I fell in love with someone once. I was fourteen, he was eighteen. And gay. It didn't work out. When I was in college, I had a years-long non-sexual but definitely non-platonic relationship with a professor 30 years older than me.
And that's the whole history of my dating/love/sex/romantic life. If you can even call it that.
I've never been the type to go looking for a partner. Not because I was above such things, but because I have such difficulty trusting people that I knew the only sort of person I could ever consider dating, let alone sleeping with, would be someone I already knew and respected.
I'm not ashamed to be a virgin at 30, and I also don't think there's any shame in being single. But I used to think that no one was ever interested enough to flirt at me, and that I had never really met anyone I'd consider flirting with. Only, in the last few months, I've started realizing that I was just REALLY BAD at noticing when people were flirting with me, and also that, every time I felt a flutter of interest in someone, I just ignored it, because I assumed they couldn't be interested in me.
I know why I'm like this. Long, boring story involving abuse and trauma in childhood. I never really learned to see myself as someone that anyone could possibly want to love.
I used to think this part of me just didn't exist, or was dormant or something. But now that I've started noticing that I actually am ALIVE in that particular way, I worry that once someone gets to know me they're going to decide I'm too much work, because who wants to have to prove constantly (or for however long it takes) that they're not just faking caring about you?