The following was written by "R.F.," a commenter to my "Becoming a singular sensation" post, in response to a fellow commenter who expressed frustration over being a 30-year-old virgin. I am reprinting it here with the author's permission:
I am 31 and a virgin, and I've felt the frustration of knowing that the friends I grew up with were all having sex. Even though I knew I wasn't the same type of person, I still envied them. I spent my early 20s hanging out with people who always knew the perfect pick-up line to get some woman in a bar to go home with them, and when I went on vacation with my best friend he would somehow manage to find a girl in every city while I was stuck being the perpetual wingman.
But my life has changed since I moved out on my own and got involved with some local Catholic young-adult groups. I have different friends now, people who share my values and don't think I'm a freak because I take my faith seriously and I want to save my love for my wife.
If everyone around you has had sex, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get some new people around you. Whether you're Catholic or not, religious-based groups are a good place to start. Find out if your local parish/congregation offers any prayer groups or similar activities, especially ones geared toward people in their 20s and 30s. Go online and find things to do in your area. Read your church bulletin and your local newspapers. Keep an eye on what's around.
And try not to worry about meeting someone for a relationship right away. Just mingle and see some new faces. That's what I did when I found myself on my own -- I filled up my time getting involved with Faith On Tap and Catholic Underground and becoming deputy grand knight at my K of C council. (And playing the occasional weekend Scrabble tournament.) I even went to the Ball For Life after Dawn advertised it on this blog. Many of the people I met were involved with their own groups and introduced me to even more people. You'd be surprised how many of the people attending those groups are women, at least where I live.
And guess what? Once you start networking, your odds get better. After spending years looking for dates in bars and online and at speed-dating parties (and even having to walk away from an engagement that went wrong), I'm now in a loving relationship with a wonderful woman. I met her when one of our groups had a get-together for a dance night at a local restaurant.
I don't care anymore about living up to society's expectations of me. My girlfriend and all my other friends and acquaintances, both men and women, have taught me to have different ones. Virginity is a part of that, but that one concept didn't bring me peace or joy either as long as I looked at it in a vacuum. It takes a change in the way we look at ourselves. And the first step in that process is to have people in our lives who see us in a positive way.