Is it uncommon for people who are entering early adulthood to never have been in a relationship?

I ask this because I was in Ethics and we were having quite the discussion on relationships. I never really placed much importance on romantic relationships and have never found it odd but during the conversation I did start to feel a bit alienated and was unaware of how many people around me had seemed to find it interesting that I have never been in one. I guess the opportunity has never presented itself, because it didn't seem like a very big deal but since the discussion I've thought more about it.

Why is there so much importance placed on entering and maintaining relationships? Does it affect your perception of a person finding that they have never been in one? Does it raise any questions as to why they've never been in one?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Western society is always going to tell you to get into a relationship, have kids, spread your genes, etc. because that's biology. The biological model of society dictates that everything we do acts to further our goal of spreading our genes directly (through finding a mate), indirectly (through helping our close family to survive, because they share copies of our genes), or through reciprocal altruism (help others because they may help you back in the future, or it will give you fame that raises your social status). So if society perceives that you aren't spreading your genes, they will wonder why because such behaviour is considered abnormal. Our whole society has come to be structured around this fundamental principle of growing up, getting a job, meeting the "one" and getting a suburban home with a white picket fence to raise kids in.

    There's nothing wrong with adhering or deviating from this "ideal." Lots of people like yourself find other existential pursuits in life that satisfy the need for self-actualization. However there will always be prejudice against ways of life that don't mirror that societal model. Stand strong and be proud of the way you choose to live, because nobody has the right to make you feel otherwise!

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Most Helpful Girl

  • There isn't. People do what they want to do, and if your not doing what their doing: you're considered weird. I have never been in a relationship in my life either, but that doesn't stop me from living. In my opinion, I see more people becoming stagnate with the wrong kind of people, doing all the wrong things, but expect other people to be accepting of it. I honestly don't care what people think of me. As long as I'm doing what's needs to be done, and it's beneficial to everyone else. Other than that, I am happy with my choices, and feel much more free when on my own.

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What Guys Said 13

  • lol! We're in the same boat!

    In my case, I was made to prioritize my completing my studies before even considering finding a soulmate. And I added employment to the prerequisite.

    Yes, a number of my peers do find it odd, but their weirded-out reaction isn't too much of my concern. I haven't met anyone of much interest, yet. Until then, I'm focusing on accomplishing personal goals and pursuing continuous personal-improvement.

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    • 3mo

      I guess I've just never required that emotional attachment to anyone yet, but I do believe in self-improvement and accomplishing my set goals before I even think of entering one.

      It's nice to see someone who can empathize! Thanks for your input!

  • People have different priorities. To many people, relationships aren't important. To some like me, they are something we really want and they are important to us. There's nothing odd about it either way.

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  • A lot of people who are real serious students have never been in a relationship. There is too much that can get in the way of studying and pursuit of a career if you are constantly dealing with relationship issues. Some people can pull it off, if they find the right person who understands the need to be studying to that extent. I had a relationship before college, but in college I was only involved in two relationships and those didn't last all that long. As soon as I graduated I got a new girlfriend and that was great.

    When I was graduating from college, I knew a guy who was a physician who was starting to date a woman I knew. He said that this dating thing was new to him and in his life up to then he had only had one night stands. Man I thought that was weird. Here is this "creme of the crop" type person with high intelligence, ambition, and athletic build, who only had one night stands.

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  • I'm kind of in a similar boat.

    I've had one relationship that lasted like two months in 9th grade. But, I've generally had little luck with women, and it's just been painful and heartbreaking. As time goes on, I've just been putting less and less effort into that whole arena.

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    • 3mo

      I tend to think that it's not such a bad deal.

      You have more time to focus on self-building, time to perfect your skills, see the world, and get the most out of the life you're living.

      Of course, I don't doubt that it could be a more enjoyable experience with someone tagged along, but you can make it fun, with just one. Ya know?

  • Because romantic companionship and sex is something that people typically strive to obtain.

    If you got to 23 without ever dating anyone, that means you really don't care about this stuff, which doesn't fit the typical norm.

    Why is it important? Because love is great and raising kids sucks, but people find reproduction important anyways so that their genes don't die

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    • 3mo

      I'm only 20 (I made this gag accout years ago and just randomized my age) but either way, I'm not very concerned with dating. I think it'd be nice bit I'm not overly concerned or pressing to be in one.

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    • 3mo

      @ikissedtheskyonce That is how you die forever though and that sucks

    • 3mo

      @mesonfielde if anything I am smarter than people my age because I do not have enough income to take care of myself and I do not have a steady job. So why would I deliberately seek a man to get pregnant when I can not take care of myself without my parent's help? That makes no sense to me at all. Why would I bring a baby into this world knowing that I can not take care of it?

  • I would say it's uncommon but anyone who hasn't probably has their reasons. Personally, I've never had a relationship partially through choice but mostly because I'm picky

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  • I didn't get laid until 19. Been in a few relationships after that before realizing I'm better off without them (they are a lot of work with very little reward, at least to me). So I don't find it all that unusual when someone else has never bothered either. Hell priests and people like Ghandi stay a virgin for 80+ years.

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  • I've never been in a LTR. I wanted to work on me first. To feel comfortable in my own skin. Many people think that you should have a LTR / relationship by such and such age. If you don't have one, then you're seen as odd or whatever.

    No two people mature at the same rate. Some are ready earlier than others.

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  • no its not uncommon

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  • I didn't get my relationship until right after I graduated

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  • I've never been in a relationship. I've had my fair share of dates, hookups, and flings but no real relationship/official girlfriend.

    Either the girl wasn't interested, would flake after 1-5 dates. When they did want a relationship, they weren't physically attractive, at all, or they were super clingy to the point theyd complain about me having my own life.

    I used to be insecure about it for the longest time. It didn't keep me from trying but I was just worried that it'd be a deal breaker because it's expected of me.

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    • 3mo

      And dating desperately can make you feel lonely too because you're not really satisfied with it.

      What I've come to learn is you should date someone because you want to not because it's expected of you or what everyone else is doing.

  • gag is the natural habitat of the forever alone guy, so you should find plenty of guys with opinions about this here ;-)

    I think most young women want to be in relationships, and have the opportunity, so they are. Women tend to have a tendency to want to be normal, so even the ones that don't particularly want to be in a relationship feel that they should.

    I think most young men want to be in close physical proximity to a woman most of the time, and if they can, they are. But many find it hard to win a woman over.

    There are so many possible reasons why a man or woman hasn't been in a relationship that just being of that status doesn't say much about them. But it is an interesting factor to consider in conjunction with others.

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    • 3mo

      "Natural habitat of the forever alone guy." That made my day. So, so true. Largest collection of self-pitying dudes I've ever encountered.

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What Girls Said 6

  • I don't really know. I've never been in a relationship because I'm just plain unlucky (every guy I've liked has either been already in a relationship, uninterested or both... most recently I fell really hard for a guy who was literally everything I've ever wanted (and they say Mr. Perfect isn't real), and he was attracted to me too... but he was already in a serious relationship. The good ol' right person, wrong time scenario. Gotta love it. That was the nail in the coffin for me, so now I'm just focusing on my studies and I'm not interested in even trying to date anymore. But everyone else around me is in a relationship, however, including a friend of mine who pretty much stole her boyfriend from another girl last year b/c she was that desperate to finally have her first relationship.
    A lot of people base their self esteem/self worth on whether they're with somebody or not. They need to feel desired, even if the person they've settled for is completely wrong for them. They don't care because *something's* better than nothing. I've personally vowed to never be that way, and my friends have called me "too picky" because of it, but I could care less.
    People do act surprised when I tell them I've never had a boyfriend, but I just shrug my shoulders and tell them my deal.

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  • Only if they have been trying but failing. Many smart people choose to wait until their life has really started before trying to add someone else in to complicate it.

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  • Actually i think its a good thing. You get to study friends, family and peers relationships. You get to see what not to do , what to do, what people to stay away from. I didn't date for almost two years to six myself. You see the world differently and relationships differently. Its good , once you get into one you'll choose a good partner and hopefully have a successful relationship

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  • Honestly couldnt tell you, no it wouldn't effect my perception of them, and no maybe the just never found someone they clicked with

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  • I was 19 when i started my first relationship

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  • I find it's more common among the more academic types

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