Depending on how you define real. I personally don't count internet relationships, but that is just me. Its cool if other people do, but you don't get the chance to socialize and touch in an online relationship so to me its more like a partial relationship since you don't get the full experience. But there you go.
Anyway I've reached a point where it really doesn't bother me the way it once did. I don't like bringing it up for fear people will freak out and act like 'Jesus, we have to change this' and I really don't like that attitude. Everyone is going to do and say things that make them deviant or subpar based on the standards we set for ourselves and society sets for us. I'd rather be a person who can make peace with his failings and deviances than someone who has to run out and fix every one of them. I've been through that, and I find my current way a lot more emotionally centered. I'm not saying that defensively, I've really just come to the conclusion that its better to make peace with the fact that all of us have and will sometimes fail to live up to societies expectations of us in something or another. And really, why am I a deviant while someone who has only had one relationship (ie someone who gets married to a high school sweetheart) is somehow normal? Who made that rule up?
I've never had trouble finding women who liked me, just never been able to get it beyond that stage of attraction. Self esteem is fairly good. I'm by no means perfect, but I'm tall, muscular, fairly intelligent, good with money and kids, etc. I've got confidence, I used to approach women all the time in college. But even if women were giving signals of being highly interested in me, it'd never go beyond that point. No idea why.
I have had a serious mental illness in the past that I"m recovered from now, but I don't think that alone is it. Before that I wouldn't date women who liked me either. I think back then it was lack of confidence, but now I have confidence and I still don't date. Its complex I guess, too many variables and when one is working out for you, another goes kaput. Besides, people shouldn't be kicked out of the human race and all it entails (friends, relationships, jobs) for life because they get sick with a neurological illness. I have an easy time forming friends and have a decent job, so I don't think this is all due to that. Besides I didn't date before that event either.
I don't know. I've reached the point where I don't know what I feel or if I even want to change it anymore. I mean I look at all the miserable people in relationships, and it reminds me of a Robert Wright quote on the nature of evolution and illusions of happiness and how maybe thinking the next great goal will bring happiness is an illusion.
Yeah I'm babbling. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am 29 and have never had a girlfriend or kissed a woman, but it isn't due to the idea that no woman has ever liked me (I had dozens of attractive women respond positively to me, and had a married woman who was a classmate who I wasn't attracted to offer to sleep with me in college and turned it down), which is an assumption that virtually everyone makes when they find that fact out. I guess I'm just saying that because hopefully here in this group people have better thought out ideas on why a person can never have a girlfriend, but for most people they seem to just respond with a knee jerk 'you must be repulsive' response, which isn't true. I don't know what it is, or if I even want to change it anymore since I've gotten used to it.
EDIT: Well its the next day and I'm glad I wrote this because writing and expressing yourself helps you understand what goes on inside of you. Now that I think about it more, I'm thinking that maybe I've got problems with intimacy because of all the abuse and abandonment I experienced when I was younger. I have what is known as a highly sensitive personality, and when you combine that with the abuse and abandonment its no wonder I have trouble with intimacy because people with that kind of personality need trust and protection the most. But as I was saying earlier, I don't know if I even want to fix it. I am someone who is highly sensitive and who has been abused and abandoned to the point where he cannot form safe, trustworthy relationships with the opposite sex. But I don't want to fix/purge everything about myself that makes me different from others at the same time. Maybe intimacy with women isn't safe enough for me to feel comfortable with it, maybe I feel like I'd be letting my guard too low with people who I can't trust.
I've dealt with all this by becoming as self reliant as possible. Normally my handle on message boards is "Juche", which is a North Korean philosophy of self reliance. The meaning of why I keep picking that handle never really struck me, but perhaps it is just an ex
I really think I just want to accept myself for what I am, accept that I have trouble with intimacy unless it occurs in a very, very safe environment (like a close friendship with someone I know or with a therapist, those are the only situations I've felt comfortable with intimacy. I can't even stand making eye contact with some people if I don't want to get too close to them) and just make the best of my life with what I have. And if I end up being 40 and never kiss or hug a woman then that is something I can accept and still be compassionate towards myself. I think if I ever do get a girlfriend she is going to have to understand that this is what I'm like and I can't ignore it or change it. I have very deep vulnerabilities that I have worked very hard to protect, and it may take a long time for her to get very close to me.