High school can be really stressful -- to say the least. Our weekly "Hey, It's OK!" series is here to remind you of all things you SHOULDN'T be worried about, no matter who tells you otherwise!
If teen movies have anything to say on the matter, it's that having never been kissed is just about the worst fate that can befall a person of high-school age. Whether on TV or in the hallways of your own high school, it might seem like everyone's in a lip-lock from freshman to senior year. And if you've yet to experience your first kiss, you may feel like you have a scarlet "K" branded onto your forehead. But we say that not only is it alright to not worry about dating until after high school, but even that being single in high school should be embraced -- kisslessness and all.
Scroll down for five reasons it's perfectly acceptable (and, in some ways, perhaps even preferable) to go through high school as a "kiss virgin."
1. You Can Be Cool Without Being Kissed.
Yes, it is possible. Contrary to what '90s teen flick "Never Been Kissed" might suggest, not being kissed isn't actually a mark of shame or uncoolness. In reality, putting relationships on the back burner until you're older is simply a decision to respect yourself and wait for something awesome -- not some sort of personality flaw. And it certainly doesn't make you a "Josie Grossie" (thanks, teen movies).
If seeing couples on teen movies and TV shows (in which everyone seems to have magical kisses and perfect relationships) is getting you down, try to remember that these shows present a totally skewed -- and incomplete -- picture of high school life. There's a whole lot more to being a teenager than make-out sessions up against a locker (see #5).
2. You'll Be Happy You Waited For A Good One.
Let's be honest: Bad kisses are no fun. Although there's nothing wrong with kissing someone just to get it over with, you shouldn't feel pressured to kiss for the sake of kissing. A sloppy experience with a stranger or acquaintance certainly isn't going to be a magical moment -- and when you have that awesome first kiss with someone you really like (whenever that may be), you'll be glad you held out for the real deal.
3. It's Common To Hold Off Until College -- Or Later.
If you feel self-conscious about never being kissed, there's a good chance it stems from the fact that you assume everyone else has been, and therefore that there must be something wrong with you. Not so. In fact, a lot of people go through all of high school and sometimes college before they find the right person.
A self-described 23-year-old "kiss virgin who has never been on anything remotely resembling a date" tells Rookie Mag why she's let go of caring about being kissed. "I wasn’t going to rush into a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship. If the right person comes along, yeah, maybe I’ll make a move, but so far I haven’t met that person. Is that so weird?"
We say no.
4. Being Single Is Awesome.
The single life can be a wonderful thing, especially when you're young. You have plenty of time to focus on your own interests and spend time by yourself, and you also have the opportunity to cultivate strong, lasting friendships that will likely follow you through your life.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with being in a relationship -- but it's important to remember that not having someone doesn't mean there's something missing in your life. Plus, being OK with your single status will help you to make more thoughtful decisions down the road when it comes to dating, and you'll find someone who adds to your already-awesome life, not someone you need to feel better about yourself.
5. There's More To The High School Experience Than Relationships.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Dating in high school is overrated. The the opportunity for a stellar first kiss might not present itself in high school, but if it doesn't, there are still a whole lot of other awesome, memorable experiences you can have. So if you want your first kiss to be with someone you like, rather than a random stranger at a party, just enjoy being single until the time comes. One thing you can count on is the fact that it will happen one day -- and it will be pretty amazing.
Tell us: Do you ever stress about being inexperienced when it comes to dating? How do you keep your anxiety in check? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet @HuffPostTeen.