So I'm 22, I've never had a relationship, or even been kissed. I'm quite religious, so all my friends in my inner circle are getting married and having relationships (which is great, I'm happy for them). I really want a relationship, i've wanted one for my whole teenage life! I feel incredibly lonely not having those experiences, and maybe like i'm unworthy of love? Which I know is probably not true, its just my anxiety playing up. So how can I stay strong during this period of my life? To grow content and patient in my singleness, and I guess have that reassurance that it's not me?
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I’m in the same boat as you. It seems that everyone I went to high school with is engaged, dating, getting married, and even having kids. It makes me feel like I’m behind in life, even though I’m only 22. You may be feeling the same way, and that’s okay. There’s no time limit on love and dating. It’s discouraging when you can’t find someone to date or have trouble making connections with people. I struggle with that a whole lot because of my anxiety. I want to be in love and a relationship. I’ve felt like I was unworthy of love and was embarrassed by my lack of experience in the dating world. However, you are not unworthy of love at all. Anyone would be lucky to have you as their significant other. It just takes time for some people to find someone, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t fall in love and have someone special.
It’s okay to feel lonely and to feel not content with your love life. There’s nothing wrong with that. It can be challenging to be satisfied and patient with being single when you want to be in a relationship. I don’t have any advice from personal experience to share, but I did find some articles that I think give great advice. Check them out below:
The best way to have the reassurance that you’re not the reason that your single is to build your self-esteem and not participate in negative self-talk. It’s easy to judge yourself and pick out little things that people won’t notice. If a person doesn’t love every part of you, good and bad, then they’re not the one for you. When you catch yourself thinking, “No one is going to love because I’m so and so”, or “No one is going to love me because of so and so,” say the exact opposite. You want to challenge those negative thoughts. Here are some guides to help you:
In addition to the resources above, I think it may help you reach out to helplines for support. Hotlines are excellent resources because they are free, confidential, and available 24/7. Here are my suggestions:
Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741741 to speak with a counselor.
7 Cups of Tea: Visit http://www.7cups.com or download their app (IOS or Google Play) to create an account. Once you have, you start talking with one of their listeners on a variety of topics.
Don’t forget you can reach out to your friends for support as well.
There is a lot of pressure for people to have their lives together by our mid-20s, but that is bogus. Remember that there is no limit on getting married and that it’s okay to be still figuring out our lives. You aren’t running out of time. Do things at your own pace, and I promise that you will find your significant other, whether it’s through a dating app or the old-fashioned way. You’ve got this. Take it one day at a time, and don’t stress too hard over the future.
Hi, Odette! We'll be answering you shortly.