Sex + Love

Not About Love

Or: Why I don’t care where the “cool boys” are hanging out tonight (or any night).

Collage by Beth.

Collage by Beth.

Ever since I started writing for Rookie, I’ve had this fantasy that one day I’d write a piece about how it’s worth it to wait for love, using myself as an example. An excerpt from my imaginary essay:

So, in conclusion, if you ever doubt that it gets better, just look how I turned out! All those years of being chronically underwhelmed by the boys in my town and wondering if there was something fatally wrong with me because I just couldn’t relate to the romantic woes chronicled in Taylor Swift songs didn’t matter. It took me a while to find my really hot yet nonthreatening boyfriend with a heart of gold, but who cares, because hey look at this pic of us looking fun yet elegant while sharing a plate of nachos!

But it’s been two years since I started writing for Rookie, I am now 20 years old, and this mythical boyfriend has still yet to materialize. The lyrics of “We Are Never Getting Back Together” are still a huge mystery to me because I don’t know what it’s like to resent a boy I used to love because I’ve never been in love. My crushes have been brief and never developed into anything meaningful. I’ve never even kissed anyone, not even in a casual way. I still have yet to “bloom” (ew) and, honestly, I don’t even care.

Or, at least not very much. I’ll admit I’ve found myself browsing a Yahoo! Answers page entitled “20 and never been kissed. Am I a loser?” at 2 AM more than once. I don’t like telling people this, because I don’t want them to jump to conclusions. Late bloomers don’t really have the coolest reputation (even though believe or not we are EVERYWHERE—in your schools, your neighborhood parks, your local supermarket!). I’m afraid people will think I’m naïve or uptight or judgmental. Sometimes I get backhanded compliments, e.g., “Whoa, that’s so weird, you’re not even ugly!” Which I guess means I have a bad personality? Which I don’t really want to think about—like, what if I think I’m totally cool talking to some boy, but if I saw video footage of me interacting with him I’d realize I’m actually a huge monster.

So I do care a little, but only when I think about what other people might say about me. Most of the time, I think I’m really awesome. I don’t generally experience FOMO or envy people who have romantic or sexual partners. I used to think that there was a list of experiences you needed to check off before qualifying as a real person. The first thing on the list was kissing, and until I had done at least that I would be banned from Grown ’n’ Sexyville USA (population: cool people who have it all figured out). I’m not a prude (I hate that word—it makes me sound like an elderly person crowing about America’s wayward youth); I admire people who are totally confident about experiencing physical things just to find out what they’re like. Of course, I feel weird sometimes when people around me are talking about sex and I don’t want to call attention to my virginal ways, so I nervously tug at my collar and just kinda nod along, like, “Oh yeah, TOTALLY been there!” But when I finally kiss someone, I want to feel completely compelled and excited to do so, and that has just incidentally not happened yet.

Back in high school, when I’d moan about being “alone forever” (a very silly but very valid thing to feel at the age of 15), a lot of well-meaning adults, like my parents or teachers I was tight with, tried to reassure me by saying things like “Teenage boys have terrible taste!” and “Boys are going to love you in college, just wait!” and (my favorite) “Boys are just intimidated by your beauty!” All of these “helpful” remarks just made me mad—why should I have to make myself less powerful and/or wait around looking “pretty” until some dude with “terrible taste” finally notices me?

Sometimes love and sex do sound like some really rad TV show that everyone is live-tweeting about and I can’t watch because I don’t have cable. I’m psyched to find out what all the fuss is about one day, when I get the chance to watch it. Right now, though, I’m busy and happy with what I’m doing, so I don’t really want to put my life on pause just to accommodate the pursuit of meeting boys. I don’t want to invest hours to scrolling through dating websites or to start picking my activities based on what boys will be present where. I can’t count the number of times I’ll ask a friend to go somewhere with me and she’s like, “Will there be any cool boys there?” I don’t know! I don’t care! Can’t we just do what we want to do, and if “cool boys” happen to be present, that’s like a bonus item you get when you order something off an infomercial? Like, it’s delightful when it incidentally happens, but I’m not going to not order a Perfect Brownie pan for just $19.95 + $7.95 for postage and handling just because no one’s throwing in a free oven mitt.

I don’t hate the idea of love, I just hate everything you’re supposed to do to find it: all the weird guesswork and annoying logistics, the posturing and the texting and the watering down of your personality so as not to scare anyone off. I love my friends, and I get that some of this behavior is caused by nervousness, but I just don’t want that to happen to me. I like being happy and busy. Those also happen to be two qualities I find very attractive in other people. If and when I meet a happy, busy dude at school or at a concert or a party or wherever “cool boys” happen to be when they’re not hanging out in dating apps, and I feel compelled to kiss him and he wants to kiss me too, I’ll know I’ve found something special. But until then, I’m gonna keep working on being the most boss bitch I can be regardless of whether I’ve had a dude’s tongue in my mouth.

Occasionally my friends will be like, “Maybe your standards are too high?” To which I say so what—I don’t think my standards are high, they’re just the right standards for me. Making out with someone I’m not totally into sounds horrible to me! And anyway, it’s not like I don’t have love in my life—I have great, love-filled relationships with my friends and my family. Why are those relationships treated as somehow less important to the project of being a happy, fulfilled adult than romantic love?

