Can lack of experience leave you SOL?

So I'm 23, kind of a reserved and introverted guy, never had a girlfriend / kissed a girl blah blah blah. I'm not complaining about it. I'm not feeling desperate about it or using it as a reason to beat myself up inside. In fact I think I have a positive self-image. I don't have a giant ego or anything but I do think I have plenty of qualities a woman would want in a boyfriend.

But anyways, the thing is I feel like I've fallen behind.everyone else and it feels like that holds me back.

I wasn't really popular in grade school. When I started high-school I started having problems with depression on and off right up to the present day. When you hate yourself it's just not attractive not to mention it puts a big damper on your desire as well. It's getting better and I've been working on it mentally by myself as well as medically with my doctor.

I was lucky enough to meet a lot of good friends and they helped me a lot. When I finished high school I felt like I was just getting to the point where I could start to be socially confident and popular. Then went I went into college and after that I had a couple jobs where there just never were a lot of women around. I decided to go back to school but there's not many women in my program.

The only real experience I got was a couple times when a girl I really fell for and couldn't take my eyes off of showed interest in me and flirted with me but at the time I was too shy to take things to the next level and only afterwards did I realize what was really going on. I guess they lost interest in me for being passive. I hope I didn't hurt their feelings. I wish I could accidentally stumble into a relationship like this but the older you get the less likely it is.

I personally have a lot of respect for women in general and I've gotten over most of my mental issues. Back when I was depressed I had an axe to grind and that just isn't cool.

Girls interest me on an intellectual level and I do a lot of reading about dating and that kind of thing but because I haven't experienced it, it just feels like theory.

I'm still kind of reserved but not nearly as much as I used to be but I still sometimes feel like I've missed the boat. Don't get me wrong I can still be a masculine guy that can make you feel like a woman. I used to be the classic nice guy (boring, clingy) inside but now I'm more well adjusted and wiser than I was.

I feel like I missed out on what should be a part of every guy's teenage life and because of that I shot myself in the foot. I feel like if I could get a gf, have a relationship, go through a break up then I will have the first hand experience I need to build the confidence to be self assured and chase women but I just need help getting my foot in the door. I just feel like I'm flying blind and my problem isn't fear of rejection but approaching feels foreign to me and I feel way out of my comfort zone.

So am I too far behind? Does it turn girls off? If not how would I get started?

Updates:
I thought it was clearer but I guess I need to add that I'm not counting on girls to approach me. I know I have to put in the effort and take the risks which is why I'm asking for help with that. I guess what I'm saying is, since I don't have the luxury
of learning at the same time as other people how can I get into slowly so that it's less daunting. I guess it's sort of a catch-22 where I'm unconfident because I'm inexperienced but I'm inexperienced because I was unconfident. I want to break that cycle.
Oops is there a way to delete the double posts?

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Hey, you sound like the shy but cool guy in tech or engineering that most of my girlfriends are dreaming to meet. Seriously, there aren't enough guys like you out there. You're articulate, thoughtful, have worked on yourself and are working towards meeting and wooing a good woman. You're 90% there, just let them find you! Lack of experience is definitely not a turnoff--the flip side of not having much dating experience is that it means you have high standards.

    With more experience meeting girls and going on casual dates, you'll get gradually more comfortable. Hang out in cafes, libraries, bookstores, and look for girls who don't seem too focused on their studying... take the bus or subway and talk to girls sitting near you about what they're reading, etc. The next time you're at a pub/club with your buddies, watch the girls. Watch how guys approach them and what seems to work and what doesn't. Hang out with a more experienced guy and watch him pick up girls. Check out this handy non-spam site I just found which has some good step-by-steps: link If you're intent on meeting girls and just need a little more structure, take a ballroom/salsa dancing class. There's always a need for straight men there, and girls will be fighting over you.

    When it comes to physical contact, take it slow, and try to let her actions guide you. A brief touch on her forearm during your first or second conversation, then a gentle hand on her back after opening the door for her on your date, brief hugs with a slow approach and disengagement after the date, bringing your face close during a private moment on your 3rd or 4th date and asking if you can kiss her--then a soft peck on the lips. You're well on your way... she'll teach you the rest.

    Oh also--don't worry about never having done those things at your age... the truth is, you get to catch up quick. :) My first kiss was when I was 22, just out of college... I used to be super-religious and boy-shy but that changed... now a few years, several dates, and a steady boyfriend later who I moved in with for a month, I'm pretty confident in my experience and sexuality. Stay safe and good luck!

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    • Wow, now this is the kind of answer I like. Long, descriptive and useful. Thanks very much!

What Girls Said 1

  • so ...

    i do not think that you are too far behind...you're only 23.

    you asked does it turn girls off? I believe it all depends on the girl. I know for me your personality seems great I'm more of an introvert, and you seem very mellow, but for my friends who are party animals they might not be into your personality.

    if I were you I'd start where I know I'd meet people like me. like I know I love to read so if I go to the local book store or library I'm bound to find a guy there I can spark a convo with. you know something like that. just do what normally interest you.

