I used to feel incredibly embarrassed, even ashamed, about my lack of experience with guys. I would keep quiet when friends talked about their relationships for fear they would ask about mine and find out the truth. It wasn’t just mildly embarrassing, it was crippling. It felt like some shameful secret that I didn’t want anyone to ever find out about. It may seem like an exaggeration, but this really is how I felt.
One key thing that helped me get past this feeling was realizing there were other people like me.
One weekend, I was catching up with a friend from high school. She had brought along her recently married friend (let’s call her Alicia). Alicia looked like the type of girl that guys would go crazy for and girls would envy: tan, thin and perfectly dressed. It came up in conversation that Alicia had never had a boyfriend until she was 24. I was stunned. It was surprising to hear this coming from a girl who looked like she could get any guy she wanted, but the most surprising thing to me was that she wasn’t embarrassed about it at all. She just happened to get a later start on dating than most people, and she was fine with it.
Discovering there was one other person like me got me thinking that maybe there were others. Maybe there wasn’t anything wrong with me. Maybe I was just a little bit behind and I could catch up. The more I thought about it, the more I realized there were plenty of people who didn’t have much dating experience. It would be an exaggeration to say that it completely changed the way I felt from that moment on, but this little change in perspective was a turning point. It helped me realize that I wasn’t stuck, that I didn’t have to be single forever if I didn’t want to be.
It’s a big world out there. Whatever you’re struggling with, there’s someone else who has gone through the same thing. Take a moment to think about who that might be.
Recommended Reading: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown