Dear Sarah,
I’m currently 22 going to be 23 very soon and I can help but feel like there’s something wrong with me. I’ve never been in a relationship (serious or otherwise) I’ve never had a fling or my first kiss or even been on a date.

It’s not like I don’t want to, all my family and friends around me are engaged or have partners and are always asking me if I’m seeing anyone, it’s getting to the point I just avoid gatherings as I know I’ll have to say ‘no’ and come up with some flimsy excuse.

When the real reason is I have no idea, It’s not from lack of trying, I just don’t seem to meet people or when I do I usually get overlooked. I’ve tried dating apps but haven’t got anywhere. It’s getting to the point were even I’m concerned, at this point even if I were to find someone I’ve never been on a date or kissed someone and I’m still a virgin would they think I was strange.

I really don’t know what else to try. Kind regards, An unwilling single.
– Hannah, in Norfolk

Dear Hannah,

First things first, it’s important to acknowledge that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. And whilst I am sure you are wise beyond your years to be looking to explore more with what you want in a relationship and dig deep to ask yourself some questions about how romance looks to you, you’ve still got plenty of exciting years ahead of you.

Please work on taking the pressure off yourself by weighing up your age against the peer pressure and the perceived expectations of others for you and your love life.

Secondly, you should not compare your page one to someone else chapter 26. It doesn’t matter how far you feel into your journey or not, the only person you should be comparing yourself and your journey progress to is yourself. Start to use this time alone to think about what your values are, what you want to align yourself with and who might fit that bill romantically speaking.

Start to carve out what your relationship goals are and how you and a potential significant other might communicate your love and care for one another. When you figure a lot of the important things out you will eradicate those people who are not right for you quicker, when the time arrives.

A pet peeve of mine, to be frank, is wondering where some people get off asking you or anyone else ‘how or why they are single’ like it’s an obligation to be with someone else romantically speaking for you to be whole or complete person. A simple response, said with confidence and authority such as “I just haven’t met the right person yet” should and will hopefully close that conversation down quite quickly. Your journey in life is yours to own and you really do not have to justify yourself, your actions, your relationships or to them what seems like a lack thereof to anyone.

It’s important that you create boundaries and mirror uncomfortable conversations back to people who are projecting their expectations on to you. For me, questions like this are never okay and you should equally feel comfortable with letting people know how you feel about them if you feel the same as I.

You mention that you have never had a kiss, date or fling with someone. This is a-okay. I promise you this in life, it’s always quality over quantity. I have many coaching clients who have gone from one relationship to the next never knowing what they want and who they want to be with or what a good relationship looks like. Often these clients believe that they have made a lot of mistakes but I often say they are just lessons to be learnt about love and life.

You can change the narrative you have in your head about never having this and start using the phrase “you haven’t had it yet”. It’s mind over matter and you have a fresh slate to write your dating story the way you want it and with whom you want it to be with. Start seeing the beginning of your path to partnering as an opportunity to learn about you, what you’re willing to accept and what you are not.

There is nothing strange about you, that is for sure. I would highly recommend working on the stories you tell yourself and start eradicating the limiting beliefs you have around love. There is so much opportunity for you to find love and trust me it’s out there for you. It’s out there for everyone and please don’t settle for less than you deserve.

If you need me for any more dating advice or coaching sessions as you pave the way to partnering between my agony aunt column for Old Style Dating, you can catch me over at – I’m always happy to help singles navigate the search for love again, however it looks.

Relationship Expert
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