Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I’m 25 and I’m Not Interested in Dating Men OR Women”

Pensive woman

I’m twenty-five right and have never been on a date. Ever. I grew up in a very traditional family that kept a lot of tabs on me and my movements (I was never very rebellious anyway), and I went to an all-girls’ high school and didn’t really talk to boys at college. It’s only now, after I’ve left college and started working, that I started learning social skills and how to talk to people.

Two friends have recently tried to set me up with boys and I just don’t really seem to feel anything. When I try to explain to my friends that I’m only starting to get used to even talking to boys and haven’t yet gotten to the “looking at boys” stage most girls hit around fifteen, they pretty much tell me that it’s about time I did, as if it’s like flipping a switch or something.

I’m pretty sure I’m not into girls because, with my largely female social circle, I’d have figured it out by now, right? And, well, I don’t have romantic fantasies about girls when I do daydream. Which I don’t, much. But if I’m twenty-five and a guy’s never inspired stomach butterflies, then…what? I was worried I was asexual for a while, but I guess when I do have romantic daydreams they’re about guys, so could it be I haven’t met my type yet?

Anyway, my friend is trying to set me up with a guy who is apparently “really into me.” As far as I know, he’s intelligent, a good conversationalist, and a nice guy. The problem is, I don’t have any feeling that says, “I want to be near this person a lot.” Granted, he hasn’t blatantly come out and asked me out yet (and if he doesn’t, I’m not going to say anything), but I definitely don’t want to lead him on or make him feel like he’s always the guy who gets “friend-zoned” or something when chances are the problem’s with me, and my lack of hormones, and not with him.

The thing is, I honestly think I’m one of those women out there with a fairly low libido, or maybe I’m demisexual or something, I don’t know. But should I be finding out by wading into the dating game? Because the idea of spending a romantic evening with someone I only want to have good conversation with doesn’t seem right.

I was never particularly worried about any of this until my friends made a big deal about it. So…should I be trying to date? Is my not dating during my teen years the reason why I’m so stunted in the hormone department now? Are romantic feelings and hormones like a muscle: the less you exercise them the more stunted they become?

Do you know of other women who only started noticing guys in their late twenties or early thirties? Is this normal? Or, not unusual? Am I still just a late-bloomer? — Late-Bloomer?

Out of you whole letter (which was even a couple of paragraphs longer before I edited it), the line that stood out to me the most was this: “I was never particularly worried about any of this until my friends made a big deal about it.” And that just sucks, because maybe your friends mean well, but what they’re doing — making you feel like you have a problem when you don’t — is cruel.

You don’t have a problem. I can’t say that what you feel about dating and sex and being (or not being) attracted or interested in anyone romantically is normal, necessarily, but I also don’t see it as anything to worry about at all. Who are you hurting? No one. And if YOU aren’t bothered by your lack of desire for anyone — or you weren’t bothered by it until your friends pointed it out and made you feel like a freak because of it — than no one else should be either.

What does your lack of romantic interest in anyone mean? I don’t know. It could mean you’re asexual or demisexual. Or, it could mean you simply haven’t met anyone who turns you on. Maybe you’re straight or maybe you’re gay. If you think your feelings could be repressed because of your traditional upbringing, you could always try talking to a therapist. Or, you could experiment a little. I mean, that’s what dating IS, no matter what your orientation. Any time any of us goes out with someone, we are playing a game of “Is this a match?” And oftentimes it’s not. But sometimes it is. And agreeing to get coffee with someone or see a movie or go for a walk in the park doesn’t mean you owe that person anything. You’re playing a game of “Is this a match?” just as he or she is, and the best way to find out if there is a match is to actually, you know, spend time with that person. If you realize that it isn’t a match, you have still fulfilled your end of the bargain by giving it a shot. That’s all you owe when you agree to a date.