Of course, the question “What if I DIE ALONE?” sometimes creeps into my brain. But then I just roll my eyes at myself, because, first of all, everyone dies alone, and second, why is that a bad thing? I find it freeing to consider that I’m the only person I’ll always have in this life. I’ve loved spending the past 20 years getting to know myself, doing whatever I like, beholden to no one. I don’t actually think I’ll never fall in love—in fact, I’m pretty psyched for that to happen at some point. But if I get to spend a bunch more time alone, I’ll consider it a gift. I’m a pretty dope person to hang out with. ♦


  • tiredyawnsforfawns April 28th, 2014 3:20 PM

    this is exactly what i needed to hear right now, so thank you. you’re a really dope person!

  • smells-like-teen--angst April 28th, 2014 3:27 PM

    Great article Gabby. I am going to be 18 in a month, and the ~farthest I’ve gone~ with a boy is SLOW DANCING. SO SEXY. I understand your pain and I too have many a Google searches along the lines of “is it awkward to date when you’re an adult if you never did in high school”. I keep telling myself that I will meet cool deep guys who support women’s rights and love pre-grunge bands as much as I do in college, but lately I have not been convinced this is going to happen…and I also don’t want to date anyone who doesn’t meet my standards!!!! I refuse to compromise just to make out with someone. So just remember you aren’t alone, at all. I even know a few SUPER CUTE BOYZ who haven’t had their first kisses either. It’s not just us.

  • kikikaylen April 28th, 2014 3:31 PM

    I relate to this so much. I’ve never had a serious boyfriend, and while I occasionally go out to parties just to have fun with guys regardless of the degree of actual interest I have in them, I’m still very okay with the idea of being alone and holding out for the PERFECT guy. I’m sure I could have gone on multiple dates this year if I wanted to, but I’d much rather those dates be with people that I’m head over heels attracted to and who are truly special to me.

    I completely agree with you on how ridiculous the whole logistical obsession with finding love is. I went to a concert with my friends a few weeks ago and they left the crowd saying “well, no hot guys are dancing with me, so what’s the point…” The point is that we’re at a concert, a once in a lifetime experience! I would LOVE to find love, but I’m not really in the interest of pursuing it over every other aspect of my life. I figure it’ll just happen one day when I least expect it and that’ll be even more romantic and dreamy and all that good stuff.

  • NF4awesome April 28th, 2014 3:34 PM

    Aw I’m so glad you wrote about this! I always get that backhanded compliment too: “Wait you’ve never dated? That’s crazy, it’s not like you’re ugly!”

    People always ask if I’m looking for someone and my response is always that I’m not /not/ looking for someone. If I stumble across the man of my dreams, that’s excellent. But I’m not gonna freak out about it in the mean time.

  • aaaannnnaaaaaaa April 28th, 2014 3:36 PM

    LOVE this.

    beth, your collage is so great! one of my favourites ever on rookie!

    also lol the tags to this article are too much

  • sidewalk-fins April 28th, 2014 3:44 PM

    Ihis is very relevant to me currently. I am also 20 and have only really “seriously” dated 2 people, and kissed 3. Additionally, I started using tinder a lot more recently, although I can’t bring myself to go beyond talking to them via the app!
    I have really high standards when it comes to people i form friendships with so it only makes sense that my standards for romantic relationships be a wee bit higher.
    Anyways, for the time being I’m content with being alone, although I can’t help but sometimes wish I had a significant other to share my interests with.

  • SiLK April 28th, 2014 3:46 PM

    My excuse that school is too busy totally does not justify the lack of Rookie-reading that has gone on in my life. As always, I come back and Tavi has totally been eavesdropping under my bed to the woes of my heart, and posts the answers here.

  • cervenka121 April 28th, 2014 3:47 PM

    Are you me? This is suspiciously me-sounding.

  • catharinerf April 28th, 2014 3:51 PM

    Thank you- I sometimes wonder if it’s weird that I’m not more bothered by not having had/pursued the idea of having a boyfriend but then my mind goes through a thought process similar to this except less coherent and I go back to making cat collages or whatever… no regrets

  • Elizabete April 28th, 2014 3:52 PM

    I am almost 18 and have never dated anyone, but for some reason I always used to be proud of that. Lately I’ve become more outgoing and have friends who are boys and I kind of like one of them, but I know I’m not totally in love with him and I can’t decide whether to wait for the “true love” or just have fun with this boy…

  • Alice123 April 28th, 2014 3:57 PM

    YES. THIS. I will probably kiss a million people in the future and have sex all my life. A few years without it won’t matter at all in the long run.

  • acciogeorgia April 28th, 2014 3:57 PM

    This article really makes me feel like I’m not alone – your words are so gorgeously inspiring and convey the same positive kind of vibes I’ve been trying to get into my head for the past 6 months. I’m going through something with a guy at the moment that’s really affected me but this post has made me look at the situation again and realise that all it needs is time. You have an enviably wise head on your shoulders.

  • jb April 28th, 2014 3:58 PM

    This is such an awesome post! I am 29 and spent the entirety of my 20s single until last year. Take advantage of being able to do whatever you want whenever you want. Travel the world, try new things, live in all kinds of awesome places. You will get to know yourself so well and when the right guy comes along you’ll be so much less confused about love and what you want in a relationship than those who never spent any time alone. Enjoy it!

