empowerment happiness

When The Pressures of Dating Stop You From Loving Yourself

Sunday, June 07, 2015 Rachael Stewart

We've all seen the romantic movies that make it seem like the thing that will solve all of our problems is being in a relationship; From Andie in "Pretty in Pink" to Lucy in "50 First Dates". The characters seem to be awakened by this new romantic experience and life seems like it's headed in the right direction. Of course, no romantic comedy would be complete without a few road bumps, but in the end, happiness and love always seem to win. I love romantic comedies, in fact, they are my favorite type of movie, but I feel that there is something missing in these movies that is very important to address. What happens to the people who haven't found that special someone?

We've become accustomed to people dating, getting married, having kids, and so on. We even have a set time limit on when certain things should happen even if we don't think we do. The first kiss happens typically somewhere between 13 and 18. You start dating when you're a teenager and get married sometime in your late twenties-early thirties. There's even a time limit on sex. People aren't used to waiting to have sex and it's even become strange or "sad" according to society's standards after a certain age. We've seen it in countless films where young teens feel they have to have sex soon in order to fit in like in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", "Easy A", "Sixteen Candles" and the list goes on and on and on. There's this rush that people are in to be in a relationship, to have kissed someone, to get married, to have sex. There's a lot of pressure on people to meet these standards and it can be really damaging to one's image of his or herself.

Speaking as a hopeless romantic and as someone who is lacking in romantic experience, the pressure to find "the one" is constant. When you see your friends in happy relationships, and you see friends getting engaged, or pictures on Facebook or Instagram about a "man crush Monday" or "woman crush Wednesday" all of the time,  it gets to you. It's hard when you feel like you're the only one that doesn't get attention, when you're the one who doesn't have a date on a Friday night, when you're the only one who isn't in a relationship. You start to question what you are doing wrong. You think you need to change something about yourself to attract that special someone. You even start to question your value as a person because someone else has failed to see it. Here's the thing, all of the ideas that are roaming around in your head that are full of doubt and self hatred are wrong. The pressures that society puts on you are wrong. The standards that have been set are wrong.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. There is nothing wrong with being a virgin. There is nothing wrong with not having kissed someone.  Just because you aren't doing what everyone else is doing doesn't make you weird, or unworthy, or unloved. The truth is, it makes you You! Your life is happening on its own time, at its own pace, with its own beautiful details. You are not your friends, you are not the actors on the movie screen, you are YOU! The movies you see are MOVIES! They are scripted and are meant to overemphasize the ooey gooey hugs and kisses romance. Yes it's romantic and beautiful and something we want, but I can guarantee you if you asked all of the girls in the world if their significant other wrote them every day for a year, most of them would say no. Romance and relationships don't happen like what we see in the movies, so don't feel bad if you don't have Justin Timberlake choreographing a flash mob in Times Square to win you back. 

There is no time limit or right way to romance. The people around you might be in relationships or they might be getting romantic attention. That's great for them, but they are not you. The only standard that you have to meet is that your partner treats you with respect. So, forget about what you've been told about romance and don't think you are unworthy of love. As cliche as it sounds, things happen when they are supposed to, and when they do, all of your doubts will seem completely irrelevant and foolish. This life is starring you. 

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