I’m 22 and haven’t had a boyfriend—and that’s totally OK

Last May, I graduated from college, into the sea of am-I-an-adult-now anxieties: the job hunt, considering graduate school, figuring out life after the diploma. But even though it feels like I should be consumed with things on the career front, lately all I can think about is my love life. Or lack thereof, really: I’m 22 and I’ve never had a boyfriend.

The running questions in my head go something like that: Is something wrong with me? Maybe it’s my body? My face? Maybe I need bigger boobs? Am I too awkward? Too shy? Am I coming off as unavailable? 

In high school, it felt like I was the one wearing a scarlet letter—only it was  an “S” for “single.” After divulging the “big news” to a group of so-called friends of never having a boyfriend—let alone a first real kiss—I felt like I was perpetually marked as the girl who needed to get some action. It haunted me all through high school, following me every step of the way to and throughout college.

It wasn’t until my last year in college where I finally took matters into my own hands and threw that awful thing called insecurity out the window. For years, I had been hoping that someone would ask me out. But days after my twenty-second birthday, I decided to make the first move. I asked out the cute receptionist from my former internship. I took the advice from a friend to just ask out the guy, because worst case scenario is that he’ll say no.

Well, he did say no. But you know what? It’s OK.  Of course it was upsetting, being rejected by my crush. But asking him out had actually silenced the unsupportive voices from my high school days, always thinking that I was  a weirdo or not normal. My adolescent horror days were finally over. I was growing up. I was becoming an adult.

After college, I was fortunate enough to meet and get to know amazing individuals. With them, trying the whole, I am 22 and never had a boyfriend, solicits not horror or worry but the most supportive and respectful responses. More like “You’re still young and will find someone” and “everyone moves at their own pace” and less like “what’s wrong with you.”

One of my friends even admitted that she was jealous of my twenty-two years of being a single lady. My friend saw me as someone who was lucky. To me, I was inexperienced and missing out on, well, life. To her, I was someone who had never been cheated on, had her heartbroken, or wasted my time on some guy.

My old self would fall into a spiral of self-loathing when I heard my friend say “I met a boy!” But my present day self only has to say, “One day, it will be my turn.

Whether it takes days or years, I know I’ll find someone I want to date. Until then, I’m happy to focus on my career and my awesome friends. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with never having this or that by a specific age. They are called life experiences for a reason. So what if I haven’t had a boyfriend yet? My time will come. And I am perfectly okay with that.

Natalie Rodriguez is a writer and filmmaker from a small suburb town that not too many people have ever heard of. In 2014, she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Radio-TV-Film from Cal State Fullerton. She recently attended Studio 4, taking classes taught by David Garrett, Stacey Miller and James Franco. On her down time, she explores the great outdoors to take cool #nofilter photographs. Mostly of the sun and clouds. Follow her @NatChrisRod2010 on twitter and @natchrisrod on Instagram. 

[Image viaNever Been Kissed]

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