Single Women, Seize The Day

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): CCletitgo

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Comment: Dear Moxie:

I’ve been reading your dating column every day for the past few months and I must say I enjoy reading every one of your articles. I’ve been struggling whether I should write to you for quite a while mainly because I am not sure how to phrase my problem. There really isn’t anything going on in my dating life-I think that’s the best way to phrase it. And being 24, an age when everyone else is getting engaged or at least in some kind of relationship, I am at a point where I am not sure what’s wrong with me. I’ve never had much luck on the dating front and I rarely admit to people that the only long-term relationship (lasted a year) I ever had was with my first boyfriend in high school and that was a long, long time ago. I never dated anyone during the entire 4 years at college and I never even joined any clubs at school (which I regret every minute of my life now). Instead, I was studying like a maniac because I was afraid to lose my full-ride scholarship due to the fact that my family couldn’t afford to pay a dime for tuition if I lost that scholarship. All that effort paid off and I graduated with straight As. Only then I realized that almost everyone else in my college class was engaged to each other and some already married. Just when I started to panic, I fell in love with my boss at an internship and it took me nearly a year to get over my feelings for him. I never pursued him because he was 20 years my senior and may or may not be married. He never mentioned a word about his family during the entire 6 months I worked with him and I thought that was a little weird because almost everyone else in the office had mentioned their wives or girlfriends or kids at some point. But that doesn’t matter because I knew that he had no feelings for me and it wouldn’t work out anyway. After I left that internship, I took a job abroad and left the country for a while. Nothing much happened during that job either. When I returned to the US last year, I was determined to put as much effort as possible into finding dates. I joined most of the major online dating sites and had a few dates with a couple of men. I was pretty optimistic when I started out doing online dating, but after a few horrible dates I kind of lost faith, but I’m still keeping my profile up. I’ve had dates with men who were so into talking about themselves and never even bothered listening to me and a man who kept saying “It was really nice meeting you” while kept staring at his fingers. Once I had what I thought was a nice first date with a good-looking guy, but later found out that the reason he went out with me was because he has an “Asian fetish (the exact word he used)” (I don’t think anybody would be very flattered when someone made it clear that they like your ethnicity rather than you as a person). Frustrated by online dating, I went out to a couple of speed dating events and social events, met some people, but never went on dates with them because nothing really clicked on the romantic front. Recently, I’ve been concentrating on my career and went out mostly to networking events, where I did meet some nice guys, only to find out that all of them were either involved, engaged or married. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is frustrated by the NYC dating scene, but I couldn’t stop wondering if it’s me or them. In the past, I’ve always thought it was me, but seeing how many people, good-looking or not, overweight or in shape, are in relationships, I couldn’t help thinking may be I wasn’t the only problem, but there is no way to know. My mother kept asking me why so and so, who is overweight and not good-looking, can find someone while I’m still single. And every time all I had to say was “I don’t know.” I’ve always known that I’m not the prettiest girl, but I do have a body that’s in excellent shape and I dress in style all the time. I have no trouble talking to strangers in social/networking events and I quite enjoy going out. In the past, I thought it was probably because I moved too much and it’s hard to establish a social circle that way. Now pretty much every one of my friends are married or engaged and moved away, my social circle is shrinking. I try to go to events and meet people whenever I have the chance, but nothing seems to be happening. I’ve made a lot of new professional contacts or casual friends at these events, but no prospective dates. I know I’m still young, but I don’t want to waste my 20s not dating anyone and repeat my mistake of not socializing in college (looking back, I have no idea why I did that because I was never a shy person). Is it just that I have incredibly bad luck or is it really me that’s the problem? Now I seem to be stuck in a situation that the guys I like are unavailable and a few guys who might like me are not my type at all (no I’m not very picky and actually most of my past dates were average-looking men). And one last thing, I have never disclosed this to anyone but my best friend-I’m still a virgin at 24. It somehow never happened partly because I have not dated much and partly because most of my dates ended after the first date and I don’t want to sleep with a man on a first date. I’m not the kind of person who wants to save for the marriage, but I can’t just go out there and find a random guy to “get it over with”. I am extremely concerned that if I do end up meeting a nice guy in the future, my lack of experience in sex will be a major turn off, which I know I will have to deal with. I apologize for the long letter, but I’d really appreciate some insights.
Age: 24
City: New York
State: NY

