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Over 30 Dating

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I am over 30.  I’ve only been in one serious long-term relationship that messed me up.  I finally ended it in 2015.  We were together almost 10 years on & off.  I have been scared of dating ever since and with life troubles interfering as well I just resorted to avoidance by convincing myself I had sworn off all men after we broke it off.

Around the same time of the break-up, I’ve had to deal with a physical injury that stripped me of 5 years of my life easy and been slowly and very literally getting back on my feet ever since.  

I work independently & generally an introvert so I don’t meet a lot of new people, but every now and then when I do meet someone that shows interest I get scared and push them away.  I’m sort of a multipotentialite that got stuck doing the one job she had no interest in doing so I’m not happy career-wise either and always use that as an excuse to avoid relationships thinking I need to be more stable / content with my career before I get involved with someone.

And just when you think I’m out of excuses: I suffer from very bad self-esteem / confidence secondary to a tumultuous relationship with my mother.  

Is there any hope for someone like me that feels too damaged to be in a relationship?  If so, I haven’t dated in a while I would have no idea where or how to start? Any advice?

Edited by Chronanhedon
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Never feel pressured in getting involved again.  That should come naturally that you actually DO feel ready - in every sense.

Have you tried therapy to help you out with your own issue's?  If you feel so insecure/ low about yourself, that can very well flow out when you are involved.

Would be good to discuss things going on between you & your mother ( the effects) .. and your personal life experiences.


Dating/relationships take your energy, expectations, etc.

If & when you do feel like going there again, there's dating sites ( set up a profile) and sometimes you can find & join your 'local singles groups'?  We have one around here.  I met a few nice people - who are actual friends.

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I don't think age is an issue here at all but the rest of you getting in your own way likely could be.  I recommend professional counseling.  I did a lot of dating from ages 30-39 and it was like a part time job at times -I wanted marriage and family. I started dating my future husband when I turned 39. We've been married over ten years.

I'm sorry you're struggling.

Edited by Batya33
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Sorry this is happening. Unfortunately you don't seem ready to date just yet.

Get to a physician about your mental and physical health and a referral to a therapist to sort out work and family conflicts as well as self-esteem issues.

Once you are in a better place, then consider dating. The current state of mind will only attract bad people because you are in a bad place.

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Perhaps sort out your career and make new friends/reconnect with your friends too. You seem isolated and have a loss of purpose. If you are feeling low about yourself, dating now isn't a good time. 

Do you live with your mother? Are you able to regain some self-sufficiency after your injury?


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Please don't sit around and wondering if there's someone out there for you. The only person you need is you because that's the only person who can fix you. When you date as a broken person, you attract the wrong kind of people and the wrong types of relationships.

OP, do you do any self-care? I asked because if I am to be honest, you don't sound happy with yourself.

That internal feeling is something you need to change so I am thinking maybe if you don't want to jump in to therapy for your problems, have you thought about some self-care you can start doing? Like going on short trips - maybe to a hot springs, or maybe just a nice long drive in the middle of nowhere? Going to the gym and working out and throwing some physical therapy training in the mix and releasing some endorphins (also can make you feel hot and bothered - in a good way!) Listening to calming music while in a bubble bath? Treating yourself out - pedicures, spa treatment, retail therapy, etc.

I think if you improvise some regular self-care in your life, you will start to feel like you are deserving of those little rewards. Maybe that will help with your headspace and make you feel like you have a purpose and that purpose is to be happy.

I think you have been stuck in a rut too long and with the injury, it prolonged it, but there's this voice in you that wants you to be free of self-doubt and self-loathing because you aren't happy being this way. Only you can fix you. Listen to that voice who wants you to overcome.



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Thank you all for taking the time to answer. A lot of your comments have been very insightful.  I do suffer from chronic depression.  I have already completed physical therapy a while back so I’ve been working on just strengthening my affected limb. 

I also work out (not like I used to before my injury but I do my best) and do some self-care when I have the time but it feels more like homework most days.

I have done some therapy in the past but I never felt comfortable discussing my relationship past or anything that intimate.  I mostly talked about how I felt re work, general anxiety and relationship with my mother without sharing any really personal details.  I still don’t think that I am capable of opening up in that way.

I know I probably shouldn’t be dating.  It’s funny that more than one of you has mentioned that I would attract the wrong people because I’m not right myself since the last person I pushed away was actually someone I met in group therapy, has bipolar and had broken up with his girlfriend a week after we met.  

I have been independent since I was 15 years old and it has been a double-edged sword in that I can get very comfortable in being alone but at the same time it feels like I’ve been alone for longer than the average person because even in my relationship that part stayed with me and it never bothered my partner how I did a lot of things without involving him, but over time I am learning that being alone loses its shine and loneliness becomes a more frequent visitor.

