Dear Uncle Mat 

I’m wondering about your views on something. How concerned should someone be if she hasn’t been in a relationship by the age of 18, nor ever garnered the attention of the opposite sex? At what point does that mean that it’s that person’s fault for failing to make oneself attractive? I have reasonable cause to believe that the one I love is not interested in me mostly because of my looks. Clearly, it’s too late for me to impact this person’s decision. Yet, I am wondering if his disinterest is my fault; should I have done more, spent lots of money and time to conform to his idea of what a woman should look and behave like? Should I have changed my religion, morals, and political sympathies, and maybe lied a little bit about my background and interests? Really, no one seems to have any sort of interest in me at all, so maybe I’m doing something wrong. I keep wondering if maybe I’m just too lazy. I spend more time on my education than I do on socializing and fixing my hair, which is exactly the opposite of what most young women my age do. I have plenty of other demands on my time besides. There’s nothing wrong with my appearance that is unhealthy; I’m just plain. I can’t bring myself to do what society thinks is right. Firstly, it costs too much; secondly, I despise it. I’m not transgender, just uninterested in making an effort. Is my apathy for this something I need to change?

I ask because I remember an article in which you advised a young man who was still a virgin to clean up his act to make himself more attractive.

— 18, apathetic, and never been kissed

P.S. I’d just like to make you aware that I am not interested in hooking up with random people for sex, as so many of the other people you deal with seem to be. That would not satisfy me. Please keep that in mind. 

Dear 18, etc.,

Being young and idealistic has its perks but sure can suck, huh? Fear not; you don’t have to sell yourself downriver as two-penny hooker to find love. Have you ever watched the TV show My So-Called Life? It seems like you would enjoy it and maybe learn a little about teen angst from an outside eye.

Myth one: Looking good costs money. Not true. You can look good on a very tight budget. Apply a little brainpower to your wardrobe and style. Thrift stores and secondhand stores are abundant in San Antonio. Watch a little What Not To Wear on TLC. Yes, they are creating a one-world vision of stylized zombies, but Clinton Kelley is cute and funny and the part where they put the outfits on mannequins to explain “rules” is rather smart for understanding how to wear clothes for your body.

Myth two: Society gives a shit what you look like. You are confusing cheerleaders and your parents with society. People may ignore you because you look different or not attractive to them, but it’s human nature to mostly seek out that which is the same. The guy who is looking for a smarty like you is probably buried in a physics book; you may have to talk to him to catch his eye.

Myth three: Your laziness is causing this problem. You’re more scared than lazy. The idea of making changes to ourselves to appeal to others is horrifying because if they still reject us, then there is really something wrong with us on the inside. Still not true, but worth fearing. You have to decide which is more important: looking the way that feels natural to you or possibly catching the eye of your Jordan Catalano. It’s a value judgment you need to make for yourself. Do you want to kiss this guy (or type of guy), or keep to your current path and find a guy who sees you as you are?

When you go to college (I’m assuming you plan to since studying is your fav pastime), you will find there are a lot more lovable and kissable guys out there who want girls from plain to all whored-up, smart and stupid. I would say your biggest obstacle will be keeping an open mind about yourself and others.

Much love and good wishes for a great first kiss,

Your Uncle Mat

P.S. Be idealistic, not fascist

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at,, or check out the Dear Uncle Mat Page on Facebook. Your true identity is safe with him.

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