TLDR: Quiet, introverted guy who failed at the college dating scene, and has been rejected his entire life, is trying to find ways to start dating.
This will be long, please bear with me.
I am a 23 year old guy who has absolutely no experience with girls beyond friendship, like seriously, none. I got my first hug this summer after hiking with a girl for a few weeks. I am a decent looking guy so I chalk this up to several causes. lack of exposure/options, late to the game, and introversion/slow to open up.
First off, lack of exposure. I am in a male dominated field and am in male dominated hobbies. I work in natural resources which is 90% male. Hobbies include, everything outdoorsy, from hunting to climbing to back country skiing. All of these seem to have very few girls. Even my guy friends say I am too outdoorsy for them most of the time, leading me to do everything alone. My social life is a small group that is extremely tight, we only really hang out with each other, and not often anymore. It is hard to break into new groups or to find someone to add to mine. This has caused me to have lots of acquaintances who I know but dont really “know” (if you know what I mean), they also aren’t really willing to accept invitations.
Ever since I graduated college, my exposure to people in general has dropped even further, you just dont meet many people your age after school it seems.
Late to the game. I am a christian and every christian girl my age is married it seems. It seems like I have missed the boat and potentially missed the train that takes you to the boat. I have reached the age where having absolutely no experience is becoming an amber flag. I also am not really a church person and have never fit in with church groups or church people.
Introversion. I am NOT socially awkward or anti social. I in fact love social gatherings and meeting people. Its just that it sometimes takes me weeks to recharge my social batteries. I am generally perfectly happy alone or with a single every close friend. This further limits my lack of exposure.
Slow to open up. I have a hard time being flirty with girls before I am friends with them. I dont want to use the term demisexual (as I am not that), but I can relate to those people and that idea of needing to be close to someone before moving a relaitonship beyond a friendship. I also dont want to use the term friendzone, but it honestly feels that way most of the time. We become friends and then after some time, I think about asking her out as I start to develop feelings, but she only sees me as a friend. I have lost quite a few friends this way and frankly I dont want to lose any more and I feel broken because of it.
People are usually surprised when they ask about my girlfriend and they find out that I am single. I am told that I would make a great husband or that “I just figured a guy like you was taken”. I have been also told that I am too genuine for my own good.
I have tried many things.
“Dont look for a relationship/be desperate, it will come when you least expect it.” – Thats how I ended up here. I lived my life though college and would say that I have lived a pretty good one. I dont want to sound like I have a large ego, but I really do have no regrets and have lived life to the fullest.
Online – nothing, no likes, matches or messages. I have had profiles reviewed and created by friends and reddit.
Therapy – I have been to a therapist in the past and all I got out of it was “Some people are meant to be alone, we can work on ways for you to accept it”.
Friends – Friends/family etc have tried to set me up, but that has never led to a date, only lots of being stood up.
Getting out more – over the last month I have gone out to the local “downtown scene” with friends on a somewhat regular basis. Trying new restraunts, shops, etc. and generally getting out more. Though, I just feel too young for that croud (surrounded by young families mostly), and too old for the college scene that exists.
Meetup – none exist in my area for things I am interested in, so I made one. A short hike to the top of a popular hill for the sunset and astronomy viewing. No one showed up.
So my questions stands. What would you recommend to a guy who is recently graduated and is hungry for a companion, to do to try to change my dating life for the better. Essentially something needs to change, but I don’t know what.