I am not a one-night stand girl, not a ‘hookup girl,’ not a ‘Netflix and chill’ kind of girl. And I am proud of this.
In high school, I lost my virginity. This isn’t something I openly share (although my writing is very transparent) but that’s because I carried shame about it for many years. I didn’t want that fact about myself and my past, to taint how people saw me. And I didn’t want it to influence the men I decided to date and be with in the future. So I hid the truth for many years, trying to outshine what I felt was negative with my positive, forward-moving perspective.
And it worked, for a while. But now that I’ve grown and come into my own, I’ve realized that I no longer have to carry shame and remorse for actions in the past.
I have no reason to feel shame about the way I’ve loved or lost, or given away my body, or chosen, in the future, to protect my own heart.
When I turned eighteen years old, I changed the way I saw dating, love, and relationships. Leaving a two-and-a-half-year commitment with my high school sweetheart, I knew I didn’t want to jump easily into new connections, new bodies. And because I lost my virginity to someone I loved deeply at the time, I wanted to make sure that anyone I ever came physically close with in the future, would be that same kind of love, that same kind of passion.
I never wanted to become a person who was freely giving her body away.
This choice came from a place of self-love, not a place of shame. But it took many years to get there, to find myself comfortable with my my own decisions. It took me years of bitterness from men, judgment from both sexes, and a re-learning of confidence within my own skin to realize that I didn’t have to apologize for how I felt.
It took me years to stand my ground in a culture that’s so fast-paced, so focused on instant gratification, so quick to chase lust over love.
But I did. I decided, at eighteen, that I didn’t want to be a ‘hookup girl.’ That I didn’t want to fall into meaningless connections, one-night stands that would never fulfill my big heart. That I wanted something infinitely, beautifully more.
Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to say that my life choices are ‘better’ or ‘special.’ I believe in female independence, in feminism, and in loving yourself enough to make whatever choices feel right. I’m just not someone who can emotionally handle one-night stands, and I’ve accepted this about myself.
I no longer apologize for honoring my heart.
Sometimes it’s hard to be the person who, in a sea of sexual connections, says ‘no.’ Sometimes it’s hard, when you get caught up in the moment and in the sweet taste of liquor on your lips, to shake your head and walk away. But what I’ve learned in every relationship I’ve had over the years, every hookup I walked away from, and every man I told I wanted to wait – is that there is something better out there for you.
You find something timeless, and precious, and safe when you wait for the person who not only values your body, but your soul.
So I’ve waited. I’ve given myself to people I loved passionately, deeply. I’ve trusted my gut instinct and the balance of both the heart and mind within me. I’ve made mistakes and been hurt, yes. But I can say with confidence that I don’t regret any lips I’ve kissed, or skin I’ve touched. To me, the value in being loved as a woman and not a ‘hookup girl’ is far greater than any single, lust-filled moment will ever be.
Featured Image Credit: Eva Balogh