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What if its all for naught Empty What if its all for naught

Post by Dannyboy on Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:33 am

Sorry that I continue making these threads, guys, but the ups and downs of all this...ware on me.

I've been doing online dating for about a month now, and despite some promising early results I feel like I've hit a rut. The girl whom I asked out to coffee no longer replies to my messages, and my latest batch of messages got no responses beyond a couple of visitors. There was this one girl I contacted who told me that she thought the fact that I wrote was interesting, and that she'd like to get to know me, but she hasn't been online since 14th, and I'm beginning to lose hope she'll ever come back. Tomorrow I plan to go to a bicycle ride and picnic hosted by a local Cycling club, but I'm deathly afraid I won't be welcome, or that the ride will be too difficult for me and I'll humiliate myself. To top it all off, I wet to get some new clothes today, to try and update my wardrobe, and when I went into the dressing room I couldn't face the short, chubby, fat-face cretin who looked back at me in the mirror.

I know that sociability, dating, style, and creative writing are skills, and that its my own stupid fault that I wasted all these years playing games and listening to music when I should've spent that time making myself even a little bit attractive, but I can't shake the fear that if I do put in all the work, if I do forgo the pleasures of life and focus myself on trying to be an attractive, social person, that in the end it will all be for nothing. I'm scared that I'll never make any friends despite putting myself out there in uncomfortable social situations. I'm afraid that even if I do manage to write an hour everyday, all I'll end up with is worthless shlock. And above all I fear that despite spending money to look attractive, that despite all the effort I put into OLD, that I'll never get a girlfriend or get married, that I'll die unloved and unmourned, that my mother will die without any grandchildren, knowing that I was a complete and total failure.

Back in Middle School, when constant bullying made me aware of how socially-inept and unattractive I was, I used to dream of growing up, buying a house in the middle of the mountains, and never talking to another person ever again. It was the ideal paradise I thought, no one to judge me for my shortcomings, no obligations to anyone other than myself, no fantastic people to compare myself to. Yes, I'd be lonely, and I would have to face dieing alone as a failure in every sense of the word, but at least I would retain my dignity, at least I would have chosen that fate myself. And, well, to be perfectly honest, despite how immature and illogical this fantasy is, I srill find myself drawn to it sometimes.

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest, feel free to ignore this if it seems stupid to you.

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Post by jcorozza on Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:31 am

A few things: first, I went back and looked at your profile, because I couldn't remember if I was thinking of the right person, to see if you were in fact the "short, chubby, fat-face cretin" that you described yourself as. And...what? Not even a little. I thought your pictures were pretty cute!

Now, about the OLD stuff: I hate to tell you, but a month is really not that long. I've been back on for about a year, and the time before that, it took at least 6 months. It might help to take a step back from it (either using it very casually or not at all), though, if it's causing you a lot of stress.

Something else that will probably be hard to keep in perspective: you're so young! No one has any of their shit figured out at your age. I'm close to 30 and I'm still figuring out a lot of mine. Even though I've had a few relationships, finding them is still a lot of work, and I still haven't found the right one. Just getting my first real job, too. I think we all have this idea that by, say, 25, we'll have all the adult things figured out, but we're all basically faking it, or at least faking part of it.

Why do you think you wouldn't be welcome at the bicycle picnic? Since middle school, have you made friends? If not, is that because people aren't interested, or because you don't think they will be interested?
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Post by BasedBuzzed on Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:18 am

400 messages, I think, 10 or so good convos that started dropping dead(date close needs to be faster), one date that led to a second date and now potentially third date. You need endurance. Timespan of seriously using it is six months or so.

Dick with the parameters of the search function to look at men looking for women close to you and see the discrepancy in numbers, and look at their profiles and their pictures. This is to give you a sense of perspective, gives you an opportunity to see that you at least know how to craft a profile, and above all allows you to nick good ideas from other profiles while personalizing them.

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Post by Enail on Sun Jul 19, 2015 11:51 am

Two thoughts: IME, dressing room mirrors make everyone look terrible (I think it's the lighting). If I try something on in a store and it doesn't make me feel so hideous I should lock myself away from the world forever, that means it looks amazing on me (OTOH, certain kind of weird clothes sometimes seem pretty okay in the store and then I wonder what I was thinking when I get home). And I say this as someone who doesn't particularly have issues with how I look. Don't let the dressing room mirror get to you, it lies!

Thought 2: Don't "forgo the pleasures of life." It sounds like you're already trying to use things you enjoy as jumping-off points to do the more difficult stuff, and that's good. But also, you're allowed to kick back and do something you find relaxing and fun sometimes, no matter how intensely you want to dedicate yourself to self-improvement and changing your life. If you create a total dichotomy between "improvement, which makes you stressed and miserable" and "pleasurable things, which are wasting your time and you should feel bad about" and make yourself choose between them, eventually your willpower will give out and you'll abandon self-improvement altogether. It's okay to spend some of your time doing things that serve absolutely no purpose but fun, you don't have to give that up to be able to work on changes you'd like to make as well!
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Post by Dannyboy on Sun Jul 19, 2015 10:38 pm

jcorozza wrote:A few things: first, I went back and looked at your profile, because I couldn't remember if I was thinking of the right person, to see if you were in fact the "short, chubby, fat-face cretin" that you described yourself as.  And...what?  Not even a little.  I thought your pictures were pretty cute!