So… yes, I do think you should try dating. But only if you feel like it. And only if you’d be doing it for yourself and not because your friends think it’s time. It’s quite possible that, as you get to know people in date-like settings, something will click and there will be a “switch,” as you say, where your hormones start sending messages to your brain that there’s a possible connection. That connection may not happen on a first date or a second date or a third. It may never happen at all. And I can’t tell you with any certainty that the chase for that feeling would be worth the effort for you if the effort feels too much like work (but I can tell you with certainty that, for many people, the chase for the connection most certainly IS worth the effort when they finally find it). If it’s effort you can mostly enjoy, either because you enjoy the company of others or the effort is bringing you closer to knowing yourself or you simply really, really like getting coffee with people, then go for it.

But you shouldn’t feel like you have to do anything that you don’t want to do. And you shouldn’t feel like you need to be anyone other than yourself. It’s ok if you’re still figuring out who, exactly, you are, and what you like and what turns you on. I don’t know that any of us ever totally know ourselves. But with age and experiences — and, yes, relationships — we get to know more. And we grow more comfortable in our own skins and with our own decisions and with the quirks that make us unique. Late-bloomer or not, you’ll get there.

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and Twitter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

60 comments… add one
  • lemongrass

    lemongrass April 3, 2014, 9:28 am

    It seems like you are making going on a date to mean much more than it really does. It is not a commitment, not for a half an hour or a lifetime. You can get up and walk away at any point. I think you should try it. It’s hard to know if you like swimming by looking at the water.

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    • avatar

      ktfran April 3, 2014, 10:08 am

      I completely agree. I think it’s 100% ok if the LW isn’t interested in dating and I think it’s crap that her friends are pressuring her. BUT…. I feel that this LW is also placing an undue burden on herself in that she is placing too much emphasis on what comes after. A date does not need to lead to a relationship or a long-term commitment. A date is figuring things out. What you like. Who you like. Etc. So, LW, figure it out! If that means you don’t feel like dating, don’t. But I think you would benefit from seeing what is out there. You never know, someone might peak your interest. And if anything, you meet hopefully cool new people. That’s how I look at dating anyway.

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      • avatar

        applescruffs April 3, 2014, 11:05 am

        I wonder if part of that is her upbringing? She didn’t say religious in particular, but maybe she comes from a background that focuses more on “courting” than dating, in which case there would be a lot of emphasis on a first date. She might even come from a background that practices arranged marriage.

        LW, I agree with Wendy, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Try dating if you want, but if you’re doing well just the way things are, then do that! Therapy might help if you want to explore some of these feelings more in depth, but I say do what feels comfortable, explore yourself, and see what happens.

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    • avatar

      Casey April 3, 2014, 11:10 am

      I read an article once that said we should think of a date as drinks with a stranger. I really like that concept, because no matter how much you think you know about a person before you meet him or her, you really don’t. So I try never to get my expectations too high and keep that phrase in mind.

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle April 3, 2014, 9:32 am

    I’m 32. None of my current friends date anyone. Ever. They are 33, 33, 32, 29, 28…..they just never go on dates, don’t seem interested in men, and don’t make any effort in trying to date. They love their jobs, their pets, their home, their parents, siblings and life in general. All of them have said they don’t need a guy to be happy and satisfied. I truthfully think you are more common than you think. No reason to worry.

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    • TheLadyE

      Elisse April 3, 2014, 10:11 am

      I love this. I’m 31 and my good friends are 30 and 28 and feel the same way. Several of us date off and on but we have complete, fulfilled lives with our work, pets, and hobbies/interests whether or not we’re dating.

      As in…if/when we do date, we want it to add to the joy and excitement in our lives (and hopefully the lives of our dates) rather than feel like an obligation or a social rite of passage. Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be anyway?

