I feel as if this is a very simple question whose answer should come easily, but that wasn't the case. I stopped and considered before giving my answer: No.
My need to stop and consider this should have been a dead giveaway - and it sort of was. For a brief second, I had to look back on my last relationship - I had thought I was in love, right? Was it cheating for me to take it back simply because the relationship ended?
This is why I paused before answering. I didn't want to be giving the "right" answer - a sort of naive, big-brown-eyes answer that I am far too capable of delivering. I wanted to give a real answer, a genuine and honest response, despite how it may cause the other person to think of me.
When I was in my last relationship, I loved him, but to love and be in love are two different things. Eventually though, I thought I was in love. It sounds ridiculous to me now, especially since I'm only 20, but I thought I'd found someone I was going to spend my life with, to grow old with, to try to make happy for the rest of my life.
I didn't want to belittle any of that by saying it wasn't real. I felt those things; I felt like it was love. So by saying I haven't been in love, what does that mean? Does it mean that when I date someone else and feel those things and feel like I might be in love that it won't be real unless I end up spending the rest of my life with them? Does it mean that every time I come out of a relationship I'll just be in denial (I don't feel like I am now, but if I were I suppose I wouldn't know)? Does it mean I'm forever going to deny myself to even fall in love at all?
I don't think I'm in denial about ever having been in love though. Think back to a few years ago - you probably though your outfits were pretty cool then...but now? Oh boy. That choker necklace and those hideous, midriff exposing polos that I so tastefully wore equally hideous camisoles underneath? I thought I looked great! I know better now, but back then I thought I looked fabulous...but I didn't. I know better now, but that doesn't take away how I felt then.
What we think and feel now is not necessarily what we'll think later. Our lives are constantly on the move, our situation is constantly changing, and people come and go. Every day is different and presents us with different circumstances with which we have to adjust to. Everything is moving, so it's no wonder that what we feel today is different than what we felt yesterday, the year before, or ten years before. If you think about it, we've really had to come a long way - and this is coming from the mouth of a 20-year-old.
As we get older, we grow up and mature. We're always learning, always building, always figuring things out. We'll forever be adding to our lives, checking things off our lists, slowly beginning to understand things that we never did before.
Whether or not I've ever been in love is insignificant compared to what I've learned while on my way to figuring out the answer, which still remains a firm, steady, "no".