I had to stop what I was doing and write a response to this. Mind you, I’ve been playing Let It Go on a loop for the past twenty minutes and I’m feel particularly bold.

First, don’t you dare downplay your academic achievements. Screw all this advice about husband hunting in college. Getting a formal education is a privilege. You were in college to get a degree and study. You didn’t just do that, you excelled at that. Nobody ever got turned down for a job because they got straight A’s.   Some of your peers managed to meet and marry someone while getting their degree? That’s great. That was their path. This is yours. When you find yourself comparing yourself to those women, try to stop yourself. No good will come from that. The worst thing a woman can do is look at other women and wonder why they have this or that and they don’t. I do it myself, and I always spiral down the rabbit hole. You don’t know what their lives are really like. For all you know, they too had parents who were on them every day to find a husband. You have your whole life to get married and at least another 15 to 20 years to have kids. Do you realize how long that is? Do you under stand all the things that you can accomplish between now and then? You’re already well educated and well-traveled. Imagine what else your life has in store for you, because there is so much more to do than get married and have kids. That goes for someone 24 or 64.

Let’s start by focusing on one thing at a time. First, make an effort to develop some friendships with other women that you can socialize with and who can help you navigate the singles scene a bit.  You don’t want to isolate yourself. The more you’re out meeting people the better you’ll be able to figure out who the jerks are and who the good guys are. Place making friends and getting at the top of your priority list. Just focus on socializing, not dating. Dating will happen eventually. Once you’ve got your bearings a bit, then try online dating. Dating online can be a little tricky for someone who really hasn’t dated that much. The upside is that it doesn’t take long to get acclimated socially if you do it enough.

Next, I’m not sure what your relationship is like with your Mom, but time to draw some boundaries. Even though parents ask about our love lives because they want to see us taken care of and happy, they still can sometimes place a suffocating burden on us by doing so. If she doesn’t respect your request to not ask about your love life, then either learn how to tune her out or interrupt her and say, “I don’t want to end this conversation, but I will if you keep asking me about this.” You don’t need the extra pressure. Tell her that. Next time she asks why all those allegedly unfortunate women have boyfriends and you don’t just say, “That’s just how it’s worked out so far, I guess.” Don’t let her demean those other women. Again, she might mean well, but she’s going about it all wrong.

Now, as to your virginity. You’re only 24. You’re not weird for being 24 and a virgin. Whatever the reason that led to this being the case, it is what it is. You’re not a freak and you’re not alone.When you meet someone you think you want to get intimate with, you can choose to tell him or you can just..not. You’re not obligated to offer up that information. It’s nobody’s business anyway. And if you do reveal this “secret” to someone you’ve gotten to know and who has grown to care for you, he probably won’t judge you, either. Continue to use good judgment and you will pick the right men to get to know and let in to your world.

The only problem you have is that you lack experience. You’ll find your way as you’re supposed to. This isn’t a contest. Many, MANY people graduate college with limited social, romantic and sexual experience. All it takes is a little time and effort. It’s no different than studying for an exam. Apply yourself and familiarize yourself with the material. It really is that simple. Everything will fall into place. Be cautious and be wise, don’t put yourself in unfamiliar situations, rely on a few friends to help you out of your shell, and listen to your inner voice when something doesn’t feel right. The more experience you get under your belt, the easier all of this will become. Just get out there and talk to people and let people see you and your accomplishments, because you’ve accomplished quite a bit for your age.

