Never Had a Boyfriend

boyfriend

“So…”

He let the word drag out of his mouth so it could collect every crumb of confusion and curiosity before he finally asked,

“You’ve never been in a relationship?”

I was 29 at the time and it was a first date. I remember shaking my head no while nervously sipping on my glass of water.

There was no second date.

This question is easier to deal with at 18. At that age, most of us are inexperienced in both love and life. But after, say 25, the Never Had A Boyfriend chorus begins to descend from a full-bodied mass choir to a few soloists left holding the microphones. And the mic feels heavier approaching and beyond 30.

As my inexperience with men became known, I received varying levels of reaction. Incredulity at the unicorn spotting of an adult woman who has never seriously dated. Admiration at my presumed spiritual zenith since romantic temptations and desires were apparently nonexistent. Suspicion for there was surely a hidden abnormality or flaw that hadn’t surfaced yet to account for the lack of suitors. When I began to try online dating, my absent relationship history perplexed men, and I wondered if they saw me as a project they didn’t want to take on.

The reactions of others ate at my faith and fed my fear. Especially since I had no answer for the inevitable follow-up question: Why?

To be single past a certain age hurt enough. But to be thoroughly single and never have experienced romantic love made me ache with embarrassment.

Until I realized that God’s plans for my life aren’t contingent on experience or what others say.

“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” Proverbs 29:26 (MSG)

Shortly after the first date I mentioned in the beginning, I finally met my first boyfriend. He ended up becoming my husband.

If this is your story, I urge you to rest in this simplicity: There is nothing wrong with you.

God alone is ordering your steps and it is He alone who has the final say.

______________________________________________________________

Jennifer Jennifer Richardson

Hi, there! My name is Jennifer. I’m 31 and live in the D.C. area. I love Jesus, R & B music, and sugar in all its forms:-)In June 2016, I married my amazing husband, Calvin. I was completely single and waiting throughout my entire twenties. So I know the prayers, fears, and tears that come with prolonged singleness very well. I am excited to share my story and encourage single women who are waiting for God’s best!

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12 thoughts on “Never Had a Boyfriend

  1. I need to leave a reply because Jennifer could have been writing MY story!! I was into my 30s and was keenly aware that the only person I had ever called a “boyfriend” I broke up with soon after we became “official” (in fact, the whole becoming official part freaked me out and made me realize I needed to break up with him). I was super worried that I was somehow so deficient in relationship experience that I would surely just bomb any future relationship because I hadn’t built whatever skills or learning you’re supposed to. Probably either Jennifer or I will write a longer post about this later, but if you’re reading this and also worried, let me just tell you – FEAR NOT. My relationship with Pat is in no way jeopardized because I didn’t have prior longterm relationships. If anything, I think I was blessed because I brought no baggage to our relationship!

    • Yes, me too! I definitely feared that the first relationship I had would suffer due to my inexperience. Or that I would never have a relationship because my lack of relationship history scared off men who want to pursue a relationship. (What a catch-22!)

  2. Wow! I was just thinking about this today! This is one of my biggest fears! At 35 years old, I’ve never had a boyfriend. I dread having to tell a guy that I have absolutely no relationship experience. Thank you for showing me that God is able to bring a men into my life who won’t care about my lack of experience!

    • Thanks so much for reading, Janelle and I feel you completely! This was a fear that I had to unfurl my fingers from and give entirely over to God. And yes, please be encouraged! The man God has for you will not be bothered about your (in)experience. He will be glad that God has kept such a diamond hidden away just for him.

  3. Oh, this is so true. But I can honestly say that while I’m 29 and never been in a relationship it’s a little dream come true. I’ve had dates, had been seriously in love twice. I’ve also had a “boyfriend” at 14 (although I don’t count those 2 hours – it was kind of fun but not something serious).
    It’s my “dream come true” so far – I asked God rather early not to date (yup, you read that right) except for my future husband. I listened to my mother say that surely nobody marries their first love/boyfriend and wanted something more – to share myself only with that one person, to give all just to him. To learn this person only instead of “men in general”.
    I don’t know how my story would end, if this prayer would be answered, but I think me not having a boyfriend might be God answering. Maybe it’s not my time yet and that’s the only reason.

    And my mantra is always that provided I do good things, sensible things, if somebody has a problem with my singleness (my reasonable speed on the highway or any other fact…) – it’s their problem, not mine.

    • Thanks so much for reading, Ania! I agree with Joanna: the right man will cherish the rare find of you.

      Incidentally, around 14, I said the same thing about wanting my first boyfriend to be my husband! Around 18, I changed my mind, however, it looks like the Lord held me to it 🙂

  4. “Until I realized that God’s plans for my life aren’t contingent on experience or what others say.” – This is a truth I have lived by as well. It took some time for me to get to that point, but somewhere along the line God began to change my heart and show me that I can rest in HIS TRUTH not everyone else’s. Loved reading these words, Jennifer! And happy “newly wed” to you and Calvin!

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