Your teens and perhaps your twenties have come and gone, and you've yet to have a relationship.
Maybe you've never dated, and at this point, you feel like you're missing out on an essential part of life.
As you see your friends dating and sometimes forging serious relationships, you ask yourself, “Is it normal to have never been in love?”
The answer is that yes, it is normal.
Love is complicated and cannot be forced, but you can do more to invite love into your life if you wish.
- Is It Bad to Never Have Been in a Relationship?
- Why Have I Never Been in a Relationship?
- 13 Things To Do If You've Never Been In A Relationship
- 1. Figure out what's holding you back.
- 2. Stop obsessing about your age.
- 3. Accept that rejection will NOT be the end of your world.
- 4. Build your self-confidence.
- 5. List strategies for increasing your social life.
- 6. Let friends know that they can set you up with dates.
- 7. Be patient.
- 8. Don't let feeling nervous get in the way.
- 9. Explore dating apps and websites.
- 10. Give people a chance.
- 11. Take things slowly.
- 12. Value your sense of self.
- 13. Don't let bad experiences stop you.
- Dating Someone Who's Never Been in a Relationship
Is It Bad to Never Have Been in a Relationship?
No, it's not bad if you haven't been in a relationship yet. You may worry that there's something wrong with you, but feelings of insecurity afflict everyone from time to time.
People whose relationships end in heartbreak worry about being unlovable too. The only bad thing about never being in a relationship is your longing to be in one — or at least to start dating.
You might think that never dating makes you look bad. You may fear that people believe that you lack something necessary for dating.
Realistically, you don't need experience with romance to start dating. Everyone started somewhere. Even people who've found love were once single and worried that no one would want them.
Of course, you may need to overcome a lack of confidence and fear of rejection to enter the world of dating. Just keep in mind that it's entirely possible that whoever you go out on your first date with will feel very special. And frankly, the goal of dating is for two people to make each other feel special.
Why Have I Never Been in a Relationship?
When you've never been in a relationship at 30 or older, you can’t escape the feeling that either you’re not dating material or that you’re avoiding it for some reason.
The fact that you've never had a boyfriend or girlfriend could reflect many things. Many people throughout their twenties focus on school, military service, travel, or career building. It's not unusual for young adults to pursue personal goals instead of relationship goals.
To be honest, achieving educational and career success can be much easier than relationship success.
Some reasons that hold people back from dating include:
- Setting unreasonably high standards to protect yourself from rejection.
- Witnessing your friends' relationship turmoil and deciding to steer clear of that mess.
- Feeling too insecure about being wanted by another person.
- Thinking that you don't deserve love.
- Waiting for someone perfect who makes you feel lovestruck.
- Never meeting someone who arouses your interest.
- Letting opportunities to date slip by because you fear intimacy.
- Fearing that a relationship will demand more than you can give.
13 Things To Do If You've Never Been In A Relationship
1. Figure out what's holding you back.
Self-awareness is a secret sauce that makes life easier. You can avoid sabotaging yourself and resolve issues that have kept you away from dating.
Many things could hold you back from taking a chance on real intimacy with another person. The reasons that block people from romantic relationships can range from feeling unattractive to being the victim of trauma.
You may subconsciously like being single and just don't want to admit it because you feel socially pressured to want a relationship. Even if that is the case, you may still want to try dating so that you can honestly know for sure.
2. Stop obsessing about your age.
People have many options for how they live their lives now. Traditions that labeled women “old maids” at 21 serve no purpose except to make people feel bad.
Your age might feel like a huge deal, but people are delaying marriage now more than ever. It's normal, and you can take as much time as you want.
People who comment on your age and your single status are the ones who lack conversation skills. They are stuck in the past and can't think of anything else to talk about. Don't let them diminish what you have achieved as a single adult.
3. Accept that rejection will NOT be the end of your world.
Rejection is a massive hurdle for both men and women. Dating means asking people out. It also includes going on dates that might flop and lead to nowhere.
Rejection hurts, but guess what: You will get over it. Your embarrassment will likely outlast what people think about you and your love life — if they think about it at all.
4. Build your self-confidence.
The notion that confidence is attractive is true. If you can't imagine that anyone wants you, you need to work on your confidence. An excellent way to improve confidence is to recognize your self-defeating thought patterns.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively about yourself, you need to stop it and say something good about yourself. Give your brain a new script. Taming the inner critic is essential. Decide that you deserve an internal coach and cheerleader too.
You should also try to improve your health by eating right and exercising. When your body feels better, your mind can feel better too.
