Any advice for a 25 year old who hasn't had much dating experience?

Okay so as of right now I am an (almost) 25 year old man who would really like some help in the dating game. As of right now I am currently working on my masters in Special Education since I couldn’t find a job as a social studies teacher (the market is flooded and in all honesty while I loved history I don’t know if I loved it enough to teach it looking back at it). I also live at home with my mom and my brother with Autism who is 2 years younger than me and I currently work 2 part time jobs and volunteer in a Special Ed classroom. I also am fairly involved in my faith and am trying to grow in it more.

My main issue is though I don’t really have any prospects or at least prospects that would go out with me. I’ve tried online dating but to be honest I haven’t had much luck and I’ve only continued to talk to one girl who has issues of her own which make me leary of dating her (mostly health issues and she also had something really bad happen to her which made her health worse). Honestly I’ve only asked one girl out in person and that was my freshman year of college. Even as i’ve gained confidence in the past year I still feel like if I ask a woman out that i’ll get the “you’re a nice guy but I don’t like you like that or think your attractive” (I also struggle with seeing myself as attractive. I’m a lot better than I used to be and don’t feel I’m that ugly but I will admit i’m overweight and balding which i’m sure most young women don’t like. The only compliments I really get are that I’m very devout and that i’m courageous in my faith which I guess is something but I still worry a little though lately I just say it’s in God’s hands.

So is their any advice. I live in a great diocese but there isn’t much for young out of college people and being in a more conservative area most people my age are married or engaged or if they are single aren’t really living that great of lives. Most of the parishes I live near are older and don’t really have any ministries at all and it just seems like an impossible challenge. I know most people would say move but I don’t really have much of a choice at the moment and in all honesty I just don’t really want to deal with it and let God take care of it but I know that when finding a spouse you have to put a little effort in but I just don’t know how. My social skills aren’t bad but i’ll admit i’m shy. I also don’t have many friends close by anymore and my family doesn’t really know many other people so I don’t really have any outlets to meet everyone. Even at my jobs there aren’t any single people my age (my grocery store job is mostly high school kids and a few college kids while the school I volunteer at doesn’t have many single people and I don’t know if any are Catholic since I want to date and marry someone who is catholic. So what do I do? I know not to worry but I need to help god out too. He isn’t going to send a spouse to my door and into my lap (at least its not very likely I mean he is God and can do anything :))

Somethings to try if you have not done so:

Since you work with the disabled why not try volunteer work with the Special Olympics. You could meet a fellow Special Ed Teacher or others interested in working with the disabled.

Try to join a group that bikes, hikes or goes horse back riding…some sort of out-door activity that you might enjoy. That is a good way to meet others with similar interests. Also, try other volunteer options like "Habitat for Humanity, your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Doing these sort of things could lead you to meet a young woman who is interested in helping others.

When you are finished with your education you could even decide to try a missionary assignment to another country. Who knows what could happen? So basically, don’t give up, try to pinpoint activities you enjoy that you could meet others in, and don’t dismiss the idea of being a Priest either. (Just a thought.)

Many women are frustrated with the search for a husband as well because their biological clocks are ticking and they want a mate to have children with before they are no longer fertile. I’m not saying all women, but many. Try being more blunt about your intentions of marriage and raising a family to see if you get any interest that way. I know that one of my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriends wanted to have seven kids and my boyfriend has not interest in rearing children, so she went off and married an overweight man.

Does your parish have a singles lunch or dinner?

Cricket2 is right. Concentrate on finishing your education for now. Teacher ed. programs are brutal, as I know from personal experience. They don’t leave you much time for adding new commitments to your life, and your description of your existing activities makes me wonder how you are even finding time to sleep right now. If you complete your certification with your health and sanity intact, that in itself will be a worthy accomplishment in my opinion.

After you are done with school, get involved in faith-related activities, as your time and interests allow. Make friends with people at church do stuff with them. Go places and let them expose you to new people. She may show up in the mix somewhere.

If your weight is interfering with your confidence (or worse, your health), then by all means, join a gym. Exercise is a good idea on many levels, whether it helps you meet someone or not. Just keep in mind that the woman who marries you will choose you for your character, not your abs or your hair. Even if you looked like a chiseled movie star now, that’s no guarantee that you won’t be overweight and balding in another 10 years. It is your soul that will render you attractive in her eyes, regardless of what you look like now, when you meet her, or 20 years after you marry her.

