Ever since I was little girl, I've really been caught up in the idea of meeting a Prince Charming, having a great love story, and getting that storybook happy ending. Growing up I always had crushes, but I never had a real relationship. I figured that I just needed to mature in order to find my perfect love. I recently turned 20, and my best friend mentioned how I had never been in a relationship. Now all of sudden I'm completely terrified that I'm never going to meet anyone really special. I'm terrified of ending up alone, but at the same time I don't want to rush into a relationship that won't be perfect.
I know that I'm pretty picky. I have a certain idea of how my boyfriend should look, and when I meet a guy and he doesn't look like that, I immediately decide that he's not the right one. I also get turned off if a guy is interested in me. I don't know what it is, but I guess I just feel like I should fall for him first. I realize I'm relying too much on this childhood fantasy, but I don't know how to fix that. What can I do?
— Head in the Clouds Cameron
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Dear Head in the Clouds Cameron,
It really sounds like you're struggling with the divide between the fantasy of perfect love that you built as a child and the reality of life and being an adult. While it does seem that you're closing yourself off from many wonderful people and possibilities, 20 is not old! There is plenty of time to date for a while, meet the right guy, and have a great life, so stop worrying about it and start focusing on breaking free from that constricting love story!
First of all, no one is perfect — in appearance or personality — but flaws are what make us who we are. Instead of worrying if a guy lives up to your ideal, try getting to know him for who he is. Don't even think about where it might go; just learn to enjoy the moment.
I think it's great that you don't want to rush into a relationship just for the sake of having a boyfriend, but at the same time, losing interest the second a guy has feelings for you isn't a good choice either. While you can't make yourself fall in love with someone, you can train yourself to be open to the possibility. Keep in mind that if a guy has a crush on you, that means he thinks you're special, and to me, that's the foundation for a great love story!