I'm worried that I will be single forever

I have lately been having lots of anxiety and self-loathing about the fact that I am a young adult virgin girl who has never had a boyfriend before. It seems like everyone my age has already had boyfriends by now or are not virgins anymore, and I just had my first kiss five months ago. I’m worried that, at this rate, I won’t have a boyfriend for a very long time. The problem is that I want to lose my virginity to my first boyfriend who cares about me, but at the same time, I don't want to be waiting forever in order to experience sex. I have already given in to bad temptations by hooking up with random strangers on social media sites and having oral sex with them. Luckily, they were nice guys, but none of them wanted a relationship with me. I feel dirty by doing this, but I feel pressured to do this things in order to seem normal.

Most people are surprised when they find out that I am a virgin or never had a boyfriend because people think I am really good looking. I am tall, I play lots of sports, and I get excellent grades in school. I am in my first year of university right now, and no guys have approached me to go out on a date or showed any interest. It bothers me. Most of the people in my family have been in relationships at my age already. I feel like I will be single forever sometimes.

Lynda Martens
Lynda Martens
Marriage & Family Therapist, MSc, RP, RMFT

Hi Winters, I'm so glad you wrote, because I think there are a lot of young women experiencing the exact same thing. You feel self-loathing for both being a virgin, and for being sexually active. Young women have always gotten crazy mixed messages about what they're supposed to be. They feel pressure to be pure, and they also feel pressure to be the vixen and please men sexually. But you can't be both, so you can't ever win if you buy into all that horse manure (excuse my language). 

This current hook-up culture puts added pressure on girls to expect nothing more than random sexual encounters that leave you feeling empty and used; perhaps desirable in that moment but mostly worthless. The stupid part is that research tells us that young men are also impacted negatively by this cultural norm that values sex and not relationship; they feel guilt, and loneliness.  

I urge you to talk to other girls and women about your feelings. My hope and prayer is that they will echo my words here.

Your value and power cannot ever be found in whether a man wants you, whether you turn his eye, or how he treats you. Your sexuality is a beautiful part of who you are, and it is to be celebrated. I love that you want to celebrate it with someone who cares. Who you are is so very much more than your sexuality. You sound like you have a lot of things going for you. Try to see all of those things when you think of yourself.

There are many more virgins out there, and many are afraid, like you, that they don't fit in. We are all different, and you don't have to be anything but who you want to be; who you are. You don't have to have any kind of sex until you're ready, and that makes you brave and smart, not weird.

You're tall and beautiful, and guys may be intimidated by that. It may take time for you to meet the right guy, but he's out there. The question is: How do you want to spend your time until he crosses your path? 

I hope you talk to someone soon and find out that your feelings are normal. I wish you the best.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Nat Roman
Nat Roman
Marriage & Family Therapist, MSc RP
I think that every person who has been single for any extended period of time has felt the same worries - myself included. Since relationships are so important to us we fear not having them and being single. It is similar to fearing that we won't ever get a good job when we have been out of work for awhile or fearing that we won't be healthy when we have been sick. We fear these things because they are so important - not because these fears are realistic or true! 

There is immense pressure put on young single people from peers and media to conform to ideas of what is normal and to meet expectations in terms of sexual experience, dating, etc. While some people may judge an adult who is a virgin - others will respect your choices and feel even more attracted to you because of your choices. Experimenting with sex, so long as you are being safe and respectful is also completely okay and normal. 

Since expectations vary and we can't be happy if we are always comparing ourselves to other people, we need to ultimately trust that being who we are and building a loving relationship with ourselves is the key to meeting someone who will cherish us for all the ways that we are special and unique, virgin or not. When we are able to really accept ourselves and trust in our loveableness (not a real word but you get what I mean!) then meeting someone special is simply a matter of time and effort - putting ourselves out in the world in situations where we are likely to meet other single people looking for relationships. 

When you are most afraid of being alone - remember that this fear is simply a reminder of how much you value relationships. Use that passion about wanting relationships to build the best relationship you can with yourself and then one day soon some lucky person will stumble into your life and benefit immensely from your passion and your ability to be authentically who you are rather than pretending to be "normal" or whatever that is anyway. Hope this helps! 
The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

It is very hard to want a loving relationship, and either see or imagine all around you, the great times other couples are having. Extra hard is that other people's comments may start giving you the sense that you are letting them down to not have a relationship!

All the fantasies that develop from viewing Facebook photos and imagining everyone or most people in ideal relationships, just augments any frustration of not being part of this group.

Your post sounds like you're being true to yourself and honoring who you are really, by developing clear standards of what you'd expect from a relationship.

For the longterm, whatever develops in your relationship life, you will always be able to look back and know you had self-integrity. 

By being your natural self, you're being attractive.   

Probably very unlikely that a young woman who would like a relationship, will never have one.

Maybe the young men in your school are not yet emotionally mature enough to know how to see and appreciate you.

Even though it may be hard, have patience with bringing in someone who is good for you.  

And, continue your keen insight of yourself because it is guiding you to be the best in all areas of living.

Sending good luck in all areas!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Cimberly R. Nesker
Cimberly R. Nesker
Registered Psychotherapist (3579)

I think one of the first questions that springs to mind for me is, "what's the rush?"  Just because other people in your circle have had experiences that you are still warming up to does not mean that there's something wrong or something to be ashamed of.  If anything, I want to commend you on the self-respect you have in wanting to wait and share this most intimate of experiences with someone that will feel the same way about it.  

One of the most common distortions in our thinking is when we try to directly compare ourselves to others; while these people and even those in your family share a level of closeness to you they are not exactly like you - they don't see or feel things in the exact same way as you nor do they share the exact same perspective. It's important to be making choices for you and for your own desires and life goals.  Once you stop comparing your happiness, you may find that you are already experiencing it and allow more of your guard to fall down. 

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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