  • vosnano69 April 28th, 2014 3:58 PM

    You are so happy and self-confident, Im in the same position as you but I feel…overwhelmed. I constantly have crushes on boys that I meet…Arsty kids, football player’s kind, I have had and have but… I dont attract them back. I never do. I’m not shy or anything I just…don’t know. It makes me so sad and I have currently spented my day sitting in my bed eating because I have nothing to do today and Its just a coincidende that yesterday, a boy that used to live in my town and i was very much in love with, came to visit my friend and kissed her. This made me especially sad because I have been feeling lonelier than ever but its just that I do not know how to handle it
    Anyways…I mean, I draw and write. Im very passionate about music and movies, I love to swim and skate.
    What I mean with this is that I do have a life apart from what I expect from any boy, but it makes me feel lonely and sad.
    Im very lucky to be able to know that someone is in the same position as me and faces it differently. Thank you very much for this post. x

  • MP013 April 28th, 2014 4:07 PM

    Gabby, you’re such a gem. thank you thank you thank you

  • thebrownette April 28th, 2014 4:10 PM

    I feel EXACTLY the same way, Gabby. I’m 18, and I’ve never been romantically involved with anyone, nor kissed anyone. It used to bother me, but I’ve grown a lot and have a stronger sense of self now. If someone thinks it’s weird that I’ve never kissed anyone, it’s on them.

    I used to want to kiss someone just to get it over with, but now? I don’t. I’m uninterested in anything romantic unless I’m genuinely interested in a relationship.

    Additionally, I don’t want a relationship where I don’t know for sure that I’m into my hypothetical significant other. Life is too short to expend energy on someone who wastes my time. My time is too precious.

    If someone comes along and really like them? Great. Maybe we’ll go out and maybe we’ll fall in love. That’s cool. That’s great.

    And if not? That’s okay too.

    Maybe tomorrow I’ll meet someone and spend the rest of my life hopelessly in love with them.

    Maybe in thirty years after I have an established career in activism and the literary world or whatever, I’ll realize that I’m in love with someone I’ve become good friends with.

    Or maybe I won’t. And that’s great, too.

  • enthusiastictruckdriver April 28th, 2014 4:13 PM

    I’m in the exact same situation! I go to a small school and I haven’t had a crush on anyone in ages. I guess I am okay with that. Honestly, relationships kind of freak me out. Sometimes I do get a bit worried because so many movies, TV shows, songs (DRUNK IN LUV), and books I enjoy and so many conversations I overhear at school revolve around love and sex, which makes me wonder if there’s anything wrong with me for not even knowing what those things are supposed to feel like.

    But I believe in love, and I believe that when/if it happens to me I won’t feel guilty or confused or worried that I don’t have any previous experience. Like, sometimes I creepily spy on old couples as they stroll through my city and take pictures of each other in front of historic churches, and it makes me realize what a natural and good thing love is, and then I stop worrying about not having it figured out yet.

  • Babyblue April 28th, 2014 4:45 PM

    I 100% needed to read this rn. THANK YOU

  • JaneLane April 28th, 2014 4:52 PM

    This was amazing!!!! I’m so psyched someone addressed this topic. I feel completely the same way. I’m 17 and I’ve never kissed a boy etc etc but I just don’t really care anymore! I don’t feel the need to anymore and I am content with my life right now so yeah!

  • amelia3 April 28th, 2014 4:54 PM

    I totally thought up until about a year ago that I would hold off on all the romantic/sexy stuff until college because it took a while for that to become a possibility. My parents pretty much only dated each other, so I assumed that that would happen to me, too. Instead I ended up kissing/other with boys that I didn’t really feel much chemistry with. Or rather, there was physical chemistry but not much else. In some ways I’m glad for the experience, but in other ways I wish I hadn’t just passively fallen into it like I did and waited to find someone I really, genuinely liked.

    Obviously I think any amount of sexual/romantic experience is totally fine at any age– I think it’s more important that you make the decisions that are right for you rather than to try fervently to meet arbitrary expectations that might go against your nature. Right now I’m trying to stay tuned in to what I really want, not what I think I should want.

  • fanatiquedecafee April 28th, 2014 5:03 PM

    I’m 16 and I feel like this!!! And deep inside my mind I think someday soon I’ll just wake up beautiful and confident and anything but the rather awkward person that I usually am and there’ll be a boy that comes out of the great blue sky and plant one on me. I’ve been trying to accept that it’s SO OKAY not to have experience and all that jazz but sometimes, especially overhearing conversations at school, I think I should AT LEAST be interacting with the male species (Social anxiety and going to an all-girls school really makes that difficult).

    I SHALL LIVE BY THIS: “But until then, I’m gonna keep working on being the most boss bitch I can be regardless of whether I’ve had a dude’s tongue in my mouth.”

    • Emma Mc May 1st, 2014 3:51 PM

      This is EXACTLY how I feel.. It’s somewhat comforting to know I’m not the only one feeling this way!

  • Lola April 28th, 2014 5:24 PM

    even us people who have had sex more than once learn from a ‘tude like yrs because you are glowing with the fact that a person can be everything they need all by themselves. it’s always been an inspiration to me, and i’ve been having sex for more than half my life (!). so proud to know you, gbaby.

