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Old 07-27-2019, 09:57 AM
 
16 posts, read 8,929 times
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Being single at 21 is normal, but is it normal to never have dated?


I've asked my friends to give me advice; the general consensus is my appearance is "feminine", my apartment is nice, having a well paying job and working towards my education shows i'm driven, and my personality is certainly attractive. They did note my hobbies were boring. Aside from that, they don't understand why I haven't had a boyfriend yet.



I've tried mingling but I'm naturally introverted and tend to stay in the house. (I've been to a therapist.. its PTSD stemming from childhood abuse). I understand its contradictory to want a loving relationship without meeting anyone new, but the loneliness is beginning to overwhelm me.



How do you get a boyfriend? Is it a friend and you start holding hands or is it a feeling? Social media and instagram dms are popular, but sex shouldn't be the foundation of a long-term relationship... right?
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Iowa
180 posts, read 40,735 times
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Doesn't matter whether it's "normal" - water under the bridge. Continue your therapy and maybe give dating apps a shot.
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:29 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
79,100 posts, read 71,061,258 times
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Yes, it's "normal". There's more than one "norm", so to speak. It's not unusual for kids to go through high school without dating, and not too unusual in college either, especially with so many students working a full-time schedule or close to it, while also studying.

Have you tried joining groups at college, or even out in the community? Volunteering, or joining a folk- or swing-dance group (those tend to be full of younger people), or other school or community activities? Volunteering for the school's theater department, joining a weekly language conversation group, or whatever? You're wise to try to push yourself to socialize, though that can be challenging if you have PTSD symptoms.

I'm sorry to hear you have a difficult personal history, OP. Keep working on that. Look for a therapist that offers a technique called EMDR; it resolves the PTSD symptoms quickly and effectively. You may find yourself opening up more, once that's resolved, and feeling safer. What about girlfriends, do you have at least a couple of friends, and what's their dating status?
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:23 PM
 
524 posts, read 322,534 times
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@OP You actually remind me a bit of me. I was a bit older when I got my first boyfriend (20 years old). I was terrified too, guys were pretty scary to me to be honest, and I came from an abuse background as well.


Now that I look back I wish I had waited even longer. My first choice of boyfriend was not good. I was vulnerable in a lot of ways, and that made me vulnerable to predators. My first boyfriend was actually 17 years older than me and ended up being a drug addict, which I didn't know at first. I am sure he must have seen me as weak and someone he could take advantage of. I had problems with boundaries, knowing what was appropriate, and how to protect myself. That relationship was also very traumatic to me, on top of past trauma. I am not trying to frighten you, just relaying my own experience.


Don't rush it. Let things happen in their own time. I reiterate some of the above advice, get involved in the community and you will meet people that way. I think the best way to meet people is through hobbies, through mutual friends, in college, etc. You might also think about ongoing therapy to help deal with the PTSD symptoms as well as the transition to having a romantic relationship.



No, sex should not be the foundation of a relationship. The foundation should be mutual respect, trust, enjoying each other's company, and having things in common you enjoy doing together. While sex is an important part of a relationship to most people it certainly shouldn't be what the relationship is based on.


If you meet someone and he were to pursue you, your first dates might be things like going for coffee, going to a movie, going for a hike, going to lunch, and just talking and seeing how you click. Does the conversation flow naturally? Does he make you laugh? Does something about him make you uneasy (listen to those warning signs)? Does he want to rush things (bad sign)? It should feel natural, happy, relaxed, and a bit exciting in a good way. If he pressures you for sex, he is not the one.
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Jupiter
9,967 posts, read 6,181,868 times
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Yeah it's normal. Some people are just late bloomers.

No big deal.
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Old 07-27-2019, 02:02 PM
 
5,305 posts, read 2,823,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workingwestside View Post
Being single at 21 is normal, but is it normal to never have dated?


I've asked my friends to give me advice; the general consensus is my appearance is "feminine", my apartment is nice, having a well paying job and working towards my education shows i'm driven, and my personality is certainly attractive. They did note my hobbies were boring. Aside from that, they don't understand why I haven't had a boyfriend yet.



I've tried mingling but I'm naturally introverted and tend to stay in the house. (I've been to a therapist.. its PTSD stemming from childhood abuse). I understand its contradictory to want a loving relationship without meeting anyone new, but the loneliness is beginning to overwhelm me.



How do you get a boyfriend? Is it a friend and you start holding hands or is it a feeling? Social media and instagram dms are popular, but sex shouldn't be the foundation of a long-term relationship... right?
No it is not normal but being not “normal” is just fine. Do what is comfortable for you and be damned with normal.
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Old 07-27-2019, 02:07 PM
 
Location: In a place beyond human comprehension
7,702 posts, read 4,929,021 times
Reputation: 12683
Normal is a relative term. It really doesn't matter as it it's an arbitrary contributor to what makes you unusual. Why? Because relationships are different for everyone. Also stop thinking of boyfriends as something to "get" like groceries at the grocery store. Relationships are formed by being social and authentic with other people so bonds can be formed. However, bonds forming is an uncontrollable process that happens naturally. I would suggest you focus on your therapy and PTSD. That should be your main priority. In the meantime, keep socializing but don't pressure yourself too much. You're working with a lot of things out of your control.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:29 PM
 
10,535 posts, read 4,213,526 times
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Whether it's normal to want to stay in your home and not meet new people, or it's normal or not to not have a boyfriend, the fact is you say you want a boyfriend.

No one's going to come knocking at your door, as they say. ;D

And you have to learn to be playful, and open to relationships or no guy is going to risk a quick rejection from a woman who seems disinterested.

Do you have friends who have parties or other group activities?
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:20 PM
 
11,390 posts, read 2,823,666 times
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Take a class that men might take, like golfing.
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Old 07-28-2019, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Austin
939 posts, read 421,455 times
Reputation: 1177
That is pretty common, especially among people outside the mainstream white American culture.

I honestly don't know how you meet someone. I'm 35 and I've only dated two women for only a few months. Most people seem to just have it happen automatically
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