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  • avatar

    bethany April 3, 2014, 9:33 am

    LW, there’s nothing wrong with not wanting to date or not having sexual feelings towards men (or maybe women) yet. As long as you’re happy with your life and how it’s progressing, then that’s all that matters. Maybe in a few years your feelings will change and you’ll become interested. Maybe they won’t. As long as you’re ok with what’s going on in your life and open to trying new things, that’s all that matters.

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    • GatorGirl

      GatorGirl April 3, 2014, 11:56 am

      I’ve been thinking about my response and I think this is pretty close to my reaction too. LW, if YOU are happy, then who cares? You don’t have a bf/gf? None of your friends business. IDK, this seems like some seriously unnecessary meddling on your friends behalves.

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  • avatar

    Sara April 3, 2014, 9:38 am

    I like how Wendy described dating – “a game of ‘is this a match?'” A date does not have to be a big deal, super planned-out, romantic or even lead to anything. It only has to be a casual meeting to figure out if you enjoy spending time with the other person. It’s OK to play the dating game if you are unsure. All you’re doing is spending some time with another person and deciding if you enjoy that person’s company or if you don’t. And let the chemistry follow (or not follow). I think that a lot of “things” go into chemistry and that it is not always instant for a person. I mean – it’s OK to go on a second date if you enjoy the person’s company even if there are not “butterflies.” Have fun. It’s OK to enjoy this new type of growing/learning experience. And, if it turns out you really hate casual dating, you can stop whenever you want. Like Wendy said, you’re not hurting anyone by not dating.

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  • avatar

    blink14 April 3, 2014, 9:45 am

    LW, I can relate somewhat to your situation. I’m in my late 20s and I have dated around and had one (disastrous) serious relationship, but at this point its been nearly 4 years since my last relationship, and for the most part, I’m totally fine with that.

    You have to do what’s right for you, at your pace. For me, I have a lot of different things going on – family stuff, working, trying to find a new job, hobbies, etc – that the thought of dating for the sake of dating isn’t appealing to me. I also have friends who question why I’m not using online dating sites or trying to meet guys, and really what it comes down to is I don’t NEED to date, I am fine being single, and I generally prefer it right now.

    Our situations aren’t totally the same, and I do have “daydreams”, particularly about one person that’s an entire separate story, but don’t force yourself into dating if you aren’t ready for it or you don’t feel like its right for you at this time. Its also possible that you may find some therapy helpful to sort out your thoughts and see if there is an underlying cause – such as a low libido.

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  • avatar

    captainswife April 3, 2014, 9:47 am

    I agree with all the above, BUT with a caveat…if YOU are concerned, you could also ask your doctor for a full workup. Sometimes hormone levels are off and can change how we feel about things, and it could be worth checking out.

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    • suzyinthesky

      suzyinthesky April 3, 2014, 10:05 am

      I agree. apparently there’s even a specific hormone that could be causing this called prolactin:
      My doctor had me checked out when I was complaining about low libido. (turns out in my case if was just the birth control I was on that did it)

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      • suzyinthesky

        suzyinthesky April 3, 2014, 10:05 am

        edit: not a hormone. a protein.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee April 3, 2014, 12:08 pm

        Prolactin is both! It’s an amino acid based (protein) hormone.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass April 3, 2014, 10:10 am

        I can absolutely state that high levels of prolactin causes low libido. I have barely wanted sex while breastfeeding and not at all while breastfeeding exclusively. My sex drive only came back a little bit as the amount of prolactin in my system decreased. Interesting that we have it all the time and not just breastfeeding though. I didn’t know that!

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      • suzyinthesky

        suzyinthesky April 3, 2014, 10:26 am

        Well, according to my doctor we’re not supposed to have it. but some people do, and then it’s regarded as an anomaly and they get treatment for it!

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass April 3, 2014, 10:29 am

        Oh okay then I skimmed wiki wrong. I’ve had to cut down my coffee consumtion *cries*

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  • avatar

    Christy April 3, 2014, 9:49 am

    LW, I didn’t date at all until I was 21. I liked a single guy in high school (basically because I was supposed to) and then I finally dated a girl for about a month at 21, and I’ve dated my current girlfriend from 23-25. If I had been open to dating when I was younger (Catholic school=closeted to myself) I’d have dated younger. I certainly didn’t have a stunted libido.

