I don't want to be the real life 40 year old virgin...in 15 years.
December 27, 2009 4:59 PM   Subscribe

What am I doing wrong? I am 25 and HAVE NEVER GONE ON A DATE. I have always been attracted to women only, and I am funny, intelligent, and reasonably good looking. I make friends easily, but I don't know how to ask people out, and I've only been asked out by weird guys

Hello! I am a 25 year old graduate student and I'm of Asian heritage. I make long-lasting friends easily (though in small quantitites) and many of my friends seems to think that I am only not dating by chocie. This is not to say that I am super attractive in the conventional sense-- I definitely have days where I look like shit, and I'd say maybe 1 day every 2 month I'm kind of pissy. But as objectively as I can I'd say I'm not doing any worse than your average 25 year old guy/girl. There are several friends around me who have also been single for a long time despite all these awesome qualities they have, but they all have at least dated before. I feel awkward all the time but my friends told me they didn't think I am.

My biggest problem is that I don't really know how to ask people out, and i tend to be attracted to unavailable women (either because of their orientation or current status). I have been pursued a couple of times in the past, all by weird guys, one of them was a pervert who harrassed me until I got a restraining order. There were mutual attractions with people, but they either have a girlfriend or have a boyfriend...uh, yeah. I know it's F-ed up.

I think maybe my problem is that I don't meet enough people at the graduate school I attend (or I haven't met anyone I like), and I have no way to break into local LGBT scenes having no local lesbian friends. Another problem might be that i tend to appear very androgenously both in attire and demeanor. I hate parties filled with heterosexual people, because it's infuriating to me to see women submitting to please men and to see men taking that for granted. So i don't go out much.

So i am at a lost as to what to do. I am not desperate for sex or intimate relationship, but I am afraid that when I finally meet someone my inexperience relative to my age will be a turn off. I am also sad about the 1 person that I met and knew we were mutually attracted to each other, I didn't know what to do about it so I just let go. I do like to remember that Tina Fey didn't lose her virginity until 25 either, but I am 25 and there's no prospect...
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You're in school... is there no LGBT organization on campus? If there is you should go participate, as it'd be the easiest way to make lesbian friends and break into the local scenes.
posted by The Biggest Dreamer at 5:08 PM on December 27, 2009

It sounds like it's a matter of you needing to fish where the fish are. Do your research and find out where the local lesbian scene is, and then go there. And interpret the term "local" loosely: look online, look on your campus, look in your town/city.
posted by orange swan at 5:14 PM on December 27, 2009

IMHO it's all about ballsing up and asking girls out without being afraid of rejection. I never was able to get dates until I stopped killing myself with who to ask out and how to do it. I just saw a girl, asked her out, and moved on if she said no. Practice makes perfect!
posted by rebent at 5:20 PM on December 27, 2009

I make long-lasting friends easily (though in small quantitites) and many of my friends seems to think that I am only not dating by chocie.

Good news and bad news- the good news is, your friends can't see anything wrong with you that would keep you from dating other people. The bad news is, you're the one holding yourself back. You need to put aside your nerves and "crash" your way into the local LGBT scene. Are there local groups on campus? On Meetup.com? Could you look into online dating? Could you move to a city with a big LGBT scene after you're done with school?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:22 PM on December 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

What am I doing wrong? I am 25 and HAVE NEVER GONE ON A DATE.

What you're doing wrong is not asking people you're attracted to out on dates. I know you think you're bad at it, but you were once really bad at walking too and you got better the more you practiced, didn't you?

I honestly think this is the sort of situation that online dating was invented for. Your results will be hit/miss for a while, some people will turn you down, but you will go on some dates, have some kisses, maybe get laid, and in general become better at figuring out what you want and then getting it.
posted by hermitosis at 5:34 PM on December 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Don't be so concerned with your 'virginity.'
posted by k8t at 5:54 PM on December 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

I hate parties filled with heterosexual people, because it's infuriating to me to see women submitting to please men and to see men taking that for granted.

