I'll be 39 soon. I'm unmarried and have had very few girlfriends in my life. The last three girls I've fallen in love with didn't love me back; they all saw me as a friend. I try to be a nice, charming, witty, generous and understanding person and now I have friends (both men and women) who ignore me unless they need help or want something from me because they know they can count on me to to come through for them. Last year I met a beautiful woman who lives down the hall from me. We have the same birthday. Just recently, I went to see her in a play and we started to spend more time together. We really started to click, although we didn't completely have the same interests. I helped her out with a project she was working on for school and then we went out on a dinner date. It was my first date in years. It didn't last very long (90 minutes) but I loved every minute of it. All I could think about was seeing her again. Now I rarely see or hear from her, even though she lives down the hall. She works as a waitress and is busy in the evenings and weekends. And when she does have time to spend with friends, it's always other friends. I've tried calling her a few times, but she is either busy with work or has plans with someone else. The last time I saw her was when she needed some help moving some furniture around her apartment and that was a week and a half ago. I decided to not contact her for a while to see if she might take it upon herself to call on me to see how I'm doing. She hasn't. Last week I told my therapist that I was starving for affection. It's not even sex. It's just a need to be held by someone warm and loving, to feel cared about and wanted, to know that you're important to somebody, to be kissed from time to time, to be listened to and understood, to command some degree of attention that doesn't involve a punchline. Once upon a time I believed that in order to be liked, I needed to do things like tell jokes, play instruments, sing, write stories and just dazzle people. Recently I turned around and discovered that my life is filled with people who see me for what I can do, not what I am. And I habitually encourage it because when I meet new people, I always talk about the stories I've written or that I can play guitar. It gets their interest, but there is no affection. As I sit here, I think of the three women whom, one by one, I fell in love with during the course of my life: Jen, Lauren and Diana. I loved Jen for years, deeply, and she couldn't see me. Then I met Lauren and I loved her for even longer. She never saw me. And now it's happening again with Diana. She doesn't see me. None of them do. This is going to kill me. Sorry for going on. But I think there must be many out there who are starved for simple, loving affection. People who simply want to be held and it's almost like having to walk through fire. I just had to talk about it for a while. I've been away from this forum for a long time, working and trying get my life together. I hope you've all been as good as can be expected.