a reply to: Shepard64
Just out of curiosity, do consider yourself "older" than your physical age?
I'm like you, in the aspect that I consider myself a dog that needs to be on a long leash; I'll be loyal, but I need to explore at my own pace (if
you catch my meaning). For the longest time, I used to clam up every time a girl even looked nicely at me, mostly for all of the same worries (having
them meet the family, and meeting theirs, planning dates, everything).
Another thing you may want to consider is - If you are trying to date someone your age or younger, then you might come across as "boring" because
you don't think like they do or do the same things that they do. For example, in my area, all of the 23 & under crowd are more into "partying it up,
drinking it down, or lighting it on fire" than going on a nice, quiet, peaceful walk in the countryside (yeah, I know, boring right). Now, what I've
found is that if you invite some of the older girls, they tend to like doing more of those kind of things. Same with people from another country - I
recently invited a friend from Germany on an outing with me, and when I made the comment about how boring I was, she told me that in no way was I
boring, as hiking 6 miles is something they do over there for fun.
Best bit of advice I can offer: Just be yourself, and do what you like doing best. If a pretty girl catches your eye, slap the inner monologue upside
the head, take a breath, and forget about what comes farther down the line; worst that can happen is she says no. And you don't have to instantly be
in a relationship - ask her out on a movie date, cheap dinner, something where you can talk. I went to a mall in the area, and all we did was walk
around & talk.
Good Luck though - even though it goes without saying that you're only 23, and have plenty more years left to go.