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Old 07-07-2012, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,330 posts, read 536,880 times
Reputation: 1269

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Hello – I’m posting this under another name as my other name is the same as every other online account I have (online dating and all) and I’d rather not have someone google and find this.

Anyways, I’m at a bit of a loss here and am looking for advice. I am 22 years old, a recent (May 12’) college graduate who is working full time making good money in a career job. I am living at home with my parents in a Chicago suburb and am also working in the suburbs.

I’m shy and introverted. I am an only child that throughout my life have never really had many guy friends. At most in K-12, I had 2-3 friends, of which only one I keep in contact with today, although he is at medical school now in Indiana. In college, I made a few acquaintances and only 3 real friends – one a year older and two twins a year younger than me.

I ran track and cross country while in college and was involved with my school’s student newspaper. Although I was on these teams and was active, I never really became close with anyone, even with my roommates. I can have small talk with people, but rarely connect. Summers usually went without contacting or seeing anyone from school (either high school or college). I’ve tried to get back in contact with some of my high school teammates, but haven’t really been too successful besides yearly thanksgiving tailgating.

I tend to be more mature than guys my own age. I never really got into the drinking scene. I’ll go out (even now), have two beers and call it a night. Party scenes and bars are also a failure for me as I become extremely shy and barely talk. I usually avoid bars now as it just ends in frustration (with myself) as I can never bring myself to talk to women, and if I go with a group of “friends”, I just sit there silent and eventually after an hour or so make an excuse and leave for home.

Women in my life have been pretty unsuccessful as well. My first real experience with a girl (aka, anything beyond a lunch “date”) was my first girlfriend sophomore year of college. We worked on the newspaper together and were working together on a project for a few weeks and began hanging out. We dated for about 5 months before I broke up with her as it was apparent that she was a little self-absorbed and very indecisive.

The end of my Junior year, I met and began dating another girl on my newspaper who happened to sit next to me in class. We got along well as both of us could talk for hours about philosophical topics… and we were rabbits. That lasted only 3 months as it was clear we had nothing in common.

Senior year was dry for me. I made a hard move on a girl I had a crush on after breaking up with her BF. We had a ton in common (interests, likes/dislikes etc), which is what drew me to her. Not only did I get used emotionally and was dragged into hell and back, but nothing but emotional stress came of it. I eventually gave up, although we’re still “friends.” Moreso, she comes to me with her problems (usually via text as she is a text-aholic), I help her, I get brownies and cookies in return, along with occasional dinner-dates and game nights. Closest thing I have to a girlfriend (although she’ll be dating another guy in a few weeks, so this will end soon)

Theres a few girls I’m friends with, although it seems to be texting only now that we’ve graduated. Both have firmly said I’m in the friendzone and both have expressed little interest of actually getting together, even for a casual lunch on the weekend.

I guess I’m at a loss of what to do. I’m sitting at home on a Saturday night as I have nothing else to do and no one to really hang out with. I don’t think moving out on my own would solve anything. I’ve thought about meetup.com, but meeting a group of people of which I wouldn’t know anyone intimidates me even further. Online dating has been very unsuccessful for me. I’m not a bad looking guy either. I’m rather short (5’7), but I’m fit (competitive runner), have a bunch of hobbies (photography, brewing beer, running, biking, camping etc). I’ve been out with my parents and my mom claims she sees girls “checking me out,” of course, since it’s my mom saying that, it probably is just her trying to make me feel good about myself or something.

I connect well with older people at family functions and at work, but I’m not exactly going to go hang out with a 40 year old…. I’ve wondered if some people just aren’t meant to have friends / be social / be in relationships. In 22 years, nothing has seemed to work for me.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,246 posts, read 92,357,022 times
Reputation: 40032
Honey, my heart hurts for you

As unfair as it might be, people like you who are more introverted and shy simply have to work harder to get themselves out there than other folks do.

I know this is hard for you, but the bottom line is - this is your life and not only are you the only one who can live it, you are the only one responsible for it.

This means you simply have to MAKE yourself work harder to overcome your tendency to withdraw.

Keep trying the meetup groups, but also you have to make yourself get out to places where you'll meet other people - the gym, running track, pool, sports bar, Star Bucks, photography club etc.

Also, you really need to start calling people - old friends you can reconnect with and new friends you meet at work or working out. Don't sit around waiting for people to come to you! Make the efforts to continually get together with other people.

Practice talking to people - everywhere you go. Make yourself do this! The checkout lady at the grocery store, the people sitting next to you at the bar, the girls you see at Barnes and Noble - just everywhere. The more you force yourself to do this, the more natural it becomes.

And most importantly - don't get discouraged!

You simply cannot afford to let yourself get depressed over this.

Be proactive, take some chances - just get out there and try
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:19 PM
 
Location: On the corner of Grey Street
6,128 posts, read 9,036,025 times
Reputation: 11726
You've had some relationships so you're light years ahead of some guys who are 42 and never had any! It sounds like you're an introvert and there's nothing wrong with that. You're still young too. I have become more confident and extroverted the older I've gotten. Why do you think you have trouble connecting with people? Is it hard for you to talk about yourself? Are you worried others won't like what you have to say? Confidence is the key to everything - being successful at work, making friends, and having romantic relationships. If you want to make friends and date you HAVE to put yourself out there. There's no way around it.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:30 PM
 
7,508 posts, read 3,952,282 times
Reputation: 3913
Hey, I'm an introvert and shy when it comes to meeting new people. It's not easy to go up to someone and say "hi! I'm so and so. Nice to meet you." In my mind I'm thinking "Heck no! Can we just hurry up and leave?" But honestly, there are a lot of times where I wish I can go up to people and get to know them randomly. Are you sensitive to what people have to say about you? Why don't you learn another language to help you build more common with some ladies? I know I like when a guy know some languages.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
19,096 posts, read 20,278,923 times
Reputation: 48919
Quote:
Originally Posted by illinoisphotographer View Post

I guess I’m at a loss of what to do. I’m sitting at home on a Saturday night as I have nothing else to do and no one to really hang out with. I don’t think moving out on my own would solve anything. I’ve thought about meetup.com, but meeting a group of people of which I wouldn’t know anyone intimidates me even further. Online dating has been very unsuccessful for me. I’m not a bad looking guy either. I’m rather short (5’7), but I’m fit (competitive runner), have a bunch of hobbies (photography, brewing beer, running, biking, camping etc). I’ve been out with my parents and my mom claims she sees girls “checking me out,” of course, since it’s my mom saying that, it probably is just her trying to make me feel good about myself or something.