    But it doesn’t really matter. I think Wendy is 100% right.

    (Also, you could be asexual and heteroromantic–interested in non-sexual romantic relationships with men. Just something to consider and google.)

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  • Miel

    Miel April 3, 2014, 10:05 am

    I kinda recognize myself and one of my friend in your description. All of high school, we weren’t interested in anyone. I know I would day-dream about guys but I wasn’t attracted to any of the guys around me, not even good-looking actors or celebrities. I think my friend was not even day-dreaming back then. It was just not on her mind.
    .
    When I turned 18, but mostly around 19, I really began to get interested in guys. I developed a few big crushes, but they were mostly “personality crushes” because I wasn’t really physically attracted to those guys, I just had a great time around them. When I was 20, I finally met someone to whom I was attracted to, on a personality and physical level, so we began dating and we’re still together almost three years later. I think in my case, I was at a point where I really wanted a relationship, and it’s only then that I began being attracted to people. I would have met my now-boyfriend in high school and there’s no way we would have dated. Because that was a time where I didn’t see myself in a relationship.
    .
    My friend is still single. Still never met anyone that she felt attracted to. But she’s starting, sometime, to feel like she would like to be in a relationship. I think you should follow the same way. Wait until you feel like you want a relationship. If you are perfectly content with your job, your friendships and your family, then it’s normal to not be attracted to people around you since you don’t even feel like being in a romantic relationship. I think that once you develop that desire of finding a romantic partner, you’ll begin to feel attracted to potential partners. It’s like when you’re hungry and then suddently all the food in the world sounds good vs not being hungry at all and all the food sounds like a bad idea.

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    • avatar

      Christy April 3, 2014, 10:20 am

      Oh, that’s a good point. I’ve only ever been seriously attracted (not I’m-supposed-to-like-someone-so-I-like-this-person) to three people–the girl I dated at 21, my current girlfriend, and someone from my freshman year of college. So sometimes it can take a long time to find someone you’re attracted to.

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    • avatar

      AllegroFox April 3, 2014, 6:43 pm

      The food analogy is the best analogy! One of my very worst pet peeves when I visit my parents is that my mom plans the whole day first thing in the morning, so right after I’ve eaten breakfast she’s going “what do you think you’d like for dinner?” And I’m like, “ugggggghhh no, I just ate, food is terrible. Ask me later.”

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  • Diablo

    Diablo April 3, 2014, 10:20 am

    I wonder if maybe you’ve just had a lifetime of people telling you what to do. I wonder whether you might take a fancy to some guy if it was your choice. It sounds like a lot of your choices have been made for you, and you just can’t muster up any passion for “going along” or satisfying needs others create for you. So, like Wendy said, do what’s right for you. You’ll know when you really want to pursue someone. It tends to be obvious when it happens. If it doesn’t, no worries.

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    • KKZ

      KKZ April 3, 2014, 11:25 am

      Excellent point, Diablo! LW is allowed to take the rudder and steer herself wherever she wants to go rather than get carried along by the current.

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  • Stonegypsy

    Stonegypsy April 3, 2014, 9:22 am

    WWS
    But also..
    Don’t let the fear of ‘friend-zoning’ someone stop you from going out on dates. The only thing you are obligated to do is be honest about your feelings (or lack thereof). It’s up to other people to make the decision from there whether they want to move on or be your friend. And if they’re worth being friends with at all, they will not hold it against you.

