Long introduction - Is it too late?

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Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:17 pm

I was posting on the main comments on the main site. but I’ll start over again here.

So I'm 38 years old from a small community in an Island off the coast of Scotland (this comes into play later). My history (apologies) for the length but I've never explained or vented this anywhere before and I feel I need to get it out now or I'll keep all this locked in me forever.

So as said, grew up in this small, Island community and as a little kid things were great had plenty of childhood friends and always out playing. Then 12th birthday I go way for a summer camp, during this camp one of the camp leaders dubs me a nickname based on my physical appearance, my then friends from the Island swear they will not tell anyone back home. I was wrong I get back to school the next term and every kid is calling me the name, it carries on I lash out a few times get in trouble. I try to confide in my parents and all they say is "There's a disabled kid up the road, don't be so ungrateful you could be like him!". At school the teachers are worse than useless when I tell them what's up they won't say anything as the kids are all children of pastors or other teachers. I start too close up, I get very selective about my friends.

When puberty hits I see these lovely things called girls everywhere but have clue how to go about approaching them. I go to dad for advice - "It'll just happen"

So I carry on through high school waiting for it to "just happen", nothing did happen.

I go to college/university (18) in Glasgow and first time on my own, every weekend I spend alone. I have no clue how to make any of this work. It goes on like this till 19, one night drunk in the student union my group interacts with another group. One of the girls pushes me in the direction of her friend. Somehow we kiss and go back to hers, we get naked, I'm primed ready to go (AT LAST MY MOMENT IS HERE!) and ... equipment failure. She lies there, I apologise like crazy she says it's ok but I slink out the door without saying a word and disappear in shame.

Aged 21, last year of university and further reclosing I hook up with a girl online and it gets to same phase and again, my equipment lets me down. We stay friends but eventually drift apart.

Aged 23, In a new town, new job. Similar to my first attempt, again very drunk take a girl home with me and again, equipment failure. She re-assures me it's ok, a few weeks later, sober I try again and again equipment failure. I break up with her as am too ashamed to face her again. Should be noted that during the month or so I date this girl my sister finds out and informs me "For god's sake, keep her it's not like you have a choice!"

After this I decided "fuck it" and decided not to bother with women or having friends, I hate my body as well for not performing when I needed it. I gain massive amounts of weight, I drift in and out of jobs. got fired from 2 for poor performance. I become a shut in, my life routine becomes: Wake up, go to work for 9am, finish 5pm, home, take-away then stay up will 2am watching videos or playing games. When Saturday comes, due to lack of sleep I sleep till 1pm then get up and marathon some star trek, masturbate then sleep again.

During this period, I had some great opportunities to travel and do things I got offered a job in Thailand. Told my parents, my mum broke into histrionics and guilted me hard about: what would happen if grandma who loves you so much dies whilst you are there? And you don't come back for the funeral? HOW WILL YOU FEEL? Being guilted so hard, I relented and stayed put.

Also during this period, I had the idea of re-training and going to college as my jobs weren't satisfying and a new direction could freshen up things and maybe inject some enthusiasm into me. My family and friends all told me being an older student would be a terrible idea. Being the oldest in the class, plus I would get into debt.

Speaking of which I racked up big debt, buying takeaways and going on lavish holidays. The food comforted me and the holidays were the few times I felt alive and energized.

A few other side notes, my parents have always drilled into me "FORGET FRIENDS, FAMILY IS ALL THAT MATTERS!". Along with that my mother believes that there should be no privacy or boundaries in a family, that such things imply distrust. I have a sister and the relationship is strained at best, she routinely criticizes me and puts me down (most recently screaming at me for being lazy because I asked her where the tea bags where in her house)

Come last year I was made redundant, and said to everyone "I AM GOING BACK TO COLLEGE" and whilst they did oppose me, for reasons I don't know I stood my ground and went for it. I applied to the college in my hometown and was accepted instantly.

