What is with our obsession with high school romance? Think about it? How much of our media is centered around teens having their first love or going through romantic ups and downs during high school? Granted, this form of media is catered to other teens most likely going through the same things. I don’t fault it for that. Heck, I even consume quite a bit of it to this day. I just want to highlight those of us, I included, that didn’t have romance as a part of our high school experience and maybe even our post-high school experience.
To some, this may seem strange, but after talking to my friends and meeting new people, I’ve noticed that there are quite a lot of us in this boat. We’ve seemed to have missed the love boat due to one reason or another. Maybe you never had a serious relationship or you truly have never gone through any romance in your life. Whatever it is, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay.
We’re not left behind, we’re not in a race here. It’s perfectly okay to have these experiences later in life. It’s all about you and when you’re ready. So, why do we still get the what-ifs? You may know the ones. The lost chances missed opportunities, and the changes you would’ve made if you had another chance. I think we’ve all gone through these, ours is just in this area.
For me, I have been single my whole life and it hasn’t been particularly easy. There have been times where I had the opportunity to be in a relationship and experienced all that comes with it, but I didn’t take it. In fact, in some cases, I ran from it, quite literally. In these moments, my heart was racing and not in a good way. These are the moments in movies where the two leads get together to spend happily ever after, but for me, I felt a heaviness in my chest that sank to my stomach. It wasn’t romantic, it was outright terrifying. The real kicker is that this feeling hasn’t changed. I’m still the shy and awkward girl who would run away at the sound of the nearest declaration of like (we won’t go as far as calling it love).
I used to think this was a bad thing as if I needed to try my hardest to change it. Even when entering college in a new city, I regretted not being more outgoing and putting myself out there. This regret is made worse by having the one year where I actually have friends (plural) be the same one we enter a global pandemic. Life is cruel that way. Regardless, I always saw this as a setback, but to anyone that feels the same way, it doesn’t have to be.
The one thing I’ve tried to learn this year is how to have a better relationship with myself. One day I will be ready to have someone else in my life, but right now, it’s just me and that’s okay. Even with all the romance in our media, the one thing they forget to mention is how you will always be your own person, no one can make you complete. While you can certainly grow and find yourself while someone else is by your side, it’s great to start a relationship as a whole person already knowing who you truly are.
How about instead of worrying about the opportunities we missed or the experience we lack, we take this time we have by ourselves and spend it trying to love ourselves the best we can. This might seem cliched, but it’s true before you can truly love someone, you must learn to love yourself. Movies might make you think that there is nothing better than true love, but that is nothing compared to self-love.