not-so-simply single - help!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2003
not-so-simply single - help!
12
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 11:31pm
Ok, this may seem like it's not very important to a lot of you, but I need some advice, and I've got too much pride to ask someone who actually knows who I am. Sad, but true. I am almost 18 and I have never dated. That in and of itself is not a bad thing. I decided at the age of 14 not to date until I graduated, and I just graduated in June. This decision was partially based on the fact that I had to get my own issues sorted out before I could deal with another person in my life. But most of the reason was that I have a really hard time trusting anyone enough to let them in, with good reason. I have gotten a little better about that, but now I have another problem. I have spent so much time warding off relationships that I find it increasingly more difficult - and frightening - to think about having one. It's like the longer I don't date, the less comfortable I feel about dating. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I don't really know HOW to go about it without compromising everything my life has been for the past however many years. I think I might know the answers to this one, but I just need to hear them from someone who isn't me. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 08-01-2003 - 10:30am
I honestly don't know what the magical answers you are looking to hear. I do know that its unfair of you to expect potential friends/bfs to jump over walls and thru hoops to get to know you. Even if you have been hurt in the past...it was not this new person who hurt. I say that b/c I lose patience really quickly with those type of ppl. I think, "I'm not paying pentance for some junk someone else did...I don't even know this person so I don't know if they are worth the effort!" Don't want to sound harsh, thats just how I feel. I am not saying be open to everyone, all the time. You can open up a little here and there to encourage ppl to talk to you, hang out with, etc. And really, thats ALL dating is! Talking, hanging out, getting to KNOW each other. Nothing to be afraid of...certainly you do those things in your life...the way it is now? So what will change? Yes, if you really get to know someone...maybe even fall in love with them...THEN things will change but at that point you should know enough about the r/ship, who the person and how you want it to change to have some say in how it will change ;-)

Good luck, Go.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2003
Fri, 08-01-2003 - 4:49pm
Do you honestly and truly WANT to date, or do you feel maybe you just "should" date simply because your self-imposed time-limit has come up?

You're still a teenager hon.. What's the rush if you don't truly feel like it? This is the point in your life when you can really learn, grow, change, discover life... dating isn't the only way to do it... or even a good way to do it.

As you've just graduated (high school I assume?) - I'm sure you must have plans for the future-- why not puruse your goals and plans and education or career, and see how you feel as you gain confidence out in the world?

Accomplishments and reaching for your dreams builds the kind of self-esteem and self-awareness you'll need in order to stand for what you believe in, and not settle for less just because "some guy" decides to put the pressue on you. And.. while you're pursing your goals, you may meet people with similar interests and ideas that support your feelings and believes.

As for trusting anyone enough to let them in--- people don't get your trust for "free"- they have to earn it over time. With their actions, not their flimsy words. Trust isn't something given freely to anyone just because they may appear "nice", and if that's considered "not nice"- too darn bad! You owe it to yourself to protect yourself, and take things slowly.

You're 17 now... why not spend the next year or two or three focused on yourself, and put dating on the back burner. Believe me, as someone much older than you, I can honestly say --- you're not missing much at all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 12:50am
Hi,

I did the same thing. I am now 19, and about to enter my sophomore year in college, still having never been out on a date or had a real relationship. I realize now that putting it off might not have been the best idea. But, since we can't change the past, we can decide things today that can affect the future. So, decide for yourself that you owe it to yourself to trust someone to love you and to let yourself love them. Trust yourself to love yourself (and I'm sure you already do! ;), and above all, just face your fears. I'm no relationship expert, but I have found that admitting to myself why I'm afraid to do something helps me figure out a solution to burst that fear to pieces and get on with my life. So, do that. Face your fears. Whether you write them down or just think about them in your head, admit what's making you afraid, figure out why, and then it will get better. I wish you the best.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 1:01am
No offense, but you really completely missed the point the young lady was trying to make. She's ALREADY put dating on the back burner, she's ALREADY pursuing her dreams. Did it not once occur to you that in those dreams could be contained finding true love, or at the very least, a good, strong long term relationship? Because there is nothing wrong with working towards goals and having someone besides girlfriends to hang out with. I mean, this isn't the 70's anymore; it is okay for us ladies to have relationships without being in the kitchen or prone all the time.

It's time to take the relationship pot off the backburner and stir it up.

