Two lonely teenagers who just can’t seem to make friends

Loneliness is a state of mind – so stop thinking in those terms and just be yourselves. Mariella advises two teens looking for friendship and love

Dilemma 1 I’m 19 and have always had a difficult time making friends. I make small talk with people in class, but it never goes anywhere from there. I’m a good person and I’ve been told that I’m pretty good looking. Why wouldn’t people want to be my friend? I have been feeling so alone in this world.

Dilemma 2 I’m 18 and off to college. I’m quite well off, have a loving family and all the gadgets I could possibly want, but I am deeply unhappy. I feel very lonely, which I know is common at this age. I want a romantic relationship, but I’ve been single all my life, not through lack of trying. I’ve asked girls out on dates, yet they have all turned me down. I’ve bought them gifts, and generally acted like a true gent but it’s not enough, apparently. I’m not one of those guys who just wants sex and nothing else. I want to be loved and cherished. I’m doing a very male-orientated course and I fear my existing opportunities to interact with young women will disappear. Any advice?

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Alex Vidal