Depression and dating

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Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:09 am

Ooh, there's a new DNL forum? Hooray! \o/ Heart

Some of you may remember me from the old forum. If so, hi! If not, hi anyway! For those who haven't met me before, I'm a 24 year old, depressed, lonely male with a grand total of zero experience with romance and other such matters of the heart. I have yet to go onto a first date, I haven't had a first kiss, and I'm still a virgin. During last August, I went through a regimen of electroconvulsive therapy, which helped me become more active and productive, but sadly did not help me get over my complete and utter lack of romantic contact. Now, we also have that terrible day known as Valentine's Day, which seems to exist for two reasons: One, to sell heart-themed candy and toys, and two, to eternally torment every single, unloved person in the country.

Towards the end of last year, I started going to a weekly board game meetup at a local cafe, and one of the servers there immediately caught my eye. She was beautiful, had a very pleasant voice, was kind, caring, and compassionate, and just ticked off all sorts of boxes on my checklist. Moreover, she told me that she would be working at the cafe during our board game meetups a few weeks after she started. Jump forward to the holidays, when I get it in my head that I'd like to start dating her. On the 23rd of December, on my way out for the night, I ask her if she's got any plans for the holidays, and she casually responds saying that she was going to spend it with her boyfriend. The next sounds I heard were my hopes committing suicide by jumping off of the edge of the Grand Canyon.

I must be stuck in some sort of time paradox. Without fail, this is what happens: I meet someone whom I start to fall for, I spend a few months around her saying hi and doing small talk, I get it in my head to start probing for any sort of romantic interest, and I get a face full of mud when she tells me she's already involved with someone else. At this point, I would be legitimately surprised if I could get a damn prostitute, since at this point, I expect anyone I have any sort of interest in to take one look at me and decide "NopenopenopenopeNOPENOPENOPE". It seems to be the defining factor in my complete inability to get more than a passing glance.

I'm starting to lose what little hope I've held onto for this long. I've been failing trying to find someone for what seems like 10 years, the girls I am attracted to aren't single, and the rest of them do not show me any sort of attention or interest. Is there any hope for someone like me, who seems to indeed be romantically and sexually invisible, or should I resign myself to dying with my virginity alone in my seventies?

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by The Wisp on Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:23 am

First, I'm glad you've made so much progress. It sounds like you're doing far better than when you were when we last heard from you Smile

You should realize that the new you, who actually gets up and goes out and is productive, is very new. If I recall correctly, before the electro therapy you couldn't even get the motivation to shower. So, give yourself props for taking care of yourself by getting the therapy and making the most of that. From that perspective, your window to start dating opened very recently, less than six months ago, rather than ten years ago. To conclude that you're going to fail at dating for the rest of your life because of a few bad months is not rational, the sample size is too small.

If you want advice on specific skills, I'm sure people here can help!
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:27 pm

ReploidArmada, good to see you here! I'm glad to hear the therapy helped and you're doing so much better.

I very much second TheWisp's comment. And don't forget, the fact is that a fair percentage of people you encounter randomly will be unavailable, uninterested in dating at the moment, not interested in people of your gender... not actually a part of your potential dating pool for reasons that have little to do with you. If you assume that any rejection is a sign that no one will ever want to date you, you're going to be discouraging yourself unnecessarily. (And doubly so if you have a habit of pinning your romantic hopes on servers and other people who are working - chances are pretty good they're not thinking about dating at all while they're at work, they just want to do their job, so they're not a terribly likely prospect as a group.)

Getting rejections is a very normal part of trying to date people, no matter who you are or how desirable.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by OneTrueGuest on Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:33 pm

I should also add that there are two kinds of conclusions you can draw from this repeated pattern. Yes there's the one you've drawn that fate is out to get you and that everyone you like is taken and that you spend months wanting someone only to have your hopes dashed. Or there's the lesson that maybe instead of spending months watching and hoping, you talk with the person, ask them questions if they have a partner or not, or even ask them out right away so that then you don't spend months pining over someone who is unavailable.

I do understand the wonderful ability for depression to distort reality (I have it myself) so I in no way mean to imply "just do this, sheesh". But I just wanted to point out that your brain is making this situation into a far bigger deal than it is. Like enail said, everyone gets rejected. And everyone has been in your situation, pining after someone only to learn they aren't free (heck that used to be me all the time, I felt like I must be the only single person on the planet at times). So the only way I can think of helping your situation is for you to take action sooner, or to at least come up with a way of finding out rather quickly if the object of your affection is seeing someone.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Guest on Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:39 pm

Welp, ReploidArmada, I've been in your shoes, man.

Late last year, like in September, there was this girl that worked for the library at my college, thought she was dope. Nerdy, cutie, dog lover, overall awesome all around. I'd see her every now and again, I'd chat her up when we weren't working or when we were, either way I enjoyed our conversations. One day I said, "Here, add yourself on my Facebook" and she did so. When she did that I saw that her birthday was coming up in a few days and I said to her, "Oh look! Your birthday is coming up, what're you doing for your birfday."