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    • avatar

      Banana April 3, 2014, 10:07 am

      Yeah, I think “friend-zoning” someone has been portrayed as this horrible, selfish action by a lot of blogs and memes out there — probably by people who felt like they were friend-zoned. But there really isn’t anything wrong, or selfish or dishonest, about going on a date or two with someone and then deciding you’d much rather be friends, as long as you’re open and honest about it.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny April 3, 2014, 10:09 am

        Or even deciding you’d rather be friends before going on a date.

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      • lemongrass

        lemongrass April 3, 2014, 10:13 am

        It’s the same thing as a guy calling a woman a “dick tease” as if she is required to fill his sexual needs if she arouses him.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 3, 2014, 10:22 am

        Well yeah, I mean obviously. Women shouldn’t have wills of their own, we should be here only to cater to the desires of the men who surround us!*

        *sarcasm. In case that wasn’t totally obvious.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas April 3, 2014, 10:20 am

        The whole “friend zone” thing makes me really angry because it’s used to blame someone for not being sexually interested in you rather than accepting that not everyone you’re interested in has to return those feelings. I’ve heard guys complain (and this is only an example – I’m NOT saying only guys do this) that they’re “nice guys” who always get friend zoned, and I want to scream WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO NOT BE INTERESTED IN YOU. Like, being a nice guy doesn’t mean that every single woman you meet has to fall in love with you. “Dick tease” pushes me into rage stroke territory.

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      • othy

        othy April 3, 2014, 11:08 am

        Othello hates the ‘friend zone’ concept too. He always says that ‘women are not vending machines where you put in favors and they give you sex in return’.

        (I knew I married him for a reason!)

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson April 3, 2014, 11:23 am

        YES! And guys are allowed to not be interested in you! It goes both ways. People are allowed to “just not be that into you” and they don’t need to have an excuse or reason. And it certainly doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the uninterested party.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 3, 2014, 11:29 am

        Right? There’s not a single person out there who likes and is attracted to every single person they meet, so why would anyone expect differently of others?
        Ridiculous.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 3, 2014, 11:10 am

        This is one of my absolute favorite videos everywhere. I just want every “nice guy” to watch this, over and over again, until they get it.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rZu-tBi7DM

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas April 3, 2014, 12:36 pm

        That video is fantastic! I want to “friend zone” that guy in the best possible way. He’s so spot on.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow April 3, 2014, 12:52 pm

        I want to bang him.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow April 3, 2014, 12:52 pm

        Nicely.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 3, 2014, 12:48 pm

        Right? I actually kinda love all of his videos. He’s so well spoken and just seems like one of the coolest guys ever.
        I went out with a guy last year just because he reminded me of that guy

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 3, 2014, 12:50 pm

        I just realized how often I start sentences and replies with “Right?”

        Hmm

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 3, 2014, 10:15 am

        Yeah… I have a friend who was trying to hook up with a girl who was pretty clearly not attracted to him, and he knew it. He kept hanging out with her, and going to pick her up for parties because she didn’t have a car, and smoking her up. Then he complained to me about how she had friend-zoned him.
        My reply was kind of a verbal bitch slap, explaining that if he knew she wasn’t attracted to him, he had the choice whether to continue that relationship, and if he didn’t want to be her friend than he could stop doing that, but she wasn’t obligated to be attracted to him just because he wanted her to be.

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny April 3, 2014, 10:35 am

        YES. If you’re only being nice to someone because you are trying to get in their pants YOU ARE NOT ACTUALLY NICE. You are manipulative.

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      • Stonegypsy

        Stonegypsy April 3, 2014, 10:46 am

        THIS.
        Exactly. Nor are you actually a friend, if all you want is to sleep with them.

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    • avatar

      Gustavo August 18, 2014, 11:53 pm

      Nope. “friend-zoning” someone is wrong; as wrong as leading them on. If you are female, you will realize how wrong it is when you feel something for someone and he changes his mind about you or doesn’t want a committed relationship.
      Each sex has its ways of hurting the other. If your position is that you should be free to have and change your feelings at any point in time – fine. But life has its twists and turns and sooner or later things that you do not like are going to happen to you and remember then that you voted for a “take a straw an suck it up” philosophy.