  • Chloe22 April 28th, 2014 5:27 PM

    Thank you so much for this! I’m 16 and have yet to date, but I’m perfectly fine and have a great life and friends. Our society’s hyper focus on girls and women ”needing a man” is damaging to me; it makes us view men as only valuable in romantic sitches, and vice versa. It also makes platonic relationships with the opposite sex awkward and weird, when it totally shouldn’t be. Every relationship is a valuable one, romantic or not.

  • die_mad April 28th, 2014 5:28 PM

    bad ass

  • rhymeswithcat April 28th, 2014 5:38 PM

    I wholeheartedly agree with and relate to this. I’m convinced we’re the same person. I just turned 21 and have been more bummed than usual about being so inexperienced, but this helped me put things into perspective. Thanks for that!

  • Serenzipity April 28th, 2014 5:40 PM

    This resonates so much with me. I started having sex when I was 18 (NO interest before that) and have always felt that the physical was rather separate from the emotional for me. I had a boyfriend for a few months when I was 19/20, but was never in love with him. Since then, I haven’t really been on a proper ‘romantic’ date. I have crushes, but have never managed to get up the nerve to ask the person out properly, and I think my very independent ‘ice queen’ attitude can be somewhat off-putting, so I don’t really get asked out either. I do want to meet someone who is also interested in me. I do want to fall in love. There are so many emotions that I want to experience! And it feels incredibly surreal that one of my closest friends got married this weekend, before I have ever even been in love.

    But it’s actually very rarely that it bothers me. I have moved around a lot, sometimes leaving at very short notice, am getting myself a superb international education and having so many adventures that would be difficult to have if I had to consider other people than myself. I love being the boss of my own life, have amazing friends and live in a great city.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I never would have imagined at 18 that I would be perpetually single at 25, never even having been in love, and be completely fine regardless. Life is strange and unpredictable and wonderful and fun, and full of ups and downs (and well, it’s not THAT much fun to be the only single person over the age of 13 at a wedding with 80 guests…). But I’m sure that eventually, I’ll figure it out.

    • Maryse89 April 28th, 2014 8:56 PM

      Wait. Are you me??? I literally was reading through all of this, nodding my head ‘yup yup yup’ on every single point

      I am like the exact same in every way! Cept I’m not quite 25 yet, but I will be in two months! I’m pretty sure my sweet domestic little sis is going to get married before me and I’ll just forever be that spinster aunt but I’m going to try to be the COOLEST SPINSTER AUNT EVER

  • anna eve April 28th, 2014 5:49 PM

    This is exactly what I needed to hear right now, thanks for being awesome, Gabby :)

  • MayyMayy April 28th, 2014 6:44 PM

    Im gonna be honest and direct and just throw it out there, I lost my virginity a week ago and I am 21, yay! I made till 20s as a virgin! haha nothing to be proud about, but nothing to be ashamed of, I think we just have to do it when we are ready for it, I had a great time and felt good that I didn’t do anything stupid with some jerk when I was 15 o whatever, I feel more like a woman now, and I am discovering that part of myself, I am discovering sex and getting to know what I want and what I like, it’s exciting and weird, cause its intimidating, like what the hell am I supposed to do now? haha I have no idea sometimes, but its nice to have someone to share that with, and if anyone reads this and hasn’t had sex yet, don’t hurry it, it will come in the right time, and please just try to find the right person, if u want to do it with a friend and just experience it because you don’t think you will meet the love of your life until you are 25, well I mean its ok to experience sex without love but also give it time, decide an age like if at 22 I don’t find the one I love, I will do it with the one I want, cause you know, boys will never say no haha, but of course he has to be a mature, nice and trusting person. love u all rookie community!

  • meg4102 April 28th, 2014 7:02 PM

    i am going through a similar thing, and i thought it was a big deal that i haven’t been kissed yet, but after reading the last two paragraphs, i realized it isnt even a big deal!! why not spend my years doing what i love, and stop worrying about guys and what people think of me! thank you :D

  • interestingrosie April 28th, 2014 7:07 PM

    I get where you’re coming from totally, like I will kiss and dance and have a good time with guys in a club but ‘no i dont want to text them in the morning afterwards’ thanks friend. I dont want to deal with all the hassle of dating a guy who i dont really care about. I know it comes from a good place but i’m happy just to crush on cute boys, not get into that mess of dating

    my favourite quote from a book i havent read was ‘no one is a late bloomer we just think we are because of beverly hills 90210′

  • Tayhla April 28th, 2014 7:10 PM

    I’m in the same proverbial boat, Gabby! Thanks for all of this, it was really great and validating to have someone express in words how I am feeling. <3

  • Em Tay April 28th, 2014 7:22 PM

    just: Thank You.

  • beyoncetears April 28th, 2014 8:11 PM

    GABBY! You are the actual coolest chick in the game. Thank you for this article and thank you for being fabulous in all ways imaginable.

    I go to an all girls high school and I haven’t even interacted with a boy my age in about a year or two. Considering most of the teen boys I’ve met in my time are grade A jerk butts, I don’t think I’m missing out on much! This article is so life affirming and girl power assuring, I just want to strut around with a sign that says, “I’m the bee’s knees and I don’t need boy tongues to validate that!”

