I’m almost 24 years old, and I’ve never had a boyfriend. I don’t date. I just…don’t.
I don’t talk about this often. Maybe because I know it’s “abnormal,” for lack of a better word. Most people my age are in relationships. Some couples who’ve been together for years are now getting engaged. Girls I went to high school with are getting married (not to each other, mind you. I went to an all-girls high school, haha). My cousin recently got married. (A beautiful wedding and, incidentally, the second wedding I’ve ever attended, the first of which was my aunt’s wedding when I was five, and I was one of the flower girls.) Another cousin just got engaged and has her wedding set for 2016. Sure, I do have friends who are single, but they’ve dated before. They juggle guys. They flirt. They have sex.
And then there’s me. I’m different. What can I say?
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had crushes. I’ve had guys pursue me and flirt with me and even ask me out, and I’ve flat out turned them down. My one guy friend liked me at one point, but I felt too weird to just go on a date with him and see where it went. I’m the type of person who chickens out and doesn’t jump into something if I know it’s not going to lead to anything. I know what kind of guys I like and what kind I don’t.
At the same time, I feel like there are expectations as you get older. My cousin who just got engaged always asks me when I’m going to get a guy. My younger sister has asked me, “Don’t you want to experience dating?”
I do, but it just hasn’t been a priority for me. I’m so focused on my career right now. I’m still looking for a full-time job while writing scripts and learning all I can about TV writing. And I’ve genuinely been happy as a single woman. I haven’t really felt like I was missing out on anything when it came to dating or hooking up or whatever. I’ve always felt that when the timing’s right, things will all fall into place, and I’ll be ready.
Still, I’m starting to reach a point where I do want to find companionship, a guy who gets me, a guy who I can be myself around, a guy who makes me laugh, who supports me, who I can share my life with. But now that I’m older, I’ve realized that it’s that much harder to meet someone. At this point in my life right now, I’m not interested in online dating, nor am I interested in being set up. Obviously, what with all the restrictions I’ve given myself, I’m not leaving much wiggle room, aside from meeting someone the old-fashioned way, at an event or party or something, becoming friends first and establishing a relationship from there.
As I said, I know what I want in a guy, and I’m incredibly stubborn. Once I’ve made a decision, that’s that. I would like to meet someone someday, and to do that, I really need to push myself to step outside my comfort zone. I do want to start experiencing dating, but on my own time. I’m still not actively looking for someone right now, so I don’t know when I’ll ever really be ready to date. Maybe that’s my problem. Dating is all about putting yourself out there. Maybe I’m scared of getting hurt. Maybe I never will be ready to date until I just try it and see what happens. I really don’t want to be single all my life. I want to get married and have kids someday, but not for a while, not until I’ve established myself and have my own career and my own life. Right now I’m still living at home and trying to really make it in the world. I still need to focus on me. I’m selfish like that. I know what I want.
The bottom line is that I’m not allowing myself to feel pressured to date just because I’m getting older. I realize it’s weird that I’ve still never been in a relationship, but I’m okay with it. I’m in no rush. I know I’m different when it comes to dating. I’m not in the norm. It’s an area of my life that I do want to explore eventually, because I know dating is fun and exciting despite all the heartache that can go with it.
It’ll happen when it happens.