Depression and dating

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Post by Datelessman on Mon May 06, 2019 11:18 pm

ReploidArmada wrote:I had hoped this would be different. It wasn't different.

Natasha sent me a text tonight that read: "I have been thinking about what I want in life and I right now don't think that you and I are a good match. You are a sweet guy and I know you will find someone incredible Heart." I'm now, once again, out of a relationship - once again, for no adequately explainable reason. At least this one lasted for a full 11 days or so longer than my previous one? */sigh*

Where do I go now? I've had my heart broken twice now in the span of 3 months, if not less. I'm losing hope that I will ever find true love. At this rate, all I'll ever hope to do is bounce back and forth between month long "relationships" that are as fleeting as a one night stand, only with more loss and heartache.

As much as I don't want to always parrot DNL, but he'd probably say that there was an "adequately explainable reason" for the breakup. Natasha just wasn't into you anymore. Not to make light of the situation or deny your emotional pain, but relationships aren't contractual obligations (at least until marriage and even half of those end early). If one side just isn't feeling it anymore, that's enough of a legitimate reason. As much as it hurts, at the very least Natasha (and your last beau) chose to make a clean break with you, rather than "string you along" for months or even years even though they'd emotionally checked out.

Not saying it doesn't hurt or shouldn't hurt. It does, and you need to own it. It's okay if you want to mourn for a bit, cry your eyes out and eat ice scream and watch wrestling, or anime, or whatever your comfort media is. Don't bury it out of a need to "be a man" and maybe don't be in a rush to date again beforehand. Maybe spending 3 months to collect yourself and emotionally heal wouldn't be a bad idea.

The sad fact is most relationships are "fleeting." Whether romantic, friendly, or even with family, most times they're over before you know it. But the quest for true love amid what seem like fleeting opportunities is a noble one, and I don't want you to forget the progress you have made. You went out there and have tried, many times. That alone is more than I, or many others, ever did. You have bucked yourself up more than once and dated again, even after difficulties and heartbreak. Being strong isn't being immune to emotional pain, but by overcoming it. You're building on your successes. And you have learned that you are capable of being attractive to multiple women, and it isn't a fluke.

There're few shortcuts over the quest towards finding "the one," or even something more long term. At least you know you want something long term; for a lot of people, a month or two is about their speed for lovers. The only common denominator is you and there's a place to maybe analyze what you're doing and how you're approaching, and seeing how or what you could do to improve. But the long and short of it is that many relationships are fleeting, and they hurt when they end. Why do you think 75% of all music is about that? I think you're on the right track and am impressed by how you've changed in the last year or so. Feel your feels, mourn the loss, and don't start again until you feel you're ready.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Tue May 07, 2019 3:58 am

I asked Natasha what her thoughts were on, one, what I could do differently for the next woman, and two, what happened between her and I that caused her to break up with me. She reiterated that it was entirely her side that "went wrong," as it were, but that she wasn't sure why she wasn't feeling it anymore - only that she wasn't. I think I believe her on the first part, but not necessarily the second. I didn't notice anything amiss when I was interacting with her, the five times that I was able to see her in person, and she was always interested and happy to be in physical proximity and contact with me... At least, until she broke up with me.

Anyway, regardless of whether I'll be able to get a reason for her breaking up with me, the fact of the matter is that she did. I... I loved her with my whole heart, and now... my heart's been shattered once again. It hurts so much right now, but more than that, I'm beginning to wonder whether it's actually worthwhile to pick up the pieces again, or if I should just leave my heart in pieces forever. I want to be in love... I want to feel loved, and wanted, and sexy... But, if this is all that awaits me down the road, then what should I do?

For the record, I'm reading what you're saying about the progress I've made and the successes I've found, but I don't believe it. My mind *doesn't allow me to.* In my head, I'm just as unlovable, undesirable, and un-somethingelse-able now, at this very moment, as I was during the last several years of my life, where I was only really capable of dating and courtship in my dreams. This breakup is just reinforcing those old feelings of romantic and sexual worthlessness.

Suffice to say... If I have to wait until I "feel (I'm) ready" to continue dating, then I feel like I'll be waiting until the end of my life.

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Post by Enail on Tue May 07, 2019 2:08 pm

I'm sorry you're hurting so much and that you're struggling to hold onto any feeling of the improvements you've made. It sucks, and I hope the pain eases soon.