Her reply? "Oh, I dunno, I think my boyfriend and I are going out to eat."

Short of it is, I got over it because at least I had an honest answer. I absolutely value honesty more than anything else in this world. So that didn't hurt at all.

Enail wrote:And don't forget, the fact is that a fair percentage of people you encounter randomly will be unavailable, uninterested in dating at the moment, not interested in people of your gender... not actually a part of your potential dating pool for reasons that have little to do with you. If you assume that any rejection is a sign that no one will ever want to date you, you're going to be discouraging yourself unnecessarily. (And doubly so if you have a habit of pinning your romantic hopes on servers and other people who are working - chances are pretty good they're not thinking about dating at all while they're at work, they just want to do their job, so they're not a terribly likely prospect as a group.)

Getting rejections is a very normal part of trying to date people, no matter who you are or how desirable.

Very much true and something I need to realize & accept, but holy shit is it hard to accept. Especially when I'm told to keep a positive attitude, okay, my natural state is to be upbeat, goofy and happy, however, it's difficult to stay that way when everywhere you look you get your heart gets it's ass handed to itself. Razz That's one of my problems, I'm pretty upbeat but dating feels like such a drag now that I don't wanna partake in it, but, in a sick & twisted ironic way I don't want to. Disapproving

Which leads to a question I've asked countless times: how does anyone get anywhere with someone?

OneTrueGuest wrote:
I do understand the wonderful ability for depression to distort reality (I have it myself) so I in no way mean to imply "just do this, sheesh".  But I just wanted to point out that your brain is making this situation into a far bigger deal than it is.  Like enail said, everyone gets rejected. And everyone has been in your situation, pining after someone only to learn they aren't free (heck that used to be me all the time, I felt like I must be the only single person on the planet at times). So the only way I can think of helping your situation is for you to take action sooner, or to at least come up with a way of finding out rather quickly if the object of your affection is seeing someone.

I will definitely co-sign the bolded part. The only problem I have here is... how soon is too soon? How soon is too late? Because I'll meet girls who're *awesome* and I know them, but I don't think I know them well enough, but I like them enough that I wouldn't mind going on a date to get to know them more, after all, isn't that part of what it means date someone?

OneTrueGuest wrote:I should also add that there are two kinds of conclusions you can draw from this repeated pattern.   Yes there's the one you've drawn that fate is out to get you and that everyone you like is taken and that you spend months wanting someone only to have your hopes dashed.  Or there's the lesson that maybe instead of spending months watching and hoping, you talk with the person, ask them questions if they have a partner or not, or even ask them out right away so that then you don't spend months pining over someone who is unavailable.

I've done both, neither has yielded any results lol Razz

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by OneTrueGuest on Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:04 pm

I think with strangers there really isn't a too soon. If you meet someone and right away have small romantic feelings for them even, I think just asking then and there is perfectly acceptable. Friends are more difficult because you do want to make sure the friendship stays solid. But even then, I think once one feels that there is a romantic feeling for them, the sooner is likely the better, otherwise it starts to come across as a little creepy that you are aware that the nature of your relationship is different with her, but she isn't. The problem is we've been trained by movies to pine, to pursue. The reason? Well if you have to fill 2 hours of a love story that ends with the couple getting together, then there had better be some interesting pursuing and pining. You can't just ask the girl/boy out in the first reel. But reality is not the movies. Asking someone out in the first reel makes so much more sense, you learn the truth quickly and then you can take the next step.

As to your last sentence, the thing is, as we often say here, it's harder for some people to have people like them. Some people are shyer, or more awkward, or not as typically attractive etc etc. So being rejected doesn't mean that the method one is using to ask people out is wrong, it isn't evidence of that. It just means that for some of us we have a harder go of finding someone who likes us back. It's harder. It just is. I mean, I'm a very opinionated, loud, and smart woman who is rather funny. Sure sure people claim that there are guys out there who totally go for that, but do you know how hard it is to meet a man who won't feel emasculated by me? Oh sure I could fake being demure, I am a rather good actor, but why should I? I am who I am and seeing as I think these qualities are very positive (I don't go for that "love me at my worst" quote BS, I work really hard to be kind and to correct and improve upon my flaws) I'm not changing. This means a lot of guys won't want me. Will be put off by me. But I'm okay with that because what's the point of getting dates and being with people who don't like me for me?

Anyway, the point is, at a certain point, you just have to take a step back and ask yourself if what you should be focusing on is dating technique, or self improvement, or just plain patience. It isn't necessarily going to be all three. Sometimes I worry the over analysis here is doing more harm than good. Making people feel hopeless because they've tried everything and it's just not working darn it! Sometimes there are still things left to improve, but sometimes it's just now a matter of luck. Some people do better dating a little older because what they really need is a more mature kind of partner. Some people need to physically move to another place where they actually have people who are like them more. It's not all a math equation. Sometimes it just takes longer. It did for me. And quite frankly if anyone were to dare tell me that I started too late, that my relationship isn't as good because it didn't happen when I was 22, that I'm old and have missed all these amazing chances, I'd tell them . . . well I'd tell them to fuck off. I love my life. And I love my boyfriend. And I am so bloody lucky to have found him. And I don't think I'm living less of a life for having had to have waited a little longer than others.

