I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

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I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Rogue257 on Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:32 am

Hello everyone, I've just registered and could use some advice. Long post ahead, but here goes;

I'm 24 and I've been single for quite a while and although I'm not ENTIRELY inexperienced, I'm still a virgin and incredibly bored of it. It's not something I'd be ashamed to admit, though it's not exactly something I'd want everybody to know. It's not like I've never had chances to lose it, I have quite a big social circle and I'm always up for meeting new people, I'm outgoing and although I do have socially awkward times, they're less frequent than they used to be. I have autism as well, which makes all this stuff automatically a little harder - although I literally just got diagnosed with it earlier this year even though I've known for years, so I've not really "grown up, thinking of myself as different" if that makes sense?

Anyway, I know people who have liked me in the past and I've had people fall for me simply by having a conversation with them, some before they've even met me - so I must be doing SOMETHING right. So, you're probably thinking, if I'm outgoing, friendly and I've had some admirers in the past, there's obviously guys here that have it much worse than me, right? So what's the problem?

Well here it is - I've grown up with a COMPLETELY different understanding to what love is than most people.

Let me explain - you know how, when you're a kid, you're very naive and you'll believe pretty much anything your parents tell you because you're convinced they're some sort of all-knowing messiahs? Well, you know as well how your parents will shower you with praise about how "handsome" and "beautiful" and "perfect" their children are? Well, combine both of those with an autistic brain that takes a lot of things literally - I think you can see where this is going...

Basically, I've grown up thinking I'm this super-attractive, amazingly-hot guy who all the guys want to BE and the girls want to BE WITH. Not just that, pretty much all these years I've been under the impression that my looks, ALONE, were enough so that every girl and her relatives would be flocking to me and want to speak to me - and by speak, I obviously mean date and/or sleep with. I'm also very tall (6"4), which only strengthens this attitude since it's generally accepted that taller people are more attractive.

In short, I've lived my life all this time pretty much thinking that attraction is all physical, and since I was given the impression from a very young age that I'm top pick of the crop, I've always thought when meeting girls, we wouldn't have to speak - I simply had to stand there looking pretty, girls would come over to me, we'd get talking and one thing would lead to another. Actually TALKING to them, "showing them my personality" and "making a connection" simply NEVER occured to me. All these years I thought "well, I'm clearly attractive than all these other guys in the room, so the babes will come to me whether I speak to them or not".

As you've probably guessed by now, that's not been the case.

First and foremost, I KNOW I'm obviously not the best-looking guy in the world. I KNOW appearance and looks are subjective - two girls could walk past me in the street, one could think I'm gorgeous and the other could think I'm ugly, neither of them are right or wrong - and I KNOW I'm focusing on the wrong aspects. Obviously I've heard people say "It's all about personality", but to be honest I always just thought that was a way of making ugly people feel better. My understanding has always been, that if you're physically attractive, you can have anyone you want with pretty much no effort.

Let me give you a bit more history - when I was in high school (I live in the UK, so highschool age was 11-16 then) I wasn't exactly popular. In fact, I had next to no friends and most of the school took any opportunity to pick on me (it was nothing psychologically-scarring, but most days were crap) and if it was ever made known that I liked somebody (ME, the absolute WEIRDO) then it resulted in me being insulted for even trying, and the friends of the girl taking the piss and making her feel awkward and embarassed. It was just as awkward for her as it was for me, so eventually I realised I shouldn't even bother.

So what do you think the reason for that was? Because of the social stigma and the fact I was akward and insecure and didn't give off any sort of warm, positive vibes that told her I was somebody she would want to be with? HA! Yeah right! I thought it was because I wasn't GOOD-LOOKING enough... that's it. Simple. Black and white. Cut and dry. It was all about looks. Nothing more, nothing less. JUST THAT I'M UGLY

"But wait..." My autistic brain says. "Mummy always told you how attractive you are... so why are people not attracted to you?"

That's where the confusion started. The self-doubt. All the moments of "Wait... Am I REALLY attractive then? Is what I led to believe really true?" And most of the time my mental response was "Well, my mum said so, so it must be true!" But people weren't SHOWING ME that they thought I was, and this bugged me.

Flash forward to college. It was a fresh start with new people, lots of opportunities to make new friends and any crap from school stayed in school, so I felt better. I finally felt like I had a group of friends and I could start doing things everyone else was doing years ago! I was doing Performing Arts as well, so I had a massive number of classmates and quite a lot of girls who would OBVIOUSLY be drawn to my beautiful looks, right?

No. So what did I do? I felt like I had to look for validation. After MORE time passed when none of them were throwing themselves at me, I made the fatal mistake of ASKING a few of them if they thought I was good looking.

And what do you think their answer was?

Now, I know FULL WELL that the negative answers to that question were due to the fact that - A) It's a very weird and awkward question to ask, and B) someone acknowledging their own attractiveness is unattractive. Cause it's totally fine for others to point out if you look good with little context, yet as soon as YOU acknowledge this, you immediately look vain and full of yourself. I KNOW THAT NOW, but back then, I didn't, and it just increased my confusion of people not living up to the expectations I had always had.

And here was the other problem - most of my MALE classmates were quite vocal about their histories. Picture it - you're sat in the canteen between classes, a table full of boys all discussing girls they'd slept with, some of whom you knew, where as you had pretty much NOTHING to contribute so you sat there awkwardly. Sound familiar? I'm sure you can imagine how horrible that feels, how INFERIOR you feel to them.

But for me, it wasn't simply a matter of me being "the guy who wasn't good with girls" - in my mind it was deeper, I was "the guy who no girl seemed to want despite the fact he's so much more attractive than every other guy in the room". There were a few girls on my course I was into, but honestly I was too scared to say anything because I knew I'd get turned down for the umpteenth time. I became awkward again. Self-conscious. Feeling like I needed someone to actually acknowledge how gorgeous I am, and it was really getting on my nerves. IF I'M SO ATTRACTIVE WHY IS NOBODY SHOWING THEY THINK SO!?

Before I continue, let me address a question you might have - although I was convinced that people liked or didn't like me purely based off of looks, was I not attracted to someone based off of more than that?

No.

No I wasn't.

As far as I was concerned, if a girl is at least moderately attractive, and she's single - she's a potential girlfriend.

That's it. That's all there was to it.

Although I look back on most of this stuff and I can easily answer most of these reasons why I wasn't successful, this was beyond simply thinking I was drop-dead gorgeous; I was looking for any opportunity to big myself up, a lot of these things I still do - I often find myself looking at my reflection whenever I get the chance to, whether it be mirrors or shop/car windows (that one used to be worse; I'd publicly play with my hair when there's people around). I pick my clothes carefully before social gatherings, because I'm so convinced that wearing the wrong t-shirt or wearing grey jeans over blue ones, or not having shaved for a couple of days, can make the difference between somebody immediately being attracted to me and immediately being uninterested. Tiny things, like a miniscule spot on my chin, or the colour/style of something I'm wearing, or whether my hair is too long or too short or the wrong shape today - If I'm not 100% satisfied with my appearance, I'm less confident and this will come across in my demeanor; I'll be less talkative and end up leaving my friends feeling deflated.

Anyway, after college I went to university and that wasn't much better. Over time as I was growing up I was gradually getting more and more confident and I started to put less importance on the subject. I've now gone through life still not very experienced but not COMPLETELY behind. I graduated university a couple of years ago and I'm currently working as a bartender in a theatre. It's not a perfect job but for where I am right now I get a lot out of it.

But I still have a problem - I've been sitting on the sidelines all this time, gaining experience as it's dripfed into my lap, WHEN it HAPPENS to come my way, where as everybody else I know have been dating and sleeping with each other. AND THIS BUGS ME.

This mindset isn't as intense as it used to be, and I do have solutions to a lot of my previous failures... but this way of thinking hasn't left my head. I still find myself prioritising appearances over personality, not just in myself but in other people as well.

Picture this - I've gone to a party, a mixture of guys and girls, and I know most people there. If the girls aren't acknowledging my presence, either by saying hi when they see me and looking genuinely happy that I'm there... in my mind, that tells me that they aren't attracted to me. Despite the fact that if they are, they might be too shy to tell me.

Now a lot of guys might feel that people aren't attracted to them. And that's alright...

But I'm not most guys. I'm ME. I'm MORE ATTRACTIVE than all those guys. I'm BETTER than all those guys (I know I'm not, but this is still how my mind looks at it) Why are those ugly fuckers that I'm friends with getting somewhere with girls and I'm not? Those girls can SEE how good looking I am, that ALONE is enough for her to be attracted to me, right?

Obviously I know better now. If I don't TALK to them, and SHOW THEM who I am, for them to decide if they like what they see, how are they going to find me attractive?

But all of that NEVER occurred to me in the past.

I'm a logical guy. I know better now...

But my EXPECTATIONS don't.