But a lot of what you're talking about is a problem that you've got to deal with within yourself. You're looking to fall in love, and it doesn't matter with who, or how long you've spent building it with the other person, it doesn't matter what they tell you or what you do together, because you're not looking for a relationship, you're looking for someone to give your life meaning and fix your sense of self-worth. That's not something someone else can give you.

I think the evidence shows that you can be desired and that you'll be able to find other partners in the future, but if you want to really feel lovable and be able to appreciate your successes and progress and to feel okay within yourself, I think that's something that you're only going to be able to feel, solidly feel, in a steady way that you can hold onto in spite of life's up and downs, when you stop clinging to this idea that you know is unhealthy by pinning all your hopes on a relationship that can't really fix what you're looking to it to fix. That doesn't mean you can't date until you reach some kind of state of perfect readiness, but you've got to face yourself, too, not let dating be a distraction from the real issue.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Tue May 07, 2019 9:17 pm

...Okay. But how should I start to change that? How should I start finding meaning and self-worth in myself? I just don't know, Enail. I guess first step would be to focus on myself for a while, but I don't know how - or, even, if - I can start fixing those unhealthy thoughts and mindsets. Maybe I should switch therapists? My current one doesn't seem that interested in getting to the root of the issues I'm dealing with.

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Post by Enail on Tue May 07, 2019 9:28 pm

It seems like you've been frustrated with your current therapist for a while, have you tried talking to him about how he's seeing your big-picture treatment plan and what you want to be working on? You could also look into cognitive behavioural therapy, see if it might have some techniques you can practice on your own to help with thought patterns, if you think your therapist is helpful otherwise.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Wed May 08, 2019 4:13 am

You're right. I have been somewhat frustrated with my therapist for a while. I feel like his therapy style consists less of working with me to diagnose and fix my head and more of getting me to do activities in the hopes that it will fix my head for me. That is something I take umbrage with, as I believe what I need more is help and assistance in reprogramming my mind into moving past those negative thought patterns we all know I deal with, not help with getting out and doing things. The latter used to be a problem for me, but isn't right now.

I haven't brought up what I'd specifically like to work on for a while, but one of two things usually happens during my therapy sessions: Either one, I forget to bring up my overall treatment goals and what I'd like to work on, or two, I don't really get the opportunity to bring it up. I just saw him yesterday, so I won't have another scheduled appointment until next Monday, but I will try to bring this up next time I see him.

In the meantime... I guess I'll be better served just ignoring my desire to find love until I can get out of the idea that love will fix what's broken with me, as much as it literally pains me to do so. But that leaves the question: If love - which is something I've spent well over a decade pining and hoping for - can't change me, then how am I supposed to change myself in its absence?

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Post by ReploidArmada on Fri May 17, 2019 2:21 am

I saw my therapist a few days ago, and during the appointment, I brought up my desire to work on the mental piece of my depression more. Specifically, I brought up that I want to start working through the mental roadblocks I have between me and a healthy relationship, like that I'm putting too much pressure on my dates to basically validate my life.

His response? He started saying that he wants to help with the mental piece, but that I'm "not letting him in" or something like that. He brought up numerous times that he keeps asking me what I think I could do differently, but that I keep saying "I don't know" what I think about it. While he was talking, I felt like my opinions weren't really valued by him, and that he doesn't really care what I feel like I need help with. I specifically mentioned that I need help working through that validation piece, and he seemed to ignore that and, almost, started ranting at me.

Maybe I do need a new therapist...

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Post by ReploidArmada on Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:53 am

A lot's happened since May 16. I have a new job, for starters, which pays me full-time (still at minimum wage, which to be fair in Seattle, where I live, is $15/hr). Unfortunately, I had to lose my low-income health insurance, because the federal limit for such things is based off of the federal minimum wage and poverty lines, not the state ones. I'm now paying an additional $330 or so a month for medical, plus whatever else my therapy appointments will cost - when, of course, the clinic I go to starts accepting private medical. Apparently they will soon, but as of right now, they do not.

I also got back in touch with Natasha, a good two months after the break-up. I told her about my recent inability to find anyone on OLD willing to meet up with me, and in response, she said she missed me. She offered, not to start again from where we were originally, but to start again from the beginning. I said yes. So far I've seen her once since then. I've been trying to find additional times in her schedule where she'd be open to meeting up with me again, but she's been very busy with work and family things lately.

