Dear reader friend,
I’d like to imagine that we are sitting at a coffee shop having this conversation, but since we are not, I wanted to write you this letter. I know seeing everyone around you engaged or married and starting families can be tough. You have probably felt that no one else knows how lonely your situation is. I’m writing this to tell you that is simply not true. I am right there with you.
I have also felt like I must be the only person in their late 20s that has never been in a relationship. For years I have held so much shame about this. It was all put on by my own doing, no one has verbally said that there was anything wrong with my relationship status, but I felt like it was.
My Singleness Story
I remember the first time I noticed feeling left out and upset about the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend. It was a Valentine’s Day when I was in middle school. I saw everyone carrying things like stuffed animals and chocolates, and I felt like I was missing out on something. Eventually realized that Valentine’s Day wasn’t a major deal anyway, but the loneliness of feeling like I’m the only person that isn’t in a relationship stuck with me.
I never had the experience of being in a relationship in high school, if I did I wouldn’t be writing this post. I started shifting my focus to college, surely I would find my soulmate there, right? That ended up not being the case. An underlying campus culture of getting your “ring by spring” didn’t help me feel any better about not even dating in college. Feelings of “missing my chance” and “I must be unlovable” lived rent free in my mind in my post-grad life. I would be lying if I said that these thoughts don’t pop up still, but more on that a little later.
After a few years of post grad life I did something I thought I would never do… I downloaded my first dating app. Even though I am in my twenties and have never been in a relationship, I’m a firm believer that there is someone out there for everyone. At this time in my life, right before the pandemic, I wasn’t really going out and meeting people. Because soulmates don’t just drop out of the sky, I knew that if I wanted to start dating I would have to be more proactive about meeting people.
I downloaded a dating app first just to check it out. Then the pandemic happened, so I really couldn’t go meet anyone. In the past few years of being on and off dating apps I haven’t had much luck connecting with anyone. I was talking to one person for a few weeks but that’s about it. Having gotten close to dating someone, I was now hoping more than ever to find the person I’m meant to be with. Even though that hasn’t happened yet, I feel okay with it. My perspective about being single in my late twenties has changed.
What Changed My Perspective
Something unexpected got me to realize that I am not the only person in their twenties that hasn’t been in a relationship. Having this realization helped me feel less alone and changed my perspective about my situation. I no longer felt shame, or other negative emotions, about my relationship status. That something was TikTok.
If you have a TikTok account, you know that the For You Page feed can get a little too personal sometimes. As weird as that can be, I was thankful that this video popped up. It was a girl explaining that she was in her mid-twenties and hasn’t had a boyfriend yet. When I brought up the comments on that video I saw so many other girls saying that they can relate. Suddenly I wasn’t alone in my lack of a relationship situation.
From there I started noticing more perspectives like that and resources about singleness being introduced to me. This all made me realize that not only am I not alone; it helped me realize that being single isn’t a bad thing. No matter how long you’ve been single, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. I know that is easier said than done, trust me I still struggle sometimes. For this reason, I wanted to end this post by sharing some steps you can take, and resources you can check out, during those tough times.
Where To Go From Here
I’m not going to tell you things like “your person is going to come along when you least expect it,” or “dating isn’t that great anyway.” Those phrases may be the go to for someone trying to encourage their single friend, but I know from experience that it doesn’t make you feel any better. Instead I wanted to tell you some of the things that have helped me feel more content with my relationship status.
First, as I mentioned before, explore a little on TikTok about being single in your twenties. After you watch a few of those videos more will start popping up on your for you page feed. Another thing that has helped me is spending more time with single friends. Not that I completely forget about my friends that are in relationships, but I save my relationship woes to talk about it with the friends that can relate more to it. You can find more tips about feeling content while single in this post.
I’ll leave you with one more suggestion. Utilize this time in your life to work on self-love. This isn’t going to replace that longing for wanting to be in a relationship. What it will do is help you focus more on what makes you happy. You’ll also have time to think about what you want, and deserve, in a partner. I hope that this journey will help you see how special and worthy of love that you are. I hope hearing my story has encouraged you and made you let go of any shame, comparison, or any other negative feelings that you have had about your relationship status. When in doubt, always remember that you are not alone.
I wish you all the best,