This post was written by a senior at CSUCI.
Throughout my high school (and the beginning of my collegiate) career, I was always concerned about dating. About the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend, about the fact that boys acted like I didn’t exist unless I was accompanied by a pretty friend, about the fact that I wasn’t even completely sure of my sexuality or myself.
Speaking of sexuality as well, sex and kissing was something I just saw on the TV or when I saw kids snogging in the hallways at school (gross). I always felt underdeveloped, and not having a period until I was 15 years old didn’t exactly help me feel any more mature than I was already feeling. I felt less valid as a girl somehow, and would constantly wish for someone to love me. Even when I did go on a date (I remember going on about 4 or 5), they were always awkward, unpleasant, and I avoided the person after that. Not that these guys were bad people, but I would just NEVER have gotten along with them. I remember thinking, “What’s the point? Why should I bother when I am never going to get someone I want and who is compatible with me?”
It’s sad looking back on my attitudes towards dating. To be completely honest, as of right now I’m happy I never ended up dating someone for the first time until I was a junior in college. Even with my first boyfriend, the initiation of the relationship felt forced and looking back at it, although I feel like it was a good experience and I mostly don’t regret dating this person, I do a little bit deep down sometimes. One of the things I can absolutely see as a positive is that I know I have a decent idea about my standards for a person and what I expect in a relationship. Although they are mostly flexible, there are things that I am firm about and I am happy to wait to run into the person who I really think is a good fit.
Another huge thing about my “love life” is figuring out my sexuality. I felt very repressed during high school, with an overall feeling that gayness was not okay, so I just didn’t ever think about it. I feel much more free now, especially with the internet existing (yay!). Now I can chat with others or read other peoples’ experiences that I relate to which makes me feel a lot more validated. Being closeted and confused can feel very stifling – not only that, but I feel very terrified of telling my friends or family members, because that would make it real and then I would have an entire other realm of dating available to me of the same sex. I am also afraid; sometimes I feel that bisexuality and pansexuality is deemed as less “valid” since they are seen as not committed to one specific gender.
I feel very privileged to have been able to enjoy my high school career drooling over boys and not have to be concerned about “being normal” and pretending to like a person I don’t. I deeply respect my LGBTQ friends I have that were brave enough to come out when they were 14 or 15 and own it from the start, enjoying their lives and being nothing short of gracious. I love them to death, and I hope that maybe one day I can do the same, and freely date whoever I want, happily, and not think any negative thoughts about myself or my dating habits in the process.