Ask a counsellor: ‘Neither me or my mates have had a date for years – what are we doing wrong?’

Ask a counsellor: ‘Neither me or my mates have had a date for years – what are we doing wrong?’

“You may think this is a joke, but I can assure you it isn’t. I used to date girls when I was in my teens but, since I hit my mid-20s, I’ve not had a date once! All of my social life revolves around my mates, who, like me, are in their late-20s. In a way, I’m writing on behalf of us all, as we’re all in the same boat.

“We’re a group of five, all of whom were at school together and go out together most of the time. I really don’t know what’s wrong with us. We’re clean, we dress fairly smartly, none of us are awful looking, but in spite of going out most weekends to pubs and clubs and things, none of us has had a date in ages.

We’re all reached the stage now that we’re reluctant to chat up women because of numerous setbacks and failures over the past few years. These have really dented our self-confidence and none of really know how to make the first move without getting rejected.

“When we go out, we tend to stand around on the edge of the action with a drink in our hands. By the end of the night, we’ve probably had too much to drink and we leave the place together. It’s not helping that, in most of the places we go, there seems to be more men than women.

On top of that, I suppose we’ve all got suspicious, so that even if we do get talking to women, we suspect their motives for talking to us and wonder if they’re just wasting our time.

“We all laugh about it but it’s really not a joke. I don’t know about all of the others, but I for one would love to find someone to settle down with. How do we get ourselves out of this mess?”

Fiona says…

“However good looking you all are, by going around in a gang all the time, you might look pretty intimidating to most girls. On top of that, the fact that you admit to being suspicious of anyone you talk to will show, and it really isn’t going to make you a top prospect!

“I find it hard to believe that, in this day and age, with dating apps and all kinds of other ways of meeting people, none of you have branched out alone to try and meet someone.

"I can understand that you are wary of getting hurt, but I think it’s time for you to break away from the pack and start finding ways to meet prospective dates on your own. If you immediately act suspicious whenever a new woman starts talking to you, it’s not surprising that nothing ever comes of it.

“You need to accept that all relationships carry some element of risk. Everyone had been hurt by a partner at some point or another – it’s part of life, hopefully you learn from it and move on.

"If you don’t learn from it, you end up repeating the same mistakes, and by going out with the gang every weekend, it certainly sounds as if that’s what you’re doing now.

"You are repeating the same, unsuccessful behaviour, over and over again.

There are so many different ways to meet dates these days (iStock/PA)
There are so many different ways to meet dates these days (iStock/PA)

“Aside from dating apps – which I’d really encourage you to try – consider going somewhere on your own. As I’ve said, a tightly-knit bunch of blokes drinking together looks more than a bit intimidating, so I think it’s time to split up.

"And I don’t just mean going on your own to pubs and clubs which, by your own admission, have not been a resounding success so far.

“Why not try to develop new interests and socialise in different ways? Go and learn to dance, for example – there are usually more women than men at dance classes.

"Join an amateur theatre group – you don’t have to be able to act, there are all kinds of technical skills needed too. Take up a course of some kind – perhaps an evening class.

“It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it gives you the opportunity to meet new people and make changes to your life.

"Don’t be put off if the people you meet are not the women of your dreams – they may have daughters, granddaughters, sisters!

"You can make this change to your life; all you need is to want it badly enough.”

:: If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to help@askfiona.net for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.

- Press Association

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