Here is how I have been feeling for the past year or so - the longer this goes on for (being so much less sexually inexperienced than most people I khow) the more annoyed I've been feeling. I'm SO SICK of seeing guys WORSE LOOKING THAN ME (yes, I know that's a minor thing now, but my mind doesn't see it that way) getting success when I (ME!!) am not getting anything!!

See those girls, in the corner? I've not kissed them. Or dated them. Or slept with them. But other people CAN say that. Not me, OTHERS. I'm not among their body count, and THAT BUGS ME. Those guys sat on the couch, laughing and joking? They've all slept with more girls than me, and THAT bugs me as well. If I look at these guys and I know for a fact that they're more experienced than me (which, 9/10 times, they are) then I immediately feel inferior to them.

In case you can't tell, simply being MORE experienced, for me, isn't enough. I want to live up to the expectations I've had all my life. I want to be THE DON - I want to be the one who's had the most action in the room, the one who can look at each and every girl and list how many times we've boned at weekends, how long I went out with her in the corner. I want the guys to be asking me for advice on what to do... but I have guy friends YEARS younger than me who are WAY more experienced than me. Not only is that not okay to me, it's downright insulting. I'm THE MASTER. THEY should be asking ME.

Are you familiar with the phrase, "If you're the smartest person in the room, then you're in the wrong room"? I get what it means - we should never stop trying to learn from others, but I don't think like that - I DO want to be the smartest guy in the room. The one who everyone looks up to. I want to think I'm SUPERIOR to all these guys. So how do I do that? Simple, by having more sex than all of them.

So if I know the answers now, what's the problem? Well I don't just want to be doing that stuff NOW, I want a HISTORY of doing this stuff. I want to be able to look back through the archives of my brain and say "I did this, I did that" and I want to be able to do all of this while I'm still young - I associate being young with messing around, and since 24 is on the later side of that period I feel like I have to make up for lost time, but I have a lot of ground to cover so I need to be doing all of this NOW!!!!!!!

But the worst part? That horrible mentality is INGRAINED VERY DEEPLY INTO MY MIND AND I CAN'T REMOVE IT NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY. It's been in my head all these years, I can't just remove it by clicking my fingers. It's driving me mad, and because the concept of "establishing an emotional connection" with people has ONLY JUST OCCURRED to me, I feel like I've wasted so much time around people who probably feel they don't know me despite the fact I feel I know them. I haven't spoken enough to people to get them to form an opinion on whether they like me, then complained when they haven't liked me, and I'm really fucking pissed off with it all...

One last thing that I feel I should mention - I've never really been a "can-do" type of person. I struggle to adapt my brain to the idea that if I want something to happen, it needs to be ME to do so. I've always lived a fairly straightforward life where I just assume things will just... "happen". When I was in education, it was simple - I'd go to school/college/university, I'd come home... rinse and repeat. As soon as I graduated university I fell into a deep depression for over a year, because the idea that I'm in control of my own life simply doesn't feel right to me. Things have just happened around me in the past and I've just... well, gone with them. How does this relate to the topic at hand? Simple - me making the first move on a girl doesn't feel natural, my instincts tell me they'll come to me. Combine this with what I think of my appearance and, well, I think you know the rest.

I really need help. I need to stop my brain from expecting everything to fall into my life, but I don't know how. I want people to like me, and I want to break this seemingly endless drought of nothing happening. I want to meet people I like, but I also want to make up for lost time and amass a tally of conquests. All in all, my head's a mess, I'm frustrated and I just really, REALLY want shit to start happening.

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Enail on Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:41 pm

It sounds like you basically know exactly where your thinking's going wrong and why it's not working for you, you understand that you can't have a past you can't have and that focusing on that isn't going to help, and the issue you're having is more that you can't get your brain to cut that shit out even though you know intellectually it's doing you no good? A few thoughts:

-.Do stuff whether or not it feels natural or your deep inner workings are convinced by it. Don't give your brain so much chance to obsess about its favourite topics, distract it by taking action.

- Practice thinking differently. When you notice yourself thinking that other people should see you as superior or that women should be attracted to you or whatever, don't follow down that path or indulge in it, consciously take your brain off that path and set it somewhere different, as many times as you need to. Maybe set yourself some exercises in thinking about people and appearance in different ways, try looking at pictures of people that are young enough or old enough or from a different enough cultural norm of beauty that they don't trigger your focus on attractiveness and just think about their features in a more aesthetic way or an imaginative way, are they expressive, do they look interesting, what kind of stories could you tell about them?

-maybe spend some energy on platonic relationships, and explore various kinds of warm-and-fuzzy feelings where appearance isn't so much a factor. What makes you get excited to keep talking with someone, what makes you have a fun time hanging out, what makes a close friend or family member someone meaningful to you?

-Therapy. This is exactly the kind of problem that therapy is for.
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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Rogue257 on Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:22 am

There’s an issue with stopping my brain from trailing down the superiority path - while I’m well aware that preventing myself thinking I have one-up on most guys is something I probably should stop - part of me doesn’t WANT TO...

Hear me out - confidence is attractive, right? Well what can be more confident than someone who knows they’re more attractive than most people there? While, as I said, I know that mentality is crap, I DO take a lot of pleasure in thinking like that; if I walk into a party thinking I’m the best-looking guy there, I’m gonna be more confident aren’t I? That means I’m gonna be more talkative, I’m gonna carry myself better and seem more warm and friendly, which means I’ll give off more positive vibes and make people want to talk to me more, which can lead to more social possibilities...

On the other hand, if I DON’T think I’m the best-looking guy in the room, then I’m looking at guys thinking they’re better than me because they’re more experienced, and I’m looking at girls feeling pissed off because I’ve not done anything with them, that’s gonna make me insecure in a place where I’m supposed to be having fun, I’ll come across negatively because I’m getting hung up on it and people won’t see me as someone they want to engage with...

If I’m thinking that way then I’m “just a normal guy” - and in my mind, THAT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I don’t want to THINK I’m a normal guy, I want to be the guy who the girls talk about when they’re alone and act shy with when his presence, the one all the guys love being around and can only wish they were him...

Essentially, it’s a case of picking my poison - either I’m confident to the point of delusion, or I’m realistic and feel like crap - and honestly, the former seems like the lesser of two evils.

Also, when you say “platonic relationships”, I assume you mean just get to know people (girls) without any sort of intention as to where you want it to lead? Well I’m sorry, but my mind doesn’t work that way - I don’t like “not being able to see the end goal”. Example, when you’re at university you know you’re getting a degree at the end, right? Okay, there’s all this stuff in between - exams, homework, stress, oversleeping etc - but you KNOW what’s waiting for you AT THE END don’t you? Well that’s the sort of thing I like - I like KNOWING what’s going to happen AT THE END. My mind struggles to accept the concept of putting effort into something unless I know 100% it’s going to pay off - it’s the same thing with applying for jobs, why should I spend all this time and effort putting it all into something that I only MIGHT get? I need SIGNS as to where it’s going otherwise I’m gonna lose interest.

Yes, I have female friends who I ONLY consider a friend, but as for most girls I know - as far as I’m concerned, if they’re single and at least moderately attractive, then they’re a potential girlfriend. Meaning, if I’m speaking to them and not getting the impression they’re into me, it’s gonna make me feel like crap because there’s people in the past they WON’T have turned down, and (in my mind) I’m BETTER than those guys.

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Prajnaparamita on Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:09 am

Hey Rogue, let's talk for a minute about attractiveness--something I've noticed is that you seem to see male attractiveness as a binary, either you have a lot of it or you don't have any at all. But I think its a lot more complex that that.

Take for example my boyfriend--he's someone who, I think on paper at least I imagine you'd think of as the kind of successful dude who you'd aspire to. He's never had to ask women out or work on finding a relationship, the women he dates just make the first move, and he has a decent amount of experience as a result. However, I'm not actually sure he's what you want to be. For instance, I'm not sure I'd say my boyfriend is universally attractive, and especially not what most men consider to be attractive. He's very skinny, with long flowing hair, plump lips, long lashes, and elegant, feminine features. (His nickname used to be Griffith if you wanna get a sense of what I'm talking about). And the women who are attracted to him are overwhelmingly queer ladies who primarily have sex with other women, who are used to making the first move in the relationships that they have. (In addition to all that, he's a submissive/sissy who's into stuff like gender play). He's not a particularly confident dude, he's more like a shy nerd who'd rather be interacting with computers rather than people, but he's aware of the fact that there's a certain type of woman who will often be interested in him, and he's willing to wait and be passive for her to make the first move.

Soooo... I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that some guys have the experience of being that dude who women are seeking out without having to work for it, but it's context specific and also not what a lot of men would actually want for themselves I think. And its not necessarily about attractiveness, or at least not any universal measure of such.

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Enail on Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:42 pm

Rogue257 wrote:There’s an issue with stopping my brain from trailing down the superiority path - while I’m well aware that preventing myself thinking I have one-up on most guys is something I probably should stop - part of me doesn’t WANT TO...

