Any clue what I'm doing wrong?

Ok, I need some advice--from people that don't know-me know me. I know this is an unoriginal question, but I am (I think) a weird enough case.

So, I am smart and attractive, and confident in both of those aspects. I used to be an ugly duckling (very ugly btw), but I am very much not that anymore. Because of this ugly duckling thing and being ostracized as a kid, I am a little socially awkward/inexperienced, and just weird. I didn't have the "normal American teen" experiences--didn't go to prom, never had sex, never had a boyfriend, never gotten a real valentine etc. I dated a little in college, but because of my experiences growing up (being bullied/harassed by other kids and family), I was never able to let guys physically touch me really. It was always an automatic response, and I hated my reaction.

I have since come to terms with this stuff, and am ready to move on with my life and have sex (finallyyy). The thing is, now, I get asked out by men, generally 5-6 years older than me, sometimes more. And they assume I am experienced, but they don't know that I have undergone a huge personal/physical transformation, and they don't EVER realize how much of a big dork I am on the inside (still the same kid in some ways). And how slow they need to go for me--just so I can become physically comfortable with them. These older guys tend to be a little shy but straightforward and direct in making their moves.

The thing is I need a guy that is willing to be friends first (or primarily)--a guy that will care enough, and I am not attracting such a guy. I feel like I am attracting the wrong guys (they are nice, but I don't think I can handle them; they are too mature/old) or presenting myself wrong. Is there something I can do? Am I doing something wrong?

How can I break this boundary/obstacle in my life? I just want to be in a real relationship now and I want to have sex like a normal adult, but I just suck at the pre-dating and dating stuff, and I need things to go slowww.

Sorry it's long, but hats off to you if you read it all!


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I don't think you're doing -anything- wrong. Its just that as people get older, the pace they move speeds up. Now its not shocking that this is a challenge for you, but it doesn't mean you're doing something 'wrong'. It just -is- something you'll have to deal with.

    You say that the guys you are attracting are 'a little shy but straightforward and direct'. To be honest, this sounds to me from that 7 word assessment - like the way guys who were shy and not great at dating when younger behave as they get older and a little better at dating. I bet they DO see the dorky side of you and they have the same thing and its part of what they like in you.

    Where are you meeting guys, and how old are you actually?

    Once your outside of school, friends first is extremely unusual. In school people often make new friends all the time and have the opportunity to get to know people and then magically become a couple when they know they both like each other. Once you're in the workforce, you meet many fewer new 'friends'. So you actually have to -try- to date. In this case, people tend to date with no illusion that they 'might be friends instead'. Most of them have enough friends but are actively looking for a relationship (or less, in some cases, but still). Some may move faster physically, some slower, but there is no question that they are on that path, and if that isn't the direction things are going, they stop seeing each other.

    Can you describe a little more what 'things going slowww' would mean to you?

    And -when you say you're ready to have sex, can you describe what -that- means to you?

    Incidentally I don't think you have any insurmountable problems here. Just some challenges. That's how life works :)

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    • Thank you, I just feel alien sometimes. I meet these guys through this art group I joined and through work (btw I am 23). Yeah, the dating norm (of not really looking for friends) doesn't work for me. What I mean by wanting things to go slow, is that I want there to be a developing friendship, a closeness/connection (like, I get you, you get me, I want to get the full picture of you, vice versa) like caring friends have. Banter is good, but I mostly am talking about familiarity.

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    • Ugh, wish I didn't have to make it so easy for myself to get rejected. That's life though... Wouldn't it be great if we could all post our baggage on our foreheads? Hah, it'd save us all the trouble.

      Thank you. I do see now that there are more guys out there (esp because right now, they are freaking popping out of the woodwork). Still, guys are individuals, and sometimes I just want that one individual. I'll just have to trust that, when I get rejected, I'll feel that same way for other guys.

    • Seriously though, this question has been on my mind for awhile, and it was just this confusing mess in my head. Talking to you has really helped me sort out a few things. Like maybe this friends first thing = stupid. Maybe flirting more obviously = important, and it's OK to get rejected. Maybe I should take a partner dance class to be less freaked out with touching. Idk. Just thoughts, but thanks.

What Guys Said 1

  • I read it XP lol but I can understand what you are saying. When I was younger I moved around a lot and as a result wasn;t very good at making friends (especially those of the opposite sex)

    The trick I learned is to go out of my comfort zone (even though it feels weird) to be friendly to others and invite them to do stuff. The only downside for you is if you act that way with a guy he will usually take it as a sign of attraction. Just explain to any guy who tries to get physical what you said, that you struggle with feeling comfortable and need a little time, if he is really interested he will try and woo you by dating and whatnot

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    • Haha, thanks for reading! Your answer has given me something to think about. I feel like these social issues are the hardest to get over. It's like, I can step out of the comfort zone, and take risks at work or in my hobbies, I can push myself to do that stuff (which is still scary), but the social stuff is really hard. Maybe I just need to embrace how weird it feels.

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