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Love and relationships have always been a weird topic for me, for as long as I can remember actually. In elementary and middle school when the girls would gossip over which boy they liked at recess I would sit quietly in the corner, listening with no response. I never longed or wished for a relationship and I can still to this day say nothing has changed.

The average age for a girl to start dating in the US is 13, I can also say that I am a part of the group that raises that age, for I am an 18 year old who has yet to fall into the category. And I can’t even say I’m lying and not counting my childish middle school relationships, for I had one in the 6th grade that lasted exactly a month (that I am sure was a mean middle school idea of a prank to pretend to date me).

Dating culture in high school is also both physically and mentally drained. At 16, I was still figuring who I am, what my passions were and what I wanted to do with life, honestly I still am to this day. I did not need the pressure of another person’s ambitions in my life as well.

With me, I think the lack of interest in dating stems from a lack of a pool of people. It wasnt that I didn’t necessarily want to date, it was more the fact that there was no one around me that both caught my eye and was worth my time. Not to be rude to the folks I went to high school with, but, we were just at different speeds. It was actually a running joke that I had never been in a relationship. It’s also not that i didn’t have options. While not dating in high school might make you the outcast, maybe the “secretly gay one” or the one who thinks they’re better than everyone else to others, don’t ever let that mentality rain true in your thoughts.

While I till the day I die will say I don’t regret not forcing myself to date, there is something depressing about not ever having a date to a school dance, football game, someone to watch scary movies with, or even just sharing my secrets.

Love and relationships are beautiful things that will come to all people eventually. So never feel the need to rush in to something whether you’re uncomfortable, not ready, or just uninterested. At the end of the day, the best relationships are the unforced ones. Your prettiness, worth, and personality is not based on how many boys you kiss your feet or how many people that have fallen in love with you.

If I can share my two senses on the subject, it would be: never wish for a relationship. Never sit waiting for the day that your “true love” will come. Always be comfortable enough with yourself at the end of the day because, when it’s all over and done, it always’s just you. I’m not trying to have a dull outlook on life, but the facts are facts, almost 50% of marriages nowadays end in divorces. If you’re dating to marry, you’re dating to be alone at 40. So, what does it mean? Is there any hope? Well, I’m not a non-believer in true love, I think it comes, but I also think that love can fade, and be one sided, and sometimes hurt you more than help.

Date to have fun, date to learn about yourself, date to find out what you like in a partner. Don’t date because it validates your self-worth, don’t lower your standards because you think “someone is finally paying attention to you.”

Work on yourself, love yourself, put positive energy out into the world and, if it’s meant to happen, then that person will come along and allow you to learn things about yourself you never knew before.

There’s no set time line for life. You can find your “true love” in 9th grade and be together till the grave. Or, you can meet someone at 62 after 4 failed marriages. If you place your life in a box and tell yourself you need to be married by 25 so you can have kids by 28. Then you miss out on all the cool possible partners you meet in your 30s. Be truly happy in your decisions. And trust me, you will know when you’re truly happy.

Gillian is currently a senior at Pace University on the NYC Campus. She is originally from Baltimore, Maryland where she earned her AA degree at the Community College of Baltimore County. She is majoring in communications at Pace and loves writing as a hobby. Her favorite day of the week is Sunday and her favorite color is forest green. She also reminds you to recycle! She can be found on all social medias @jillrh02
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