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Reckoning with my self and taking responsibility for my poor dating record.


Carnatic
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On 2/28/2022 at 5:24 PM, Batya33 said:

Why in the world do you care what others think about your desire to be in a relationship? Obviously you shouldn't be desperate for any sort of friendship or romantic relationship.

I don't know, it's a confidence thing... if you were just ask the simpler 'Why in the world do you care what others think'... about anything then I'd say it's because I don't have much faith in what I think myself. If I have an opinion on something, if someone else has a differing opinion then I find it difficult not to let their opinion override my own... because in my head they're smarter, more mature, wiser, more intuitive and just generally better placed to know anything than I am.

I try and fight back, internally... but it's definitely a long and exhausting battle to disregard something someone said.

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27 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

I don't know, it's a confidence thing... if you were just ask the simpler 'Why in the world do you care what others think'... about anything then I'd say it's because I don't have much faith in what I think myself. If I have an opinion on something, if someone else has a differing opinion then I find it difficult not to let their opinion override my own... because in my head they're smarter, more mature, wiser, more intuitive and just generally better placed to know anything than I am.

I try and fight back, internally... but it's definitely a long and exhausting battle to disregard something someone said.

Why would you disregard it in all cases? That doesn't make much sense.  I disregard rude comments from strangers but I'm not suggesting disregarding or ignoring. I'm suggesting that if you choose to analyze it's done from a position of sticking to your values. For example in the last few months I felt judged when my friend asked if I was "still" working part time. I approached it from what in her would prompt her to judge me, what she was about and what I am about.  Is she smarter than me? I don't know -maybe in some ways! 

Does she have different career and money related values and goals and perspectives? Very.  Not wrong.  Different. Her comment was judgmental so I took that into account.  But from a position of we are equals, we have different values and goals and I wouldn't have made a judgey comment like that.  I didn't question my decision to continue working "only" part time.  

Don't fight back internally. Waste of time and energy.   If you get to a place where you have self respect and know yourself and your values and boundaries you'll naturally filter unsolicited comments and advice appropriately.  As a parent I'm bombarded with unsolicited advice and comments so it's crucial for me to stick to my values and filter those comments through that -not disregard - I could be receiving really valuable information.  Even if unsolicited.  I have to stay strong not as fighting -but stay true to and trust in my values and goals and standards -that is what I suggest for you.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

Why would you disregard it in all cases? That doesn't make much sense.  I disregard rude comments from strangers but I'm not suggesting disregarding or ignoring. I'm suggesting that if you choose to analyze it's done from a position of sticking to your values.

I don't know. I guess I've always found myself overruled, ignored and talked over so I kind of internalised that. It doesn't necessarily affect what I do with my own life when I'm alone but affects me in social situations.

 

For example. I'm self employed. I just try and quietly get on with it and not talk about it too much because everyone wants to give you advice, tell me I'm charging too much, to little, marketing wrong, it just seems like if I mention my career to someone then I'll immediately get a lot of advice about how I'm doing it wrong. Sometimes this even relates to the photography itself with people wanting to tell me what camera settings I should use and not respecting that I've been doing this for over a decade and don't need told by someone who once picked up an SLR that I should use a wider aperture to put the background out of focus. Despite this, it causes stress, especially when it's about business since I'm far from being an expert in business. I find it hard to just disregard.

Edited by Carnatic
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7 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

I don't know. I guess I've always found myself overruled, ignored and talked over so I kind of internalised that. It doesn't necessarily affect what I do with my own life when I'm alone but affects me in social situations.

That's not true.  You haven't found yourself overruled etc -you've made that choice to react that way and to interact that way.  Every single time you do so. You are never a passive participant other than in extreme situations -i.e. you'd have to follow certain rules and be "overruled" if it involved let's say law enforcement.

It affects you overall.  Not just in social situations. To me that is common sense. And I think you know that too.  You said as much above with your energy-sapping "fight it" approach. You can make a different choice. I made some suggestions. Or you can stay passive in your negative comfort zone.  IMHO that would be a shame.

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7 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

That's not true.  You haven't found yourself overruled etc -you've made that choice to react that way and to interact that way.  Every single time you do so. You are never a passive participant other than in extreme situations -i.e. you'd have to follow certain rules and be "overruled" if it involved let's say law enforcement.

It affects you overall.  Not just in social situations. To me that is common sense. And I think you know that too.  You said as much above with your energy-sapping "fight it" approach. You can make a different choice. I made some suggestions. Or you can stay passive in your negative comfort zone.  IMHO that would be a shame.

I'm a different person to you. I don't know how to take control of my emotions to the extent that you manage.

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2 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

I'm a different person to you. I don't know how to take control of my emotions to the extent that you manage.

