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Thread: Advice?

  1. #1

    Default Advice?

    I am starting to oddly old (at 25) and I feel strange for a few reasons:

    • Never had any sort of serious relationship (I am male and straight)
    • Never had sex
    • Never even made out


    I feel like at this age, these things should have 'just happened'. But I do not understand why most of my friends and my brother have had these things happen at a much younger age, and what made me stay so 'far apart from the world'. It was not a religious thing or anything like that. I considered myself strongly atheist during high school and today I still am generally non-religious.

    A few friends know these things about me. They say I would have to explain to any potential partner why I am still a virgin at such an age.

    One thing I know is a cause: social anxiety. During high school and college I was continuously afraid to talk to people and today I am not much different and I rarely trust anyone other than myself. I find that others can be 'nice' but for some odd reason I feel like I sense bullshit when people do this when they might actually be completely genuine (supposedly a symptom of Autism).

    It seems the most useful way to go about changing these bullet points is to just 'change them', meaning that I face the fears and 'get over it'. But it has been hard to do this. Sometimes it even feels like I make progress but then I feel like I did not do anything a while later.

    Anyone had a similar situation? General advice?

  2. #2

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    Don't stress the small stuff. 25 isn't that old, and in the modern world, it's probably a merit to have made it this long without folding to "Standards". Take it easy, you'll meet someone when the time is right, and you'll love every minute of it.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCarter View Post
    One thing I know is a cause: social anxiety. During high school and college I was continuously afraid to talk to people and today I am not much different...
    I don't want to dismiss the rest of your post but I feel that this is the main reason for a lot of the difficulties you are facing. Social anxiety if left alone can become a crippling problem so I think it best if I share my own experiences to help illustrate the point.

    (please note that its only been recently that I've been diagnosed with social anxiety, if only I'd known earlier )

    Like you, I was afraid to talk to people when I was younger but it was tempered by the bravado of youth that helped out when I needed to get things done. I formed the odd relationship with new people but mostly I stuck with the friend or two that I'd known since childhood. I was able to be friends with their girlfriends/wives/brothers/colleagues to an extent but I still found it difficult to get beyond these people and form my own relationships.

    Years went by and things started to change, one friend started to get heavily involved with drugs and disappeared in a puff of smoke to hang out with the other druggies, at the time I thought 'good riddance' not realising that I'd not only lost a friend but all the other people I knew around him.

    Others drifted away to have children or move to a new city for their career.

    The second big event was much harder, see my other friend was a 'fare weather friend' who would only appear when the good times were here and usually only when he needed something. As you can guess this finally got to breaking point when I needed support and received nothing of the kind.

    So I'm sat here something like 6 years later without a single friend to go to the pub with, wishing like hell that I'd known I had a problem with social anxiety so I could have done something about it earlier.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrCarter View Post
    It seems the most useful way to go about changing these bullet points is to just 'change them', meaning that I face the fears and 'get over it'. But it has been hard to do this. Sometimes it even feels like I make progress but then I feel like I did not do anything a while later.

    Anyone had a similar situation? General advice?
    Get help, learn that you have problems with social situations and try to find ways of getting past the anxiety even if you end up seeking professional help.

    Talk to the friends that you have and explain how you need a 'wingman' for social situations and learn from them.

    Write down when something goes right and how you feel about it soon after as our minds can easily turn to the negative viewpoint. This will help you realise that the 'bullshit' feeling is just you feeling negative.

    If you get the social problems resolved then the other issues should fix themselves on their own.

  4. #4

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    If it makes you feel better... at 25, I hadn't done any of those things either. The only "date" I went on before my 25th birthday was chauffeured and chaperoned by my parents.

    But only three years later, I am happily married. Now.. you may not find the right girl in the next three years and if you find A girl, she may not be THE girl. So there is no need to rush. Just let it happen naturally.

  5. #5

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    I think identifying the problem is a lot of the battle. I would disagree with just letting it happen but you don't need to be agressively pushing either. Recognize your current limitations, communicate them to people who can assist you, and stretch yourself a bit.

    I can see where the wonky BS detector could be a significant problem. I'm sure it's hard but consider that your distrust of everyone has left you in this bad circumstance. At this point, you'd be better off trying to trust even if you do get hurt now and again (as all of us trusting folks do). The absence of pain is not pleasure and you may find that even some hurt is better than a vague, emotional limbo. I think if you consciously understand that most people aren't out to lie to you or hurt you in any significant way, you might be able to get past it. Ask the advice of others you know when you're feeling anxious about someone but expect that people usually require some reason to treat others badly.

    Is there any chance of seeing a professional about your social anxiety? It might be helpful.

    Postscript advice: your thread title is really vague. You may or may not be able to edit it to give some more clue for readers out there or future forum searchers but if it's too late, you can ask the mods to edit it via a thread in Requests.
    Last edited by Trevor; 04-Oct-2013 at 19:39. Reason: PS.

  6. #6

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    Well I don't think 25 is that old of an age to not have done any of these things.I myself am almost 23 and I've never had sex and aside from my current relationship none of mine have been to serious they were mostly about sex heck my first kiss wasn't till I was 19.So I think you shouldn't be so focused on the fact you havn't done these things and just let them happen for you as they come.I mean just going after someone to achieve these "goals" will make their happening meaningless and trivial instead of fond memories of your first time.

    On a side note I'm a blunt and honest person you want get any BS from me

  7. #7

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    I think you and I are a lot alike in many ways. I was several years younger when I first had sex, but I didn't have that much to do with it when it happened the first time. I wouldn't have missed much had I waited.

