I'm 33, and I have never had sex. This fact bothers me because I have always believed in sex before marriage. I'm an agnostic who adores Sex and the City episodes. I identify more with Carrie, Samantha, and Miranda than I ever related to Charlotte. I'm reasonably attractive. Oh, and I'm a dating blogger.
Honestly, I never thought I would remain a virgin this long.
So what the hell happened? I'm a rational romantic; that's what.
In high school, I wanted to have sex that followed and accompanied love. It sucked that I was surrounded by possessive freaks and the couldn't-care-less crowd. Then I sort of fell for a boy in my senior year. He was my biggest crush to date, and I was over the moon when he asked me out. He was my first kiss, my first makeout session at the movies . . . and the first guy who let me down. I have been disappointed after him, but not quite at this level.
One disappointment is nothing for a romantic, though. I remained optimistic. And I kept writing. I loved creating romantic comedy screenplays. Sure, I wanted to break into Hollywood someday. But I also cherished the escapism I created for myself and my readers, aka my friends. College didn't improve on high school when it came to the diversity among men. Good ones were either taken or not interested in me.
Then I went abroad for two semesters. That was it! I had enough time in a gorgeous foreign land with a lot of good-looking men. I could find someone I really liked, that I connected with. And a lot of my friends found that. Some went on to have long-distance relationships. I finally met someone. With one guy, I was pretty sure I was in love. Even if it wasn't love, it was a hell of a lot like it. Unfortunately, he didn't feel the same way. Too bad, because I had really wanted to have sex with him.
And then came my Before Sunrise guy. While we didn't fall in love, we definitely had a short-lived, fun romance that gave me some of my favorite memories. I had the time and opportunity. I was physically attracted to him enough. Emotionally, though, I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready to have my first time be a one-night stand. Or a two-week stand. At the time, I kept track of my and my friends' romantic lives, as well as any other funny thing through the site LiveJournal. I allowed access to my friends who wanted my take on the events and have a good laugh.
A while after I was back home, along came a "boyfriend" at my university. We dated for about two months, but the honeymoon period was so short, I couldn't believe it. So there went my fantasy again. I was not about to have sex with someone I couldn't stand.
Next! But "next" never came.
I didn't have a crush. Maybe I got too jaded. Maybe I didn't meet enough people. Then university was over, and I was a little over the romantic part of the fantasy. Yes, I wanted to have a good time, and yes, it would be great if feelings were involved. But basically, I just wanted to feel attracted enough. I kept coming across men who weren't my type. When I heard a guy at a coffee shop talk a girl's ears off about how men and women can't be just friends, I knew the world could use my brand of dating and relationship advice. I cover a range of dating topics on my blog, but my core message is simple: you don't need to settle, your friendships are just as important as your love stories, and you should put yourself out there (with some caution).
I celebrated my 33rd birthday this Winter. I still haven't had sex. And it baffles me that I haven't found someone to take to bed, being the extroverted person that I am. Then I remember: I still want to feel good the morning after.
Fingers crossed, this year will be different. In the meantime, I'm afraid to come out of the virginity closet. Because even though I give solid advice about how (not) to act in the dating world and beyond, what would my audience think if they knew? Or would they feel closer to me, knowing that at any part of your life, despite your best efforts, some areas of dating remain challenging still?
So despite everything, I remain optimistic. I've accomplished a lot in my life. I'm slowly building my writing career. And as much as my romantic adventures have been rare, thinking about most of it puts a smile on my face. It has been fun and worth remembering. And even when it wasn't, I learned quite a bit about myself and the world. What would I say to a reader if he or she had the same problem as me? Do what feels right to you! Because it is your life, and it has to be worth living . . . by your standards alone.