I'm alone and have never had a relationship before (part 2)

Submitted by darksim on
Printer-friendly version

I thought I'd start part 2 of this thread since the original one was getting too long. Just wanted to update.

I'm reading both "No more Mr Nice Guy" and "How to get a date worth keeping." I've read more of the 2nd one and it is very interesting, insightful and helpful.

I've also reflected on different things in the past few days, and observed other social interactions.

I've noticed that when I am not introspective or feeling depressed, I can project the image of someone who isn't unlucky or unconfident with women. During these times I can be more open, playful and at ease, and I can easily compliment women. People observing me then might think I don't have any problem with women, especially if they were to look at all my photos on Facebook (where I constantly seem to be surrounded by women), or when I'm able to get into that mode similar to when I'm doing public speaking or performing.

When I am depressed, feeling ashamed of myself, introspective or have been recently rejected in some way, or if I've recently masturbated/ viewed porn and am feeling drained of energy or guilty, I cannot relate to anyone, let alone women. I feel more closed off, unspontaneous and very dull in my delivery. People would never know I could ever get up in front of others because I seem more shy and reserved.

I've also observed other friends who have had similar problems with women (but not necessarily with finding work). One particular person seemed very broken and embittered, and very closed off. I noticed that even I tended to avoid him slightly, especially when he was complaining of essentially being a failure in life. I can relate to his situation (although he has had relationships but perhaps not many). However, while I may vent my frustrations here on this forum, I never suggest publicly in real life to others what may be going on internally in my mind - I don't tell others that I think I'm a failure or have no hope with women. I realise that if I were to say anything that I've said in my previous thread to people in real life, rather than sympathising, it would probably put them off. That may be even be the case here, but since this forum is specifically designed to deal with these sorts of topics, I guess it's a little more acceptable. It's interesting observing others who are in similar situations and the reactions they get from others or even myself, because then I can use that as a mirror into my own life. I also notice that this friend is generally less confident than me in many areas and certainly less surrounded by women most of the time. Probably, as he sees it, I have no difficulty finding women or finding a relationship, even though that couldn't be further from the truth.

I try to act popular in the hope that by acting that way, it will become a reality. It seems that popularity attracts more popularity, whereas if you are unpopular, even the few friends you do have eventually disappear. I wouldn't say this solves my problem at all, but I guess in comparison to my friend mentioned above, it does help me to have more friendships and opportunities.

Now I just need to be able to put some of these ideas in the books mentioned above into practice, once I've finished reading them.

Thanks for people's suggestions and advice before.

I cant wait to hear your

I cant wait to hear your success story once you start to figure this out. You have all the pieces in place except for some important ones right in the middle. Im working on those too at the moment, but I think you are going to be fine. You are right though, some people are a lot worse off than you. At least you are working on this and have a nose for answers.

Keep staying patient and accepting of yourself and where you are.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Thanks for the encouraging

Thanks for the encouraging words. I don't know if my friend is worse off than me in terms of his situation - he has a job and has had at least one relationship before that I know of. However, I suppose in terms of social skills and confidence he has less than me. I know that if I did have a job and could be in a relationship, I probably would be better off in the long run. You are probably right in saying that I have all the pieces in place except for certain important ones. I know other friends have said I have everything there already under the surface, and even more in certain areas than some others I know. It's just making that breakthrough which has been a long time in coming. There could be a mental block or something else. It's like these tennis players who have all the skills to win a grand slam and are better in some respects than some of the top players, and yet for some reason they are unable to break through and win, but once they do, then they can win repeatedly.

One other thing I've thought is that if a girl were to tell me today that she is interested in me (and I like her too), would I actually want to get into that relationship, given that I'm not working? I think, under the surface, there's part of me that almost fears getting into a relationship now in the state that I'm in, since I have no job. I guess the fear is that sooner or later the relationship would come to an end, unless my job situation changed. Sometimes when you are not happy with yourself, it's difficult for others to be happy or like being around you too. Would the lack of a job effectively sabotage the relationship? Or should this not be a problem? After all, supposing I were in a relationship already but then lost my job, does that mean that I should automatically quit the relationship too? Wouldn't the loss of job have the same effects on a pre-existing relationship?

