Will I have to graduate high school without ever having had a boyfriend?
We know you don’t want to hear it, but it really is OK, say our elders. Take your time.
I am 17 years old and I have never had my kiss or had a boyfriend. I have always had trouble talking to guys (very shy) and I’ve always been the girl who was jealous of the girls with a lot of guy friends. I have always wanted a boyfriend and sometimes I wonder what’s wrong with me. People say I’m pretty and I have gotten compliments on my style. Occasionally guys are interested in me, but I’m not really interested back, or it never works out. We only go through the ‘talking’ phase until that phase just gets old and boring. I like hanging with a big group of friends and partying but I’m an introvert at heart. All my friends are in relationships and get a lot of guys and I feel like there’s something wrong with me. I don’t want to graduate high school never having been in a relationship. Please don’t say, “Oh it’s OK to not be in a relationship, you’re still so young”. I understand that but it still saddens me and makes me feel very lonely. I’ve grown very independent and I love myself, but I just want to experience love. Help.
We are a group of seniors living in a retirement community and we are so glad that you wrote to Elder Wisdom Circle. We are sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time, but we do want to assure you that everything will be OK. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to control every part of our life and need to let some things happen naturally and relationships aren’t something that can be forced.
It sounds to us like you need to learn how to not take things too seriously If you find yourself “bored” easily it could be that you are putting too much stock into the potential of what could be a relationship and spending too much time worrying about if this guy is ‘the one’. We think you need to just enjoy being young and have fun meeting new people and learning what type of young man you would like to share a relationship with when that time comes. It is not very often we meet our true love when we are in high school (it does happen) however it isn’t the norm. Most people go on dates or date different types of people — it helps them know what they want in a relationship and what they don’t want. It is the time when you can decide what you are willing to compromise on and what are things that you won’t change your mind about. Examples could be that you would never date or be in a relationship with someone who smokes or does drugs, but you also thought you wouldn’t date someone who doesn’t like cats. Well you won’t budge on the smoking/drugs but you find a wonderful person who you really care about that doesn’t like cats because they are allergic — you may decide that it is a ‘rule’ you are willing to break for this person. When you are talking to these potential ‘boyfriends’ keep in mind what really makes you smile when talking to them? Is it someone who asks about your day? Do you like talking to someone who has a sense of humor and can really make you laugh or does that really bother you and you prefer someone a little more serious? All of these ‘dead ends’ are really learning opportunities for you to know what makes your heart flutter! Hopefully, that makes sense!
It made our hearts happy to read that you have grown independent and love yourself! That is huge on the scale of self-victories and we hope you know how awesome that is! No matter what happens in life you cannot rely on someone else to make you happy and need to find contentment within yourself. You can share happiness with others but if you don’t love yourself it is very difficult for someone else to love you. There can be subtle differences in things such as being ‘independent’ and others considering you ‘aloof’ or people can consider folks who ‘love’ themselves ‘conceited’ or ‘stuck up. We are not saying that you are any of these things, but we do want you to seriously consider the vibes that you are putting out to others. Could they be perceiving your actions in a different light then what you are really trying to communicate? Be honest with yourself and that may help you understand your situation and help you make any changes if need be!
We know you aren’t going to like it but we have to say it (because we are older and know it to be true) you are young and it is really OK to not be in a relationship… there are so many more things in life than just that! We understand your desires and feel like you may be trying too hard. Believe it or not some people are just late bloomers and once you expand your horizons outside of high school you may be surprised how many opportunities that you will have to be in relationships because you sound like a beautiful, smart, young lady. Some final words of advice — don’t compromise your values as you continue on your journey. Don’t be in such a hurry that you settle and make choices just because you feel like you are ‘behind the curve’ when it comes to relationships. We are very proud of you, and believe that you have a very bright future. Enjoy being young, go out with friends, try new things and if you want to experience love then you will need to be open to it because it usually appears when you least expect it! Wishing you the best of luck now and always.
Letter #: 449947