Going on 30. Never so much as kissed a woman. Time to bow to reality, that I will always be alone?

I feel like I can't hope to date anyone now. Like anyone I opened up to about my history would run away screaming.

Grew up in an environment where the only example I had of what a relationship is was so toxic that, all through high school and college, I never pursued relationships. I'm not prone to anger, if anything I was conditioned not to defend myself - when I'd get planted on the couch and yelled at for hours I would simply shut down.

By the time I realized not all women are like that and I did want a partner in life, I had no idea how to approach women. I'm not a bad looking guy, and I've been moderately successful career-wise, but I'm scared of coming across like a creep (I don't even know how to broach topics like sex, public ed was useless and the main lesson from my hyper-religious parents was "don't") and I'm pretty sure anyone I opened up to about my past would get up and walk out of my life as fast as she could.

I'm not interested in meaningless hook-ups, and I will block anyone who suggests I hire a prostitute. I want a real relationship. I want to make someone happy.

Not trying to sound like a defeatist here, I'm just completely lost. Not one to lead off with my problems in a conversation (I loathe discussions which consist of finding things to be indignant about... wincing at my hypocrisy right now), but I don't know how I could discuss my history and lack thereof if asked. Do I talk about girls I admired from a distance but never had the nerve to talk to? I feel like I'd have to present a false face to be desirable.

Updates:
This is not meant to be filed under "sexual behavior." GAG rolled the topic to that every time I hit the preview button.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • You should maybe start out slow. Don't go in looking for a long term relationship (although there is a possibility of that happening). Just have female friends, then date, then try dating more long term to relationship status. You know right from wrong; don't be abusive, don't be manipulative, don't be taken advantage of but be respectful. You also know those negative traits are bad in a partner, so don't date women like that.

    My uncle never dated or anything until he was in his 50s. He said he was too career driven and never wanted a relationship. Then something tragic happened and he realized he didn't want to be alone. He has been married for a few years and really loves his wife and her son. I'm saying it can happen, if you really want it. If you do want it, you have to put yourself out there.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • in my opinion, you definitely need some counselling. You've got some anger and confusion going on even if you don't realize it. It's like having an illness that you don't realize you have, but you have to get well before you're really fit to be around other people, or you'll just get them sick too.

    Anyway, you don't take up a new job or hobby and expect to play at the top level from Day 1, right? You don't decide to be a runner and start by entering a marathon. You don't pick up a golf club the first time and go out for the Masters.

    You need to get out of the house and find places to go be social with PEOPLE - men AND women. You need to be comfortable in groups, making friends and participating in conversations without feeling awkward. That's going to take practice, and you won't get that practice by staying home. Pull up Google or Yelp and find 20 places in your area where single people around your age group are likely to be, and go to those places and spend time. You'll find you fit in better at a few of them than at the others, so focus on those places. Become a semi-regular and make friends.

    Once you can be friends with people comfortably, THEN you can consider dating. Remember that "dating" is the process of looking for potential relationship partners and *filtering out* anyone who doesn't have a high level of compatibility with you. It is NOT simply about who you find attractive (or who is attracted to you) - those things are important too, but you must also be COMPATIBLE in all kinds of important ways, and many people you have a mutual attraction to will simply not be compatible enough with you to be in a relationship. You need to accept that as part of the process - 95% of the women you meet will need to be "filtered out". That doesn't mean either of you is "bad", or that eliminating so many makes you a failure - it's simply the process. In fact, it's merely STEP 1 of the process.

    Step 2 is actually dating - and you need to avoid spending more than $20 or $30 max on early dates - don't use money as a crutch; use your brain and plan interesting dates where you have lots of time to TALK to each other, and save the more expensive dates for later on. Early dates are about talking and spending more time figuring out compatibility - there will be lots to talk about.

    Remember this: women find CONFIDENCE more attractive than just about anything, so work on finding your confidence. There are no shortcuts, but success is definitely possible for you.

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    • I did try talking with a therapist, once a week for a few months in fact. Focus was on reconciling with my family. I can't say it worked too well, and it completely drained my HSA, but I know I have to keep trying.

      You understand my concern though, right? I'm already so far behind, I worry people wouldn't give me a chance on account of that alone.

    • Yes, you are behind - but you could "catch up" in 2-4 years (and have fun in the process of getting there, if you keep the right attitude), but it is going to require work, sacrifices, and the willingness to "put it out there."

      You will have to face rejection - sometimes crushing rejection - and not let it crush you, because you EXPECT that to be part of the process that EVERYONE goes through. It will still suck, but you'll learn that it doesn't kill you, and the world is full of single women who won't care about the last one.

      I really can't stress enough how much it is about your attitude. It's easy to talk yourself into failure, but that same effort can be directed toward success, and that's much more fun, even if it doesn't last the first few times. Stay positive, be confident, and make it happen. Earn it, and then enjoy it.

