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Nearly 21 and Don’t Want a Relationship

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Soon I’ll be 21 and I never had a romantic relationship before (Never even kissed a boy before). There are two sides of me. There’s the one thinking that I should have a relationship but the other side of me doesn’t want anything at all and by even thinking about being in a realitonship makes that side of me sick. Everybody telling me that I should have a relationship: “how can I say that I don’t want something if I haven’t even tried it?” 2 days ago I registered to an online dating site. I chatted with a few guys and one seems to be interested in me. He is good-looking and has an amazing personality but even thinking about meeting him or having a relationship with him makes me sick not because of him…because of me and I regret registering to the site. I can’t imagine having feelings for him and I feel guilty because I think he is looking for something I cannot give him and he is really nice and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. The truth is that I don’t feel like dating, I don’t want to kiss anyvody nor to have a romantic relationship (sometimes I fantasize about it, but the minute there’s a chance that it could become reality I don’t feel comfortable about it anymore). I don’t want to have a relationship just because I feel desperate that I might never have anyone who’ll be interested in me. I don’t know if there’s a problem with me. There are times that I’m terrified because I’m getting older day by day and I fear that I might never have a partner and be single for the rest of my life. I would like to have kids so I don’t want to be alone forever… I have a feeling that I can’t shake…if I don’t want to do something and force myself to do it there’s a chance that I never want to try it again. But maybe I should force myself into a relationship…I really don’t know. P.s.: I’d like to appologize if my English wasn’t correct and thank you for your time and answer (age 20, from Hungary)

Nearly 21 and Don’t Want a Relationship

Answered by on -


First, let me say that I don’t think you should force yourself to do anything that you don’t want to do. I also think that you are putting too much stress on yourself to be “in a relationship.” Have you heard the phrase, “putting the cart before the horse?” In other words, I suggest that you first become more comfortable with casual dating before you think about being in a romantic relationship.

I also would like to know more about why you are uncomfortable with dating. Are you anxious around all sorts of people, or is it just the idea of dating that you don’t feel comfortable with? Do you have difficulty making friends? Would you consider yourself to be a shy person? Improving your overall social skills and confidence might help you feel more comfortable with the idea of eventually dating, and dating might eventually lead to a more serious relationship, but stressing yourself out about it all will only lead to more anxiety and fear.

It’s also ok to choose not to date and to continue being single. More and more people choose this option these days and being 21 is certainly not an age in which you need to feel desperate. Calm down, take your time and enjoy your life. If you want to continue with the online dating, just make it clear to those whom you meet that you want to start out by looking for friends and taking things very slowly. If you meet guys who can’t respect this boundary, then they aren’t worth your time.

All the best,

Dr. Holly Counts

Nearly 21 and Don’t Want a Relationship

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Holly Counts, Psy.D.

Dr. Holly Counts is a licensed Clinical Psychologist. She utilizes a mind, body and spirit approach to healing. Dr. Counts received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wright State University and her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Counts has worked in a variety of settings and has specialized in trauma and abuse, relationship issues, health psychology, women’s issues, adolescence, GLBT, life transitions and grief counseling. She has specialty training in guided imagery, EMDR, EFT, hypnosis and using intuition to heal. Her current passion involves integrating holistic and alternative approaches to health and healing with psychology.

APA Reference
Counts, H. (2018). Nearly 21 and Don’t Want a Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 8 Sep 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.