5. List strategies for increasing your social life.
Dating might not be happening for you because you are not socializing. Social activities allow you to cross paths with more people. You probably haven't met the “right person” because you don't meet people.
As you get older, socializing becomes more challenging, especially as your old friends settle into their relationships. To overcome this, consider how your interests might expand your social life.
Many churches have groups just for singles. Volunteer opportunities for just about any charitable or activist organization are a great way to meet new and like-minded people.
Softball leagues, bowling leagues, video game clubs, Toastmasters, martial arts classes, and professional associations are all places to mingle with adults.
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6. Let friends know that they can set you up with dates.
Single people might complain about friends and families wanting to arrange dates for them, but this is a sound strategy. People have found love or at least adult friendship with this method for generations.
If your friends have not tried to set you up with a date, let them know that you're available. Matchmaking can work. At a minimum, you'll get some experience dating.
7. Be patient.
Try to avoid getting frustrated if you do not get a date right away, or the dates that you have do not yield a relationship. You might meet someone great after a few attempts, or it could take years of dating to settle into the right relationship.
8. Don't let feeling nervous get in the way.
Everyone is nervous before a first date. When you're new to dating, nerves can bounce like bingo balls in a tumbler. Breathe deeply, and permit yourself to have a good time.
You can even casually admit to your date that you're nervous. Such a confession could endear you to the other person, and it would signal that you're an honest person.
9. Explore dating apps and websites.
For the most part, advertising works. Putting yourself out there will start conversations with people looking to date.
Different dating apps and websites cater to various audiences, from people wanting casual hookups to those looking for serious relationships. As you chat with people online, you may discover more about what you want in a person.
Online messaging removes the pressure of making conversation in person. Many people who find love through these services communicate quite a while before meeting in real life.
10. Give people a chance.
When you're nervous or reluctant, your mind will automatically look for reasons to reject someone. Saying “no” to a date or a second date might feel safe, but most people take some time to come out of their shells.
They need some rewarding feedback before they can gain the confidence to present their most authentic selves.
You may know the traits that you don't want in a partner. Everyone has deal-breakers, and that's fine. However, until you date different people, you may not entirely know what traits you DO like. Allow people the opportunity to surprise you or even delight you.
11. Take things slowly.
When you do feel connection and chemistry with someone, the excitement might propel you into a relationship too quickly. Going from being single to spending every minute with someone could be too drastic of a transition.
The temptation to give yourself over to the whirlwind of romance could exhaust the other person and yourself. Let yourself savor each step and advance to new levels of intimacy when both of you feel comfortable.
12. Value your sense of self.
You've been single your whole life, which is a sure sign that you have a strong sense of self. You don't need other people to validate you or make you feel complete.
At this point in life, you've become very independent and are used to taking care of yourself. This could be a strength going into a relationship.
Not many people list “needy and helpless” as qualities that they're looking for. Be willing to be yourself while remembering that relationships involve valuing the other person's identity as well.
13. Don't let bad experiences stop you.
If you haven't had a serious relationship because your forays into dating did not go well, tell yourself not to project the past on to the future.
Meeting someone new is always a unique opportunity for things to go right. If you feel like you keep picking the wrong type of person, you should try dating different people.
Dating Someone Who's Never Been in a Relationship
Developing a romance with someone who's never had a relationship before can be rewarding. Your new love interest will likely worship you.
In the beginning, a relationship newbie is simply thrilled to have a partner. You represent the solution to loneliness, and that inspires him or her to value you. Your new romantic partner may let you take the lead in many decisions because they want you to be happy.
Nurture love and trust by:
- Keeping their feelings in mind if they frequently let you make decisions.
- Letting him or her know if you need to take things slow.
- Taking an interest in some of the things that he likes to do.
- Forgiving him or her when he misinterprets your feelings.
- Rewarding them with compliments and appreciation.
- Telling them when something has upset you.
- Introducing him or her to your friends and family.
- Accepting that they need time to learn relationship skills.
It's Never Too Late
Some of the people who you see in relationships are just going through the motions. They do this partly because society has created enormous expectations that everyone must find a loving partner by a certain age.
Many people enter relationships just because they fear loneliness. They are not necessarily making good choices, and they may suffer much drama because of their desperation. As someone late to the dating scene, you have a chance to approach dating with a healthier mindset.
Your age does not determine your dating destiny. Elderly people in retirement homes date and even get married sometimes. Your chance to date or have a relationship does not evaporate because you turned 30. You've already succeeded as an adult in many ways. Just think of dating as another part of life to explore.