Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Go down

Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by bitboy1993 on Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:09 am

Hi guys
I wrote a bit about my lack of experience back in one of Dr Nerdloves articles on the subject. I'm 22 and so far have no experience with either dating or relationships. My main problem is that it's really starting to affect me and I spend almost every day worrying its too late for me to change things.

I'm currently in therapy for depression and I have made a number of big changes in my life. I have made a number of friends with both guys and girls but my love life is still nonexistent.

I do feel my lack of experience is one reason why I have such low self-esteem.... I know having a girlfriend/dating experience will not solve everything but it's still something that really bothers me. This morning I went through something that felt like a panic attack as my anxiety and worry about the situation took over.
Really.... for now I just want to stop worrying so much about it but have no idea how. I am thinking about trying online dating again but really I need to redo my profile which would take some time and motivation. I guess I just needed to vent and hope for some advice on how to deal with my situation.

Many Thanks

bitboy1993

Posts : 40
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2016-01-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by BasedBuzzed on Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:59 am

Make comparisons with how skills you already have could benefit you in a relationship. Not in the sense of turfing Cool Person Worth Dating points, but in concrete things like knowing how to listen and communicate your needs, how to do small talk, doing your share in chores, etcetera. Think of situations in the past that show you doing these. This gives you a)something more tangible than any number of pep talks (which are good, but are easier to debunk in your head) and b)the type of thing you'd need to utilize while dating with depression. Perhaps try roleplaying conversations in your head in order to create scripts for yourself?

There are also some threads of people in a similar spot, if you haven't browsed them already. Might be handy to show you're not alone, or advice you could use yourself.

_________________
Pompeii, VIII.2 (in the basilica); 1904: "O walls, you have held up so much tedious graffiti that I am amazed that you have not already collapsed in ruin."
avatar
BasedBuzzed

Posts : 811
Reputation : 267
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by Werel on Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:19 pm

BasedBuzzed's advice is good, especially for reminding yourself that you do have abilities/traits that'll help you out when you get around to dating.

If your main goal is not to work on dating right now, but to chill out and quit worrying about dating experience, then throw as much of yourself as you can into hobbies, friend time, and mental health stuff. I don't know how to give yourself permission to stop worrying about your lack of experience, but other folks here do deal with the same problems (threads aplenty, browsing might be useful), and there are posters who used to stress about their post-20 inexperience hindering them but are now in relationships, so it's not a death knell by any means.

If you do want to work on dating profiles, we've got a thread for that too. Smile
avatar
Werel
Moderator of "Meeting People and Dating Advice"

Posts : 1931
Reputation : 1134
Join date : 2014-09-25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by bitboy1993 on Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:10 pm

Thank you for the kind words guys....I know deep down I still have time but it can be hard to fight the thoughts I will be a shit boyfriend because I'm so inexperienced. That said it’s nice to know others have fought through this, if you guys have any tips I would appreciate it.

I've signed myself up for a language class and plan to start a body combat class this week so I'm hoping at the least to improve my confidence this year. I guess by the end of the year I would have like to have been on at least one date.

I'm also planning to throw my dating profile on tonight as I plan to join a few and get more serious with trying.

Sorry for the long reply and many thanks for the advice.

bitboy1993

Posts : 40
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2016-01-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by Herr R on Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:18 pm

You could also keep in mind that it could be worse. You could be in your 30's or beyond and inexperienced and feel like the odds are stacked against you even more.

Plus, you have more resources now than I had when I was your age. All I had was proto-MRA's and some very bad online interactions with women which were part fuckboy and part Nice Guy.

I think DNL's next article/book project should be a guide on how to be a good boyfriend for those who finally got past the first major hurdles.

Herr R

Posts : 62
Reputation : 2
Join date : 2014-10-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by jcorozza on Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:09 am

bitboy1993 wrote:but it can be hard to fight the thoughts I will be a shit boyfriend because I'm so inexperienced.

So, I just started dating a guy. He's 25, and he had never been in a relationship/had a girlfriend. But you know what? So far, he's the best boyfriend I've had. Because he actually listens to what I say. He remembers movies I've mentioned wanting to see, or foods that I've mentioned liking or not liking. He also does little sweet things like make me soup and garlic bread when I'm sick, or shovel a pathway out of my parking space. My last boyfriend had much more dating experience, and you know what? He was a terrible boyfriend. He was so involved in his own obsessions and problems that he was a crappy listener, and made no effort. We only did sexy stuff when he wanted to initiate it, and almost always the way he wanted to.

So basically, your experience in relationships does not guarantee that you will be good or bad at them. But your ability to listen and do kind things is pretty darn relevant. So while you aren't dating, work on your "good friend" skills. They definitely translate.
avatar
jcorozza

Posts : 459
Reputation : 189
Join date : 2015-03-08

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by Prajnaparamita on Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:28 pm

bitboy1993 wrote:Thank you for the kind words guys....I know deep down I still have time but it can be hard to fight the thoughts I will be a shit boyfriend because I'm so inexperienced. That said it’s nice to know others have fought through this, if you guys have any tips I would appreciate it.