I never suggested you take control of your emotions - maybe someone else did. I never try to control my feelings -that's silly. I've written that many times above.  I see you don't want to take my suggestions and I'm sensing you're deliberately misinterpreting them to set up an easy cop out.  My suggestions may not be right for you but misinterpreting them when I've written them clearly otherwise several times isn't exactly appropriate -rejecting input is fine -the actual input.  Not what you've exxagerrated or made up that I wrote.

My sense is you don't want a long term relationship as much as you say you do so you're making excuses.  It's easy enough to get dates here and there- I went through a couple of those times in my life where that was all I wanted and I did so.  I wanted marriage and family with my whole heart and soul.  It was so extremely hard and took so many years for me to achieve that. So many obstacles including my own in my own way.  So many mistakes, silly choices, false starts, false ends.  But I wanted it THAT badly.  And I refused to settle. And I did not settle.  I'm getting the sense you do not or you think you do but your actions say otherwise.  I've tried my best but it makes no sense to give you input you insist on refashioning to justify staying in your comfort zone.

There is nothing wrong with staying in a comfort zone. I do that in other areas of my life like with driving.  I get it.  But then please don't complain when you're uncomfortable watching others achieve becoming the right person to try and find the right person (try -because there are ZERO guarantees -I believed that for the 20 plus years I looked as much as I strongly believed I would never settle).  

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3 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I never suggested you take control of your emotions - maybe someone else did. I never try to control my feelings -that's silly. I've written that many times above.  I see you don't want to take my suggestions and I'm sensing you're deliberately misinterpreting them to set up an easy cop out.  My suggestions may not be right for you but misinterpreting them when I've written them clearly otherwise several times isn't exactly appropriate -rejecting input is fine -the actual input.  Not what you've exxagerrated or made up that I wrote.

My sense is you don't want a long term relationship as much as you say you do so you're making excuses.  It's easy enough to get dates here and there- I went through a couple of those times in my life where that was all I wanted and I did so.  I wanted marriage and family with my whole heart and soul.  It was so extremely hard and took so many years for me to achieve that. So many obstacles including my own in my own way.  So many mistakes, silly choices, false starts, false ends.  But I wanted it THAT badly.  And I refused to settle. And I did not settle.  I'm getting the sense you do not or you think you do but your actions say otherwise.  I've tried my best but it makes no sense to give you input you insist on refashioning to justify staying in your comfort zone.

There is nothing wrong with staying in a comfort zone. I do that in other areas of my life like with driving.  I get it.  But then please don't complain when you're uncomfortable watching others achieve becoming the right person to try and find the right person (try -because there are ZERO guarantees -I believed that for the 20 plus years I looked as much as I strongly believed I would never settle).  

Maybe not the emotions in their raw form, but you always seem to find it fairly easy to choose the most productive way to react to them; like perhaps you don't avoid things that produce negative emotions (unless of course they also produce negative outcomes), or if you know that an emotion is coming from the irrational part of your mind you're better able to compartmentalise it and not let it have a seat at the table of your internal decision-making committee. I've usually already reacted by the time I have those thoughts. I'm irrational and impulsive when in a heightened emotional state.

I don't know exactly how we differ in this respect but I do struggle to understand your perspective sometimes because you seem to move past certain things with less effort (or at least you don't talk much about the effort and it comes across as effortless) and I'm sorry if I misinterpret that.

As far as dating goes. I'm open to the suggestion that I'm avoiding it, people have said it before, but I couldn't tell you how. As far as I'm aware, women just aren't interested in me, never have been and never will be. There's either something about me that is just an instant, universal turn-off, or just a total lack of things that might spark interest. The former might be a thing I'm doing subconsciously because of fear or even PTSD, but I don't know what it is. The latter is just that I can't really think of a good reason why anyone would be interested in me.

Whenever I talk to people about it they say that can't be possible, you can't be 39 and have never in your life been someone's crush or even just caught the eye of some girl in a bar... but that's just an assumption, I hope they're right but 'it sounds unlikely' is all the evidence they can really offer; and these aren't people who know me IRL either so they're just really saying that it's generally impossible that a person can be as undesirable as I think I am.

However I struggle to think of a reason to think better of myself, or to put my finger on what I might be doing.

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40 minutes ago, Carnatic said:

Maybe not the emotions in their raw form, but you always seem to find it fairly easy to choose the most productive way to react to them; like perhaps you don't avoid things that produce negative emotions (unless of course they also produce negative outcomes), or if you know that an emotion is coming from the irrational part of your mind you're better able to compartmentalise it and not let it have a seat at the table of your internal decision-making committee. I've usually already reacted by the time I have those thoughts. I'm irrational and impulsive when in a heightened emotional state.