I sometimes wonder if subconsciously, I almost don't want a relationship out of fear of having one, because of not having ever been in one all this time. It's a fear of the unknown and fear of change.

What do others think?

I'm thinking

now might be the ideal time to start a relationship. You'd have extra time for the bonding behaviors. Smile With a strong bond, you might find it easier to attract the ideal job.

This is a chance to act on valuing yourself apart from your economic potential. Go for it!

Here's what I think...

I am sensing enormous amounts of shame. When you can suspend intellectualizing your shame and instead connect to it, feel it deeply, confess it, and then release it...you will have much, much, more clarity about which direction you wish to take your life.

Lots of love...
JMan

I can relate to your post in

I can relate to your post in many ways. I have been in two short term relationships and even with those I never felt secure in them. I experience the same shame that you have, of not feeling like you are good enough. I suggest you find out what that shame is. Dig deep and find a way to release it like jman said. Confession is a start and I think you are doing some of it here. Keep moving forward.

Well I tried asking a girl

Well I tried asking a girl out again yesterday, but same result as usual. She has only ever seen me in confident mode before so it's not like I was ever depressed around her or even doing anything to put her off. I thought she was someone who might give me a chance, but even those I think might be more open still aren't. I can't seem to make any headway with anyone or even get out of the starting block.

People can try to give reasons that I was doing something to put her off or giving off some vibe, but I know that was not the case, as I know when I'm feeling down or shameful around others. As I said, she only knows me in a very confident context.

Statistically, someone ought to agree to a date sooner or later, but that hasn't happened. It wasn't even that I used the "D" word but simply suggested meeting up for a drink. I'm not even asking for a romantic encounter, but just trying to break the cycle of absolutely no dating by at least trying to get out there with someone simply for the sake of interacting with the opposite sex one on one.

This is just frustrating.

the problem isn't in the rejection...

I recognize that you're hurting, frustrated, and angry. I want you to keep in mind that I say this with nothing but love. The problem isn't in the rejection, it's in your interpretation of what happened.

Do you know WHY she rejected you? Because judging by the tone of your reaction, you seem to have come to some conclusion about that.

Jerry

You'll feel it when you are

You'll feel it when you are ready to date, until then, cultivate exchanging smiles and good conversation.

2 things that come to mind- If you are truly confident around her, then the outcome wouldnt affect you either way, you move on.

also, you could have been the most confident person in the world and it doesnt matter if she just isnt feeling it. Thats the way it is for most guys, much more rejection than success. If youre going to date, make sure you know how to take a punch!

Only date if you can manage feelings of rejection because there might be some of that at first. If feelings of (perceived) rejection are sending you into painful states, then hold off on it for a second and cultivate those things that make you a truly confident and happy person. It can be dangerous to date when we are not ready. But since the urge to do so is there, try to use it to motivate you to dig deeper and become stronger.

"it's not like I was ever depressed around her or even doing anything to put her off."

If you are really depressed, it seems to just seep out of us unfortunately. Sorry though, its tough for most guys.

How's the porn thing coming? You'll feel better once you get out of all that. Porn's like a ton of bricks when trying to deal with dating issues. Clear that up, and things will start to fall into place.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

One thing I should mention

One thing I should mention (which might change things) is that I asked her out via text msg, just because we had been texting back and forth during the week, and so it seemed like a natural opportunity and more incidental rather than me specifically trying to ask her out. So I don't think that she would've gotten any negative vibes from me in a text, especially when I can edit it exactly as I want it to sound before I send it.