I am now 1 year into that course and since I started I have lost 42 pounds of weight with another 42 needing to be shed. I aced the first year of the course which lead to an internship at a major energy company, this has now turned into a term time job whilst at college which has helped cut my debts. I am now going to Muay Thai training x3 a week, jogging 2 miles every morning.


Still I feel empty and this was exemplified on Saturday just past. Whilst I've been here I've had the same social routine - NONE. This Saturday I decide rather than sit in with my dad and watch the big game, I'll go to the pub. I went and when there the loneliness struck me hard. I was stood there alone, not drinking alcohol (weight loss) and did not know anybody. Yet everyone else was there with buddies having a laugh. I didn't know how to speak to anyone, strike up a conversation. I stood in silence for the 90mins. Went home at the end and as I sat up in my room realised how alone I now feel. That after all this time of pretending to be defiant loner I am craving friendship and companions.
The only thing I worry is that at 38 it's too late to build a fresh circle of friends. That being a 38 yr. old virgin is too big a bridge for any potential partner to cross. That simply this part of my life I have neglected too much and it’s too late to fix.
Apologies for the length, it took me a long time to write this and have choked back tears a few times writing it. At the least I thank you for allowing me my confession.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Enail on Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:49 pm

It sounds like you're doing a ton of stuff to improve your life, which is awesome and I think says a lot about your ability to work towards the other things you want in life as well. People have to make new friends all the time, it's not something that only people with no friends whatsoever have to do, so there are lots of "openings" for new friends, as it were, that's definitely something possible.

A lot of pubs are places people just go to hang out with their friends rather than to meet new ones, so that seems like a difficult place to try and build social connections, especially if you're feeling out of practice in social skills. I find it a lot easier to meet people in situations where you show up regularly somewhere and there's something else to do going on; classes, meetup groups, volunteering... Since you're already going to Muay Thai regularly, that might be a good place to start with. If you don't already, try chatting a little more with the other people before or after practice. If you've gotten friendly with a few people or if you've gotten to the point where people in general chat a little bit, you could suggest that everyone goes out for coffee/dinner/drinks after practice sometime. It can take time and some effort for people to go from friendly acquaintance to friendship, and not everyone's going to be compatible to be the latter, but even making things a little more social is a good start and makes it easier to build closer friendships.

You can also try getting more social with people at your workplace (though I recommend trying against trying to date there) and in your classes.

When puberty hits I see these lovely things called girls everywhere but have clue how to go about approaching them. I go to dad for advice - "It'll just happen"

Try to work on breaking the idea that girls are things rather than people. If your Muay Thai group is mixed, practice being friendly with the women - including the ones you're not attracted to - as well as the men. Getting used to seeing women as regular people and an ordinary part of your life will be helpful in getting on with others, in making friends, in dating, and in all the rest of your life.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Werel on Mon Oct 10, 2016 4:58 pm

Hey thebeardeddragon, welcome. Kudos to you for typing all this out; sounds like it was hard to share. And for good reason-- that transition from defiant loner to admitting loneliness is a tough one. Re-tooling your perception of yourself from "I'M FINE" to "oh fuck I have a large unfulfilled need" is terrifying and leaves you pretty vulnerable for a while. Glad you're being nice to yourself right now by eating well and moving your body.

And being by yourself in a pub full of happy-looking friend groups when feeling shreddingly lonely is a really awful sensation that brings shame for being alone on top of the misery, so I'm sorry you had that kind of evening recently-- but Enail is right, that's not a situation to judge yourself for not turning into a hundred new friends. Pubs are much more for established friend groups to meet up, not to add new people to their ranks, so you were just looking in the wrong place; not walking out of there with ten new friends is not a judgment on how likeable you are. Her suggestions about volunteering/classes/Muay Thai as better places to start friendly acquaintanceships are spot-on.

