Loneliness- sadness because one has no company.
All my life, romantic relationships have surrounded me. From my parents who have been married for sixteen years, to my friends who have been in relationships since they were twelve years old, love has been all around me. I’ve always been told that, someday, I’ll get to experience the warm feeling of a significant other.
To be honest though, I’m starting to get impatient.
As a new freshman at my high school, I was excited about a fresh start and maybe a chance at affection. One weekend, I spent the night at my aunt’s house. I woke up early on the brown suede couch in the living room, the rhythmic sound of the rain outside subtly rousing me from sleep.
I reached over the arm of the sofa and searched blindly around the floor in a sleepy daze, for my phone. When I opened it, I was shocked to see an iMessage notification from a boy in my class. The text read: “U single?”. I paused for a second thinking, “of course I am, no one wants me.”
We ended up discussing why we were single, and what we both wanted in a relationship. Then, finally, the question of if I wanted to be his girlfriend not.
My heart instantly stopped.
I couldn’t breathe.
I was so excited someone actually wanted to date me!
Although I hadn’t talked to this boy before that day, I said “yes” and went on with my day. As the “relationship” progressed, we didn’t talk to each other. We would see each other in the halls, turn in the other direction, or begin small talk, then get interrupted by one of our mutual friends.
About two months in, I ended things, realizing that I was putting my time and energy into something that wasn’t serving me. Soon after, I received another text. It was a screenshot from my guy best friend of a boy’s group chat message explaining how it was a prank to date me. I trusted that my closest guy friend wouldn’t lie to me, but the idea of this being true killed me.
My heart stopped again, but this time not of excitement. I felt broken and worthless.
At my new school, all of my friends are in relationships. Although we’ve only been at school for three weeks, it seems as if everyone has found their person except for me. At first, I thought it was because of my skin color. Going to a PWI, I didn’t expect much on the relationship side, seeing as I’ve heard stories of other students that look like me not experiencing the romantic relationships I was yearning for.
However, when I arrived at school, I saw people that looked like me experiencing things that I deemed as impossible. They either were in four-year relationships or had fallen into the toxic hookup culture on campus.
Why didn’t I get the boys? Why did it seem like no one wanted me? Will I always be lonely?
My insecurities about the way I look started to get stronger and it came to the point where I felt everything was wrong with me. While all of this was going on in my head, I was having fun with my newly made friends. My friends reminded me of my worth and beauty and took my mind off of relationships by either having girl days in town or including me in nightly dorm sleepovers.
One night as I was sitting in my dorm crying and snacking on Takis, I went through all the memories I’ve made with my friends already. I realized that although I’m not in a relationship at the moment, I am not lonely.
As Chloe x Halle stated in their song “Lonely,”
“I know sometimes you feel alone
I know some nights you wait by your phone
I know you wish you had somebody to hold
It don’t have to be lonely being alone.”
I have a strong support system at home and the school. I have a safe space I can go to whenever I feel alone. I have learned to be grateful for this, seeing as some people I know don’t even have that.
Yes, I may be alone when all the couples are cuddling around me and I’m sitting on my phone. My time will come, and I will get a chance to feel the warmth of that significant other sooner or later. I have learned to be affectionately fulfilled through the love of my friends and family, regardless of if I am appreciated by a boy.
When in a situation like mine, I suggest two main things: 1. Don’t date someone just to say you’re dating and 2. Recognize you are not alone. I wanted a boyfriend so bad that the first guy who showed interest in me gained all of my energy. This mistake can lead to many unrecoverable situations of getting hurt and allowing others to walk over you. Also, remembering you aren’t alone can help you attract those who genuinely care about your wellbeing. It gives you a safe space to go to if you are ever in the predicament I found myself in.