfriend.” As much as this bothered me at first I started to realize there is nothing wrong with my “psycho” actions.

I don’t monitor who my boyfriend hangs out with and I don’t care who he texts, I trust him, but I do watch other things he does.

I probably check his location about once an hour, maybe more if he isn’t texting me back.

This isn’t some way for me to find out if he is with another girl, it’s so I can ensure he isn’t dead in a ditch somewhere. If he was on Snapchat five minutes ago but hasn’t texted me back in 45 minutes, yeah I’ll call him out on it but I'm not actually mad. If he is with friends and not answering me, it’s cool. I just want to be able to make sure I know where he is and that he is alive on a regular basis.

I make him keep his read receipts on for me.

I don’t care if he leaves me on read, I just need to know he is seeing what I’m saying. Half the time, I text him random facts or thoughts I have throughout my day, those don’t always need a response back. However, I do want to know he is acknowledging me through reading my texts.

Yes, from time to time I will spam him and make him respond to my messages so we can make plans or I can know what he is doing with his day but it’s not like I plan out his every move for him or care if he is getting drunk with the boys on a Wednesday, not my issue.

I don’t ask for all of his time or anything. I know he is a busy person. All I ask for him to text me back on a regular basis (once an hour to be exact), for him to allow for me to know where he is at all times and to get one night a week with him.

I don’t plan to show up where he is or anything, I simply just like to know information and get a weekly time with him. I don’t care if I only see him that one night a week, I just want one night with a movie or dinner or snuggles so I can get my boyfriend time.

The rest of the time he is his own person, and I couldn’t really care less about what he does in that time.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Wilkowski

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How Dating Yourself Can Help You Regain Your Personal Strength

You don't have to let traumatic events redefine who you are.

Traumatic events are unfortunate things that will happen to all of us in our lives, and some circumstances can be particularly life-changing.

Such events can have massive impacts on our personalities, moods and behaviors, and it’s possible that one could begin to feel lost or unlike themselves as they cope with the trauma’s aftermath.

So what is one supposed to do when they feel they’ve lost sight of who they are?

I’m not a therapist, so I can’t give you a treatment plan or psychological consult. But, I can give you a general outline of how I got to a better place after my own recent trauma.

If you feel you’ve lost sight of who you are, the best way to get that back is to date yourself.

Now, you might be thinking, what does it mean to date yourself?

Well, let’s think about it. What is the purpose of going on a date with another person? To get to know them better and understand who they are as a person. If you’re dating yourself, you’re doing the same thing, just with your own psyche.

And what would be the benefit of dating yourself, or what could you expect to get out of it?

If you’ve lost touch with who you are, taking time for yourself to be alone and to do specific activities lets you process.

If you force yourself to do the activities that once made you happy, you might find that they produce that same level of happiness again.

If you take yourself out to eat, to a movie or a long hike by yourself, you can take time to appreciate your company and think as opposed to feeling social pressures that might exist in group activities or on a regular date.

Dating yourself will force you to consider what your expectations are in the situations, and you’ll develop better insight into what settings you’re comfortable in and what your actual beliefs are.

Since you’re not on a romantic date, you don’t need to worry about impressing anyone else.

Since you won’t be with a group, you don’t have to worry about participating in group activities.

All you have is you and the surrounding environment, which allows you to be authentically you.

In psychology, there exists a concept called post-traumatic growth, or PTG. PTG represents the positive psyche and life changes one makes and experiences after a traumatic event or crisis. If you’ve suffered from any sort of personal trauma, taking the time to re-find who you are can ensure you make the right steps to recovering and living life as you desire.

Learn to love your time alone. Learn how to be comfortable in your own thoughts and silence. Know what your likes and dislikes are, and what situations feel OK to you. Make an effort to date yourself as apart of your PTG.

Collectively, taking the time to find yourself will ensure that you won’t lose sight of who you are as a person. The more you date yourself, the more secure you’ll be, which will ultimately lead to a more positive life outcome and sense of security you need to live life to its fullest.

Cover Image Credit: Gianna Valoe

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