1. You feel like you’re falling behind. All of your friends have gone on dates and had their first kisses and lost their virginities. Some of them might even be engaged with houses and babies. Meanwhile, you’ve been sitting in your bedroom reading about romance in books and watching it in movies. You’ve never experienced a beautiful love story yourself — and after a while, you start to wonder whether you ever will. You wonder whether you’re destined to be alone forever.

2. You get jealous pretty easily. It’s hard not to get annoyed when you see someone with a mean, nasty, disrespectful personality dating someone special. It’s hard not to compare yourself when you see someone your own age settle down with a family. It’s hard not to feel like life is completely and totally unfair when people who aren’t even trying to look for love end up living out their happily ever afters, while you are still searching for someone to call your own.

3. You develop deep insecurities. When everyone around you is in a relationship and you’re still painfully single, you start to think there’s something wrong with you. You stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself why other people aren’t interested, why it seems like everyone around you has figured out how to navigate the dating world while you’re left on your own. You feel like there must be something you’re missing. There must be something you’re doing wrong.

4. You live vicariously through your friends. You love hearing about what your friends have gotten up to over the weekends because they always have fun stories to tell. Unfortunately, you don’t have any stories of your own to add. You simply have to enjoy their drama. You beg them to tell you every little detail about their dates and their sex life because it’s the most action you’re going to get.

5. You fall for unobtainable people. It stings a little less when you have a crush on someone you know you can never have. When a celebrity or a guy (or girl) who has never even spoken to you ends up dating someone else, it hurts, but you saw it coming. You knew there was no chance that the two of you would end up together. If you liked someone who could potentially like you back, on the other hand, it would be too stressful. You don’t want to be fed false false hope. You wouldn’t be able to take the rejection.

6. You have the chance to learn more about yourself. Even though you’ll spend years assuming it’s a bad thing that you’re such a late bloomer, eventually you’re going to realize that it was a blessing in disguise. Your single years are giving you the chance to figure out what you wanted from a relationship. Even more importantly, they are giving you the chance to learn how to survive on your own. You’re stronger now. You’re more capable. You can handle yourself. And that’s a beautiful thing. TC mark


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