Whether we’re trying to pay attention in class, participating in our school’s sports day, or just listening to our principal give a boring speech, there’s one thing that’s always on our minds – wanting to be in a relationship.
For most students in secondary school or even college, it’s somehow a must to be in a relationship. I used to be in that group, thinking that that was what I needed to be happy, to the point where my constant failure to be with a girl made me hate myself.
But I’ve matured from that phase, and also learnt what it really means to be in a relationship, even by just sitting on the sidelines.
Teens, whether you’re still in Form 3 or in your final year of college, here’s why you should stop being so desperate to be in a relationship.
You’ll Live a Long Enough Life to Find the Right One
Ask yourself: Do you have a real reason for wanting a girlfriend/boyfriend at this time of your life (with exams to worry about)? And no, “it’ll make me happy” doesn’t count.
Yeah, I used to think that having a girlfriend would fulfil me – but let’s be honest, it wouldn’t have.
I ended up wasting my Form years chasing after girls and wallowing in self-loathing because I couldn’t get a girlfriend and ended up meeting a gold-digger who almost ruined me.
I got a part-time job to please that gold-digger, my grades dropped from Form 2 onwards because I was so depressed from not having a girlfriend, I bitched every day on Facebook about how unfair it was. I was a mess with no control over my life.
And having a girlfriend at that time wouldn’t have changed a damn thing – I would need to juggle more responsibilities, and I’d be stressed and anxious from the problems faced when being in a relationship.
Don’t make the same mistake I did – you don’t have a clear plate right now to fill it up with the responsibilities of a relationship. So unless you want to throw everything out of the window now to obtain 5 seconds of happiness, focus on what really matters first.
Don’t Try Loving Someone When You Can’t Even Love Yourself
An old cliche, yes, but a truthful one at that. So you say you have the potential to be a great boyfriend/girlfriend, right? Well, can you hold up a good enough conversation to keep that person interested in you?
What about interests and hobbies? And no, playing PUBG Mobile, being a meme enthusiast, and watching sitcoms is the bare minimum.
I’m not asking for activities like skydiving, or you to become an e-sports messiah, but are you genuinely invested in what you’re currently putting your free time into, or are you just doing things cause they’re what’s trending at the moment?
After realising how much I wasn’t boyfriend material, I set out to culture myself. I read articles from sites like Vox to keep myself up to date with all the happenings in the world, I taught myself how to cook my own meals, I started writing for In Real Life, I took myself out on dates to enlighten myself – I stopped living my daily life in repetition and realised what I actually liked and disliked.
I’m not trying to give you a reality check, but knowing who you are and what you love is loving yourself. It’s the same thing as loving someone else – you have to know their personality and get invested in their interests.
Even if you play video games, don’t just play them – appreciate it as an art and be insightful when it comes to games culture. If you’re going to spend your time watching Youtube videos, why not watch something more informative or educational? Heck, explore your own city a bit, maybe you’ll find some great spots for an actual date.
Give yourself some alone time before looking for a lover and discover what makes you happy first. If you know how to make yourself happy, you’ll have no trouble making someone else happy, too.
It’s Not the End of the World if You’re Single
“If you’re single then you’re no good,” I hate that mentality. Being single can be great; just refer to what I mentioned previously.
And getting rejected doesn’t mean you should be bitter or cynical. I made this mistake, thinking that there was nothing wrong with me and that those girls were hypocrites to reject me. That was my hubris (and probably a lot of guys’ hubris too) – that it’s their fault for not wanting me and that I was so unfairly treated by this world because of rejection even though I was nice.
Don’t get desperate or emotional because that just ruins your own way of thinking. People like a person who is in control of his/her own emotions, so if you get knocked down by someone rejecting you, just walk it off and start over.
After I made a confession to a girl in Form 3 that didn’t go well, I took a year off from chasing girls and went on a journey of self-discovery. My Form 4 was more peaceful – I stopped letting “the world is unfair to me” belief be my mantra, and I dropped the “I’m a nice guy so that makes me boyfriend material” facade mask my vulnerability and reluctance to change anything about myself.
So instead of trying desperately to find a girl in your formative years, focus on what’s most important; you. Find out if there is something wrong with you, and what could be improved.
And if you’ve ever been rejected multiple times and feel like you’re at rock bottom, don’t beat yourself up for it and continue living life positively and optimistically – fate will not will itself to make sure a girl will pop up to your front door one day and solve all of your problems or that prince charming will gallop on horseback to find you.
Understand What Being in a Relationship Actually Means
Love – It’s not just a word you can simply toss around. Nobody tells you the implications it bears and the responsibilities it comes with telling someone those famous three words.
Just like being in a relationship is more than just a status.
I recently broke up with a girl after being together for half a year and I’ll be honest, we rushed things. She initiated the intimacy and told me “I love you” just over a month into the relationship, and I regret not telling her that we should take things slow.
You have to understand that “love” carries a lot of weight, so you shouldn’t just throw it around into every relationship you get into before you even develop those feelings. If you’re going to say something, mean it.
Take control of a relationship and make sure those feelings develop out naturally and don’t rush into things too quickly otherwise, you’ll burn through all those emotions and end up breaking off.
Also, flaunting your relationship status isn’t a justified way of expressing love. Having a girlfriend or boyfriend isn’t about bragging to people that you have a hot chick with a tight ass or a rich guy treating you right, and neither does doing so prove you actually love or care about them.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post about them – I think it’s sweet if I had a girlfriend that posted a picture of us together with a caption expressing her love for me. But if that practice occurred every day and our relationship became more revolved around posting about each other, I would feel like she’s more interested in showing me off than actually being with me.
Being in a relationship means being involved in that person’s life – getting to know them, care for them, making time for them, learning and growing together, and building a world around each other.
If you’re at a point in life where it feels like you don’t fully understand what it means to be in a relationship or you still haven’t learnt how to love yourself yet, don’t get into a relationship just to break your own heart.
For more articles by Gregory, read Weird Online Dating Encounters, and How a Love Triangle Ruined Our Friendship but Brought Us Closer, Too.