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  • avatar

    Banana April 3, 2014, 10:35 am

    LW, please don’t let your friends make you feel bad about your sexuality (whatever it is). Even if they mean well. If they keep at it after you tell them to back off, consider finding new people to hang out with, who will accept you for who you are. I’ve actually known several people like you, who just seemed uninterested in sexual relationships or crushes or whatever, and we still found plenty of common ground and had lots of good times. If all your friends want to do is push you into a romance to make you more like them, please ditch them. I’ve changed friend groups in the past, too, when I realized the people who surrounded me were not good for me. It’s scary at first, but you can do it.

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  • Crochet.Ninja

    Crochet.Ninja April 3, 2014, 9:38 am

    I think you should do what feels right for you. If you don’t want to date, then don’t? I really didn’t date at all, i sort of just ‘merged’ with both guys i’ve been with. it was pretty natural, and not forced.

    if you don’t feel the need to have a significant other, that’s ok. and you know what? figuring out what is best for you means that if you do find someone you do want to be with, you’ll know what you want 🙂

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. April 3, 2014, 10:42 am

    There could be lots of reasons why you don’t want to date. Your friends should back off on this issue of they’re making you feel bad about it. You’ll do it when you’re ready. Or you won’t, which is okay, too. I didn’t date til I was in my 30s, so I know all about being a late bloomer. One thing that has already been mentioned: do go to a doctor and have your hormones checked. My friend had no interest in dating at all, it she liked men, so she wasn’t sure what the problem was. She had low testosterone. We ladies have it too, and it does the same thing for us that it does for men, apparently. So definitely check it out. At least you would have some kind of answer.

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  • avatar

    j2 April 3, 2014, 10:42 am

    I would add that LW might benefit from adding more men to her “largely female social circle.”

    In particular, try to find group activities such as hiking clubs, which involve both men and women actively doing something of mutual interest. Those sorts of things would allow gradual and pressure-free opportunities to be around guys in mixed groups w/o having to jump directly into the “dating scene.”

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  • mandalee

    mandalee April 3, 2014, 11:21 am

    My husband has a female cousin who is very similar to you LW. She’s in her early 30’s, never dated, and everyone and I mean EVERYONE brings it up to her non-stop about her lack of romantic life. She grew in a very traditional, restrictive family, so I don’t know if that had an influence also. However, it bothers me for her and for you that people feel the need to make this a big deal for you. If you are completely happy with your life, I don’t think there’s any need to worry. Maybe you do have a low libido, maybe you are asexual, none of that matters unless it’s causing discomfort for you, not everyone else around you.
    .
    If you are interested in dating or at least testing out the possibility of being interested in someone else, you don’t need to jump into official set-up dates. I like j2’s suggestion above about hanging out in male/female mixed groups in social settings. Getting to know people and yourself and what you want out of life and relationships doesn’t need to be done in arranged one-on-one dates.

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  • avatar

    Amanda April 3, 2014, 11:56 am

    LW, I think that you should consider getting new friends. If you are happy as you are and are only considering dating because your friends are pressuring you, then these people aren’t true friends. Dump these people and date only if YOU want to.

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  • avatar

    peachy April 3, 2014, 12:33 pm

    LW, you might consider getting a medical check up. I’m not saying there has to be something “wrong” with you, but it is within the realm of possibility that there could be a hormone imbalance (low testoterone?) or low pituitary function, etc. that might be impacting your body chemistry overall.

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  • avatar

    MsMisery April 3, 2014, 1:33 pm

    LW, you don’t have to date if you aren’t interested (and it sucks your friends are pressuring you or making you feel bad about it), but the only way to know more about yourself (regarding your sexuality or whether you’re just a little erepressed thanks to your upbringing) is by going on some dates.

