I'm 30 and I've never had a boyfriend. What's going on?

Q: I'm 30 and I've never had a boyfriend. I'm cute and friendly, but I rarely get past the second date. What's going on?

A: I wonder how you're presenting yourself to potential boyfriends. You may think you want to date, but you could be sending a message that says the opposite, either because you're afraid of getting close or because you secretly believe you're not smart or attractive enough to be in a relationship. For instance, do you ever find yourself brushing off a guy because you worry he'll reject you? Try asking a friend if you could be doing something to sabotage yourself romantically. Her perspective may be helpful; the way we see ourselves is not always how the world sees us. Also ask yourself if you're afraid of emotional intimacy. I once had a patient who read the entire paper before a date because the possibility of talking about something more personal than the news terrified her. If that strikes a chord, you may want to see a therapist who can help you explore the cause of your fear and get beyond it.

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