However, I also think I noticed something about my current drive to find a girlfriend / relationship. I feel like, right now, I'm trying in vain to mix the "have fun and fool around" phase people usually go through with the "settle down and find a relationship" phase. The main reason that I'm trying to do so, of course, is that people usually go through the former in their early twenties or earlier. I, however, didn't start dating until one, maybe two years ago? And, I didn't lose my virginity until very recently, all things considered. As someone who has a relatively high sexual appetite, there's only so much I can do "by myself", as it were. I want, nay need, to have someone in my life who I can explore that side with. Ideally, that would come in the form of a stable, long-term, romantic relationship with a woman with whom I end up boinking like rabbits. However, as time continues to pass, I've tried to find FWBs and ONSs with no success. I'm starting to feel like the one sexual encounter I had was a fluke, and that there's no reason to hold out hope for another...

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Post by Datelessman on Sat Jul 27, 2019 5:00 pm

I am glad you're keeping up with therapy, even if you believe you need a new therapist. That means you're engaged in your mental health and want to grow and change, and that's great!

Interesting that Natasha wanted to get back with you, and while I hope it goes well, it may be worth remembering what DNL says about reuniting with an ex. Unless the fundamental reasons why you broke up have changed, the pattern may repeat itself and it may be worse the second time around. On the other hand, you two at least know each other and if expectations aren't sky high it could work out.

I totally get that dynamic you mention about looking for both a LTR and a FWB/ONS, which you believe is related in part to losing your virginity late. It could be a desire to "want to make up for lost time" and that's not uncommon in men who were late bloomers (even if not as late as you or I, even). Ideally people go thru a dating evolution as they grow, going from casual flings to figuring out what they want long term, but it isn't universal. Some people go thru life dating the same way, for better or worse. Some people married their high school sweetheart and it worked out. Heck, even in my own neighborhood I know two dudes who started a LTR with maybe their first or second lover as teenagers and by the time they got married a decade or so later it was really just to cement what was already obvious. And I'm hardly living in "the sticks."

Don't treat your successes in dating as flukes. Treat them as goals, or at least as examples that the impossible is indeed possible. I think the worst thing you can do is steal your own victories from yourself when times get rough.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:44 am

Ugh, where do I even begin? Things have been really bad lately.

First off: KJ, my little kitty-cat, is gone. He passed away quietly around the middle of August. I miss him even now. I don't think my dad will let me get another cat until I move out of the house.

Second, I *still* haven't seen Natasha. My ex keeps telling me she wants to spend time with me, but she hasn't really made a large effort to spend time with me lately. Last I really heard from her, I was asking her how I looked for a first date with someone else, and she replied she regretted giving me up in the first place. Of course, that was a couple weeks ago. She's been mostly silent since then.

Third, my love life - at least lately - has been a farce. That date I went on? The lady in question told me she wasn't interested in continuing to see me. Literally every other match I've had on OKCupid, Bumble, and Tinder has been ignoring me. And of course, meeting people in person is still very difficult for me - as much as my therapist likes to think otherwise. Of course, other people around me see finding love. One of my friends, a homosexual guy who used to hit on me, recently got married to someone. Meanwhile, I'm about to turn 29 and I've still never really had a proper relationship. The best I've had lasted 22 days.

I don't know what to do anymore. Is love worth this heartache? This rejection? I'm not sure.

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Post by Enail on Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:36 pm

I'm so sorry about your kitty, Reploid. He sounds like he was a great cat, it must be so hard to be without him.
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Post by Werel on Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:40 pm

Oh no, Reploid, condolences about your cat. Sad I hope time keeps helping, but one always misses those furry little jerks terribly when they decide to depart this world. Hang in there.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:31 am

I need some opinions from you folks.

I told Natasha I still had strong feelings for her, even after the break-up. This was a few weeks ago, and I haven't heard back from her, or seen her, since. Should I keep trying to spend time with her, and hope I can rekindle her love for me, or try to find someone else? My love life is still basically non-existent either way I look at it.

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Post by Hielario on Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:51 pm

I may not have experience with relationships, but your Natasha reminds me a lot of a woman i knew a couple years ago. She's been saying she'd love to meet again, but she's always very busy, hasn't she?

The thing is, it might be true, or the truth might be more complicated. But, either way, I think it's not good for you to keep waiting for her.

If she's genuinely busy, it's a bad idea because it's very clear she hasn't got time for a relationship, so it won't work out.

And if she isn't, it's a bad idea too; There's something else going on and she isn't telling you what it is. The causes might vary, but she's being dishonest with you, probably to avoid a direct confrontation. Shit, maybe she's being dishonest even with herself. I don't think it's a good ide to keep going after someone who is doing that.