    As far as attraction is concerned, you don’t have to have any particular feelings for someone before agreeing to a date. It can just be getting to know someone better and if it doesn’t work, no harm no foul. I am asexual and I am still physically attracted to men and women, though I call it “from the waist up.” I can admit when someone is attractive but I have no interest in boning them. It’s mostly personality and intellect that attract me. So explore. Maybe join groups for things that interest you, take classes, or even get a therapist to try and help figure YOU out. (Not FIX you, mind you, I think everyone can use a little therapy).

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  • katie

    katie April 3, 2014, 1:40 pm

    so i agree with everyone that a relationship isnt needed for every person and people who dont want or need them are in no way freaks- but i have to wonder, because of how you talk about it, specifically saying that you *think* you might be attracted to guys because there are always guys in your fantasies, about your upbringing, ect- is this a part of yourself you want to explore? is this a part of yourself that was so severely squished when you were growing up that you arent even in tune with your body and mind enough to know what you like?
    .
    i think you should explore this. because i think people should explore themselves (bazinga). i think you should get in tune with the sensual and sexual and desired parts of yourself and see what happens. i wonder if you can find those parts of yourself you could then find the parts of other people that do it for you as well. and, worst case senario- if you find out that you arent a sexual person, that you arent attracted to men or women or whatever- well, then you know that about yourself, and knowledge is always power. there is really no bad outcome of this, you know?

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  • avatar

    snarkymarc April 3, 2014, 4:34 pm

    I’m probably too late to the party, but I find this letter and a number of the response really interesting. A few questions –
    – For those who said they had friends like the LW, were they all females? The LW’s experience is so, so different from mine and I assume there has to be a strong gender component. When I hit puberty I was the stereotypically teenage boy. Just about anything and everything would get me aroused. I could tell some embarrassing stories about how I relieved this arousal, but I’m at work, so I’ll let you imagine. I’ve always assumed other boys were the same as me, but I may have been wrong. I’m also surprised to hear how many many girls get into their late teens or early twenties and not have any strong attraction to either gender.
    – Do you think people like the LW are less interested in having a traditional family (i.e. biological children)? This letter didn’t mention anything about the desire to start of family.
    – Another point I found interesting was that a number of responders mentioned maybe she should see a doctor, but if she is happy, why bother? It seems to me that the default thinking is that high libido is good and low libido is bad. I’m not so sure. In a relationship I think the most beneficial thing is to have a closely match libido to your partner, regardless of whether it is high or low. If you are single, wouldn’t it better to have a low libido, provided you are okay being single? I would also guess that a couple comprised of two low libido partners would be fine with their sexual lives, but over a long period of time, a couple comprised of two high libido partners would eventually get bored of each which would likely cause problems. I’m not sure being high libido is so great.

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      ktfran April 3, 2014, 4:49 pm

      I’ve had a couple male friends who reached their late 20s/early 30s and hadn’t really dated. I’m not sure if they are interested or if they are closeted gays or what. Well, one I think is gay but won’t admit it to himself or anyone. One I thought was gay finally decided to date when we was about 32, but before he met his girlfriend, he didn’t seem interested and/or didn’t try.

      I’m 99.9% sure that guy #1 has never even kissed someone and guy #2 didn’t or had VERY limited experience until his girlfriend.

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      AllegroFox April 3, 2014, 6:57 pm

      My boyfriend is (was) one – I was his first kiss at 22. (And not for lack of opportunity, just interest, as far as I know; he has plenty of ladies in his social circle and several close female friends.) I was a late bloomer too, only slightly less so – I had a few (read: exactly two) very unserious relationships in high school, which were mostly “eh, I like you as a person, maybe we should make out?” (with heavy undertones of “because you are boy-shaped and we’re supposed to”). And I mean, kissing is nice, but I never really got butterflies or “real” attraction until I met Boyfriend. Yay late-bloomers!

