I am 22 years old and I have never been on a single date. By today’s standards, it’s a little weird. Some people might obsess over this fact and worry they might be missing out on something. But I’m completely okay with it.
Most people start dating in high school. I didn’t. I was much more concerned with my advanced classes and time-consuming extra-curricular activities than with dating. I wasn’t a recluse. I still made time to socialize with my friends. But there was never anyone I was really interested in dating. And even if there were someone, I’m not sure I would have wanted to handle the stress of a new relationship on top of AP tests and college applications.
The same goes for college. I kept myself busy with classes and work. I spent time with my friends and also visited my best friend from high school during breaks. But again, there wasn’t anyone I was interested in. And again, I didn’t want to deal with someone new in my life when I was busy enough with readings, finals and, eventually, job applications.
I would rather be completely, or at least mostly, comfortable with who I am and what I want before I enter into any kind of relationship.
Part of this might be because I’m an introvert. I would rather spend a relaxing evening at home by myself than out at dinner with someone new. Just socializing with my friends can be tiring enough. I can’t imagine how exhausting it might be with a potential romantic partner.
You might be thinking that I’m too picky. But I don’t remember seeing someone and thinking, “I would date them if they were shorter.” I’ve never been asked out by someone and turned them down because I thought there was someone better out there. I genuinely have never met anyone that I was interested in pursuing romantically. And I really don’t feel deprived.
That’s not to say I won’t eventually start dating. I’m not against it. I’ve just never had the opportunity to do so. Some people in my position might sign up for a dating app or two and attempt to meet new people. I did try out a few of them — just to see what it was like. But the apps only stressed me out. I was constantly worried about who would match with me and what to say. These were all strangers, so striking up a conversation was always awkward. And nothing ever proceeded beyond texting either.
Meeting someone in person seems to be a little less stressful. You’re more willing to forgive them for little slip ups and you can easily tell if you have any chemistry (or if they’re a little creepy).
Why should I waste time going out with strangers just because society says I should?
Honestly, I don’t feel any pressure to start dating in earnest. Sometimes I feel a little out of the loop when my friends mention their boyfriends or a bad dating experience. But I don’t feel like a complete weirdo either. Right now, I would prefer to focus on my career and myself. I would rather be completely, or at least mostly, comfortable with who I am and what I want before I enter into any kind of relationship. I don’t want anyone to push me around, especially in my personal life.
Also, I don’t want to force anything. I think part of the reason so many people ghost after a few dates is because they went out with someone out of obligation. (Though, I still think it’s common courtesy to tell someone you’re no longer interested in them.) If you never were completely, genuinely interested in dating that person, it makes sense why you would want to forget about them entirely. I would rather let things progress naturally with someone I actually care about, rather than force myself to go out on several dates that don’t go anywhere.
I would rather have an enjoyable evening alone than an awkward one with someone I’ve never met. Why should I waste time going out with strangers just because society says I should? I believe I can have a happy and fulfilling life without ever dating or marrying. If it happens, then that’s great. But if it doesn’t, I’ve decided not to beat myself up.