Until my second year of college, I'd never been on a date. Now, as a Junior, I still haven't ever been in a long-term relationship.
Sometimes, that reality really bothers me. I like to think of myself as a whole, complete person all on my own, someone who doesn't need to be in a romantic relationship to feel satisfied. But I mean, come on. Most of us want cuddles at least sometimes.
It's so easy to see couples around campus or watch movies and shows with romantic themes and just start to feel bad about yourself. Like, there must be a reason why you don't have a significant other, right? You must be ugly or have a sucky personality, or maybe you just aren't attractive in a general sense.
Other people don't determine how worthy you are, first of all. Also, physical attractiveness is not some concretely definable thing—sure, there is such a thing as being conventionally attractive, but conventional attractiveness is not the only form of beauty. Plus, your attractiveness is about so much more than what you look like, and you have no idea how many people have admired you without saying so.
I mean, think about it. How many times have you thought that something about a person was just absolutely lovely, but you didn't say anything? I do it all the time—sometimes it's just not a circumstance where you can be open about that kind of thing. If you think no one has ever found you attractive in some capacity, physically or otherwise, you're wrong.
But again, external validation is not the magical solution to everything. It sounds cheesy, and everyone has heard this, but literally, you have to love yourself first. You don't have to think you're perfect (narcissism is not the best route), but acknowledge the parts of you that are good. Your talents (yes, you do have some), your abilities, some facet of your personality. We're all proud of something, even if we find it difficult to admit it to ourselves.
If you don't believe in your own positive traits, what makes you think you'll believe it when someone else compliments them?
But back to romance: I think we all put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be in a relationship just because it seems like most people either are or have been in one, but really that's not what life is about. We romanticize romance because society does so as a whole.
While there are definitely benefits to being in a (healthy) relationship, you can lead an equally satisfying and complete life without a significant other. Romantic relationships are not the only path to a happy, fulfilled life.
Another thing I think is important to address is that your feelings are valid. Your self-doubt or any other negative feelings that may arise out of loneliness or just because you're aware of your #single status do not make you abnormal. All of us go through Sad Boi Hours™ and they eventually pass.
In our current culture, it is so easy to feel inferior—to look at Instagram or Twitter and think Wow, isn't he/she/they just GORGEOUS? But remember, people have similar thoughts about you all the time, and no one is perfectly happy or satisfied regardless of what they may seem like.
We all have problems, and a lot of us haven't ever been in a relationship. You're not weird. You're not "ugly." Embrace and love yourself, because no one else can determine your sense of self-worth.