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    • You girls have it so much easier because you get easy dates just standing still

    • Thanks, I appreciate it. I can be mellow sometimes and much more animated at other times. It depends really. Thing is generally once I get to know you I can really open up and probably even make you laugh but I just find it hard to get to that point when I don't know someone. I can actually be quite amiable so I hope I didn't convey the opposite in the question.

    • Haha honestly I sometimes think guys have it easier

What Guys Said 2

  • A woman can go to the bar, and if she really wants to, can leave with a man. A guy can go to many bars, and there's no guarantee he'll leave with a woman."

    I'd certainly say it's harder for a guy to get a girl than the other way around. Most women, from the time they were around 14 or so, have been getting attention from males. Guys, on the other hand, generally don't have a cache of women to choose from.

    That's not to say it's any easier for women; just because they have more options doesn't mean any of the guys available to them are really what they are looking for. On the contrary, the guys who are available to them are the guys who otherwise haven't found a girl yet; all else being equal, they're probably from the less-desirable side of the scale. In the end, guys have to look harder to find a girl, but once they've found one they're easier to please. Girls don't have to look very hard to find a guy, in reality they don't actually literally have to find a guy, it just happens, girls are takers and choosers, guys go after what they want, yes there is a good and bad side to it, but being a taker and chooser is better because you have more options, you get to control the outcome situations more often, but they'll have to wait for some time to get a good guy. But still, even if it is a great, good, long-term serious committed relationship, the guy was the one that initiated it, did all or most of the work in order to get the girl to be in a relationship with him.

    Overall, even if it is a serious, committed, long-term relationship, a great one, or just a hook-up, one-night stand, casual sex, etc. Girls have it entirely easier initially, us guys have to do all or most of the work in order to anything with or from a girl.

    Thats why I think women have it easier.

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    • Well like I said I'm not complaining about my situation. I'm not bitter at all and I hope I didn't come off looking that way. I'm not sure what to think of the whole chasing thing. I see it as a tradeoff and the way for either gender to get the best outcome is to do a little of both. 50/50. Is that feasible? I have no idea.

    • I wasn't say that you were being bitter, but still, I feel your pain.

    • Hey I appreciate it. I don't even feel pain anymore to be honest. I don't really know how to describe it but I'm just looking to figure things out so I can put together a strategy.

  • I'm 22 and never had a girlfriend, I have Asperger Syndrome which obviously affects my social skills, so that is a main reason as to why I have always been single, I posted the other information down below because it rand out of space, well anyway:

    Even if a guy does not have Asperger Syndrome, is a NT, and is just shy or has social anxiety, has little or no friends, not outgoing, it will hurt him more than a girl who is shy and has social anxiety, because our society expects guys, males to be more assertive and be the go-getters, like us guys literally have to be the ones to find a girlfriend, girls don't actually have to find a boyfriend, it just happens for them. This one guy who posted on a website this made a very good valid point and observation:

    In reality, it is much more difficult for a man to meet a woman, or for a man to meet a potential girlfriend than it is for a woman to meet a man, or for a woman to meet a potential boyfriend. Women are able to approach men, take the initiative and ask them out, and are also able to wait to be approached or wait to be asked out. Men can not wait and rely on women to approach and ask for the date because men WILL NEVER BE ASKED OUT, well at least very rarely, because in modern times, the present, I've heard of the gender roles being reversed, but it is still very rare, like one in a Trillion chance of happening. Men have to do everything or just about everything in order to get anything with or from a woman, and I'm not just referring to sex only. When a man gets rejected he has to shrug it off and his friends would tell him to “be a man”. On the other hand, if a woman gets rejected, she would most likely take it as a personal insult on her inner child and her friends will comfort her. I'm not saying that me myself personally will go seek my friends after being rejected by a girl or that other guys should too. A woman is automatically accepted by society as a woman; whereas men have to prove themselves at every turn. A shy woman or a woman with social anxiety, asperger syndrome, etc., WILL get asked out or get approached by other men without having to over come it. However, us Men have to overcome shyness and social anxiety, social skills seem to have a bigger impact on Men than they do on Women. Men have to work more on themselves than women do. Men must have confidence, real self confidence, that is not based solely on how they look, but rather understanding and acknowledging their self worth in order to approach. Building up this type of confidence takes time and understanding.

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    • Actually I wasn't going to mention it but I have AS also. You wouldn't know it though as I've been able to get my social skills up to par but the whole dating thing is a whole different ballgame. I don't like talking about it because it is socially stigmatized and I don't want people thinking I'm crazy or anything.As for the bad prospects for love shy men. I've read the studies and they bear you out unfortunately. As for one in a trillion odds I don't believe that. It's happened to me at least

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    • Well either way I know that's something I can't change so I've accepted it and it's not something I think about anymore. Hope all goes well for you though. Women approaching you are at least flirting with you is possible though. I sincerely believe in it because it's happened and I squandered the chance. I know it's not common but I know it's true and I hope it happens to you. Stay strong, brother.

    • Yeah I can accept the way it is knowing that I can't change the status quo in our society and culture, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

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