I’m 20 years old, and I’ve never been kissed

I have a confession: I’m 20 years old, and I have never been kissed. I’ve never had a real relationship/boyfriend/friend with benefits. You name it, I haven’t had it.

Okay, now I’m just getting depressing, but hear me out.

It’s not like I don’t date — I’ve gone out on plenty of dates, but every time there is some kind of hamartia (TFIOS, anyone?). There was the one boy who was so afraid of me that he didn’t say a word the entire date. There was another boy that wouldn’t stop talking about my bedroom; he was obsessed with what it looked like, where it was, why presumed he wasn’t allowed in it. The reasons for the latter are pretty obvious. There was that guy that only wore those weird toe shoes. You know…the ones that have five “fingers” for your toes? Yeah, those.

I’m not trying to be cruel or ridiculous — I’m just picky. I’m done dealing with Tinder boys who want me to hot box in their car. I’m tired of boys who think the fact that I’m a feminist is cute, and if I receive another “When you gonna be back in town, baby?” text I might throw my phone out of a window.

The problem is I am completely ready for an actual relationship, one filled with romance and laughter. Yet every time I go on another lackluster date, I’m overtaken with this impending dread that true romance is dead in the 21st century.

It doesn’t help that my entire Facebook feed is slowly filling up with engagement rings, anniversaries, weddings, and babies. Every other day, another girl from my high school class announces that she said, “yes!” The older I get, the more my parents ask where my secret boyfriend is.

“If you find him,” I reply, “please let me know where he is.”

I’m ready to put myself out there, but I’ve built up so many expectations and emotional walls that I try to find a flaw in every single person. I’ve watched friends make-out drunkenly  at parties. I mean, I could use that as a solution to this problem and do just that, but I just can’t see myself making out with a stranger at a party to get it over with. I’ve spent years fantasizing and daydreaming of that moment where it will all fall into place. I’ve built up such a high expectation that I refuse to accept the reality that it will likely happen on a Tinder date. My mind is filled with grand gestures and Hallmark moments, and sometimes I worry that I’ll never let anyone in, that my expectations are too high (they are), or that the person I’m hoping for simply doesn’t exist.

I’m afraid that if I tell a guy that I’ve never been in a relationship, he will think I’m insane. At 20, it feels like I’m the only person alive who hasn’t had a serious partner yet, especially since I’ve watched all my friends move in and out of relationships like nobody’s business.

So here’s another secret; the worst part of being single at 20 is the blind dates set up by friends and colleagues. There’s so much pressure to have the perfect date, because it feels like you’re going to let your friends down if it doesn’t work out. You build it up in your head that this is going to be some sort of serendipitous ideal, that he will be THE ONE. That he’s going to show up in that coffee shop and there will be fireworks. But there never is. You laugh, chat and that hamartia rolls around and you end up at home later that night wondering why you even bother anymore.

I’m not saying that there’s never been a man who has ever truly liked me (and not been a creep), but they have all been boring or remind me of my dad. They’re typical, safe. I’m afraid if I choose one I’ll get married and end up with a cookie cutter life; two point five kids, a minivan, and a mortgage. I’d be living in some suburb laughing at a PTA meeting and perfecting my pumpkin pie recipe. I don’t want that, or at least I don’t think I do. There is nothing wrong with girls who want that ideal, but I want something that’s exciting.

I want a guy that’s always up for an adventure, who wants to learn new hobbies and eat weird food. I want a man, not a boy, and most of the guys my age just aren’t there yet. I’m willing to wait, though, whether it be two years or a century, I will wait for the right guy.

I know that it doesn’t even matter when or whether or not I  ever get married. Hell, I already know I’m marrying my career. Yet it’s still there — every time someone Instagram’s a cute surprise from their bae or a picture of an engagement ring, I get a little sad.

I want that. I want romance. I think most people do.

Even if have I have to wait 20 more years, I will still want that.

Hopefully, it’s worth the wait.

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