I'm Wesley Clark, 24, and have never had a girlfriend

In a way i feel stupid for writing that, and i don’t know why. Either its because i don’t think its important enough to be an issue or because i think that other people will really, really look down on me for it. Probably a mixture.

Dammit the words flowed so smoothly when i was at the checkout lane at kroger and thinking of what i was going to say when i got home and was going to post on SDMB so total strangers could see the intimiate details of my life. Let me add more alcohol.

Alright. What i was trying to say is this. Yeah i’ve never had a girlfriend and i’m 24. I have (i think) been on a date before. some woman from a class asked me to help her study and she kept flirting with me. we did that twice and after i asked her out again she dropped me. Cest la vie.

I also have had a ‘relationship’ with a woman from england that i met online. But i dont know if that counts. We never met in person and only talked via email, IM, or the phone. but we got along for several years and we still talk off and on.

But anyway, i dont lack self confidence or the ability to approach women. Thats actually how this post got started. Last weekend i was thinking about how i have never had a girlfriend and figured ‘why don’t i try to get one’. I have a good deal of self confidence, i like myself, and i know a reasonable deal about human interaction and female psychology. So on monday i try to pick up a woman from my class. I appraoch her, talk to her, and say goodbye and it goes nowhere. On tuesday i do it again with a different woman. I see the same woman again wednesday, we talk more and i ask her if she wants to study. On thursday we talk more. Then (i still find this part hilarious) today she emails and says she has a boyfriend (live in i think). So here i am getting all worked up (in a way) thinking ‘oh yeah, im finally going to experience what most people take for granted when they are 12 today and go on a date with a woman i asked out’ and i find out its not even a date. I was mildly embarassed, but we ended up talking and getting along and i may have made a new friend. So its not like this was a total washout or anything.

I seriously just want to give up though. Why can’t i just say ‘you know what, romance is a tricky mindfield and i don’t think the benefits are worth the risks’ and hang it up? I think its cultural brainwashing, if you look around 70-80% of popular culture mentions the greatness of romance (read a book, watch movies, listen to music, you’ll see what i mean). How is this different than Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia when 70-80% of popular culture mentioned the greatness of Nazism or Stalinism? Hell, had i grown up in Stalinist Russia would i be sitting here writing a post called “I’m Wesley Clark, 24, and have never joined the Communist party or read Stalin’s book”? Naturally my name isn’t Wesley Clark but you get the idea.

Hmmmmmm. As far as meeting women there aren’t good places. Unlike most people who haven’t had dates i do not fear women and am not really intimidated by them. The girl i was talking about earlier, i approached her, i led the conversations, i built my way into her trust, etc and she was a total stranger 3 days ago and now we will hopefully build a friendship. So its not like i can’t pick women up. its the embarassment factor. I would say 90% of strange women you try to pick up will laugh at you behind your back. Of the 10% who go along with it and date you your personality probably will not be compatible with most. So that is what, a 2% success rate in exchange for humiliating yourself over and over? No thanks.

I have no real social network either. This is how most people meet SOs, they have a social network. But my lack prevents this track.

I don’t want to shell out $20 a month for dating sites.

I also don’t have tons of money/power/fame, etc so women aren’t going to come to me.

So i’m pretty much stuck in limbo here. I know there are ways to get women but i don’t really like any of them. And to top it off, i realize that this is all pretty stupid, even if/when i get a woman it wont make a big difference in my life. I think i just want to ‘get it over with’ so i can say ‘yeah i dated, it sucked, lets focus on something else’.

I mean i know alot of guys. I know guys who are players who are always going on dates, players who are always getting sex, and i know guys in committed relationships. Most of them are no more content than me and several have many constant discontentments with their situation. The players want a great wife, the married guys want a great wife too (hahahaha). Everybody has problems. Is this what i’m getting myself worked up over, to have something that isn’t that great to begin with?