The other reason I felt somewhat ready for a relationship is because I’ve always done well as a partner.  I’m a good listener, faithful, supportive, communicative, laid-back etc.  Being in a relationship made me happy because it was something I was able to do well and not feel like a failure as I do in other parts of my life, so I thought maybe it could somehow help me fix things and maybe I can work my way backwards if I found the right person.

I will take everyone’s advice to heart and go from there though. 

Thanks again.

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Being in a relationship means taking risks on someone else and having faith that they will not hurt you. I don't see you having that in you right now.  You shouldn't want a relationship so they can help you fix yourself, that would be dangerous and selfish.  Dangerous because you could easily be manipulated and selfish because whomever you are with didn't sign up for a fixer upper girlfriend.

  Everyone has baggage and I mean everyone but if it takes a large cart to carry it around dating is the last thing that is needed at the moment.

  I agree a therapist is in order for you.  I see that you wouldn't open up the last time you were in therapy because you were afraid.  Well if you cannot open up to a professional there to help a partner will be left in the dark as well.  If you think of the therapist as a sounding board and a test so to speak to see how much you can bring yourself to divulge to begin to lesson your baggage it would help.  I know it is hard to say the words but the therapist is a stranger you pay to listen and help you, a person you never have to see again if you so choose.  If it becomes to much you can walk away and no one is hurt opposed to a relationship.  If you can open up in therapy then healthy dating will be much more possible.

Be brave and say the words out loud so you can begin to retake your life from the past.  I think once you start you will feel such a weight lifted off of you.  Carrying all this around all these years cannot be easy.

Going to therapy and not being brutally honest is like taking your car to a mechanic but refusing to tell him what is wrong.  They will just poke around wasting time and money instead of doing what they are trained to do.

Keep posting, you are safe here.


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Thank you for returning and replying, OP. So many times posters don't come back and elaborate.

Just to let you know, I've lived on my own for 10 years so I understand how it feels to be alone and lonesome. One time I got so lonely, I went to the park and tried to talk to random people because I hadn't talked to people for months. Also, it took me 3 years to get out of a bad relationship because I thought "well if I don't have this guy, I have nothing" even though the guy did nothing to improve my emotional and mental health. Sucked in bed too.

If you think you are "damage" but can be a good partner, you really need to rethink here.

And I don't think you're there yet... I think you are still in your zone - comfort (safe) zone, where you come off very secretive and want to keep everything close tight to your chest. How is anyone going to truly love you for all of you and accept you for you? 

 I don't mean to be harsh but  there's something empowering and not damaged when one can admit "hey here are my flaws. I own them. Take it or leave it." 

I suggest loving yourself and that means accepting yourself. This is an internal thing between you and you only. Accept things you can't control: your mom, your injury, maybe even your predisposed to depression or any other mental health... 

Secondly... willingness to open up to others about it. There's nothing wrong with who you are. There's just someone who is evolving and is continuing her journey to find herself and her happiness in life.

Third step is knowing that you are strong and you want someone just as strong as you are. This is where you will attract the right kind of people. Don't ever settle... because when you do, you sell yourself short. Someone who has been independent since the age of 15, you've come too far to settle with a weak link.

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OK so take a look at all the things you posted about yourself....would you date you? Not really right? To start make a list of what you feel needs to change. Then pick one thing so you are not overwhelmed, and focus on that, make changes. Try self help books, meditation, working out, socialize in small groups, try new things, talk to a life coach, talk to a therapist. You have so many options available to you. It's up to you to start going forward. One day at a time. Once you have something accomplished, pick another thing on your list.

Edited by smackie9
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On 6/17/2021 at 10:34 PM, Chronanhedon said:

I have done some therapy in the past but I never felt comfortable discussing my relationship past or anything that intimate.

Chrona.  I assure  you that a good therapist will help you to open up.

And I agree with what Lost just said.

On 6/17/2021 at 11:12 PM, lostandhurt said:

Going to therapy and not being brutally honest is like taking your car to a mechanic but refusing to tell him what is wrong. 


On 6/16/2021 at 2:11 PM, Chronanhedon said:

I suffer from very bad self-esteem / confidence secondary to a tumultuous relationship with my mother.  

So sorry to hear this (and regrettably and all too often one hears about the destruction a parent or parents can cause to their offspring).  A mother is supposed to (at the very least) encourage, support and show kindness to her son/daughter.  It is desperately sad to read so often that this is not the case. 

You could look up Dr. Karyl McBride here:

Will I Ever Be Good Enough




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