I'm looking for some suggestions/feedback on something I've sort of been wrestling with for, oh, maybe the past two years. I've been thinking maybe I should see a counselor about it, but I'm not sure.
So to start off, I'm 21 and have never been in a romantic relationship or kissed anyone. I do not see this to be a problem in and of itself (everyone moves at their own pace, etc). And so until maybe two years ago, I was completely okay with this. But I'm not so much anymore, because it almost seems that I am incapable of it... let me expand if I can figure out where to start.
I have this horrible problem of being both attracted to men and terrified of them. For as long as I can remember, I've been able to flirt with a guy, etc., but the moment I have even the slightest idea that he might be responding, I freak out. The first really bad example of this was when I was 16, and a guy who I was in LOVE with finally started flirting back-- and I panicked. Whenever I saw him, I would avert my eyes, run away, feel nauseated and think he was the most disgusting thing on Earth. I stopped talking to him. Ok, so this could technically be just regular nerves-- everyone gets that-- but I can't seem to get over it. Since then, I've even tried to use alcohol to get over my nervousness (social lubricant effect), which has also failed (One time while pretty drunk, I nearly had a panic attack while dancing with someone I was interested in. We had talked about heading off to another bar together, but I quickly freaked out and ran off without saying goodbye).
I don't know, sometimes I think I am afraid of men or something. After grade school, I never had any male friends, unless they were gay-- I just feel really threatened by straight men (apart from my family). If I think a guy likes me, I cannot talk to him or look him straight in the eye. If I like him, as soon as I actually start to get "somewhere," the same happens. Any kind of close physical or emotional proximity and I become extremely anxious. I'm even uncomfortable hugging or dancing with men who I know have no interest in me. The thought of kissing someone horrifies me. I can't do it. And I think sex sounds pretty much the most awful thing ever. So while I still wish I had a boyfriend, etc, basically I wish everyone could have awesome platonic relationships, and babies were conceived in test tubes. Romance and sex just are too frightening to fathom.
I used to think I was maybe gay, because I am so much more comfortable around women. Frankly, I wish I WERE atttracted to women, it would make things a lot easier. But I know I'm not.
I don't really know what to do because at this point I don't even try anymore. I sort of gave up-- I flirt and then I abandon ship as soon as it starts going anywhere. And then, to use one example last year, I spend the next month feeling completely depressed and dysfunctional with my inability to just "get over" my shyness.
SOOO, I guess I'm wondering what you think? I sometimes think I should go talk to someone about this, but first off, I'm really embarassed. I don't want to admit that this bothers me, because one should be able to be happy without all this kind of thing. And anyway, I kind of figure I'll just be told I get nervous sometimes and so does everyone, so "buck up." But I don't know what else to do or how to get around this. I don't seem to be able to just "get over it." Should I try seeing someone? Or what else?
SOrry for the long rant. Please tell me if I'm nuts and overanalyzing it. Sorry.
first of all, you shouldn't try to use alcohol to make anything better. Secondly, do you feel comfortable flirting with the guys? like 100% Because it could be that you're not very comfortable flirting with them in the first place, which makes it more uncomfortable when they flirt back ..?
I don't know what to advise you on talking to someone, they might be able to find something out but I don't know. They're generally not my cup of tea.
Posts: 40 | From: US | Registered: Dec 2006
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If you feel like your shyness is truly impeding your ability to live life (and it sounds like it just might be), then perhaps counselling wouldn't be a bad idea. Social anxiety can be a tough thing to deal with, and you may benefit from talking to someone who can help, beyond just saying "get over it".
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