    Gabby, you are a super woman and forever my inspiration for being a boss bitch.

  • martinmorning April 28th, 2014 8:52 PM

    Thanks for this beautiful piece Gabby. I love what you said about posturing and watering down ones personality, which I have been guilty of a number of times.

  • daisy-chain-gang April 28th, 2014 9:03 PM

    Thank you SO. MUCH. OH MY GOODNESS.
    I won’t kiss a boy until I find one who’s mature, sweet, comforting and just…perfect, you know? And those are my guidelines for just KISSING. And you know, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

    Our culture is telling us that our first kiss needs to happen when we’re thirteen, that we need boyfriends when we’re in high school. We’re not single because we’re “prudes,” like you brought up. We’re single because we’re mature and we want a good partner instead of just picking one up off the street! Ugh. It’s frustrating. But thank you for writing this! These articles are why I love Rookie!

  • Viaperson April 28th, 2014 9:09 PM

    This piece is fab and the responses it’s getting are just as fab — it’s soooo comforting to be reminded that doing the nasty isn’t, like, a REQUIREMENT of being a dope ass bitch. I’m 20, a virgin and really quite inexperienced excepting a few make-outs and precisely two “naked with boy” encounters. And for some reason I allow myself to feel crappy about that — I always catch myself thinking, well, if I really AM awesome, why aren’t people I’m attracted to lining up to tell me they feel the same way?! So now is a very, very nice time to get the reminder that we are RAD humans with the capacity for EXTREMELY rich and beautiful lives, regardless of our romantic/sexual statuses!! Thanks for writing Gabby – really cheered me up :)

  • April 28th, 2014 9:15 PM

    This is exactly how I feel right now. I am 20 years old and I have had zero experience in the romance department. I’m so darn tired of feeling like a failure because I don’t have those warm, fuzzy experiences….it’s just like Gabby says: I’m too busy and happy to be worrying about dis shiz! Thank you thank you THANK YOU for writing this!

  • Faith April 28th, 2014 9:16 PM

    Yaas Gabby! I’m tired of hearing how guys are intimidated by me, like I have to lessen my “powerful presence” lolol. And I love, love where you said “But until then, I’m gonna keep working on being the most boss bitch I can be regardless of whether I’ve had a dude’s tongue in my mouth.” That was so well said, and this was just what I needed to hear right now!! Thank you! ^^

  • MeredithCWS April 28th, 2014 9:51 PM

    this is fantastic and exactly what i needed to hear right now, especially given how much i look up to Gabby and her writing! thank you so much – one of my favourite Rookie articles to date.

  • gabbygabi April 28th, 2014 9:54 PM

    I think we are the same person. I’m 20 and never been kissed. Also my name is Gabi but almost everyone besides close friends/family assumes my name is Gabby.

    I just wanted to add that if you do find someone who meets your standards, you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to them, or at least make eye contact! I feel like girls are always told that boys will come to them, but that’s not actually true- girls needs some game too, and by game I mean the ability to initiate a conversation.

    But if you’re too scared to talk, eye contact alone does wonders! For instance, last week I was staring at my hot professor, but the guy in front of me thought I was staring at him, and I saw a glimmer in his eye when he thought I was checking him out. He came up and talked to me after class (I don’t actually like this kid though, I’m still trying to shake him).

  • Gabriella Belle April 28th, 2014 9:59 PM

    “Why are those relationships treated as somehow less important to the project of being a happy, fulfilled adult than romantic love?” THIS THIS THIS A MILLION TIMES OVER! I value friendship so much and it hurts and confuses me that romantic relationships are seen as more important than friendships? like people think it’s totally cool to blow off regular friends to hang out with your speeeecial friend who you also kiss sometimes???? I call BS. platonic friendships are on a level playing field with romantic ones and I wish people would recognize that.

    On a general note this is a really helpful piece. You are a person I personally look up to and to have you “admit” (ugh not something to be ashamed of at all) to never kissing anyone and being okay with that is SO COOL and makes me feel a LOT better about how my life is going currently/will probably continue to go. Thanks a whole bunch. Really cool. Really rad. Rock on. Rock star. Etc.

  • Gabriella Belle April 28th, 2014 10:03 PM

    (also like on a confessional note as much as I tell myself I’m cool with waiting for love and not rushing it or feeling like I /need/ a relationship, I’m like super worried that I look too straight and that no girl will ever date or kiss me and I decided I want to go to an all womens college for a lot of reasons but a big one was hoping to find queer girls who will like me :/)

  • Anna F. April 28th, 2014 10:47 PM


  • Jes April 28th, 2014 10:50 PM

    when people freak out about dying alone i’m like what?? not sure how you could die together with another person. ain’t no one in your mind but you when you make that mystical journey. thanks for validating my thinking.

  • KEM April 28th, 2014 10:50 PM

    I loved this article! Believe it or not I am actually 22 and have not even been remotely close to even touching lips with someone I’m attracted to. I’m elated (not in a rude way) that you are going through some of the same situations as myself. Not going to lie, I am tired of my family and friends bombarding me with remarks about not having a boyfriend. “Your going to miss the train” (read in a mexican aunt accent), which, I could really not give less of shit. So far I have been content with being alone and like I always say “I can barely take care of myself how am I supposed to care for someone else”. I imagine LOVE is exhausting and right now I’m just not ready I guess, and I am completely fine with that.