I'm sorry you interpreted my comments that way.  It is not true.  In the least.  Your perceptions are your own and I am sorry you interpreted what I wrote in that way.  But it does make it much much easier for you to disregard what I wrote since you seem to think I have some superior way of choosing reactions to emotions and living my life and being a work in progress when it comes to self esteem and self confidence. I did the work.  I had professional and personal goals all of which required the work I did (and continue to do).  I wanted them badly enough.

You might need professional help to attain your personal goals -I wouldn't know -but it's your choice how much work and effort you want to put into it.  Copping out/making excuses is much much easier.  I know that feeling well. Just not the choices I made given what I wanted in life.  And still want.  For me it was worth it.  Can't speak to whether it would be worth it for anyone else.

I've given you the input I have just as one person with 24 years of dating experience (and now 16 years of serious relationship/marital experience.  Just one person. Take it or leave it.  I'm sorry you're struggling and that my input did not contribute to alleviating that. You seem to have a self defeating/getting in your own way attitude and that's not something I can do more about from my status as just a person with my personal experiences.  Best of luck to you.

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9 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

You might need professional help to attain your personal goals -I wouldn't know -but it's your choice how much work and effort you want to put into it.  Copping out/making excuses is much much easier.  I know that feeling well. Just not the choices I made given what I wanted in life.  And still want.  For me it was worth it.  Can't speak to whether it would be worth it for anyone else.

I've given you the input I have just as one person with 24 years of dating experience (and now 16 years of serious relationship/marital experience.  Just one person. Take it or leave it.  I'm sorry you're struggling and that my input did not contribute to alleviating that. You seem to have a self defeating/getting in your own way attitude and that's not something I can do more about from my status as just a person with my personal experiences.  Best of luck to you.

I tend to feel really anxious about telling myself that I'm good enough to be able to find a relationship (or any life goals really). It brings on feelings of guilt and shame and then these feelings are triggering and can cause panic attacks or a spiral of depression. I know enough that I'd like to stop this, but can't see anything to give me reason to. I find it difficult to just believe that I'm good enough without someone telling me that I am, because I think... 'well I'm obviously being biased, of course I would believe that'. Even when I'm like in the deepest pit of self-loathing, I still feel that deep down I have exaggerated and unrealistic positive opinions of myself and that I just don't let anyone see this side of myself.

I want to change how I see myself, but every time I try just makes me feel worse because I can't make myself believe deep down so when I try and have tell myself positive things it's like 'so now, not only are you uncharismatic, talentless, egocentric, boring etc, but you're also arrogant and a liar to boot.' I started with what seemed like a concerted effort to have positive self-esteem about six months ago or whenever I started to post on this site again, but yet my self-esteem feels as low as it has at any time in the past twelve years.

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1 hour ago, Carnatic said:

my self-esteem feels as low as it has at any time in the past twelve years

So why won't you seek professional help?

You said before it's because you just now came to these realizations. But then you just said it was six months ago, which is plenty of time to choose to seek help.

Do you just not want to get out of your "I'm not worthy of love or even attention from women" comfort zone? Is it just easier to remain as you are? 

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, boltnrun said:

So why won't you seek professional help?

You said before it's because you just now came to these realizations. But then you just said it was six months ago, which is plenty of time to choose to seek help.

Do you just not want to get out of your "I'm not worthy of love or even attention from women" comfort zone? Is it just easier to remain as you are? 

Because getting therapy that isn't generic is really difficult. I've been on the exact same six week CBT course run by a counsellor rather than a psychiatrist about five or six times and any time I broach mental health with my GP the option is to do it again. Other stuff is available but capacity is really limited in this area and so you have to really really convince someone of your mental health issues in order to do something besides the same six-week course of CBT yet again.

I don't present that well to mental health professionals either. Partly because I'm feeling positive just by being there and then minimise my issues in an effort to prove the therapy is working. They see no reason why I couldn't just do another course of CBT and maybe some meds.

Edited by Carnatic
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3 hours ago, Carnatic said:

Because getting therapy that isn't generic is really difficult. I've been on the exact same six week CBT course run by a counsellor rather than a psychiatrist about five or six times and any time I broach mental health with my GP the option is to do it again. Other stuff is available but capacity is really limited in this area and so you have to really really convince someone of your mental health issues in order to do something besides the same six-week course of CBT yet again.

I don't present that well to mental health professionals either. Partly because I'm feeling positive just by being there and then minimise my issues in an effort to prove the therapy is working. They see no reason why I couldn't just do another course of CBT and maybe some meds.

Then you be proactive and tell your doctor that yet another course of CBT isn't working for your needs.

