Today, we’re talking about love – a somewhat tough subject for me because I’m nearly 25 years old and I’ve never been in love. Not the love-your-mom kind of love, but the romantic, significant other kind of love.
If you’re over 25, you might be rolling your eyes because, “I’m still young” and “I have plenty of time to find love.” I don’t disagree with you, but most people my age have some measure of experience with love by this time. To not share that experience is difficult at best.
Never knowing love presents challenges that those who have known love may not understand, but the reverse is also true. Things that make sense to those who have been in love, don’t make sense to me.
For one, dating comes naturally to me. The initial, “get-to-know-you” part of relationships is my favorite part. I love going on dates, meeting new people, and having new experiences, but once it’s time to take the next step, I panic.
I fear putting all of my “dating” eggs in one basket. What if I go all in on one person, and he’s not the one? What opportunities could I have missed out on when I was wasting my time with the wrong person?
To someone who’s known love, they might say it’s worth the risk. To me, since I don’t understand the feeling, it’s not. “When you know, you know,” they say, but if I’m always questioning whether I “know” or if I’m just hoping this is finally it, how will I actually know?
What does that mean for someone who’s dating me? If they’ve been in love, and can confidently say they’re in love with me, how badly will I hurt them for not feeling the same? I can’t relate to my friends who are or have been in love and I can’t relate to my dates who have loved before.
Those who have been in love have the advantage of knowing what love actually feels like. I do not, and that terrifies me.
That terrifying feeling permeates every aspect of every relationship I have. It makes me second guess my feelings and search for reasons why it won’t work. It puts a lot of pressure on my significant others, but it puts even more pressure on me.
I fear that I’ll never fall in love. I fear that I’ll fall in love with someone who does not love me. I fear that I won’t know love when I see it or that I’ll miss it because I’m preoccupied somewhere else. I fear being alone, but unlike most I’m really, really good at it.
Serial relationship-ists don’t know how to be alone. I do. I love being alone. I get to do what I want, when I want, with who I want. I can focus on me and my goals without being dragged down by someone else.
I know a lot of people who force themselves into relationships they don’t really want to be in out of fear of being alone, but I don’t have that problem. However, in the back of my mind, I fear that I’ll end up alone.
At 25, I love my independence, and yet the older I get the more I fear that my independence, and my general apprehension towards relationships will result in me being alone.
That’s what it’s like to be in your mid-twenties and to never have been in love.Published in