I've never felt able to tell anyone "in real life" this. Not even my closest friends. In many ways, I feel so ashamed of it. I'm 27, and have never been in a relationship, ever. No-one has ever wanted me or loved me in the partner sense. By my age, I am quite literally the only one of my friends who has never had that experience of a relationship. Sometimes it is such a lonely feeling that it physically hurts. It's just, that, wanting someone else in my life who cares, someone for me to love and have love me in return. Someone to share life with. And as the years go by, and I've reached 27 and have still never once had a boyfriend, the feeling gets stronger and stronger that it's something I'll never have. I don't want to go grow old being the mad spinster cat lady. Every time my friends talk about relationships past and present, I sit there, heart pounding, hope they don't turn to me and that they won't ask questions, so that my shame won't be exposed, that they won't suddenly see me for the freak show that I feel sometimes because of it. But it is getting harder. Other people are increasingly settling down, engaged, married, second or third kids on the way. I'm sticking out like a sore thumb more and more. Please don't tell me "you're only 27, you're young yet" - I know most people who say that really do mean well, but it's something I've heard before from very patronising people on the few times I've tried to genuinely express some of my fears for the future - to the point where it's something that grates hard on me. What I'm looking for maybe is a little reassurance from anyone else whose first experiences of a relationship have only come in their late twenties / thirties - or from anyone else who's in a similar situation, about how they try to come to terms with those feelings, of loneliness and of not feeling wanted by anyone.