“Are you and that guy still talking?” is a question I’m often found thrown my way. I usually respond with a, “we text every now and then,” or play the “he was a jerk” card to dismiss the topic. In reality, it just never seems to work out. Every now and then, a friend will complain about how long she’s been single, and for kicks and gigs, I’ll occasionally chirp in that I’ve been single my entire life. “Wait, you’ve never had a boyfriend? Why not?!” There are many excuses that I could cling to, like “I’m too picky,” or “I just don’t have time for a relationship.” But honestly? I don’t know why I’ve yet to pass this simple milestone. I’m not a 10, but I’m certainly not ugly. I like to think I have a decent personality, I know I can hold a conversation. So why am I single? At twenty-one, I’m the only person I know who hasn’t had a boyfriend. Come to think of it, I think I’ve really only been on one date.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a few interested prospects in my lifetime. But just like clockwork, they all seem to fade out before it ever gets to the “boyfriend” stage. In junior high I remember crying to my mom when all my friends started getting those sacred “check yes or no box” notes. Like any good mom would do, she reassured me that junior high is an awkward time. I was sure to get a boyfriend just like everyone else by the time high school rolled around. I convinced myself that I’d find someone if only I were prettier, or had boobs, or had my braces off. The list went on. I shrugged it off, and accredited my singleness to the fact that I was a late bloomer, and painfully shy.
By the time I reached the end of my junior year of high school, I had “blossomed” in certain areas so to say, and had completely rid of any shy bone in my body. Surely, this was it. During that time, every girl my age was vying to reach that “Facebook Official” status. I joined in on the manhunt for the perfect candidate. While yes, I was receiving more male attention, at the end of the day, there was no one interested in anything beyond physical. My dad would feed me the classic dad line, “you’re single because boys are intimidated by you.” While it was a comforting thought, plenty of my prettier friends had boyfriends, so that wasn’t fooling me. Behind the “Forever Alone” memes I frequented (#tbt), I truly wondered if there was something wrong with me. I decided to stop waiting around, and took matters into my own hands. I tried getting interested in things that guys liked, but was then labelled “one of the bros.” So I went with the opposite approach, and tried embodying everything I thought guys wanted, trying to be a miniature “Stepford Housewife.” It felt like I had tried everything, and was still coming back empty handed. Looking back on it, I have to laugh at how terribly desperate I must’ve looked. I made the realization that I was ~too mature~ for high school boys, and what I was really looking for, I would most definitely find in the land of endless options that is college.
Much to my surprise, college wasn’t exactly the buffet of boyfriends that I had expected. I made my group of single friends, and watched as they one by one landed themselves in relationships. What is this sorcery?! Why was it so easy for them? I spent my fair share of nights third wheeling, which I didn’t mind. But just as fast as I saw my friends get into relationships, I’d watch them end. Through my friends’ relationships, I witnessed a plethora of boy problems, and a whole new level of heartbreak that I hadn’t seen before. But what I could never understand, was how easily they were willing to run right back into these relationships. What was even worse was when they’d find rebounds so quickly! I was amazed at some of the girls I’d met who had almost no “single time” between relationships. What I once thought was skill, I realized was really more of an identity crisis. Some of these girls truly didn’t know who they were if they weren’t someone’s girlfriend. I’d become so independent and self-assured, that anything else was so foreign. For once, I was relieved I didn’t have a relationship to deal with.
While now I like to think that I’m more confident and sure of myself than I’ve ever been, don’t let me fool you into thinking that I don’t sometimes think about what I’m missing out on. No, I’m not spending my evenings crying into a tub of ice cream, but every once in a while an insecurity will creep in. Is casual dating to blame? Will I ever find a boyfriend? I don’t know. But what I do know, is that whether I end up with or without somebody, I’m gonna be just fine..