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    John Farrier April 3, 2014, 3:41 pm

    Wendy’s advice is pretty good.

    LW, just be open and upfront to this guy about what your sentiments are and what his expectations can and can’t be. That can help both of you avoid any friend-zoning issues.

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    Millie April 3, 2014, 5:24 pm

    I had to jump in here. LW, I’m in my late 40s and in pretty much the same boat. I had a serious crush in my early 20s which could’ve gone deeper, but the time wasn’t right, and I broke it off. Since then, nothing. I love seeing my friends in deep relationships, and sometimes I wonder what that would really be like, but I am comfortable being alone, and have accepted that I am unlikely to have a life partner at this point. And you know what? That’s part of what makes me, me. I consider myself fortunate to have close friends & family (& no, mine was not a straight-laced upbringing), and for me, it’s enough.

    But I do read relationship sites partly to just understand what others are going through… because it is a little like being an alien. Some people think I’m a bit weird, but hey, everyone on this planet is a bit weird. And that’s okay. I’m happy & comfortable being my own brand of weird, and don’t feel a need to force myself into being something I’m not. And if that means I don’t explore or reach out, that’s fine—for me. Maybe for you, maybe not. The choice is always yours—no one else’s.

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    Lindsay April 3, 2014, 5:28 pm

    LW, it’s definitely possible that you’re asexual, but also maybe not. It’s basically up to you to make that determination, and you should keep in mind that there’s no one way to be asexual. And by mentioning demisexual, it sounds like you’ve done your research on it. In reference to what Wendy said about not being romantically attracted to someone, there is a difference between romantic and sexual attraction, and not knowing that is sometimes what can make it so hard for a person to determine whether they are asexual or not.

    Anyway, don’t do something you’re not comfortable with. Though I am interested in the idea of dating itself, most guys I’ve actually been out with, I haven’t actually enjoyed all that much. I don’t find dating for its own sake fun, and there are very few guys that I actually like enough to spend all sorts of free time with. For a while I thought that it wasn’t statistically possible for that to be the case, so I tried to make myself go out with guys in hopes of working off my nerves and being more into them, but in reality, I just don’t often meet the right guy.

    As long as you are not a hermit, then you may want to just acknowledge that if you come across someone you do want to spend more time with, then great, but if you don’t enjoy dating or don’t have a desire to go looking for someone to date, then you don’t have to. You may have gone to AVEN, this online community for asexuals, already, but if not, you might want to check it out. Even if you decide not to identify as asexual, it might be nice to hear from folks who see dating similar to you.

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    Simonthegrey April 3, 2014, 9:00 pm

    LW – sorry for chiming in so late. I was 28 when I met the guy who is now my husband. He was my first real boyfriend (I “dated” someone in high school, meaning people said we were dating but we never hung out), my first kiss, etc. My best friend, who lives with us, is 31 now and has been on exactly one date. Up until I met Mr. TheGrey, my best friend and I identified as asexual. We were active on an asexuality forum. It is a LOT more common than you think. And it’s normal. IF IT BOTHERS YOU, you could talk to a doctor to see if there is a hormonal reason for it. Only if it bothers you; my best friend never has, and I never did either. And while I’m married, and happy with my husband, I still never flipped a switch and became a highly sexual person. All sexuality is a spectrum. If you want to date, do it. If you don’t, don’t. You’re normal.

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    PH September 19, 2014, 4:45 am

    If you’re not interested in relationships/sex, it’s okay. We’re living in a society that we’re expected to be in relationships in a certain age. We have the freedom to think for ourselves.

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    PattyFromTexas September 12, 2017, 8:59 pm

    “Late boomer or not you’ll get there”… or not. Don’t hurt anyone because you’re just trying it out. Figure out what you really want & don’t worry about what friends THINK you want. 99% of the people on the planet are interested in sex. Just assume anyone you date will be thinking of sex. Unfortunately that means men won’t make good friends for the most part.

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