Is my thinking process right? [adv]

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Post by Kurairush on Thu Feb 19, 2015 4:21 pm

You may or may not remember me, but I was on the previous version of the "Dr. Nerdlove" forums and I posted some topic on there about meeting girls in college or something like that.
For a long while I didn't worry about having a girlfriend and had the mindset of 'If a girl comes along one day and wantsto be in a relationship, that's fine. Otherwise, I'm just going to do my thing.'.

But then I regressed back to worrying about my lack of a girlfriend close to Valentine's Day. The day wasn't full of suffering since my reclusive life has had the benefit of not associating with people often, so none of that "couples insulting your single status" stuff ever happened. However, with my long-term depression and my current lifestyle, I feel that a romantic relationship would end up being unhealthy.

The only reason that I stopped worrying about girls was because I curbed it through fawning over anime girls instead. (That is a subject on its own.) But I don't know what to say. I turned 20 about five days ago (Feb. 14th, ironically) and I feel like my 20's will see no real change from how I was at age 19, still being the same recluse who sits around listening to music and not doing much except play video games, watch anime, and procrasinate over two unfinished novels.

To quote a reddit post I made recently:

Nothing much happens in my life, with me mostly lazing around or surfing the Internet. When I get the motivation, I may sit down at my desk and work on my novel (which I have considered taking a break from.). But other than that, I may listen to OSTs or a little progressive rock and lie around the house.
On the weekends, I resume my goal to 100% every video game in my collection, often failing or dying a few times in the process. I haven't counted the multiple times that I've had to retry a VR mission in Metal Gear Solid 2 or hours I've wasted. But I think my undying determination/intense focus to complete something in a game would bore or annoy most people.

While I'm content with that lifestyle, I don't believe a girl would be able to accept it or find it interesting.
Honestly, I'd rather get this out of my head and focus on important things like getting a job that'll last longer than a month.
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Post by Enail on Thu Feb 19, 2015 5:59 pm

Your subject line is "is my thinking process right," but I'm not quite sure what aspect of your thinking process you're unsure about. So apologies if I go off on the wrong track,

What I'm getting from your post is that you're ambivalent about your situation; you say you're content with your current lifestyle, but you also sound unhappy at the idea of nothing changing in the future and talk about time you've wasted. It also seems like you're pretty clear that a romantic relationship would be a bad idea for you right now, that you'd find it difficult to seek one, and that there are other things you'd prefer to focus on in your life now. But the fact that it's central to your post suggests that you also have some doubts about whether that's a good decision for you. Does that sound about right?

Are you looking for reassurance that it's okay not to look for a relationship? Are you hoping to talk out your thoughts to try and unpick what you want right now? Suggestions on how to go about it?
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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:49 pm

That compulsion to compete a game 100% sounds really familiar to me. The first game where I really made a conscious decision not to do that was Pokemon Y, because as it was my first Pokemon game filling out my National Pokedex would require a lot of extra effort, including several game restarts and a lot of social work. Essentially, it took the prospect of establishing good terms with enough people to amicably trade for every single Pokemon for me to finally decide that was worse than settling for filling out the Kalos Pokedex and putting the game away.

I always want to wrap things up and say, "okay that's done." Loose ends kind of bother me.

Basically the only way I've been able to deal with it is that I have conflicting neuroses that sometimes overpower the completist tendency. So that, when my boss orders me to stop working on a project nearing EOL and start ramping up for one that's still going, I can suppress my urge to balk at having to change tasks by being more neurotic about making myself follow external orders / honor agreements.

I think there's a similar values balancing to address in your/our situation, assuming that's what you're asking about. I think you're right that a prospective partner would not be thrilled about (for instance) having to wait for you to finish doing whatever-it-is before you go out to eat. (It's not a universal deal-breaker, as my parents constantly demonstrate, but it's probably not a help.)

I think that for many of us, part of the reason we like to focus on completion in video games is because "real" life offers so few opportunities to truly complete anything. (See also: number theory.) Relationships, physical and mental health, and of course gainful employment, are all WIPs for our entire lives. There is never perfect security or a state of "having" something that you no longer have to work for. But a game save will dutifully sit with a glowing "100%" icon until you delete it.

