I honestly feel really bad for teens today. It feels like there are so many more pressures on them than there were on my generation at that age.
To the point where a 17 year old on Reddit felt the need to reach out with this anxiety…
Is it normal that I’m 17 and feel like I’m not mature enough for any form of sexual or even romantic relationship? from NoStupidQuestions
Let’s see where this discussion led.
1. “It took about a year”
I was 20 when I got with my first girlfriend.
I wasn’t comfortable even undressing in front of her, even though we basically lived together. We would kiss, but that was all I felt comfortable with.
I got with my current boyfriend at 21 (I’m 24 now), I was comfortable with him almost from the get go, but it took about a year before I was ready for anything more than fooling around.
2. “Actually very mature and insightful”
Totally normal to feel that way at 17 and actually very mature and insightful of you to recognize that you are not ready.
You are young, give yourself time. Honestly, probably more young people jump into sexual and romantic relationships before they are ready without realizing the impact of that (I include myself in this).
3. “More mature than many people your age”
Ironically, having the self-awareness to know you’re not ready to form a romantic/sexual relationship with someone probably makes you more mature than many other people your age.
Unless this feeling is coming from deep insecurity or sense of worthlessness that a therapist needs looking at, I’d just go with what feels comfortable for you.
Some people just need to find someone they connect with before their instincts kick in.
A few will even find out that they’re happier alone, though I wouldn’t conclude that this early.
4. “Yes, it’s normal.”
yes it’s normal.
First, take your friends s** stories like you would a Facebook Story. Know that everyone will talk to pump themselves up and may not be honest.
Second, Do you. Don’t let the rest of the world set your time table.
Relationships take a LOT LOT LOT of work and they are easy to ruin. just concentrate on learning who you are and when you least expect it you will find the right one.
5. “Teenage relationships are immature”
Honestly, teenage relationships are immature. When I was 16, I was convinced I had met the most perfect girl and we were 100% going to be together forever.
It lasted about 9 months.
It’s good that you acknowledge you don’t feel ready for it.
Don’t feel pressure to get into anything, and if you do, don’t take it too seriously.
6. “Take all the time you need.”
Yes, it’s normal.
Even refreshing that someone knows that they aren’t ready and not just doing what their friends are doing.
Take all the time you need.
You’ll know when you’re ready.
You’re the only one who can make that decision for yourself.
7. “Also what the other person wants”
To be honest, when I look back on my relationships around that age, I definitely wasn’t mature enough for any of them even though, at the time, I thought I was. I think that’s probably similar for many of your friends who have sexual or romantic relationships.
Being in a healthy relationship takes a lot of maturity because you need to be able to recognize not only what you want, but also what the other person wants.
A lot of 17 year olds think they have that maturity but likely do not
8. “You’ll change as you age”
No, it’s quite insightful. At 17 I was torn between being crushed under the weight of adult expectations (I wasn’t yet).
I got into a relationship, married at 18 for legit reasons and now I look back and see how f**king young I was. Too young. Too young to make those choices. Too inexperienced to truly register red flags. (I’ve recently separated.)
Though there is no harm in practice relationships.
You’ll change as you age, especially in the next 5 or so years. You might want to be in a relationship, but equally being confident in yourself as an individual is important.
There’s nothing wrong with being single.
9. “Many people wait”
No that’s smart.
Many people have relationships without having the reflective skills to realise that they aren’t ready yet.
Don’t feel pushed to do things you don’t feel ready for. Many people wait till a bit later in life to do these things, and they usually end up fine.
10. “You’ll know when you’re ready”
Is anyone ever mature enough, lol.
Dw, you’ll know when you’re ready. You’ll find someone you actually want to have a relationship with.
However, it is also possible that you may never feel a desire for a romantic relationship. You might be asexual/aromantic. This is fine and valid as well.
11. “Not weird or broken”
Totally normal and honestly this shows a level of self awareness and emotional maturity that many of your peers do not typically have at 17.
I felt exactly the same when I was your age, when I was in my mid twenties I learned about asexuality and aromanticism and after some soul searching I came to understand that while I am a romantically inclined person I am actually demisexual. So my experiences as a teen were bound to be different from my peers. It’s quite common for lgbtq+ folks to be late bloomers as another commenter has mentioned, comphet is a thing.
Maybe one of those labels might resonate with you, maybe they won’t, either way you are not weird or broken for feeling this way.
12. “You’re just doing a better job”
That’s a more mature outlook than most 17 year olds have.
Yeah, I’d say that is normal.
You’re just doing a better job at identifying your own maturity level than many people your age who aren’t ready for s** but pursue it anyways.
13. “I worried about the same thing”
I worried about the same thing. To be honest, the pressure to be involved in romantic and sexual relationships is WAY too high.
I’ll be 20 on Saturday, and have never kissed anyone, had s** with anyone, I’ve never even been on a date.
I don’t feel ashamed of it because I know I’m whole, valid, and lovable with or without s** and romance.
Just do your thing and only engage in sexual and romantic relationships when/if YOU feel ready, not because you feel like you should to be socially accepted.
14. “Stick to your guns”
Whatever makes YOU comfortable, f**k was is “socially acceptable.”
I waited until college because I didn’t want to before hand. And thinking about it as an adult, I’m so f**king glad I didn’t do it in high school.
Stick to your guns and do what YOU want to with YOUR body.
15. “Don’t sweat it”
Don’t worry about it, this is perfectly normal.
I’m 20 year old girl who never had s** or a relationship because I still can’t see myself doing any of that. It just doesn’t feel comfortable to do that yet.
So don’t sweat it, it’s okay to feel this.
Reddit, you’ve come through once again.
But what do you think about this?
Leave your opinions with us in the comments.