This is first time ever posting on an online forum. A close friend recommended it to me, saying it could be very therapeutic, but I must say that I feel a bit silly rambling on about my problems to complete strangers. Anyways...
A little about me, I suppose. I'm a 22 year-old male medical student in Montreal on leave for a master's in biomedical engineering. I've completed three years of medicine so far, and once my master's is complete around August, I'll be entering clinical clerkships. I'm a very friendly, caring person, always looking to chat, smiling as much as I can. I am also a huge animal lover, which is why I've been a vegetarian for about 10 years now.
I guess my main problem is I've never had a girlfriend in my entire life. Come to think of it, I've never been on a date either. I've been aware of this problem for a long time, and for a while I kept mum about it, until I couldn't take it anymore and started talking to my friends about it. They told me basic stuff like: "It'll happen when you least expect it", "Don't worry, the right one will come along", "Don't look or you'll never find one", "Try doing more activities", etc. Some pieces of advice were great. Others were pretty demoralizing. My friends sometimes made me feel as if I should have been ashamed of myself for wanting to be in a relationship, even though I always reasoned that we as human beings were designed to desire love through some neuro-hormonal mechanism I have yet to fully understand. Nonetheless, I felt guilty about wanting a girlfriend. That was about a year ago. Since then, I've tried approaching various women, all attempts ending badly. That only made things worse. I felt as if I wasn't worthy to show any romantic interest.
At that point, I decided to consult a family doctor, who referred me to a therapist. I still see my therapist frequently, and about after starting therapy, we both decided that an antidepressant therapy might be worth trying, so she wrote a note to my doctor and I've been on Celexa for a few months now. They're not magic pills, and we agreed that they were only a stepping stone to recovery and that the majority of the healing process would require determination and hard work. Since then, I've been going out more, not necessarily with the intent of finding a girlfriend, but doing things that make me happy and that I hope would eventually attract the right person. The pills helped in that they gave me the energy boost necessary to take initiative, and my coping skills were much better. Also, my therapist is an angel and consulting her was one of the best things I ever did.
I started volunteering for causes I believe in (vegetarian societies, Amnesty International, etc.), staying active, delving into music (I'm taking guitar lessons soon and I took up saxophone again after having abandoned it when I started medical school. Before then, I had played for five years). I even started model building, a hobby I have been trying to take up for about three years now, and I love it! For a while, I felt better about myself, and then I started casually approaching women who came my way naturally, but it was always the same story: "I have a boyfriend", "You're nice but let's just stay friends", "I don't have time for anyone except friends". To make matters worse, my best friend from med school, who was single for a long time, recently found herself a boyfriend, and now I don't see her anymore. My friends are all finding partners and are getting on with their lives, and I'm struggling to find new friends to fill the void since they no longer have time for me, but nothing seems to work. Everyone has seemed to have moved on, and I am left standing alone. Even people who claim to be friends only stick around because they think I'm a good, caring listener. But after life gets better for them, they leave me behind never to speak to me again, as if I never mattered. My parents live in Quebec City, so I don't see them often. I'm not particularly close with my roommates (we get along though), so I pretty much live alone.
Even though I've tried to do everything I can to improve myself, to become who I want to be, I always fall short. It's as if this is the best I'll ever do. Life will become way more demanding professionally once clerkships start, so now I truly feel as if I'll probably be alone for the rest of my life. I'll admit that what I've always dreamt of was finding a fantastic woman with whom I'd fall in love and start a wonderful family, but I'm starting to think that that will never happen. That being the case, and given that I've tried everything, from not looking and focusing on myself to looking, and that single women appear to be non-existent past the age of 20, I think I'll have to focus on accepting loneliness and making the most of it. I never thought it would come to this, so I suppose my big question would be: "What is the best way of coping?" We has human beings are not meant to be alone, so how does one go about reversing this programming?