From the U.S.: I am not in a hurry to marry or start a family, and I have not tried as hard as I probably could have to keep a girlfriend, considering that I view my education as my highest priority, but I have always had an interest in romantic relationships.
In high school I pushed to ask a few girls that I liked on dates, but failed. When I eventually did find someone that I consistently took on dates for a few months during my senior year of high school, I sensed a disconnect and a lack of maturity in this person, and she never became my girlfriend. Asking a girl to my senior prom was also a frustrating endeavor.
Once I got to college, I found a lady in my major who I struck a close friendship with, but then lost her when she seemed distracted with her social life and started dating someone else. Along the way I have also made opposite-gender friends who I enjoyed pursuing hobbies with (social organizations, church, deep conversations over coffee). I also had multiple female friends in my Bible study groups, but all of them were casual; they either already dating or cringed with anxiety at the thought of dating, like dating would permanently damage a person’s life. I even left my church of two years over my dissatisfaction with superficial friendships in a largely female congregation.
Since then, I have harbored angry thoughts against my female peers and people in general. I do have unattractive quirks, such as “being too nice”, invading someone’s space when I’m impatient or upset, clinginess, outspoken religiosity, but I am also considered very handsome by my close friends, visited several countries, earned an Eagle Scout award, adore sports and crave the outdoors. People remember me for having a cheerful, hospitable, people-loving and positive demeanor unmatched by anybody else, and I always try to think of something encouraging and sweet to say to people, even those I dislike with a passion. But no matter how hard I try, my efforts to date or just simply be friends with ladies always seem fruitless and result in embarrassment.
Seeing my peers in happy relationships and marriage, both on social media and in person intensifies my self-pity and anxiety I have been coping with for the past year. Is it true that I am unlovable?
I am so, so sorry you are feeling so hopeless. You are only 22! You have plenty of time to find the person who is right for you.
It may be a small comfort but I get letters like yours all the time — sometimes from kids as young as 12. In the U.S., we seem to be living in a culture that suggests that if you haven’t found true love (and good sex) by your teens, there is something wrong with you. As a result, young people are jumping into commitment – and sex – in order to feel “normal” even when they aren’t ready for it.
Contrary to what you may have seen on TV and in the movies, what is really normal is moving gradually from group activities to a number of short-term and shallow relationships to, after many years, a committed relationship. In fact, people who marry in their late 20’s and early 30’s are more likely to have marriages that last. Why? Because these people have taken the time to mature and to figure out just what kind of person is the right fit for them. What you are doing is not only normative but is very important.
You have many fine attributes. I see no reason for you to decide that you are unloveable. But there may be some things about the clinginess and impatience that you described that are off-putting. I suggest you give yourself the gift of a few counseling sessions to talk that over with a qualified counselor. There may be a few things you can change that will make others feel more comfortable around you.
I wish you well.