A segment on the “Best Ways to Find Love Online” is being discussed on the morning news show I am watching as I sit here typing out my thoughts… which is making me want to regurgitate my oatmeal. How appropriate the topic is, given the time of year and passing of Valentine’s Day – but it is giving me pause to think about standing my ground on how I feel about my love life… let alone online dating.
I’m currently 21 years old and have never had a serious boyfriend. Bring on the gasps! For starters, 21 is way too young for me to even consider being in a committed relationship. Before you start to think this is a ramble from a bitter, single girl…hear me out.
Over the course of my teenage years, I casually dated, had summer flings.. the whole nine yards. However, when it came to putting a label on my situation with a guy, I ran the opposite direction. I may partially blame one of my first summer flings, when I was 16, for making me feel this way, but I don’t mind.
I met Mike (name has been changed ha!) at my best friend’s sweet 16. He was tan, cute, showing me attention and just my type (what was my type at 16?). He got my number and we talked everyday for two months. One night while at the boardwalk watching fireworks with his family, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Kind of awkward with the family watching, but I said yes and felt all giddy.
But what did that mean now that I was his girlfriend? Having this new boyfriend-girlfriend title meant what? He’s not going to talk to other girls? Should I become paranoid? Should I stalk his Facebook friends? When I spoke about him to others, calling him my boyfriend made me feel squeamish, not in a good way.
Not before long, Mike was acting really distant and it was breaking my heart. After some advice from my mom (my best friend/best advice-giver), I knew I had to sit him down and discuss the things that were bothering me. So we met up and sat down facing each other on a bench in front of Ralph’s Italian Ices. Before I could get a word out, he broke up with me.
Mind you, we had that label on us for barely a week. He told me putting the boyfriend-girlfriend label on us caused too much pressure and he felt guilty for anything he did (talking to girls, not calling me four times a day, etc.). I ran to my mom’s car devastated. My first boyfriend barely lasted a week.
Thinking back to that night five years ago, through the lens of time (and having matured a bit & having a different view of relationships), I completely understand where Mike was coming from. It’s hard when you care for someone and love having that person in your life but don’t want to be tied down.
Call me cynical, but realistically relationships are bound to end unless the two plan on marrying each other. I have seen countless relationships last years; the couple even moves in together and 4 years later the two are broken up; apartment-less and trying to get their lives back together.
Okay, this situation may be the extreme, but it happens. My guess is that people rush into things. I’ve seen it first hand with my older brother who has been in relationships since his high school days. I don’t think the guy has been single for more than a day since he was in 8th grade.
My theory is that people need to fall in love and find happiness with themselves before they can seek that in a partner. Maybe I don’t have a great track record of guys to compare, but I know when I meet that special person, I still will make sure it’s the right time in my life before I put a label on it and get serious. I’m not hating on anyone who’s in a happy, serious relationship. In fact – more power to you girl that you’ve found that special guy in the right time and place!
For me, I’m very content casually talking to guys; keep things light and not settling for anyone who doesn’t meet my standards for now. I’m in my early twenties and I want to live them up and take advantage of some of the best years of my life before I commit myself to someone.
Image via Hadj Park