Finally, trust that your on the path meant for you and only you. Then follow it.

 

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17 Responses to “Single Women, Seize The Day”

  1. Janey Says:

    (Delurks) CC I could have written this when I was your age, you’re sooo not alone and you’re not weird. Keep your chin up, try not to get down, and keep plugging away at socialising and dating (all it takes is one first date to lead to a second and then a third…). Moxie, I love your answer.

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  2. Damien Says:

    The OP’s strong point is that she is making something of her career path. Ignoring other people’s value judgments is good advice from Moxie.

    But since the OP wanted feedback, I’ll say two things:

    The reaction I get about the OP is that she comes across as being closed off on dates. I’ve faced women that gave me this feeling before on speed dates and drink dates. They come across as having their mind focused on other priorities, or being overly analytical about the future, or not coming across as having any goals when it come to dating. Dates that progress (at least for me) are those that involve emotional connection, physicality, and being in the moment. As Moxie suggests, the OP needs experience to express these. In the meantime, the OP can can find dates with potential by meeting like-minded people through the course of her career and interests.

    As for the OP’s reaction to an “Asian fetish”, I think that is being over-critical of the guy. I find lots of different features about a woman that excites me and makes me want to date them: any woman from another part of the world, women that have the personality to wear heels or skirts, women with geeky interests, and the list goes on. Are those personal fetishes? No. They just turn me on enough to capture my attention and get me interested. If you have some hook that gets the other person interested, use it to your advantage!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 16

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    • Zaire Says:

      I disagree with regards to the fetish thing. I don’t know your background but I don’t think people who are not of a minority background can truly understand how dehumanizing that admission can be. It’s one thing to have a preference for certain racial features, it’s another thing to be reduced to those features and have someone primary interest in you be how you can fulfill some racial/sexual stereotype fanatasy. I’ve seen these types in action and the moment their lover fails to live up to the fantasy they are callously tossed aside and easily replace by another.

      Again, nothing wrong with having a type even if it’s racial. It’s another thing to reduce another human being down to their race without regard for their emotions, interests, and goals.

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      • CC Says:

        Yes exactly. I was turned off by his comment because I had a feeling that my ethnicity seems to be the only thing he was interested in. I have no problem with anyone having a type either because I, too, have types. I just wrote that as an example, because he actually booty called me in the middle of the night after he got drunk in the club and wanted to have sex (and we’ve only been out on one date), which is what ultimately turned me off.

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    • Tinker Says:

      Nothing wrong with liking Asian women, but CC’s date specifically said he had an Asian fetish. There are lots of things a man could find interesting about me, but if he leads with ‘I’ve always wanted to bang a Black girl’ he won’t get very far.

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      • PGH Gal Says:

        I’ve turned down a lot of men who went the whole black woman fetish route. Again, a preference is very different than a fetish or some guy trying to check off the “banged a black chick” on his scorecard.

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    • CC Says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Damien. They are actually pretty helpful, especially your first advice. I don’t know if I’m closed-off per se, but I would definitely work on my dating skills as I meet more people. As for the fetish thing, it was just an example to illustrate how things went wrong with my dates. I too am okay with my dates having a preference (whatever that is), but putting that before anything else is a little unflattering to me. And in my response to Zaire’s comment, I’ve written why he ultimately turned me off. I was very surprised to hear all these positive comments here (I was prepared to hear about a million things that are wrong with me), but your advice definitely helps!

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      • CoolDude Says:

        Hey CC,

        Dating post-college is pretty challenging for everyone. Dating post-college in New York City is extremely challenging. There are a million people and we all seem to get stuck on someone not having exactly what we want and, since there are a million other people to date here, we tend to move on too quickly (myself included at times).

        I know this probably doesn’t count for much but you’re an educated woman and it sounds like you have a decent amount going for you. I’m not going to lie and say that you being a virgin at 24 might be strange for some people because it will be but you know what, who cares? There are others just like you out there and people who actually like you, won’t care that you’re a virgin.