And really, I don't think 38 is too late to do anything, whether it's make friends or have sex or lose weight or start a career. Only the individual circumstances of your life dictate that, and it sounds like you've already made so many huge steps (college! weight loss! debt management! internship!) that I hope you can see yourself as very capable of making big changes in your life. You can rely on that capacity for change to carry you forward. (Maybe to a place with slightly less room for your family to second-guess your decisions and trample your boundaries, for example. Razz)
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:10 pm

Enail wrote:

When puberty hits I see these lovely things called girls everywhere but have clue how to go about approaching them. I go to dad for advice - "It'll just happen"

Try to work on breaking the idea that girls are things rather than people. If your Muay Thai group is mixed, practice being friendly with the women - including the ones you're not attracted to - as well as the men. Getting used to seeing women as regular people and an ordinary part of your life will be helpful in getting on with others, in making friends, in dating, and in all the rest of your life.

Just a minor correction, probably should have worded the original a bit better. I was showing what my thought process as a teenager was, I don't think that way anymore.

And the pub thing was more me explaining that Saturday was the moment when my defiant loner personality was met with a knockout blow. Not so much I was expecting to make friends there, but the over-riding feeling was looking at these groups was "Man I am missing out - big time"
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by K-J on Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:19 pm

Oh hey there!
I didn't have an account on this board but made one now since you went here. Everyone's situation's a bit different but I recognise myself in some things you write and I hope I can give you some inspiration at least.

One thing that helped me immensly was to realise that milestones, what's considered normal at various ages, is mostly arbitrary bullshit.
It's not just the sexual debut, but there are all sorts of ideas and norms about when people supposedly should finish school, have a driver's license, move out of parent's house, have a higher degree, move out from a rented apartment into a house, marry, have children, advance from certain types of jobs... the... list... never... ends!

And it's all garbage.. All of it!
You're frightened about what it means that you haven't had sex at an age where most people have.
Well, there's countless of other people who feel just as awful, some of them for the same thing as you, but really it can be any percieved "golden standard", and there are quite a few. It's terrible, but there's this hierarchy of adulthood and markers of success which only serves to make people feel inadequate and miserable..

I think the right thing is to disregard all of it, cease to measure yourself or others in terms of hierarchies based on life achievements, and certainly not waste any more time comparing onself to other people. Fuck "normal"!  
It was when I started thinking like that, I finally started feeling better. It was even a bit exciting, like I felt I could be this original type of guy with an unusual life trajectory who's above that problem but can still pity and understand those that still feel inadequate for some reason.

Could you do this too?  

Regarding that other thing about sex and "non-working equipement", I feel for you because it sounds like it became a trauma.

Same happened to me in my 20's on two occassions, but in hindsight, I know that it was me overreacting over it, freaking out which was the actual disqualifier and the reason it immediately fizzled out after those first failed attempts!
In reality it most probably wouldn't have mattered much and they'd be ok trying again if I just hadn't felt so extremely embarassed, scared and now-or-never. Kinda ironic, huh?

I think the solution to you is the same as for me.

Trivialise the fuck out of sex!

Expect it to be just "kinda interesting" and thus worth pursuing, but not all that great.
Expect that the first times with a new partner will be crappy, but it's something worth working through.
And absolutely don't expect it to be this giant significant moment which defines the rest of your life because frankly, that's crap. It's not like that and it just adds a ridiculous amount of pressure.  
When you have a new opportunity, don't obsess "ThisIsItThisisIt!" and try to relax instead. Come what may.  

When I tried with my first real girlfriend, my expectations where set pretty low, and sure enough again it didn't work the first time...  but now I wasn't freaking out anymore. There's other things one can do aside from penetrative sex. Why not do mutual masturbation or a bit of oral instead? You can also just get familiar with lying naked next to each other. Seriously, there's like no rush here. Savor the small stuff instead!

Ok, maybe a one night stand from the pub is a bad idea considering your circumstance. I disregarded that way myself, but you can absolutely take the slow route with someone instead.