We have to own our own health care. If it's important for you to change your mindset you'll pursue getting help. If not, you could just stay the way you are for the rest of your life, if that appeals to you.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Then you be proactive and tell your doctor that yet another course of CBT isn't working for your needs.

We have to own our own health care. If it's important for you to change your mindset you'll pursue getting help. If not, you could just stay the way you are for the rest of your life, if that appeals to you.

OK, but like I say... it's difficult. This isn't a situation where I could just easily go in there and say the CBT isn't working can I have something else and the doctor would just go 'yeah OK then'. They would most likely tell me that it's the only thing they have to offer, unless I just want to go on meds again, and maybe it'll work this time. It's not purely down to me not being willing to try something else, if I was offered that right now I'd rip your hand off for it.

I have acknowledged multiple times on this thread that I am aware that there are things, in my subconscious somewhere, holding me back, or causing me to feel triggered, when I try to get what I want out of life... but I'm still detecting a lot of passive aggression from people being all like well clearly you really just want to be miserable.

Edited by Carnatic
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1 hour ago, Carnatic said:

passive aggression from people being all like well clearly you really just want to be miserable.

No passive aggression here. My direct opinion is that you find it more comfy to retain the status quo and you don't choose for whatever reason to do what it takes to try to change the status quo. That's different- in a significant way -from what you wrote above.  Maybe others were passive agressive as you put it - although I haven't seen that in this thread.  

Edited by Batya33
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No passive aggression here. I just subscribe to that saying "if it's important you'll find a way, if it's not you'll find an excuse".

It seems strange that a doctor would tell you "It's either CBT or nothing". 

I'm currently receiving mental health care. My doctor coordinated with me to put together a plan of action that suits me.

If your doctor claims "It's either CBT or nothing", maybe it's time to change doctors.

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1 hour ago, boltnrun said:

No passive aggression here. I just subscribe to that saying "if it's important you'll find a way, if it's not you'll find an excuse".

It seems strange that a doctor would tell you "It's either CBT or nothing". 

I'm currently receiving mental health care. My doctor coordinated with me to put together a plan of action that suits me.

If your doctor claims "It's either CBT or nothing", maybe it's time to change doctors.

I don't know where you live in the world but here at the moment in the UK that's just how it is. The NHS has been hugely underfunded, especially when it comes to mental health for years. Maybe my luck would be better if I lived in a big city but out here in the small towns the mental health services are usually very poor. Most of my friends have mental health issues of one kind or another, only one or two actually get proper tailored therapy, and it's been a lot of back and forth and a lot of waiting for them to get to that point. Usually you have to actually have a breakdown in the GPs office to be taken seriously. There are private options of course... just like anywhere those are expensive.

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

My direct opinion is that you find it more comfy to retain the status quo and you don't choose for whatever reason to do what it takes to try to change the status quo.

I was comfortable. I did change it, a little bit... now everything feels very raw and I feel triggered all the time. I could go back to being comfortable but I don't want to but I also don't know how to progress from here.

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On 3/10/2022 at 6:25 AM, Carnatic said:

I don't have much faith in what I think myself. If I have an opinion on something, if someone else has a differing opinion then I find it difficult not to let their opinion override my own... because in my head they're smarter, more mature, wiser, more intuitive and just generally better placed to know anything than I am.

That's not entirely true though. You have an automatic reaction to dismiss dating suggestions and compliments:

On 2/24/2022 at 5:30 PM, Carnatic said:

Recently with a group of friends, we were talking about relationships and someone mentioned, about me and one of the women present. 'we'll you're both single, maybe you should get together'. My reaction was, one, to feel self conscious, and two to laugh it off as a joke, of course the idea that any woman might be interested in me could only have been meant as a joke, and I'd best show that I too find it funny and not have people think I may be taking it seriously.

On 2/24/2022 at 5:58 PM, Carnatic said:

One thought actually, is if people pay me a compliment, don't be weird about it, just say something like 'thanks, that's very kind of you to say'

You have even been successful at dismissing evidence that contradicts your own opinion of yourself.

On 2/27/2022 at 10:55 AM, Carnatic said:

I generally feel that I'm a mediocre photographer and boring friend, not a bad person not particularly dislikable but more that people could come and spend an hour or two in my company and they would get nothing out of it. Nevertheless, despite this I do have a career, and I do have a social life, insecure as I may be in these areas, I can't really complain all that much about how things are actually going.

It's an interesting paradox. Maybe you should focus more on that dark, unremembered portion of your life. Maybe there's something there that you need to forgive yourself for. 

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17 hours ago, Carnatic said:

I was comfortable. I did change it, a little bit... now everything feels very raw and I feel triggered all the time. I could go back to being comfortable but I don't want to but I also don't know how to progress from here.

I've given you all my input and suggestions above and wish you the best.

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