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It's Wearing Me Down

I'm 20, single, and I've never had a boyfriend. I made one brave attempt at online dating a year ago that lasted two months, another at seriously dating a friend which lasted two weeks, and then most recently, an attempt at sleeping with an acquaintance which just didn't work.

It's wearing me down. I know where I went wrong in my choices, but it's still wearing me down. A string of failures, no matter how short, will chip away at my self-confidence; and I'm not going to lie, I didn't have much self-confidence to begin with.

My first and only attempt at online dating could've worked. But I was too reserved and shy. I didn't open up to him, or even give him a chance to know me. So one day he just cut me off. No texts, no calls, nothing. Lesson learnt: I need to open up more.

The two-week dating affair was the worst decision ever. It was with a friend who I knew harbored feelings for our mutual friend. We often joked that he was 'obsessed' with her. He showed all the classic signs; he grew noticeably awkward around her, went out of his way for her, and made repeated attempts at asking her out. We joked that 'every rejection made him stronger', like a mushroom power-up. He only chose me out of convenience, I know that and I don't resent him for it one bit. We both confused our tight friendship as something more – he wanted to get over her, I wanted to get back in the dating game and get over him. So it was never going to last longer than those two weeks. Lesson learnt: don't confuse friendships. Never rebound off of friends.

My attempt at sleeping with an acquaintance was just as dumb. Again, I /knew/ he was interested in our mutual friend. It was an unrequited one-year thing, he got turned down, and then a couple weeks later we start talking. I open up, just a little, to him, and we try to solve our loneliness with each other. Nope. No. Lesson learnt: never get with a guy who blatantly has no interest in you. It's less painful that way. I didn't develop feelings for him, but it whittles down your confidence when your so-called '**** buddy' can't actually sustain an erection because you're not /her/.


I know what my issues are here. I find it ridiculously hard to open up to people and I place myself as second-best. I'm too scared to make the first move, and I'm terrified of rejection. So I put myself in this awkward position where I'm a convenient second-best for the men in my life and little else.

I honestly can't envision myself settling down anytime soon or even in the future. I'd love to, don't get me wrong, but with how I currently am, is it even a possibility?

I'm surrounded by friends with flourishing love-lives. Two of my closest friends have already starting making postgraduate plans with their boyfriends and are sorting out the details to shared apartments and holidays. All of my flatmates are in serious relationships. I don't have a single friend who is unattached.

I know I'm young and I know there'll be 'more opportunities', but right now it feels hopeless. I watch my friends get treated by their boyfriends, and talk about their girlfriends and it honestly makes me jealous. Why can't I have that too? I want to be loved too! I want to be deserving of someone and be the person that can make their life that little bit happier.

It's wearing me down. I used to feel good about myself, but I'm feeling the pressure settle in when I'm surrounded by all of these people in relationships. The pressure hits even harder when I play constant third wheel. People are often confused when I tell them I haven't slept with anyone for a year and that I've never had a serious relationship. I get compliments, and I occasionally get flirted with. But nothing more. No one sees me as girlfriend material. Forever friend-zoned, and likely to be forever alone.
retropolitan retropolitan 18-21, F Jan 22, 2013

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