And I hope you all treat yourselves with the same kindness as I hope you would treat me. Maybe it will still take a decade for you to find someone. And that will be hard (I know, I went through it), but it doesn't mean it won't happen and it certainly doesn't make the finding of someone less awesome. Also, the older you get, the younger you realise old people really are. When you're a kid you look at anyone over 30 as so old. When you're over 30 you still feel like you're 20. And you're also pretty stunned when you realise that Martin Luther King Jr was only 39 when he was killed (just saw SELMA, could not get over it, he was younger than I am now when that all went down!). People only look old from a distance, not when you're in it.

Anyway, yeah. A bit of a tangent, but there you go Smile . A little self kindness is in order, a little self reflection. And some patience. It's not all under your control, and yes that sucks, but it's also kind of freeing in a weird way too.


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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:36 am

At this point it seems like a significantly higher percentage than just "fair", but for some strange, unknowable reason I keep trying. I think I'm now up to a total of ten straight occurrences of me becoming attracted to someone who wasn't even looking for anyone anyway. I'm not even sure my "dating pool" has anyone in it... Maybe it's just perpetually closed for maintenance at this point.

Anyway, in the land of other things that are going somewhat decently, I've been working at a part-time job since the middle of last September, and tomorrow I have a new psychiatric intake appointment scheduled, now that I'm registered with one of the ACA state health plans. The flip side to that is that though my job isn't terrible, most of the people I work with are, and I'm once again suffering from extreme acne and an equally-extreme lack of sexual desire. I'll have to get myself set up with new specialists for those, assuming my old ones don't accept Medicaid, but I don't even know where my assigned PCP works confused

I'm trying to keep my mind off of what I wish I had, specifically a loving, romantic relationship with someone, but around this time of year it gets progressively more difficult to do so, to the point of near-impossibility. I'm trying to be kind, forgiving, and patient with myself, but my mind keeps focusing on the fact that I've been dealing with this damn depression shit for the better part of a decade now and I'm still deep in the pitch-black tunnel of despair. I'm trying to keep my head up and keep myself socializing, in the vain hope that someone might begin to show interest in me, but right now... Right now that's relegated to my dreams and fantasies. I don't think it will ever happen.

I might have come far from this time last year, but there's still a long, lonely road ahead of me.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:49 am

OneTrueGuest wrote:I think with strangers there really isn't a too soon.  If you meet someone and right away have small romantic feelings for them even, I think just asking then and there is perfectly acceptable.  Friends are more difficult because you do want to make sure the friendship stays solid.  But even then, I think once one feels that there is a romantic feeling for them, the sooner is likely the better, otherwise it starts to come across as a little creepy that you are aware that the nature of your relationship is different with her, but she isn't. The problem is we've been trained by movies to pine, to pursue.  The reason?  Well if you have to fill 2 hours of a love story that ends with the couple getting together, then there had better be some interesting pursuing and pining.  You can't just ask the girl/boy out in the first reel.  But reality is not the movies.  Asking someone out in the first reel makes so much more sense, you learn the truth quickly and then you can take the next step.  

See, that's what I thought after asking around a few times, but I'm never 100% sure. Aside from that, the only reason I don't want to come off too strong or right out of the gate is because I don't want to scare the other person. And another reason why I've pined is because, well, you know why, I'm afraid. Razz

Spoiler:

OneTrueGuest wrote:
Anyway, the point is, at a certain point, you just have to take a step back and ask yourself if what you should be focusing on is dating technique, or self improvement, or just plain patience.  It isn't necessarily going to be all three.  Sometimes I worry the over analysis here is doing more harm than good.  Making people feel hopeless because they've tried everything and it's just not working darn it!  Sometimes there are still things left to improve, but sometimes it's just now a matter of luck.  Some people do better dating a little older because what they really need is a more mature kind of partner.  Some people need to physically move to another place where they actually have people who are like them more.  It's not all a math equation.  Sometimes it just takes longer.  It did for me.  And quite frankly if anyone were to dare tell me that I started too late, that my relationship isn't as good because it didn't happen when I was 22, that I'm old and have missed all these amazing chances, I'd tell them . . . well I'd tell them to fuck off.  I love my life.  And I love my boyfriend.  And I am so bloody lucky to have found him.  And I don't think I'm living less of a life for having had to have waited a little longer than others.  

I'm a patient man, I've been single this long. I'm just tired of waiting, I've waited long enough. But for me I feel that I do need to be working on all three, I have to figure out how to overcome my fear of rejection but it feels like it's almost too damn difficult to take on. I just don't wanna deal with romantic feelings of any kind anymore, I'm sick of it, if I could remove that part of my brain I totally would. Not being attracted to anyone and not being interested in any sort of romance or sex, period, would save me a lot of trouble. Can I just be a vulcan? Or robot? Pls?