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 11:24am
Actually, I think she did hit the mark. At 17, focusing on dating isn't the best thing to do. Entering college, studying, and just plain having fun is. Dating comes with time, and can happen without focusing on it. I think she needs to work on the trust issues with everyone, not just men.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-05-2003
Tue, 08-05-2003 - 9:48pm
Hello sister, I will try to offer some comfort to you but understand what I have to say will not substitute for professional counseling. If you find this increasingly difficult to deal with, seek help from a professional. (liability statement)

I won't try to guess what you have gone through, but it seems you have been betrayed by a male. It's very important to have friends of both sexes but maintain your bounderies. Fear of being hurt again may be what is preventing you from building relationships with young men. You should not focus on dating, more on finding a safe, fun group of people you can call friends. Most life long marriage partnerships are built on a foundation that began as great friends. This is more a courtship concept. Get comfortable in group settings before venturing out alone with guys. Get some conversations going that seem to lead to new topics to talk about. If you can't communicate, it will lead to problems down the road.

You will know the who and the when. Just keep searching your heart for the strenght and be patcient with yourself.

P.S. I admire your courage to refrain from dating so long. You will be glad you did.

I would suggest some books, but I don't know if I can share resources here. I will find out what the rules are.

Learn, Relate and Discover!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 12:05am
Ok, when I first read your reply, I wanted to be mad at you, but I couldn't, because, although it may not seem like it from my post, I'm the type who can't stand putting up with loads of psychological - bull problems, such as neurotic trust issues. In fact, I about kicked myself for putting up the post in the first place. Understand though, within three years during high school, FIFTEEN guys asked me out as a joke. It was the fun thing to do, apparantly. I have also had the kind of life where whenever things are going good, the bottom drops out and I'm back to square one. Adding to this is the fact that I am bipolar (I have manic depression) and so I tend to be extremely cynical and a bit pessamistic. I realize none of this is an excuse, I just wanted to explain. While I am somewhat of a hopeless romantic in ways (don't laugh, it's true), I'd hate to think that anyone would think I was the type of whining sap that I can't stand. So, basically what I'm saying is, Thank-you for being so brutally honest. It's what I do, and it's what I like from others.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 1:08am
I used to think that it was a good idea too. I thought that for me, putting off dating would pay off for me. I thought that I could find a boyfriend once I was settled in college, or when I was 25/28/near retirement. Well, to my dismay, it seems that ALL the guys, even the gross ones, are taken, and now I'm left to watch on the sidelines as other couples enjoy each other's company and do all that couple's stuff.

"Wait to start dating, you're so young." Umm, reality check: young, fresh faced opportunistic 17 year olds turn into older ready to find a life routine women faster than you think. Being young is no excuse to allude dating. I'd rather start dating while I'm young, so that I can get married and have kids, the right way. Living like the people on "Friends" can't last forever. Even they started having kids and getting married.

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 11:39am
I never said wait to start dating. I said don't *focus* on it. There's nothing wrong with dating at 17, but I've been a 17 year old and I know how life-and-death having a boyfriend seems at the time. It's not life and death. There are so many other things in life to enjoy, there's no point in putting all your energy into one thing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 4:34pm
It's interesting, isn't it-- how it all looks at age 17..19..21 the world seems to revolve around one thing: BOYFRIEND.. getting one, keeping one, pleasing one, calling one, dating one, being heartbroken by one....and everything else is secondary.

And when you hit 30...33... 35.. how it has all changed. You grow up, you take your hard knocks, you live, you learn, you get on with life, you change, your ideas and career and outlook shift. Men are no longer GODS but people with some interesting ideas and habits. Call or don't call- who cares when you've got a great life? The good men stick around, the jerks don't.

You look back at those years 17..18.. and laugh.. (or cringe) "What was I thinking???" being so "in love" with the jerky 19 year old with a cool car and pimples.

Maybe some of us wish we would have devoted more time to schooling or travel or doing much more interesting things in life, rather than hang around the phone waiting for "HIM". Or maybe some of us married that "HIM" and had kids - some still together, most probably divorced.

Looking back with the wisdom the years bring, it all seems such a lot of time and energy.

But you know---- us "old women" can't tell a teenager about life. They always want to do it themselves, much smarter than we will ever be (of course), much more hip, and in control and hey, "times have changed" and we haven't- right?

I suppose us "old women" can try to be here when the broken, shattered pieces of a fragile 18 year old heart begin to fall because of some "HIM" that we knew wasn't worth it to begin with.

I'm glad I'm older and wiser- aren't you?


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