Medical Questions > Relationships > Single and Struggling Forum

19, Staring Into A Void I Only Recently Realized Existed...

Where to start, where to start.

For the 19 years that I’ve been on the Earth, ever since I reached the age where should shown an interest in dating...nothing. And for the longest time I just assumed I was an asexual or something. At least that’s what I told myself on the surface. Deep down I knew this wasn’t the case. My emotional side was trying to tell me something but my primarily intellectually and analytically driven-self wasn’t willing to accept it. Occasionally however, my inner feelings would break through. I’d find myself googling things like “19 and never had a girlfriend”, “19 and never had a first kiss,” etc. But usually the feelings would pass. Not so since the last few months. Let me explain.

Literally everyone in my inner circle - from my friends to my direct family - are in extremely healthy relationships. Everyone except me, that is. I’m the one exception. For years, I’d just brush it off, or that I was asexual. My best friend, however, is literally in the dream relationship everyone strives for. They’re both 19, have been together for a year and a half, and have literally never fought once. Not only that, but she has the same qualities in a woman that I’ve always looked for. (Don’t take that the wrong way, I’m more than happy for them, and I don’t want his girlfriend, just someone with the same qualities). He’s living my dream (yes, I called myself asexual but still mused about the qualities in partners I would like. Strange, I know, but I’m strange). I regularly remind him just how lucky he is.

Anyway, she attends college up in Michigan, along with my second-best friend and his girlfriend (we’re from Chicagoland), and we usually visit them twice during the school year, once in fall and once in Spring. They’d all obviously do couples activities, so not only would I end up as the third wheel, but a fifth wheel. Not to mention that whenever we’d visit, all five of us would stay in one dorm room (their girlfriends dorm together, and my 2nd best friend often spends the night), and I would be stuck sleeping on the floor in her dorm room (they sleep in the same bed, obviously). Everyone else in a warm bed, and I’m stuck on the cold floor. Even for an asexual that’s not a confidence booster for anybody. But it wasn’t just that. Two nights in a row, out of the three we spent there, I was up the entire night googling phrases like “19 and never had a girlfriend,” “I hate being the third wheel,” “I’m going to die alone,” that kind of stuff. In the morning I’d usually just write it off as my thoughts creeping up in the lonesome darkness of the night (that should’ve been my first clue, that deep down I truly wasn’t happy, but I still chose to ignore myself).

For about two days after coming back, I either didn’t sleep well or had really vivid, prophetic dreams (the kind of dreams where the details fade but the emotional impact stays long after one’s woken). Then, on that third morning, I woke up with literally three words ringing in my head, “F, I’m alone.” I hate to use the phrase, because I think it’s so cliche, but I’m feeling like I’ve been asleep throughout the entire time I should have begun to develop healthy relationship and dating skills, especially in high school (a good chunk of I LITERALLY was asleep in, yet still pulled a 4.0, huh), and only now I’ve suddenly woken up (or my emotional side forced me awake), and all the feelings that I should have felt stretched over a healthy puberty and high school life, I’ve been fast-tracked and flooded with over the last two months. I’m feeling several years worth of questions, doubts, worries, angsts, over a period of only two months so far and it’s slowly destroying me from the inside out. For god’s sake, I’m literally the only single person out of my close group of friends and family. All my friends (literally ALL) are in healthy, close relationships. My parents have a beautiful relationship. I’m literally the only person I know who is not only struggling with relationships, but is outright failing at any meaningful interactions with the opposite sex. If I had to sum it up in one word, its a sense of...urgency. Urgency, yes, that’s it. It’s like that feeling you get when you realize you overslept for a major exam, but multiplied over many times. You’re late to the party and are desperate to catch up. I’ve also slowly begun to get almost like little panic attacks.

Anyway, down to brass tacks. My best friend and I both valued the same qualities in women. Rather peculiar, but at least he was lucky enough to find his soul mate. I like:
Fit, thin, otherwise in good shape.
Adventurous and likes to travel, and most importantly...
Not really the “girly girl” type. I like girls who are into punk rock. Not really as far as goth or anything. The kind of girls who hang out at Hot Topic. Know what I mean?

In terms of my physical appearance and health...well, to say I’ve let myself go is a misnomer. It’s impossible to let oneself go if they grow up in bad shape in the first place. I’m 5’7” and about 250lbs last time I checked. I’m worried that even if I turn myself around there’s permanent damage I’ve done to my body that I can’t reverse. I’m trying to exercise at least twice a week at the school’s rec center, and I’m taking multivitamins and L-Arginine to help boost my HGH output and maybe get another few inches in height (I’m one of those people who’s still growing vertically at 19). But it’s a long, slow process, and it’s a horribly vicious cycle, because women want a physically fit and handsome man (anyone who says physical appearance doesn’t matter is a liar), but without someone to motivate you to keep on the health kick, it’s hard to get in shape, which makes it hard to be confident to go for girls, etc. It’s hard to keep motivated to get fit when there’s no one specific waiting for you on the other side... I know, I know, my own health should be enough motivation, but it’s not (I have self-worth problems).

In terms of my mental health when it comes to relationships, romance, and sex, I’m not sure how to proceed forward. From my point of view, as it stands - where I am now and where I am going at the moment, there’s very few options I have to possibly have a chance at developing a healthy romantic and sex life. Here’s how I view it.
At 19 I should at least have some experience at commingling with the opposite sex. I should be at least be capable of picking up on cues like if I’m being hit on (I was hit on once two years ago, by a cashier when I was shopping with my dad. He had to tell me later what happened, I was oblivious) or if a girl is showing interest in me. Not only that, but as a whole I’m afraid of women. I feel a bit like Raj from the Big Bang Theory sometimes. I desperately want to talk to women but I get so uncomfortable that I simply choose to avoid those situations whenever possible. This in itself is an unhealthy place.
At the current pace, I might not develop a fully developed set of skills of romantic and sex life until many years down the road, in my late 20s and 30s. Waiting so long is in itself inherently unhealthy. To have no experience by then is most definitely unhealthy.
If I continue down the road I’m going I might develop some unhealthy notions about relationships and sex. Which is also obviously unhealthy.

In other words, I’m at a loss for solutions about how I can catch up to where I should be developmentally*

*I know it sounds rather cold and analytical, but from a scientific standpoint, there’s a reason we developed the medical concept of developmental milestones. And milestones in sexual development are no different from physical, emotional, mental development, etc., and I’m willing to face the fact that at my age, and where I am, I’m developmentally stunted in terms of relationships and romance. I’m willing to face that, and I want to change that. That’s the reason I’m here.

I’m tempted to ask my best friend to basically be my mentor in this situation. Much of what I’m mentioning here I already mentioned to him. When we hang out, a lot of what we talk about has of late become this topic. When we visit another friend who’s downstate at Eastern Illinois (also in a relationship...*sigh*), I’m going to ask them both to wingman for me. Is that asking too much? I’m too old to go this alone.

I’m a mess...
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replied November 18th, 2012
Extremely eHealthy
I was painfully shy with girls until I was forced to get a job as a door-to-door salesman at the age of seventeen.
Being groped by bored housewives soon brings a boy out of his shell...

My best advice is save your money until you can vacation where there is a nice clean and legal brothel and ask them to work on your confidence...

Alternatively I strongly suggest approaching an older woman for hints and tips about male/female relationships. Mothers of friends are a good starting point and you might strike lucky and find a woman who would like your cherry.
I advise you not to be put off by a few wrinkles or signs of ageing. Nearly everyone is the same age in bed!

Good luck!
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