I’m a relationship virgin: I’m 54 and have never had a girlfriend or boyfriend

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There is a name for people like me – “relationship virgin”. It is apt and accurate because I have managed to get to 54 without ever having had a boyfriend.

It is hard to believe, given that I haven’t been living in a cave at the bottom of the ocean, but it is the truth. I have never had a significant other, never been someone’s other half, never been asked out. Come to think of it, I’ve never even had a Valentine’s card – well, not unless you count the piece of paper with a love heart drawn in blue pen that Kevin from Sunday school shoved into my coat pocket when I was about seven.

I am not a virgin, sexually speaking, as I have had sex – thank goodness. I did it a few times when I was in my early 20s: I never imagined that the last time I shared a bed with someone, which was 31 years ago now, would prove to be the last time I ever experienced physical intimacy. Had I known that, I would have tried to enjoy it more.

I was an early talker and walker, but when it came to losing my virginity, I was the last of my friends to do so: the last one to hit one of life’s most anticipated milestones. It didn’t happen until after I left university, by which time I was desperate to sleep with someone, just to get it over with.