Let me gently suggest that attitudes like this are often the by-products of not wanting to focus on issues of your own. Women you have never met and their relationships have nothing to do with your situation, which is a desire to find a same-sex partner for you.

Usually when we don't want to focus on unresolved emotional issues, we focus hard on other things which make us upset because these are the most effective distractors out there--we can pin our negative feelings on something other than what is really bothering us. Your focus on the sexual situations of strangers is especially useful to you in this regard. Highly telling is your focus on heterosexual relationships of women and your interest in unavailable women, especially heterosexual women, because they are the least likely to provide you with what you really want--a relationship with a partner interested in a same-sex relationship. Your anger and focus is a safe distraction because it can never provide you with what you really want.

To get past these issues, I suggest two things--therapy, and learning to be mindful of your anger in a way that reveals what is at the root of your avoidance of the relationships you really want. The best way to do this is to focus on times you feel your anger. Start by just trying to feel the anger you have when it comes up. Don't react, don't get into focusing on matters unrelated to you personally. Instead, just focus on the physical sensations of your anger. Where is it in your body? Your back? Your chest area? Your stomach? Avoid anger-related fantasies. Just sit with it.

Once you've gotten pretty good at locating your anger and sitting with it over a period of weeks, take it one step further. Start focusing on what you were thinking about just before you got angry. That's where you are going to find the blockages which are holding you back. Get used to identifying what was going on in your head moments before you started to get angry. Look for patterns.

When you find those patterns, you will get an idea of what is really bothering you. I would not be surprised to find that it is directly related to something that happened to you--something unresolved or even undiscovered--probably in your past.

The hard part will be dealing with whatever you find. I'm incredibly confident that once you fully process whatever it is, you will gradually find your blockage lifted and your ability to meet others increased.

As for finding a mate, once you've gone through this, you'll need practical help. I suggest eye contact, compliments and touching. Works every time.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:57 PM on December 27, 2009 [15 favorites]

Join a dating website. People will express interest in you. Ask to meet for coffee.
posted by L0 at 6:09 PM on December 27, 2009 [3 favorites]

You seem hung up on guys. Face it, most women are only into guys. Just hang out with lesbians. Guys are irrelevant for you anyways.

Google will happily tell you about local lesbian bars, school organizations, etc.

A dating website won't work well for young straight people, and gay guys don't need them, but dating sites might work well for lesbians. OkCupid may best fit the facebook generation, but there are surely gay only sites that work well too.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:28 PM on December 27, 2009

If you let a mod post where you live, people here might be able to make more specific suggestions about bars, activity groups, or coffee shops that you can hang out at. (Of course, you can google for these yourself, too, if you're not comfortable sharing your location).

If you're somewhere with a large population, and have a hobby, find a LGBT group focused on that hobby. For people without much dating experience, that can be a much better way to meet people than going on explicit "dates". (I know there are tons of such groups in the SF bay area, but I don't know about anywhere else. Also this probably works best if your hobby is pretty wide-appeal, e.g. running.)
posted by nat at 6:29 PM on December 27, 2009

Yeah, OkCupid might work for you. Just try it for a little while, see how you like it. Practice by going out on dates with people you meet on there. Just for warm up in general, don't take it serious(unless you want to), and figure out how to flirt and how to play the dating game.

You're only 25... please don't feel upset that you're too old. Everyone goes at a different pace.
posted by OrangeSoda at 6:39 PM on December 27, 2009

Meetup.com (look for local LGBT groups)
Go to the local LGBT group at your campus, if there is one. Befriend people--emphasis on friend, not just try to date people you're attracted to--as friends will introduce you to their friends, which will broaden your circle.