As you can see, it's over either way and continuing to wait will bring you nothing but extra pain.

Try to find someone else, if one woman is willing to touch you, there have to be others out here who are willing too!

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Post by Werel on Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:58 pm

Natasha has given you her answer very clearly: she’s not interested. “Rekindling someone’s love for you” pretty much never happens (cause it’s essentially “making someone love you”, which... equally impossible), and in the rare cases it does, it’s when someone lets you know there’s they might still want something with you. Not a good idea to keep pursuing her; definitely put your energy into meeting other people instead.
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Post by Enail on Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:17 pm

If she hasn't responded to that, that's a really clear sign that she's not interested in trying to rekindle things and it's time to move on. I'm sorry.

I'm not crazy about Hielario's framing of it as dishonest, since it sounds like you're really not that willing to accept what she's offering as platonic friends only and that any connecting you do will come with a lot of expectations or pressure from you to have a different kind of relationship, whether explicitly or implicitly (it's easy for emotions to leak out unintentionally when you're feeling them really strongly, so sometimes it's really hard not to put romantic pressure on someone you're interested in even if you don't intend to). If you're sending an unclear message and putting her in an uncomfortable position by saying you want to be "friends" but continuing to put your feelings on her or try to win her back, she isn't doing anything wrong or dishonest to not take it upon herself to unpick your subtext and respond explicitly to something you're not willing to be explicit about yourself.  I'm sure she doesn't want to hurt you or let you down, so if you're not at a point where you can really keep things platonic with her, but you don't outright say so and cut off contact if platonic's all she wants, it puts her in an impossible position where her best action is to just try and gently dial back and hope that time apart lets you start letting go.

This seems like a common pattern with you and women you've  had romantic interest in, so I think it's important for you to work on letting go once you've gotten a no and to give people space if they step back.  Sticking around trying to change someone's mind is rarely a good idea, and tends to land up just keeping the wound fresh for you. If you can learn to take a "no" on board without letting it crush you but still genuinely internalizing it as a no rather than holding on in your heart, that's something that will come out in your interactions in the future, and make yeses more likely.

I know it's disappointing when you have to let go of someone you cared about, but you are a whole person in and of yourself, now with extra knowledge that you can be attractive to another person and experience to draw on, and you can continue to go forward and have good, new things in your life, even if they're not your relationship with ex.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:21 pm

Well, it turns out it didn't matter to begin with. About a half hour before you two folks replied, Natasha herself told me "I have been dating someone else since Nov."

I wasn't aware it was possible for the same woman to break my heart so badly twice in a row without getting back into a relationship, but guess what, it just happened. Where do I go from here? Besides "getting back into OLD" of course. She herself told me she "missed" me earlier, and that she regretted giving me up, but I guess that means nothing now.

Love is dead. It never existed.

EDIT:

Enail wrote:I know it's disappointing when you have to let go of someone you cared about, but you are a whole person in and of yourself, now with extra knowledge that you can be attractive to another person and experience to draw on, and you can continue to go forward and have good, new things in your life, even if they're not your relationship with ex.

Hielario wrote:Try to find someone else, if one woman is willing to touch you, there have to be others out here who are willing too!

Right now, I have a VERY hard time believing either one of those. It's probably oneitis talking, but with how my love life and OLD attempts have been going lately (I've been on a grand total of one date since the breakup) I can't POSSIBLY see myself with another woman. Which, of course, means that I'll have to get used to being by myself for the rest of my life. Alone, unloved, and unfulfilled. Like always. Crying

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Post by Enail on Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:38 pm

Do you remember there was a time when you felt even getting one date was impossible, let alone going on multiple dates with different women, a girlfriend, and having sex? Now, all those things have happened. Don't overlook how far you've come!

But also, don't forget that fulfillment is something you need to give yourself, too. Your improvements haven't just been in dating, you've been active, working, meeting people, doing hobbies - that stuff matters and is just as important for having a fulfilling and meaningful life, so don't ignore those successes. Keep working on building a good life for yourself in all ways and making your relationship with yourself stronger. That's what'll carry you through the good times and the bad ones.
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Post by Werel on Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:41 pm

I’m sorry you’re in the very painful phase of realizing someone you had strong feelings for has moved on with someone else. Where do you go from here? Probably nowhere, for a minute. Take the time to mourn the hopes you had for a future with Natasha, and give yourself some time to grieve and feel shitty. Process this instead of throwing yourself headlong into seeking A Woman, Any Woman (who you probably aren’t gonna be emotionally available to at the moment) to fill the hole Natasha has left in your life.