Now, about the OLD stuff: I hate to tell you, but a month is really not that long.  I've been back on for about a year, and the time before that, it took at least 6 months.  It might help to take a step back from it (either using it very casually or not at all), though, if it's causing you a lot of stress.  

Something else that will probably be hard to keep in perspective: you're so young!  No one has any of their shit figured out at your age.  I'm close to 30 and I'm still figuring out a lot of mine.  Even though I've had a few relationships, finding them is still a lot of work, and I still haven't found the right one.  Just getting my first real job, too.  I think we all have this idea that by, say, 25, we'll have all the adult things figured out, but we're all basically faking it, or at least faking part of it.

Why do you think you wouldn't be welcome at the bicycle picnic?  Since middle school, have you made friends?  If not, is that because people aren't interested, or because you don't think they will be interested?

Well, I would hope they looked nice, those are pretty much the only good photos I've ever taken,lol. But thank you, I think you look cute too.

Yeah, I know I shouldn't be bitchin and moaning at this stage, I guess the irrational part of me fears that everytime someone drops a conversation I've lost my chance at at ever smaller list of potential girlfriends. That and, well I thought that at college I'd finally be able to get a girlfriend, now I'm two months out of college and I still haven;t so much a seriously kissed a girl.

And no, I have not, I've always been kind of a loner, even in elementary school. I guess its a little of both, acquaintances rarely invite me to hang out and I'm too afraid to ask acquaintances because I'm afraid I'll weird them out.  

BasedBuzzed wrote: 400 messages, I think, 10 or so good convos that started dropping dead(date close needs to be faster), one date that led to a second date and now potentially third date. You need endurance. Timespan of seriously using it is six months or so.

Dick with the parameters of the search function to look at men looking for women close to you and see the discrepancy in numbers, and look at their profiles and their pictures. This is to give you a sense of perspective, gives you an opportunity to see that you at least know how to craft a profile, and above all allows you to nick good ideas from other profiles while personalizing them.

Yeah, you're right, I really need to just be patient with these things. I guess I just feel a little burnt out because I'll right girls these nicely crafted messages asking them about their interests and stuff and they'll answer back with two short sentences several days later. Its stupid to get frustrated with that, I know, but I can't help it sometimes.

And thanks for the advice, but I don't think looking at how much more attractive my competition is going to make me feel too much better, lol.

Enail wrote: Two thoughts: IME, dressing room mirrors make everyone look terrible (I think it's the lighting). If I try something on in a store and it doesn't make me feel so hideous I should lock myself away from the world forever, that means it looks amazing on me (OTOH, certain kind of weird clothes sometimes seem pretty okay in the store and then I wonder what I was thinking when I get home). And I say this as someone who doesn't particularly have issues with how I look. Don't let the dressing room mirror get to you, it lies!

Thought 2: Don't "forgo the pleasures of life." It sounds like you're already trying to use things you enjoy as jumping-off points to do the more difficult stuff, and that's good. But also, you're allowed to kick back and do something you find relaxing and fun sometimes, no matter how intensely you want to dedicate yourself to self-improvement and changing your life. If you create a total dichotomy between "improvement, which makes you stressed and miserable" and "pleasurable things, which are wasting your time and you should feel bad about" and make yourself choose between them, eventually your willpower will give out and you'll abandon self-improvement altogether. It's okay to spend some of your time doing things that serve absolutely no purpose but fun, you don't have to give that up to be able to work on changes you'd like to make as well!

Yeah, your probably right, I definitely thought I looked okay in bathroom mirror yesterday. And yeah, I know you're right that I don't need to give up all my video games and other pleasurable stuff, to be perfectly honest I was in a bit of sulky mood last night after the whole mirror thing I decided that I needed to be more active, stop eating so much junk food, and that ineeded to stop wasting hour on my computer instead of reading or actually working on writing stories. It all just seemed a little overwhelming, all the stuff I needed to do to make myself better, I kind of fell into despair for a bit. Sorry for posting it on your boards, lol.

