I'm Dating as a 35-Year-Old Virgin — and Yes, I'm Happy

"You're a dinosaur" has to be the most memorable line I've ever heard after telling a guy I was a virgin. Although it's unclear if he meant it as a compliment or insult, I thought it was quite poetic to be compared to an extinct animal whose existence is entirely obsolete. But that's not always the reaction I receive.

As a virgin, dating is extremely hard. Like everyone else, I struggle to find connections in real life, so I have to resort to dating apps. But even on the apps, it seems like most men are looking exclusively for hookups. After a few messages, they try to sext me or ask me to come over. I delete and block them shortly after.

In the rare case that someone convinces me they're not exclusively after sex, I give them a chance. But when they find out I'm a virgin, they look at it as if it's some sort of game. To them, it's like a test, and they think they'll pass it quickly, hoping they will miraculously be the one I'll choose to have first-time sex with.

I thought it was quite poetic to be compared to an extinct animal whose existence is entirely obsolete.

Recently, I dated a guy for over four months who did things he said he's "never done" all in the name of having sex with me. I told him right from the beginning that I wasn't the kind of girl to "Netflix and Chill" with, and he convinced me we were on the same page. So, we went on dates — even when he said he "never" goes on dates.

Things were great when we were together, and we really did have great chemistry. But when I told him around three weeks into dating that I was a virgin, he thought I was just being funny.

"Are you really a 35-year-old virgin?" he asked.

"Yes, I am in fact a 35-year-old virgin," I responded.

My choice to be a virgin was absurd to him, but I explained that the thought of sleeping around with people who didn't have my best interests at heart was absurd to me.

Eventually, things fizzled out when he realized I wasn't going to have sex with him. He said I forced him to take me on dates and to buy me flowers, and that's when I decided I was done. Clearly, he wasn't the man for me because the one for me would revel in doing such gestures.

For now, it's not that I'm necessarily waiting for marriage — but if it happens that way, I'm not against it. The reason I am a virgin is because I want to be valued and truly cared for. I want to be courted, and I want to know that I'm with someone who appreciates all of my being. I have yet to feel that way about anyone.

My choice for remaining a virgin is deeper than just sex, though. For me, it's about the connection and being with someone who truly sees me. Since I've waited this long already, I'm in no rush to spend my first time with someone who doesn't deserve it.

After all, I'm still young and youthful. I don't feel the need to settle, even if that means not having sex a little bit longer. Perhaps being a dinosaur isn't so bad after all.

Candis McDow is a freelance writer and author. Her memoir "Half the Battle" is available on Amazon.