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Surrounded by affection, but it’s always out of reach to me

Community Member

I’ve always considered myself to be a very self-aware person, so I try to look inwards as much as possible and see how my decisions affect others.

I am a 20 year old gay man, and I have never been able to experience anything intimately with another person. I am surrounded by each of my friends who are happy and content in their relationships, and it is something I crave so deeply. It hurts when all my friends are with their partners, and have someone to exchange love, when I sit alone with love to give but no one to give it to.

I have been on the lookout, on as many dating apps as I can find. I have been on several dates since I came out (no problems with acceptance), but it always fizzles. I always find myself in situations where the other party involved is quite toxic, ghosts me without any obvious reason, or just simply isn’t interested, which is completely understandable from my end.

A lot of the time, I seek support for people going through a similar thing, but it always tends to boil down to inward problems, like a lack of self-love, respect or acceptance. I am completely comfortable with the person I am, and without trying to sound conceited, I do not think I am off-putting to most. I find it easy to make friends but extremely difficult for something more intimate than that.

I often go through periods of what I can only describe as a sort of melancholia, because I can never have any luck looking for someone, or even have anyone look for me. I don’t want this post to sound like I am seeking sympathy, but I genuinely want advice or even another opinion/insight as to why I am struggling so much, because it eats away at me and I have no one in my life who would understand.

I want to make it clear that I am not seeking attention from a significant other, but I genuinely want to experience my life with someone special. I am a big advocate for loving yourself before loving someone else, and I truly do believe I am in touch with myself, and have love for myself.

2 Replies 2

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi fatfreefruche (love the name btw 😂),

Firstly, can I just say that you sound like such an articulate, insightful, and balanced person. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t found that special someone who you can love and share a deeper connection with yet.

I don’t want to sound like one of those people telling you that you are young and it will take time but you’ll find someone blah blah - but there’s a reason people say this, it’s true! I had the same fear as you at 20, and so did everyone I know, and then after every relationship that ended. But if you are single out in the worst and wanting these things, then a lot of other people are too. Not everyone will be emotionally stable or available or where you are right now. But you need to treat this as a numbers game and as an opportunity to meet new people and learn about their life, even if they aren’t suited to you. Dating can be demoralizing, it can make you feel that you aren’t good enough, that people don’t want the same things as you, that you are all alone, and then you find that person that you connect with, and sometimes it still doesn’t work out. But you will get there and find someone that you want to make it work with. My suggestion is, don’t rush it, and don’t settle, use it as an opportunity to find out what you want and don’t want in a relationship, and enjoy the company along the way.

Community Member

Hi fatfreefruche

I think you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself. You are only 20 years old. A lot of people fantasise about a long term intimate relationship and don’t experience one until they are a lot older. It is good that you are not settling for anyone dysfunctional and not a match for you. I think some people on dating apps are not on there for a relationship, so unfortunately you will need to sift through that. It is good you are able to put yourself out there.

It is
harder to meet people at the moment with the COVID restrictions.
Good that you have friends to hang out with and find it easy to make friends. You probably have people with a secret crush on you that you are unaware of.
It’s normal to feel down about being single especially when it sounds like you are fun and have so much to give someone.
Hang in there. Do things you enjoy. I know this will happen for you but these things usually happen when we least expect it.
All the best