  • lizgirl April 28th, 2014 10:56 PM

    I can totally identify with this. I’m 18 and I’m just finishing up my freshman year in college. It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I had kissed anyone and I’m still a virgin. I wish I could adopt your attitude about the whole thing because I too have spent hours online looking at similar Yahoo answers pages. I’m constantly worried that I won’t be able to find someone and that I’m too awkward around guys. Thanks for making me feel less weird.

  • AndreaGG April 28th, 2014 11:04 PM

    THANK YOU! This describes me perfectly!

  • oliviab April 28th, 2014 11:13 PM

    Thank you so much for writing this Gabby! This article is exactly what I needed to read right now and could not have come at a better time. For the past 3 years I have been the only girl in my circle of friends to have never been asked to a school dance. I never even tried to ‘grind’ with any of the boys there, let alone slow dance. Just last weekend I went to prom, alone as usual, and just danced with a friend who’s date left sick and watched everyone else gyrate on their guys and eventually start hooking up. I felt so worthless for some reason, and I am not the kind of girl who measures her self worth by how many guys she’s been with. Luckily, this article has pulled me out of my week long funk and snapped me back into my normal mindset of just trying to stay in touch with myself.

  • rhymeswithorange April 28th, 2014 11:19 PM

    Thanks Gabby, totally agree!! I went to a small high school, and after accepting I was okay without romance stuff in high school I always thought, “Of course, stuff will happen in college.” Well I am almost done with my first year of college and nothing has so far. And that’s okay. As you said, we are more than the sum of our romantic entanglements. I have really great friends and family and am into cool shit, and that’s all that matters. I AM STILL A PERSON

  • mebeyasmin April 28th, 2014 11:53 PM

    I feel like I wrote this!

    I’m 20 and until some months ago, I had never kissed anyone.

    I’ve always been like you, the busy and independent girl. I’ve kept saying to myself that nothing happened because kissing boys was not my priority. If a guy likes me, and I like him back, then things should probably happen naturally, and I’d be kissed! Of course, social pressure sucks big time!


    Recently, after going into an exchange program to the US, I decided that I’d be more open to those things college students do: going to parties.
    I’ve always wondered what was so good about parties. I don’t like alcohol and electronic music. But well, no one knows me here, so I should try some new stuff.

    The first party I went was in the US, and a guy showed up, and he was cute in every way. I didn’t kissed this guy because I just didn’t know how to deal with the texting game…

    But I couldn’t help but to be excited with the possibility to finally experience that kind of flirting thing.

    Some months later, I met another guy in a party and kissed him there. We met 3 times after. My first kiss was with a stranger in a party. How sad? According to my ideal me, that was sad! But I was feeling great about myself! Kissing and flirting is a sexual thing.

    I wonder if parties are the only way to meet guys. But sometimes things won’t happen if you don’t give them a help.

    We’re all, especially in our ages, expecting love (sex?), even if we’re not waiting for it.
    I keep doing my own things, but I know a different side of myself now.

    Just don’t waste your time stuck in your ideal you.

  • RatioRae April 29th, 2014 2:21 AM

    I may be too young to say this, but this is the story of my life.

  • atticus April 29th, 2014 2:34 AM

    “Sometimes love and sex do sound like some really rad TV show that everyone is live-tweeting about and I can’t watch because I don’t have cable.”

    You get me.

  • whateveryazmine April 29th, 2014 2:46 AM

    I think this may be one of my favourite Rookie articles ever, helped of course by the discussion we’re all having in the comments! We’re all fabulous and don’t need no man *high fives*

  • Flavia April 29th, 2014 3:22 AM


  • chelcsmiles April 29th, 2014 3:33 AM

    I can’t even tell you how much I’ve needed this right now. I’ve been so upset & discouraged these past couple of days.
    Thank you so much Gabby for sharing this part of yourself. Now I don’t feel so alone

  • asitgetslouder April 29th, 2014 4:14 AM

    I’m 18 (nearly 19) and I’ve never kissed or dated anyone either. When I was 15/16 this seemed to bother me a lot and really messed up my self confidence by making me think I wasn’t worthy/pretty/skinny enough for the guys in my town but really that’s complete bullshit.

    Honestly I’m happy that I haven’t been in a relationship with anyone because its let me become my own woman who validates herself on her own achievements and doesn’t rely on others for validation, I’m not saying that relationships are negative but for myself they would of been if I had been with someone before I realised how fucking amazing I am

  • LouderBlues April 29th, 2014 4:23 AM

    I used to be like this and I had started to think that maybe love just wasn’t for me but a month ago I met this guy and I really like him. That had NEVER happened to me until now, at most I kind of liked some guy but forgot about him in weeks, and I feel quite confused, like this isn’t my natural state. I think I’m even expecting to stop liking him soon because that’s how it has always been…Has anyone ever experienced something similar? I don’t want to sabotage myself…

  • giov April 29th, 2014 6:44 AM

    ahahah omg I feel you girl. I spent my teens feeling like that, and I’ve totally done the thing where you get boyfriends just because you’re SUPPOSED TO. and also because i wanted to know what the fuss was all about. not gonna lie, I had some good times, but also awful times.

    which brings me here, at almost 25, back in the never been kissed zone. only that i have been kissed, but the last few years have been HARD. they’ve also been GREAT in other ways, just not the kissing ways.

    i wish people talked more about the fact that having an active sex and love life it’s not something that just begins and that’s it, your set for life. life is cyclical, y’all.