Hear me out - confidence is attractive, right? Well what can be more confident than someone who knows they’re more attractive than most people there? While, as I said, I know that mentality is crap, I DO take a lot of pleasure in thinking like that; if I walk into a party thinking I’m the best-looking guy there, I’m gonna be more confident aren’t I? That means I’m gonna be more talkative, I’m gonna carry myself better and seem more warm and friendly, which means I’ll give off more positive vibes and make people want to talk to me more, which can lead to more social possibilities...

On the other hand, if I DON’T think I’m the best-looking guy in the room, then I’m looking at guys thinking they’re better than me because they’re more experienced, and I’m looking at girls feeling pissed off because I’ve not done anything with them, that’s gonna make me insecure in a place where I’m supposed to be having fun, I’ll come across negatively because I’m getting hung up on it and people won’t see me as someone they want to engage with...

If I’m thinking that way then I’m “just a normal guy” - and in my mind, THAT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH. I don’t want to THINK I’m a normal guy, I want to be the guy who the girls talk about when they’re alone and act shy with when his presence, the one all the guys love being around and can only wish they were him...

Essentially, it’s a case of picking my poison - either I’m confident to the point of delusion, or I’m realistic and feel like crap - and honestly, the former seems like the lesser of two evils.

Well, if you don't want to, you don't want to. There isn't a secret, magic way to simultaneously think that you're superior to everyone else and yet not be arrogant.

You could work on thinking about widening your idea of what makes a person special or superior, recognize that people are multifaceted and value is subjective, and try to give experience less weight in terms of a person's value, on seeing women as human beings instead of trophies that have unfairly not been awarded to you; those things might not be as much of a burst to your bubble, and if you can change your thinking on those a bit it might provide a cushion that would make it easier when you do need to burst it. But I think sooner or later, changing things is going to require taking an unpleasant hit to your ego.

As an alternate option, you could try preserving your sense of superiority but seek out women interested in acting as a trophy and take a more active role in asking them out. There are people who are interested in a fairly mercenary exchange-like relationship, who might be less put off by arrogance and shallowness and who might themselves be less focused on character, personality and connection. However, the pool of women who are conventionally attractive, in your age range, and interested in being a trophy is likely already a very small pool with a disproportionate amount of applicants; I don't think you'll find you can just roll in, be good-looking and expect to get a trophy girlfriend that way. From what little I've seen of the ego-boost market, attractiveness seems to be considered by far the most valuable thing a woman can offer; men seem to have a few more options, but their attractiveness isn't valued as highly, so you'd probably need to find something else marketable that you can offer. Of course, this transactional mindset is quite offputting to a lot of potential dates, so if you aren't quite good at identifying women who are interested in that type of relationship, expect a lot of rejections and possibly some poisoned wells for that reason.


Also, when you say “platonic relationships”, I assume you mean just get to know people (girls) without any sort of intention as to where you want it to lead? Well I’m sorry, but my mind doesn’t work that way - I don’t like “not being able to see the end goal”. Example, when you’re at university you know you’re getting a degree at the end, right? Okay, there’s all this stuff in between - exams, homework, stress, oversleeping etc - but you KNOW what’s waiting for you AT THE END don’t you? Well that’s the sort of thing I like - I like KNOWING what’s going to happen AT THE END. My mind struggles to accept the concept of putting effort into something unless I know 100% it’s going to pay off - it’s the same thing with applying for jobs, why should I spend all this time and effort putting it all into something that I only MIGHT get? I need SIGNS as to where it’s going otherwise I’m gonna lose interest.

Yes, I have female friends who I ONLY consider a friend, but as for most girls I know - as far as I’m concerned, if they’re single and at least moderately attractive, then they’re a potential girlfriend. Meaning, if I’m speaking to them and not getting the impression they’re into me, it’s gonna make me feel like crap because there’s people in the past they WON’T have turned down, and (in my mind) I’m BETTER than those guys.

I meant people in general - women and men. I wasn't talking about being less focused on a goal with women you're attracted to so much as developing your appreciation of things other than attractiveness and human interactions other than 'woman has sex with you,' both because you've correctly noted that that's an extremely unattractive attitude that will put off a lot of potential girlfriends and because it might help reduce your obsession with your own attractiveness.  Do you enjoy the company of your male friends and your female friends who you consider only friends? What do you like about them? What makes you want to achieve the goal of friendship with someone?
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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by OneTrueGuest on Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:34 pm

You need to want to change. And as you've said you don't really want to. I think ideally what you want from us is not advice how to change your behaviour and the way you look at yourself and the world, but to find a way for you to convince others that the way you behave and look at yourself and the world is accurate and that everyone should be treating you the way you think you deserve to be treated.

And that ain't gonna happen. Mostly because changing everyone else (instead of oneself) is impossible.

So it's tough to know what you want from us, and I'm not entirely sure you're ready to hear what we have to say. You have an answer for everything, and I assume you also think your answer for everything is the correct answer instead of just your way of finding another excuse to not really change.

That being said I will say this: confidence is sexy, arrogance is not. And those who are truly confident are so because they know they aren't perfect but that that doesn't make them lesser, and are happy to learn from others and allow others to take the spotlight, because they know that none of the diminishes their own value or worth. True confidence comes with a respect for others, comes with an excitement to learn something more, comes from thinking you look good tonight but not because everyone else looks worse, but because you just look good. Oh! And so does Fred, man those are great shoes, let's find out where they got them! And shit, is that Charlie?? He's finally managed to lose that weight he's been working on for years, I need to go give him a compliment. And is that Jake's new girlfriend, she's totally awesome, can't wait to get to know her.

And so on and so forth.

The fact of the matter is what you are defining as confidence isn't that. It's a mask. It's fake. If someone being better looking, smarter, gets more action can undo your sense of self worth then you ain't got confidence. And apparently women can sense that too. You say you don't get a lot of attention despite women supposedly liking confident hot men. They can probably read the insecurity under the mask. They can probably see the anger you have directed towards them for not finding you the best thing since sliced bread, and towards men for daring to be more successful than you. Quite frankly, they are most wise not being interested in you. Considering you don't even see them as people, just conquests in order to build up your superiority.

You aren't confident. Not even when you think you are. Because your value is dependent on others. And you need to do some serious soul searching and talk to a therapist because you really need to solve this issue. It is so harmful for you, and will only get worse over time. When you are finally ready to take that step, we'll be here to help you along however we can (we aren't exactly trained professionals here of course), but right now, I really don't know what we can offer you. I think you're getting there. I think you're unpacking things more than you have before. That's good. But I still don't think you're actually at a place where you want to truly make a change in your way of thinking.

Please correct me if I'm wrong, of course. I am just a stranger who's never met you and have only your posts to go off of here on a random internet forum. But that's the impression I'm getting at the very least.

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Rogue257 on Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:51 pm

Hey Rogue, let's talk for a minute about attractiveness--something I've noticed is that you seem to see male attractiveness as a binary, either you have a lot of it or you don't have any at all. But I think its a lot more complex that that.

Take for example my boyfriend--he's someone who, I think on paper at least I imagine you'd think of as the kind of successful dude who you'd aspire to. He's never had to ask women out or work on finding a relationship, the women he dates just make the first move, and he has a decent amount of experience as a result. However, I'm not actually sure he's what you want to be. For instance, I'm not sure I'd say my boyfriend is universally attractive, and especially not what most men consider to be attractive. He's very skinny, with long flowing hair, plump lips, long lashes, and elegant, feminine features. (His nickname used to be Griffith if you wanna get a sense of what I'm talking about). And the women who are attracted to him are overwhelmingly queer ladies who primarily have sex with other women, who are used to making the first move in the relationships that they have. (In addition to all that, he's a submissive/sissy who's into stuff like gender play). He's not a particularly confident dude, he's more like a shy nerd who'd rather be interacting with computers rather than people, but he's aware of the fact that there's a certain type of woman who will often be interested in him, and he's willing to wait and be passive for her to make the first move.

Soooo... I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that some guys have the experience of being that dude who women are seeking out without having to work for it, but it's context specific and also not what a lot of men would actually want for themselves I think. And its not necessarily about attractiveness, or at least not any universal measure of such.

I assume by "Griffith" you're referring to the Berserk character? I know who that is, so your analogy makes sense - though I'm nothing like he is, I'm a lot more masculine, and although attracting those types of women isn't in my interest, why would it not be possible to attract another type in that same manner?

The dress-wearing, pretty kind you see at parties, that talk and laugh a lot and are sociable that you always seem to see in groups - THAT'S the kind I want to attract. Is that so unreasonable?

You could work on thinking about widening your idea of what makes a person special or superior, recognize that people are multifaceted and value is subjective, and try to give experience less weight in terms of a person's value, on seeing women as human beings instead of trophies that have unfairly not been awarded to you; those things might not be as much of a burst to your bubble, and if you can change your thinking on those a bit it might provide a cushion that would make it easier when you do need to burst it. But I think sooner or later, changing things is going to require taking an unpleasant hit to your ego.

