I hope it won't be seen as obnoxious if I try to explain some things I've been feeling to what seems to be a more sexually educated audience.
I'm a late bloomer, and pretty socially awkward - I'm almost 17 and I've just become interested in sexual matters in the past year. I've had one very juvenile and short-lived "relationship," if you could even call it that, with a boy six months older than me. But because many people my age see "relationships" in a different way than I do, a couple close friends who I confessed my affections for turned me down and have since dated hotter, more conventional girls.
As a result, I've become very cynical. I publicly denounce romantic concepts like Valentine's Day and formal school dances - though I've never really been a romantic person anyway - and I try very hard to convince myself that I don't care that I seem to be perennially single.
Of course, though, it's absolutely not true. I'm increasingly frustrated, particularly because many of my friends are dating people and I'm often the odd one out. I don't even get asked to dances "as friends," and I've long since given up asking. Every time I see a couple holding hands at school, I want to scream or flip them off. It's made it very hard to be happy for and supportive of my friends who are in romantic relationships - even when I do like both members of the partnership.
My mother says I'm screwing myself over by doing things like saying how ridiculous it all is - and in a way I think she must be right, but in a way I don't go for all that traditional stuff anyway. I'm just very confused. I don't feel comfortable doing anything that would call attention to myself sexually - even dancing in a way that moves my hips is awkward for me - but do I just have to wait and resign myself to never dating anyone save a juvenile and sexist idiot? And how can I improve the way in which I behave towards my friends and other couples? I need to stop feeling depressed and move on with my life, but I'm just too utterly frustrated.
Apologies for the lengthy rant.
Posts: 29 | From: UK | Registered: Jul 2006
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Being single (when you'd rather be otherwise) can be really tough at times.
I don't think that disliking Valentine's Day and such is a big deal (many people don't like that stuff after all), but be aware that having an openly negative attitude towards romance CAN perhaps turn away potential partners if they get the vibe that you're not really wanting any romance yourself.
You don't have to do anything you're uncomfortable with (including dancing- heck, I can't dance to save my life and avoid it like the plague ). You also don't have to resign yourself to sitting and passively waiting, either- the next time you're interested in a person, why not pursue them?
As for dealing with your friends, try to keep in mind that they probably don't want to cause you any pain by dating people. Do you tend to compare your situation to your friends' often? If you do, it can really help to try and shut off those thought processes as soon as they crop up. If you compare your situation to that of your friends' all the time, all it'll do is make things rougher on you and on them. Try to treat them and think of them not as couples, but as individuals, and that can help too.
It's a frustrating position to be in, but it's not totally hopeless
As a side note, do you do things with your friends where they AREN'T with their partners? It can really help repair friendships to spend some one-on-one time with each other.
[Edit- while re-reading your post, it occurred to me that you also ought to know that it's totally normal to be 17 and relatively inexperienced with dating and sexual relationships. It may not feel that way to you, but trust me, there are so many others out there who are in the exact same position as you are- they just tend to be less vocal!]
quote:Originally posted by echomikeromeo: I publicly denounce romantic concepts like Valentine's Day and formal school dances - though I've never really been a romantic person anyway - and I try very hard to convince myself that I don't care that I seem to be perennially single.
quote:I don't even get asked to dances "as friends," and I've long since given up asking.
Just to add on to what leabug said, echomikeromeo, I wanted to specifically address these lines. I think you can answer your own question (not getting asked to dances anymore) by reviewing your first statement. I was never a fan of school dances myself and I find many aspects of Valentine's Day cheesy and commercial. However, I'm not going to rant about this to people (learned the hard way) who ARE into them, because I'm subconsciously telling them not "I don't like dances," but "You're stupid and cliche for liking this crap!" They probably aren't asking bc they're afraid you'd turn them down or make fun of them for going-- I bet they'd love to have you come along as a friend. Why not try going to a dance just for once and seeing?
I had never gone to school dances and was planning a big (very public) anti-prom alternative of hitting up some coffeeshops with friends who graduated the year before and were back for a visit. Two days before prom I decided "what the heck! It's just a couple bucks!" and went with a group of friends, a mix of couples and singles. (My "date" was a girl friend, an exchange student who needed me as a senior to buy her ticket. The parent selling tickets kept thinking I was trying to cover up that she was my gf by calling her "my friend" and kept saying "your date..." A nice attempt to be openminded and accepting but maybe trying a little too hard. OK, sorry for that trip down memory lane on my part. )
So, I went with people (some of the couples had drama that I was frankly very glad to avoid being single!) and actually had a really good time. The actual dance was so-so, but preparing as a group beforehand and having a sleepover afterwards was what made it a memorable experience. The next time a dance comes and you might want to go, talk to your friends about it and go along if you want.
As for Valentine's Day, I see it as a celebration of friendship and love making big glittery homemade Valentines for my friends and family. Why not intrepret it the way you want (or completely ignore it.) Doing something nice for friends (and I'm sure not ALL are paired up) not only keeps your mind off the cheese but makes them feel special, too. (You're certainly not the only one feeling left out on Feb. 14th!)
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