There's so much I want to say but it's time to cut it here I think. One last word of advice... you actually do learn about relationships, sex and intimacy simply from lived experience and observation too!
You may think your understanding is less than that of a 16 year old who just got laid for the first time, but this is very unlikely to be true. You can be certain you're way ahead already.

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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:54 pm

Not much to update on, have been focusing 100% on losing weight right now as I think that it's a (lieterally) big weight pressing on my shoulders, so spending all my free time exercising in a bid to banish the flab.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:38 pm

Again, I have no news. I attend my classes, do the work but every time I try and make a connection and speak to somebody my mind draws a blank. So it's turn up, train go home and then the loneliness hits me again.

The past 3 weeks the loneliness at isolation hit me harder than ever before. My folks went to visit my brother overseas. I was left in the house on my own for 3 weeks and nobody to talk with or interact with hit me hard. But again when I go to college or the gym, I always go and try to push myself to speak to those around me but every-time my mind goes blank and all i can give is "yeah" or "no" answers to any question. I just can't initiate any interaction and anyone who initiates with me, my mind & nerves take over and try as hard as I can to bail.

Plus side, I was one of few people in my College class to pass recent math exam.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Enail on Tue Dec 06, 2016 8:44 pm

Sorry you've been having a lonely time lately. Do you think it might help to come up with a few topics and responses in advance, so that you could reduce the pressure to think on the spot? I've also found it helpful practicing small talk while interacting with customer service people - it's pretty normal to make a comment or two to the cashier while checking out in line or to chat with the hairdresser while getting a cut, so you're not bothering or holding them up, there's something else to focus on happening so that pauses aren't awkward, and a built-in exit to the conversation so there isn't the struggle to keep it going or figure out how to exit.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Werel on Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:23 pm

Congrats on passing your exam, and sorry it's been an extra lonely time.

People suggest this pretty often around here, but in addition to cashier smalltalk (a very good suggestion), another good outlet for basic human interaction is joining a volunteer organization (or book club/game night/running group/religious community/etc., depending on what you're into). Something where there's a concrete task in front of you, a shared activity or purpose, can be much less intimidating than the kind of unstructured socializing you find in classes or social meetups. It provides you with some built-in conversation material--the thing you're all there doing--and also keeps you from feeling at loose ends, like you're responsible for steering the interaction. Do you think that could be something worth trying, to meet some basic interactional needs?
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Wed Dec 07, 2016 8:56 pm

Maybe. But I've hit the other big problem now. As said my parents were away for 3 weeks and only 48 hours whilst the human contact with them was good, I now find myself making any excuse to get out of the house. Basically even though i'm 37 years old and Acing my engineering studies my decisions must be questioned and openly disrespected. I'll round down some quick examples in past 2 days:

Wake up today they're having breakfast, I go grab a bowl of cereal and start eating.
Mother: "What were you eating for breakfast whilst we were away?"
Me: "Cereal, sometimes eggs."
Mother; "NO! You should eat porridge, that cereal is just crap and it's what's leaving you fat you know!" (BTW this is a recurring for her, in past year she has had a pathological obsession that I eat porridge in the morning"

Later I read news story that a space centre is opening up in my country, funded by NASA. I bring this up in conversation and how this could be good for me as Aeronautic Engineering could be boom sector in coming years as result (I haven't chosen my specific engineering field yet) and this might be something for me to chew on.
Response?
Mother "WHAT ABOUT THE WIND FARMS!" (This summer I did an internship on wind turbnies which I had enjoyed)
Me: Sorry?
Mother "THE WIND FARMS, YOU ENJOYED THAT JOB AND NOW YOUR GOING TO RUSH IN LIKE YOU ALWAYS DO INTO THIS SPACE ENGINEERING CARRY ON. YOU NEVER CONSIDER YOUR ACTIONS DO YOU!"
Me: I haven't made any decisions yet, just this looks interesting. I'll make my own decision in time.
Mother: YOU BETTER CONSIDER EVERYTHING!"