I think it's fine to be content with that mindset, if you are content with it. It's also fine to not be content after all, even if your main reason for not being content is that this lifestyle precludes other things you want, assuming you honestly do want them. And in that case, you're in good company here in looking for answers to that problem. I don't know how you could figure out which is which, but I guess as usual I'm just hoping we recognize something in each other that gets us closer to seeing what's going on.
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Post by kleenestar on Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:52 am

I agree with enail, but I also want to point out that you seem to be assuming that certain activities (e.g. hanging out at home, playing video games) would not be appealing to women. I agree that you probably won't meet many women if you spend most of your time in solitary activities, but there are plenty of women who enjoy hanging out at home, whether they're also playing video games or doing something different but equally absorbing. For example, when my husband plays video games it's my chance to curl up with a book, while he prefers to watch and heckle when I'm the one who plays. This does not mean you need to seek a romantic relationship right now - but I think that having a narrow idea of what kinds of relationships women enjoy will not serve you now (it will feed your jerkbrain) nor when you are ready to date.
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Post by Kurairush on Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:00 am

I only started worrying about this stuff because Valentine's Day was nearby and the fact that I am now in my twenties.

I'm on the road to getting therapy to getting my depression sorted out (even wrote a 11-page psychological self-analysis) and I am in the process of finding out if I have some sort of ASD as well. While the testing has just begun, I think that may also be an issue.
Girls often flirt or give "signs" to try to entice interest, but it wouldn't amount to anything if I lack the ability to recognize such things.
In a way, I guess this gives me an opportunity to examine my life up to this point though.

I felt posting here since I might get more advice than I did on reddit (only one comment.).
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Post by nearly_takuan on Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:30 am

Not a bad idea, but you still haven't exactly asked a question. There's plenty of general-purpose advice up on the 'blog, so I assume you have something to ask, but I'm having trouble finding where it is and I surmise others are as well.

Which is why my initial response was basically a couple of shots in the dark and a rant. Razz
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Post by Kurairush on Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:41 am

Is it alright to think like this?
I also did some research last night and if the diagnosis reveals that I truly have Asperger's, it may explain some things.
But I still there would be some challenges anyway and my potential "dating pool" would be smaller because of that.
As I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't recognize or would misinterpret most of the "signs" that girls might give.
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Post by reboot on Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:10 am

Are you asking if it is OK to think that your current lifestyle is acceptable? Or are you asking if you are correct in thinking no woman would appreciate that lifestyle? Or is it something I totally missed?
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Post by Kurairush on Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:17 am

Thinking that no woman would be to appreciate or tolerate such a lifestyle.
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Post by reboot on Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:43 am

Kurairush wrote:Thinking that no woman would be to appreciate or tolerate such a lifestyle.

OK, then no. That is not accurate. There are women who appreciate and even have the same lifestyle. Of course, it will be hard to meet them out and about on the street because they are at home, so your best bet would be online.
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Post by Enail on Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:02 pm

There are definitely video gaming, anime-watching, novel-writing homebody women...but dating will generally require that both you and they step out of their comfort zone a bit.

As Reboot says, it can be hard to meet them, but also, even if you meet them online, your first few dates are unlikely to be spent at your or their house playing videogames, so you'll need to find ways that you can enjoy yourself with someone compatible out in public places at least sometimes.

Another thing that can be challenging for people with a fairly narrow range of interests and activities is that no one is a 100% interest match for anyone else. So be aware that it'll make it a lot easier to connect with compatible people if you can talk about your interests in a way that's accessible to people who don't share all of them, if you can be respectful of and have good conversations about other people's interests or general interest topics, and if you are open to spending a little time trying new things. Maybe give a think about how you could enjoy yourself hanging out with a woman who likes videogames and would like talking about writing with you, but is way more into truffle-hunting, say, than watching anime.
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Post by caliseivy on Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:42 pm

reboot wrote:
Kurairush wrote:Thinking that no woman would be to appreciate or tolerate such a lifestyle.

OK, then no. That is not accurate. There are women who appreciate and even have the same lifestyle.

When I read your initial post I was thinking "This guy just described my life." A large part of my younger sister's lifestyle is similar to your description so yes, we do exist.
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Post by Kurairush on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:21 pm

However, the potential factor of me having Asperger's. While it may explain some of my quirks and habits, I feel like some women may not want to deal with it.
The one positive thing is that at least I'm not like Rain Man.
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Post by reboot on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:33 pm

Kurairush wrote:However, the potential factor of me having Asperger's.  While it may explain some of my quirks and habits, I feel like some women may not want to deal with it.  
The one positive thing is that at least I'm not like Rain Man.

Some women will not want to deal with it and some will not have a problem with it. I would also guess that there are issues some women may have that you would not want to deal with and some you would have no problem with.
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Post by Kurairush on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:43 pm

That's true. But I'm probably not making any progress by just sitting here, doing nothing.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:49 pm

Best not to worry about "potential" problems when you already feel like you have some confirmed ones, but I know that's a hard thing not to do.

Please don't do that "at least I am not like X" thing anymore, at least around here. Some folks are like X. Let's not make them feel worse about it.

If you do have an ASD, the impression I've gotten from other folks here is that that isn't necessarily the problem. It just changes your understanding of where other problems come from. There are workarounds and such.