Hey bitboy, fellow depression sufferer and late bloomer here (I didn't date until I was 20, and lost my virginity at 21). I know jcorozza already said this, but experience does not necessarily make you a better boyfriend, or lack of experience making you a worse one. Actually, the absolute worst boyfriend I ever had was the most experienced, who had many sexual partners and relationships prior to meeting me (and used my complete lack of experience to manipulate me and be really shitty, but that's a different story). I would never judge a man based on how much experience he had, as I know what it's like to have had depression/mental illness totally disrupt your life, and make it so dating/sex/romance were just things you didn't experience on the same timeline as others. What makes you a good boyfriend or a shit boyfriend doesn't have anything to do with how many notches are in your bedpost--it has to do with things like caring, commitment, being able to listen to the other person, open communication and trust. And believe me, these are things that you are currently working on in your fight against depression. Being able to sort out the self-hate messages (like how your jerkbrain tells you stuff about how you're a terrible person and worthless and all that other bullshit) will help you be a better listener, as you'll learn how to better separate out what another person is telling you from your own emotions and opinions. Fighting the black and white framing that depression uses helps you validate the thoughts and feelings of others even when you disagree with them--a super necessary skill for being able to have a disagreement with a significant other without it becoming a nasty fight. There are all sorts of social skills that will be improved and strengthened through engagement with therapy, even if that isn't the primary goal, and if you don't believe me, let me tell you, all of the people in my life tell me that I'm a much better friend ever since I started engaging in therapy for my long-untreated depression. Some people don't learn these skills until much later in life--some don't even learn them at all. By gaining them you'll actually be head and shoulders above many people in some areas.  

bitboy1993 wrote:
I've signed myself up for a language class and plan to start a body combat class this week so I'm hoping at the least to improve my confidence this year. I guess by the end of the year I would have like to have been on at least one date.

Both of those things sound really great! I think this is excellent because it will give you hopefully a sense of accomplishment, something that's really important when fighting the draining of your self esteem that happens with depression. And so when the depression tells you you're worthless or whatever other lies it has, you have concrete things you can point to for what you've done. Also, another really important thing I've found in my life when I started dating is to have balance and other passions and interests in my life. When you first start dating, especially if you have a history of depression/low self esteem, it can sometimes be hard to not get totally consumed by it. I know when I first started, I would get totally crushed by every rejection which was really unhealthy for me. With other stuff in your life, it's a lot easier to have the perspective to be able to pick yourself up and keep going and realize that it gets easier each time.

_________________
Foster! It saves lives! And kittens! People will just give you kittens! For free!
avatar
Prajnaparamita

Posts : 404
Reputation : 234
Join date : 2015-02-05

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by bitboy1993 on Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:19 am

Wow thank you for all the advice guys it's put me a bit more at ease about my chances. I know my overall life is better and I am a much better friend. I guess it's just frustrating things are moving so slow. My biggest improvement from last year is being able to make more female friends. This time last year I could barley talk to any woman where now I have around 4 or 5 friends.

I'm feeling a bit ill this week but plan to start work on my profile. As I said my overall goal it's just to have been on one date by the end of the year.

bitboy1993

Posts : 40
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2016-01-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by reboot on Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:43 am

bitboy1993 wrote:Wow thank you for all the advice guys it's put me a bit more at ease about my chances. I know my overall life is better and I am a much better friend. I guess it's just frustrating things are moving so slow. My biggest improvement from last year is being able to make more female friends. This time last year I could barley talk to any woman where now I have around 4 or 5 friends.

I'm feeling a bit ill this week but plan to start work on my profile. As I said my overall goal it's just to have been on one date by the end of the year.

Big changes are always slow because you are trying to change a lifetime of habits and behaviors. Truth is, it sounds like your progress is pretty fast. Going from not being able to talk to women to friends with 4-5 in a year is pretty impressive speed for these things
avatar
reboot
Moderator of "Other Relationships" and "Gender, Identity and Society"

Posts : 2514
Reputation : 1005
Join date : 2014-09-24

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by bitboy1993 on Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:48 pm

reboot wrote:
bitboy1993 wrote:Wow thank you for all the advice guys it's put me a bit more at ease about my chances. I know my overall life is better and I am a much better friend. I guess it's just frustrating things are moving so slow. My biggest improvement from last year is being able to make more female friends. This time last year I could barley talk to any woman where now I have around 4 or 5 friends.

I'm feeling a bit ill this week but plan to start work on my profile. As I said my overall goal it's just to have been on one date by the end of the year.

Big changes are always slow because you are trying to change a lifetime of habits and behaviors. Truth is, it sounds like your progress is pretty fast. Going from not being able to talk to women to friends with 4-5 in a year is pretty impressive speed for these things

haha true it's been quite a year for me and I still find it hard to believe that my friends enjoy hanging out with me. I guess it's just a combination of negative thoughts about myself (I'm a loser and things will never change) and my friends moving away. I've read some of the advice for my profile and plan to start work on it during the weekend and will post a update.

bitboy1993

Posts : 40
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2016-01-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by bitboy1993 on Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:10 pm

Well i've finally started going to a Martel arts class so hopefully it's the start of gaining some real confidence. My love life is still non existent but I'm trying to improve things and be less harsh on myself.

I know this might sound strange but does anyone have ideas for social stuff that would have a more mixed gender group. I have plenty of guy friends and the Martel arts is mainly men(Not against making more male friends but would like to make more female friends as well.)

bitboy1993

Posts : 40
Reputation : 3
Join date : 2016-01-16

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by Werel on Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:00 pm

In my experience, board game groups are often pretty gender-balanced, especially the low-key kind that meet in bars or coffee shops. Same with lots of kinds of volunteering (animal shelters, tutoring, park cleanups etc.) Other things I haven't done but seem co-ed based on friends' experience: running/hiking groups; open mic nights; community theater; dodgeball/kickball/other children's-sports-for-adults leagues. Glad you're feeling like you're making some progress!
avatar
Werel
Moderator of "Meeting People and Dating Advice"

Posts : 1931
Reputation : 1134
Join date : 2014-09-25

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Stop obsessing over my lack of experience

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum