It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Relationship Health Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-30-2006, 10:30 PM   #1
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Van_27 HB User
22 and never dated.

As the title says, I'm 22 years old, and I've never so much as been on a date in my life. Obviously I'm a virgin (never even held a girl's hand), I also suffer pretty badly from social anxiety. I'm doing the anti-depressant thing, but so far, no results after almost 2 years on pills.

I have a half-decent job (retail management), but the $25k/year isn't enough to let me move out of my dad's house. I pay him rent to keep my room there. I do have my own vehicle and I have tons of free time. I don't think I'm bad looking. I do pack a few extra pounds, but who doesn't these days? That said, I don't have any friends to do anything with, so the chances of meeting anybody are already slim to nil.

I don't care for promiscuity/casual sex, and I obviously don't like being in a crowd (ie: bar, club, etc.). I want a serious relationship, but having zero social experience as a teen through high school, I find myself attracted more to girls in the 16-18 year-old range (who obviously aren't ready for anything serious) because socially, I'm not 22 years old, I'm still much younger. It's like being 16 in an adult body. Hell, my 14 year-old siblings have more social experience than I've ever had.

Every day, I see people my age, or even younger, walking around with their significant others, and I can't help but come close to having an anxiety attack out of sheer jealousy. I feel even worse when I see somebody my age with a wife and kid. There is nothing I want more than to be in that situation. I want to raise a family. I know I'm still young for that, but the older I get, the harder it is going to be to have that happen.

What is a guy with issues like mine supposed to do? I like who I am, but it seems like nobody else does, especially women. My depression won't go away beforehand because being alone is why I'm depressed.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 08-30-2006, 10:56 PM   #2
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 470
plasva HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

Hello,

I know you do not want to hear it, but it's time to move out of your dad's house, whether that means you find a tiny studio apartment of your own, or rent a room in a house with roommates. With roomies, rent + utilities will not even be half your monthly pay. I'd suggest the roommate route, because that forces you to be at least a tiny bit more social.

Do you have any coworkers in their 20's? I know it's hard, but it's as simple as saying, "Anyone want to go out for a drink after work?" The point is to go out and talk with people; you don't have to order an alcoholic drink.

What do you think of my 2 ideas?

 
Old 08-30-2006, 10:59 PM   #3
Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 69
caladbolg HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

No worries, bars/clubs aren't very good places to find love anyway.

Hey, if you have a lot of free time, how about considering things like volunteering at some place (hospital, community service, etc)? If that's not your thing, then how about joining some hobby club or organization? You'll surely meet some very interesting people.

Oh yeah, and I agree with plasmo. You should probably considering moving out of the house.

Last edited by caladbolg; 08-30-2006 at 11:23 PM.

 
Old 08-31-2006, 11:32 PM   #4
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Van_27 HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plasmodiumovale
Hello,

I know you do not want to hear it, but it's time to move out of your dad's house, whether that means you find a tiny studio apartment of your own, or rent a room in a house with roommates. With roomies, rent + utilities will not even be half your monthly pay. I'd suggest the roommate route, because that forces you to be at least a tiny bit more social.

Do you have any coworkers in their 20's? I know it's hard, but it's as simple as saying, "Anyone want to go out for a drink after work?" The point is to go out and talk with people; you don't have to order an alcoholic drink.

What do you think of my 2 ideas?
I don't see living at home as a problem. My dad knows I'm a grown man and can do what I want. I know quite a few people (mostly acquaintances, not friends) who lived at home until they were near 30, and they weren't having social problems. I don't want to live with any roommates because you have no control over when they decide to leave or not pay their bills.

I'm the manager of my store. Socializing with my employees is something I would have to be extremely careful doing. It's impossible to know everybody's motivation. I'm lucky enough to only have 5-6 employees on staff at any given time, and we do go out for the occasional company-sponsored "team event", but nothing more than that.

I live in an isolated town of roughly 70,000 people. There isn't much for clubs/hobbies, etc. I am heavily involved with minor and junior hockey in the area, so the spare time I have away from work is spent there.

Just for the record, I'm not ashamed of being a shy person. I do wish I didn't suffer the anxiety symptoms, but a quiet person is who I am. I have accepted that. It seems that society has made people like me automatic outcasts.

 
Old 09-01-2006, 12:06 AM   #5
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 470
plasva HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

I guess you really need to figure out your goals first, then create a plan.

What's your goal right now?
To be more social in general?
To go out on one nice date?
Or to actually find a relationship?

There are a lot of paths you can take. For me, I've found the key is to keep trying.... keep taking classes to meet people, force yourself to talk to them, get a second job at a place that employs a lot of people, etc. Internet dating has been very good to me, too, but that's because I kept trying, through all of the bad dates, before I had a good one.

I don't know if you have time for a 2nd job, but when I worked at a call-center, the social possibilities were amazing, because not only are hundreds of people employed at a place like that, new people start working there all the time.

However, it sounds like you're happy living where you are (in your smallish city.) How many years would you like to stay there?