These are the main ones that come to mind right now and I'm longing to be on my own again. I have no idea how to respond, anytime I have asked her to drop the subject(s) "IM YOUR MOTHER I'M JUST CONCERNED" then my dad who will sit silent just says "just agree with her, I just want to keep the peace"

Yeah I know pathetic I don't know how to stand up and get her to back off questioning my every move.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Werel on Wed Dec 07, 2016 9:37 pm

Hm. I don't have much personal experience with intrusive parents, but sometimes the only thing you can do with people who don't respect your boundaries is not give them opportunities to be intrusive. I don't know if it'd be possible to get her to start respecting your boundaries right now-- if you're living with your parents, you don't have the leverage of deciding when you see them, which is the main leverage adult kids have over their parents.

So... maybe just don't give her any openings, or as few as possible? Don't bring up career ideas you're thinking about, tell her "porridge" (or whatever she wants to hear) when she asks about inconsequential junk like breakfast choices, nod and say something bland and noncommittal like "I'll think about that, thanks for the input" whenever she gets up in your business?

(Porridge is a weird thing to get really hung up on. Is she an heir to an oat company or something? Razz)
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Solvi on Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:28 pm

Werel wrote:
(Porridge is a weird thing to get really hung up on. Is she an heir to an oat company or something? Razz)

Parental obsessions rarely seem to make any rational sense, in my experience. My own mother, who is Very Concerned about my weight and who brings it up every time I go back home, loves to question everything from my exercise choices (she thinks I need to do less cardio and more mid-paced walking, claiming it's a better workout), to my preferred brands, and even to my sleeping habits. At some point, I think you just have to accept that nothing you do will ever be good enough, and -- like you said, Werel -- try to get away from the subject as quickly and smoothly as possible, even if it means some white lies.

(Note: Not trying to derail from the OP's dilemma -- just noting my experience as an anecdotal example in support of a claim.)

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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:47 pm

Solvi wrote:
Werel wrote:
(Porridge is a weird thing to get really hung up on. Is she an heir to an oat company or something? Razz)

Parental obsessions rarely seem to make any rational sense, in my experience.  My own mother, who is Very Concerned about my weight and who brings it up every time I go back home, loves to question everything from my exercise choices (she thinks I need to do less cardio and more mid-paced walking, claiming it's a better workout), to my preferred brands, and even to my sleeping habits.  At some point, I think you just have to accept that nothing you do will ever be good enough, and -- like you said, Werel -- try to get away from the subject as quickly and smoothly as possible, even if it means some white lies.

(Note: Not trying to derail from the OP's dilemma -- just noting my experience as an anecdotal example in support of a claim.)

You have nailed that one dead on, my mother is obsessed with my weight, she can steer any and every conversation about reasons why I am fat. Some examples:

  • I Put some salt on my meal, I; too heavy on the salt and that's whats leaving me fat
  • I put mustard on a sandwich, I'm too heavy on the condiments and that's whats making me fat
  • I lose 1lb in a week - It's not enough and I need to lose a lot more to not be fat
  • I do some weights - You need to do only cardio, doing weights will make you fat
  • I have a beer - You drink too much beer that makes you fat


I could go on, and whilst I am losing weight her obsession over it grinds me down, at times I honestly feel my whole worth is an ascending scale, tied idrectly to what the bath room scales say.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:29 pm

Well this is the only place I can come to express this, but it's 10:20pm on a Saturday night and I just broke down crying from the loneliness. Not even any of my online friends are around for me to talk to and as I looked on FB all I saw was the friends I have who are all hundreds of miles away making plans for the evening with their partners. Yet here I am, nearly 40 years old with nobody, the pain is like a blow to the stomach and as I look out the window in the remote village I live in, it's dark and empty.

Sorry if this is too much for you guys but I have nowhere and no-one I can express these feelings to. My parents would only tell me I have nothing to be down about and I should be happy so start being happy damn it.

Again, sorry for this but I needed some outlet.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by BasedBuzzed on Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:29 pm

Never apologize for needing to vent, this is your own thread. If people don't want to listen to it they wouldn't click on it. Anyway, there are super-rich people and celebrities who get depressed and no-one bats an eye at those. You have every right to express your feelings. Also, your mom's comments are clearly stressing you out, and stress triggers hormones that make you fat: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3871470/Why-stress-make-overweight-Hormones-turn-normal-cells-dangerous-fat-internal-organs.html
Not that there's anything wrong with being chubby, but perhaps that fact can help to make her stop.

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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Werel on Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:19 pm

Seconding BasedBuzzed-- vent all you want in your own thread, that's what it's for!

And it's ridiculous to say you have no right to feel unhappy; loneliness is hard as heck, and nobody gets to dictate how you feel about it. (And I don't think you're gonna bring down anyone here by talking about it-- if we hated hearing about people's feelings, I don't think we'd be on this forum!). If writing things out just to vent when you feel crappy helps, do it; if you want advice or suggestions, ask for them; if you're cheered up by photos of puppies in hats and just want to see puppies in hats, request photos of puppies in hats. Basically, it's your thread, and you're the one who can specify what you're hoping to get out of it.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:28 am

Been a better week, after a lay off consisting of a few weeks (assignments don't write themselves) got back to Muay Thai, and it's the weirdest thing at Muay Thai when I do sparring it's as if the lights go on. When I go up against the coaches even though they are landing on me more, but when I get that one decent hit on them it's the biggest buzz I get and then at the end of the round I get told how I'm progressing (I sometimes think I'm not getting any better, all I'm doing is getting punched and kicked they point out that on it's own that is a progression as 6 months ago I was too afraid to go near them in sparring for fear of getting hit).

Hard to describe but If I could bottle that feeling I get doing muay thai and take it with me, to have a shit of it when I feel lonely or unsure, I'd pay anything.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:48 pm

Well another Saturday Night looking out the window. All I have is that last night (Muay Thai) and this morning (Circuit Class) at the end of each class instead of just grabbing my gear and driving off, forced myself into a conversation with my fellow class members, went well a few laughs and jokes.

Friday night was a convo with a guy in the class who is similar size and similar background (Former city dweller, moved back to the country) so we spoke a but found out a lot about each other.

Today was with the 3 remaining in the class at the end, mostly having a laugh about some of the ridiculous noises the younger guys make in the weight lifting area. And one of the women in the class was in utter shock when my age was revealed (I went to school with the guy who runs the gym and she always presumed I was in my early 20's).

Not much I know but was something.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Enail on Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:59 pm

Hey, that's awesome, way to go!
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by CP96 on Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:18 am

Have you thought about trying to grab some of the people you train with to go out for drinks and/or food after class? I recently joined a new sports club to improve my social life, and the regulars usually all go to the pub to just chat/hang out after each session, which has been great. If that's not a thing at your Muay Thai place maybe you could try to start something similar?
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Tue Feb 28, 2017 11:07 am

Sorry for long delay, but some good things have happened since last post.

X-mas and Januray - Not much to report, finished Semeter 1 of my second year at college.

February get's interesting as a number of events have set gears turning in my head. These events will seem random but they do come together.

First was that as you all know I go running in the mornings and so entered myself into a 5K race in Early Feb, on the day I saw one of my gym buddies there. Now i'm still carrying extra weight and my gym buddy is power lifter and she regularly goes to the gym. We wish each other well and do the race. I expected to finish well behind her and with a time of 45mins. Cross the finish line in 31mins, get my breath and look around, Gym friend nowhere to be seen but her boyfriend is at the finish line she finished 6 minutes behind me. So am a bit shocked and stunned. Next day at Muay Thai everyone is itching to hear what my time was and many pats of the back and congrats.

