Drew Barrymore plays a twenty-five-year-old who’s never been kissed in one of my favorite movies from the 90s. Okay, actually, all of my favorite movies are from the 90s. I’m a product of my generation.
Well, here I am, days away from turning 30, and I can still relate to this movie. And it’s not just because I can still pass for a student. (Yay Asian genes!)
I’ve never had a boyfriend. Yes, I just revealed that on the Internet for everyone to read. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed; it is what it is. Perhaps when I was a twenty-year-old peering into my hazy future, I’d thought that by now I’d have been in a relationship at least once. Maybe even married. But right now, I’m content with my reality. I have great friends; I love my job; and the color scheme I’ve devised in my newly furnished apartment is awesome. (Gray, yellow, and orange, if you were curious). I’ve got a lot going for me.
But sometimes being a nearly 30 single girl totally sucks. It’s impossible not to think about your singleness when you have four bridesmaids dresses collecting dust in your closet and all your summer social events involve bouquet tosses. It’s hard not to cringe a little when half of your Facebook newsfeed shows engaged couples taking a romp through lens flare-infested fields of grass, weekly updates of enlarging pregnant bellies, and videos of adorable giggling babies. Not to mention, I’m looking at these things while eating dinner alone…at my desk…in my bedroom.
Sometimes, God Can Be Funny
Just in the past year, he tried to show his sense of humor by bringing to my life a good amount of what I like to call “Boy Drama.” Hey God, this is me. Not laughing. But as I’ve navigated the murky waters of meeting new people, going on and/or turning down dates, and trying to stop crushing on the guy I just learned is dating someone else, I’ve discovered a lot more about myself and what I want in life and in relationships.
For one, I’ve learned that the ability to be myself should not be undervalued. When I was younger and had a crush on a boy, in effort to stay away from flirting, which I thought was totally lame, I would instead completely withdraw and never talk to him. Thus, I gained the reputation of being the silent, intimidating girl. How is that at all helpful? But as I’ve interacted with different people, I realize that there are some guys who bring out in me a much more social, talkative (and witty, if I say so myself) person. Though not many people see this side of me, it’s actually a better reflection of who I am. I now know that I need to be aware of when I'm being myself and when I’m not. If I’m not, it probably means that this potential relationship doesn’t really have much potential after all.
Enough with the Nonsense, already!
Also, being straightforward can be a wise decision. None of this ambiguous “Are we...? Is this...? Does he...?” nonsense. I’ve heard countless stories from girl friends who’ve developed friendships with guys, with all clues indicating it was more. But no words had ever been exchanged on the subject. Unfortunately, most of these situations left them feeling disappointed, confused, and maybe even a little bit bitter. I’ve totally been there, and it really sucks. (As a side note to the guys reading this: Dude, step it up already!)
As scary as it was, when I was bothered by the ambiguity and wondering what was going on in a recent situation, I just straight up asked him. So many times we hesitate because we think it’s going to ruin a good friendship, that we’ll scare him off, or that we’ll be rejected. Those are valid risks. It hurts when you ask and the answer is some form of a “no” (which is what happened in my case). But in the long run, it saves so much heartache to be direct and bring up the subject if it’s lingering in your mind. So take courage girls! Seriously, if I, Miss Avoid-Conflict-At-All-Costs, can do it, so can you.
I’ve realized that inviting Jesus to be enough for me is a constant, daily task. Being single in a culture that makes you feel like that means you’re “less than” is hard. Even on days when I’m totally sure that I’m supposed to be single right now, I need to keep reminding myself that my wholeness comes from Jesus. That’s never going to change, whether or not I’m ever in a relationship. But I do need to continue to speak that truth to myself; otherwise, it is way too easy for lies to seep in through Facebook photos, awkward flying bouquets, or a night of crying over a boy.
“Never Been Kissed” might describe me, but it’s not who I am. I am his, and in him I will always belong.
--- Laura Li serves as a graphic designer with twentyonehundred productions. She just turned 30 in September and is loving every moment of it so far.