Say, I have an idea: It's not a new idea by any means. In fact, it's so old fashioned as to be revolutionary. It's an idea that might save a LOT of people a lot of anxiety and drama if they bought into it:
Family and good friends are where it's at, and dating is just something you do when you are looking for someone to marry.
All this 'my mate', and 'my girlfriend', and 'my boyfriend' stuff... How about just simply calling them 'best friend', and leave it at that? Personally, I am glad I missed out on all the drama of dating when I was younger. I did some dating back in my early 20's - mostly one-offs that never went anywhere. I did have a girlfriend when I was twenty, and of all things, we met on the computer and chatted & got to know one another before even seeing each other face-to-face. It sounds like no big deal, but this was before the internet existed. It was short and lasted about a year. The friendship sort of faded away when she went one way, and I went another, but I still wish it had remained just a good friendship. Dating took it to another level.
All the other dates were just me taking a friend who happened to be a girl out for some fun, and it never went anywhere, which is fine. A couple of them are still friends, though it's more like a 'facebook' kind of friendship where we just keep up with each other's lives.
It wasn't until my late-20's that I finally grew up, and found the love of my life. So, for those first ten years of my adult life, I simply made memories with good friends and our adventures. I'm really glad that I never felt the pressure to date someone - I always looked at a 'date' as a way of sizing someone up for possible marriage, and I wasn't really ready for that sort of commitment. It was liberating and pretty much drama-free.
There's too much emphasis on having a girlfriend/boyfriend these days, I think - - really: Just be happy being single for now. Singledom doesn't generally last very long. Statistics show that the average age of first marriage is now in the late 20's and early 30's anyway. Most people have been married by the time they are 40. About half of my best friends got married in their late 30's and early 40's and so far, they have stayed that way. So, why worry about being single before that? You might as well be happy being you, and just enjoy the first decade by discovering the beauty of life, and working on your character so that you are a solid person for that future spouse.
For now, stick to family, and cultivate friendships with good people. That's where it's at!