So I'm officially encroaching on 40 Year Old Virgin status, and it's kinda of freaking me out. I put any potential dating life on hold for job training and finding employment security.
It looks like that may FINALLY be out of the way, and I'm ready to go back to the dating world.
I'm just not sure how to deal with the 4YOV status. I think its roots are in the crippling shyness of my childhood. How do I address this on the dating app scene once I've found someone that I connect with?
Please understand that your situation is in no way uncommon. In my years giving dating advice, I have read hundreds of letters that discuss this very predicament. You are not weird. You are not a freak. As we becoming more educated about trauma, asexuality and celibacy there’s less and less stigma attached to not wanting or having sex. All of these are valid choices.
Last time I checked, 0 was still a number. Using that logic, your number (or that awful term “body count”) is nobody’s business.
It’s unlikely a potential sexual partner will ask you how many people you’ve slept with. If the question does arise, ask them why they want to know. They’ll likely give you the BS “for safety/health reasons” excuse. If so, tell them you have a clean bill of health. That should stop the conversation dead in its tracks. If it doesn’t, I would proceed with caution but still not answer the question. If they try to guilt you and imply you’re hiding something - even though you are - end the conversation. This is one fo those few situations where it’s okay to deflect.
Your status does not need to be revealed until you think you and someone you’re dating will become physically intimate.
And even then, you’re under no obligation to bring it up. That’s your business. You are not defective. You are also not a used car or other inanimate object. You’re human with lived experiences of your own that have lead you down certain paths and played a part in certain choices.
If you do want to broach the subject, make sure the person has earned the right to that level of intimacy and vulnerability. Like other delicate topics, it’s all in how you present it. Be matter-of-fact. Don’t shroud it in shame. It is what it is. Have an answer prepared if they ask why you haven’t slept with anyone. If you’re confident with the decision, they’re more likely to be, too. Remember one thing: whether you’re number is 10, 100 or 0, it’s none of their business.
Personally, I wouldn’t say anything unless you felt really sure the person was going to be understanding and respectful. That might take a while to reveal itself. Tell the people you date that you consider physical intimacy a big step and so you take your time getting to know someone. That’ll weed out a lot of people just looking for hookups or sex after just a few dates.
Then take all the time you need.