If it wasn’t apparent from my blog posts, when it comes to dating and relationships, I am about five years behind peers my own age. While other people around my age are living with their significant others or are married, I am stuck in the casual dating mode, partying as if I’m in my late teens/ early twenties, as opposed to a 25-year-old post-graduate (which I am).
The other night, when I was talking to a friend in a similar boat, I realized that I didn’t really start to date until I was about 22. That is not to say that I didn’t date guys or have sex or get flowers prior to age 22. I did all those things, but my experiences were, admittedly, quite sparse--more like the exception to my normal life that consisted of school, friends, Gilmore Girls, etc...It wasn’t until I went away to graduate school that I gradually started getting involved in the dating scene, so to speak.
Since then, I’ve stumbled along, making nearly every mistake in the world with members of the opposite sex. Hooking up too early, making too many demands, hiding in closets (long story), and giving too much (time, energy, emotion). I’ve fallen for alcoholics, drug dealers, and delinquent parents— not stopping to realize my own worth as an individual. I’ve rejected my fair share of “nice” guys. I’ve made countless mistakes, and sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever figure things out. I imagine my more mature, fellow 25-year-old friends shaking their heads at my constant drama. They can’t seem to figure out that a girl who is so mature in so many ways could be so immature in this way. But I am.
You don’t have to be a psychologist to guess why I’m a bit delayed when it comes to dating. Being 90 pounds overweight doesn’t do a lot of one’s self esteem. To make matters worse, I am a neurotic, insecure/ overly secure (if that makes any sense?) person who struggles to overcome her inherent shyness. And, to top it off, I led an essentially sedentary/ studious lifestyle, which meant that I didn’t meet a whole bunch of people. And, of the few who did manage to break into my world, either I didn’t like them or they didn’t like me. End of story.
Of course, since then, I’ve been catching on lost time =) And so I’ve spent the past few years jumping from wrong guy to wrong guy, slowly but surely figuring out what I need in a relationship and, more generally, what I need in life to stay happy. I’ve got some of it figured out, but I’m still learning. I guess this all to say that I’m giving myself a break on this one. Everyone does things in their own time, and I think I’m moving in the right direction.
And worst case scenario, I will always have entertaining horror date stories to tell =)