I'm 22, and I've never had a boyfriend.

21.8.13

Today's post is a lot different from the norm, and I've had long debates with myself on whether I should post this or not. But I've heard stories over the past couple of weeks where some girls were feeling insecure over not having a boyfriend, so I thought I'd share my story. I'm not someone that easily opens up to people, but you guys have been there for me when I needed it and the amount of support I received on twitter when I was expressing my concern over this post was overwhelming. So if my story can help even just one of you, it'd be worth opening up. So here goes.
I've fallen in love, I've fallen out of love; I've had my heart broken, and I've broke a few hearts. But as the title says: I'm 22 and I've never had a boyfriend. This isn't going to be a post raving about how awesome it is to be single (it definitely is amazing, but there are times when you do want another person to share the awesomeness with you), nor is it going to be a post that tells you how to get a guy (I'm still learning that myself), it's (hopefully) going to be a post that'll let you know no matter how dreary you think your relationship life is going to be, it'll get better. And you will find someone that loves you. 
(the only photo I could find of me and my brother when we were kids on short notice) 
When I was a kid, I was really popular among boys. I guess it was because of growing up with a younger brother, I knew how to interact with them. But when you're 8 years old and the boys are fighting over who gets to call you his "girlfriend" because I was the best at tag and was really really good at math, whoever wins at the end (his name was David), ten years along the road, you can't really call him your boyfriend. 
In middle school, when cooties started to go away and the awareness that the other gender could in fact, actually be attractive. My friends started paring up one by one and I wasn't oblivious to the boy with glasses and slightly curly hair. I was on the bus with my other friend when it suddenly hit me hard - I like this boy. And starting the next day, I was completely heads over heels for a boy that I barely even talked to before. I'd change the way I did my ponytail, I'd hope that I'd get a seat next to him in class, and I'd talk to my girls about him. During this time, I was raving about this guy and quoting lyrics and bad poems to another girl about how I felt, and she was being an amazing friend. You'd think this story would work out, but it wasn't until half a year later did I realize: not three weeks after I had confessed my "undying love" to my friend over the boy, they started secretly dating. No one else in my class knew, and if I didn't excuse myself from the previous class earlier because I was feeling queasy, I wouldn't have found her sitting on his lap making out in an empty classroom, and their secret affair wouldn't have leaked. (Yes, I was horrible and vindictive and leaked the fact that the two were making out to the class.) I used to trust people semi-easy, and not being a drama queen and all, but after this incident, I felt like it was impossible to trust. I started lying about the tiniest things, like my favorite color to a person I just met. I could go all Freudian on why I do this, but simply speaking, I was so insecure over the idea that the other person knew tiny facts about me before I had the chance to run a full security check on them.
In high school, I was lucky enough to meet a great group of friends of the same characteristics - we didn't talk about our feelings and all that mushy stuff. And the rare times we did, it would barely scratch the surface. And we were okay with that, we bonded over this, and strangely enough, we trusted each other. During this time, I fell in and out of love with strangers on the bus, the cute waiter that would smile at me, the boy sitting on the pew two rows before me in church. It was a fleeting moment, but I would write wonderful and sometimes tragic stories in my head about me and a stranger who's name I didn't know. But for the guys that I actually knew? They just mutually and naturally fell into the friend zone. Interestingly enough, I would be the one that my friends (and some acquaintances) go to when they needed relationship help. Everything I learned about relationships, I learned from books, movies, and TV. Let's just say if I charged the people that came to me for therapy $50/hour, I'd be rich because the advice I gave to other people was good.

University came, and it was a fresh start. There was a part of me that wanted to be in a relationship, to finally understand what the songs mean. But nothing happened. I had looked, and nothing came. Over the years, I was convinced that I was always going to be one of the guys and I just stopped looking.
(no, you guys are not getting a photo of the guy, because that's a privacy I'd like to protect, for his and my sake. You can, however, have a photo of me when I had dinner with him and a couple other friends)
Last April, the second semester of my junior year, I met a guy. Long story short, I friended him fairly quickly. He was an exchange student and I was busy with school, so we didn't really have time to hang out. But he'd always look to chat with me on Facebook, even when I kept having to leave after five minutes because I was completely drowned in revision for midterms. After the exams, we eventually had time to meet up. I really wanted cupcakes, so we decided to meet up for the yummies. Halfway through, another friend of mine joined in. And long story short, my friend texted me later that night asking if he was the third wheel because the guy was obviously making the moves. You know those moments when you lie in bed and can't sleep, and everything plays in slow motion over and over again in your head? That night was a sleepless night as I was going through the hours I spent together with the guy. My friend was right. He was making the moves. And they weren't subtle, they were "flinging his arm across the back of my chair," "pulling me more closer than warranted under the umbrella," "waving a freaking neon sign in my face," kinda moves. The story kinda just ended feebly as he had to go back to his country, and I was avoiding him because feelings started to get messy. After this incident, I started questioning myself and wondering if I was just incapable of reading signs when it came to my own story. 
I continued to invest my romantic feelings in movie/tv/book couples (otherwise known as OTPs) and cute strangers, semi-convinced that I'd be single for the rest of my life. And in a way, I came to peace with that. That was what my relationship life consisted of till several weeks back. 
Under the most unexpected circumstances, I met this guy. Long story short, I really liked him, and I was more than sure that he was equally into me, if not more. I felt comfortable and at ease around him not 15 minutes after meeting him; 30 minutes later, people were convinced that we had known each other prior because we were teasing and making fun of each other like old friends. We fell in sync, and the two of us were a team against the rest of the group. Our feet would rest comfortably against each other's under the table, I'd catch him looking at me before he teased the way I used chopsticks, and when we were separated, we could easily find each other among the crowd of people from opposite sides of the room, it was easier than spotting a three-headed, ten feet tall green alien. Whenever I turned around to find his eyes on me, he'd always give me that goofy, boyish smile that would make me shake my head in laughter.  And whenever we were together, no matter how empty the room was, we'd be standing side by side like personal space didn't exist. Some people say that if you can find someone that you can look straight into their eyes for longer than 8 seconds, then that person is a keeper. And with him, as cliche as it sounds, it was so easy to not look away
He declared that he trusted me 12 hours after I'd known him and put that statement into action when he entrusted me, and only me, with a critical task that could've been delegated to someone a lot more qualified. And to my own surprise, I trusted him just as much. For the first time in a long time, I was completely truthful and didn't give the guy a reason to not trust me. 
No, we weren't together in the end because of bad timing. But in the 48 hours I had spent with this guy, he managed to help me rediscover a part of me I thought was lost, help me break down the wall I built around myself, and well, he made me feel special - like I could have my own romance story. 

I guess what I'm trying to say with the 1603 words, is that you will find someone to love you, no matter how impossible you think you are to love (which, by the way, is completely ridiculous). You will find that someone that'll come into your life, swoop you off your feet, and leave you completely breathless. It doesn't mean that you'll be together in the end, but they'll help you find a part of you that you thought was lost. They'll make you feel like a better person. And it'll be a memory that's worth savoring over and over again. It's been told a thousand times, and because it's true so it'd been told a thousand times, but love will come at the most unexpected times. So don't feel like you're not good enough, and don't swear off relationships too soon, but you don't have to keep looking 24/7. Keep your eyes open, but don't go sniffing around like those drug-detecting dogs in airports. It'll come. And you will realize it was worth the wait. If in the meantime, you need someone to talk to, you knew where I'll be. 

Special thanks to Imogen, Amna, Katrin, and Megan for being there when I needed you guys. You honestly have no idea how much your words meant to me! 

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