“All of my friends have boyfriends and I don’t have one - is there something wrong with me?”
My very sweet teenage cousin asked her mother (my aunt) this, who then shared the story with my mother and I. My mother says, “She should ask Diem when she had her first boyfriend - she is 24 years old and has yet to have a boyfriend.” My heart broke as I heard this story because I had the answer for her - there is absolutely nothing wrong with her.
I am writing this for my cousin. I am writing this for those who have yet to find their significant other regardless of their age. I am writing this for those who are going at their own pace in life. I am writing this for those who look pass us or worse - judge us. Subconsciously, I am writing this for me. Again, I am 24 years old and I have yet to have my first boyfriend. In retrospect, this whole post sounds rather silly. So silly that I have taken weeks to write this very simple post because I feel silly (and a bit embarrassed for making this a big deal). However, with the amount of times I have been judged for being single, I want to let others know that you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. You are whole and enough.
As a first generation Asian-American millennial and only daughter of my household, my relationship with relationships has been interesting to say the least. My parents taught me to be independent, but I should never be alone in a social setting. My parents taught me to be successful on my own, but I should eventually find a successful man for stability. My parents taught me to further my education without distractions, but I should (for some reason?) already be in a healthy relationship now that I am out of college. I did not start dating until the end of college, and boy, was I bad at it (and maybe still am?). I actually had my first drink at 21 years old before I had my first (very sloppy) kiss. It was not glamorous. It was by a boy who ghosted on me before reaching out to me 3 years later (don’t worry - I had way too much self-love to reconnect). It was at a dive bar on a funny shaped couch. Since then, I have met a lot of fellas, but I have yet to connect and commit to one on a level that I believe I (and everybody) deserve. Out of the bunch, one boy said something on the lines of, “You are great. You are beautiful. We have a lot of similarities, but there is something is missing.”
“What is missing?” I asked myself, “Is there something wrong with me?” I was in the middle of studying for an exam when I received said text message. I was about to burst into tears of disappointment until I literally sucked them back in and continued studying. I never truly processed that moment, but I remember all of my self-love started to vanish right before my eyes. I questioned all of the hard work that I invested in myself. I slowly believed that something must be wrong with me. After all, I am the common denominator.
In this moment, I would like to say that nothing is wrong with me. I may not be perfect, but I am whole and enough. While your words hurt me long ago, I will not say the same for you now. Just like me, you are whole and enough. I told myself that I will never let anyone or anything question my self-worth. One day, I will meet someone who will love and respect me as I much as I love and respect myself, and vice versa. Until then, I will continue doing me - and that’s okay!