I think the over analysis is frying my brain through analysis paralysis as it's been aptly named. When I'm out in the field it's a lot easier to interact, it definitely is easier to be me. The only reason I come back asking for help is because, I'm not as confident in myself with girls as I like to think I am. I am indeed seeking permission to do stuff because I can't do it on my own, I'm scared I'll do something wrong. So, if I wanna do something right, then who do I talk to? Older, much more experienced women! Somehow, I still fail.

IDK about finding a more mature partner either, I've found that I've not had much luck either above or below my age. -headdesk-

I also fear about having to leave my home city to find a partner, I don't wanna do that. That to me, is not worth it, if I lived in a shit-hole of a city/town, then yeah I'd bail in a heartbeat. But I live in sunny Southern California, why on earth would I wanna leave just so I can find a partner?

I really don't want it to take longer. I know I still have a lot of time, but... I dunno. Feels like I'm slipping. I know! You're gonna yell at me that I'm doing just fine. I know I am, but I can't help it. I think it's only when I'm here that I feel hopeless. D:

OneTrueGuest wrote:
And I hope you all treat yourselves with the same kindness as I hope you would treat me.  Maybe it will still take a decade for you to find someone.  And that will be hard (I know, I went through it), but it doesn't mean it won't happen and it certainly doesn't make the finding of someone less awesome.  Also, the older you get, the younger you realise old people really are.  When you're a kid you look at anyone over 30 as so old.  When you're over 30 you still feel like you're 20. And you're also pretty stunned when you realise that Martin Luther King Jr was only 39 when he was killed (just saw SELMA, could not get over it, he was younger than I am now when that all went down!).  People only look old from a distance, not when you're in it.  

I had a thing written, but it was written by a depressed Mikey, and I sometimes hate that kid for feeling that way. Anyway, semi-depressed Mikey will say that knowing that it may take yet another 10 years makes me feel the worst kind of despair and is also one of my worst fears and I don't know why given your story. Matter of fact, I feel like a total asshole for feeling that despair.

It shouldn't make me feel like shit, but it does. Neutral

OneTrueGuest wrote:
Anyway, yeah.  A bit of a tangent, but there you go Smile .  A little self kindness is in order, a little self reflection.  And some patience.  It's not all under your control, and yes that sucks, but it's also kind of freeing in a weird way too.


Self-reflection isn't something I understood much growing up, either. Although, I dunno how freeing not being in control is... to be honest, that shit scares me.

Please forgive me if this sounds too whiny. I'm tired, I'm lonely, I need a hug and some lovin'. Embarassed  Should I stay away from both women and the forums here? What do I do? Why am I so scared? I confessed to my sin of fear, why can't I bring myself to overcome it?

OTG, you are a wonderful lady. Wink I am just a silly boy on the internet who can't get over himself because he's afraid. Laughing

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Jayce on Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:10 am

I know it is closer to Valentines day and it is the time of the year to feel sucky about being single. OTG is right, we should be kinder to ourselves.

Maybe it will take 10 years, maybe it'll happen next month. I understand that fear, have experienced it and still occasionally experience it, usually when I get rejected. Whatever. Lets think about what we can do in the meantime to improve our chances, or consider if we want to take a break etc... Lets think about what we can do, right now.

I study education at university. One of the things I've learnt is that it is common for people to develop at different rates because individual development is idosyncratic, dynamic, and context sensitive. If you find that you are developing slower at a rate then what is considered normal, then it is a good idea to work harder. Maybe some of us are slow at this, and it will take some time until we are able to get somewhere. But don't forget. It is possible. Just take a look at marriage statistics. Most people get married at least once during their lifetime, so the chances of at least finding one person that is into you, that you're also into (in fact, both of you will be into enough of each other to marry) is decently high.

Enduring is hard, especially when you see other people succeeding and you're still struggling to just get somewhere. I have friends that have been in 3 relationships where they have broken up, and here I am still wondering how to get one date. Just one. It takes a lot of willpower to be able to endure. We just have to be patient with ourselves, yes more patient (after all think about our ages, I'm 19, Mikey you're around 22 right? and Reploid you're 24). We are all far from being done. We aren't even at the age where a lot of people start to get married yet.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by gaboz on Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:26 am

gents, there is no expiration dates on you, you are not Christmas cakes. My first date happened at 21, before that I was somewhat clueless and very juvenile. It takes a lot of time, development to get somewhere but the point is doing it.

to quote adventure time: Dude Sucking At Something Is The First Step To Be Sort Of Good At Something.

Please give yourself that time.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Guest on Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:45 am

People I know are getting married and I'm sitting on my butt doing jacksquat. So, I'm scratching my head a lot. Yeah, I'm 22, gonna be 23 this upcoming Tuesday. Razz

I dunno, I feel like I'm in trouble a lot. And dammit, you're right, Valentine's is coming up. Brace for impact, ffffffffuuu-

It's hard to want to take a break though when you've not gone anywhere, or done much. I dunno how else to improve my chances, out of ideas. I'm under the impression that ladies simply don't like me either, so that doesn't particularly help. Razz Hell, I don't think marriage is for me, not yet, I just need to figure it out for when the time comes.