Okay, to be fair, I didn't clarify this in my original post so I can't blame you or OneTrueGuest for getting this wrong, but because I obviously missed it out, let me set something straight;

I DO NOT JUST SEE WOMEN AS TROPHIES - I see them as PEOPLE who I want to GET TO KNOW. I'm a sociable guy, and I like meeting people regardless of where I want to end up with them. I DO take an interest in their lives, what they do, where they want to be etc.

That being said, I STILL want to know where things are going to lead. If I'm talking to a girl and I don't really feel like I'm into her, for whatever reason, then fair enough, I'd be happy with her as a friend. That's acceptable. But if I think she's pretty and/or interesting, then I'm gonna want to build on that, and if I'm talking to her (whether it's small-talk, or a deeper conversation) and I'm not getting the feeling she's into me, THAT'S when I'll start to feel crap, because I think she obviously should be.

The thing is as well, because I thought for the longest time that looks alone were enough for me, I always thought of getting to know them as "optional". It's not that I didn't want to know them, it just... came second. As far I was concerned, if I was there and they could see me, they'd be attracted to me. Simple. And it's only recently I've caught on that in not doing so, I haven't shown them who I am and therefore they've had nothing to go off, and part of my annoyance is that I now know so many girls I would like to be with that I might have been if I had just engaged with them more.

It's as I said, I've honestly had girls fall for me in the past purely by talking to them, honestly and genuinely so there must be things about me to like, and there HAVE been girls who've made the first move - it's the FREQUENCY this happens (or rather, lack-thereof) that I have a problem with.

Do you enjoy the company of your male friends and your female friends who you consider only friends? What do you like about them? What makes you want to achieve the goal of friendship with someone?

Of course I do, I like having conversations with them (boy and girl) and if someone seems cool and we get along then I'll want to be friends - but if it's a girl, I'll want to be more than that. If it's a MALE friend, I'll feel more comfortable around them if I know they're less experienced than me, though it's not a requirement - I can have a good time with people who are more experienced, but that doesn't mean my brain doesn't take it into account.

The other thing is, if I pursue a friendship with a girl who I'm into because I might want to be with then, I'm often hesitant about getting to know them TOO WELL because I'm worried she'll think of me JUST as a friend. I've made that mistake before, and I just feel like I've spent all that time with them for nothing.

Honestly, one of my biggest pet-peeves is when girls call me "mate" or "pal" or something similar, because it implies to me that that's all I'll ever be to them - even if it's a girl saying it who I'm not into, it still annoys me. I don't believe in the friendzone, but why should I pursue a friendship with a girl when I want more than that?

You need to want to change. And as you've said you don't really want to. I think ideally what you want from us is not advice how to change your behaviour and the way you look at yourself and the world, but to find a way for you to convince others that the way you behave and look at yourself and the world is accurate and that everyone should be treating you the way you think you deserve to be treated.

And that ain't gonna happen. Mostly because changing everyone else (instead of oneself) is impossible.

So it's tough to know what you want from us, and I'm not entirely sure you're ready to hear what we have to say. You have an answer for everything, and I assume you also think your answer for everything is the correct answer instead of just your way of finding another excuse to not really change.

It's kinda hard to just "change" what I've had deeply imbedded into my mind for 20+ years. Even if I know better now, my mind still expects this stuff by default. I go to parties/social gatherings telling myself "Be realistic; don't expect that stuff to happen, just focus on having a good time" but it doesn't work, it's a subconsious thing that pops up when it feels like it. When I see girls talking to other guys, whether it's in that way or not, anxiety will kick in and my mind will be screaming "Why is she talking to him and not me?" and if I can't distract myself by speaking to someone else, that's when I'll start to feel worse and probably end up leaving early.


That being said I will say this: confidence is sexy, arrogance is not. And those who are truly confident are so because they know they aren't perfect but that that doesn't make them lesser, and are happy to learn from others and allow others to take the spotlight, because they know that none of the diminishes their own value or worth. True confidence comes with a respect for others, comes with an excitement to learn something more, comes from thinking you look good tonight but not because everyone else looks worse, but because you just look good. Oh! And so does Fred, man those are great shoes, let's find out where they got them! And shit, is that Charlie?? He's finally managed to lose that weight he's been working on for years, I need to go give him a compliment. And is that Jake's new girlfriend, she's totally awesome, can't wait to get to know her.

I only "think I'm lesser" because I'm worrying about something the other guys stopped worrying about years ago, and because they weren't under the impression most of their lives that they were cream of the crop and good times would fall into their hands - they've lived their lives more realistically, knowing they have to work for what they want - I haven't lived my life that way, in ANY aspect. I don't volunteer to drive the bus, I simply ride it and whatever happens, happens. I complain when things don't happen despite the fact I've never done anything to MAKE them happen. I was never one of those kids that had to learn that hard work paid off... things simply "happened" (or didn't) and I went along with them. I never really had much reason or incentive to think things should be different. Honestly, I may be 24 but I still feel about 17/18.

How is that relevant? Because this demeanor I have isn't just limited to romance, I'm not some misogynistic creature who sees girls as a number on a bedpost (although that would be very nice), I never had to worry about a lot of crap I do now when I was younger, why should I have to now?


The fact of the matter is what you are defining as confidence isn't that. It's a mask. It's fake. If someone being better looking, smarter, gets more action can undo your sense of self worth then you ain't got confidence. And apparently women can sense that too. You say you don't get a lot of attention despite women supposedly liking confident hot men. They can probably read the insecurity under the mask.

Is the term not "fake it till you make it?" If I don't PRETEND I'm confident, where am I supposed to get it from?

They can probably see the anger you have directed towards them for not finding you the best thing since sliced bread, and towards men for daring to be more successful than you. Quite frankly, they are most wise not being interested in you. Considering you don't even see them as people, just conquests in order to build up your superiority.

I'm careful NOT to show them this side of me, just because I'm telling you this doesn't mean I come across this way 24/7. It depends on WHO I'm with, because I'm gonna be more confident around some people than others, and it depends on what mood I'm in.

You aren't confident. Not even when you think you are. Because your value is dependent on others. And you need to do some serious soul searching and talk to a therapist because you really need to solve this issue. It is so harmful for you, and will only get worse over time.

What's wrong with wanting validation from others? How is it any different than being complimented for your hair or because you've lost weight etc? What's the point of me seeing value in myself and things I like about who I am if other people don't like it, or aren't SHOWING ME they like it? And I know it's harmful, hence why I'm here - this is just really hard for me because I want to be the person I've always wanted to be, but I also want to be a good person who's interested in girls as people BUT ALSO gets a lot of action - is that honestly unreasonable?

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Enail on Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:38 pm

Rogue257 wrote:
Okay, to be fair, I didn't clarify this in my original post so I can't blame you or OneTrueGuest for getting this wrong, but because I obviously missed it out, let me set something straight;

I DO NOT JUST SEE WOMEN AS TROPHIES - I see them as PEOPLE who I want to GET TO KNOW. I'm a sociable guy, and I like meeting people regardless of where I want to end up with them. I DO take an interest in their lives, what they do, where they want to be etc.

That being said, I STILL want to know where things are going to lead. If I'm talking to a girl and I don't really feel like I'm into her, for whatever reason, then fair enough, I'd be happy with her as a friend. That's acceptable. But if I think she's pretty and/or interesting, then I'm gonna want to build on that, and if I'm talking to her (whether it's small-talk, or a deeper conversation) and I'm not getting the feeling she's into me, THAT'S when I'll start to feel crap, because I think she obviously should be.

I'm not necessarily saying you don't see women as people - but if you start feeling like crap when anyone you think is attractive (or interesting? earlier you explicitly said appearance was the only thing that mattered to whether you see them as potential girlfriends) isn't interested in you, that means that propping up your idea of yourself is a really important thing to how you're looking at women, and someone that you want primarily to make you look better in the eyes of others or to feel good about yourself is a trophy. That's just what it is. And when you start feeling it's unfair that those trophies aren't being given to you, that's not really seeing the person there at all, because people aren't distributed based on fairness and why on earth would you expect they would be? That may not be the only way you see women, but that particular strain of feeling is not one in which you're thinking of women as people.  

And in the pragmatic sense, if you're prioritizing dating or sleeping with with as many/as attractive women as possible for the sake of your ego as very important and getting to know them as optional, what you're looking for is women to act as trophies for you. I'll admit it's not a mindset or type of relationship I'm terribly fond of but I don't actually mean it in a judgemental way here; I just mean that what you're saying you want from the outside world is women to perform a trophy-function for you, perhaps not in exclusion of other things like personal connection, but you definitely want that trophy function of making you feel superior.

Even if in other contexts or secondarily to that you're interested in women as complex human beings in all their multifaceted wonder, one of the things your question is about is a desire for more woman-trophies. And you're trying to figure out how to balance that desire with the fact that you're aware of some problems with your thinking about the world/your ego, and the fact that you're not managing to get what you want currently.  Does that make more sense and match the situation as you see it better?


