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I'm still a virgin with no dating experience at age 26, and I'm starting to feel like something must be wrong with me. Advice?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating, Trust issues, Virginity<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (16 February 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 21 February 2017)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I am 26 and am a virgin, have never had a boyfriend, nor have a I really ever dated. I have always just assumed that things would happen in their own time, and I have had two brief and non official experiences with boys (one for a few months at uni and one very recently with someone who led me on to have feeling for them when they were unavailable) but in both cases I think I did myself a disservice by not seeing that it was a lost cause before I got hurt.

It's getting to the stage where a lot of my friends are taking next steps with their boyfriends and I feel like I am in the same place as I always have been. I have a nice life in most respects but I can't help feeling like I am missing out, or that something must be wrong with me. I Know I need to put myself out there more but I'm worried about navigating when I have no experience- all the youthful mistake making part I have kind of missed out on! I also don't really know what I'm looking for, or how to conduct myself or if it ever gets to that stage how to even be a girlfriend!

I am an over thinker at the best of times and so any words of advice or encouragement would be much appreciated! Surely all is not lost?!

View related questions: never had a boyfriend, still a virgin

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A male reader, Nah United Kingdom +, writes (21 February 2017):


I'm 28 and never had sex.

generally due to my responses when I meet a lass.

best chance I had was at uni, (24) a lass came onto me strong, and well it freaked me out. I didn't buy her the drink.

For now I keep getting close to my mate (f) but its just not gonna happen, and probably shouldn't.

My plans for meeting someone is well get out their,

(not going well, stuck in same circles)

POf, match, E harmony still not getting anything so.

I talk openly to 2 of my Female mates about the virgin thing, but not my male mates.

Did recently go to Amsterdam but The thought of doing it that way is well not appealing.

Just thought I'd share.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (20 February 2017):

Nothing wrong with still being a virgin, you just haven't met the right person to lose it to. I recently lost my virginity at the age of 24 with the guy I'm dating, and I was so worried about telling him, but he was fine and admired me. We took it slow the first time and tbh it wasn't really that much of a big deal! It didn't hurt at all, I think it's more the social hype of losing it.

In terms of meeting someone, single life and dating is fun, and this is your opportune time to enjoy it! I suggest going on the likes of Tinder/Bumble and going on some dates to build your confidence up - you never know you may actually fall for someone! I know the thought of meeting someone on an app isn't that appealing but most of the people I know have met their other halves through tinder! You may as well give it a go! :)

Hope all works out for you! X

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (17 February 2017):

N91 agony auntStop worrying.

I'm 25 years old and never had a girlfriend either and I'm genuinely not bothered in the slightest. What's bothering you so much about it? Having not met the one by this point in your life isn't important, you're very young still in the grand scheme of things.

I've got involved with quite a number of girls that turned out to be dead ends where I got some kind of feeling for them before something happening where we didn't get together. That's life and there's nothing you can do about it. Sure it feels crappy to get to know someone and then nothing come of it, but how are you to know that? Unless they say right from the start 'this is not going anywhere and I'm going to mess you around' how could you seriously know? Stop beating yourself up.

It's good that you've not gotten to a stage where you feel so desperate that you've just given your virginity up to anyone. That shows you've got a lot of self respect and dignity.

I'm the same as you, I don't feel as though I would be a good BF right away as I have no experience whatsoever with that field but it will come in time when it gets to that point.

Seriously though, stop worrying. You're young, just have fun with your and when you're happy you give off a good vibe and it can help to naturally gravitate people towards you. If you're feeling sorry for yourself all the time who's going to want to join in on your pity party?

If you're feeling down, change things up, join a gym, get a makeover, get a new hobby. Do something to get out of your rut and bring up the level of happiness in your life. I joined a gym years ago and it sent my confidence through the roof when people started to notice and it would get me more attention that brought me out of the shell that I was in when I was younger.

I'm very happy to be single as I have the freedom to do whatever I want but I know one day a female will come along that will change my status, but until that day I'm not worrying at all because I'm enjoying my tim being single as I've learnt to be happy on my own and that's something that you need to do by the sounds of things.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (17 February 2017):

Well, I think you sound very shy. Yes, get yourself out there into the dating scene. That means being outgoing, friendly and open with men. If you are super shy probably the only men you get to know are the very "over the top" outgoing ladies-men/ players. I think in order to get to know the sweeter, shyer (or at least not "player" types, maybe moderately outgoing) men, you are going to have to meet them halfway. That doesn't necessarily mean asking men out, but it does mean chatting away with them, welcoming them with a smile, flirting with them and making sure it is easy for THEM to ask YOU out (if you are interested). Develop some charisma and excitement about life, and it should show through in your persona. Some of the most popular women with men aren't all that attractive, but are very charismatic and charming.

As for the virgin thing....

The right man who is looking for a long term relationship won't care about your lack of experience. In fact, he may very well be quite thrilled that there is no other men you are comparing him to and he is your first! You might be surprised that lots of women and some men are virgins at your age...they just don't usually talk about it, because like you, they are embarrassed about it. But you are not alone and it doesn't make you weird.

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A female reader, Andie's Thoughts United Kingdom + , writes (17 February 2017):

Andie's Thoughts agony auntMost people can't realise a lost cause without having experience and part of that experience is going through what you have.

Dating before you're ready, just for the sake of "experience" is unnecessary. Getting your own independence set up is much more important, so that you're less likely to become too attached to a partner and lose sight of your own identity.

Trust me, missing out on the youthful mistakes is a good thing - so many people get long term emotional damage from it and struggle to build themselves back up because they weren't ready.

How to be a girlfriend:

- Be yourself

- Be patient (but not a push-over)

- Be considerate

- Be willing to compromise on some things

- Be understanding (but not too forgiving of potential red flags)

What you want in a boyfriend is fairly easy to figure out. The basics, that become more specific based on the individuals:

- Nice

- Kind

- Genuine

- Understanding

- Patient

- Friendly

- Common interests (but not all the same)

- Compatible lifestyles and goals

- Someone willing to compromise on some things

- *Single* (too many ignore that one! :P)

The rest you'll only find out by dating, but you're not too far "behind", by any means.

Don't rush things, especially sexually, but do put yourself out there to date. Maybe try speed dating to get a little practice and see who's available. Only look for men in places that are compatible with who you are and are conducive to finding someone dateable - for example, probably not a nightclub where most are only looking to hook up.

Do begin putting yourself into more situations (maybe start a new group hobby/class), but take your time, be patient and stay true to yourself. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself or you're more likely to settle for a bad match.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 February 2017):

Would you rather be a 26-year-old uneducated, unemployed single mother of three out-of-wedlock children by three lying, cheating, controlling, abusive, deadbeat, long-gone loser baby daddies?

In other words, the good news is you didn't do anything that you'd now be regretting. Go back and read archived DC posts for any random month and you'll discover there are a lot of women who would trade places with you in an instant.

I can't remember the author but I remember this quote: "Love is not something you look for, it's something you find." You don't need to know how to conduct yourself or worry about how to be a girlfriend, just be yourself.

You may not know what you're looking for, but there's someone out there waiting to find you (though be prepared to do a lot of weeding out before you connect with him).

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