I connect well with older people at family functions and at work, but I’m not exactly going to go hang out with a 40 year old…. I’ve wondered if some people just aren’t meant to have friends / be social / be in relationships. In 22 years, nothing has seemed to work for me.
Maybe you could start with your hobbies. If you start with a few casual buddies in one of those activities, one or two relationships may build into something more. Or through those "buddies" you may meet more people one of which may "click" into a deeper friendship. You probably will need to do more of the "work" to get to know people, you may need to call them and suggest getting together rather than just wait for calls.

Don't believe all those TV shows like Friends, Cheers or Seinfelt (sorry I can't think of a more recent example)most people don't have a big group of close friends that they hang out with 24/7. Most people are thankful to have several close friends or even just one or two friends.

Also, you can hang out with a 40 year old from work some of the time. It isn't unusual for different aged people, esp. work friends, to have fun together. And they may introduce you to other people.

Hang in there. You are only 22 but have had a few good friends, and a few relationships with woman so it isn't like nothing has worked for you. Somethings have worked and will work again.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
19,096 posts, read 20,278,923 times
Reputation: 48919
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
Honey, my heart hurts for you

As unfair as it might be, people like you who are more introverted and shy simply have to work harder to get themselves out there than other folks do.

I know this is hard for you, but the bottom line is - this is your life and not only are you the only one who can live it, you are the only one responsible for it.

This means you simply have to MAKE yourself work harder to overcome your tendency to withdraw.

Keep trying the meetup groups, but also you have to make yourself get out to places where you'll meet other people - the gym, running track, pool, sports bar, Star Bucks, photography club etc.

Also, you really need to start calling people - old friends you can reconnect with and new friends you meet at work or working out. Don't sit around waiting for people to come to you! Make the efforts to continually get together with other people.

Practice talking to people - everywhere you go. Make yourself do this! The checkout lady at the grocery store, the people sitting next to you at the bar, the girls you see at Barnes and Noble - just everywhere. The more you force yourself to do this, the more natural it becomes.

And most importantly - don't get discouraged!

You simply cannot afford to let yourself get depressed over this.

Be proactive, take some chances - just get out there and try
These are all excellent suggestions. Please try them.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:37 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
87,807 posts, read 81,538,757 times
Reputation: 91606
Quote:
Originally Posted by illinoisphotographer View Post
I guess I’m at a loss of what to do. I’m sitting at home on a Saturday night as I have nothing else to do and no one to really hang out with. I don’t think moving out on my own would solve anything. I’ve thought about meetup.com, but meeting a group of people of which I wouldn’t know anyone intimidates me even further.
All the more reason to do it! Use this as a way to get over your social anxiety or awkwardness. Bite the bullet and join a few groups. You might find it easier than you think. It could help you gain social skills. View it as an exercise, but one that could also be fun. Join a weekend sports group, like hiking or kayaking, or a neighborhood soccer team, or whatever is available. You may be bored with the people who show up at first, but people come and go in some of those groups, there are new people coming in from time to time. At least you'll be getting some exercise.
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,246 posts, read 92,357,022 times
Reputation: 40032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
All the more reason to do it! Use this as a way to get over your social anxiety or awkwardness. Bite the bullet and join a few groups. You might find it easier than you think. It could help you gain social skills. View it as an exercise, but one that could also be fun. Join a weekend sports group, like hiking or kayaking, or a neighborhood soccer team, or whatever is available. You may be bored with the people who show up at first, but people come and go in some of those groups, there are new people coming in from time to time. At least you'll be getting some exercise.
yep
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:29 PM
 
5,447 posts, read 6,963,163 times
Reputation: 4596
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMountains View Post
Honey, my heart hurts for you

As unfair as it might be, people like you who are more introverted and shy simply have to work harder to get themselves out there than other folks do.

I know this is hard for you, but the bottom line is - this is your life and not only are you the only one who can live it, you are the only one responsible for it.

This means you simply have to MAKE yourself work harder to overcome your tendency to withdraw.

Keep trying the meetup groups, but also you have to make yourself get out to places where you'll meet other people - the gym, running track, pool, sports bar, Star Bucks, photography club etc.

Also, you really need to start calling people - old friends you can reconnect with and new friends you meet at work or working out. Don't sit around waiting for people to come to you! Make the efforts to continually get together with other people.

Practice talking to people - everywhere you go. Make yourself do this! The checkout lady at the grocery store, the people sitting next to you at the bar, the girls you see at Barnes and Noble - just everywhere. The more you force yourself to do this, the more natural it becomes.

And most importantly - don't get discouraged!

You simply cannot afford to let yourself get depressed over this.

Be proactive, take some chances - just get out there and try
Excellent advice there, my friend LM!
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:43 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,938 times
Reputation: 10
Hey OP since we're both from IL and in a dating site, DM me if you change your mind about:

but I’m not exactly going to go hang out with a 40 year old -

I'm 40 and a woman but i don't look like my age. I will DM you my dating profile for proof.
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