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Thread: Seeking advice about dating apps - guy who lacks confidence for good reason

  1. #1
    Member Seff's Avatar
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    Seeking advice about dating apps - guy who lacks confidence for good reason

    So I've been dealing with depression and anxiety for most of my life.

    And have been so confused and overwhelmed with what to do with myself.

    I've had very little dating experience.

    Many "girlfriends" in high school, but for my whole life, I'd say only one real girlfriend.

    The past year things have become more clear for me, and I'm doing a lot better, but it's a real uphill battle to get myself where I need to be...

    When I was feeling really optimistic a few months back, I wrote up a sincere and well worded dating app bio.
    I was honest about my depression, but focused on my good points, my caring nature, and mentioned that I'd be going back to school to pursue my dreams.

    So a few ladies have answered me.

    But the ones that seem just way too good for me, i.e. they actually have their life together and stuff, I don't end up responding to....

    I just don't see how I'd be helpful to them.... or why they'd be interested in me... especially if they're financially successful and the like...
    I mean I can feel the depression seeping back in, now that it looks like my plans to go back to school will have to wait till I can afford it...

    But another one of these ladies responded to me recently, and instead of saying nothing this time, I thought I would say something to the effect of:
    I appreciate you reaching out, but you seem too good for me.

    I feel like if I say that, and then focus on her and what we have in common, I'll be being honest, and I'll feel more comfortable, but I don't know...

    What do you guys think?
    Helpful comments much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member MirrorKnight's Avatar
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    Hmmm...

    If you had many girlfriends in high school, had one serious girlfriend despite struggling with mental health all your life, and girls who you feel are out of your league keep hitting you up on Tinder (or something like it)... I can only conclude that you are one handsome devil :P Much jelly.

    Seriously do not underestimate the simple attractiveness of genetic fitness! I recently tried to set up a male colleague who I thought had been single for a long time, and probably struggled to date much because of his humble financial circumstances. (Girls here have a reputation for being rather more materialistic than those in the UK, and presumably Canada). I randomly asked him how many girlfriends he's had... and he said "oh I don't know... last 10 years... at least one a year". His Ace in the hole is that he really is considered very handsome here, all it took was one photo and the girl I was introducing to him was keen to meet him, despite a clear disparity in economic background (She is tall and beautiful too). It was a real eye opener for me, being a handsome devil is universally effective at being a babe magnet!

    Anyway I kind of went off on a tangent. My practical advice is:

    1) Stop putting yourself down. If other people respond positively to your profile (assuming they are not catfishing, NEVER send anyone money), then obviously you have some appeal that you are not aware of. People who have suffered from depression tend to undersell themselves. If you constantly undersell yourself, you will never develop your confidence and security in yourself.

    2) I wouldn't mention depression in your dating bio if I were you. Yes it is an important part of your life, but stop allowing yourself to be defined by it, constrained by it. When I was dating, I would only bring up my history of depression if it got to the point where I felt there might be a relationship going forwards, at that point I feel it is important to be frank about your baggage, but there is no need to unload it on strangers.

    3) What do you actually want? Why are you trying to date?
    3A) If you just want something for some simple pleasure, then there is even less need to bring up depression. You live in a liberal country, there will be women who will want to have casual flings with you as long as you are attractive enough (which I guess you are). As long as you do not mislead them about your intentions, then nobody gets hurt and you get to have some fun and build some confidence without any of the baggage of being in a serious relationship.

    3B) If you just want companionship and friendship, then again, make that clear to the women in question, do not mislead them into thinking that you are ready and looking for a serious relationship. It is not actually a bad idea to make friends via dating. I have stayed friends with a few dates where we did not connect romantically, but did enjoy each other's company enough to be friends. (Just make sure they understand that is the situation).

    3C) If you want an actual serious relationship. I would seriously ask yourself if you are truly ready for it? It really depends on your mental state. If you are still a mess, then I strongly recommend that you pursue only 3A and 3B, because having a girlfriend will only add to the confusion and sense of being overwhelmed by life. Having a girlfriend does is not going to solve your problems magically like some depressed guys think. Work on yourself first, if you struggle to take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of a significant other? You don't want to be a "patient" or "project" for your girlfriend. Healthy and stable relationships should be balanced and mutually supportive.

    4) If you do decide to get into a relationship whilst having some fragility in your mental health, I strongly recommend that you avoid getting into a relationship with somebody else with similar problems. I have two friends suffering from depression who had/have serious girlfriends. One of them was improving because his girlfriend is independent, strong, compassionate and supportive. The other friend's girlfriend also suffers from depression, and they have spent years telling each other "oh babe, there there, I love you, it is not your fault that you feel this way..." Which seems nice on the surface, but what they are really doing is seeking acceptance and comfort for their problems, and enabling complete apathy towards doing anything to improve themselves and get better. They are barely functional human beings individually, collectively I doubt they will ever conquer their demons because they constantly tell each other that it is okay to surrender.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    If you want an actual serious relationship. I would seriously ask yourself if you are truly ready for it?

    I really agree with MirrorKnight, here. I wouldn't even be dating when you don't like yourself, because you will attract bullies, emotionally manipulative women, or any other types of toxic people. Subconsciously, you will also choose rejects, and reject women who are actually good for you, feeling something is "off."

    What would I do if I were you? Get treatment for the depression if you're not currently under care. It's like the crashing plane scenario. Put your own oxygen mask on first before attending to anyone else.

    If you can't afford psychology sessions to improve your self esteem, at the very least, read books and articles on how to do that. There's no attraction killer worse than self-loathing. Nobody wants to be around a person who puts themselves down. When I was a teen, I had a boyfriend who was average looking (looked like Hyde on That 70s Show). But girls would fight for his attention because he was a fun people person who loved to joke around.

    My husband makes far less money than me, but he has a high work ethic. He meets all of my major needs, and matching me financially wasn't one of my must-haves.

    Find a hobby you can be passionate about to boost your positivity and self confidence, plus make your a more well-rounded, interesting person. Something to concentrate besides yourself and everything you perceive to be wrong about you.

    All of this will take time, but will be worth it in the end. Take care.

  4. #4
    Member Seff's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great advice MirrorKnight!

    Yes, re-evaluating what I want out of the app is exactly what I needed to do...
    And as Andrina ads in, I'm really not sure I am ready for a serious relationship...
    I want companionship and friendship first and foremost...
    So I'll make that clear! :)

    But hey if a more serious relationship naturally develops that is mutually beneficial, I'd be ok with that too, if we really can help each other out.


    [And I'm certainly not looking for "happiness", or someone to "complete me", or someone to placate me whilst I take no steps at growth... Happiness is something you make for yourself, and is added to by the right company. I'm working on me, and doing the things I need to... though it isn't easy at times. Also am currently on a waiting list for therapy, so I can talk out my past and leave it there....]

    Thanks again for the great advice you two!

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'd stay away from negative commentary especially on dating apps. If you don't feel well enough to respond, it's best not to respond. If you're not ready for a relationship, I'd be cautious about being on a dating app in the first place. Join another website or be part of local interest groups if you are looking for friendship and companionship at this time. I'm not sure what kind of help you are seeking in a partner, perhaps some camaraderie and understanding for your personal situation and ongoings. I think it depends on how flexible you want to be.

  7. #6
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    If these woman have taken the time to respond to your profile, talk to them. Stop taking it upon yourself to conclude that they are too good for you. You can't tell much through a profile. Meet these women. If you can take that small step you will improve your chances. Right now all you are doing is shooting yourself in the foot because of your fear.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Seff
    But another one of these ladies responded to me recently, and instead of saying nothing this time, I thought I would say something to the effect of:
    I appreciate you reaching out, but you seem too good for me.

    I feel like if I say that, and then focus on her and what we have in common, I'll be being honest, and I'll feel more comfortable, but I don't know...

    What do you guys think?
    I think it's a bad idea. You're limiting yourself for no good reason. It's not a competition to see who's better than who. This is a quest for companionship, a relationship. This may be someone who you get along with. Give it a chance to get out of the gate before you give up.


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