        One final piece of advice I’d give you is try not to let the man always do the driving on dates. Sometimes I notice girls simply just have a speak-when-spoken to attitude which can be really difficult to navigate. Sometimes I find girls just babble non-stop about themselves (much like the guy you mentioned). Best rule of thumb is to ask questions not just about the other person but about what they think about certain topics you’re interested in. For example, I’m really into music so one thing I often ask (and am genuinely interested in) is “Oh, did you like their new album? I thought it was but what are your thoughts on it?”

        Anyways, just some friendly tips. Keep your head up, you’re not the only one frustrated in Gotham City.

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    • C Says:

      Just wanted to add that its not about having prefereces, its about bringing your personal sexual kinks into a conversation with a woman who doesnt want to sleep with him (yet). Unless they met on AdultFriendFinder, no decent guy would be discussing his fetishes (whether it be an “asian fetish”, “foot fetish”, “cockhold fetish” or what have you) on a first date with an unwilling party. The LW was on a date with a horney social retard!

      The rest of the advise was good!

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  3. Yvonne Says:

    Great response. I could have written this too at that age. Low and behold, at age 24, I did meet my first boyfriend. I’d only had 1 sexual experience prior to that, but I never told him, and he never asked.

    Many of CC’s peers who are getting married young are going to get divorced too. People who wait to marry until they are over the age of 25 are 24 percent less likely to get divorced. Also, the higher the educational and occupational level, the higher the income, and the less likely you are to divorce.

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  4. Zaire Says:

    OP, you are not alone. I’m in the exact same position. I could have written this letter myself. I’m 24. Virgin. Spent most of college years studying and doing lab work. It wasn’t until my senior year that I broke out of my shell and started going out to bars and parties ect. Before then I would barely leave campus to grab a bite to eat, let alone go out to socialize and find a boyfriend/future husband.

    Like you, many people look at me and think I would have no troubles finding a boyfriend. Im jovial, positive, cute, and friendly with strangers. Most of my dates never get past the 3rd. I haven’t lost faith in the process but Im distancing myself from dating (temporarily) because it is making me a little crazy. If you are anything like me you are probably over analyzing everything and its taking a toll on self-esteem. I’m keeping my profile up, updating regularly, and checking messages but Im developing a more detached style to keep myself sane. Like Moxie has said in other posts, the key to success in dating is to not get defeated and quit. As long as you keep at it with a positive attitude and grounded expectations things will eventually take a turn for the better. The way I see it, all the rejection and frustration will be worth it when I find the right person for me.

    Best of Luck!

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    • CC Says:

      Wow, Zaire. I agree with everything you said and I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve always known that there are people out there in the same position as I am, but I’ve never met anyone like that in real life. I can’t even remember how many times I was walking down the streets seeing all these couples together and wondered why I was not with someone and that truly hurts my self-esteem. I think I am the type of person who blames myself first whenever things go wrong. But after reading Moxie’s great advice and all of your comments here, I feel that I am not too far off track here. Seeing everybody around me getting into relationship and even starting families was probably what made me feel a little desperate. Expanding my social circle and keep getting to know new people seems to be way for us latecomers to the game to turn things around.

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  5. AnnieNonymous Says:

    I agree with the advice to focus on building friendships with other women. 1) It is acceptable to openly seek out and work to make new friends, but this process isn’t popular on the dating scene (even if we all have our own ways of engaging in this process without appearing to do so). 2) You might meet someone through these friends. You might meet someone while out with these new friends. Either way, you’re chipping away at the loneliness and anxiety that leads to making lousy decisions about men.

    You might be coming across as not being interested in looking for a relationship. That’s not the same thing as the dreaded non-compliment of being “intimidating.” It means that you have so many good things going on in your life that you don’t give men the impression that there’s another need to be satisfied. If you’re good-looking, educated, and well-employed, 24-year-old men who are on the cusp of getting their first full-time jobs might not even assume that you’re single. One male commenter on this site once mentioned that he’s actually harder on his dates who are theoretically out of his league because it’s his way of sussing out whether they’re full of shit or interested in him in a long-term way.