Last edited by plasva; 09-01-2006 at 12:12 AM.

 
Old 09-01-2006, 10:47 PM   #6
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Van_27 HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

Within the next couple years, I want to be in a bigger centre like Vancouver, which is very possible with the company I work for. (No, I don't have time for a 2nd job. I signed a contract dedicating myself to the company I work for now.)

That said, a bigger city won't help the issues I have now, mainly social anxiety. I'm on my third type of anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication, but nothing has worked so far.

As for my goal, I want something serious and long term. I don't buy this "never marry your first" bull****. "The one" could be your first or your 20th significant other. I don't believe in getting into relationships knowing it won't last.

 
Old 09-02-2006, 09:34 AM   #7
Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 470
plasva HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

Sometimes you just have to keep trying... keep putting yourself out there, talking to girls, spending time with people, just to learn how people hang out and communicate, knowing you will be rejected, but keep trying anyway. I would think that if you FORCE yourself, the anxiety will at least lessen over time.
Eventually, you will connect with someone.

 
Old 09-02-2006, 10:55 AM   #8
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: America
Posts: 546
amy2705 HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Van_27
Just for the record, I'm not ashamed of being a shy person. I do wish I didn't suffer the anxiety symptoms, but a quiet person is who I am. I have accepted that. It seems that society has made people like me automatic outcasts.
Good. Because there's nothing wrong with being a shy/quiet person. But don't assume that your social situation is because people don't like you. Maybe it's that people just haven't had the chance to know you! I don't think you've been "made" an outcast - is it possible you've done that to yourself? I'm honestly not trying to be harsh ... but could it be that by waiting for people to come to you and waiting for them to put in all the effort of figuring out who you are that you've outcasted yourself? It's sort of a two-way street - you have to give people the chance to get to know you and put yourself you there a bit.

I get what you're saying about socializing at work if you're the only manager.That's a tough situation to be in. If you told your company that you're interested in advancement within the company, would they maybe 1. transfer you to Vancouver (more people = more opportunities to meet new people, other managers) and 2. pay for you to take some sort of night class, etc. to upgrade your skills where you could meet people at the same level as you (managerial, looking to advance)? Might be an easy way to meet people since you'd already have something in common. Or maybe they'd allow you to go to school part-time? I bet there are a lot of women at UBC or SFU (even U Vic) who'd be into you if given a change to get to know you. And I bet there'd be a lot of new guy friends to meet on their varsity hockey teams.

It's good that you have outside interests like hockey - but I'm not so sure that's the best place to meet women! I bet in Vancouver there would be a lot more social opportunities - maybe a co-ed hockey league?

 
Old 09-02-2006, 04:07 PM   #9
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 1,420
GypsyArcher HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

Quote:
But don't assume that your social situation is because people don't like you. Maybe it's that people just haven't had the chance to know you!
Amy has a point. Shy people often put others off without meaning to. Because other people assume that since you are not making an effort to talk to them or show any interest, then it means that YOU don't like THEM. It is a two way street.

There are some people who are so boisterous and outgoing that they will talk to anybody, anywhere. But most people are a little self-conscious, and aren't going to make an attempt to get closer to someone who is completely closed off and formidable looking. You really have to make a conscious effort to open yourself up more.

Make eye contact with people. Smile. Like the song lyric goes, don't surround yourself with yourself. You have to keep in mind that you are not the only person who is self-conscious and anxious around new people. Most of us are! We all wonder what the people we meet are going to think about us, and whether or not they'll accept us.

So instead of getting caught up in your own shyness and anxiety, just remember that everyone else is on the same level you are. And they are looking to YOU to see if you're friendly, open, and someone they can feel comfortable with. So you need to give a little, too...work on signals that let others know you're interested, you'd like to talk, and they don't need to be afraid to approach you. Kind of weird to consider, but while you believe everyone is avoiding you because they don't like you, the truth is they think you don't like them. You need to turn that around boy!
__________________
The grass is always greener on the other side...until you get closer and see that it's astroturf~

 
Old 09-02-2006, 11:58 PM   #10
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Van_27 HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

General reply to some points since I last posted...

-It's not as easy as just transferring me to Vancouver. The plan is for me to officially express my interest when our company eventually opens another store down there. (They already know I want the opportunity. They just have no set-in-stone plans for another store just yet. It's coming though.)

-No offence to anybody, I know you're all trying to help, but the advice like "putting yourself out there", "smile", "make eye contact", etc... those are all huge roadblocks with my social anxiety. Just thinking about it makes my heart beat faster than usual, and if I somehow find myself in a social setting, I will sweat, my voice will stutter and crack if I try to talk, and eye contact is just a scary experience for some reason I cannot come up with. I've been on medication that is supposed to help the physical symptoms so I can concentrate on improving myself socially, but so far, no luck.

-I see the point about school. That said, the main reason I quit after half a semester of college 4 years ago is because I cannot stand the classroom atmosphere. There's too many people, and group projects kick in my social anxiety. If I do any courses to advance myself for my job, I will likely do it online.