-mumble grumble-

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Enail on Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:47 pm

ReploidArmada wrote:At this point it seems like a significantly higher percentage than just "fair", but for some strange, unknowable reason I keep trying. I think I'm now up to a total of ten straight occurrences of me becoming attracted to someone who wasn't even looking for anyone anyway. I'm not even sure my "dating pool" has anyone in it... Maybe it's just perpetually closed for maintenance at this point.

That is quite a lot in a row. Sound like maybe you're doing that thing where you're attracted to unavailable people? Maybe give a think if there's something going on in your head on that front. Or it could be just that people who aren't looking sometimes tend to be less nervous and more comfortable with people who would be in their potential dating pool if they were single, and it's that confidence that you're being drawn to. In which case, you might want to push yourself to notice the people who are a little more reserved or awkward more, or to focus your looking in places where single people go specifically for dating (online dating sites, frex).


I'm trying to keep my mind off of what I wish I had, specifically a loving, romantic relationship with someone, but around this time of year it gets progressively more difficult to do so, to the point of near-impossibility. I'm trying to be kind, forgiving, and patient with myself, but my mind keeps focusing on the fact that I've been dealing with this damn depression shit for the better part of a decade now and I'm still deep in the pitch-black tunnel of despair. I'm trying to keep my head up and keep myself socializing, in the vain hope that someone might begin to show interest in me, but right now... Right now that's relegated to my dreams and fantasies. I don't think it will ever happen.

When you were last on this site, you were struggling to leave the house at all. From what you were saying then, it seems like a job and regularly participating in social activities with strangers (or people who used to be strangers) felt like an unimaginable, impossible leap. That's how things go sometimes. And it's clear you're making a lot of improvements that could have a big impact on your dating life. But at the same time, it sounds like you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself to get yourself into a serious relationship ASAP or it's hopeless, and that kind of pressure can be very counterproductive.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:12 pm

Reploid!! So glad to see you here! Grin

Seconding what Enail said-- last time I heard from you, you were having trouble just getting out of bed, much less leaving the house, socializing regularly, or holding down a job (!!! congratulations, man!). Really glad to hear that ECT helped. You're making incredible progress, and pretty rapidly. Let me just take this opportunity to give you a pat on the back, in case you are giving yourself insufficient pats. You're doing good.

Slow progress towards finding a romantic partner can be infuriating and discouraging if it's the one thing you want most in the world, but some things are just slow-- right now, you've got the opportunity to work on building up the skills that will make you a good partner. Think of it as your training montage. Socializing regularly is a huge step. Practicing conversation, taking a real interest in others, learning about your own attachment style-- this is all incredibly valuable stuff, and it's not just you spinning your wheels until romance finally comes along. You're actively building the ReploidArmada who'll be a great romantic partner.

(And none of this nonsense about "couldn't even get a prostitute," you're a kind, smart, resilient, cute dude. The nopes happen for everyone, and it doesn't mean you're fundamentally unlikeable or hopeless or any of that. You've just been playing a mental health deck which was severely stacked against you.)

gaboz wrote:to quote adventure time: Dude Sucking At Something Is The First Step To Be Sort Of Good At Something.

Laughing This.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Fri Jan 23, 2015 6:14 pm

Werel wrote:Reploid!! So glad to see you here! Grin

Seconding what Enail said-- last time I heard from you, you were having trouble just getting out of bed, much less leaving the house, socializing regularly, or holding down a job (!!! congratulations, man!). Really glad to hear that ECT helped. You're making incredible progress, and pretty rapidly. Let me just take this opportunity to give you a pat on the back, in case you are giving yourself insufficient pats. You're doing good.

Slow progress towards finding a romantic partner can be infuriating and discouraging if it's the one thing you want most in the world, but some things are just slow-- right now, you've got the opportunity to work on building up the skills that will make you a good partner. Think of it as your training montage. Socializing regularly is a huge step. Practicing conversation, taking a real interest in others, learning about your own attachment style-- this is all incredibly valuable stuff, and it's not just you spinning your wheels until romance finally comes along. You're actively building the ReploidArmada who'll be a great romantic partner.

(And none of this nonsense about "couldn't even get a prostitute," you're a kind, smart, resilient, cute dude. The nopes happen for everyone, and it doesn't mean you're fundamentally unlikeable or hopeless or any of that. You've just been playing a mental health deck which was severely stacked against you.)

gaboz wrote:to quote adventure time: Dude Sucking At Something Is The First Step To Be Sort Of Good At Something.

Laughing This.

Hey Reploid! Good to see you back and doing so much better. I am going to cosign enail and Werel. You have gone through some major changes and made some fantastic improvement, so do not get down because everything is not quite there yet. Give yourself some time.

On the getting rejected thing, to riff on Werel, "Nope happens", especially when you are asking out people you do not know well. It is just a part of how things are. If I were you, I would focus more on building a social network and getting to know more single people, including single women you are not attracted to, men, and people with different sexualities. Once you get a mixed gender group of single friends, you realize there are many single people out there and everyone is going through some variation of the same problems you are and that you are not alone in your experience.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:58 pm

Thanks for all of the support so far! I missed you guys over the last few months Heart *hugs*

My psychiatric intake yesterday went pretty well. I don't have a therapist yet, and my first psychiatrist appointment is in a few weeks, but supposedly I'm going to receive a call from a therapist assigned to me - that is, once the state gets off its collective butts and takes care of the requisite paperwork. I am indeed giving myself insufficient pats on the back, so I'm glad you guys are helping me take care of that Grin

I'm pretty sure that a lot of the pressure I'm feeling to try dating is coming from the same few sources as it was a year ago: I'm afraid I won't find anyone, I'm afraid I won't experience love and sex, there's a lot of pressure from our society to sleep around and date, and I've always felt somewhat lonely and ignored. I'd love nothing more than to find someone to spend my time and my life with, but right now, it's hard for myself to believe I'll ever experience that luxury. My self-esteem and confidence are also still very low, but I'm hoping that receiving more therapy will help with that.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:52 pm

So this post will probably be another introspective rant-type thing, but it ties in too well with this topic to split it off, IMO. Maybe weigh in on some of this?

Anyway, I've been trying to remind myself of where I am relative to where I was last year, and of how far away I've come from that depressed, hopeless wreck of a person. Over the last six months, significant improvements have been made in my life, starting with the ECT treatments, then moving on to getting and holding a part-time job and socializing twice a week. The difference between 2014 me and 2015 me is almost night and day.

Unfortunately, even with my ECT regimen last August removing or lessening some of my depressive triggers, this time of year *always* makes me feel like shit. There's a constant feeling and fear that I'll never end up finding someone who will be attracted to me, and February just makes it ten times worse for obvious reasons. All of this Valentine's Day imagery that crops up after New Year's continuously drives home the fact that I've never been romantically involved with anyone, and that I can't remember the last time anyone showed me any sort of super-platonic interest.

I also have significant trouble thinking of myself as someone who's *worthy* of being in love with someone, since my self-esteem went to shit several years ago, and my body has been degrading ever since: I've been getting steadily more overweight, my upper back and shoulders are covered in painful, irritated acne, my T has been extremely low for months, and etc. I'm starting to not see a way out of this.

I want to learn the language of love, and find someone to spend my time and my life with, but... If there was an entrance exam for such a class, if it did exist, I'm almost certain right now that I would have failed it several times over. I'm getting to a point where I want to have heart- and pantsfeelings for a lovely lady, but it's hard for me to love myself first Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Jayce on Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:17 pm

Before you think about loving yourself, lets focus on stop being mean to yourself first. Having your jerkbrain take the steering wheel really ruins your chances

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:22 pm

One of my coworkers is organizing a valentine's gift and card making event for hospice and nursing home residents (and with my craft skills mine is ending up looking like something the post office would consider sending to the FBI). If this time of year is hard for you, maybe refocus those thoughts and energies on doing something for other people, some act of kindness for others? Kindness is the alphabet of love, after all.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:52 am

I'm hoping that my impending return to therapy (once I get assigned to one, grrr) and my continued socializing will help me rebuild part of my self-esteem and self-image, and then from there we can work on helping myself look and feel more attractive. I just wish there weren't so many steps in the process between where I am now and "finding first love" :S

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:59 am

ReploidArmada wrote:Over the last six months, significant improvements have been made in my life, starting with the ECT treatments, then moving on to getting and holding a part-time job and socializing twice a week. The difference between 2014 me and 2015 me is almost night and day.

Print this out and put it somewhere you can see it regularly. There is no way to over-remind yourself of this fact. Wink

ReploidArmada wrote:I also have significant trouble thinking of myself as someone who's *worthy* of being in love with someone, since my self-esteem went to shit several years ago, and my body has been degrading ever since: I've been getting steadily more overweight, my upper back and shoulders are covered in painful, irritated acne, my T has been extremely low for months, and etc. I'm starting to not see a way out of this.

I say: you're worthy of being in love with someone. Man, everyone is worthy of being in love with someone. It's not about worthiness. And nothing you're describing about your body has anything to do with whether you're worthy. I know this doesn't make it easier to not feel that way, but try to consider it from an intellectual standpoint.

ReploidArmada wrote:I'm getting to a point where I want to have heart- and pantsfeelings for a lovely lady, but it's hard for me to love myself first Sad
Can I suggest that you don't need to be in love with yourself first-- merely that you need to trust other people to be able to see what's lovable about you? And that if they see something they like, you just have to control your doubts about yourself enough to believe them?

reboot wrote:Kindness is the alphabet of love, after all.

Such a lovely way of putting it.

Seconding reboot's advice very hard. One of the few things that can semi-reliably pull me out of a depressive funk is making myself go do something helpful. Walk some shelter dogs, make cards for hospice patients, put together care packages for peace corps volunteers, whatever. There is a lot of nourishment to be had in simple human exchanges of kindness, even if it's not the same as romantic connection.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:39 am

I can't say a whole lot has changed over the last week, except we're now a week closer to that horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day the rest of the country calls Valentine's Day. And, just like all of the years prior to this one, the constant (and I do mean constant) reminders that I *still* haven't found anyone - or even found someone remotely interested in me - wear me down and shred what little self-esteem I have. Am I truly romantically and sexually invisible? Am I receiving attentions, but not recognizing them as such? Am I actively turning off everyone I find who might otherwise be interested?

I honestly don't know. What I do know is that I may decide to break my sobriety if this keeps up for much longer. I have a bunch of friends from high school, college, and my socializing, but what I feel like I need more is someone special in my life. Life seems to have other ideas for me, judging by how I'm still a lonely, single virgin and how I'm still depressed about such.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Prajnaparamita on Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:50 pm

ReploidArmada wrote:
Anyway, I've been trying to remind myself of where I am relative to where I was last year, and of how far away I've come from that depressed, hopeless wreck of a person. Over the last six months, significant improvements have been made in my life, starting with the ECT treatments, then moving on to getting and holding a part-time job and socializing twice a week. The difference between 2014 me and 2015 me is almost night and day.

Oh Reploid, I'm so glad to hear that ECT was something that was able to help you. I've thought of you from time to time, and wished I could know that you were getting better, and I'm really glad to hear that something has finally helped you to be able to move forward.

ReploidArmada wrote:
I also have significant trouble thinking of myself as someone who's *worthy* of being in love with someone, since my self-esteem went to shit several years ago, and my body has been degrading ever since: I've been getting steadily more overweight, my upper back and shoulders are covered in painful, irritated acne, my T has been extremely low for months, and etc. I'm starting to not see a way out of this.

Okay, this is going to sound like a really minor thing in comparison to the volume of the voices in your head and the negative emotions that they're weighing you down with, but acne can be treated, and that's something really concrete that I believe you can do to make yourself feel better in your body. I never used to have bad acne, just low-level but frequent breakouts, until I had my major depressive breakdown and the stress hormones just went crazy and my entire face became coated in little red bumps. I didn't want to think of myself as vain, so I pretended that it didn't bother me, but subconsciously I found myself ashamed and disgusted and would duck to avoid mirrors in bathrooms and try to avoid looking directly at people, all of which left me with a residue feeling of being uncomfortable in my body that was impossible for me to shake. And it hurt. Oh god it felt like my skin was going to itch off.
I also didn't seek treatment because I'd been on minocycline pills and cream before, as well as tretinoin cream, and had it do nothing, but I finally got my dermatologist to prescribe me Accutane and it changed everything completely. Its basically guaranteed to get rid of acne with minimal side effects (well unless you’re biologically female, in which case you will also get subjected to patronizing lectures by old male doctors about whether or not you’re capable of abstinence and periodic mandatory pregnancy tests, of both the blood and urine type, as well as other humiliations) and you’ll likely never get it again. I know just clearing up your acne alone isn’t even going to come close to solving everything, but it sounds like it even just being painful and uncomfortable is a drag, and this is something that you can do something concrete about. And I imagine it might help you feel a little bit more comfortable in yourself and your appearance.

As for weight, I know this might sound trite, and easy for me to say, but I really hope you might be able to find yourself the compassion to not beat yourself up about that right now. When I was on a shit-ton of anti-psychotics (Seroquel, Abilify) my metabolism slowed, and I was just so depressed getting out of bed, let alone exercising was just impossible, and I gained a bunch of weight. A few months later my psychiatrist took me off those put me on a shit-ton of amphetamines instead in the hopes of kicking my out of my lethargy, and all of a sudden I was like “Food? What’s food? I’ve never been hungry in my life” and sprinting everywhere became my favorite form of locomotion. Unsurprisingly, I lost most of that weight pretty quickly. And I’m not saying that means you need some magic pill (they’re pretty nasty meds in their own right) but that when I gained my weight I was in a certain situation with certain chemicals in my body, which wasn't really under my control, and when I lost it I was in a different one. In my super depressed Seroquel days I was constantly beating myself up about the weight that I was gaining, which became a vicious cycle, because I felt I absolutely had to do something about what was going on, but I couldn’t do anything about what was going on, and I was a horrible person for that, ect, ect… but at that moment there was nothing I could do about it, and it wasn’t going to be until I was in a better place in other areas that I could do something about it, and I wish I could have just found a way to give myself a temporary break from berating myself so. Don't get me wrong, diet and exercise are super important, if only for their mental health benefits, but I would also hope that you wouldn't see them as things to beat yourself up about if you feel you aren’t doing them right or seeing benefits. Does any of that make sense?

ReploidArmada wrote:
I want to learn the language of love, and find someone to spend my time and my life with, but... If there was an entrance exam for such a class, if it did exist, I'm almost certain right now that I would have failed it several times over. I'm getting to a point where I want to have heart- and pantsfeelings for a lovely lady, but it's hard for me to love myself first Sad

So, I try as much as possible when comforting friends who share in struggles with mental health issues to not give them feel good talks that frankly I wouldn't want to hear or wouldn't believe in their shoes, whether or not I think its true for them. So I don’t like to say, “I know you’ll get better, there’s hope!” because I would want to punch someone in the face if they said that to me. Instead I usually say something like “Look at the world around you—there are so many people out there, some of whom have been through really difficult things, and yet somehow they manage to get out of bed in the mornings, and live without questioning whether or not its worth it to do so. I know they all have different situations to us, we’re all different people, but it looks like for the vast majority of people recovery, stability, and even happiness is possible. So even if right now I don’t understand how, or what I need to do to get there, it does seem quite plausible that getting to that place is possible, and I think the same is true for you as well. I can’t offer you absolute promises of any kind, but looking at the numbers and the stories I’ve been told, it does seem like that’s the direction things go.” I don't know if that makes any sense at all, but I wonder if that might provide some kind of hope—so many people end up finding companionship and happiness despite the odds in their lives, so I’m going to hedge my bets on it being possible for you too. So I don’t think you’ve failed at all, and I hope you don’t feel like you have to see it that way.

As for loving yourself, Dan Savage has this pithy little quote that he loves to sign off with (I forget the exact wording but it goes something like): “if everyone was required to be fully functional and have their shit dealt with in order to be in a relationship, nobody would be allowed to be in a relationship ever.” Loving yourself makes life one hell of a lot less painful, that’s for sure, but I’m nowhere near that yet and so are a lot of people, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be in relationships. We all have parts of us with self-loathing and doubt—that doesn’t make us horrible dysfunctional people--it makes us human. Its what you do with those thoughts and feelings that is what matters.  

I don’t know if any of that might feel helpful to you, but at the very least I’m glad to hear how much you’ve improved. Recovery takes a fucking long time for a lot of us, that’s just a really unfortunate fact, and sometimes when moving forward you come to realize just how far you still need to go, and that can be really discouraging. I think reminding yourself often of that progress, as others have suggested, could be a really good thing, but I think another trick is to imagine yourself six months or a year ago, and try telling him what you’re currently capable of doing now. I imagine that he might be pretty incredulous that things could change for the better so much in such little time. And I wonder if imagining then what you in a year might be able to say to yourself now could also give you some hope.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Feb 08, 2015 1:10 am

I have an actual reason to look forward to V-Day now, but it (naturally) has nothing to do with romance. Instead, it's the release of the new 3DS models and Majora's Mask + MH4U. Except, retail therapy never works...

Werel wrote:Slow progress towards finding a romantic partner can be infuriating and discouraging if it's the one thing you want most in the world, but some things are just slow-- right now, you've got the opportunity to work on building up the skills that will make you a good partner. Think of it as your training montage. Socializing regularly is a huge step. Practicing conversation, taking a real interest in others, learning about your own attachment style-- this is all incredibly valuable stuff, and it's not just you spinning your wheels until romance finally comes along. You're actively building the ReploidArmada who'll be a great romantic partner.

I don't have the slightest idea what skills I should be working on... I don't have any real frame of reference for people in functioning relationships, since my parents divorced several years ago, and from everyone else around me who is in a relationship, I'm only seeing the most basic, surface-level things like confidence and personal care. That doesn't help me all that much, since I still have significant trouble taking care of myself (I tend to shower only twice a week, and only right before I head out for my social things) and my own personal confidence and self-esteem don't exist right now. I feel like I *am* just spinning my wheels until something remotely nice happens. If it's any credit towards me, I feel like I might be slightly connecting with the people I spend my time around, but I'm not sure about that.

What things should I try to focus on? What skills should I try to build? I wish I knew... Crying

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:31 am

Well, this thread seems to have dropped off of the face of the earth. Just what I needed on the worst social night I've had in recent memory: More negative reinforcement...

At this point, I am *seriously* considering starting to drink just so I can pass out drunk and forget that things like this ever happen. Between more pressure, torment, and reminders that I am still a lonely, depressed, single virgin, terrible experiences trying to start (and play) games around people earlier tonight, and the shitty capstone of missing an earlier bus back home by about two minutes, I am feeling *very* angry and upset right now.

I'll probably be fine in the morning, but right now... Right now I feel very morbid. I feel like everything is going wrong, and that everything will continue going wrong. I feel like there is no escape from this mental and emotional hell I've been pushed into. I feel like there is no possible way that I'll be able to be happy and have a loving, caring partner. I feel like I'm going to keep falling down this slippery slope until I hit rock bottom and do something horrible to myself, whatever that may be. Not necessarily self-harm or suicide, mind, but something unpleasant regardless - like drinking myself into a bout of alcohol poisoning.

There is no hope left in me right now. There is no light at the end of this tunnel. All that exists in my future is pain and suffering...

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by eselle28 on Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:35 am

Hey, Reploid, wanna talk a bit before I post the usual?
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Re: Depression and dating

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