If you’ve been single for literally forever, you might feel like there’s something wrong with you. After all, it doesn’t seem right to be 20, 30, or even older and never have had a boyfriend. However, it’s actually a lot more common than you’d think, especially judging by the TikTok hashtag #neverhadaboyfriend, which has more than 25 million views and counting.
Take, for instance, Nicole Farina. The 26-year-old is smart, funny, beautiful… and she’s never been in a relationship. Her willingness to be vulnerable and open up about her pretty much nonexistent dating life went viral on the app and garnered thousands of comments, many of which came from people in the exact same position.
Farina was shocked. She had no idea that so many women her age and even older have never had a boyfriend. However, instead of feeling depressed by the realization, she felt empowered.
“Seeing the response really made me want to just continue talking about it, and having that open conversation and normalizing it in a way because I feel like when I was growing up this was not talked about,” she told USA Today.
TikTok users are opening up about the fact that they’ve never had a boyfriend
Some of the things I actively have to work on since I’ve never had a boyfriend! Some days are tougher than others but all worth it! #thecharlestondiaries #dating #datingadvice #datingstorytime #neverhadaboyfriend #datinglife #datinglifebelike #datingadviceforwomen #datingadviceforgirls #datingadvicefortheladies #datingadvicefromyoursinglefriend
It should be noted that not all of the people sharing their experiences with singlehood have never had a boyfriend because they couldn’t get one. Quite the opposite, in fact. Research has repeatedly proven that young people, particularly young women, are choosing to remain single for much longer. In fact, some are adopting it as a way of life that they never plan to change.
For those who do eventually decide to settle down with a partner, it’s taking much longer than it used to. In 2022, the median age for marriage became 28.2 for women, up 5.1 years from 1990 figures, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why the #neverhadaboyfriend hashtag has taken off.
The reasons behind women’s singlehood are varied, and they’re not shy about sharing them on TikTok. This is important and a really good thing. The more open and honest we are about our relationship experiences and our feelings about love and dating, the less likely we are to feel guilty or ashamed when we deviate from what we believe are societal norms.
What to do if you’ve never been in a relationship
This has been on going since middle school 😂😂 #neverhadaboyfriend #noboyfriend #singleladies #datingadviceforgirls
Assuming you actually want to be but it just hasn’t happened, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Focus on yourself. Yes, it’s super cliche (as well as one of RuPaul’s biggest catchphrases), but it’s true: How in the hell are you going to love somebody else if you don’t love yourself? It’s so important to know yourself and love yourself. This isn’t something that comes easily to most of us. It takes time and a lot of hard work, but the results will pay dividends.
- Figure out what you want. You don’t need to wait until you’re dating someone to do this. In fact, it’s probably better if you don’t. While you’ve never had a boyfriend, now’s a good time to decide on the non-negotiable qualities you’re looking for in one. Of course, you don’t want to get so picky that you become close-minded. However, figuring out your deal breakers and knowing what matters most to you goes a long way.
- Offer yourself a bit of grace. Regardless of whether or not most of your friends or single or science tells you it’s common, it can be hard to internalize that. You might have a timeline in your head for love that just isn’t panning out. Or, you might feel pressure from your family to find someone. You shouldn’t feel like a failure or question your worth due to your relationship status. Recognize that things happen in their own time and there’s nothing wrong with you.
- Don’t put too much pressure on it. The best way to assure something never happens is to obsess over it. If your sole focus in life is on the fact that you’ve never had a boyfriend and desperately want one, you’re basically guaranteeing that you’ll be single for a long time to come. Chill, focus your energy elsewhere, and have faith. It’ll happen when it happens.