But it isn’t helpful to retcon your whole relationship as “love is dead and never existed” (love can be real and then end!), or make “this means I’m doomed to forever loneliness” prophecies. As much as you can, reframe your thinking about this in a more grounded way. It’s tough when a breakup is still raw, but replace “love never existed” with “it hurts that this love no longer exists.” Replace “I’m doomed to be lonely forever” with “godDAMN do I feel lonely.” Just keep it to things that are objectively true, cause those are painful enough right now without extrapolating a bunch of hypothetical misery on top of it.

Breakups are horrible, and it will get easier with time.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:44 pm

I suppose, but... This is more than just a "bad (time)" in my life. This is me having to say goodbye to a woman who I legitimately thought, while I was dating her, that she and I would work out beautifully. Now look at me: Crying by myself because she decided to chase someone else for the past month.

Again, I reiterate: Where do I go from here?

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Post by Enail on Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:20 pm

For now, you grieve. It was a good thing that made you really happy and now it's gone and you've just lost your hope that you'd get back together, it's okay to feel awful and hopeless right now. Be kind to yourself. Maybe loop your therapist in for ways to handle your grief and build yourself back up again.

When you feel ready for next steps, you know how to move forward, because you've been doing it; working on your mental health, making connections, living your life. This heartbreak, as painful as it is, doesn't erase all the ways you've grown and experiences you've had from this relationship, or the evidence it gives you that you've been doing something right. You've got this.
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Post by Datelessman on Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:49 pm

I agree with everyone here, Reploid. Allow yourself to mourn and get over Natasha but do not forget the amazing progress you've made. In fact that is one of the cool things about forums like this, because they can act like a journal or log of your progress. You've come so far in less than a year, man. You can do this.
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Post by ReploidArmada on Thu Dec 19, 2019 4:58 am

I'm not so sure that I can recover from this quickly. At least, in the same way that you folks seem to think I can. You guys know just as well as I do that I loved Natasha with my whole heart... And now, I have to basically write her out of my life. I feel like giving her my first time was kind of a mistake... I wanted to give my first time to someone who was going to be around me for a long time, and she definitely was not.

Well, anyway, I've already been on OLD a fair bit, trying to find a new date, and I've also been trying to find a FWB as well. My hope is to find someone to be with, in general - either both romantically and sexually, or just the latter.

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Post by Werel on Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:10 pm

Nobody said anything about quick! It takes time. Lots of it. But there is literally nothing you can do except... mourn and move on. It’s not easy. It’s just so simply true that there’s very little to say about it.

If you think finding somebody new is what’s going to make it easier to move on, well, that works for some people. If you feel ready to get back on the horse, there’s no state-mandated timeline for recovering from a breakup (YET). But do be sure you’ve taken the time to actually process the breakup instead of trying to just outrun it with new dates.

And I’m sorry your first didn’t end up being a long-term partner. Try to mourn that fact too, and see if it tells you anything about who you might want to sleep with in the future (committed partners only? Casual partners now that the first time is out of the way?)

Like Enail said, do try to remember how insanely far you’ve come!
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Depression and dating - Page 17 Empty Re: Depression and dating

Post by ReploidArmada on Tue Dec 24, 2019 11:24 pm

At this point, I'm starting to feel like single women near me hate me. Like, all of them. Case in point? Not only have my OLD efforts gone poorly between the first breakup and the second one - I've still only been on one date that only went okay, and she didn't want to continue seeing me - my OLD efforts since the second "breakup" have gone arguably worse. Despite the fact that I'm now on four different dating apps, no one seems to care about me, or my profiles, or my interest in them. I currently have two matches on Bumble, but they have yet to start the conversation, and one of them is about to time out. I had one new conversation on OKCupid, but she seemed to lose interest as well. I've also been trying to find a FWB as well, but no luck there yet.

In other news, I've decided I'm going to try applying myself towards self-improvement in the new year. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be, for a few reasons: One, self-confidence; Two, attracting someone else to date; And three, being able to tell Natasha to kindly **** off if she decides she's had enough of who she's dating at the moment. I'm still sore and upset and angry at her for not only dumping me so soon after we decided to go steady in the first place, but also for playing with my heart for the last 5-6 months, her knowing full well she didn't want me back anyway.

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ReploidArmada

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Depression and dating - Page 17 Empty Re: Depression and dating

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