  • Leah April 29th, 2014 10:20 AM

    So lovely to read this entry. I’m 22 now but I waited till I was your age to start kissing and experimenting. I did that for a year, enjoyed it thoroughly, felt a bit lost and then decided it was time to get back to my roots. My moral agenda came back the next day and I’ve never been more content, confident and comfortable with myself. Which I think is a wonderful achievement and trait to acquire before getting into a serious relationship.
    You go gabby!

  • Emmie April 29th, 2014 1:17 PM

    I met my person at 19 and we were each other’s first kiss! We are super close and sex/romance with him didn’t make me feel like I’d ~*become a women*~… it just feels like me! It’s all a natural progression and it happens when it happens and it’s surprising after when you realize you’re still the same person and if only you knew how unimportant it is in the grand scheme of things… you would have saved those sleepless nights searching yahoo for answers :) But I guess that’s sort of natural too.

  • wishfulwanderer April 29th, 2014 5:52 PM


    • wishfulwanderer April 29th, 2014 5:56 PM

      to elaborate: an enthusiastic YES to the title’s Fiona Apple reference, the comments and mind-blowing support everyone in the Rookie community has for one another, and just everything in this article. Thanks, Gabby, seems a lot of us really needed this.

  • ballondusoleil April 29th, 2014 11:04 PM

    This is a great piece! Thanks for reminding me of my teen angst over dating. I was completely weirded out by the idea of dating but I also felt left out. In my senior year of high school, I decided that I wasn’t going to give a crap about dating when I went to university and would focus on getting a good education. So of course this is where I met the first person I’d go out with – and we’re still together 19 years later! It’s worth taking the time to find out who you are so you know what kind of people you want in your life.

  • Nadifa April 29th, 2014 11:59 PM

    Thank you for this!

  • camila April 30th, 2014 2:35 AM

    This is so relatable. I’ll turn 20 this year and I feel just like you regarding romantic relationships. I’ve never had a major crush on anyone, I have never been kissed, I’m not a prude and my standards are not too high. So whatever, fuck expectations. I don’t care, I fucking love myself. If things do happen that would be cool but if they don’t that would be cool too, I just feel like there so much more about life than the occidental idea of “love”.

  • tortu12 April 30th, 2014 3:16 AM

    I agree with everything you say here, except for that doesn’t change what’s going on with my hormones… It feels like my body is just like, “SEX. I want SEX.” But alas, my brain wins in the end and I’m willing to wait for the right guy at the right time; meanwhile, I’ll just have to fantasize in agony about what kissing might feel like.

  • charianna April 30th, 2014 3:33 AM

    This just made me feel a little less alone. I got to that place of loving my aloneness and not caring if I ever ended up with someone, and then it happened. I hated everyone who ever told me that I’d meet someone when I stopped trying, but honestly, I think when you’re good with yourself you’re ready to be with someone else. So yeah, thanks for this. It’s cool to hear the other side of the story. The ones who thought they’d be Forever Virgins haha!

  • julietjohanna April 30th, 2014 1:38 PM

    Thank you so much for this article, Gabby! Really needed to hear this!

  • insanejane April 30th, 2014 2:35 PM

    thank you so much for this gabby !
    i feel less alone especially when I rethink at the times when my sister or my mum were asking me if I had a boyfriend and what was his name…etcetera. “No, no boyfriend and I’m fine, seriously !”. They think I have a important hidden life that I just want to keep for myself because I don’t feel like talking but no ladies, wake up, I do tell you what is important and I live NO secret life. My friends are not an alibi to go to the cinema with my boyfriend, I DO go with them !!
    If I’m feeling sometimes in need of any affection or sexual relations because, girls, HORMONES, I want to have seeex, I just hope and believe in love and I believe in a future person capable of sharing things (common and extraordinary things) with me. Meanwhile, I’m just happy with myself, my family, my friends. And I’ll live exciting things, with or without love at my side.

    thank u gabby <3

    p.s.: my brother thinks I'm stupid (or bored) because I read more the comments section than the article on ROOKIE but guys, this mag publishes comments which are so smart and resonnates with me so often ! the comments section is as rich and interesting as the work published in first place ! so thank u rookies for being so smart as well !

  • emeraldruby April 30th, 2014 8:40 PM

    I applaud you and your awesomeness. I’m seventeen, close to eighteen, and like to sing along to Taylor Swift with so much emotion even though (or probably because) I cannot identify with any of her boyfriend/break-up/I-love-you songs. I have been known to read yahoo answers about the average age for a first kiss and felt like a failure of teenager when I went through high school entirely without a boyfriend. I even suck at crushing on people. I’m over it.

  • soretudaaa May 1st, 2014 11:32 AM

    Can I just say that I even teared up a little because I am so sick of thinking there’s something wrong with me as I’m 20 years old and relate to absolutely every word you wrote there, and now I know that there are a lot of people who feel the exact same way (I always assumed there was, but never knew for sure, BUT NOW I DO!!)?

