Dear me at 19:
Sure, maybe you didn’t get much (okay, any) attention from guys in high school. But you’re about to go to university, things will change, and you’ll have all the attention you’ve ever wanted from guys. But here’s a tip: Don’t fall for the first cute guy who pays attention to you! He ain’t so great!
You’ll meet him in passing, and whenever you see him, he gives you another compliment. You’ll feel fantastic, your confidence will soar, and you’ll rave about him to anyone that will listen. Hey, he’s even in a band! You’ll go on a date. You’ll have an amazing time. He’ll kiss you goodnight, make plans to go out again, and you’ll be thrilled.
And then his co-worker will tell you that he has a girlfriend. Who he’s been dating for 6 years. And she’s a burlesque dancer. Gross.
But the worst part is, you’ll keep going after him! And he’ll keep responding to you, sneaking away to spend time with you, and keep you thinking that he’d much rather be with you than his almost-a-stripper girlfriend. And so you’ll fall harder and harder for him every day. You’ll become the cliché, thinking, “He’s definitely going to leave her for me!”
However, he does not. Instead, you’ll find out that not only does he have this girlfriend AND you, but he apparently has been sleeping with your cousin’s friend. In fact, sometimes he sees all three of you on the same day, occasionally all at the same place. The knowledge of this will stab your heart with every bit of sharpness as a metal knife.
You’ll go to see him with plans of chewing him out and cutting him out of your life. When you get there, you will realize you can’t do it, and you wind up being a friend to him instead. Actually, you wind up being his therapist. Somehow, those strong feelings of lust will morph into feelings of pity. The benefit of being his shoulder to cry on is that you won’t feel attracted to him anymore. The “power” he has over you will fade quickly, and you’ll be able to see him without wanting him. From then on, every time you see him and catch up, you are reminded: I am better than this. I deserve so much more. And you will learn not to settle for a cute scum bucket because he tells you you’re pretty. Fortunately, a lot of good guys will tell you you’re pretty, and you now know the difference between the jerks and the gems.
One day you’ll be 25, living in New York, and dating all kinds of men, and you’ll know when to kick the unsavory ones to the curb. So don’t worry, Me. It may sting, but you’ll be better off for knowing that you deserve only the best. And The Best will come along, he will make you feel wonderful, and he will put a ring on your finger.
And you’ll still have the satisfaction of knowing that you once made-out with the REALLY hot lead singer of a band.
Lauren is now a psychotherapist in Toronto, and actually gets paid to deal with people’s neuroses. She is engaged to a wonderful man who, thankfully, has no musical talent or groupies.