I always felt the need to have a boyfriend. No sooner had one relationship ended, then I would find someone new. When I wasn’t seeing anyone I sort of felt like there was something wrong with me.
But after meeting my husband, I realized that dating a lot may not have really prepared me for marriage. I had had many boyfriends, but I was his first girlfriend. I was even his first kiss.
I entered into our relationship with a lot of baggage; my past boyfriends’ poor treatment of me left me feeling broken, jaded, and insecure. My husband was not. He has always felt whole to me—and wholesome. He always accepted me just as I am. Maybe because he hadn’t experienced heartbreak before, he was just free to love me without hesitation.
The fact that my husband hadn’t dated anyone before me, didn’t make me think something was wrong with him. I saw his reservation as a sign of self-respect and strength. If anything, it made me more attracted to him. He is highly introverted and private so it made me feel special when he began to feel comfortable around me and to open up about himself. I still feel privileged that I get to see sides to my husband that no one else has seen.
My husband’s example taught me that there is nothing wrong with being “inexperienced.” If I had to do it over again I think I would try to cultivate being at peace with myself rather than always feeling like I needed to be with someone.
Friends and family can put a lot of pressure on single people to always put themselves out there and to date frequently. I don’t think a person has to go on tons of bad dates and experience lots of bad relationships to be ready for a good one.
That doesn’t mean my past experiences are meaningless. I needed to work through a lot of things early in our marriage because of those experiences. But they also helped me to recognize and appreciate what a great man my husband is. I know first hand that being in a bad relationship can bring a lot of heartache and drama. I don’t want to take the relationship I have now for granted, so I work hard to help it thrive.
I’ve learned that not only is it better to be single than to be with the wrong person, I think being single can also be good in its own right. I think it is healthy to have the ability to be content without a relationship while still being open to the possibility of a relationship with the right person.
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