The thing is as well, because I thought for the longest time that looks alone were enough for me, I always thought of getting to know them as "optional". It's not that I didn't want to know them, it just... came second. As far I was concerned, if I was there and they could see me, they'd be attracted to me. Simple. And it's only recently I've caught on that in not doing so, I haven't shown them who I am and therefore they've had nothing to go off, and part of my annoyance is that I now know so many girls I would like to be with that I might have been if I had just engaged with them more.

It's as I said, I've honestly had girls fall for me in the past purely by talking to them, honestly and genuinely so there must be things about me to like, and there HAVE been girls who've made the first move - it's the FREQUENCY this happens (or rather, lack-thereof) that I have a problem with.

Okay, so this seems pretty straightforward. If you're frustrated that you could have more of what you're wanting if you were more proactive, starting to be more proactive now is an option. If you want more women to make the first move, working on being more approachable or desirable to women who are willing to make the first move is an option. If the women you're interested in don't seem to be prone to making the first move in general (as opposed to just with you! This might take some observation and getting to know more women), your options are making the first move yourself, seeing if there are women who do approach who you could be interested in, or accepting that you'll get less interest than you'd like.

There aren't time-travel options, and there aren't options that let you simultaneously be passive and get as much selection as you'd be able to get if you were being active about it. So pick what you like or try a mix of them, or decide you need to change your underlying way of thinking to create more possibilities for being happy with the options that exist.


Do you enjoy the company of your male friends and your female friends who you consider only friends? What do you like about them? What makes you want to achieve the goal of friendship with someone?

Of course I do, I like having conversations with them (boy and girl) and if someone seems cool and we get along then I'll want to be friends - but if it's a girl, I'll want to be more than that. If it's a MALE friend, I'll feel more comfortable around them if I know they're less experienced than me, though it's not a requirement - I can have a good time with people who are more experienced, but that doesn't mean my brain doesn't take it into account.

The other thing is, if I pursue a friendship with a girl who I'm into because I might want to be with then, I'm often hesitant about getting to know them TOO WELL because I'm worried she'll think of me JUST as a friend. I've made that mistake before, and I just feel like I've spent all that time with them for nothing.

Honestly, one of my biggest pet-peeves is when girls call me "mate" or "pal" or something similar, because it implies to me that that's all I'll ever be to them - even if it's a girl saying it who I'm not into, it still annoys me. I don't believe in the friendzone, but why should I pursue a friendship with a girl when I want more than that?

That sounds like there are other aspects of human interaction you enjoy, but that they don't feel as strong or as meaningful to you as ones that will affirm your superiority or value? If you're interested in changing your way of thinking, it's possible it'd help to put more energy into exploring interactions that don't touch on your ego as much and see if you can uncover more depth and power in them, but if you don't want to, you don't want to.



It's kinda hard to just "change" what I've had deeply imbedded into my mind for 20+ years. Even if I know better now, my mind still expects this stuff by default. I go to parties/social gatherings telling myself "Be realistic; don't expect that stuff to happen, just focus on having a good time" but it doesn't work, it's a subconsious thing that pops up when it feels like it. When I see girls talking to other guys, whether it's in that way or not, anxiety will kick in and my mind will be screaming "Why is she talking to him and not me?" and if I can't distract myself by speaking to someone else, that's when I'll start to feel worse and probably end up leaving early.

Yes, absolutely, it's hard. If you want to do it, I think you should see a therapist, because like you say, these are deep-seated and subconscious, and it's really hard to make these kinds of changes without the help of a professional. But what you've been saying is that you don't really want to do it, because it is hard and probably painful. We can't make that not be true, so it's really just up to you if you want to try and change the thinking you're aware is unhealthy and causing you problems, or if you want to stay the same.


I only "think I'm lesser" because I'm worrying about something the other guys stopped worrying about years ago, and because they weren't under the impression most of their lives that they were cream of the crop and good times would fall into their hands - they've lived their lives more realistically, knowing they have to work for what they want - I haven't lived my life that way, in ANY aspect. I don't volunteer to drive the bus, I simply ride it and whatever happens, happens. I complain when things don't happen despite the fact I've never done anything to MAKE them happen. I was never one of those kids that had to learn that hard work paid off... things simply "happened" (or didn't) and I went along with them. I never really had much reason or incentive to think things should be different. Honestly, I may be 24 but I still feel about 17/18.

How is that relevant? Because this demeanor I have isn't just limited to romance, I'm not some misogynistic creature who sees girls as a number on a bedpost (although that would be very nice), I never had to worry about a lot of crap I do now when I was younger, why should I have to now?

Because that is how things are? There isn't really any "should" about it, there's just the fact that you are finding yourself faced with a situation where coasting isn't getting you what you want, and doesn't seem very likely to get you what you want in the future, and you get to choose what you will do about that. No, things are not what you expected or learned they would be; okay, what now?


What's wrong with wanting validation from others? How is it any different than being complimented for your hair or because you've lost weight etc? What's the point of me seeing value in myself and things I like about who I am if other people don't like it, or aren't SHOWING ME they like it? And I know it's harmful, hence why I'm here - this is just really hard for me because I want to be the person I've always wanted to be, but I also want to be a good person who's interested in girls as people BUT ALSO gets a lot of action - is that honestly unreasonable?

Seeking validation is fine in moderation, but it sounds like it's making you miserable. For a lot of people, it's really nice being complimented sometimes, it feels great to be validated by others, it hurts a lot if you aren't getting enough external validation, but there's also some internal feeling of validation that just exists, that the person you are is basically good and worthwhile enough even when no one's affirming your wonderfulness or you aren't checking as many boxes as the person next to you. Right now it sounds like you're feeling insecure and wronged and wounded and inferior whenever you're not getting external reassurances that you're the best, so if you find that an unpleasant and precarious-feeling situation, learning to give yourself some of that base reassurance could make it less critical to get that intense level of external validation and maybe free up your brain to focus on other things you might find you enjoy more and be happy with the good things you're already aware of about yourself and your situation.
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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by OneTrueGuest on Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:42 pm

It's unreasonable when they don't really work together. Yes there are guys who can do both those things, yay. But for you, you are so obsessed with conquests and having the numbers that there is no way that you actually see girls as people. I mean, the girls you're attracted to as people. Yes you find them interesting, yes you like talking with them, but as you've said it's all with the end game in mind. There is no way you look at a woman you are interested in and don't think, "Can I get points from that." And that's inherently dehumanizing. Sorry. That's why doing both those things are incompatible. And let's be honest here dude, if you could get laid all the time and be the guy who has had the most sex ever and the guy that all other guys asked sex advice from but you didn't hang out with women as people also, I bet you'd be okay with that. Your priority is the latter, not the former.

As for validation: it's a tricky beast. Yes we want the outside world to validate us, and there's nothing wrong with that. But ultimately comparing yourself constantly to others and unless you are the best you're depressed? That's not good. That's taking it to a whole other level where your entire existence depends on the kindness of strangers (and friends). You need to eventually develop a sense of self worth that exists even if you aren't the top whatever in the room.

As for fake it till you make it . . . well I mean that works in some situations not all. And quite frankly, this fake confidence isn't making it for you is it? So maybe it's time to get real. Maybe a bit of vulnerability and honesty is what is required now in your relationships with others. Maybe pretending you are the best at all the things is boring as crap for other people. I have news for you, no one likes that "perfect" guy/gal. They are boring. People relate to people who are human, with flaws, with a weird sense of humour, with human hobbies and vulnerabilities. People might admire the smartest man in the room for a while, but they'll also not want to be vulnerable with him. They'll want to hang with fellow misfits, not the prince of perfection.

And you say women don't notice that your confidence is a mask? Then why aren't they all over you then? Like this happens so much here, a guy comes along, talks about some pretty toxic attitudes, others say "Hey that might be contributing to your issues" and he's all "oh don't worry I'm a genius at making sure no one can tell". Gotta wonder . . . all these amazing actors hiding their true selves so effectively that . . . they still can't get girls. Hmm . . . maybe just maybe you aren't hiding things as well as you think you are. Like it's not about literally telling people the truth, people can sense things in your body language, your energy levels. If you shut down when you aren't feeling the best in the room all the time as you've described, I bet people notice that.

And yeah, I get that it's way harder to change than to realise one has to change. That's why we've suggested therapy. The first step though might be to consider that you aren't the smartest guy in the room and that maybe some of us have insights you haven't thought of. Instead of coming back with excuse after excuse, actually think about what people here have said. That's a great first step in real change. Also . . . I mean . . . what you're doing now isn't working. You aren't getting the girls. With all your smartest most handsome stuff, you aren't getting the girls. So maybe just maybe you need to try something else. I mean if you're so smart, surely you can see that if you keep doing the same thing and it isn't working that maybe it's time to try something different? Like maybe you can trick your brain that way. "Okay, I'm a smart guy, but smarts aren't doing it. My fake confidence isn't working. And for some reason my looks aren't either. So despite what I was taught clearly evidence shows that what I was taught was wrong. So, what can I with my intelligence figure out to solve this problem?"

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Datelessman on Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:11 pm

Hey Rogue. There is a ton of great advice above for you.

My take is you're in the middle of cognitive dissonance - your mind is trying to hold two logically opposed positions at once and it usually causes stress eventually. You're also realizing that the world isn't how your envisioned it nor what your old authority figure - your mother - seemed to promise it was. You're also wading through a stew of toxic ideas about masculinity and dating. You've realized there's a problem, which is step one, and the next step is resolving what you can or are willing to change about yourself regarding it.

What leaped out at me about your statements was your obsession with attractiveness and your attempts to "leap frog" over "steps in the process". You seem to have a rigid definition of women you talk to in the hopes of romantic potential and everyone else. And you prefer to see romance as an end goal in most of your interactions with women. It is very difficult if not impossible to hide some of these feelings from other people. The sense that someone believes a conversation or getting to know someone is just tedious procedure to get to "the good stuff" is very hard to hide, and is sadly common in a lot of men. Very few people tend to enjoy the sense that someone sees them as a quota or an end goal rather than as an individual.

Attractiveness is hardly a universal thing regardless of gender or orientation. Not even the Marvel Chris Universe - Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt - are universal examples. Regardless of how "hot" a man is there will always be women who are not into him physically for their own taste reasons. Heck, I've seen more than one woman online who claimed Chris Pratt was more attractive to them during his "PARKS" phase before he dropped 20+ lbs to get a beefy "superhero" body. Also, because of gender norms and social facts, men and women see and act on attractiveness a little differently. It is partly is due to risk. For men, the risk of a lover of the opposite sex being physically and/or emotionally abusive, as well as society punishing them for making an outward display of attraction, is very low. Therefore, it is easy for men such as yourself to seem to want to immediately want to sleep with someone just because of physical looks. Now, while women can surely go GA GA for a piece of man-meat just the same, they have other challenges to face. They face a society which, despite much progress made to change this, looks at a woman's desire and judges it if she is too "forward" or "blunt" about it. The risk that a woman faces of a man being emotionally/physically abusive is also much, much higher - and physical attractiveness has NOTHING to do to resolve this. From her POV, a handsome man is just as likely to be a potential danger than a hideous one. In addition, it is often more difficult for a woman to have enjoyable sex than men, and she faces more biological risk from it. Therefore most women at least want or look for another attractive quality. Are people (not just men or women, but people) willing to give physically attractive people more of an initial chance on average? Yes. But that's all it is - an initial chance. A shop with a bright neon sign will attract more attention than one without one, but it still has to offer something that the entering party desires.

Looks alone won't be enough; you still have to talk to women and offer something about yourself in addition which is appealing to them. You mentioned at least two women in the past who were attracted by your looks alone. What happened? Because even if your looks got their attention, you still need to actually talk to them and form a genuine connection.

And here is where your beliefs hurt you. If you genuinely believe you're superior to most men and are entitled to a woman's desire, you come off as arrogant. If you see conversations as tedious procedure, you come off as cold. And a man focused entirely on physical looks is worrying because women are told pretty much by the time they're born that looks are fleeting (i.e. at their peak when young, regardless of fact or counter example) and they require a lot of costly and tiring "work" to do (make-up, etc.). Looks, more than anything, are a performance, and nobody likes to be judged on it 24/7. A man obsessed with that gives the impression that he may stray or lose interest if her performance ever falters, and this is tiring and distressing.

Therapy, as suggested, is a great idea for you. You also need to define yourself by more than your own beliefs of physical superiority. A hobby, a job, a passion, something other than work and dating. And finally you need to stop judging women by their looks and all interactions by how quickly or slowly it leads to romance. Allow conversations to just be and form connections with people who you are not romantically interested in - especially women. You need to see them as people, not objects. No woman likes being objectified, even by wealthy powerful men. Just look at the #MeToo movement.
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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Enail on Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:50 pm

While they might come from the same underlying mindset, I think using #MeToo as an example of women not liking to be objectified is pretty minimizing to the actual harassment and assault the #MeToo hashtag is about.
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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Datelessman on Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:39 pm

Enail wrote:While they might come from the same underlying mindset, I think using #MeToo as an example of women not liking to be objectified is pretty minimizing to the actual harassment and assault the #MeToo hashtag is about.

Noted.
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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Rogue257 on Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:28 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice so far, it means a lot.

I realise I've only told you part of my train of thought and you only have what information I give you to form an opinion here, but I DO mean it when I say I'n not just interested in interacting with girls to get something at the end. Yes, a lot of the time I say I would like it to go somewhere, but I don't feel like this 100% of the time nor do am I interested in romantically in 100% of girls I know.

A lot of this is just me venting, these thoughts come and go, it's just I've bottled them up for years and years and only just started telling people about it because it's driving me crazy.

Anyway, some more responses;


Even if in other contexts or secondarily to that you're interested in women as complex human beings in all their multifaceted wonder, one of the things your question is about is a desire for more woman-trophies. And you're trying to figure out how to balance that desire with the fact that you're aware of some problems with your thinking about the world/your ego, and the fact that you're not managing to get what you want currently. Does that make more sense and match the situation as you see it better?

Ideally. I know it's wrong to want them for that reason, and I try to supress it but all I want is to be more successful so I can stop worrying about this crap. It's been going on way too long and I'm just fed up of it...

Seeking validation is fine in moderation, but it sounds like it's making you miserable. For a lot of people, it's really nice being complimented sometimes, it feels great to be validated by others, it hurts a lot if you aren't getting enough external validation, but there's also some internal feeling of validation that just exists, that the person you are is basically good and worthwhile enough even when no one's affirming your wonderfulness or you aren't checking as many boxes as the person next to you. Right now it sounds like you're feeling insecure and wronged and wounded and inferior whenever you're not getting external reassurances that you're the best, so if you find that an unpleasant and precarious-feeling situation, learning to give yourself some of that base reassurance could make it less critical to get that intense level of external validation and maybe free up your brain to focus on other things you might find you enjoy more and be happy with the good things you're already aware of about yourself and your situation.

Here's something you've all made me consider over the last day or two;

I think "needing validation" is at the root of all this.

The more I think about it, the more accurate it feels - this isn't just about looks, I ALWAYS want people to highlight my good qualities and I get irritated when they don't, even if I know they think it deep down I still want to hear them SAY IT. On social media, if I post something and it doesn't get any likes, or only a couple, that REALLY makes me feel down. I barely upload photos of myself to Facebook, because they get very few likes and even when I do get likes it's usually the same people. That doesn't feel satisfying at all, so a lot of the time I don't bother.

Take, for example, one of my friends - he's less confident than I am, and most if not all of the photos he uploads of himself are the same sort of thing (same style, same angle etc) yet his photos get a lot more likes than mine do, and all I can think is WHY?? Take into account that I have more friends than him and - you know I'm gonna say it - I'm better looking (opinion, I know, but that's how I feel).

Another example - I made a Facebook account approxiately 8 years ago, and you know what I immediately wanted? A big, BIG friends list. Why would I NOT want a massive archive of people at my fingertips who I could talk to at any moment? I was 16 at the time and I saw people I knew as young as 14 with 1000+ friends and I felt really jealous, I WANTED THAT.

I know what you're gonna say, "likes on Facebook don't represent your worth"... I agree. But that doesn't mean I don't want to feel that. I post photos, and share memes, and put statuses just like everyone else - so why do the things I put (ESPECIALLY photos) generally get next to no likes, yet if a good percentage of people on my friends list posted the EXACT SAME THING, it would get A LOT MORE likes? It makes no sense to me and I want them to like the stuff I put up.

You know those people who say they have "too many people on their friends list"? That always puzzled me, why would you only want a FEW friends when you can have LOTS of friends? I've always prioritized knowing MORE people over knowing the same people better. Nowadays I can understand that better, I have just under 1000 friends and I already feel like my friends list is cluttered, but I still want to feel that sense of popularity even though I know it's fake. Overplayed or not, it's still nice

Maybe it's because for the first 18 years of my life I was continually being put down by my peers, and some authority figures, when people I thought of as worse-off than me (not just in terms of looks) were a lot more successful, this is my underdog complex getting restless? I don't know.

And it should probably go without saying, but I can't see myself through other people's eyes - if other people don't give me feedback, be it good or bad, how am I supposed to know what people like about me?

It's unreasonable when they don't really work together. Yes there are guys who can do both those things, yay. But for you, you are so obsessed with conquests and having the numbers that there is no way that you actually see girls as people. I mean, the girls you're attracted to as people. Yes you find them interesting, yes you like talking with them, but as you've said it's all with the end game in mind. There is no way you look at a woman you are interested in and don't think, "Can I get points from that." And that's inherently dehumanizing. Sorry. That's why doing both those things are incompatible. And let's be honest here dude, if you could get laid all the time and be the guy who has had the most sex ever and the guy that all other guys asked sex advice from but you didn't hang out with women as people also, I bet you'd be okay with that. Your priority is the latter, not the former.

