I’ve been celibate for a year and here’s what I learned
I’m not saying I played the field and scored home runs every night, but I went through the bases enough times to get tired of the game
At the half way point in college, many girls either already have a boyfriend or are currently looking for Mister Right.
At 20 years of age, I'm finishing off a year of being celibate.
Many people, including my friends, have asked why I would willingly do such a thing? They've said I should be having fun and enjoying my youth., and that I shouldn't be turning myself away from finding love for a night, or maybe even forever.
But the thing is that celibacy wasn't always the plan. I did the whole "like someone, go on dates and have it not work out" thing. I had one night stands with guys I'd met on nights out and tried to have fun being coy and flirty and fun but sexy, all at the same time.
I went on Tinder and Bumble to try to find someone who I could spend some type of time with, but after a while it all began to feel empty for me.
Now let me explain, as a freshman in college playing the field was what one would call a dream. I never had that many guys vie for my attention. I felt like I could take on the world and do anything I pleased. But sophomore year is when I started to feel different about the whole ordeal.
One night, about 11 months ago, during what many would call a dry spell, I started to wonder if I actually enjoyed having casual sex with people I would never see again.
That's when I realized it had become almost like a chore to me. Going out, meeting a guy, doing something, anything, to make myself seem interesting, taking him home and never speaking to him again felt like the worst thing to do.
The thrill that I used to get from being able to capture someone's attention and have them hooked on every word I said had died. In some instances, I had even become annoyed and angry with anyone who even tried to talk to me. That's when I realized something had to change.
At first I swore off everything: guys, going out with friends, going to parties, even checking social media dating apps. After a couple weeks, I realized that isolating myself made me feel even worse that putting myself out there, which led me to go back to my old routine of hanging out with friends, going to parties, the usual.
But one night I went out with my friends and actually I had fun. Not "I'm having fun but there's a cute boy in the corner I'm subtlety going to try to impress in a few minutes" type of fun, but legitimate "I'm here with my friends and all I want to is hang out" type of fun, which made me realize that in all the time I was spending trying to hang out with whatever guy I barely knew, I was missing out on what could be some of the best moments in my own life and in my friends lives.
This made me wonder if I was willing to give up having fun with my friends and being who I actually wanted to be, all to impress some guy I would never speak to again. So the next couple of times I went out, I didn't even think of trying to impress anyone. I dressed comfortably, I hung out with my friends and danced, horribly to say the least, but I enjoyed myself.
I realized that I was so much happier not trying to get anyone's phone number.
That's when I decided enough was enough, I was going to take a step back from "having fun in college" and instead focus on myself.
One thing I always get asked is why I decided to be celibate at such a young age? I'm always told that just because I had a couple of bad dates or that because I kept getting rejected I shouldn't swear off men.
But I didn't do this because the guy I liked didn't like me back or one guy was an asshole. I did it because I began to feel as if the reason I was dating and sleeping around was wrong. I didn't feel like it was making me feel happy anymore.
After just 12 months of being celibate I've been able to focus on what I want and need out of being single. I'm not suddenly looking to settle down and get married, but I do want a connection with someone who understands me and that I can actually form a bond with.
I don't want anymore relationships that are superficial, I want something with more meaning and depth to it. This doesn't mean I won't talk to anyone when I'm out or shut down a one time thing.
After all, the only way to meet the right someone is to be open-minded.