I think i just want someone to understand that its possible to not date w/o being terrified of women, or without being a ‘total loser’, or without thinking that the solution is to meet tons of women. I have always secretly thought the solution was to realize how pointless this thing is and not worry about it. But that reminds me of something a comedian once said when talking about homeless kids. “you have to obtain grace before you fall from it”. How can i give up something i have never even done? I should at least try it before i give it up.

Well shit.

I didn’t have a “boyfriend” till I was well into my 20s, and was pure as the driven snow till I was 22 or 23 (just shows you–can’t even remember!).

True, I had extenuating circumstances–but, hell, everyone has extenuating circumstances.

I was thinking about you a bit when i wrote that post, because your condition prevents you from having a long term relationship.

I have had extenuating circumstances too.

I can empathize with you, Wesley Clark. I’m almost the same age/situation as you are and have similar anxiety around women I am attracted to.

I am trying to overcome it by taking some risks- putting myself in social situations that make me nervous to try to go for broke- so what if I get rejected, I’d rather get rejected than potentially let a great relationship get away.

Look hard enough, and you will find women around you who might be reasonably attracted to you without you even being aware of that. With that in mind, I am going to ask the girl at the music store out this monday when I go there to teach piano. She may have a boyfriend, may be married, may not be interested in me that way. But the only way I’ll know for sure is to take the plunge and bite the bullet. Being single for so long, I don’t think I have much to lose, and neither should you by trying to take some risks in this fasion.

Good luck! :slight_smile:

I hope you’re not using this as your pick-up line.

Seriously, it sounds like you need to take another step back and figure out why this is important to you in the first place. It’s difficult to tell how much is just the disappointment + alcohol talking, and how much is how you really feel. But based on what you’ve written here, it sounds like you’re going into it for the wrong reasons.

Is the only reason you want to date because you feel like it’s what you’re “supposed” to do? Or that you’re behind schedule? Or because you’re worried about what people think of you if you’re still single? If so, then I’d suggest you drop it. You can’t base your life around what other people think of you. And it’s seriously unfair to whomever you end up dating – it’s not about her, it’s all about you.

But if you’re going through all this misery because you really want to be with someone, then keep at it. What you’re going through is just the way it works (as I understand, anyway – I’m far from being an expert). You talk about the odds’ being against you and a 2% success rate; it’s not about percentages. All you need is the one person. The one person who makes you realize, “Ah, this is what’s been missing all this time.” The one person who you think about all the time, and who makes you want to be a better person so you can make her happy.

The only other bit of advice I can give you is about “confidence.” It sounds like you’ve got the right idea, but are missing part of it. When people talk about “confidence,” it’s not just the confidence to go up to a woman, start a conversation, and ask her out. That’s great, but it’s only the first part. Real confidence is being able to carry the whole thing to completion. And I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about putting yourself out there and being secure enough to deal with whatever happens. To forget about the risk to your ego or your self-esteem, because the pay-off is worth it. To not get discouraged if you get the “I’ve never thought about you that way” or “Let’s just be friends” or “Let me tell you about my boyfriend” or “You repulse me, you sideshow freak,” because striking out with one person doesn’t mean you’re doomed to never have success with anyone else.

“Confidence” means being confident enough to say, “I’m perfecly fine by myself, and I want to share that with someone.”

“I only wish I could type.”

Hey, I’m 36 and I’ve never had a girlfriend.


