Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I am sorry to know dating has become such a challenge for you for all hihs long
But I feel hopeful bacause of your initiative to work on changes and improvements.
Yeah, I still can't figure it out
What do you think I should do?
Do you have close male and female friends? What do they tell you about it besides of what you already described here What about your parents and close family, what do they think and how have they helped all these years in this area?
Everyone tells me that I don't get out enough, or I'm being to picky.
They haven't really helped me in this area. Just given me advice or tips I should try.
How often do you use to socialize, to enjoy with friends and to look for closer relationships?
First let me tell you that it is normal if a person your age has not date yet, but it is not common. Many factors play a role here, and only addressing the core ones would allow you to start developing your romantic/sexual relatiosnhips / life.
what core factors should I address?
It is concerning to know that your mother has not played an active role offering adequate parenting, including sexual education, motivation, guidance and support around dating from young age. The fact they have not helped you in this area could significantly explain why things have been this way for you.
Personality features, sense of self-worthiness, self-esteem, self-confidence, core value and belief systems, worldviews, modeling from parents and the quality of your relaitonship with them. Communication, social and coping skills, and more.
I've never really been comfortable in asking my mom for advice in relationships or dating
Have your parents openly and actively provided asexual education and discussed topics around romance and sex at home? How is their marital relationship?
My mom and step dad are divorced and she never talked to me about that kind of stuff
I see, then that shows not only your fears and inhibition but how your own parents may have literally shaped and promoted this passive approach around dating , sexuality and relationship. It is parents' role to raise children in ways they could develop all these core skills, not only by teaching then at an intellectual level, but modeling healthy behaviors and providing concrete feedback and support.
So, what do you think I should do to move forward and make changes?
I see, then it makes a lot of sense why you have had a hard time in these areas, you just did not receive all the necessary support, from there right education, modeling , affection and support to develop and growth knowing how to experience and approach these challenges, experiences and core needs. You had a negative experience around your own parents and the second relationship between your mother and step father, besides of not having intimacy and closeness in your relationship with mother, which is key for these matters.
One last questions, what are your religious beliefs-morals around dating, sex, relatiosnhips and marriage?
I don't have any religious beliefs around dating, sex, relationships and marriage. I just think that if there's a guy that I trust enough, in a serious relationship with, and feel comfortable with, at some point in the relationship, I'll have sex with them even if we're not getting married. I don't think you have to be married to have sex. In terms of dating, I think that it's something that allows you do figure out what your likes and dislikes are in someone.
You would need working on all those core areas from which adult romantic relationships depend. You could try many things, but the best way to truly effectively work on it would be through individual psychotherapy, since it would allow you to explore, identify and better understand yourself, to become more aware of what and why you feel, think and do things the way you do; to develop better coping, social, communication and dating skills, to work on your sense of self-worthiness and self-confidence, to make improvements there too and more.
Ok, that sounds like a good option. Thanks for your help and advice, it made me realize a few things.
I see, that's a very mature, healthy and proactive approach, then you should not have problems at that level.As I was saying,, psychotherapy would be the ideal source of support for you to work on yourself and on this area. Besides of it,you could read self-development books on dating skills, self-esteem and assertiveness, join different clubs/associations/classes or groups where you could actually share with other people, develop new friendships and from there increase your chances to find a good match.
It is through concrete experience and practice, once you have better insight about things , that you can actually build these necessary skills and benefit from the experiences you create, promote and allow yourself to experience in this and in many other areas.
I am glad to know this has been helpful. Thank you for being this open, honest and direct here. Please tale gentle care and consistent action,and feel free to contact me, since I am here willing to support you as possible.