Something’s been on my mind lately that I really want to talk about. It’s time for me to admit it: I am a serial dater. You know, someone who always seems to be in a relationship? I spent about 20 of my 48 months of high school in relationships, not to mention the times that I went on a few dates with guys but never made things “official.” This seems like a ton of time to me–almost half of my high school experience! We all know someone like this, and half of me is really pained to be “that girl.” But the other half has an explanation to all the madness.
First of all, one thing that really bothers me is that I feel like people assume I am dependent on boys for my own happiness and that I seek approval because I am not confident in myself. Or that I need to be in a relationship at all times. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I am so proud of the person I am and continue to develop into. I know what I deserve and will accept nothing less than that. I am happy on my own, not because of others. It took me a while to get to this point, but I finally made it. Yes, there are girls who seek out approval from guys. And that’s their thing, but it’s definitely not mine. I don’t need a boy’s approval to be happy.
Another thing that I would like to point out is the fact that every relationship is different, and there’s no way I can accurately speak for every single person in my situation. In my experience, I dated some really great guys. Like some of the most caring, compassionate people I have ever met. I didn’t like one more than the other, nor did I compare them to each other. Every relationship is unique, and every person is unique. Being a serial dater is tough to explain in that sense. Yeah, I have been in a few longer relationships by the age of 19, and you probably won’t meet many girls with a similar track record, but I promise that I will never compare any new boy to the ones I have dated. It’s not fair to anyone involved. I also don’t completely forget about those relationships. They were part of my life, and you can’t just cut out memories, good or bad. They ended for a reason, and the only thing I can do now is learn from those and move on.
I feel like part of the reason I enjoy being in relationships is because I kind of really hate this “hookup” culture we live in. I’m sorry, but waking up next to a guy I barely remember from the night before doesn’t sound like my idea of fun. I would much rather curl up on the couch with someone I truly enjoy spending time with. I also really appreciate genuine conversations and a male’s perspective once in a while.
A good friend of mine made a really great point once. I was talking about a boy I had met, who I talked to and hung out with for a few weeks and was really starting to like. I told her that I didn’t want to have a boyfriend at this point in college because I felt like I needed to establish myself as an individual first. She said that she is a firm believer that you can’t just pass up an opportunity that makes you happy. If you feel like something is going to make you really happy, you can’t just turn it down because you’re worried about what you’re “supposed” to do. And I was kind of feeling like I wasn’t supposed to be continuing as a serial dater. After that, I realized that being a serial dater wasn’t actually getting in the way of anything like making girl friends or developing into an individual, but the idea of it was just holding me back from opportunities for happiness.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely not looking for my future husband any time soon. Actually, I always say I won’t get married until I’m 30. (Probably unrealistic, but hey, my twenties are going to be packed with success and adventures and barely any time to settle down if things go according to plan.) I know that these relationships will most likely end in a breakup and me eating ice cream straight out of the tub while binge watching chick flicks on Netflix. And for some reason, that’s okay with me. For the time being, it’s fun to have a guy pal that you can confide in and have a great time with.
So if you’re a serial dater, please don’t be ashamed. I’ve been ashamed of this for way too long (actually this piece will probably sit on my computer for a while until I get the balls to post it), but I realize now that it’s not a bad thing. I’m doing me, and you can do you.