On Being 17 and Without a Boyfriend

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Before I begin I would like to assure you this is not going to be a rant of bitter thoughts in regard to boys and pressure and society. On the contrary, I am quite content with my current singleness. Being 17 years old without a boyfriend is not that great of a predicament, until I confess that I have not yet ever even had a boyfriend. I have certainly “liked” my share of guys, and have been “liked” by them (although rarely by the ones I happen to “like” at the time). I can honestly declare that I do not particularly long for a relationship right now. Don’t misunderstand me, it would be a lie to say that I don’t think of boys, and dating a great deal, but no boy seems good enough.

What a snotty thing to say, I know. There are a lot of nice, intelligent, normal boys out there-although I have only ever met a small few such young men. Again, what a harsh thing of me to say, but let me explain. I have grown up watching Jane Austen movies, reading good literature, and listening to music such as “When I Fall in Love” by Nat “King” Cole. I have been taught to have high standards when it comes to what I expect of myself and therefore what I expect of a guy. Some of my friends have told me that my standards to “too high” and “unattainable” but I heartily disagree. Forgive me for not settling until I meet my Mr. Darcy, but I couldn’t possibly be happy otherwise.

Over the past 3 years going to a large Catholic High School my standards have not altered, but my chances of having a boyfriend while still in High School are very low. Before looking for things such as respect, a sense of humor, or faith, I now find myself looking for things like clean (in terms of both drugs and hygiene), maturity (even a little bit is so refreshing),and true confidence. This is what I mean by true confidence: I want a guy who is confident enough with himself that he doesn’t have to “show off” by speaking of girls and alcohol and drugs with a swagger and the assurance that in my mind, yes, he is truly an idiot; someone with enough confidence to maybe study a little and care about his grades, but please, not a nerd. I want to meet someone who goes to mass every Sunday and takes God seriously, but not a high-wasted pants, combed haired, awkward conversationalists homeschooler.

I fully realize I am making a lot of stereotypes, but when it comes down to it I am not afraid to admit that I think of society in terms of stereotypes just like any other person (enough denying that you don’t, we all do in the end). So I am ready to wait for my knight-in-shining armor, my Mr. Darcy, my Gilbert Blythe, my Jim Halpert, my Noah (think “The Notebook” not the Bible). For the most part I trust that God will take care of my love-story when I am ready for it in the future. But right now I have to live with being 17 and a complete dating virgin, and no matter how content I am with my being single I cannot help but recoil when someone asks me if I “have a boyfriend”.

“No, not right now” is my normal response with a smile. I want to go hide in a closet for a while though if they ask:

“Have you ever had a boyfriend?”

“Um…no” I will respond softly, bitterly ashamed, and very tempted to just lie and make up some awful boyfriend who I dumped and then kicked into the gutter. So here is the one and only reason I want a boyfriend right now-simply to be able to answer yes to that question. No matter what I tell myself deep down inside that “no” translates into “guys don’t like you, you’re not good enough, there is something wrong with you”.

It isn’t as if I have major self-confidence issues, or as if I am the only one of my friends who has not had a boyfriend. Some of the prettiest, coolest, most awesome girls I know have the same status, and the same reasons as I do. It isn’t fair that I should be burning with humiliation over the fact that I have never had a boyfriend, but the fact remains that it is branded as something to be ashamed of in high school and in our society.

I can live with it right now though, as long as I end up with a heart wrenching love story in the end. Everything is as God intended it, as it always is. He knows, and very deep down inside I know, that I am not ready for that relationship yet, and neither is my Mr. Darcy. All I have to do is wait and “prepare” myself for it, which is not awfully difficult on the whole. That is, until someone asks me if I “am dating anyone” and then it becomes slightly more difficult. But in the end it will have been worth it, because my Mr. Darcy isn’t going to want a secondhand heart, he doesn’t deserve a secondhand heart. In the end I am secretly hoping that my Mr. Darcy isn’t dating anyone too seriously either, or if he is, it only puts him more directly on the path that will ultimately lead to me. Both of us are walking on our separate paths that will someday converge into one, and although it is impossible to see the place in which they will join from where we stand now, I think of that time constantly, trying to have patience while I wait for God to bring him into my life. And trying to be confident and truly content with the fact that yes, I am 17 years old and without a boyfriend. What’s so awful about that?





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