How can I possibly know I’ve found the one without kissing, or bonking, a few frogs first?
How can I possibly know I’ve found the one without kissing, or bonking, a few frogs first?

Why do people judge me for meeting my long-term partner at 16?

It's just the way things have panned out for me

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Saturday 21 January 2017 15:33

When it comes to meeting new people, once the niceties cease, sooner or later the topic of conversation turns to relationships and, I know what’s coming next.

How long my boyfriend and I have been together isn’t something I band around willy-nilly, but I am happy to divulge when asked. The problem here is that, as I tell people we’re approaching our twelfth anniversary, I can see the cogs turning in their head.

As a twenty-something in a long-term relationship, I’ve skipped all the dates and one-night stands but, that’s just the way things have panned out for me.

My answer is met with mixed reactions and, while some are sincere, others just can’t seem to get their head around the fact that I’ve been with the same person since I was a teen.

There are also those that deem it ‘cute’ which in itself feels somewhat patronising like I live in a bubble or some saccharine fairy-tale world.

And, more often than not, this retort comes in hand-in-hand with the question, “So, why aren’t you married yet?”

You’d think we’d evolve past having to sign young women off to finding a husband, but apparently not. While this might seem innocuous to you, for me it’s an added pressure that I just don’t want to have to humour.

On some rare occasions, I am also faced with those that feel the need to be sarcastic or pity me in some way. How can I possibly know I’ve found the one without kissing, or bonking, a few frogs first? Don’t I feel like I’ve missed out?

As someone who’s only ever had one boyfriend, I have, somewhere along the line, become a minority. But, the funny thing is, I’m okay with that, so why do other people have such a problem with it?

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m virtually left in the dark when it comes to the modern dating world. All I have to go on is the debauchery I witness on a night out with single friends where perfecting the art of getting a guy to buy you a drink becomes number one priority.

But, in our technosexual era, the prevalence of dating apps has me lost.

I know that, in 2017, they're old news, but the extent of my online dating knowledge stops at Tinder and prehistoric match-making sites like eHarmony or Plenty of Fish.

Nowadays, dating apps are an increasingly normal way to look for love and sex. I want to stress that I am in no way judging people here but, in the same way, don’t judge me.

I’m well aware that I don’t conform to modern-day sexual standards where it’s become the norm to sleep around but, don’t pity me or deem me boring because of it.

It seems that people just can’t get to grips with the idea that I’m okay with missing out on the experience of texting someone new or ‘having to’ sleep with the same person for the rest of my life.

But, isn’t that what most people are aiming for?

Long-term relationships aren’t for everybody and that’s totally fine but, without sounding conceited – and I’m aware this probably does - I have found what so many people spend their lives searching for; it just so happens that I found it early on.

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