I’m a 20 year old straight male university student in the UK whose sexual experience amounts to two one-night-stands (one drunken incident with a friend and one Tinder date). I’ve never had an actual relationship, but not for lack of trying. Over the past couple years I’ve made numerous attempts at getting dates (most admittedly not very competently), but thus far it’s hardly ever worked.
I haven’t let myself get bogged down by this – that’s life, after all. I’m not really lonely; I have an amazing group of friends. But even so, I can’t help but get a feeling of unshakeable frustration.
Because, the thing is, at risk of sounding full of myself, I think I’m hot shit. I’m smart, I’m funny, I’m interesting, I have passions that I wear on my sleeve, I dress fantastically, and by all accounts I’m great to talk to at parties. I’m not completely happy about my appearance (I’m quite skinny), but at the same time I wouldn’t say I’m ugly.
Which brings me to my question: why is it that I’m still the one who has to make the first move? Why do I have to be the seeker? Why can’t I be the sought? No one’s ever asked me out. I’ve never perceived any woman assertively pursue me, or even just approach me. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong, and maybe I am. At parties, I try to be as social as possible, talking to everyone at least once. In the club, I don’t know how to approach people. On Tinder, I get hardly any matches. When I’ve gotten numbers (via Tinder or otherwise) I’ve frequently noticed them not putting in the effort that I am – it’s always me who seems to be beginning conversations.
I know that centuries of social tradition have conditioned us to expect that the man should be the assertive one who makes the first move. I’ve tried, I’ve failed, and now what I really want more than anything is to be the prize. But no one’s chasing me.
How do I deal with this frustration and disheartenment at the fact that, as well as me being seemingly inept at pursuing relationships with people, no one seems interested in pursuing me?
The Good and Bad, but not Ugly