My Boyfriend Obsession Debunked
In my mind it was clearly my fault that I did not have a boyfriend
When I started high school, I expected two very specific social things to happen to me: I was going to find a friend group, and I was going to get a boyfriend. Not a guy to hook up with after school, but a serious, hand-holding, “I’m going to take you to the movies and we can have long, serious talks about life” boyfriend. And on one end of the spectrum, I got lucky. I met one of my best friends on the second day of my freshman orientation and I’ve talked to her every single day since (541 days and still going strong). But no boyfriend, no prom date, no mystery boy the romantic comedies I watched obsessively promised me. As time passed, it became increasingly clear that I probably wasn’t going to enter a serious relationship my freshman year, and from the looks of it, my sophomore year as well.
This hit me like a train. Was it because I was ugly? Was it because I was annoying? I took the lack of significant other in my life as a direct reflection of who I was; in my mind it was clearly my fault that I did not have a boyfriend. I had somehow put my entire self worth into the hands of some non-existent teenage boyfriend, and every day I wasn’t given the male attention I had expected, it got worse. And it wasn’t until one day in therapy, after crying my eyes out yet again about the fact that I didn’t have a boyfriend did my lovely therapist ask: “Well what happens when you get a boyfriend?”
I was dumbfounded. I had spent so much time and energy investing in this self-hate fueling idea that nobody wanted to date me that I never even thought to address why I even wanted a boyfriend to begin with. A million answers began running around my mind: well, if I had a boyfriend, I’d start loving myself, my issues with eating would go away because I’d have someone to love me, and more importantly, I’d feel wanted. These were all the answers I could come up with in our short, forty-five minute session, but I had yet to understand the answer to the even bigger question staring me in the face: why?
Why would these things happen as soon as a boy entered my life?
To be honest: I still don’t completely know and understand my obsession. Though I have determined that it has almost nothing to do with an actual boyfriend and much more with myself and my issues with self-esteem, I haven’t arrived at anything much deeper than that. But I encourage those who find themselves as infatuated with the idea of a significant other as I am to truly sit down and think:
Why do I want a significant other?
What will happen if I do get a significant other?
The answer might be as simple as “I am lonely”, or it could hold the key to something much deeper about yourself.