Are you honestly going to tell me that there's people you know of the opposite sex (assuming you're straight) and even though you're perfectly happy with where you stand with them, you'd jump at the chance to be more than friends if they turned around one day and decided that's what they want? There's nothing weird about wanting a friendship to turn into that, though I will concede that it's stupid to want that from absolutely everybody - which I don't. I know two girls who have recently broke up with their boyfriends - both very nice and very pretty, and we get along well - and both were WITH their boyfriends when I met them, so I simply spoke to them as friends since I never expected anything to come out of it.

Now they've broke up, do I immediately see them as potential girlfriends? Not really, because I'm not USED to thinking of those particular people that way. If they showed interest in me then maybe I'd try and test the water, but just because I want to be experienced doesn't mean I'll just fuck anything with a pulse.

You need to eventually develop a sense of self worth that exists even if you aren't the top whatever in the room.

As stated above - if I'm not being told what people like about me, how am I supposed to know what there is to like?


As for fake it till you make it . . . well I mean that works in some situations not all. And quite frankly, this fake confidence isn't making it for you is it? So maybe it's time to get real. Maybe a bit of vulnerability and honesty is what is required now in your relationships with others. Maybe pretending you are the best at all the things is boring as crap for other people. I have news for you, no one likes that "perfect" guy/gal. They are boring. People relate to people who are human, with flaws, with a weird sense of humour, with human hobbies and vulnerabilities. People might admire the smartest man in the room for a while, but they'll also not want to be vulnerable with him. They'll want to hang with fellow misfits, not the prince of perfection.

If I feel "vulnerable" then I don't feel confident. If I don't feel confident, when am I going to get anywhere? Then I'm just insecure, and what girl likes someone who's insecure?

I mean if you're so smart, surely you can see that if you keep doing the same thing and it isn't working that maybe it's time to try something different? Like maybe you can trick your brain that way. "Okay, I'm a smart guy, but smarts aren't doing it. My fake confidence isn't working. And for some reason my looks aren't either. So despite what I was taught clearly evidence shows that what I was taught was wrong. So, what can I with my intelligence figure out to solve this problem?"

I know what I need to do - think more realistically, focus more on forming bonds with people and to be patient - but my issue is that none of this can be done in a short time when what I want to do is MAKE UP for LOST time, and I'm trying to figure out a way to do that without dehumanising women.

My take is you're in the middle of cognitive dissonance - your mind is trying to hold two logically opposed positions at once and it usually causes stress eventually. You're also realizing that the world isn't how your envisioned it nor what your old authority figure - your mother - seemed to promise it was. You're also wading through a stew of toxic ideas about masculinity and dating. You've realized there's a problem, which is step one, and the next step is resolving what you can or are willing to change about yourself regarding it.

Precisely - I know those views are wrong, but I'm sick to death of being the least experienced guy in the room 9/10 times and I just want to do some making-up to compensate for it, and I don't feel I can do that by being the same insecure person I've always been - hence why I want to feel above everyone.

What leaped out at me about your statements was your obsession with attractiveness and your attempts to "leap frog" over "steps in the process". You seem to have a rigid definition of women you talk to in the hopes of romantic potential and everyone else. And you prefer to see romance as an end goal in most of your interactions with women. It is very difficult if not impossible to hide some of these feelings from other people. The sense that someone believes a conversation or getting to know someone is just tedious procedure to get to "the good stuff" is very hard to hide, and is sadly common in a lot of men. Very few people tend to enjoy the sense that someone sees them as a quota or an end goal rather than as an individual.

I HAVE honestly been a bit worried that people have got that vibe in the past, and to be honest any time when I HAVE been successful has generally been a time when I haven't been thinking of that - they've obviously seen the real me and liked what they've seen. My issue, again, is this doesn't happen as often as I would like.

Attractiveness is hardly a universal thing regardless of gender or orientation. Not even the Marvel Chris Universe - Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt - are universal examples. Regardless of how "hot" a man is there will always be women who are not into him physically for their own taste reasons.

Don't worry, I'm well aware of that, but surely thinking you're attractive can only be a good thing?

Looks alone won't be enough; you still have to talk to women and offer something about yourself in addition which is appealing to them. You mentioned at least two women in the past who were attracted by your looks alone. What happened? Because even if your looks got their attention, you still need to actually talk to them and form a genuine connection.

It was just that - we talked. I know when someone's into me, I can see it in their eyes and it feels amazing, but I always feel it when I don't really want to and I DON'T feel it when I DO want to, and I can't make up for lost time by waiting around, I need to be FEELING that more often.

And here is where your beliefs hurt you. If you genuinely believe you're superior to most men and are entitled to a woman's desire, you come off as arrogant. If you see conversations as tedious procedure, you come off as cold. And a man focused entirely on physical looks is worrying because women are told pretty much by the time they're born that looks are fleeting (i.e. at their peak when young, regardless of fact or counter example) and they require a lot of costly and tiring "work" to do (make-up, etc.). Looks, more than anything, are a performance, and nobody likes to be judged on it 24/7. A man obsessed with that gives the impression that he may stray or lose interest if her performance ever falters, and this is tiring and distressing.

There ARE people I haven't been attracted to at first because of looks, but upon spending more time talking to them I've discovered more I've liked - but that doesn't mean it's not important to me. It's a mental habit burned into my brain, I simply don't think I could be with someone I don't find physically attractive. They don't have to look like a model, but I can't be happy with JUST a personality.

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Enail on Tue Oct 31, 2017 6:46 pm

Replying to random bits here wherever I have thoughts.

Rogue257 wrote:
And it should probably go without saying, but I can't see myself through other people's eyes - if other people don't give me feedback, be it good or bad, how am I supposed to know what people like about me?


Why do you need to know what people like about you? I'm not being flip here, that's a serious question.

Of course it feels good to know someone likes something about you, and there are practical reasons it can be helpful to get feedback about yourself sometimes. But your existence, or even your possibility of being liked, doesn't depend on being constantly updated on the reactions of as many people as possible.

As stated above - if I'm not being told what people like about me, how am I supposed to know what there is to like?

Do you have any opinions of your own about what you like about yourself, that aren't based on what someone else likes about you?  You're still a person even when no one else is around.


If I feel "vulnerable" then I don't feel confident. If I don't feel confident, when am I going to get anywhere? Then I'm just insecure, and what girl likes someone who's insecure?

Dating advice focuses a lot on confidence, and there are reasons being confident is helpful for dating, but that doesn't mean that rock-solid confidence is necessary or even important to every woman. Maybe it'd work better for you to focus on developing some of the about confidence that making it helpful and finding ways to deal with the aspects of insecurity that can be unappealing.


I know what I need to do - think more realistically, focus more on forming bonds with people and to be patient - but my issue is that none of this can be done in a short time when what I want to do is MAKE UP for LOST time, and I'm trying to figure out a way to do that without dehumanising women.

The past has past and nothing you do in the present will change the past, and it seems like trying is having a negative effect on your present. Maybe you need to figure out a way to live with the past you have, and work on building a future you can be happy with in its own right.



I HAVE honestly been a bit worried that people have got that vibe in the past, and to be honest any time when I HAVE been successful has generally been a time when I haven't been thinking of that - they've obviously seen the real me and liked what they've seen. My issue, again, is this doesn't happen as often as I would like.

That's interesting; don't you think working on bringing out the real you more often might be a good way to make it happen more, then?

There ARE people I haven't been attracted to at first because of looks, but upon spending more time talking to them I've discovered more I've liked - but that doesn't mean it's not important to me. It's a mental habit burned into my brain, I simply don't think I could be with someone I don't find physically attractive. They don't have to look like a model, but I can't be happy with JUST a personality.

I don't think there's anything wrong with caring about physical attraction, and I don't think it's ever a good idea to ignore your own attraction or lack thereof. But it sounds like the range of what you find attractive is wider than just what you find attractive on first glance.
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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Rogue257 on Tue Oct 31, 2017 7:17 pm

Why do you need to know what people like about you? I'm not being flip here, that's a serious question.

Because I want to be someone who other people like - not just in that sense. If I'm NOT like that, and I actually sat back and thought to myself "I'm somebody who other people DON'T like" then why in the world would I be okay with that?

Do you have any opinions of your own about what you like about yourself, that aren't based on what someone else likes about you? You're still a person even when no one else is around.

Of course;

*I love acting, I've been in various plays/musicals over the years and I'd love to do it professionally one day
*I'm sociable and not afraid to talk to strangers
*I'm outgoing and fun-loving
*I have a great sense of humour and I don't believe there's any situation you can't make a laugh and a joke out of
*Being very tall isn't just my height, it's part of my identity. It's often a conversation starter with strangers

Amongst other things, but I don't want to be the only person who sees all this. I want other people to see it too, and like it, and be ATTRACTED to it...