    I don’t quite know the solution to all of these issues, especially since they’re all very luxurious problems to have. Maybe you could try socializing in more upscale bars with a more moneyed clientele. You might feel gross about it at first, but it’s my experience that the men in dive bars are not friendly to women who have a whiff of money and professionalism about them.

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    • Eliza Says:

      Annie: The reason why some men in these dive bars bypass an obviously intelligent/professional woman is because a woman like that is already 10 steps ahead of his game, and is less likely to be subjected to disrespectful advances and less likely to have one-night stands and put up with the garbage that comes out in conversation and behavior. As opposed to bimbos who are ALL surface, as dumb as a door knob, and easy to convince to do anything.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

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  6. C Says:

    I think this is my favorite Moxie blog post to date!

    LW – I was a virgin at 24 and you know what? Guys dont care. They really dont. If you are really worried about being bad in bed and lack of sexual experience, just watch some porn to pick up some ideas and techniques.

    Theres nothing wrong with you. After all, you can find men who want to date you. You just havent yet found a single man YOU want to date. And thats ok. Dont panic if it doenst happen right away. Most of the attractive, accomplished and personable women I’ve known at some point in their lives were single for 2-5 years between relationships.

    As for most of your girlfriends being married at 24, please! A few years ago, I lamented to an older then boyfriend that “everyone” I knew was pregnant and I felt so behind because I wasnt even married. He smiled and said, “Wait until you are in your 40 and ‘everyone’ you know is going through a divorce.”

    “its time” is just not a good reason to get married….because a few years down the line, it will be “time to get divorced” and you dont want to be part of that crowd. Get married to the right guy, not at “the right time”.

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    • Goldie Says:

      ” He smiled and said, “Wait until you are in your 40 and ‘everyone’ you know is going through a divorce.” ”

      Amen! CC, I am the woman you say you wish you were – I met my husband in college, agreed to get married when I was 22 and he was 21… married at 24, had kids at 25 and 28, had a horrible marriage, divorced at 42 and here I am, single and looking at 46. It is not a race. Your classmates don’t get a prize for making it to the finish line first. Waiting and making a well-thought out decision to enter into a partnership with the right person, is far better for you in the long run than getting married in a hurry and splitting up, because neither you or your husband had any idea what you were doing. Not to mention, it’s no longer a shame and embarrassment to still not be married at 24 – it may have been in Jane Austin’s times, but now, if anything, 24 is considered too early. Sounds to me like you’re doing well with yourself and your life so far. Be yourself, and love life will follow. Good luck!

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  7. Eliza Says:

    OP, be positive and look at this way…you are and have prepared yourself for a great future, AND by focusing on your career you can rest assure that you will not NEED a man, but can actually pick the right man for the right reasons…not merely so you can be “taken care of financially”….you can pick wisely without the pressure of partnering up for fear of not being able to sustain yourself, on your own terms. You are well-travelled too–which can make for great conversation – that alone is impressive to those who admire such accomplishments. You didn’t have anything handed to you, since you basically had a scholarship which you made a priority to maintain your grades to uphold. Be proud of the woman you have become. And look at the glass as half full, with a future full of possibilities. Once you include building mutually beneficial friendships with other women, and date a bit here and there–your social calendar and life will be peppered with more social activity. But I wouldn’t fret over being a virgin at your age. The worst thing to ever do is compare yourself to other women in and out of your age range. The brutal truth is: Not everyone one of us goes down the path where we marry our highschool or college sweethearts. And yes, if you talk to plenty of women and men in their 40’s – a large percentage of them ARE divorced – with young children. Another maze to deal with. As they say–“Life is what happens when you are busy living”.

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