So I'm a slightly older than average grad student that is off to a very good start academically-speaking. I've never had as many good things going for me in my life than at this stage. Behind me are my days of crippling insecurities, being perpetually physically sick (having dipped 15kg below a healthy bodyweight), and being a total social recluse with severe depression (I can thank therapy for that). I am also told by some family members that I've become a lot more comfortable in my own skin. My relationships with peers in grad school have been good so far, I've attended a few social gatherings and even started consuming liquid courage for the first time in my life. However I can't help but feel something is missing. A very sizable fraction of my peers are engaged, married, or in the middle of a long term relationship that predates grad school (both in my first year peers and beyond). The few that aren't apparently have no trouble in getting romantic company. I have made good friends and have never been this social before and it feels great, but I've also never felt so lonely. As I stated in another thread, I'm approaching 30 and have never gone on a date or anything of the sort. This is something I do my best to keep to myself (still haven't had to lie about it), as in the past the stigma associated with it has posed a problem for me in previous environments (work and school). I feel that it only gets worse the older I get. I am allegedly very attractive, I am foreign/exotic, I am more physically fit than I've ever been (I practice strength athletics very seriously) and stand out like a sore thumb, I am worldly (I've lived in 3 different countries for extended periods), and can carry a decent conversation, I think. I am a bit worried that as I advance in academics, breaking that spell is only going to get harder and harder, as I'll be more absorbed in work and relating to people outside of academics won't be getting any easier. I have actively tried pursuing relationships in the past and never succeeded, so I typically went the route of just focusing on academics and personal hobbies. But I feel like that has now crippled me with regards to meeting a potential romantic partner. I wish I could be as cold about it as I was in the past, but it is really starting to get to me and I don't feel great trying to convince myself that academics, lifting weights and music are the only things in my life again. It all is starting to feel a bit empty. I'll admit there has been a trigger to this. In another thread I shared a story about a fellow grad student that I grew to like over a few months. She started sending me very clear signals (I even got some female acquaintances' opinions on it to ensure I wasn't misinterpreting things), but that didn't end well. I finally asked her out explicitly and got my first explicit 'yes' to a date in my life... and got stood up. I was very, very surprised by her behavior as everything was coming along very well and it seemed very out of character. Some people that I've shared this with have told me I could not have done this better. She made no further contact/offered no explanation or excuse; we have not talked or seen each other due to winter break. I'm not exactly looking forward to interacting with her on a regular basis again as that did hurt quite a lot, but I'll do my best to act as if nothing happened. I have now given up on that endeavor, but this has had me wondering once again if there's something wrong with me. Why I can never seem to be good enough for someone when everything is going fine? Even at the peak of my attractiveness and availability (ie: I'm an early grad student, not a busy post-doc jumping from job to job), even when I'm being my genuine self and not forcing anything, I cannot seem to succeed in getting a date, let alone establishing a romantic relationship. I feel as though I'm in my prime now (there's always room for improvement) and if I still can't get it right, I'm doomed as after this it's all downhill (relationship-prospects wise, hopefully not career-wise!). I wish someone would tell me what I need to fix. When I follow through with something over a long time, putting big efforts in studying for exams, solving a research problem, or moving some heavy weights, I eventually get a result. But this aspect of my life has not yielded to any approach I've taken over the years and I often think of quitting for good, as the repeated failures do not teach me anything! Every rejection just drains more and more out of me, but I'm also afraid I'm going to screw myself over for good if there's something I can do about it but just can't see it. I've had this eating away at me for a while, I'm glad to get it off my chest. Thanks for reading.