This is one of those posts where I go into my past to try to figure out why I've somehow made it to age 22 without any real experience with women. Looking back I think I can pinpoint three distinct instances that have directly contributed to my current predicament.
1) Freshman year of high school: In one of my classes freshman year the teacher gave us assigned seating by alphabetical order and my seat ended up being next to a girl we'll call "Jackie". Me and Jackie hit it off fairly well and were pretty friendly. At the end of the first quarter the teacher allowed us to change seats and sit wherever we wanted. My friends came over and sat next to me, however Jackie stayed in the same seat next to me, even though her friends wanted her to sit near them. Despite all of this, and some other signs that she was giving that she was interested, I did nothing. Why? Well two reasons, one, I guess I was shy and the other (stupidest reason in the whole world) was because both of us would not be going to the same school the next year. Jackie's parents were moving to another part of the county, and boundary changes were forcing me and other kids in my neighborhood to attend a different school the next year. So in my stupid mind it meant that I shouldn't even bother dating her because after the year is over we would never see each other again. Keep in mind I was only 14, there's no reason to be having these thoughts at 14/15 years old. Boy was I stupid. Had I at least dated her, I probably would have gotten some experience (kissing, dating, etc. not sex though) and would not have these hangups that I now have.
2) Senior year of high school: I went through my first three years of high school without any drama...then came senior year. There was this incredibly good looking girl in my homeroom who would always stare at me (or seem to stare at me). Well one day I took it upon myself to go over and talk to her (I had balls back then). Eventually, I got her number and asked her out. She gave me one of those canned non-answer answers (I think her phrase was "we'll see") that I knew from the get-go was a no. So, I took it and went on with my life. Well, a girl I knew (not really a friend but not really an acquaintance either) who we'll call "Debbie" also knew the girl I asked out. During study hall Debbie interrogated me, asking me why I asked out that girl what I thought we had in common etc. To me, I just asked the girl out because she seemed interesting and she was good looking, I wasn't looking to get married or anything, just wanted to go out on a date. Unfortunately, Debbie made me feel like I had no right to ask out the other girl and no right to think that she might have been interested in going out with me. My self-esteem took a hit, I felt like if I ever again asserted myself around women or expressed interest in someone as more than a friend then girls would be creeped out. And so I stupidly thought the best thing would be to wait until a girl shows overwhelming interest in me before I make any moves. Again, dumb...
3) Junior year of college: Now this one was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. I met a girl in my regional studies class who we'll call "Becky". When I first met Becky we talked for about 10 minutes or so and then went our separate ways and didn't talk again for another six weeks (I guess we were both playing hard to get). Then, one day out of the blue she sat behind me in class and we chatted and flirted (I teased her a lot and she teased back) and then we exchanged emails/phone numbers so that we could get together and study for the exam that was going to take place the next week. The day we were supposed to study she canceled so I made plans to go online for the study session with the TA that was supposed to happen the day after me and Becky were supposed to study (the whole entire class was supposed to do this study session). As soon as I got on the computer my phone rang, it was Becky. She and I talked for about 20 minutes, and not once about the test (again flirting etc.). Then, the kicker, the next day (the day of the exam) class was divided into two parts: part one was the exam then a break and then part two would be lecture. After part one was over Becky asked me to take a walk with her which I did. Then after class was totally over she asked me to hang out with her. At that point I had to pinch myself (metaphorically) because this kind of stuff had never happened to me before. This kind of thing kept up for the next few weeks and on into the next semester. But, despite the fact that I made myself perfectly clear about how I felt about her, she too gave me non-answer answers, her phrase being "it's complicated" or "we'll see what happens". At first I dismissed this as being cultural (she was Arab and Muslim and not originally from the U.S.) but eventually I realized it was because she just wasn't interested in any relationship with me. After this experience I became very bitter and sour towards women generally avoiding them but always wondering what it would actually be like to have a girlfriend. This last experience makes me generally suspicious of women.
I know this whole post is a lot to read and maybe I need professional help but it's here anyway. And I have other experiences with women beyond these three although again nothing serious. The first situation is the only one where I feel like I could have changed the outcome the other two just make me feel awful inside whenever I think of them, especially the last one. So, what's the verdict, am I completely screwed in the head or have I just had some bad luck?