What Girls Said 7

  • I recommend counseling. It's not just for people with serious issues; you can go just for life skills and low self esteem too. They can help.

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  • I know this might sound really simple and easy and silly, but it really is the simple truth. If you want to get women, all you have to do is ask. How many women have you actually tried to kiss?
    Go up to a woman and ask her for her name, if she finds you attractive, she'll respond back. You'd be surprised at how much you can actually get.. Plus for every 99 no's, that's 1 yes... Better than 0 no's and 0 yes'

    Just do it... you will NEVER know unless you do. So go and put yourself out there. Try the apps and online dating, maybe talking to someone via app/chat might make you feel more comfortable first and getting to know someone then inviting them for a date, when you meet you will already know things about them which will make it easier to have conversations. Don't be afraid.. There is no reason to! The world is your oyster- embrace it! :-) ;-)

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  • You are not the only one who has dealt with this. I'm not saying it's easy but it also isn't impossible. This idea that 30 is the end of the road is silly. So many people find meaningful and happy relationships either for the first time or otherwise after 30.
    I recommend counseling to deal with the negative impact your parents had on your relationship views.
    And just approach girls the same way you would like to have people treat you. As a friend first with no other expectations. Don't assume that she'll automatically reject you for your past. Good luck darling.

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  • You can't approach any woman with the plan or idea of starting a real relationship. It has to start casual, small talk, slowly and as both party's open up more, find relevant, mutual interests. You don't walk up and start disclosing your horrible youth. So stop letting that idea get in the way of just plain meeting people. I also think you should speak with a therapist to help with your outlook and insecurity.

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  • I don't think so. There is always hope and honestly, nothing about you comes off as "undatable" or anything. Growing up, all the relationships I have seen have been toxic and I still struggle in relationships a bit, but the people I've dated (only 2 so far, current boyfriend included) didn't get uncomfortable with it or the rest of my past. In fact, it brought us closer when I was willing to share it.

    All can say is that its worked out so far with me, so maybe it will with you as well? I can't guarantee anything, but if you are open, honest, and don't make any self-making prophecies (saying "she'll never be into me" or "she'll leave" and just wait around for things to go wrong instead of trying your best) then it could work out.

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    • Thanks. My mother always dealt with everything by venting it on us, I went the exact opposite, not wanting to dump my problems on others. I don't talk about this stuff with people IRL because I don't want to drive them away.

    • I've been the same way and up until the last couple years, I barely spoke about my problems to anyone. I still don't like doing it since I feel like a burden when I do it, but I know I'm not. The people close to me really do care and want to make me feel better so it's okay to open up to them. I see that now.

  • I am terribly sorry. Actually I grew up being sexually abused, so I didn't allow myself to be close with anyone, although I have dated couple men, I've never got close to them. Lol. So yes, I have attachment issues. Also, I'm glad that you finally over came your fear of not wanting to be in a relationship. So what I suggest is to always be yourself. Females don't like man veing fake. They however find confident males attractive. So pls be confident. Additionally don't sound too desperate. I myself see a man who is desperate a major turn off. Just know that you are still young, and when the time is right, a girl will want to be with you bc of who you are.

    Best wishes

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  • I dont find it as a big deal and 100% dont find men like you creepy at all its quite the opposite !
    Just go for it ask some out, if theh say no, its not a big deal think of it as educational

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What Guys Said 8

  • You'll soon be a wizard.

    Dude, I don't know. Go to bars or something, that seems to be how people meet after school is over. I just hope to God I don't end up in your situation, cause I'm 18 and I've never done ANYTHING.

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  • Just get out there and have a crack. You don't need to go into the nitty gritty on a first date so don't feel pressured by your past.

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  • So, you want a relationship, but you are atypical. Because of that, you may need an atypical approach. Have you ever attempted online dating?

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  • damn boy... really? find a bitch, pay money fuck her kiss and do all kind of things. u can't look for women's at your age with that kind of "gap" it just sounds creepy.

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    • I said "no prostitutes," and I'm not in the habit of calling women "bitches."

    • well, it's your business man. but sometimes even greatest gentleman have to sacrifice honor in order to be gentlemen. u respect women too much I know one guy just like u he's lonely too. ---women love good guys who act like assholes.---

  • Then don't tell your history, not everyone has a good history, you know.

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  • forever a clone. forever a bone. forever a loan. well dude you dont even have female friends, gotta build dem social skills. better watch these video and practice irl. https://www.youtube.com/user/rsdfreetour/videos

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    • og and get a grip of reality there are much much worse cases than your in the world

  • you are an indoctrinated feminist... women were never meant for company and men have always been advised to stay away from them... this isn't how its supposed to be...

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