The 34%

This week’s content theme is Sex. Which, for a virgin and relationship know-nothing, can be a tricky subject to wrap your head around.

Statistics show that 66% of college students are sexually active. But what about that other 34%? Are they those who are in a relationship but have chosen to abstain from sex, or those who are not in a relationship, or maybe those who have never been in a relationship?

Growing up in the post rom-com boom was great in that I never had to wait long to see a new chick flick--only as long as it would take one library branch to mail the DVD to the branch closest to my house. I’d scour the movie summaries for classic plot points like “best friends that have the potential to become something more question mark” or “these opposites attract” before adding them to my requested items list. Once they arrived I’d gush over each meet-cute like I had not just watched the same film last week with slightly different leading actors. But as much as I love romantic comedies and the myriad idealistic tropes they promote, they’ve given me very unrealistic standards for relationships.

10 Things I Hate About You gave me hope that while I was giving feminist rants in my high school English class, a tall, dark, and ruggedly handsome Australian might fall in love with me after being paid to take me out by a couple of horny nerds.

One Day taught me to stick out the soulmate search because on my college graduation night I’d meet my best friend and we’d dance around dating for a good couple of decades until we finally got together and had a blissfully happy couple of years before I got hit by a bus on my bike.

Bridget Jones’s Diary taught me that even if I ended up a lonely spinster in my early thirties, Colin Firth would sweep me off my sneaker-clad feet in a Mr. Darcy-broody-but-sexy-kind-of-way and we’d live happily ever after until the next film when we break up briefly because I think he’s sleeping with his lesbian partner in law.

(Sorry...should have said spoiler alert.)

But you get the gist?

These films not only gave me chimerical expectations for high school and college aged men, they gave me unhealthy models for how to look, act, and live to get the guy.

Not having had a true boyfriend, no more than a mere three kisses in my lifetime, and no romantic prospects on the horizon, I’ve started to lose faith in the knight in shining Patagonia t-shirt... wild, I know.

I’ve complained ad nauseum to my mother during our monthly heart-to-hearts. And although she means well, her response is often to suggest that I try to look more feminine. A concept which for me isn’t unknown. I love to dress up, look sexy, but not for others...for me.

I’ve hung on to this impossible dream that a guy will fall in love with me for my personality, my smarts, for me. Not some dolled-up full-faced makeup version of me (which I have no time to construct anyway).

Ladies, for those of you who are weary of holding out on the hope you’ll find the one, stick it out with me. After all, we’re only in our early 20s.

And don’t let anyone tell you to alter your appearance or personality just to get that special guy. I still believe he’s out there. He may not be an Australian hunk, a wayward Brit, or a brooding human rights lawyer, but we’ll find him.