Hello everyone! I'm new to this forum, and I just want to say I'm so glad to be interacting with all of you. As with all of you, I'm definitely in some need of advice. Past experiences would be helpful. So, I've been definitely going back and forth with God on this topic for SO long, and I know I should probably follow His advice, but I guess you could say I'm on the fence. I just can't, or at least, won't. This was kind of hard for me to write, so please bear with me a bit. It's the topic of marriage. I am not cooperating with Him. Not much at all. I have been closed-minded to the idea of a relationship for a long time. I remember I used to want one so badly when I was younger, and think part of why I didn't want one anymore was because no one every seemed to actually care about me, and then another part was the fear of getting hurt and nobody would ever be there to help me though it. I think another part is my old friendships. I've never really had a stable amount of friends, specifically some who can share my faith. What I mean by stable is that if have friends for a little bit, then they'd ditch me or talk about me behind my back/hurt my feelings without really caring about what would happen to me, just as long as I was out of their lives. Maybe the better picture is that they cared if I was upset, but they wanted me out of their life. But then, it raises the question of how it could be caring? I've just had really bad experiences. I mean, I have friends now, both who share my faith and those who don't, but it's definitely taken time for me to trust them. I'm still in the process of opening up. It's been like this for years. I know I'm only 18, but I literally built an iron wall on all four sides of my heart, 3 feet thick, completed with a nice roof on the surface. I've definitely have had crushes in the past, and I did always want them to ask me out, but they never did. I also found myself, specifically in my relationship with God when I first started out with one, I always either was open or I closed my doors shut. One day, I was open. The next, I pushed Him away and ended up crying. I hadn't ever felt comfortable being vulnerable with anyone, even God. It was very difficult for me to open up to Him, even though He basically knew everything about me. It took several weeks/ a few months before I felt comfortable. It was a daily struggle. Even now, I have my doubts, but it is much better than what it was in the past. Same thing with my friends. It's gotten better, but at first I never told them anything. Ever. It's like I want a relationship, but I don't. If someone were to get too close for comfort, I would want run away and shut everything down. I want to be independent and not rely on anyone, but then something tugs on me to slow down and be open to letting a guy in. Then once I realize the cost, I hit the brakes and flee. It's like I'm in a war. I think it's a fear problem. I know what you're thinking: "She's only 18! She has time!" And you're right; I do. I'm not looking to get married right now. I'm going to college. I need to get my degree. I need a job. I think God's just pushing for me to be open, you know? I don't think in college, if someone asked me out, He would want me to automatically shut them out or ignore them. He's had me to go through the book of Proverbs for traits in a potential spouse, and I've gotten through quite a bit. I think He's just trying to prepare me, but I'm just not ready. It's somewhere I'm not comfortable, and I just really need some time. I'm not sure if this is something I really want. I don't want to end up marrying someone who makes me cry the next night. Also, I have absolutely no experience in dating, nor do I know anything about what to do if someone likes me back, or how to eliminate a person from a potential spouse, or anything about compatibility. I guess my real question is: Is this really going to be worth it? Sorry this is soooo long.