Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Feel down about never having been in a relationship (mid-twenties) and not really having close friends

Community Member

I left evangelical religion about three years ago, and with it, most of my friends at that time. I moved to get away from my family/certain people/the environment, which also meant leaving behind my couple of actual friends. We remain in contact, but it's difficult being in another city because I don't have anyone to do stuff with, not that I had much of a social life before anyway.

I'm 25 now and it's kind of difficult to make friends at this life stage; also, I often feel engulfed with studies (and also down about the fact that I'm "still" in undergrad) so I spend all of my time either at work, studying, sleeping, or, stupidly, wasting time due to feeling anxious and down, and then beating myself up about that.

I still have another year of studies to go, and I'm pushing myself so hard to get a career started. I feel like it's stupid that I'll probably be 27 before I can even contemplate a relationship. I feel like people will judge me for it and I'll never find anyone nice. This feeling was unfortunately exacerbated by my one successful attempt to actually end up dating someone, which ended with him turning out to be really scary, and my being scared of him for the following 6+ months.

I just keep thinking I am really dysfunctional and that nobody will respect me (and therefore I'll never find love) due to:

  • Never having been in a relationship; I mean let's be honest, if someone else my age said they'd never been in a relationship, I'd be reluctant to date them due to wondering if something was wrong with them
  • Graduating aged 26.5 years old
  • Probably being unemployed due to the upcoming recession

Basically from when it turned out that that guy was mean (he revealed he believes in misogynistic and racist alt-right stuff), as well as being angry at him, I've become even more angry/bitter at myself, thinking stuff like, "How could I have believed that anyone nice/normal would actually like me, of course anyone who seems to like me has something wrong with them?"

And that was over a year ago and I've only been on one date, from a dating site and it didn't work out, since, which in itself is adding to my belief that I am wasting lots of time and getting more and more behind due to my inability to get over stuff properly.

6 Replies 6

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Lonelyglassesgirl~

I've read

Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / Think about suicide every night

and am not going to comment on it here now, even though it is very connected. I feel Sophie_M has given you good advice, and I think you might need time to assimilate it and follow the references (which too are good)

Instead I'd like to say first that there are quite a few here who have left a religious community and then found they had a hard time with guilt, self doubt, problems making freinds and having relationships, and feelings of betrayal when those with whom they had grown up behaved in a way that denied any loving relationship.

I'm going to look at the things you think undesirable from another, more appropriate point of view, you may not agree to start with but please at least consider my thoughts.

You left an evangelical religion about three years ago, and with it, most of your friends at that time. This would have taken great courage, to leave behind the security and familiarity of things you probably grew up with, particularly knowing there would be the very great downside of the loss of freinds. This can be seen as something deserving of respect.

Never having a serious relationship by 25 -that really is not a factor . True you had one bad encounter due in all probability to inexperience. You will have learned the danger signals from that. Anyone you want to send your life will has to see the real you, the intelligence, kindness, determination, reliability, and all the rest. Traits that make for a good lasting partnership

You ended that relationship when feeling lonely and with little to offer (quite unjustified) and did not settle for second best - you have standards

Graduating !! That is a huge achievement, never mind the age. Frankly a more mature student does better, is more consistent and gets more out of study at uni than someone straight out of school or matriculation college.

It shows any prospective employer your abilities and determination. True the job market at the moment is less than ideal, which is where your determination comes in.

Because you have come out of a 'sheltered' environment into the commercial world there is a tendency to think less of yourself, I guess that is human nature. It is not true though.

I see nothing but a praiseworthy person making her way in strange circumstances.

I'd really like to keep talking with you, if you think I'm talking waffle say so!


Thanks so much Croix. I am feeling better this morning (I always feel worse at night for some reason). Though I don't want to diminish the seriousness of what seems to be going on, as I recognise it's not at all normal for me to be having suicidal thoughts so much, I am hoping that some of my current high stress level is related to it being the end of semester, as well as the end of my work contract, so as well as work and study I am also job seeking. Hopefully once semester is over, I'll feel somewhat better and also be able to reassess things so that I have some time available for social activities over summer and next year.

Community Member

Hi Lonelyglassesgirl,

You sound overwhelmed by your own expectation which comes from what the society thinks is 'normal'. To me you feel like you are 'behind' everyone else whether it's in career or relationship, and you are beating yourself for it. I understand why you are feeling like this and many times I also would put myself under pressure thinking 'this is what most people do/achieve by this age'. However I have seen many varieties too, of people going back to uni at much later age (I am sure I saw a lady in her 70s in my uni), and also some more mature people in the grad program. And guess what, maybe yes they start later then the young ones, but they are usually more wise in many areas, that also brings value to the company. So don't worry about you graduating later than other people, just focus on what you can bring to the table. The reality is life happens, unexpected things happen that make people reroute their path at later age. This goes for relationship too.