I feel you on how hard it can be to break into the lesbian community. Of the three suggestions above the last one is probably the most useful, followed by the first, followed by the second (at least in my experience the response rate of women on OKCupid is depressingly low).
posted by schroedinger at 7:23 PM on December 27, 2009

You have friends? Possibly just straight ones?
Still excellent.

a) Ask one or more of your friends to support you in,
b) Going along to your Uni/College LGBT group. Go in and introduce yourself to at least 3 people there, by saying "Hi, I'm *blah*. I'm a lesbian, but I've never actually been to one of these meetings... *embarrassed grin*. Ask your friend to drag you round and introduce you, because they have less reason to be nervous.
c) Ask friends to help you put up profiles on a couple of dating sites. They can help you out with your appealing qualities, and then it becomes a bit of a game where they'll be more likely to push you to expand your comfort zone.
d) Go to a lesbian bar/night. With your straight friends if need be, if you haven't already met people through b). Added tip, research bars/nights before you go to b), and ask if anyone there is going along to it, and arrange to meet up with them to go to it.

Go, be free! You can do it! You deserve it!

(Just don't move in together with your first girlfriend within 3 months, ok? Take it slow!)
posted by Elysum at 7:48 PM on December 27, 2009

P.S. In most towns big enough to have a graduate school - there are all sorts of Lesbian 'activities'. Lesbian walking groups, bowling groups, dinner groups, softball, etc etc etc...
Go along, and don't worry if everyone is older than you, you are making friends with them so that they can help you 'break into the scene', tell you when other social events are on, and introduce you to their interesting and hot friends. So, yay!

P.P.S. So you've MET some lesbians right? If they have girlfriends? Right, then contact those people (they and their girlfriend, collectively, you're not poaching), and admit to them that you're looking to make more lesbian friends, and are a bit nervous about going to social events by yourself, and would they help you? Again, propose one of the lesbian bar nights or something, so that you have an activity - best case, they suggest that instead, you come along to a house party that some friends are putting on, and they introduce you to them.
posted by Elysum at 7:56 PM on December 27, 2009

If your appearance is fairly androgynous and you are very upfront about your exclusive attraction to women, there may be a bit of stereotyping going on among more traditionally feminine women, and particularly women who also date men, in that they might be waiting for you to make a move.

(Obviously this doesn't hold true for all women, I just imagine it might be a factor given that you mention a mutual attraction that fizzled out when you didn't know what to do about it. It's not your responsibility to make the first move or take all the risk of asking someone out... but you might run into a fair number of women who--either because of how they were raised/socialized or simply based on personal preference--assume that if you're truly interested in them you will be the one to initiate any type of dating relationship.)

I agree with above comments that you need to join a lesbian club or group in order to more comfortably socialize in your local lesbian community, but I don't think anyone explicitly mentioned the expectations that might be factoring in, and I thought it was worth noting.
posted by Meg_Murry at 9:59 PM on December 27, 2009 [2 favorites]

1. probably a good idea to figure out why you flip for the unavailable ones and possibly why parties with straight ladies acting a fool gets you mad. but it seems like figuring out why you flip for the unavailable ones is a big first step.

2. i generally find lgbt groups kind of alienating, but i have the fortune of living in a big-ass city and being obviously, enthusiastically queer. being outspoken about your queerdom may be worth a try, if you are not already.

3. emotional maturity and a lot of experience dating are not necessarily the same thing and the former is more important than the latter in being a good partner, imo.
posted by beefetish at 8:19 AM on December 28, 2009

"I hate parties filled with heterosexual people, because it's infuriating to me to see women submitting to please men and to see men taking that for granted."

To which Ironmouth responded: "Let me gently suggest that attitudes like this are often the by-products of not wanting to focus on issues of your own." And then suggests therapy.

Please let me bluntly state that there are PLENTY of women out there who are feeling the exact same way as you at those parties, and find that sort of passion & fury seriously, seriously hot. Trust me. Sleeping with someone who's equally riled up about it is probably all the therapy you need ;)

The website Superdyke.com is pretty rad for making online friends and finding queer lady events in your area. Sexy hot emails with strangers might be one way to practice your flirts, too.
posted by crawfo at 9:15 AM on December 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

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