It sounds to me like you're running a lot of thought-experiments but have mostly stuck to your reclusive lifestyle. The trouble is that we can't know better than you what would happen if you went out and met some people.
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Post by reboot on Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:56 pm

Kurairush wrote:That's true.  But I'm probably not making any progress by just sitting here, doing nothing.

That is definitely true. So it sounds like the way for you to meet someone who values your lifestyle might be online. How open are you to dating someone with similar, but not completely overlapping interests (e.g. different taste in games, more interested in painting than writing)? And, since not all time in a relationship can be in the house playing games, are there any activities you can see yourself doing outside the home with a partner? Going to museums? Going to cons?
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Post by Enail on Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:14 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:Please don't do that "at least I am not like X" thing anymore, at least around here. Some folks are like X. Let's not make them feel worse about it.

<mod>Just backing this up with a mod tag. </mod>
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Post by Kurairush on Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:57 pm

reboot wrote:
Kurairush wrote:That's true.  But I'm probably not making any progress by just sitting here, doing nothing.

That is definitely true. So it sounds like the way for you to meet someone who values your lifestyle might be online. How open are you to dating someone with similar, but not completely overlapping interests (e.g. different taste in games, more interested in painting than writing)? And, since not all time in a relationship can be in the house playing games, are there any activities you can see yourself doing outside the home with a partner? Going to museums? Going to cons?
I don't really know. I've been within my own little "bubble" for a long time.
If accepting different interests were as easy as trying out a new music band or album, I would probably be in good shape.
I don't have much trouble accepting someone who has a different taste in similar interests like music (except for rap or hip-hop), video games (I've experienced all sorts of video games.), and anime (I've seen almost 90 anime series, with a variety of genres to choose from)... providing they aren't a "X sucks! Why do you like that?" kind of person.

It's just me, but I feel like making regular visits to a coffee shop one day and work on my novels/projects there.
Being in a social environment every day is a step in the right direction.
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Post by Werel on Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:28 pm

Kurairush wrote:
I don't have much trouble accepting someone who has a different taste in similar interests like music (except for rap or hip-hop)

...providing they aren't a "X sucks!  Why do you like that?" kind of person.
Thought: consider letting go of "rap sucks! Why do you like that?" Razz

(But really, building tolerance on your part can help inspire tolerance in others/attract people more likely to be tolerant of your preferences.)
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Post by kleenestar on Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:00 pm

Speaking as a woman who loves to be at home, read, play videogames, listen to music, etc., it is a huge relief when you can admit to those preferences and socialize with someone who shares them. For example, I am hosting a "hobbit weekend" next winter for a group of women who all love to read and eat delicious food. We have several guys who have agreed to cook for us (and watch my adorable baby!), and we are going to spend a long weekend doing nothing but reading in front of a roaring fire, eating delicious food, going for hikes in the winter woods, petting cats, and occasionally taking breaks for videogames.

For someone like me, the idea of dating someone who wants to go out all the time is horrifying. I spent a year in a very serious relationship with someone who loved to socialize and go out, and oh god it was exhausting. I was miserable all the time, but I felt like I was doing something wrong by admitting that going out wasn't any fun. When I realized that it was okay for me to find a partner who wanted the same kind of life I did, it was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders.

My point is, owning your choices makes your dating pool smaller but better. The only question you need to figure out is how to encounter women who share your preferences. Yes, that's difficult because both you and they have to choose activities that are less solitary, but it's not impossible - and it's much more likely once you acknowledge that we exist. Smile
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Post by Kurairush on Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:13 pm

It's a little while simce I came here, but I've been confirmed to have both Asperger's and moderate major depressive disorder.

Other than that, my brain seems to have gone into a "jerkbrain" state of mind, as you all might call it. Instead of worrying about not having a girlfriend, my mind has changed to the negative thought process of "part of my life was shit, so I don't deserve to have a relationship or try to get a social life."

Other related thoughts include:
"I don't have much interesting stories to tell, unless it involved games or anime. Therefore, I am a boring person." (Not really true. I have some interesting stuff from my childhood that I remember, and not all of it related to my interests.)

"I still have difficulties with my hentai addiction from adolesence. If a girl found out, they would think I'm a sick pervert."

"Girls wouldn't care for the music you listen to. Especially since it's progressive rock and often has dark themes." (Camel and Caravan say otherwise. Don't forget ELO and their predecessor, The Move)

"You would use up more of your time with games, anime and yourself." (I dunno, but one of the games I've been played on the weekends, Tales of Xillia 2, has a co-op option for battles. Same goes for Graces f and Xillia 1.)

And all sorts of other internal voices of doubt. I might mention this to the doctor at the next appointment.

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