The 24 Year Old Virgin

Quarter of a century in, and no real dating experience either.<div class="addthis_toolbox addthis_default_style addthis_32x32_style" addthis:url='http://dappered.com/2012/08/the-24-year-old-virgin/' addthis:title='The 24 Year Old Virgin ' ><a class="addthis_button_facebook"></a><a class="addthis_button_twitter"></a><a class="addthis_button_email"></a><a class="addthis_button_pinterest_share"></a><a class="addthis_button_compact"></a><a class="addthis_counter addthis_bubble_style"></a></div>
Ask A Woman:  I’ve never had a girlfriend.  What will women think?

If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it.  Beth is our source for the answers.  From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday.  And don’t worry, your identity will be protected too.  Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to: askawoman@dappered.com

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Dear Beth,

I’m 24 and have never had a girlfriend before, and yes– I’m still a virgin.  Is that weird?

I thought I’d ask that first before I give you some background on myself, to see what your initial reaction is.

I’ve never had a relationship before, mostly due to the fact that I was a weirdo in middle school, and had zero confidence in high school until near the end of my senior year.  It wasn’t until my last two years of college did I start to feel comfortable with myself.  My friends had girlfriends though.  And as they came and went, I started to notice things I did and did not want in a relationship, to put it nicely.  I’ve had a pretty good sense of what I’m looking for in someone, and figured that since I’ve waited this long, I might as well hold off for something that would be of substance.  Same thing with sex.  I’m not religiously or morally opposed to premarital sex; I’d just rather it be with someone I like at least.  That, of course, has yet to happen.

I can confidently say that I’m no longer the schmuck I was in my early days, and think of myself as a decent looking, normal guy.  I don’t find my virginity/lack of a previous relationship particularly off-putting since I’ve seen my friends/others get into pretty disastrous relationships and would rather not have a girlfriend for the sake of having a girlfriend, but it seems women might think otherwise.  Thoughts?

- Steven

 

Hi Steven,

As rare as your situation might seem to you–or to other readers out there–I actually have known several people (mainly women) who got well into their twenties without having had a relationship.  They have lots of friends; they have good jobs; they come from nice families; they’re fun, normal people.  And most of their friends would say, we don’t understand why so-and-so has never had a boyfriend.  But I think you bring up a likely response to that–late bloomers.  For many people, high school is where you begin to figure out how to flirt and date; college is where you continue to hone those skills (yes, flirting is a skill, men, learn it), as well as other more mature talents…like sneaking out of a stranger’s bed at 4am.  If you mature later on, or you’re excessively shy during these formative years, you fall behind what most other people your age are doing, and it can be really hard to catch up.  You won’t be used to picking up on women’s signals, or you may be terrified of asking a man out, or you just don’t know how to segue from friendship to dating to relationship.  It’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean you’ll be alone forever.  And, I don’t think women will find this particularly distressing.  Unusual, yes, but not run away! bizarre.

It is much more atypical to be a virgin at your age.  For good or bad, the late-to-dating friends I’ve known have tended toward having sex with anyone the first time in an effort “to get it over with” so that they don’t feel like the last American virgin.  These “forced” experiences have been what you’d expect–awkward, disappointing, even upsetting–so this is not a tact I’d suggest in the least.  But this is where women will have a harder time understanding your situation.  Most people understand not having sex due to moral or religious reasons, but you simply haven’t gotten around to it, and that’s not something that women run into often.


Tim Tebow turned 25 this week.  Steven, you’re not alone.
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You know, Steven, your email is pretty interesting.  You ask me if this is weird, and what women will think of it, but you show almost no interest in getting started in your dating life.  You mention witnessing the failed relationships of your friends several times, and this seems to be your explanation for not having dated anyone.  If you really feel like dating is something you can take or leave, then by all means, continue living your life in the way that makes you content and fulfilled.  As you said, there’s no point in dating just to say you have a girlfriend.  It’s not fair to put yourself in that position, and it’s really not fair to the prospective girlfriend.  But take a little time and ask yourself–are you avoiding dating for some reason?  Has it been so long that you are hesitant to begin at all?  Maybe the answer to both of these questions is a simple no, in which case, all the best to you.  But make sure you’re not missing out on enriching experiences because of fear.  Unless you’re the luckiest son of a bitch out there, you WILL have disappointing dating experiences, even heartbreaking ones.  This is normal.  This will prepare you for future relationships, and there’s no way to avoid pain when it comes to love.

If you do start dating, I see no reason to put any of this information front and center with prospective girlfriends.  Date for fun, and then when you begin to really like someone, you can tell them about your lack of experience.  She may be taken aback, but if she’s a quality person, she’ll stick around.  Hey, Andy ended up with Trish, right?

-Beth

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