Above all, be patient. Pray. Listen to God.

Special education! How cool! Would you ever consider dating someone with a disability? There are actually a lot of nice people who would love to be in a relationship who are overlooked. Many of them can be more tolerant of all kinds of things, could make a great spouse.

I have a disability, myself, and apparently, it must be very hard on people. I am unable to hide it fully. I am pretty sure a lot of people are turned off by it. Actually, years ago when it wasn’t even that visible, when people found out what I had, they would avoid me.

I remember when growing up asking my mother why guys wouldn’t give me the time of day. My mother told me she thought it was due to my disability.

Within the last few months, I’ve begun working with the blind. Although I still don’t have any love life or anything, it’s been great for me. The blind will at least acknowledge me, take me seriously and treat me well, for the most part. They’ve been more tolerant. I think it has to do with the fact that they also know what it’s like not to be accepted, at times.

Now, even if a person is totally blind, he/she can have ways of figuring out what one looks like, but that can often come later. For myself, in the meantime, my personality is what speaks to that person. To me, this is like having a totally clean slate, starting from scratch. It’s been a huge advantage.

So, all I can tell you is that this experience has been a whole new life for me. I’ve been accepted much better there than practically anywhere else, with one of the few exceptions of when I volunteered with Goodwill Easter Seals. There, they also treated me very well.

Oh…you know I used to work as a Spanish interpreter in the US. I worked with one company for 3 years. Listen to this. My supervisor hired me without ever actually seeing, or meeting me. She hired me based on my resumé and recommendations. When she closed her business, she told me I was one of only 3 interpreters that she would actually recommend. So, seemingly, when people do give me a chance, they often don’t regret it.

There may be other people out there, like myself. Now, you’re saying how you wish someone would simply look beyond and give you a chance. Someone else is probably also saying the exact same thing…to you.

I might not have mentioned this but my parish is EXTREMELY tiny and very much older (the average age is probably in the 60’s) and there aren’t really any other parishes with a lot of young people (I live in a very rural state and while I do love it here, it’s still more of a traditional lifestyle where people marry their high school or college sweethearts by age 22 out here or they just stay single and drink and hang out at bars and don’t really live that great of a life

So to answer your question that’s a big fat NO

Dang. My parish has one tomorrow which is why I thought of it… hah. Wasn’t going to go but now I’m thinking I maybe should be grateful for it and check it out. Best of luck… I’ll say a prayer for you…

Pater Noster… :gopray2:

G’Day Mate. I was in the same dilemma a few years ago. First, you need to have the confidence (not cockiness) that comes with your age. You had a university degree and currently employed (even if its part-time) and volunteering at the same time with the disabled. Second, I reckon it won’t hurt if you could do some self-improvement or make-over that will make you more presentable. Forget about being overweight or balding at the top (I’m the same, too). It’s about the way you dress and carry yourself that matters. It would be best if you could ditch those ordinary street clothes if ever you meet the lady for the first time. You don’t need to spend a fortune buying expensive signature clothes (try stores that sell clothes for plus size men which would make you look better). These clothes won’t emphasize your size. Third, try to diversify your search. It may sound easy to do but it needs extra work. Are you willing to date someone who belongs to a different race or nationality? I reckon you’re not prejudiced about it. You could go out with an Asian, Latina, African, Pacific Islander or Middle Eastern. Try to show interest in their own cultures by going to places where they usually hang out. Fourth, just be yourself and never be someone you’re not. If you are the typical nice guy, forget about what they say about them (that they finish last). Show the best part of you and what it is to be a nice guy. I beat a former rival (athletic, cocky, typical bad boy type) on his own game by exploiting his own insecurities (bad boy types are insecure people) - and I got the girl (now my wife). Fifth, admit that its impossible to find the perfect woman (everyone has their own flaws including yourself).

Regarding online dating, just be careful about it. A lot of people where masks to hide their true selves.

Here’s some advice from someone closer your age. Work on getting your six-pack abs showing. It will boost your confidence and trust me looks and baldness doesn’t matter when girls have muscles to drool over. It can’t be denied (however Im sure people will try too). Being generally athletic just increases your chances sooooo much. Im sure you’ve heard the saying “The outside gives the inside a chance”. This is true, at least for people our age. Perhaps it changes as you hit 35, but while you’re young, get fit. :okpeople:

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