I've never been in love. I've certainly been in lust and in girlhood crush-but never true blue, absolute, gut-wrenching love. And, quite admittedly, at the ripe old age of eighteen, it's frustrating me beyond belief.

I know what you're thinking, and believe me, I've heard it repeatedly-you have time. I know this. I didn't grow up the daughter of an engineer for nothing. But on those sad nights after having my heart broken, it's hard not to feel alone and unworthy of love. Every moment you spend with that one guy you think could be a good one seems like a moment wasted when it doesn't pan out the way you want it to.

In those long, melancholy evenings, I find my mom's advice hard to believe-you know, that classical mom advice where she says, "Love will come along when you least expect it, and when you're not looking for it." I've heard that speech at least a thousand times, and there's something to be said for the idea that, in a world of boundless love from a forgiving God, eternal love will come along when I'm working at a Starbucks during college, or, like that one country song I will admitto liking says, "Somebody in the next car; somebody on the morning train…somebody that you look at, but never really see…"

Every time I start to develop a crush, I wonder: is he the one? The one single guy I'll spend the rest of my life with? Or, at the very least, spend a pleasant couple of months dating before my schedule or conflicting interests leads to a quiet, mutual breakup? Those wonderings often lead me around to realize that I've never taken a leap, made a jump to see if it was worth it. It doesn't seemeasy sitting around at home, telling yourself that last one wasn't worth your time. On the other hand, it's neverquick or painlessto get over the times when you fall harder than you intended to.

In the years since I first started writing this piece, I have realized that I've been holding out on myself and my chances to experience love. Love is a beautiful thing-you don't have to understand it. It's not a standard, it's not something you live up to-it's unique every time it happens. And my own hesitations have ultimately kept me from the one thing I've been wanting to experience. Love is God's gift, the thing that we'll always treasure. It's something that love stories can never tell us, the ideal of perfection that doesn't always exist but we choose to happily ignore in the face of something amazing. I'm thinking that I would like a piece of that.

So next time, I'm thinking a little leap wouldn't be too bad after all.