I’m 27 and I’ve never been in a relationship.
I’m not saying this because I’m looking for reassurance. Trust me, I’ve had plenty of that over the years — that’s why I started lying about not wanting a boyfriend in the first place. Love never came when I wasn’t looking for it or when I expected it the least or when I acted confident about my chances. What did come were the raised eyebrows, the Poor you! looks and the endless stream of questions: So have you met anyone? Surely there must be someone you like! Why are you still single?
So I started to lie. It was a hell of lot easier to tell people I wanted to be single than to explain why I was. I didn’t know why. Sure, I didn’t know how to act around guys I liked. But who does? Besides, everyone else seemed to be doing just fine.
Here’s the thing about telling people the same story over and over again. Eventually you start believing it too.
I can’t remember when I became the girl who didn’t want a relationship. It happened slowly, and then all at once. While inside my heart ached, I acted like love would be a burden, an inconvenience at best.
When I eventually met guys who showed interest in me, I didn’t demand anything from them. Better not scare them off with ideas of committment or relationships or even dates. I didn’t want any of that anyway. I wanted freedom and adventures and a world of possibilities.
Or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.
I love my life today — and I love the freedom I’ve had, going through my 20s single and unattached. But I’m tired of lying to myself. I don’t want maybes or second best or drunken meet ups. The last time I settled for that, I felt sad and empty and so lonely.
So here is the truth I’ve been hiding for too long: I want love. I want to have real conversations with someone, the kind you never want to end. I want someone who can’t take his eyes off me when we’re in the same room. I want someone who will text me in the middle of the day because he just has to talk to me.
Go ahead, call me a hopeless romantic — I’m so much happier now I’ve accepted the truth.
And if I stay single in the future, I know I’ll be okay. This time it won’t be because I’m lying to myself about what I want, but because I won’t settle for any less.