I don't know what to do. Of all the people I knew in High School, I am the only one without kids, not married, and single. Most men my age have settled down, but at 25 I remain a virgin. I'll have to go back into my past before I can ask you for advice, so here goes.
I didn't have a typical childhood; I spent the majority of it alone. You see, I was never a good looking individual, and as such I was a target for wide spread bullying in my schools. I had two friends in grade school, both of which discarded me in under a year's time. The first was a boy named Gabe. Gabe had just moved to the neighborhood I lived in, and the school I attended. As such, he was the "new kid" that no one talked to, no one except myself. We quickly became friends and had fun together playing in the playground. But there was a shadow, and his name was Tolleson. He was the one who hated me more than any one else, for reasons I do not even know to this day. Needless to say, he was one of the most popular kids in the school. Being a child, I was under the impression that adults could solve anything, so I went to the principal and explained to her how he was constantly picking on me. She promptly called him into her office where he claimed that I, a scrawny kid, picked on the beefy boy standing at her desk. Unable to decide which of us was telling the truth, she told us to leave each other alone, and that if she heard that either of us had continued to harass the other, that they would receive lunch detention for the remainder of the school year. Weeks later, I stood in the back of the lunch line as was my place whilst Tolleson stood at the front, but something peculiar happened that day; Gabe had gone to the front with Tolleson. Shortly after lunch I was called into the principal's office, and there before her stood Tolleson and his friends, all whom told the same story that I had went to the front of the line to start trouble with him, except there was a new face there; Gabe stood within the crowd. That was my first taste of betrayal that landed me in detention for the rest of the school year which was not even halfway done.
You'd think I'd have learned my lesson, but the very next year I met another kid named Josh. He was a trouble maker of sorts, but I didn't care, I was just happy to have someone accept me. So that year I did several things that got me into trouble right along with him. Eventually the end of the school year came and he invited me over to his place after school. As I was unpopular, I always hung after school to avoid being beat up by other children, so by the time I approached his house the streets were empty. I came from the front, and as I approached I saw his head appear over his fence, followed by several more. Him and his other friends then threw beans and spoiled milk cartons at me, and Josh then pulled a small bb gun and fired at me. I ran. I didn't make any more friends for the remaining three years of elementary school. My recesses were spent meandering the borders of the school or swinging on the swings, watching the traffic.
Middle school and high school both were unpleasant as kids seemed to always harbor a hatred towards me and my large front teeth, though I did have a small group of friends in High School who, surprisingly enough, did nothing to hurt me. I did date one girl in High School, but as things turned out I was less than a rebound; she merely dated me to get to know one of my friends (who she later married and had kids with, so at least I was useful for something) and broke up with me shortly thereafter.
Now at 25, my teeth are nearly straight, but I still feel ostracized from the world. I want to find someone special, but I fear a relationship will never work for me. I think I may be incapable of loving another person in that aspect. I've never been very affectionate, nor am I romantic in any way. The thought of sharing a bed with someone does not comfort me. And while deep in my heart I want someone, another part does not want to give up the loneliness that I've known my whole life; in short I'm content with living and dying alone. I don't know what to do at this point Papabear. I feel that if I don't act soon that I will never find a mate or have a family of my own. Is there a way to escape this darkness?
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You and I have a lot in common. I, too, was bullied in school and didn’t have many friends. With you it might have been “big teeth” or some other physical aspect you don’t mention, and with me it was being a pale, frail, unathletic and shy person. I was always on the outside, rarely looking in. Other kids made fun of me all the time, sometimes punching me, particularly in elementary school, and most especially in sixth grade. That year, some kid—Christian Blakewell; I will never forget his name—decided to make me his target, and he got all the other kids to back him up. Suddenly, even the few kids I thought kind of liked me were treating me like I was some evil pariah. It was a very lonely year. Only one person stuck by me at all and he is my friend to this day.
In junior high and high school it wasn’t quite as bad; I didn’t really get picked on, but I didn’t have many friends, either. I had learned I was different, and so I dove into books and concentrated on my grades, graduating at the very lonely top, eventually.
Children are like pack animals, wolves really. They quickly form a hierarchy from alphas to omegas. Gabe, the newcomer, first became your friend, not apparently realizing where you stood, but as soon as he figured it out he decided he didn’t want to be on the bottom so he cozied up to Tolleson.
As we grow up, a few of us become mature and drop such cliquish behavior. Many others do not, however. You see it everywhere, from corporate boardrooms to politics to sports. You see it in the fandom, too, which is why the cliques among furries make me want to puke salmon all over certain people’s footpaws. But that would be a waste of good salmon.
But I got over it, and you can, too. First thing you do is step out of the competition, which you are still in at the moment. Don’t worry about whether or not you have a mate or children. If you are trying to get those things because others have them, then you are doing it for the completely wrong reason. Get a mate because you have fallen in love; have children because your love for your mate has made you want to have a family. Don’t do it because the Joneses next door have done it. And, if you want to stay single, stay single. Whatever makes you happy, and, believe it or not, a lot of people are perfectly happy to be single; it’s a growing trend, in fact.
Think really really hard about why you want a mate when you are a person who states that the “thought of sharing a bed with someone does not comfort me.”
Once you stop competing with others, you can set your own goals with your own standards. That is the point in your life when you really start to become a self-realized person.
The second step is to stop setting artificial deadlines for yourself. At 25 you are panicking that you are running out of time. Whose time? By what clock? You know, some people don’t find love until much later in life—hey, Willard Scott of the “Today” show just got married this month at 80 years of age!
In my life, I have found that you meet the people you were meant to meet when you were meant to meet them. Some people would call this the “God has a plan for you” paradigm. In my way of thinking, I believe that the universe and all it contains is all bound together by a spiritual force that inevitably moves us along the path meant for us. If you have not met that someone special yet, it doesn’t mean you won’t.
If you feel like it can’t happen because you are unattractive, then you should know that plenty of people fall in love with others considered to be ugly. I mean, for one example that springs to mind, look at Eleanor Roosevelt. Oy, vay. Yet she became First Lady. Prince Charles dumped the beautiful Princess Diana for the horse-faced Camilla. And then there’s Rhea Perlman and Danny DeVito, just to name a couple.
I haven’t seen a picture of you (would love to get one, if you’re willing), but I bet there are features about you that others would find attractive. Also, do not discount the ability of many people to look past mere appearance and fall in love with a person’s soul. That happens a lot, and those people are usually happier than the ones who marry just for surface beauty.
It sounds like you’re attempting to make yourself more attractive by fixing your teeth. I won’t judge you on that, being someone who got braces himself late in life, but there is something else you can do as well: make yourself an attractive person, if you are not already. You can be more attractive by being friendly, loving, considerate of others, self-confident, intelligent, humorous, and so on. Focus on your good traits, let them shine, and, most especially in your case, get over the past and live for the future. You can’t do anything about what happened to you in school now, but you can do a lot about how you face what is in front of you.
You’ve shut yourself up in a darkened room for too long. Open the door and windows and let some sunlight in.
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