How It Feels To Be 23 And Still Waiting To Fall In Love

I’m 23 and I’ve never been in love. I’ve loved (or so I thought), but I’ve never known what it’s felt like to fall in love with a guy.

The one and only time I thought I was in love with someone was when I was 18. Right out of high school, he was the one who saved me from a horrible emotionally abusive relationship and taught me I could be happy with someone else. Our relationship was perfect for a while, but after he got comfortable with me, he was constantly testing my trust. His first love waltzed in and out of his life for the entirety of our 4 year off-and-on relationship and I constantly let it slide. I was used to it and made absolutely no effort to stop it. One day, I miraculously realized it wasn’t love and willed myself to walk away. I knew I could live without him, and I knew I didn’t feel comfortable enough in our relationship to marry him in the future or be with him forever.

I’m not even sure what “being in love” means. I honestly think it’s different for everyone, but the concept is the same: you meet someone, you realize you don’t want to live without them so you start dating, and you either realize it’s enough and stay together, or watch as it slowly tears you apart. I’ve seen it a million times before in my life: people claiming to be in love, but getting hurt in the end.

I don’t understand it, really. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been there but being in love shouldn’t leave you hurt in the end. This doesn’t make me naïve; it makes me hopeful. As Mesa Selimovic stated,

“Love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.”

I so deeply want to believe this is true. I’d like to believe the reason it never worked out with someone, the reason I’ve been hurt so bad I could barely make it off the bathroom floor, the reason for all my late night thoughts and tears so many times in the past, is because I wasn’t in love, because the love wasn’t right for me.

I see way too many people settling for a mediocre love, but this is one thing I will not do. If this means I have to wait until I’m 25, or 30, or 35, so be it. I know there is someone out there for me I am capable of being in love with; someone who will be as, if not more, in love with me. I’ll never have to question it, or wonder if it will end, because it won’t.

I’ve realized over time I’m completely okay with the fact I’ve never been in love. If anything, this has given me a sufficient amount of time to love and accept myself. Now, instead of going after the wrong guy like I’ve done too many times in the past, I can find someone who is as equally accepting of me and one who loves me as much as I love myself. I can’t wait for that day to come. Until then, I’m doing me and I like it that way.

Featured image via Unsplash


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