If You’re a Late Bloomer to the Dating World: I Swear, Nothing is Wrong With You

Author: Nicole Chininis, The Dating Game

While other people were busy having their first boyfriend or girlfriend in middle school, I was not. I was busy fantasizing about my soon to be wedding with Justin Timberlake (bleached curls, *NSYNC days). In high school I still, shockingly, wasn’t getting much attention despite waxing my bushy Greek eyebrows taking my braces off, and getting contacts.

The summer before college I thought, THIS IS IT. I’ll finally feel normal, meet some guys, and not feel like the isolated one in the group who wasn’t getting any attention at all despite trying to get my best flirt on. College came and went. Still nothing.  

It didn’t help that people around me made me feel like I was a defect.

“But you’re so pretty, why don’t you just try a little harder.” …

“You’re not trying hard enough, put yourself out there more.” …

“You’re too independent, maybe it scares people off” …

“It will come in time, you just have to wait for the right person”… (this one always killed me because it usually came from the person who had boyfriend after boyfriend without blinking an eye).

This post is not to make you feel bad for me, but rather to make people realize that their story is not a unique one. It can feel like everyone, LITERALLY EVERYONE, around you is coupling off. Boy does it sting.

I used to think to myself: What is wrong with me? I’m normal I swear. I’m not asking to get married tomorrow, but a boyfriend would be nice. Actually, no, any look in my direction would suffice. I’m not trying to sound dramatic, but it’s what I felt. It can feel hurtful because there is no rhyme or reason to why things happen the way they do. You start digging yourself into a dark hole of “it will never happen to me,” because it truly feels like nothing ever will come.

It wasn’t until I was 24 or 25 that I started to feel like things were changing. But even when I started getting attention, nothing ever seemed to work out the way I wanted them to. The same questions of “What is wrong with me?” would pop into my head. It wasn’t for lack of trying, so I can’t really tell you why things happened the way they did.

I’m not here to tell you that I found a secret solution that made me start dating the amount of guys that Taylor Swift has (you go, girl!). What I did end up doing was trying not to care anymore and just be myself. If I had an opinion, I was going to say it. I started getting more into style and make-up because it made me feel confident for me. I went to grad school, I started learning how to dance salsa and I tried to do things that made me happy.

You can’t wait for others to make you happy, you have to do that yourself.

Dating is hard — whether you’re dating or you’re not. If you’re dating, you can have your heart broken again and again by people who aren’t ready for your greatness. If you aren’t dating, the heartbreak comes from the pain and anxiety of trying to figure out what’s wrong with you. Nothing, let me repeat, nothing is wrong with you.

Someone not interested in you? Their loss. Feel like you’re the only one? You’re not. You’re not looking for anyone, you’re looking for the one who deserves you. You are great. You are NORMAL. You are you — and anyone truly is lucky to have you.

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