[quote]Do you know WHY she rejected you? Because judging by the tone of your reaction, you seem to have come to some conclusion about that.[/quote]

I have no idea why. It could be any number of reasons, whether related to me or not. The fact is that statistically, I still haven't managed to get a positive response. I would just like ONE for once. Instead, it's like there's a 99% chance that girls will say no to me, and I'm trying to hit that tiny 1%. With odds like that, it always seems more likely the response will be no.

[quote]How's the porn thing coming? You'll feel better once you get out of all that. Porn's like a ton of bricks when trying to deal with dating issues. Clear that up, and things will start to fall into place. [/quote]

Well I'm sure it will have some positive, beneficial effect, but I don't know whether things will fall into place. As I mentioned previously, even before I ever got into porn, I stlll was never able to get a date for years. Porn may have compounded the problem, but the absence of it wouldn't necessarily mean things would change. Now I'm not saying that's a reason to stay with the porn at all. But while I might be back in the position I was before the porn, but that isn't far different from now as far as dating goes. It's just the status quo now, minus the porn.

a different perspective...

[quote]I'm not even asking for a romantic encounter, but just trying to break the cycle of absolutely no dating by at least trying to get out there with someone simply for the sake of interacting with the opposite sex one on one. [/quote]

This is going to sound a little strange, but what were you really wanting from that interaction. Did you want a romantic encounter? Did you just want to be a friend? And when I ask that, I'm not asking the part of your brain that's calculating statistical probabilities and then deciding on what the minimum amount of connection you were willing to accept.

I'm asking your body. What did your BODY want. Did you want your body to be held close against hers? Did you want to caress her face and feel her lips? DId you want to touch her naked body?

There's a few reasons why this is important:

(1) If what you were wanting was romance, but you were presenting your request as platonic (I define platonic as the absence of an expression of your sexual desire), then you were being inauthentic and insincere. Women can detect this a mile away. Women can tell when a man wants them sexually. And if you're trying to pretend that you don't, it creates psychological distance between the two of you. And not to mention it comes off as creepy.

(2) If what you were wanting was romance and what SHE was wanting was romance, then a platonic request actually brings her disappointment. She is waiting for you to take the lead, and nothing is happening.

(3) If what you were wanting was strictly platonic, then be clear and state that. Tell her you're looking a woman friend who can give you a female perspective on things and that you aren't interested in anything more than that. If she declines that offer, she sounds like someone you probably don't need in your life.

(4) Lastly, if you aren't sure if you want something platonic or romantic, then you aren't in touch with your own body feelings. Your body knows if it's turned on by her. Take a few moments, get in touch with your sensations, and then be clear about your intentions.

What I gather from reading your posts is a general frustration and pain...then on the other hand, I'm wondering if there's an authentic expression of your desire to these women. It's not enough for you to appear confident to her. True confidence would be to own and speak your truth to her and know that you'll be ok no matter what she says.

Do you see how that's different from the way you're presenting yourself? Both to her and to us?

I disagree with your

I disagree with your reasoning. As I said in my earlier post, it was simply to break the cycle of non dating. My reasoning and way of thinking comes entirely from the book "How to get a date worth keeping" where dates aren't necessarily a prelude to marriage or even romance, but simply a chance to interact with the opposite sex and discover about yourself and other people. It's not a question of whether I'm in touch with my own bodily feelings or not. It isn't possible at this extremely early stage to say whether I would want it to be romantic or platonic, since I don't know her well enough and know little about her. I'm not going to say one thing or the other to her.

I don't think about women when I first meet them in the way you put it:

[quote]What did your BODY want. Did you want your body to be held close against hers? Did you want to caress her face and feel her lips? DId you want to touch her naked body?[/quote]

That is just taking things too far and jumping the gun, and sounds more like the thoughts of someone who constantly has sex on the brain and sees everyone through those sex-coloured spectacles. I hardly know the girl, and I'm certainly not lusting after her. She just seemed like a nice girl with whom I could have a conversation just about normal things - eg even just to find out a bit more about her. It's not simply two polar extremes of wanting to jump into bed with someone or just being purely platonic.

