I'm A 25-Year-Old Woman And I Have Never Been In Love

by Kristin Manna

I’m 25, and I have never fallen in love.

I want it, I crave it, but I’m also scared of it. I’m scared I’m going to get distracted or I'm going to lose myself when I fall in love. I have seen a little glimpse of myself in relationships, and I don’t like the person I become. I text the guy all day and spend too much time worrying if he really likes me or not.

I have dated people way longer than I should have because I was scared they were my only chance at love.

I changed things about myself so I could be more appealing, and I stripped away pieces of myself for the benefit of others.

In the past, I have wasted so much time investing in someone, hoping that feelings will develop. During this time, I was scared of getting my heart broken, but what I ended up doing was hurting myself even more.

My dad confessed something to me that changed my perspective on love. He has been engaged three times and has jumped from one serious relationship to the next, never leaving himself single for more than two weeks at a time.

While he was ending his second marriage, I told him it might be beneficial if he took some time to be alone and get to know himself. His response was, “I can’t be alone. I’m depressed when I’m alone.” It still breaks my heart when I think back to it.

We have all done it: dated someone we didn’t see a future with because it was more convenient than the alternative.

After that conversation with my dad, I decided I never wanted to settle for someone to keep me from being alone. I want to be happy on my own and able to make myself smile before I let someone else do it.

People fear being alone, but what I think they really fear is themselves.

Why does being alone carry such a negative connotation? Why is it when people find out you’re alone, they feel sorry for you?

Once I stopped looking for a relationship, a beautiful thing happened: I discovered who I was. I started focusing on the things that made me happy. I got to travel the world alone, on my terms and no one else's.

I got to pursue my comedy career and not have to worry about what time I'd be getting home to a significant other.

I think people stay in unhealthy relationships because they think breaking up is worse. Is breaking up so bad? Getting your heart broken is a wonderful thing; everyone should do it. What a beautiful journey of discovery it is.

Take time and discover who you are alone. I know what I’m looking for in a partner because I know who I am. What I have learned over the years is that I have fallen in love with a wonderful, strong person. I have fallen in love with myself, and I mean this is the most non-selfish way.

Or maybe I do mean this in a selfish way. Would that be so bad? I have gotten to love me.

I know now that when I am ready for a healthy relationship with someone, I'm confident in what I want and what I deserve.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It