More threads by YellowTwo54

I'm 18 years old and I have never had a girlfriend or even held the hand of a girl. I get kind of depressed sometimes because I feel so lonely and also left-out, sometimes to the brink of crying, and I feel helpless about it. I want a girlfriend more than anything. Everybody else gets them but I have never had one; I just don't get how I am different from them. I have never even known of someone who had a crush on me... and I know I'm not ugly.

This is more to express my feelings than anything else, but maybe someone can help me.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
First, Yellow, you should realize that in spite of how things may appear to be, you are far from the only 18 year old who is expriencing this. I say that not to trivialize or minimize your problem but just to emphasize that you are not "a freak" or "wierd" or anything -- actually, probably quite normal.

I remember going to a party years ago when I was maybe 20. I was with a girl and we were talking to a friend and his girlfriend. Another guy we knew came up and joined the conversation and after a while he asked me, "How come you guys always seem to have dates with pretty girls and I don't? I don't think you're any more good looking or interesting than me". My reply to him was, "I think it's because we asked them... and you think they'll say no so you don't ask".

That doesn't mean that I wasn't nervous asking girls out back then, or that I was full of confidence all the time, or anything like that -- in my teens, I used to need about half an hour at least, often longer, to psych myself up to the point of picking up the phone and dialing the number of a girl I was interested in...

One of the important things I have learned in my life is that many people who seem very confident are sometimes just as nervous as I am. Maybe they just hide it better. Or maybe your own nervousness isn't quite as bltantly obvious to everyone as you think... maybe other people think YOU are self-confident.

The other thing I have learned is that you are far more likely to find a girlfriend when you stop looking for the girl of your dreams and concentrate on making friends and just having fun, with girls as well as guys. For one thing, if you don't meet the girl of your dreams that way, you may well meet someone who knows the girl of your dreams and will introduce you to her. For another, although you may find this hard to accept at the moment, your image of the girl of your dreams is probably going to change a lot over the next 5 to 10 years, just as your image of yourself is going to change.

Focus on finding friends to have fun with... the rest will come naturally.


It's been a long time since I was 18, but I do remember that I went all the way through high-school without ever having a boyfriend. Why? Because nobody ever asked me out. Why not? I still don't know. I always thought it was because I wore thick glasses. Nobody ever seemed interested in investigating to find out who was behind those ugly coke-bottle glasses. Too bad for them, because I turned out to be a stunning beauty (ha, ha). Maybe not stunning, but definitely beautiful on the inside, and not too hard to look at on the outside either. I always thought that I lost a lot by not being asked out, but it's taken me a lifetime to realize that it was them who lost out on knowing me. It's true, you really can't judge a book by its cover, or a girl by her coke-bottle glasses. There are some real hidden gems out there that a lot of guys don't bother to dig deep enough to discover.

I don't know what the dating scene is like these days. But I think that one thing hasn't changed...they can't say yes if they're not asked. And a few might say no, but that's okay...the right one will say yes.
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