I think you should definitely shake off that thinking that you don't deserve a good man, or all the good man will be taken at your age etc. Rather than thinking 'only weird/bad guys will want to pick me', it's more of 'I made a mistake of choosing to be with them'. I am not saying it is easy to pick the right guy and many times you wouldn't know what a person is really like until you date them and spend a lot of time with them, but what I am trying to tell you is YOU have the power to decide who you date. Unfortunately many guys are really selfish and while we all have our quirks, you can tell you got the right one when you find one who really loves you. Meanwhile keep working towards other goals in life, and give yourself a pat in the back even when the online dating doesn't give you any results, because you did put the effort. And don't give up. It will all be worth it when you find the one.

Dear Lonelyglassesgirl~

I think Whitelilieshas talked a lot of sense, you are in no way 'behind' in society's expectations (mind you I wish there had been less mention of persons of advanced age in her post:)

I've changed directions 3 times and it works out. determination and application, which you have already learned, are the main requirements in most things.

With uni and your current job coming to an end may I ask what you would really like to do, even if not totally practical?

No it is not normal to have suicidal thoughts, and finding their cause, and how to deal with them is not something many can do by themselves, which is why Sophie_M made those suggestions.

I certainly needed more than just one helping hand to improve from there.

Look, this area of the Forum is not really the place to discuss such things, if your other thread is still active I might talk more there in a day or so. I too had mixed emotions over them.

In the meantime please recognize you are not alone, people here care and can see a bright future for you.


YAY, a fellow uni sufferer!

Hi lonelyglassesgirl,

I too am at uni, and I find the end of period stressful. It is strange, but it is not the uni that is stressful, it is all the other things in life get larger; instead of thinking about your assignments you tend to dwell on the bad things in your life (I do anyway).

I only have a year to go as well, I did a diploma to get in, then a 4 year degree. I have just hit double your age, so don't be ashamed of your age, the uni is full of mature age students (heaps are in their 60s). Who cares if you have had relationships before? Any decent guy will take you as you are, (upon reflection and in all honesty, you would be the ideal partner, NOT having had hundreds of partners before).

I can see you are still a person of faith, please believe me when I say you are perfect. Life is hard when other people project negatively onto you, it is harder still when you convince yourself that you are not lovable or worthy. Of course you are lovable. Of the people you meet every day, there will be people who would be pleased to be your partner. You just have to find the right one. Beware of fake people though, I have fallen twice for that.

I have a massive assignment due in five days, so I had better get to it.

Glad to have met you lonelyglassesgirl, all the best with your studies ( I hate nights too, I think most humans have a thing about being alone in the dark).

Community Member

Hi lonelyglassesgirl. You have received great comments here and just thought to add my own thoughts too, for what they are worth.

Friendships are very important, but particularly when we are young and just "starting out" in life, as it were. I can relate to you in some way as my current lifestyle has meant I have needed to distance myself from friends for several years. I live in shared accommodation, but with people who are older than me; I work full-time, with people who are older than me. I also moved away from home so left my established groups. Not having people your own age with whom you can be yourself and your own age is really very hard. I really feel for you.

Do you have any friends or acquaintances at uni? Are there any groups you could join or anything you could get involved there socially? There can be stigma about mature-aged students, but I never felt that - I went to uni and was friendly with a few mature-age students who were wonderful and doing their first degrees. There's no "right" age in which to graduate, get married, have kids. Each person's life circumstances are unique to them in particular. Some people graduate at 23, others at 30, or 40, or even older. Same goes with relationships. It all happens in your own time, when you are ready.

Being 27 and starting a relationship isn't stupid at all. It's not worth it to rush into dating and relationships because "everyone else is doing it". People are always going to judge - always have and always will - but it's up to you to decide whether their judgements are valid and worth listening to. People will judge what they see on the surface, they can never know exactly what's below the surface, the real essence. You mention the relationship - coming off the back of a difficult experience with someone who scared you, I actually think it's wise to make sure you're as ready as you could be before opening your heart again. You were very right to remove yourself from a relationship that made you afraid. That takes huge courage.

You sound like you are a person who is self-critical and hard on yourself. This can be very motivational at times, but I don't think it's helping you here. You have your own history and circumstances which have brought you to where you are today. You are trying your best to help yourself and a big part of that is sharing your story here. I really admire you and congratulate you for that.