The past has past and nothing you do in the present will change the past, and it seems like trying is having a negative effect on your present. Maybe you need to figure out a way to live with the past you have, and work on building a future you can be happy with in its own right.

I might not be able to change the past but I can MAKE history NOW, and to me, that means sleeping with girls instead of simply sitting by and hearing about my friends doing it. I'm sick of being "that guy" and I want to do something about it. I'm a lot of things, but patient isn't one of them.

If I just get a little more successful now, the rest will then come and I'll be more confident naturally - but the fact is, right now NOTHING IS HAPPENING and that's what's messing me up so much...

That's interesting; don't you think working on bringing out the real you more often might be a good way to make it happen more, then?

But the real me ISN'T CONFIDENT and I DON'T LIKE THAT...

At the end of every year, I literally go into the new year wanting this stuff to finally get resolved, and every year is YET ANOTHER YEAR where other people have been doing this stuff and I haven't, and the longer it goes on the more messed-up I get.

I can't let this go. When this stuff starts happening, I'll loosen up and get on with my life. I'm not even joking when I say this is more important to me than getting my own place, or getting a full-time job etc... because any plans I want for the future DO NOT involve worrying about crap like this...

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Enail on Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:33 pm

Rogue257 wrote:
Why do you need to know what people like about you? I'm not being flip here, that's a serious question.

Because I want to be someone who other people like - not just in that sense. If I'm NOT like that, and I actually sat back and thought to myself "I'm somebody who other people DON'T like" then why in the world would I be okay with that?

Except not knowing what other people like about you doesn't automatically mean "I'm somebody who other people DON'T like." That sounds like you feel that unless you've got a consistent feed of confirmation that people do like you, you're disliked.


Amongst other things, but I don't want to be the only person who sees all this. I want other people to see it too, and like it, and be ATTRACTED to it...

Sure, wanting other people to see your good traits and be attracted to them makes sense, but you asked how you're supposed to know what there is to like about you if you're not being told what other people like about you. Your own opinions of yourself are one way people generally know that. It's not that external validation doesn't play a role in that, but most people don't get a constant stream of compliments and beautiful strangers hitting on them, and if that's what you need to feel okay about yourself, you're probably never going to get it. It sounds like you're depending on it so heavily that it's dominating a lot of your life and making you unhappy. This is definitely the kind of thing that would be good to talk to a therapist about.  

That's interesting; don't you think working on bringing out the real you more often might be a good way to make it happen more, then?

But the real me ISN'T CONFIDENT and I DON'T LIKE THAT...

Okay, if you've tended to be more successful with women when you're showing more of the real you, then the fact that you don't like that the real you isn't confident seems like a separate issue from having women be interested in you, and may not be resolved by having "enough" women be interested in you.  


At the end of every year, I literally go into the new year wanting this stuff to finally get resolved, and every year is YET ANOTHER YEAR where other people have been doing this stuff and I haven't, and the longer it goes on the more messed-up I get.

I can't let this go. When this stuff starts happening, I'll loosen up and get on with my life. I'm not even joking when I say this is more important to me than getting my own place, or getting a full-time job etc... because any plans I want for the future DO NOT involve worrying about crap like this...

You know waiting on X and Y to happen to be able to live your life isn't working. You know that a lot of your mindset is causing you to behave in ways that are counterproductive to your ostensible goals and you've identified an underlying issue that's making this take up so much of your life and make you unhappy. Go see a therapist and start dealing with the real problem.
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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Prajnaparamita on Wed Nov 01, 2017 6:39 pm

Rogue257 wrote:
At the end of every year, I literally go into the new year wanting this stuff to finally get resolved, and every year is YET ANOTHER YEAR where other people have been doing this stuff and I haven't, and the longer it goes on the more messed-up I get.

I can't let this go. When this stuff starts happening, I'll loosen up and get on with my life. I'm not even joking when I say this is more important to me than getting my own place, or getting a full-time job etc... because any plans I want for the future DO NOT involve worrying about crap like this...

You know Rogue, I dated for a period a guy who was a 25 year old virgin, who prior to me had no dating or sexual experience. And the thing is, he had worries of his own, but these worries were things like "will I ever be able to make it as an author?" or "could I make enough from my job tutoring English as a Second Language students to move into a less crappy apartment?" He didn't worry about when he was going to lose his virginity or his lack of experience because the attitude he decided to take was "well, it will happen when it happens and for now I'll just try asking women out occasionally and seeing how it goes". What I'm trying to say is, YOU GET TO CHOOSE WHAT IT IS THAT YOU WORRY ABOUT. You can choose that in your future you won't be worrying about crap like this and instead take a far healthier mindset because THAT IS WITHIN YOUR CONTROL. And if you feel like that is something you simply can't do, that its too much to control these intrusive thoughts and they feel like they're constantly taking over then I strongly advise you take up Enail's advice and seek out a therapist so that you can work on cognitive strategies to get them under control.

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Re: I've grown up thinking I'm super-attractive and that anyone would want me

Post by Datelessman on Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:12 am

Rogue257 wrote:
Precisely - I know those views are wrong, but I'm sick to death of being the least experienced guy in the room 9/10 times and I just want to do some making-up to compensate for it, and I don't feel I can do that by being the same insecure person I've always been - hence why I want to feel above everyone.

I can absolutely sympathize with feeling like "the least experienced guy in the room" and wanting "to do some making up to compensate". I spent my later teens and most of my 20's feeling this way. I absolutely understand the social and peer pressure that exists, even if it isn't explicit and direct.

But one term you use is key - compensation. To a degree everyone tries to compensate for their flaws, whether real or perceived (and they can overlap). The difference is how someone does so, and covering it up with a false sense of superiority isn't and probably won't do you any favors. It's called "false bravado" and is as common with guys as mirror selfies. In the end it never works. Trust this from personal experience. I used to make up entire false narratives about myself and heavily embellish my own past during my teens and early 20's so much that I used to mentally rehearse the lines over and over so I never slipped up over details. I envisioned the false "script" and "character" would help me "fake it 'till I made it". The thing is it never worked. It wasn't genuine, and the more barriers you put up between others and expressing your most genuine self, the more difficult it may be.

By all means, you don't have to wear your insecurity on your sleeve. But at the same time, giving off a vibe of superiority can be just as big a turn off. Trust me, as a guy who interacts with other men, dudes who think they're all that when they're not is as common as oxygen. It's almost male-default. And usually the best thing to do is figure out ways to stand out from the pack, not just with looks or height, but attitude, action, and hobby.

Plus, while I understand the pressure to "keep up with the guys" in so many words, but directly seeing dating as a numbers game to rack up the bedpost notches also won't do you any favors. Comparing your life to the lives of others usually will just make you miserable. I mean I get it. But if a woman got the sense that you were only eager to date her to "make up for lost time" or be able to share stories with the dudes or line up with them, it makes her feel like a number or a trophy than a person who is genuinely loved or treated well.

I HAVE honestly been a bit worried that people have got that vibe in the past, and to be honest any time when I HAVE been successful has generally been a time when I haven't been thinking of that - they've obviously seen the real me and liked what they've seen. My issue, again, is this doesn't happen as often as I would like.

It doesn't happen as much as most people would like. That's a pretty universal experience, unfortunately, across all genders and orientations.

If revealing your genuine self without obsessing over feelings of virginity or superiority seems to bring success, then try to figure out ways to cultivate this in ways which are comfortable and socially appropriate.

Don't worry, I'm well aware of that, but surely thinking you're attractive can only be a good thing?

Like any good thing, when done in moderation. It's a lesson as old as time, such as evidenced in the myth of Narcissus.

It was just that - we talked. I know when someone's into me, I can see it in their eyes and it feels amazing, but I always feel it when I don't really want to and I DON'T feel it when I DO want to, and I can't make up for lost time by waiting around, I need to be FEELING that more often.

Then you need to do things to interact with more varieties of people so you feel it more often with people you are into. Certain activities and settings increase the odds of this better than others.

"Feel it when you don't really want to?" Does this mean feeling someone is into you that you're not into? Or when you're not in the mood for dating? Much like before, this is unfortunately another universal thing.

For a lot of people, myself included, there's this desire to try to figure a way out of the misunderstandings, humiliations, and failures that come part in parcel with dating. Especially when you feel you're "behind" via whatever measure you're using, the need for shortcuts seems to increase. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts and no ways around them.

There ARE people I haven't been attracted to at first because of looks, but upon spending more time talking to them I've discovered more I've liked - but that doesn't mean it's not important to me. It's a mental habit burned into my brain, I simply don't think I could be with someone I don't find physically attractive. They don't have to look like a model, but I can't be happy with JUST a personality.

Nobody would suggest you date people that you don't have physical attraction to. It does seem like you have some flexibility, which is good. The best thing to do is to give people a chance, just as you'd hope they did with you.
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