I’m 23 And Have Never Been On A Real Date

As I’m watching a cheesy romance on television, I just came to the realization that I’m a week away from turning 23 years old and have never been on a one on one date. You must be thinking A) she’s an ugly duckling B) she doesn’t like anyone of the opposite sex C) she’s too picky or D) too shy. I’m a former cheerleader so out goes the shy theory, I’m not ugly, I do like men, and I’m not extremely picky.

Like most people today, I crush extremely hard and proceed to “creep” on their social networks to see if I like the idea of them or actually how they act. But the crushes have either found a girlfriend, never made a move, or didn’t reciprocate the same feelings. Have I ever been in love? No, unless you count a puppy.

You know the couple that’s overly obsessed with each other and ignores everything else? Yeah me too, and usually those friends try to set me up with other friends so I’m not the odd one out in gatherings. I’m usually the single friend, so like tonight when some of my friends went out they didn’t even invite me because I don’t have someone else to go with. Just because I haven’t dated, I feel like they baby me to a degree. They think I can’t relate to T. Swift songs, or that I don’t know about the opposite sex. I’m in the music industry, 90% of the people are males and I’m not shy or scared of any of them. I can’t count how many times I’ve tried being set up with friends of friends just so I can go out with friends and their boyfriends/girlfriends.

All night I’ve been trying to find theories of why I’m perpetually single and I haven’t been asked out on a proper date. First of all the culture of today, hanging out vs actually going out on a date. I am always busy working and I am a Deacon’s daughter, which I think people automatically assume I’m the goody-goody or a rebel child. As a cheerleader I’ve been stereotyped to be sleazy, people who believe that usually quit talking to me after they find out I’m the furthest thing from that.

It finally hit me, why did I have it in my mind that I needed a boyfriend/significant other to be happy? Why do people want me to date when I couldn’t care less most of the time? Why does my grandma ask me daily if I found a man? Why can’t I hang out with friends and their significant others without a date? This culture isn’t just hook ups, it also teaches us we need someone in our lives to date and that’s the most important thing. I’m nowhere near happy with myself, I need to learn to love myself before I do anything else. People forget they should love themselves before getting into a relationship.

Sure I do have moments where I wish I could be cuddling with a special someone or take those cute kissing pictures under the mistletoe. But I shouldn’t just date someone for those minor wants. When the right person comes, if he ever comes I’ll be waiting patiently (or not so patiently depending on the day).

Some people’s fate in life is to be single, and that’s okay. I don’t know who or how having a boyfriend became a need, but I rather focus on my job, schooling, family, and having fun rather than trying to settle by finding someone I can tolerate that can handle my hectic schedules. I don’t want to put on a heap ton of makeup every time I go out, thinking maybe I’ll find the one today. I want the little girls I coach to know that it’s okay to be single or go to the prom solo. I don’t want every female magazine to have “Find the perfect man” or “Does he like you?” on the covers. I don’t want people to settle just to have someone to date and feel less lonely with. I realize I have fallen in love before; with my family, my friends, the kids I coach, books, and so many animals. I am going to fall in love with myself first and have that be more than enough until I someday maybe find a great fit to call my boyfriend. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog