Depression and dating

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Wondering on Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:20 pm

HermitTheToad wrote:
ReploidArmada wrote:
@Wondering: I've been thinking about what, in particular, I found "deceitful" about Emily's latest correspondence with me. I came to the conclusion that there were two parts about that whole exchange that set off that feeling. The first was that, six weeks prior, she told me that she wasn't looking for anyone to date, when I asked her for that. Then, she told me she was dating someone else, and called off our platonic friendship, citing my continued desire to date her. Now, it's entirely possible that she did in fact change her mind about dating in that six-week span, but somehow, that doesn't really strike me as likely. Instead, I feel like she was doing something that I'm about to go into.
Reploid, Do you suppose you know her well enough to lend credibility to this conjecture?

Whether or not you think she was being deceitful is ultimately inconsequential because, the bottom-line is that she doesn't want to date you. Neutral

Best try to refrain from asking "Why?". The true reasons won't bring you any closure.

They won't.

But I am still going to strongly encourage you to work against having this sort of reaction to women who say no. She changed her mind or she gave you a soft no. Neither is deceitful. And I'll repeat again because a lot of men seem to have trouble with this when the soft no comes from women: A soft no isn't deceitful. It's social convention and polite, and for women frequently a safety mechanism. But it's not deceitful. It's perfectly clear and understandable as a No for most people when given outside of a dating context. Thinking it's dishonest when a woman gives it in a dating context but not when anyone gives one in any other context is a common double standard.

Also, please keep in mind that your depression is making you think the worst about yourself. Don't assume other people also think that. You seem to be assuming: 1) I'm terrible and undateable, 2) because this is true, Emily thought I was terrible and undateable, 3) because this is true, she just meant she didn't want to date me, 4) because this is true, she was lying when she said she didn't want to date. You are attributing to malice what is more easily attributed to changing her mind.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:08 am

Reploid, I had that very same experience the first time I ever asked a boy out. I was 12 and in 7th grade, and had had a crush on this dude since probably 5th grade. High stakes! Run in circles flail So one day, little me got up all my courage and asked him if he wanted to go out sometime.

He said he "wasn't looking to date right now," which in hindsight makes me lol because what kind of 7th grader knows all the standard adult soft-no responses? And yep, two weeks later, he was going out with another girl. But even little preteen Werel got that he wasn't being deceitful, he was being polite. He thought what he said would spare my feelings more than "no, I don't like you that way," and while I was disappointed, I appreciated the politeness.

Does a story like that with the genders reversed strike you as "deceitful" in the same way? If no, uh oh! That's a thing to examine. If yes, maybe it might just help to think of "not looking to date" as a politeness convention like answering "how are you" with "fine" whenever a stranger asks? Because I think if you can let go of the feeling that you were deceived somehow, it might make it easier to heal and feel better about the whole thing.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:11 am

@HermitTheToad: I wish I could get some small amount of closure from this whole debacle, but the only way that will happen is when I get over how things ended with Emily. Unfortunately... I don't know if that will ever happen Sad

@Wondering: ...You're right. If there's one thing I need to work on as a result of how this has gone, it's not treating women poorly when they decide to not give me a chance as far as dating goes. I should probably also work on not expecting things to go well at all, given that even mentally-healthy, neurotypical people experience dating issues. Of course, I've always had dating issues, so it's anyone's guess when things will start going well for a change...

Also, I think I'm probably guilty as charged. One of my main core beliefs is that I'm unlovable, and although I was set to work on overcoming those with my previous therapist, she left before we could really do that, and my current therapist is dead-set on having me work on physical issues I've been dealing with instead of mental issues - eg. my hygiene, self-care, grooming, wardrobe, etc. With those negative core beliefs still intact, I have significant doubts that those sorts of physical changes are even going to have an effect on how my mind works. It's just another reason to believe things won't change for the better Sad

@Werel: I think there night be something there for me to examine. I didn't have quite the same reaction to your story as I did to mine. I want to say that is entirely because of the emotional connection I had to what was going on, but there's a chance that there's something harmful buried in my psyche or response. It hurt me a lot then, and it still hurts a lot now, and the main reason I've been able to function over the last week is because I've been (somehow) able to put that pain off to the side. It helps that I have a trip to PAX to look forward to, but my heart still hurts a lot, you know? It takes a while to get over emotional pain like that, and I've never been able to manage it all that well.

-------------------------

Anyway, this next bit is going to be a bit of a stretch, so bear with me. I read that most recent Kotaku DNL post about how to be more fuckable, and then followed that link halfway down where he talks about learning one's archetype, and then read one of the comments all the way down on *that* page, by a guy named Matt. That comment really resonated with what I've been dealing with: I don't really have many concrete desires in my life, besides the obvious ones I've laid out several times here (like getting laid). I don't have any concrete picture of me, or my identity, or what kind of person I am. I don't have any understanding of my personal style, so I don't know what things look good on me. Instead, what I do have in my life is a lot of uncertainty and sadness Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Guest on Sun Aug 28, 2016 1:17 am

ReploidArmada wrote:@HermitTheToad: I wish I could get some small amount of closure from this whole debacle, but the only way that will happen is when I get over how things ended with Emily. Unfortunately... I don't know if that will ever happen Sad

Let me ask you this, what do you get out of "closure"?

For one, you won't get closure other than she didn't want to date you, that much I know from what you said. Though I didn't see if she wanted to remain friends. In all honesty, there's not much to gain nor to close there. Them not wanting to date you is reason enough for "closure". Take the rejection at face-value. Feel what you want to feel, but ultimately don't question an intimate personal decision. It's not easy not knowing why you were passed over, I know exactly how you feel. I wanted closure about this girl I had a thing for well over 10 years ago, never got it and eventually got over her. Pretty soon I found another girl to gush over and scare her away too -- I was 16, the fuck am i supposed to do?

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:40 pm

ReploidArmada wrote:@HermitTheToad: I wish I could get some small amount of closure from this whole debacle, but the only way that will happen is when I get over how things ended with Emily. Unfortunately... I don't know if that will ever happen Sad
It will. It may take some time, but you can certainly live with the fact of having been rejected by someone. Allowing yourself to believe you'll never heal is just a way of keeping the wound open on purpose. I get that it can be tempting to prolong the pain, sometimes as a desperate way of maintaining some kind of connection to the person who's rejected you ("I'm still hurting from her, which means she's still in my life somehow!"), but it's not a good way, man. It's not productive. Don't try to convince yourself that it's a Forever Pain, and don't believe the parts of your brain that say it is.

ReploidArmada wrote:@Wondering: ...You're right. If there's one thing I need to work on as a result of how this has gone, it's not treating women poorly when they decide to not give me a chance as far as dating goes.
Yes. Yes! Very important. Extremely important. There's something to start with right here: "decide not to give me a chance" is a good thing to reframe in your mind. It's not really a "decision" to be attracted to someone or not, and it's not about "giving you a chance"-- attraction isn't like a trial period at a job, where if you can just get a couple of weeks to do your best at a set of tasks, you might convince someone to hire you. Attraction is personal, variable, largely involuntary, and not something someone does for you as a favor. You're ascribing malicious (or at least uncharitable) choices to women who reject you, rather than acknowledging that they don't choose who they're attracted to any more than you do. Think of it this way: you say there are very few women you see as potential romantic partners. If a woman who was in no way attractive to you (wrong age range, personality type, appearance, everything) said "you should just decide to give me a chance!", would you find that fair?

ReploidArmada wrote:@Werel: I think there night be something there for me to examine. I didn't have quite the same reaction to your story as I did to mine. I want to say that is entirely because of the emotional connection I had to what was going on, but there's a chance that there's something harmful buried in my psyche or response.
Ah, okay-- can you identify what seemed different to you about my anecdote, other than your personal closeness to the situation? What do you think the harmful thing buried in your response might be?

ReploidArmada wrote:It takes a while to get over emotional pain like that, and I've never been able to manage it all that well.
Practice. This is practice. Wink

ReploidArmada wrote:That comment really resonated with what I've been dealing with: I don't really have many concrete desires in my life, besides the obvious ones I've laid out several times here (like getting laid). I don't have any concrete picture of me, or my identity, or what kind of person I am. I don't have any understanding of my personal style, so I don't know what things look good on me. Instead, what I do have in my life is a lot of uncertainty and sadness Sad
It's hard to form desires without some modicum of experience. If you've never traveled outside your state, how will you find out that you have a passion for travel? If you've never made a loaf of bread, how do you know you're an avid baker? It's not surprising that the desires you've got are the most basic hardwired ones; the vast majority of humans automatically want food, sex, and affection. You don't need to learn to want those things. And then American culture reinforces those desires pretty hard; they're the #1 socially sanctioned goals. But you're coming from a place where you're limited in the amount of experiences you've had, full stop. Not just romantic inexperience, but life inexperience. How are you supposed to know who you are, what you like, what you're capable of, when you haven't been in many situations where you learn those things?

Which is why I might agree with your therapist on one thing: don't just focus on the internal work. External changes in your life are important too, because they can effect change on the inside. You'll learn who you are and what you like as a result of being faced with new things, and assessing how you react to them, how they make you feel, etc. There's no growth in a vacuum-- interaction with the world is how most people figure out "what kind of person they are." Razz
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Mon Aug 29, 2016 2:34 am

Well... A lot of what I've been feeling does feel like "forever pain", even if we remove the pain of being emotionally destroyed like this. It's going to take a *lot* of work on my part to get over all of the different physical, mental, and emotional things that I have to deal with, and at times it feels like I'm not going to be able to, or that I'll just give up halfway through.

It felt like she might have been giving me a chance, based on how she was reacting to my presence initially and then how she offered to still be friends with me after she said she wasn't interested in dating, but... I guess that turned out to not be the case after all. Maybe  I was being really, *really* offensive or overbearing towards her, or whatever else you want to call it, but what else can I do? I don't have any experience dealing with women in either a romantic or even a platonic context. I don't have any practice asking women out, or handling rejection well, or even treating them right should I even got in the door in the first place. I could always simply walk away and give up, but I don't want to turn my back on what's probably *the only reason I'm still fighting against my depression*. Without that... What reason would I have to keep fighting?

If I had to guess... I'd guess that the "harmful thing" I was referring to would be that, again, I don't have a frame of reference for how to interact, and not interact, with females I'm interested in. I can interact with platonic friends with relatively little difficulty, considering that I still deal with social anxiety and a general lack of social skills. However, once attraction gets thrown into the mix, it seems like my politeness and respect get thrown out the window. Maybe that's what it is? Maybe I'm wrong. I don't know.

And... You're right, of course. My life has so far been defined by a whole lot of not all that much happening. I don't have the money or means to do a lot of things, like travel. I don't care to try drugs or alcohol for any reason. I don't care to do a lot of things that other people do for fun, like the aforementioned drugs/alcohol, or hiking, or outdoorsy stuff, or all of the other things I could list off that I just don't care for.

It's funny I'm talking about this again, because I was talking with a friend of mine, and he brought up trying to get an account for OKCupid again. So, I tried to create an account this time. And, for whatever reason, it worked this time. The problem I'm now having with it is this: I don't have anything good to say about myself. OLD is entirely about emphasizing your good qualities, and selling yourself as a person, and I don't know what to say about myself to do that. I could try to not bring up my depression or crippling lack of self-esteem or my complete inexperience, but then my profile would have nothing in it! I decided to come back to it a few months from now, when (hopefully) I'll have more self-esteem and will actually be able to say nice things about myself.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:25 am

ReploidArmada wrote:.....

It felt like she might have been giving me a chance, based on how she was reacting to my presence initially and then how she offered to still be friends with me after she said she wasn't interested in dating, but... I guess that turned out to not be the case after all. Maybe  I was being really, *really* offensive or overbearing towards her, or whatever else you want to call it, but what else can I do? I don't have any experience dealing with women in either a romantic or even a platonic context. I don't have any practice asking women out, or handling rejection well, or even treating them right should I even got in the door in the first place. I could always simply walk away and give up, but I don't want to turn my back on what's probably *the only reason I'm still fighting against my depression*. Without that... What reason would I have to keep fighting?

She was open to being friends with you, and then (from what you have told us) became uncomfortable with your continued attraction to her, so she ended the friendship. From what you wrote and her initially being willing to be friends, means you did a good job asking her out and handling the rejection. It was the post-rejection friendship that didn't go so well.

You have mentioned not having practice interacting with women and not a lot of opportunities to do so. This is something you can work on, depending on your time availability and transportation. I recommend volunteering as a way to interact with all types of women. Do not use it as a way to date, just as a way to get more practice being social with women. If I remember correctly, you like cats, so I would check out animal shelters and kitty rescue groups. They always need people to help with litter boxes and cat socialization
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Wondering on Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:48 pm

ReploidArmada wrote:It felt like she might have been giving me a chance, based on how she was reacting to my presence initially and then how she offered to still be friends with me after she said she wasn't interested in dating
She was giving you a chance. To be friends. Not to be romantic.

That's something you have experience in now and have a better idea of how to handle it in the future. 1) If a woman says no but offers friendship, that's still a No and just an offer of friendship. 2) As reboot has said, I think you'll have a hard time being friends with someone who's turned you down, so I agree with her that you will probably be best served avoiding the friendship, too. At least until you've had time to heal.


ReploidArmada wrote:If I had to guess... I'd guess that the "harmful thing" I was referring to would be that, again, I don't have a frame of reference for how to interact, and not interact, with females I'm interested in.
So, here's a tip on interacting with women, both in person and online. Don't call us "females." Call us "women." Or "women and girls" if you're referring to both. "Female" has a dehumanizing connotation to it because it's a term used for animals as well as people. "Woman" is just for people. Make sense? It's a minor point, but it always jumps out at me, so I'm offering it up as some advice.

In general, keep in mind that it's absolutely normal and okay to hurt after you've been turned down and/or lost a friend. There's nothing wrong with feeling hurt. The problem will be in blame. As Werel was pointing out, attraction often just is. It's not a choice or a decision. There's no fault or blame there. If you start to blame the woman for turning you down or thinking negative thoughts about her motives or behavior, that's a problem. But the pain itself is common.


ReploidArmada wrote:It's funny I'm talking about this again, because I was talking with a friend of mine, and he brought up trying to get an account for OKCupid again. So, I tried to create an account this time. And, for whatever reason, it worked this time. The problem I'm now having with it is this: I don't have anything good to say about myself. OLD is entirely about emphasizing your good qualities, and selling yourself as a person, and I don't know what to say about myself to do that. I could try to not bring up my depression or crippling lack of self-esteem or my complete inexperience, but then my profile would have nothing in it! I decided to come back to it a few months from now, when (hopefully) I'll have more self-esteem and will actually be able to say nice things about myself.
When you're ready, don't forget we have a thread for reviewing profiles and giving advice on them.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:39 am

I'm back from PAX! \o/

Technically, I didn't really leave for PAX, since I live about 45 minutes away from PAX West on bus, but I'm mostly done with waking up way early in the morning on days I have off and getting back home late enough that I pass out within minutes, so I guess it counts Razz The weekend was a lot of fun! Played a few really good game demos, met some old and new friends and acquaintances, and even won a medal (hooray! I did a thing!) for my trouble Smile

Over the last few days and into the last couple weeks, I feel like I've been slowly coming to terms with losing my friendship with Emily. I've come to terms with the fact that I was probably expecting and hoping too much of her, both in terms of what I wanted out of my friendship with her and what her rejection meant to me. I feel like the pain has slowly faded away.

I still have one question to ask about this whole thing, though: Is it too much to ask for a bit of hope?

It seems like, whenever it seems like I have the mere chance of something good happening, the whole thing gets thrown into a fire. Just over the last few weeks, we've determined that I cannot or should not do the following things: Treating love and sex like a reward or incentive, expecting a girl to put me back on the table if she says 'no', asking for closure from a failed relationship, asking for some sort of physical or concrete motivation for getting my life back on track, and all sorts of other things on top of that. Honestly, what else am I supposed to do?! It legitimately feels like I have nothing more I can do, nothing more to give in terms of physical or mental effort. And, lest we forget, I've gone through a pattern of "waiting several months after meeting someone cute/attractive and then finding out they were never even on the table" several times now.

The pain from my last rejection might have faded away slightly, but the general, overall pain of living as a lonely, lovesick, depressed virgin is still affecting me in full force.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:40 am

If you need something to work for, start with this:

reboot wrote:
You have mentioned not having practice interacting with women and not a lot of opportunities to do so. This is something you can work on, depending on your time availability and transportation. I recommend volunteering as a way to interact with all types of women. Do not use it as a way to date, just as a way to get more practice being social with women. If I remember correctly, you like cats, so I would check out animal shelters and kitty rescue groups. They always need people to help with litter boxes and cat socialization

You need to socialize with more women. I suggest volunteering because it has other benefits besides getting you out of the house, but really any activity that is more than 50% women would work
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Wondering on Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:26 pm

You've mentioned wanting to get a driver's license. That would also be a concrete goal to work toward.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:15 pm

Definitely second what reboot said about socializing with more women in general!

ReploidArmada wrote:And, lest we forget, I've gone through a pattern of "waiting several months after meeting someone cute/attractive and then finding out they were never even on the table" several times now.
The good news is, that's an easy fix, and you've already identified it: don't wait several months before gauging someone's interest in dating you. You can break that pattern!

ReploidArmada wrote:Just over the last few weeks, we've determined that I cannot or should not do the following things: Treating love and sex like a reward or incentive, expecting a girl to put me back on the table if she says 'no', asking for closure from a failed relationship, asking for some sort of physical or concrete motivation for getting my life back on track, and all sorts of other things on top of that. Honestly, what else am I supposed to do?!
That's like saying "I'm not supposed to run red lights, drive on the sidewalk, or go 90 in a school zone! How else am I supposed to get to work?!" Razz

There are tons of good paths to dating that don't involve setting yourself up for unnecessary frustration or having unfair expectations of potential partners. And that's what hope is, right? It's not expectation of reward. It's being open to the possibility that something good might happen. That's not too much to ask at all; everybody ought to have hope. And there are ways to work towards making your hopes more likely-- like volunteering doing something that makes you feel fulfilled, practicing social interaction with all kinds of people, increasing your self-reliance (e.g. driver's license), etc. If you don't have the mental or physical energy to do that stuff right now, so be it-- but don't forget that there's absolutely a lot of stuff you can do once you have the energy.

And cool that PAX was fun, glad you had a good time!
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:05 pm

Werel wrote:That's like saying "I'm not supposed to run red lights, drive on the sidewalk, or go 90 in a school zone! How else am I supposed to get to work?!" Razz

Heh, maybe. I feel like that little exclamation of mine came from a position of not really knowing where I'm going or what I'm doing. I've said this before numerous times, so it should not be a surprise to anyone here, but I have a lot of trouble focusing on the little steps that make up my larger goals. Instead, I only see the larger goals, and how far away it feels like they are. In this case, the larger goal of mine is 'getting into a romantic and sexual relationship', and I feel like there's so much for me to do in order to get there.

Knowing that, I was actually brainstorming a list of things that I need to work on. It's a fairly long list, and I feel like it's mostly exhaustive, but I'd like to get your thoughts on it. I will say that looking at a list of tasks like this is both positive and negative for me. It's positive because it gives me some amount of direction for my life, but it's negative because of the sheer amount of stuff I feel like I have to work on in order to be happy, and the amount of time, money, effort, and energy it's going to take to fix/finish even half of them, much less the whole thing.

Spoiler:


  • Asking about relationships and dating early
  • Building self-esteem and confidence
  • Building my online dating profile
  • Coping with depression
  • Coping with romantic desires and feelings
  • Coping with rejection
  • Exercising, getting in shape
  • Filling out my wardrobe
  • Finding a new job
  • Finding hope
  • Finding motivation
  • Finding my personal style
  • Finding new interests and hobbies
  • Finding places to interact with women
  • Focusing on smaller goals
  • Improving self-care, hygiene, and grooming
  • Increasing life experience
  • Learning to drive
  • Moving out
  • Noticing signs of interest
  • Recognizing progress
  • Replacing negative thoughts
  • Treating crushes with respect
  • Volunteering


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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Tue Sep 13, 2016 12:07 am

That seems like a solid list! Though I can't help but chuckle at the juxtaposition of these three things:

ReploidArmada wrote:

  • Coping with depression
  • Finding hope
  • Focusing on smaller goals


Like, way to follow up the two most enormous tasks in the world with "start small." Razz

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of items on the list, maybe it'd help to prioritize them in some way? Mark a few of them as starting places, and give yourself permission to see the others as desired improvements but not stuff you have to do right now? IME, the shortest path to throwing your hands up in despair is to look at All the Stuff You Need to Do as one insurmountable whole, instead of a bunch of smaller tasks (like you quite rightly identified).

Also, it's entirely possible to be happy before all this stuff is done! There's no checklist you have to complete before you're allowed to have some moments of joy. All these things are just ways to up your chances, or increase the amount of time you spend feeling pretty good about your life-- but there can be nice spots along the path to improvement, long before you feel like you're "done" with this list. Smile
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Tue Sep 13, 2016 9:02 am

I agree with Werel that it is a good list, but think it might be a bit overwhelming. Also, I noticed a lot of these things tie into each other. For example, getting a job will lead to self esteem/confidence and more resources to accomplish many things on the list.

This is going to sound super weird, but you might want to try a tool used in grant writing to plan this out. It is called a logic model. We use it to break down very large goals (e.g. improve the health of the community) into small, measurable short term, intermediate and long term objectives and activities with measurable results. I thought of it because your list looks like the early days of project planning where you identify everything that needs to be done and wonder how the hell you are ever going to do it
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:10 am

Hi again! It's been a while. I have a habit of disappearing from here for long periods of time, it seems Sad

Things have been okay for me, I guess. Unfortunately, I still haven't met anyone who would even consider taking me seriously in a romantic context. I still haven't managed to put anything written into my OKCupid profile, since there's still nothing good about me (at least from my perspective). I still struggle with self-care, and social skills, and motivation, and all of those other things I said I was going to try to work on last time. It's like nothing's changed... Sad

If there's any good thing that happened over the last couple weeks, it's that I managed to get myself into the hospital for an ultrasound, instead of putting it off and wasting the referral like I did several months ago. The ultrasound itself didn't find anything abnormal, though.

There's a couple things I wanted to talk about, specifically. My therapist mentioned a few weeks ago that he wanted me to "be a friend first" when dealing with women I was attracted to. The problem is... I feel like I've already done that, several times. I shouldn't have to bring up my pattern with women again, but I remember feeling each and every one of those times that I was building up a rapport with them as friends, only to try - and utterly, completely fail - at taking things to a different level, as it were. And then, the time I try to accelerate the process, well... We remember what happened with Emily. Is there something I'm missing here? Is there some secret I'm not in on, or do I just have to put myself into a lot more (highly uncomfortable, unpleasant, and probably undesirable) situations to meet people who might be single?

And because I know someone will bring up that last bit... I've listened to a lot of ads for singles groups on the radio. A lot of them advertise activities that I just have zero interest in, like wine tastings, hiking, concerts, etc. And, of course, there's always the staples of going to a bar, or a nightclub, but there's literally no reason for me to do that. I wouldn't just be a fish out of water... I'd be a fish in a hot frying pan.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:00 am

reboot wrote:
ReploidArmada wrote:.....
.... I don't have any experience dealing with women in either a romantic or even a platonic context. I don't have any practice asking women out, or handling rejection well, or even treating them right should I even got in the door in the first place.
......

You have mentioned not having practice interacting with women and not a lot of opportunities to do so. This is something you can work on, depending on your time availability and transportation. I recommend volunteering as a way to interact with all types of women. Do not use it as a way to date, just as a way to get more practice being social with women. If I remember correctly, you like cats, so I would check out animal shelters and kitty rescue groups. They always need people to help with litter boxes and cat socialization

Good to go on the ultrasound! I am terrible a making and keeping medical appointments.

You might want to ask your therapist for clarification, but my guess is "be a friend first" is more related to what is in the quote above. Be a friend to women, many women, and learn how to interact comfortably first before trying to date anyone.
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Nov 05, 2016 11:00 pm

So, my cakeday is this time next week, on the 12th. I'm probably not going to be too happy or thrilled about it, though. To me, it's just another year gone by, and another year that I've spent lonely and unloved by everyone Sad

I asked my therapist what he meant by "being a friend first", and a lot of what he said boiled down to him not wanting me to skip steps. I have a tendency to rush too far ahead of where I "should" be and what I "should" be doing, with regards to courtship and the like, and he wants me to make sure I'm spending enough time getting to know someone outside of the context of dating. That could be extrapolated to what Reboot quoted, since I think I'll be more comfortable dating once I'm more comfortable interacting with ladies when I'm not interested in them, and perhaps, also when I am interested but am not doing anything about it. I think the latter might be the more important of the two.

Here's something else I've been worrying about, lately. Suppose I decided to finally start working on improving myself, by exercising, looking for a new job, looking for new places to socialize, getting a car, etc. What should I do with that leftover romantic and sexual desire I've been holding onto? I'm afraid that letting go of it completely will cause me to lose sight of what I'm working towards, but I don't want to be held back by it. Should I just try to ignore it? Should I try to find some sort of constructive outlet for those pent-up desires? If so, what sort of outlet should I be looking for?

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by reboot on Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:51 pm

I am fairly certain that you will not lose sight of what you are working towards. After all, companionship tends to be a basic human need. I highly doubt that you will completely forget wanting a relationship, although you may find that those other activities are worth working on as stand alone desires. As for the outlets for any leftover energy: hobbies, arts, volunteering, physical activity, friendships etc are good outlets
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:26 pm

I think you're right. I may have mentioned this before, but I'm feeling more and more like losing sight of what I'm working towards isn't going to be the problem. The problem is going to be keeping myself sane as I spend the necessary hours, weeks, months, even years, working on myself and refining myself until I am a person that a special someone would want to be with, frankly. It's clear to me that I'm not there yet, so I'll have to both work on getting myself there and mentally surviving the trip.

Also, in news that continues to make me upset: Yet *another* of my friends is getting married. This time, he's a few years older than me (I'll be 26 in a few days) and I met him in high school, on his way out the door the year I arrived. I didn't tell him, but... this is extremely upsetting to me. I'm tired of feeling like I'm being left behind. I'm tired of watching my friends and acquaintances find love and get married, while I'm still sitting here looking for not just the one, but *any* one. Every time it happens, I just lose progressively more and more hope in my own chances to find somebody at all.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:08 pm

Somehow I made it to V-Day 2017 without harming myself, so I guess that's something to be happy about? I still wish I had someone to be with on these horrible, terrible, no good, very bad days, of course, so that's no different.

Anyway, how have you guys been lately? There's been some upheaval in my life since last I visited here. I suppose the biggest thing is that I've started looking for a new job. I filled out some applications about two weeks ago, and since then I've done one interview and had been offered a second (but couldn't make it work due to conflicting schedules). Of course, I don't have a new job yet, because finding a new job is a painful experience much like trying to find a date, but at least I still have my current one for now. There was a period of time very recently where I had to use up all of my paid time off just to cover days that I was scheduled for but not needed for, though, so I need to continue sending applications.

In addition to that, I went to a small-ish board game convention around this time last month. Yay board games! I won a copy of Machi Koro for my personal collection, but more importantly, I had a lot of fun playing board games and meeting new people. I didn't end up asking for any personal or contact details of the people I ran into, but I wasn't too worried about that.

Unfortunately, I'm still the same single, love-sick, love-forlorn virgin I was this time last year. The main difference there is that I'm now 26 years old, which means I'm one year closer to the end of my life, whenever it may be. I've been trying to put myself in contact with a few different ladies, but that hasn't panned out at all... I guess I'm just destined to be unlucky in love Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:38 pm

Job-hunting really is exhausting and frustrating, so sending you good-luck wishes! May it go quickly and painlessly and result in a great new job.

ReploidArmada wrote:I've been trying to put myself in contact with a few different ladies, but that hasn't panned out at all...
Do you mean via OLD or something similar, or through your board game meetup? Depending on the approach you're using, it might take more time. As in all things, patience, self-reflection, and course correction as needed will serve you well!
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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:26 pm

Thanks for the well-wishing! Grin

I've mostly been looking for ladies through my board game meetup, honestly. I still have my OKCupid profile, but there's nothing in it, so it's not worth wondering why nothing's happened with that yet. My therapist mentioned that he might be able to help me fill it out, since I still can't really think of good things to say about myself right now, so we'll see what happens at my appointment next week. He's also been working with me on improving those exact skills you mentioned, et al, and I feel like I'm slowly improving on those.

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:48 am

Aside from the stuff going on in the OLD profile thread right now, there's been a few other developments lately.

First: I have a smartphone now! Smile I was finally able to get one when my tax refund came in. In total I got about $930 back from the IRS, and I spent around 340 of it buying a Samsung Galaxy J7. Don't worry, I made sure not to buy the ticking time-bomb phone Razz

Second: With my new smartphone, I decided to bite the requisite clip of bullets, and downloaded Tinder. So far I've gotten a few matches from ladies, and I've been trying to regard that as proof that there are people who would be interested in me. Unfortunately for me, nothing's come of those matches. At all. Either they respond once and then go poof when I bring up wanting to actually, y'know, do something with them (no matter how casual), or they don't respond at all. As far as I know, I'm not being impolite or jerkish at all. Most of my attempts to communicate have been along the lines of "Hey there!" and "Would you like to do something?"

What should I do regarding those failed Tinder "matches"? I thought Tinder was supposed to work by needing both parties to say they're interested in one another, and yet, these ladies are perfectly content to ignore me right out of the gate after swiping right? What's going on here? Sad

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Re: Depression and dating

Post by Werel on Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:48 am

Matching on Tinder just means "both people are open to starting a conversation," not "they're definitely interested in you let's go on a date right now"-- you still gotta nail the (brief) conversation thing, to some degree.

The openers you're describing aren't good because they give your matches nothing to reply to; "hey there" and "would you like to do something" are really vague and hard to respond to. There are a kajillion DNL articles on how to flirt on OLD, so check those out. A good first message might include a brief compliment and a question ("Cool hat, where'd you find that?"), or an invitation to something specific based on their stated interests ("So you like Pac-man? Let's meet up at [arcade] and have a showdown"). Basically, make it as personalized as you can to show you're paying attention to them as an individual, and give them something easy to reply to rather than something which doesn't invite response. It takes some practice, but keep at it!
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