A week after, i get a bad rib injury in sparring just before I take a long weekend vacation of the Island to see my soccer team play. The rib injury prevented me from doing anything on my break, so i was listening to some audiobooks and one in particular "The Subtle art of not giving a f**CK" sticks with me, especially about how we can control how we respond to things that happen to us instead of admitting defeat.

Fast forward to weekend just past, and it's my gym's annual party. My table was my fellow running buddy and whole load of other women from the gym. Had a great time and speaking to one of them in particular. Now during the dinner her friends introduced me "You're single bearded dragon? Our friend is single too and I bet you both hate being set up with others". Well this is oblivious me and I sat talking with said friend for hours, saw her friends all winking and nodding to her. Only when I get home at 3AM does it finally dawn on me they were trying to set me up with her.

Sunday I was bummed out and feeling a bit sorry for myself, have a conversation with an acquaintance, this guys is director of communications at a major, billion dollar company in the USA. He points out that I have had a profound impact on him in our discussions previously and he will always hold me in high regard for that.

This story culminates in yesterday. It's 6AM I wake up for my morning run, it's dark and frosty. I run out the front gate into the main road and slip on the ice. And i'm lying flat on my back, in pitch black in the middle of an icy road. I can see the inviting light in my bedroom window and I say to myself "Right now, right here I choose to get back on my feet, finish this run no matter what" I finish my run in a bad time but feel a victory against my doubt has been won. I go to Muay Thai in the evening, that night in sparring I was knocked down, on the receiving end of some clean punches and kicks, but every knockdown I got back up and started fighting again.

Basically yesterday I realised that all the slips, falls, knockdowns etc. are only affecting me because I let them. I realised that the girl from Saturday night is a regular at the gym and every chance I could speak to her again and ask her out for a coffee and if not, her friends viewed me as being a decent enough guy that they would have liked their bestie to meet me, so I must have something going on!.

It's been an remarkable February and finally feels like "I get this" in terms of life and how I react to the bumps in the road and feel I can now genuinely start applying to my social life as I go on. All these things that happened showed I can do it, and if I get knocked down I get up learn and move on.

Apologies for lengthy post but it does feel like I have taken a major step in my journey.
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thebeardeddragon

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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by Enail on Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:05 pm

Way to go!
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:40 pm

A few small updates.

Been getting more social, at least once a week I try and meet up with people outwith the gym and so far has worked, been invited out to a few get togethers and invites for more incoming.

As for girl from the night out I was being set up with well, last night went to circuits class and her best friend was there chatting away to me. At end of class , Girl from gym party was at the door waiting for next class to start but my new found positivity escaped me and I just waved to them as I walked past to leave the gym. Just the nerves flared up and with her best friend standing right there just flooded me with nerves. sigh.
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Wed May 03, 2017 12:10 pm

An update, am still going out as much as I and my college workload will allow. Ran my 2nd 10K and set a personal best of 54mins (My previous was 1hr01mins). Still though when it comes to women, I freeze up and struggle to say anything. In general have noticed they women at the gym always greet me by name when I come in and apparently my progress in running is a topic of discussion as they are always congratulating me and some even saying I'm amazing with what I am doing. But apart from a meek "thanks" I can;t think of anything else to say. I feel I am enjoying being in people's company (Had a night out at one of the guys from the gym's apartment the other night to watch the boxing) but as said, when it comes to the women my nerves and brain desert me...
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Re: Long introduction - Is it too late?

Post by thebeardeddragon on Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:09 pm

So update.

Finished year 2 passed with top marks.
Spent the whole summer working in Edinburgh, but again I tool refuge and just stayed in every-night watching Netflix and Star Trek re-runs instead of getting out there those being sociable.

Now in third year of college, I have gotten to the bottom of my weight problem. I've been diagnosed with Binge Eating disorder and currently undergoing therapy for it. So putting the whole friends and possible relationships on hold till I get this under control.
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