I’m ParentalAdvisory, 23, and I too, have never had a girlfriend

Check this out though. Last Thursday, I was at a bar/club type thing. I was there for my sisters birthday. So my only intention really was to get a little drunk and hang out. So, I’m at the bar, minding my own business, and out of know where this woman, a few years older then I, asks to sit next to me. Who am I to say no? A few minutes pass, and she starts chatting me up. At this point, I’m not really sure of her intentions. Did I mention she was very actractive? And mind you, I’m as shy as it gets, but I think the liquid confidence may have kicked in at this point. I really wasn’t nervous, like I usually am. I was actually able to carry a conversation with her. I don’t where it came from, but the words were flowing like they’ve never before. To wrap it up, she stepped away for some time, maybe to go with her friends, I don’t know. At this point I migrated to my sisters table to hang out (one of her friends wanted to dance with me, that was cool too). After awhile, I see Christine (her name, obviously) comming back to the bar. She looked lost, then I realized, she was looking for me! After about a minute, she spotted me and saw I was leaving. She rushed over to say goodbye. I too said goodbye, nice to meet you and so on… She walked away. My sister and this point was like WTF? She knows my ways and knows that I couldn’t get wet if I jumped in a pool. My sister must have seen that we were talking and wondered why I didn’t get her number. Hey, I didn’t know, I’ve never had a girlfriend. I don’t know the queues, or when it’s the right time to even ask for the number. So I said screw it, I went over to talk to here a little more, and I asked for her number. She declined. :frowning: But she did say that she would be here [at the club] next Thursday. I was an 1hr and a half away from this place and go there once every 2 years, so going back wasn’t really an option. Or am I an idiot? So maybe she wanted to see me again, but was hesitant with giving her number to a stranger. So I don’t know (never had a girlfriend = dumbass with no social skills). But at the same time, I just realized that this was the FIRST TIME EVER that I asked for a womans phone number.

Well, I think there is a point to my boring-ass post. I’m still riding high off doing that last week. I never thought I’d ever ask a woman for her number, and yet it has happened. I have a new outlook and feel even more confident. Funny how things work like that. Hope this wasn’t too off topic, just had to get that off my chest.

PA, next time give her your number. Way less pressure on her part.


Wesley, you just have to wait for these type of things to happen “au naturel”.
You can’t necessarily “force” yourself to have a girlfirend.
Either you want to, or you don’t.

When you meet the right girl; someone mad about you, affectionate, or just plain compatible with you, only then will you realize all the glory of being in love.

Just have a positive outlook on things; that “okay, let’s get this over with” attitude of yours isn’t exactly what we call enthusiastic.

Start with a smile, and take it from there.

I’d also like to comment on what you said: “I also don’t have tons of money/power/fame, etc so women aren’t going to come to me”.

Come on. All women aren’t that shallow.
True, it’s hard to find somebody that will love you for who you are within, and not just for the car you drive, but believe me, there are still some sweet and wholesome girls out there.

Give it some time, and i’m sure something will turn up.

Right, get your arse over to England 'cause you and me are going down the pub.

You must understand, of course, that you will be buying - because i will be dispensing the dalai-llama style advice here and therefore do not have time for any of your mortal pecuniary concerns - “Change comes from within grasshopper”, “you must distance yourself from these earthly concerns” and “mine will be a pint of Man the Box while you’re up there mate.” :smiley:

In seriousness, mon ami, you ain’t got nothing to worry about because to me, it sounds like you’ve actually got the tricky bit figured already - you just haven’t quite released it yet - and thats this:

It doesn’t matter

It took me a while to realise that, but its true.

At the end of the day dating, having girlfriends, etc. etc. is a life experience and an important one at that, but then so is the first time you go abroad, or rent your own appartment. So is the first-time you get a full time job or realise that towels aren’t self-cleaning and need to be shoved in the Washer every now and again.

In the grand scheme of life all these things are comparable, all those life enriching and monumentous moments that make us who we are (and there are far too many for me to list here) are roughly the same. When you stand back and look at them two things become clear:

  1. They follow no set timetable - there is nothing that says "at age X you will do this. Six months later you will do Y. Sometimes things will happen early in life, sometimes later, sometimes not at all. Its different for everybody.

  2. Who we are is defined by the suml of those moments - not one in particular

What i guess i’m saying in a roundabout kinda way is that there’s nothing wrong with thinking:

“Oh my god! This all seems a bit over-rated to me! Does that mean i’m doing something wrong?! Should i care more about this?!”

