Over the past few days, I've been seeing tons of posts from women my age expressing what it was like to be that girl in high school that never had any dates. While some of the posts are funny, a lot of them are also heartfelt and genuine, which had me wanting to share my thoughts about what it was like being the girl who never had any dates.
All throughout my life, I've had few constants; I've moved, I've made and lost friends, I've picked up hobbies and then decided against them later...but, one thing that's never changed for me was who (or, in this case, who never) filled the role of significant other. Let me explain.
In both high school and college, a lot of my friends were living their best dating lives, going on dates with some awesome (and, sometimes, not-so-awesome) people. They'd meet in class, and go out to the movies, or go out for drinks, and then fill me in on all the juicy morsels of information later on.
I was always there to lend an ear, or a shoulder to cry on, or advice, and it was almost never the other way around (which I'm thankful for...but I'll get to that later). I've always had this position because I've never been the one who went on dates. While I've had my fair share of what I'd call "flings," I've only ever had one genuine relationship that has been labeled as such, and that's the one I'm currently in.
That being said, I must confess that, as a 22-year-old, I'm pretty thankful for playing the role I have. In middle and high school, of course, I took my lack-of-dating as a real hit to my ego; wondering, constantly, if it was because I wasn't good enough, or pretty enough, or interesting enough.
As I've gotten older, though, I've learned that being the one on the outside looking in with relationships has really helped me out so much more than it ever hurt me. It allowed me to learn how to be there for others when they need someone to console them or listen to them.
It showed me how relationships could be mended, or further broken based solely on words and actions. And, most importantly, it allowed me the opportunity to know my worth without ever having to base it off of the opinions of whomever I had dated in the past. It gave me the chance to look at myself and figure out what about me was good as it is, and what about me I needed to work on before ever really getting invested in a relationship.
All that being said, I think that it's absolutely okay to have dated plenty of people. I know that not everyone has the same path in life, but I also know that there are many women out there who, just like I did experience a feeling of loss or regret by not having built any relationship experience up before their twenties. This is just to say that, in my humble opinion, it's a learning and growing experience, one that you'll later be thankful for. It doesn't matter what happened in the past, as long as you can grow from it.