As I was growing up as a teenage girl, I wasn’t aware of my looks. I was a quirky, nerdy, spotty mess. I had no understanding of what self-loathing was. I did not care much of what people thought of me & I confidently liked whoever I liked and perhaps over-confidently assumed boys would like the look of me too. It wasn’t until I entered university that I became desperate for affirmation from the opposite sex. I thought that when you went to went away it university it was an automatic happily ever after. You would find the person you were destined to be with and fall madly in love, court each other for three years and then at the end of the university there would be a dramatic proposal, and you would drive off into the sunset. Mistake number one. While this happened for many of my peers (namely everyone I shared a house with during my second year of university – I was the only singleton out of 5 girls), I remained “forever alone.”
Sure enough, I dated various guys, and I use the term ‘date’ very loosely. I was gullible and naive thinking that every guy that showed some interest had good intentions. Mistake number two. Every experience of talking to a guy I was remotely interested in ended in them saying “they weren’t ready for a relationship” or “they were getting over their ex.” Which are all valid reasons, and I don’t knock anyone who says this words. However, I do feel some loathsome emotions when these words are uttered after gaining the coveted second or third base and then a barely a fortnight after proceeding to date someone else. I tore myself down after every instance, filled with loathing and self-hate. There must have been something seriously wrong with me. I failed to understand what I now know to be the many nuances that occur in the dating game. I had been unable to realize that there was even a game. Because of these experiences, I began to question what was wrong with me. What my face too round? Was I ugly? was I not curvy enough? Too skinny? Did I have not enough boobage? Was my skin too dark? The list could go on and on, and I’m sure every girl or woman has questioned their appearance about the attention or lack of they warrant from the male sex. I was lost & exasperated at my failure. While my close friends had celebrated their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Year anniversaries with their partners, I was yet to have my first boyfriend. Not for lack of want I can tell you that. The void in my heart became more prominent and emptier. I declared that maybe I was never meant to be in love or be loved.
“Now, to the unmarried and to the widows I say that it would be better for you to continue to live alone as I do. 9 But if you cannot restrain your desires, go ahead and marry—it is better to marry than to burn with passion” – 1 Corinthians 8-9
Yes, there is the appeal of a “ride or die” however, I think many should take this statement to mean that you will be beside your partner whatever life throws at you. This does NOT mean sticking by when your boyfriend/girlfriend/ partner is malicious, unreliable, abusive or anything else you deem unacceptable because YOU understand yourself and are firm in what you want for yourself. I recently had a discussion with a close friend of mine about being married young, and she had valid and well thought out points. I understand that merit and security lies in being married young and while it is a perfectly wonderful desire to have for many I found a twitter thread that summed up my thoughts perfectly.
With that, all I have left to say is that it is a beautiful gift to be with someone who loves you wholeheartedly and I smile at those who are fortunate enough to found something so genuine so early. For those who haven’t do not be discouraged, for there is no shame in being by yourself. Rather it is a great opportunity to develop and understand who you are, what you want, your purpose and shine brightly and confidently in a life that you have crafted for yourself. I am certainly on a journey to do the same.