I am nearly 20 years old, and I’ve had little experience with the opposite sex. I mean, I’ve hooked up with guys, and I’ve dated a couple of guys for a short period of time, but they ended up breaking it off after about a month. I am quite attractive and have been told so by many people so I have no problem attracting guys to me initially. It’s just keeping them interested that’s the problem. Because of this I am still a virgin. I really want to do it, but I don’t want to have sex with a guy I’ve only known a month because to me sex is something you do with someone you care about, and who cares about you. I have a lot of ideas of why I can’t keep a relationship. I’m pretty insecure (I was bullied a lot when I was younger, and abandoned by friends). I also don’t play hard to get with guys, and I probably spend too much time with them while I’m dating them. I feel like the guys who come after me, come after me mainly for my looks, and then when they get to know me a bit, they suddenly lose interest. They say that I’m a “great girl,” but they are “too busy.” If I were so great, wouldn’t they make time for me? I’m honestly considering just having sex with a guy within the first few weeks before he decides to dump me so at least I’m not a virgin forever. I think that increasing my confidence and not needing the next guy who comes along might help, but what if it doesn’t? I don’t want to end up alone. — Tired of Being a Virgin
You’re only 20; you’re not going to end up alone! Guys your age are relatively immature. Try going for guys who are a little more shy — less player-ish, etc. And quit telling yourself the reason you haven’t had a long relationship is because there must be something wrong with you that you have to fix. The truth is, lots of people your age — and quite older — haven’t had long relationships yet. Why? Because you’re still relatively new to dating. You’re still figuring out who you are and what you’re attracted to. You’re still learning social skills that make dating easier and more fun (and successful). And you haven’t yet been exposed to a large pool of people who are also looking for a long relationships. Let’s face it: the percentage of boys your age who are ready to commit to one person probably isn’t as high it will be in about three to five years. When they tell you you’re a great girl, they probably mean it. I bet you are a great girl. But that doesn’t mean that these guys you’ve been going out with are ready to rule out all the other great girls out there just yet. Sometimes dating is like being at a buffet. You want to sample a little bit of everything before you decide what you’re favorite it. I know it may be hard to believe right now, but eventually you’re going to be someone’s favorite. You’re going to be so much a favorite, that there will be no need to sample anything else.
In the meantime, don’t get too hung up on losing your virginity. It will happen when you’re ready, and you haven’t been ready yet. I was the same way as you. By 21, I still hadn’t had a relationship last longer than a few weeks. And you know what? Everything worked out OK. I got a serious boyfriend later that year and went on to have several meaningful and long-term relationships through my 20s. I won’t tell you whether I waited to lose my virginity to the first serious boyfriend or if I went ahead and had sex with one of those short-term flings, because it really doesn’t matter. What I will say is that people put way too much emphasis on “the first time.” What’s much, much more important than the first time you have sex are the relationships you form in the long-term and the way you respect yourself and your body. So, if you want to wait until you find someone you care about, do that. Respect yourself and your decisions. Anyone worth sleeping with — worth losing your virginity to — should respect you just as much.
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