  • eva-stark May 1st, 2014 4:13 PM

    im going to bookmark this so i can go back and read it again and again. i want all of this on my walls and printed on shirts.

    seriously. this is me!!!!! I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told that boys are intimidated by me, that when im in college i’ll have tons of them wanting to date me, etc.

    And I think the worst thing someone told me was that I should ”show some skin”. Never ever they told me that its actually ok to not have a bf. It’s ok! It’ll be nice when I have one but until then thinking about why they don’t like me doesn’t do anything but upset me.

    Thank you so much for sharing. Really. I appreciate it a lot.

  • Brianna May 1st, 2014 10:15 PM

    This article was so good, and it really hit home with me (what a weird expression). My situation isn’t exactly the same due to a short-lived high school relationship where many kisses were exchanged, but for the three years since I have kissed ZERO people, but also been interested in ZERO people. So it works out.
    Sometimes I feel like my friends think that something is wrong with me because I have no crushes to gush over, or stories of sexual exploration to share, but to be honest, I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything.
    Why would I kiss someone I have no interest in? Just to say that I am in a kissing relationship?
    But really, I am thankful for this article. Because although through these three years I have been content being single and not interested, I also held a fear of yes, “being alone forever”, but also that I was alone in my disinterest and my enjoyment of being perpetually single.
    Thanks for making me feel less alone Gabby :)

  • Ginny Mannox May 2nd, 2014 7:39 AM

    this is so good! Thank you!<3

  • lauraunicorns May 2nd, 2014 10:39 PM

    Thank you so so much for this! I go to a school that’s like 70% girls and a huge LGBT population – awesome people to hang out with, awesome diversity, but not much for straight girls in the way of dating. It’s easy to get sucked into that stressed-out mindset of OMG WHY DOES NO ONE LOVE ME WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME I WILL DIE ALONE WITH 17 CATS but actually learning to have really fulfilling friendships is super awesome! Ain’t no shame in the virgin game.

  • elektraheart May 4th, 2014 6:07 PM

    One of the BEST articles on Rookie ever. Wow. Thank you! I love this part: “I find it freeing to consider that I’m the only person I’ll always have in this life.”
    Like there’s no guarantee that you’ll always have your family members or your significant other, but you’ll always have YOU. We spend the most time with ourselves and that’s why it’s important to love yourself. I love being me, I love everything about me.

  • wallflower152 May 7th, 2014 9:25 PM

    Your confidence is amazing! So much respect! I’ve dated/made out with dudes I didn’t totally like just cuz I felt like that’s what I should be doing. In retrospect the dating dudes I didn’t like thing was a TOTAL waste of time. I seriously want to punch former versions of myself in hope of knocking sense into them. Keep doin what you do! Same goes for anyone else out there reading this.

  • takethreestepsback May 8th, 2014 11:09 PM

    This was a fantastic article, so articulate and well written, Gabby! I’ve felt so similarly over the years and I’ve also really enjoyed my journey of self love and self discovery throughout my life :)

  • juyler May 14th, 2014 8:16 AM

    “Sometimes love and sex do sound like some really rad TV show that everyone is live-tweeting about and I can’t watch because I don’t have cable.” — YOU SAID IT.

    Before reading this article I was like “OH GOD I’M GUNNA DIE ALONE NO ONE’S EVER GOING TO LOVE ME OR ELSE IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED BY NOW EUGH WHY AM I SUCH A CRAP TEENAGER” but after reading it I’m like “you know what??? that’s hella okay because a relationship shouldn’t change how people see me and how I feel about myself.”

    Dying alone does sound kinda reassuring now, I’m actually sort of excited to spend more time with myself in the future.

    Thank you Gabby ((and like everyone in the comments god bless)) for making me realise I’m not the only teen w these issuez.

  • randomsynths May 20th, 2014 3:31 AM

    I couldn’t agree more with this “I don’t hate the idea of love, I just hate everything you’re supposed to do to find it: all the weird guesswork and annoying logistics, the posturing and the texting and the watering down of your personality so as not to scare anyone off”. Im on my 22nd year and I never ever had a boyfriend since birth. When I was younger I thought maybe guys are so intimidated with me or Im not that attractive so no one dates me but then as I grow older I appreciate the relationships that I have like my friends and family.

    I can also relate to this “Occasionally my friends will be like, “Maybe your standards are too high?” To which I say so what—I don’t think my standards are high, they’re just the right standards for me.”

    I love being alone now and exploring things. This article is so well written! I love every bit of it!
    Love you Gabby! xoxo

  • TinaBallerina June 9th, 2014 6:05 AM

    This article is so great, I just keep coming back to read it again and again. I’m 19 and have never even properly made out with anyone. Some days it feels sad, and sometimes I’m jealous of my friends just going out and making out with people all the time. I get crushes, but I’m not good at making a sensual move towards them. Currently I’m flirting with a guy at my summer job, and I’m trying really hard to make it happen. He’s hot and spanish and older than me, but we have a really good flirty tone. So: maybe I’ll finally hook up with him and it will be awesome, and maybe I’ll just have to wait a while longer. But I say as Gabby: I’m a pretty boss bitch, so whatever happens it’s okay!

  • Kiana Kimberly Flores June 9th, 2014 8:19 AM

    Thank you!!! Thank you!!!