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First person

Anon: I’m a 30-year-old virgin

By March 12, 2022No Comments



Our anonymous writer on near-misses, being ‘unlucky’ in love, and why being a virgin at 30 doesn’t really matter all that much…

 When I was little, I wasn’t one of the girls who dreamed about her wedding. But I also didn’t expect to be a virgin at 30.


Where did it go wrong? It might have to do with my unlucky streak in love. You might think that luck has nothing to do with love, but I’m telling you, it does.

Let’s start with my time in boarding school. A girls-only boarding school. While they were some of the best years of my life with no distractions and little drama, it also felt like I missed a major milestone. My exposure to boys was virtually zero. I could count the number of boys I met with my hands, didn’t have the awkward first dates or flirting, or even understand the dynamics of the male-female relationships. But I was young, and it wasn’t something I was aware of, so how was I supposed to know?

It just felt like I missed a step, and now I’m out of the arena of love with no idea of how to get in or start.

It’s fine, I thought. I was going to a major science-and-engineering-only university with a high male-to-female ratio. That did seem to stack the odds towards me, but again, it didn’t really happen.

Yes, I learned to interact with boys, but with the onslaught of never-ending coursework, societies to join, and a part-time job, I just didn’t have time. And I just didn’t like anyone well enough.

The first time I liked a boy a lot who might like me back was when I went volunteering in the summer of my second year. He was younger, but he was cute, and we kind of flirted. When my roommate asked if I’d sleep with him, I said that if the right moment came, I probably would.

But new volunteers arrived, and our moment proved as fragile as the beaches the sea turtles we were trying to save. I was 22, and his shift of attention was like a dagger to my low self-esteem. After all, if I was good enough, why hadn’t anyone tried to date me?

I can still remember the feeling of my heart sinking and running to the bathroom to take a breather. The girl that looked back at me was insecure and wondering if it was something that she did or there was something wrong with her.

That feeling didn’t go away, but I hadn’t entirely put my romantic life on the shelf. Luck, however, still wasn’t on my side. I know, blaming it on fate or the universe seems lame, but the lack of opportunities is real.

The first date I ever went on happened in my penultimate year of university a year later. A guy stopped me on the street and asked for my number when I thought he wanted to ask me for directions. It was cute, I was flattered, but the date took a month to materialise. I started with him almost cancelling the date to walk his dog, me buying him coffee, and ended with him putting me on a bus so he could go home for lunch.

By now, I’m sure you have gathered that not only did I graduate from university a virgin, but I hadn’t even had my first kiss. The kiss did eventually happen in the winter after on a drunken night out with my friend with a guy whose name is a condiment.

Just great stuff.

The closest I ever came to having sex was with a guy I matched with on Tinder while I was working abroad. We met for what we both thought would be a quick coffee and ended up talking for hours. It started to rain, and he drove me back to my apartment. When we made plans to see each other the next day, everything just felt so natural. Plus, we only had five days together before I left.

I was smiling the whole evening. It was the first time I really, really liked someone, and it was heady. We saw each other again the day after. When he suggested we go over to his place, I told him I wasn’t ready to have sex.

He understood, and while we did do some things, we never went that far. If we had more time together, I’m pretty sure I’d eventually sleep with him, but it turns out it might have been a good thing I didn’t. After referring to himself as ‘kind of already my boyfriend,’ he ghosted me mid-conversation the day after I left.

And it hurt. It still hurts a bit. I put dating off for a while, but at the grand age of seven and twenty, I decided that it was too pathetic to still be a virgin. I wasn’t saving myself for marriage, but I also didn’t want to lose my virginity through a one-night stand. The struggle is finding someone I would feel comfortable with, who wouldn’t judge me, and who I (hopefully) won’t regret or feel the same way about as the condiment guy that was my first kiss.

None of my online dates came close to hitting the bar. Most of the conversation never went beyond a few exchanges, and all the dates ended up as funny anecdotes on girls nights. There was the guy who got mad because I had read but not responded to his text from half an hour ago, a guy who asked me what I was doing every other exchange, and one who didn’t want to pay for his movie ticket. 

So I examined my past, and the only one who fits the bill was the guy from university I dated one time. People talk about the one who got away, but to me, he is the-one-who-could-have-been.

We were acquaintances through most of our university life, belonging in the same friend group in our course but never really talking to one another. At the end of our final year, we were the only people available in our group chat, and we ended up spending more and more time together. Somehow, we can talk about anything and everything. Despite being really different, we got each other.

Our mutual good friend in the group put the idea in our head that we’d be cute together, and we ended up going on a not-a-date-date. And it was so awkward. The addition of romance threw us off. With exams coming up, we didn’t talk for a month until our group next hung out. He told me he didn’t know what to say and confessed that he had gone on other dates in between, so that was it.

We didn’t go back to how close we were during that few weeks. After graduation, he went off to do a Ph.D., and I moved home. When our friend’s wedding came up four years after, I thought there was no better time to reconnect, especially with my little epiphany.

As you can glean from my title, however, nothing happened. But this time, I’m no longer plagued with self-doubt. With no opportunities to get some one-on-one time and being surrounded by our friends, the only closure I got was our hug goodbye.

But it’s okay. Sometimes, things just aren’t meant to be. It’s not me; it’s not him, it’s not even fate, it’s just the world moving on. There are opportunities that I could have seized, things that could have turned out differently. But as much as I’m curious about sex and long for a romantic connection, it just isn’t in my nature to force it.

Perhaps my feeling will change as I grow older, but right now, I’m happy with who I am. Being a virgin doesn’t define who I am, but rather of the things I value more and choices I am comfortable with. Are some of them out of cowardice and laziness? Very much so. But for now, my priority is living with myself. And being a 30-year-old virgin doesn’t matter. At least, not too much.