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Questions about how to move forward


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When it comes to dating I was a late bloomer. I started a relationship in 2013 and it was turbulent until its final end in 2015 because she didn’t love me in the same way. I tried reconnecting and found out she married earlier this year to someone who was in the background. It seems I was just the buffer while my she waited for this other person to be available. The experience has left me low in esteem and self-worth.


I threw myself into work, and now I am terribly busy with my schedule and committed/obligated to it over the next two years. Every hour is accounted for. But I want to make time for romance. I am willing to do this. How to I communicate these things, which seems like “cons” on my list of traits?


And last, how do I trust again? I was never a serious contender for my ex----I realize I was played, now. How do I know when someone takes me seriously, and that I’m not a complete joke? My problem is that whenever I walk into a room, no one sees me because my attitude is "no one wants me, I'm just here for the hell of it." What should my attitude be? How do I get out of this rut?

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The mistake I sometimes make when I am in a situation like this is over-generalizing. Because one person didn't want me, no one wants me. Because one person hurt me, everyone will hurt me.


Your self-image has been shattered, but self-image is a mental construct. The objective self is still intact.


You are seeing the world and the people in it through the lens of your pain. Looks pretty awful, right? The world has its problems and is filled with imperfect people, but it's also a place of joy and connection. If you adjust your filter a bit, you'll be able to see those things, too. Look for the good in others and in yourself. Start a gratitude journal and do a random act of kindness each day (it can be something small, like putting 12 cents in the tip jar at a lunch counter). Pay attention to the negative word tracks running through your mind 24x7 and start telling yourself a better story. Give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt. Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes we get hurt. Sometimes we hurt others. But sometimes people fill our lives with joy and love. Sometimes we are the light that someone else needs to find their way in the dark.


Start seeing the good along with the bad. It will give you a clearer point of view. The rest will fall into place from there.

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Thank you for your reply, gebaird.


I know everyone makes mistakes (I make plenty of them). But is there something I can do so that "reading the red flags" is a bit easier, for me? I was a buffer used to wait on someone else who was more appealing--that makes a person feel like chopped liver. What sort of signs can I look for, how will I know when to save myself from the same sort of trouble? I just want to learn from this and move forward.

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