I really do my best to stay positive and think my turn for social success is coming, but at the same time, I'm not getting any younger. The longer you go without achieving your goals, the more pessimistic and depressed you get. For myself, it's been a lot worse recently as I watch my younger brother (almost 14) have a ton more friends than I've ever had. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud as hell of him, but I can't help but be extremely jealous.

 
Old 09-03-2006, 12:38 AM   #11
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: USA
Posts: 1,420
GypsyArcher HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

Trust me bud, I understand social anxiety. But hiding away from social situations isn't going to help anything. It ain't easy, but you have to FORCE yourself to get out there, that is the only way you will develop confidence in yourself!

You're sitting back and waiting for medication to work like a magic trick...but it doesn't work that way. The only way you're going to overcome your anxiety is on your own, doing the work, getting out there and overcoming your fears. You need to take small steps, and work your way up. Look, if you tell yourself "Oh my god, this situation is going to be scary, no way I can this" you are just freaking yourself out.

You need to talk to yourself in a more positive way and be a cheerleader for yourself. No one, and no drug, can do this for ya bud. It's all on you.
__________________
The grass is always greener on the other side...until you get closer and see that it's astroturf~

 
Old 09-03-2006, 07:00 PM   #12
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Van_27 HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

I'm not waiting for the pills to "work like magic". I want them to do what they're made to do and relieve the physical symptoms so I can get myself through the mental fears. As long as my shirt is soaked with sweat and I have a physical problem speaking when I enter a social situation, no social group will accept me.

 
Old 09-03-2006, 07:30 PM   #13
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 468
strongernow HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

Van are you unattractive?

Try Dr. Phil's audiobook called self matters. I love it so much. It helps with anxiety, anger, self confidence, self esteem, and life.

Last edited by strongernow; 09-03-2006 at 07:31 PM.

 
Old 09-03-2006, 08:04 PM   #14
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: America
Posts: 546
amy2705 HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

That sounds pretty rough - it must be hard to work through the mental aspects when there are physical things too. I never got sweaty like that, but I did get mild shakes and my mouth would get dry when I got nervous around large groups I didn't really know (which made me feel uncomfortable speaking with people). I've worked through my social anxiety now, but I still prefer small groups and more intimate settings (i.e. a comfy bar with a few good friends as opposed to a big club, etc.). It's a h*ll of a lot better than when I couldn't stand having to socialize with anyone I didn't already know! I can handle pretty much any social setting now ... so it's more down to personal preference. I still loathe cocktail receptions and group work (some things never change!) but I've learned to deal with them if I have to.

In any case, I think I understand what Gypsy was saying. I think all she meant was that meds will help you along but you still have to essentially do it yourself ... meds will only take you so far and they won't do all the work on their own. That's what I found at least. I used to think that they'd just sort of make it so that I was "fine" and waited for them to do their thing. For me, that moment never came. I came to the conclusion that the meds took the edge off but the rest was up to me. Based on my experience, I think that's all Gypsy meant and (again, based only on my personal experience) I think she's right.

It's frustrating and it can be downright scary ... but it's totally possible to get there. This is perhaps not the best advice ever, but just keep trying little by little. At risk of sounding trite, you might even try something like carrying a backpak with a deodorant spray and a couple versions of the same shirt. Try going out with people, even if just for a quick coffee ... or meeting up but only staying a short time and build up slowly. I think sometimes people can be a lot more accepting than you think they'll be when you've got anxiety.

Sorry if this is a bit personal, but are you working with a therapist? Just asking because that's what helped me a lot.

P.S. Back to the sweat thing. I have a friend (male) who sweats a lot - it's not anxiety related, it's a medical thing ... but anyway, his doc told him to get botox in his sweat glands. He started doing that and it's really helped him. If you're self-conscious about the sweating, it might be something to consider. Whatever helps, right?

 
Old 09-03-2006, 09:36 PM   #15
Inactive
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Van_27 HB User
Re: 22 and never dated.

No, I'm not seeing a therapist. Reasons being that my job (which I absolutely love and is a great refuge for me) and involvement with hockey takes up too much time, and I simply do not trust therapists. I know they're professional, but in the end, I just don't know whether or not I'd be a topic of conversation at their dinner tables.

I completely understand that medication won't work on its own. My issue is that so far, it hasn't helped in the least.

Thinking more and more, I think part of my problem is that I just don't enjoy the popular activities people my age do. I don't know about where you guys are, but the only things there are here are bars and clubs. If you're not going drinking with at least a dozen people, you're staying home.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Never give up Newwidow Herpes 2 08-19-2009 05:57 AM
I'm falling apart/Never had a boyfriend, Never will.. LonelyDaisy Relationship Health 7 03-08-2009 11:44 PM
Post Dated Scripts. jodom1979 Pain Management 5 12-06-2007 10:34 AM
i will never ever have sex again scaredhelp1087 Herpes 6 12-01-2005 10:06 PM
No more post dated scripts? MizLiz Pain Management 23 10-18-2005 05:29 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:39 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!