A line in my wedding vows to Tyler was, “you were my first true love, and my only true love”.
In other words, Tyler was my first, last and only boyfriend. Sure, when I was 12 years old and in the 7th grade I had a couple of boyfriends; we would chat incessantly on AIM and proceed to avoid each other at all costs in the hallways of school. I’m sure many of you can relate to those times! I never had a serious boyfriend in high school or in college, and as a 30-year-old married lady, I am here to tell my double-decade single life tale. Above all, I’m here to reassure my millennial peers and my gen-z friends struggling to find “the one” to keep your confidence and be patient!
I am one of four girls and I am the 3rd sister in line. Each of my sisters had at least one serious boyfriend that they brought home during their teenage years. For some reason, this didn’t really influence or phase me. My sister, Ali, was a “boyfriend girl”. It’s ironic that we’ve always been so close, yet there was a fundamental difference in our dating history: she always had a boyfriend, and I clearly didn’t! Throughout high school, I had enough to focus on between my schoolwork, SAT prep, sports, and of course, the social scene. Many of my closest girlfriends didn’t really date either, which isn’t to say we didn’t have our ‘boy crazy’ moments. Those moments lasted years! Still, no real boyfriend and un-phased by it.
Once I went on to college and embarked on an entire new set of friends, the topic of ‘past boyfriends’ was commonplace. Not having much to contribute to these conversations, my value-add was typically a few funny fling stories. Deep down, I think I felt a little embarrassed by it. While I had a few new friends that could relate, I did sometimes wish the ‘never had a boyfriend’ reality wasn’t mine. On the bright side, I was in a new city and surrounded by a high volume of new boys – the chance to land a boyfriend was better than ever. Still, four years went by and still only ‘flings’ to write home about. Not to mention, this meant more family vacations where my sisters brought their boyfriends and I was an extra wheel.
Tyler and I technically met while we were juniors in college. I went to Georgetown, he went to Princeton, and we had a handful of mutual friends from our home state of New Jersey. There was always something about him that intrigued me, something that gave me butterflies (honestly!). We didn’t get to know each other until we both graduated and moved into New York City, yet we began forming a friendship fairly quickly. I went on many dates with other guys during this year, making up for lost time in order to navigate what I liked and didn’t like in a potential boyfriend. I recall Tyler and I exchanging e-mails during the work week, making small talk and discussing our coming weekend plans. I lived for these e-mails. Finally, after about 8 months of developing this friendship, we went on our first date. I guess we can say the rest is history! Moral of my story is that everyone has their own path when it comes to life and love. I never let my happiness be defined by a relationship status. While my dating history started at a more mature date than some, it was perfect and in fact, made me more confident and independent than I would have been otherwise.