The title of this article may sound misleading, as if I'm saying teenagers shouldn't date, but that's not it at all. I'm saying people shouldn't have to feel weird, alone, or bad about themselves if they're young and still haven't been in a relationship yet. We shouldn't get strange looks for being 17, 18, 19 years old, and having yet to have a first kiss.
I'm 18 years old, a freshman in college, and have never been in a real, committed relationship. I've managed to avoid all the burden and heartbreak throughout all four years of high school. I never thought I was weird or incapable of attracting anyone. I never thought I was too immature to handle a relationship. I never posted those "I wish I was boo'd up" memes on my social media, letting everyone know I hated being single. And I never hated being single, period.
Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean I'm "anti-relationship" or whatever. Thinking relationships are nothing but setting yourself up for heartbreak, that true love isn't real, is a pessimistic outlook. I've had fun flings and been on dates, so in a way, I understand the gist of the positive side of relationships. So honestly, I'm excited for the day I finally tell a guy I'll be his girlfriend - it's just not something I'm prioritizing or want really bad. It's all about waiting until you meet the right one at the right time.
I know, I know, very cliché. You hear this idea everywhere, said by almost everyone, that you might even doubt the existence of "the one" or a "soulmate." It shouldn't be stigmatized as corny, but in fact, a mature and ideal mindset. The reason why I haven't been in a relationship is for a number of reasons - the timing was off, I couldn't tolerate long distance, and simply, no one sparked my interest in high school. Some things happen (or don't happen) for a reason.
Not everyone is meant to have their first boyfriend/girlfriend in middle school.
My point is, people should get into relationships when the timing is right and when they're ready. There shouldn't be an age limit or age expectations for this aspect of your life. Those who believe they should've already had a relationship by now or simply just hate being single tend to settle for less than they deserve, someone who doesn't fulfill all their relationship needs in a partner.
Embracing singleness during your teenage years doesn't mean accepting the fact that no one will fall in love with you and you'll be alone forever (which, by the way, is absolutely NOT true), it means to understand that it will happen when it's meant to happen.