Anyway, I went to that Cycling thing today. First thing that went wrong is that I forgot my helmet in my rush to get to the meeting. Then when I got there I found out the group was mostly composed of elderly and middle-aged people. Still, a few of them were friendly and I always enjoy riding my bike, no matter who I'm with. Then, half-way through the ride, the bike leader found out I was riding with them without a helmet and told me that I'd have to leave because all riders had to have helmets on. Finally, after biking back six-miles up hill to my car I found out my parents left my helmet in the trunk the whole time Razz. My life would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic, lol. Really, my life would make a great satirical novel I'm sure.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you guy for replying to my messages. I know that I should spend less time on the internet looking for pity, and I know that i haven't exactly paid my dues here, so really, thank you all for being so friendly and helpful to me. I don't know if I've ever met so many nice people on a forum before. Smile

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Post by jcorozza on Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:16 am

I think pretty much everyone who uses OLD gets frustrated with it at some point. One of my biggest frustrations is that I'll message people who have mutually like me, and I still won't get responses. Or I'll get responses that are really half-assed. Or, with one guy, the responses were great. He said that he thought we would really get along...and then I never heard from him again. So I think there are a bunch of people on sites like OKC who think they want to date, but either aren't really ready (recently got out of relationships, haven't been in them and are very shy, general flakiness, whatever). Which...sucks a lot. I had to find ways to make it fun (like, with one guy who message me a "joking" marriage proposal, I told him I couldn't be with someone who hadn't watched Sharknado, because my kid brother had had his arm bitten off by a shark, and proper fear of sharks was necessary).

I think the making friends part is probably the one that sticks out to me the most, and might be more important for you than dating right now. It sounds like you assume people aren't going to like you, and therefore shoot yourself in the foot. Have you tried meetups? Do you have other hobbies that might skew younger?
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Post by Hirundo Bos on Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:19 am

Hi. I'm also still working with figuring both writing and dating. With writing, I've always dabbled. With regards to dating, I'm not exactly inexperienced... I was in some relationships and had a few casual partners earlier in life, but it's been quite a while since any of that now. Last time I was physically intimate with someone, I was 27; today I'm 36.

And in my experience, neither the years that went by before I started serious work, nor the years that's gone by since then, have been wasted.

I've been writing about an hour a day for years now, and produced heaps and heaps of worthless bits and bytes. So far, nothing worth publishing. But I have some hopes for this years' project... And for most people who write that I'm aware of, that's the way it works. For one thing, it takes time to learn the craft, and a lot of lot of practice to get passably good at it. For another, behind most published works there'll be pages and pages of verbal cowdung (or fertilizer, as some would call it) that didn't make it out into the world. For the poetry collection I'm working on, I wrote to a goal of 100 poems before picking out 40 of them to go on with.

The thing with the creative process is, it's fuelled by life, and life happens to you as long as you are, well, alive.

By the way, the method I used to get up to an hour of writing per day? I play games to, only a few but obsessively, and one day, I started working that into a reward system. My rule is: If I write for a preset amount  of time, I can play games for the rest of that day. But on days I don't write, I don't play. I started out with "any kind of online activity," went up to "15 minutes on a project a day," up to 30 then 45 minutes, and now, I'm up to one hour on a specific project a day, one I've comitted to not put away at least for the duration of the year. (AND I've managed to work in the additional rule of 2 social acts per day, in which online writing that isn't Twitter is included.) I've no idea if this exact program will for anyone else, the key for me was to find my own program, one that matched the presets of my mind.

And by the way again, have you considered getting together with other people who write, maybe or maybe not someone that can match your levels of experience and ambition?

When it comes to dating, and the years since 2006, where I first put it away for some later day, then came to that later day, and started working internally on myself first, then tweaking my habits so I'd get in touch with more people, and that's more or less where I'm at now, those years of my life have certainly not been wasted... for one thing, dating and relationships are also fuelled by life. And then there's the matter of mental capacity. We talk a lot about how we need to get out of the comfort zone. But for me, getting into the comfort zone has been just as important. And possibly just as difficult. The years I spent doing not very productive things were also spent getting rest from some exhausting years that had gone before... any they were spent learning how to gauge my needs, learning how to relax and recharge, so that now that I am moving more out of my comfort zone, I know where to find it again when I need some comfort.

I'd just like to add that I'm not saying that everything will turn out for the best, because a lot of things doesn't. And I'm absolutely not saying I haven't missed out on things. I'll have ten years less to write, ten years less to love, than if I'd been one of those with my shit together at 25. I'm only saying that on a grand enough scale, absolutely everything will come to naught. While on a more immediate scale, a lot of things have meaning there and then. And inbetween those POVs, well, we're always moving towards some milestone or other, even when they're not the ones we wanted most when we set out.
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Post by Perlandra on Mon Jul 20, 2015 1:07 pm

I really like your attitude there, Hirundo!  I hope Danny finds a couple of your suggestions helpful.

Danny, I've relatively recently gotten back into OLD too, and I agree that the conversations that start well but kinda peter out can be really frustrating.  Sometimes I just don't have the energy to do a really well-crafted note back initially, but I don't want to just not respond either, so I do a quick note and mention that I'm a bit tired or whatever, and try to put more time/thought into the next reply to them.

Sorry the cycling thing didn't work out, but yeah, you should make sure you have your helmet!  I can understand their worry that it might be a liability legally to let you come to an event they organised without safety equipment.

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