In middle school, I felt there was absolutely no reason to “date.” I mean, relationships in middle school consisted of holding hands for a week before it ended in some kind of petty drama that made zero sense. Odds were, I wouldn’t be marrying my middle-school “sweetheart.” I really didn’t see the point in a short-lived romance.
For most of high school, I had one boy on my mind. One boy that would never feel the same. Not that I could blame him. I could never keep it together when he was around. He’d walk into a room and I’d find myself staring blatantly, unable to find the right words, or just flat out giggling like I had lost my mind.
At the time, I probably just wasn’t emotionally mature enough to be in a relationship. I mean, if I had been, wouldn’t I have at least attempted to ask him out? But I didn’t. I didn’t even consider it an option. Mostly because I could never keep it together when he was around. How could he possibly be interested in me when I could hardly look him in the eyes?
I didn’t take any chances back then. I wasn’t interested in anyone asking me out. Wasn’t interested in going after anyone I was interested in.
One instance I remember in particular is being forced to stay the entire length of Senior Prom with my friends. For context, I didn’t really want to go to prom. I just wanted to say I went to prom. I wasn’t one of those girls who cared about getting dressed up, or having a date, and having this be the epitome of my high school experience. I really didn’t care that much and I hated dancing. Honestly, prom stressed me out because there were too many people, the music was too loud, and there was far too much PDA going on in one room. It made me a little nauseous.
So, partway through the dance, I decided to go sit on one of the chairs that were set up on the side of the room. I was perfectly fine with sitting alone on the sidelines and not talking to anybody. Honestly, I preferred that.
Until my solitude was interrupted by a nice looking boy who came and sat down beside me, saying something along the lines of “I know this is kind of weird, but do you want to dance?” Before I could comprehend the turn of events, I found myself thinking “Oh, what the hell, why not” and agreeing.
He was interested in me for whatever reason I can’t fathom and we had exchanged numbers. Had I been interested back, it would have been fine. But instead, I kept my distance.
I don’t regret that decision. But, this became a pattern. In college I didn’t exactly take any chances, either. I had opportunities, which I quickly passed by.
I don’t know why I kept doing that.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go on a date…it’s just that I really didn’t want to go on a date.
I guess it just didn’t make sense to me, to say yes, when I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere.
Or maybe I was just scared.
It wasn’t until a little after I graduated college, about a year ago, that I began to truly think seriously about dating anyone. When I started to consider it, and why I kept letting any chance pass me by, I realized that it didn’t matter.
The reason I chose not to date until now is nothing I have to justify.
It’s normal, maybe not the norm, but it’s not out of the ordinary.
I can acknowledge it, because it’s my truth, but I don’t have to come up with an excuse for the choices I made. I don’t need one.
Then I had an idea. It was kind of stupid, really, but I thought why not try. There was one guy I was curious about. The guy that, in years prior, I could barely speak a sentence to. We still ran in the same circles and he’d be easy to contact. As ridiculous as it sounded, I decided I wanted to get to know him better. I figured he’d be a good starting place in terms of actually going for anyone in general.
So, I got up all my nerve and asked him to hang out and he said yes for whatever reason only God knows, and nothing ever came from it and yes it totally left me broken hearted.
If that kind of heartsick is what I’d been missing out on my whole life then it’s a relief to know I really hadn’t been missing anything.
Looking back I know that having not dated up until this point, was for the best. Because what would have been the point of a short-lived relationship that would have been drama filled and ended in heartbreak? I saved myself from a lot of pointless and unnecessary pain. It wouldn’t have been good for me or anyone else.
I’m not saying this is the path everyone should take. Honestly, it’s probably not. But, I’m glad it’s mine.
One day there will be someone else, and I’ll go for it, or he’ll go for it, and this time I’ll actually, you know, be okay with that.
And I’ll see why I never was before.
I could never see myself the way others did. I couldn’t see why anyone would be interested. I wasn’t strong on my own.
Now I see that it doesn’t matter if anyone is interested or if anyone ever feels the same way I do about them.
Because God loves me, my friends and family love me, and I’ve finally learned how to love myself.
And at the end of the day, I don’t need another person to know my self-worth.
Hi! My name is Rachel. I love to write. Write about life, love, and reflect on how the past builds the future. Mostly, I love to tell stories because I believe there is something about stories that brings the world closer together. You can check out some of my writing reflections here at Rachel Writes.