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Navigating Your 20s: No Dates or First Kisses – Is it Normal?

The following article is based on the personal opinions of several individuals we've interviewed, both male & female. Statements presented here are not necessarily reflective of Afro-Americans™.

I Had My First Kiss at Eight Years Old

In today's contemporary Gen Z culture, it's normal not to have experienced your first kiss or date while in your twenties. However, for Millennials like me, kissing and dating before turning twenty was typical, especially in the U.S. Reflecting on my own experiences, my first kiss occurred in third grade when I was around eight years old. Maria, a classmate with whom I shared a strong connection, and I spent countless hours together during and after school. Despite our young age, we talked for hours on the phone. One day, we shared a spontaneous kiss during class as we sat on the red and orange carpeted floor. Though some might question its significance due to our young age, it was technically my first kiss.

My second kiss (or first official kiss as a young adult) happened in high school with Eboni, a girl I was seeing at the time. We flirted in class and passed love notes in Homeroom. Since I didn't have a cell phone, all of our communication was in person. One day, while holding hands in the hallway, my friends pushed us to kiss. They were laughing and excited about the whole thing. I pointed to my cheek and told her to kiss me. She smirked and laughed at my gesture. My friends' reaction told me this was the wrong move. I didn't know they wanted us to kiss mouth-to-mouth. Eboni and I stood near the locker and kissed on the lips in front of my gawking and giggly friends. I remember the awesome taste of her lip gloss. It was the best five seconds of my young life.

If I had to leave a message for the younger generation including Gen Alpha, especially the young men, it would be this: Meet people, become friends with them, hang out together (touch grass), and your first kiss and date will happen naturally. Don't set a timer for when it's suppose to happen. When I was your age I lived by the phrase Live. Love. Laugh. Good luck!

It Happened With a Boy in My Neighborhood

I had my first kiss at 16, while still in high school. At the time, most of my classmates hadn't experienced their first kiss, so I felt it was relatively early. It happened with a boy from my neighborhood whom I had been crushing on for a while. He was 17 and also in high school. The best part was that he liked me too, and he showed it whenever we met during the holidays when schools were closed.

We weren't officially boyfriend and girlfriend when it happened, but I remember the kiss vividly. I didn't know what to expect or how to behave while he was kissing me, but I held my breath so I wouldn't exhale bad breath on him (laugh). I noticed his eyes closed when his lips touched mine, so I closed my eyes as well to feel the moment. His lips felt wet and supple. The kiss lasted just a few seconds. I was blushing so hard after the kiss that I couldn't look him in the eyes. He smiled at me, but I looked away shyly.

I don't know if he planned to kiss me that day or if it was his first kiss, but it was mine. Afterward, every time I saw him, my heart skipped a beat, and I felt butterflies in my stomach. Eventually, I started avoiding him. In the end, the relationship didn't last into college. Looking back, I've come to believe that my first kiss may have been my best.

It would be surprising to know that someone in their 20s hasn't had their first kiss yet. But then again, I wouldn't blame them because they probably haven't met a girl or guy they would want to share their first kiss with. A kiss should be between two people who are physically attracted to each other, especially the first one. And I would discourage anyone from having it until they have a person they like enough to share it with.

My Unforgettable First Date and Kiss

Life's stories often blend excitement, surprise, and a touch of awkwardness. My first date and kiss were no exception: unique and full of unexpected twists that made me reflect on how young people experience romance.

On my first date, I felt a mix of excitement, nervousness, and curiosity. Instead of the usual fancy dinner or movie, we chose to visit a cool flea market. It was a lively place with many things to see and people to talk to. We laughed as we haggled with sellers and shared stories about the weird and wonderful items we discovered.

After wandering around, we located a quiet spot with comfy cushions and a little table. Surrounded by all the hustle and bustle, it felt like our own little world. We talked about our dreams, hopes, and even things we were a little scared of. It was an honest conversation that made me feel like I was really getting to know this person.

As the sun began to set, a sense of calm and peace settled over us. I looked at him, and without a word, we both knew what was coming. I leaned in, and we shared a sweet, gentle kiss. It was a special moment that made all the nerves and excitement worth it.

Looking back on this unique first date and kiss, I realized that everyone's love story is different. There's no single way it has to happen. Some people have their first kiss as teenagers, while others, like me, might experience it a little later in their 20s, and that's totally okay.

Instead of worrying about whether it's "normal" or not, it's more important to focus on what feels right for you. Love doesn't follow a set schedule, and that's what makes it so wonderful. Our own stories unfold in their own time, just like mine did.

I Was the Opposite of My Peers

Growing up as the only daughter in my family, my mom's values and protective nature shaped me into an introvert. Going out and mingling wasn't exactly my thing. I also had social anxiety, which I was okay with. When I was a teenager in high school and started college (in my early 20s), I watched my friends go on dates and experience their first kisses. Meanwhile, I was more focused on my own journey and didn't prioritize romantic pursuits.

I had a traumatic experience where I was nearly assaulted by a male lecturer who invited me to his office without explaining why. This incident shaped my view on dating in my 20s, making me hesitant to get too excited about it. Instead, I focused on carving out a space for myself in the world, following my passion for writing, even though my friends often made fun of me for not dating.

There were times when I wondered if I was missing out, but deep down inside, I knew my journey was unique. It wasn't until I turned 23 that I had my first date and experienced my first memorable kiss. I remember feeling a mix of excitement and nerves as I had already planned a date with a guy I met at my Aunts wedding ceremony who had been on my case for almost two months. 

We were both a bit awkward at first, but as we talked about our favorite books and our quirkiest hobbies, we laughed and didn't want our time together to end. Our first kiss happened under the stars during a late-night stroll. It wasn't a "Kodak Moment," but it was genuine and authentic to us. That moment has taught me that there's no "right" time for things like this. It's all about what feels right for you.

Looking back, my introverted nature and the slower pace at which I approached dating made me feel different because I was the opposite of my peers. I've learned over the years to appreciate the quiet moments, the deep conversations, and the gradual growth I had with myself over the years. 

It doesn't matter whether you're an extrovert or an introvert, whether you date early or later; what truly matters is being true to yourself because you are in control of your own life, and nobody should tell you otherwise. So, if you're in your 20s and wondering if it's normal to have taken a different path than the usual one, know that you're not alone.   


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