Seven years of relationship chaos

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2013
Seven years of relationship chaos
Sat, 09-07-2013 - 3:15am

Hey, thanks for reading. I'm new here. You can call me M. I just had my 23rd birthday. I’m not going to cry myself to sleep or anything since I’m not the type, but it’s something in my life that’s bothering me significantly.

Here’s some background on me…6’3, 260 of muscle (ripped…literally, shredded). Most women would give me about an 8 in the looks department (but I’m African-American, so not everyone’s cup of tea in a culture of Westernized beauty). Pretty confident…some might say exceedingly so (but that’s never put anyone completely out of the running.) I’ve been on a “college tour” over the last few years, most recently at an elite liberal arts college in New England (I’m “taking time off” at the moment, I’ll just say.) So there is a lot that I need to work on in general. But with dating and relationships, it has just been one failure after another.

First serious relationship was at 19 with a girl my age. It was a great relationship, but her father and his racial intolerance were ultimately the main reasons why that fell through. I was cut off completely. To say it was devastating would be an understatement. Little over a year later started dating a 29 year-old. I liked her a lot, but for some reason could not muster up the sexual energy for her. That doomed us and put me in a position of, let’s just say, trying too hard to make it work. Then dated a 32 year-old. We hit it off well initially, but she felt I was coming on too strong and cut me out completely (I did not intend to send whatever vibes she got, seriously, but it harkened back to the earlier painful break-up). Dated another 32 year-old after that for about 3 months where I was basically jerked-around, back-and-forth, and treated like crap before I was discarded. Since then there have been some little things here and there, a few hook-ups on campus, but nothing substantive.

Two things bother me…1) I should have had a meaningful, long-term relationship by now and 2) I should have had a meaningful sexual relationship by now. The two do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. Again…I’m not saying that I should have had perfection. But I think it’s unusual for someone my age to be so sexually inexperienced AND to have not had a real relationship. Basically, I feel pretty rejected and I also feel pretty angry. I’ve basically been resolved to a life of scanning dating sites, hoping something is going to workout somewhere along the way. Nothing ever does. I just feel like there is a brickwall. I haven’t had sexual intercourse since December of 2011. It’s like I’ve been cast into a cycle of want…the longer I go without, the more desperation sets in, and the more rejection I face, the further that desperation is driven. All of this engenders frustration. And I’ll just preempt some of you by saying I don’t think that it’s some arbitrary goal to have wanted more relationship and sexual experience by now, since the longer you go without these things in life the more difficult interpersonal relationships become when you do get there. Sexuality is an important part of sustaining relationships, especially marriages, and when that's lacking it can be problematic.

I was complaining about similar things at 16. Now I’m 23. What’s next, I’m going to be 30 ing about this still? Then 37? Again, I am really angry because I don’t understand what it is that’s wrong with me or why I’m 23 having to about what are essentially teenage problems. I feel like I'm a normal guy...maybe I am deluding myself, but I really do. I just feel like it shouldn’t be that hard to find an attractive, consenting adult woman who would like to have sex with me and that perhaps it shouldn’t be so hard either to find a consenting adult woman who’d like to get to know me in a deeper way, one that may or may not lead to a relationship. I don’t think I’m entitled to someone, but I feel like I’m an interesting, decent, and affable enough individual to where I should probably be able to have normal experiences. Where I’m at by this age, statistically speaking, is abnormal. Frankly, I’m sick of posting ads of Craigslist and profiles on OKCupid and POF to having to constantly go through the same BS. The more this frustration builds, the harder it makes things when I actually come to the point of dating someone since negative ideas are associated with these experiences.

Okay. That’s off my chest. Thanks for putting up with me. Now, for your honest opinions.



Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 1:20pm

You already have a ton suggestions.  So I will be short.

Relax, and like another poster said, just do what you enjoy and let things happen when they are supposed to.  It important to be okay with, or without, a partner. 

As far as any details that have been discussed, if you are truly concerned then you can always talk to your friends, or to a professional. 

Lastly, just for perspective, remember in the "good ole' days," people didn't date, let alone have sex, before marriage.  They courted.  Not saying everyone should live the Duggars of 19 kids and counting (I sure as heck have not), but there is something to be said for the philsophy behind it. 

Take it easy and enjoy your youth.  Some lovely women will surely enter your life.  :)


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2003
Wed, 09-11-2013 - 4:09pm

You have some really good advice here.

I was going to point out maybe trying a different dating site. Someone mentioned the "Craig's List Killer" and they are correct. I would be very surprised if you found a date (or hookup) via Craigslist. Most women are going to view the men on there as creepy. (I'm not calling you creepy here, you seem like a quality guy but it will not come across that way on CL).

As a long-time online dater, I would steer away from Okcupid as well. Since it is a free dating site, you are going to find different quality of people. Hey, I was on there for years and had no luck. (Ironically I met my current BF on there but I think that was a shot in the dark. I had MANY bad dates from Okcupid).

Try a site you have to pay for like match or chemistry. Send your profile to some friends to review. We often have a skewed perception of ourselves. Put up a decent picture. (Not one of you standing shirtless in your bathroom mirror taken using your own cell phone).

Good luck and have fun!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Fri, 09-13-2013 - 12:30pm

Hmmm, my best friend and her husband met on Craigslist ...

I have to agree with Standing and a few others, most ambitious 23-year-olds are more focused on education and career and building financial security than dating.  You said you are "taking time off".  Perhpas this is the problem - you have too much time to dwell on relationships (or the lack of).  And this may be just one woman's perspective, but when I was 23, I would not want to have anything to do with someone taking time off because I was working a demanding full-time job and going to graduate school.

Instead of worrying about not being in a relationship, which you don't really have 100% control (it take two to have a relationship), why not use this time to work on your education (education does not always equate going to university, learning a foreign language counts), career, hobbies (pick up a musical instrument?) etc.  The way I look at it, ripped muscle are good for short term, what works in the long run are shared interests and common goals in life, and as crude as it sounds, financial security.