    Sex for its own sake is overrated given the potential baggage that comes with it.

    [QUOTE=MrCarter;1111167]

    [*]Never had any sort of serious relationship (I am male and straight)[*]Never had sex[*]Never even made out[/LIST]
    That is a little unusual, but if even in this day and age, it doesn't usually happen unless you make some sort of effort. If it does, that usually means someone has gone overboard trying to do you. Like you, I'd be suspicious of someone trying that hard. My brother joined the Navy to escape one such person. Waaaaayyyyyy too clingy if you know what I mean.



    They say I would have to explain to any potential partner why I am still a virgin at such an age.
    Possible, not necessarily in a bad way. One of the things running through a potential partner's head is going to be "Holy Cow! How did I luck into someone guaranteed disease-free?"

    They might also have some concerns that you'll get too serious or clingy with it being your first time and all. If its someone who is just in it for the quick feelgood, they may not have the patience or desire to stick around while you figure out how all the parts work. Missing out on someone like that isn't all bad.

    Virgin or not, there's always a feeling out process as two people figure out where they want this thing to go..... or not go. You present one set of issues, somebody else who's not a virgin presents an different set.




    One thing I know is a cause: social anxiety. During high school and college I was continuously afraid to talk to people and today I am not much different and I rarely trust anyone other than myself. I find that others can be 'nice' but for some odd reason I feel like I sense bullshit when people do this when they might actually be completely genuine (supposedly a symptom of Autism).
    With me it was less fear than being satisfied with my own company. I found talking to people too much like work. Still do. My phone conversations are generally less than a minute unless I get trapped by someone who called to listen to the sound of their own voice (relatives usually, or I wouldn't put up with it.)

    Trust is a little different issue. Trusting your own judgement and decisions unless and until someone else has demonstrated superior knowledge on a particular subject isn't a bad thing. Be careful with it, sometimes this comes off as arrogant.

    Same thing with maintaining a modicum of skepticism regarding their intentions isn't all bad either. Not that everyone means you ill, mostly it means they don't care all that much, so its best if you keep your eyes open while you're going along for the ride.



    It seems the most useful way to go about changing these bullet points is to just 'change them', meaning that I face the fears and 'get over it'. But it has been hard to do this. Sometimes it even feels like I make progress but then I feel like I did not do anything a while later.
    You're actually on to something here, although I'd go after the social skills first rather than getting laid. Social isolation is much more of a potential problem for you than remaining a virgin.

    Human society being what it is, we have to interact with other people to get along in life and fulfill our basic needs. That's easier if you know what you're doing when you interact, ie, social skills. Social skills are just that, skills. They require knowledge and practice like anything else. Just going out and being with people doesn't get it done.

    Someone who, unlike us, is born with a craving to interact, isn't born with the social skills. They have to learn and practice just as we do. A social butterfly without skill is an annoying in-your-face a-hole..... or a total bore.

    When I was fresh out of college, looking for a job, I recognized that indifference to social interaction was one of my glaring weaknesses...... so I went into sales, figuring that I could learn to overcome it, and grow to like it like everyone else seemed to. I turned out to be right on the first count, wrong on the second.

    Via sales training courses, some good (and bad....) managers and a lot of trial and error, I learned how to interact effectively with people, make a lot of friends, and sell a lot of stuff. As it turns out, listening is a more important skill than talking to a good salesman. People love to talk about themselves. If you can manage to seem interested, and ask the right questions here and there, you'll learn all you need to know to make a sale, and you'll probably make a friend as well. Another side benefit, you can learn a lot about a lot of things, and may even find some new passions. The process works just as well getting laid, although your brain may explode listening to most chicks go on about themselves. Never did learn to like it though (sales, not getting laid). I guess I'm stuck with that end of it. I still find social interaction exhausting hard work.

    I couldn't do it that way today. Back before cell phones, there was a lot of solitary windshield time that let me decompress between sales calls and the requisite socializing. Now, salesmen have to be "on" almost 24/7.

    You don't necessarily need to become a salesman. There are plenty of sales training books, and you can practice the skills and the process at work and with your friends and family. No, you don't come up to them and say "Hey, I need to practice selling you something".

    Toastmasters can be a useful tool to both meet people, and overcome your fear of speaking. Most of the people there are doing it for the same reason.

    OK, I'm starting to ramble. My 2 cents worth.

    P.S. On the getting laid and 'relationship' part...... don't go doing that just because you think everyone else is doing it and liking it. I went through that and ended up married. I never felt anything like love (edit: not even sure what that means....), but I was horny and everyone around me was doing it. Like going into sales, I assumed that if I worked at it, I would not only get good at it, I would learn to like it. Wrong.

    Don't get me wrong, if someone had held a gun to my head and said "You have to get married. You can choose anyone in the world", I don't think I could have chosen better than Mrs. Maxx. We have similar needs for privacy and independence, respect each other's boundaries, etc., but 33 years later, I still think I'd have been happier with myself.

    Ironically, most of my friends and both my brothers have been married and divorced at least once, and I'm the only one that stuck with it. Maybe I've got the key and just don't know it.
    Last edited by Maxx; 04-Oct-2013 at 23:44.

  8. #8

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    I have two friends that suffer from social anxiety (diagnosed) and they struggle to find fulfilling partners as well as just generally interacting with others. Let me remind you your situation is neither a good nor bad thing. For us men, this is a kind of a societal standard we're expected to live up to in more ways than one. However, If you believe this is the case of an actual disorder, seeking therapy or a similar support group to help you out would be your best course of action here.

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