Because the truth is that you probably aren’t and shouldn’t. It just means that you’ve got a good head on you and are probably a decently smart human being who doesn’t let shit get to him too much. Which is a good thing - don’t think that not being obsessed with getting yourself hooked up makes baby Jesus cry or turns you into less of a person.

As a final caveat to that, however, i will say this - just because it hasn’t happened for you yet, doesn’t mean that it will never happen. Women and our relations therewith are not like Vegetables - there is no “Use By” date.

So whilst you should feel confident in the fact that the desire to bump uglies and celebrate anniversaries hasn’t become the “be all” and “end all” of your thinking, that is not is not an excuse to give up. After all, like you said yourself, you can never truly judge the worth (or lack of) of a thing until you have tried it yourself.

The only advice i can think to give is this - don’t be afraid to chat to women anywhere and everywhere. Be it the supermarket queue, at the bar whilst you’re both waiting to be served, in the work place etc. because at the end of the day, dating is, in my experience, a real hit and miss activity. Some people hark on about there being “One special person in the world for everybody” and thats great and i’ve no doubt they are right. But the cynical bastard in me can’t help doing the maths and thinking that 1/6,000,000,000 is a hell of a long shot to put your hopes in.

I’ve always figured its best to try and never miss an opportunity to get to know a girl better whatever the circumstance. Sure she may turn out to not be dateable (for whatever reason - she may be married, boyfriended or Scottish) but you never know unless you try and who knows, even if she isn’t “the one” she may turn out to be damn close. Besides, at the very least she’s a potential friend.

Anyway, get the drinks in son - its your round again. I’ll have the same, and get a bag of peanuts as well this time. :wink:

:smack: See what I mean?
I demand a class be created in public schools on dating. I have not a single clue as to what the hell I’m doing.
Baby steps, baby steps, babys steps…

Hmm, I’m 23, female, and have never had a boyfriend, so, um how are y’all doing?

Very few of us do mate! :smiley:

My advice is to get some nice reliable female friends who you trust implicitly to run your lovelife. Its always worked very well for me. On wednesday, for example, one of the girls behind the bar at a pub i go to gave me her phone number. I had the following conversation in work on the thursday:

Girl 1 (who had been in the pub with me): You rung that barmaid yet?

Me: What? Oh… er… no. I was going to leave it till the weekend.

Girl 2: You got her number? You should ring her now.

Me: Well i didn’t want to sound to eager…

Girl 1: No she’s right, ring her now. The weekend will be too long. Trust us.

Girl 2: Yep ring her now. Thats an order.

Me: Erm… okay.

I did - and i got me date. They were right :smiley:

Hi percypercy! :slight_smile:
garius, thanks for the info! However, like the OP, I have no social network. Well, I do, but I think there’s some kind of ACL between me and girl “friends”. Workin’ on it though!

Hi percy, welcome to the organization.

garius - your advice really struck me. Im going to try to email you later on when im sober.

i think i prefer the idea of getting to know a woman before it turns romantic but im unsure of how i do that. The idea of dating virtual strangers appeals to me almost as little as it appeals to women.

I’m 26-going-on-27 and I’ve never had as much as a single crush on anyone, let alone been on a date.

So there. I’m more pathetic than you are.

Nah, one of the goals of this post was to find others who don’t think its pathetic to not date all the time.

Well, I’m gonna be 26 next Thursday, and I’ve never had a relationship. I’ve been on one date when I was sixteen, and I’ve been kissed when I was 23 by a fellow Doper. (iampunha).

But other than that…nothing. It always seems to turn out that the guys I was interested in weren’t interested in me. And the ones that were…well, let’s just say they were rather creepy. (One guy almost turned stalker on me).

Just be your charming, handsome, interesting, intelligent self… with a dash of devil may care easygoingness, and chances are the ladies will come to you.
It’s worked for me, and I’m boorish, ugly, boring and stupid as a wet sack of male models… with a devil may care attitude.