From Our Readers: When You Start Dating a Little Later Than "Usual"
I vividly remember that back in highschool, I was the first in our class to ever have a boyfriend. I know I tried to be as stealthy as I could because believe me, during our time, you'd be crucified for having a boyfriend at 15! This has been more controversial in our precious class because we belonged to the star section. All we were expected to do was study, and play fun and silly games like kids.
I had my very first boyfriend and we were together for five years. Unfortunately, it ended. Just a month after our breakup, I had my second boyfriend and we lasted for seven years. I was in long term relationships, but we also broke up.
I became the single woman who has never really seen the dating world and practically interacted romantically with only two men my whole life. I admit, it was scary. I have never really experienced awkward dates. To ever put myself out there again after a long time of being with somebody was dreadful. But to be honest, I never really want to get out there again because I was always used to getting it right the first time. I was not ready for it but there I was, single.
I really didn't think I was missing out on anything. I was always contented with my past relationships that I didn't even think of trying to see other people. But I still tried, eventually. Getting to know people and learning a thing or two from them were satisfying. Having that break and spending time with myself boosted my confidence in so many ways. Life has unexpectedly unveiled so many things that one can't really learn in school but just in real life:
- You don't really need a man.
One of the things that I have mastered is being good at being alone. I never really go out alone, but when I did, I realized how liberating it is being in control of my day. It's only sensible to love yourself a little bit more because you can never really expect anybody to be 100% by your side. You should have enough self-love so that when the time comes, you'll be a amazing at handling your own and the world's mess.
- You will discover a lot of things about yourself.
Maybe one of the reasons why my past relationships didn't work out was because I'd always give more than what I could afford to them. Even if I didn't have anything left. I'll consider them first before anything, before myself. And the thing is, you should never lose yourself in the process of loving someone. Be in control of your emotions. Leave a piece of love for yourself and nurture it so that it stays with you. The key is to feel better about yourself and not depend on anyone to make you see your worth.
- You are not who you date or how many you've dated.
Not dating doesn't make you a loser. So what if you haven't met The One yet? That doesn't make you any less of a woman. We are all different but one thing is for sure, we all deserve the best. We don't just settle because it's convenient. We are all better than that.
- Life is about exploring.
I always tell myself that my happiness doesn't depend on who I'm with but the truth was, I was so dependent on them I was scared to be alone. Truth is, we're all in charge of our own happiness. One of my friends told me that she was always amazed by how happy I am on my own. I didn't even realize it but at that moment, I felt so proud because I was able to do it finally.
- People come and go, and not everything and everyone will stay in your life forever but you will be okay.
It may feel like the end of the world at first, but it's really not. You will be troubled, you'll stumble, and you'll encounter people who'll make you feel less. But who cares? When you're whole and ready, there will never be any better timing than that. We should feel whole and should need nothing outside of ourselves to comfort us. And when you reach this stage, you'll just know that this time, there's nothing that you can't triumph and overcome.