Lauren Wilner

Many people become embarrassed when they are not progressing through the dating stages as quickly as their peers. It causes them frustration or sadness and they may even begin to blame themselves for their lack of experiences. Even if you have not had a relationship, date or your first kiss yet, there are reasons why this doesn’t have to be viewed as a negative thing. There are plenty of reasons why this should not lead to shame and a feeling like there is something wrong with you.

Starting to date later than others has advantages. There was a study that looked at adolescent romantic relationships to see if there were any indicators on how they would psychologically affect those adolescents in the future. This study showed that dating too soon can lead to low self esteem especially if having romantic experiences becomes important to your identity and self-worth. People may think that they need a man’s or woman’s attention to feel good about themselves if they become comfortable with it at a younger age. People who don’t have those experiences will maybe prioritize different sources of boosts to their self esteem, like how they treat people, their talents and how well they do in school. They will work harder in those areas of their lives instead of constantly having finding a partner on their mind.

It is important to learn to love yourself first before you look for another person to love you. Time spent by yourself will give you the time to find yourself and discover who you are. If you are more sure of yourself you will make smarter choices in who you choose to be with. You will most likely not choose someone who is bad for you because you know that you deserve to be treated right. Most people who have not been on a date or had their first kiss are that way because they don’t just take dates or hookups with any guy or girl that comes their way. The longer you stay single, the more time you have to figure out what you want in a partner. They learn what they want and are looking for and do not settle for something that is a lot less than that.

Things happen when they are supposed to happen. Just because things in your romantic life are not happening as soon as other people your age is not a negative thing. Just like other things in life, everything happens at different times for people like when they get their first car, job or internship, and it does not mean there is something wrong with you, or that it will never happen. Things also can happen when you least expect it. If you find it frustrating trying to find someone, sometimes it is best to wait.

There is no established, universal time when to start dating or get into your first relationship. There are no rules to follow or a checklist you need to have in your mind for the steps you should be taking. Even if you think there is or people have told you that, it is not true. Life is not that simple, and it is too complicated to plan life that specifically. Things like this are way out of anybody’s control and all you can do is care about stuff that is in your control and not blame yourself about the rest.

Lauren Wilner is a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law.

Views expressed in the opinions pages represent the opinions of the columnists. The only piece which represents the views of the Pipe Dream Editorial Board is the Staff Editorial.