I'm a 29 year old straight female, and I've never been in a grown up relationship. Is there something really wrong with me?
posted by dithmer to Human Relations (26 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
OK, doing my best not to make this a rambling mess.
I'm a 29 year old straight female, and I've never been in a grown up relationship.
The last boyfriend I had was when I was 18, and a freshman in college. That relationship had its own problems - he was pretty depressed, and tried to bring me down with him, and there was some verbal/minor sexual abuse stuff going on. That lasted for 8 months, before I broke up with him, at which point he attempted suicide, and instead resorted to self cutting, making sure to tell me it was my fault. There was one other boy when I was 19, though he never wanted to call me his "girlfriend," in that teenage drama way. I lost my virginity to him, and cared for him deeply. He cared about me too, in his own way, though awful at showing it most of the time. That went on for (on and off - mostly during the summers as I was away at college) 3 years, though we never left the house (we just stayed in and had sex), I never met his parents, or his sibling, or any of his friends. At one point in our "relationship" he decided he was moving to Colorado, but he didn't want to tell me - because it might upset me? I don't know. So he just stopped speaking to me. Then he showed up half a year later begging for forgiveness. I would say I consider him the only person I've been in love with - unhealthily, obviously.
I hope that all made sense. I don't know if any of it's relevant, but as much info as possible, I figure. Anyway.
Fast forward to today. I admit I'm not great at dating - I'm not very social (a lot of anxiety stuff which I'm just now starting to get over). But I've also not had a shortage of sex partners, so I do meet men. Just not ones that are interested in relationships, whether in general or with me specifically. I've tried online dating, but I don't seem to be made for it - I'm fine with chatting with men online, but once I actually get asked out, I can't make myself go out with them. I get afraid, or too nervous, or I waited too long and then it becomes weird. The other issue is I'm not usually very physically attracted to the men I meet online. I've never been on a "successful" online date - I used to be more willing to go on them than I am now - but they almost never go past the first date, second at most. I'm on OKCupid, by the way, but in the past I've also tried Match.com and JDate.
This concerns me more with every year that passes. Many men my age and older are already paired off, or they want children and I don't. I know a large part of this is my fault, for not putting myself out there more, for not agreeing to dates, perhaps even for being picky. But I almost feel like it should have happened by accident by now. I'm a freelance worker, so I'm constantly meeting new people, and I do things like go to coffee shops and whatnot. The only thing I don't do (perhaps to my detriment) is go to bars because I don't drink, and it can get boring.
I have friends who are telling me this is entirely normal, and they know people like me, but I don't know anyone else. I'm sure at this point I'm putting off some kind of "Holy crap, nobody wants to date me" vibe. I don't know if I'd even like a long term relationship, but I'd certainly like to be given the opportunity to try.
1) Is there something really wrong with me here? I realize I'm going to get a lot of "it's your own damn fault" answers, and I know it is in a lot of ways, but could there also be something inherently wrong with me? And because of that, am I damaged goods? Is this going to be the rest of my life?
2) I don't even know what to say when people I don't know that well ask when my last relationship was, how long it was - I feel like a loser answering the truth. Does this make me less desirable as a partner? Are people going to meet me and not want to date me because I'm completely inexperienced? Is this just way too weird?
Honestly I'm really nervous and kind of embarrassed to even be posting this, but I'm doing it non-anonymously so that I can answer any questions.