For me, dating is like watching a TV show. You might've seen previews of it, and it might catch your attention, but you want to be able to see a whole episode to know whether it is worth watching and whether you will like it and even commit to watching it on a weekly basis. You don't have any pre-formed opinion before, positive or negative - you just want to see what it's all about. As you get into it, your response to the show might be positive and you'll think "hey, this is a TV show I really enjoy" or it could be neutral, eg "well, it's nothing special but I don't have any feelings one way or another, but since there's nothing else on I'll watch it," or even negative, eg "this show stinks, and I'm not going to waste anymore time with these boring characters and ridiculous plots."

In the same way, I have no particular feeling one way or another with regard to this girl, or most girls I will try to get to know, until I've actually taken the time to get to know them and vice versa. So there's nothing for me to speak "authentically" to her in that regard in the way you're suggesting, because your point 4) "Take a few moments, get in touch with your sensations, and then be clear about your intentions" makes out that there are only those two polar extremes, as if people have to choose one path or the other. I would disagree with that, and see the idea that one has to declare one's intentions at the start (which a woman can take or leave) as a recipe for disaster.

well...if it's working...

[quote]I would disagree with that, and see the idea that one has to declare one's intentions at the start (which a woman can take or leave) as a recipe for disaster.[/quote]

We'll have to agree to disagree, then. I do know that once I made the switch to making my intentions known at the start, it was hardly a disaster. In fact, it's the one thing that allowed me to start going out on dates.

[quote]For me, dating is like watching a TV show. You might've seen previews of it, and it might catch your attention, but you want to be able to see a whole episode to know whether it is worth watching and whether you will like it and even commit to watching it on a weekly basis. You don't have any pre-formed opinion before, positive or negative - you just want to see what it's all about.[/quote]

Maybe I was unclear, or left something out. I'm not saying that the existence of my physical lust means that I'm making a commitment of any kind...whether that's to see her weekly, or even kiss her, let alone get into bed with her.

I will say that if you continue to approach your interactions with women while being disconnected from your physical desire for them...they will likely be disconnected from your physical desire toward you. It's that physical chemistry that motivates women to take action. It's that feeling of being desired that makes you a romantic prospect in their mind.

[quote]...(which a woman can take or leave) as a recipe for disaster.[/quote]

I'm curious. What's the disaster? That's a pretty strong word.
Jerry

Disaster in that it can

Disaster in that it can cause the women to freak out and run, when they might not have otherwise done that if you weren't so forward with your intentions to start with. I don't think it is too strong a word. It's metaphorical, just as people use the phrase "relationship suicide." It's not a literal suicide, and here it's not a literal disaster of the earthquake type. But it's a disaster in that it spells the demise of something prematurely and unnecessarily, sometimes even in a dramatic way. Just imagine saying something to effect of "I find you physically desirable and would like to date you." You can bet the woman will run a mile. It's no wonder so many of my female friends complain that all a guy wants is to get them into bed. It would be a disaster because, before you have allowed any seeds sown to take root, grow and be watered, you already want to pick the plant/flower, metaphorically speaking.

It seems a lot to ask a woman to make a decision there and then, without having even gotten to know you a bit, to say whether they will be willing to go on a date, unless of course you have something very strong in your favour like looks. Now you may very well have looks that attract a woman, and if you do, more power to you. You can use that and reap its benefits, and use your techinque you suggest. However, since I don't have looks on my side, I cannot simply declare my intentions and hope that they will feel reciprocate romantic feelings simply because they are desired.

[quote]I will say that if you continue to approach your interactions with women while being disconnected from your physical desire for them...they will likely be disconnected from your physical desire toward you. It's that physical chemistry that motivates women to take action. It's that feeling of being desired that makes you a romantic prospect in their mind.[/quote]

I am not so sure this is the case. There are plenty of women who are desired by men and yet they find them physically repulsive. The more these men desire these women, that's not going to make the man anymore of a romantic prospect to them. On the contrary, the women will tend to freak out even more and will think you are stalking them. I have experienced this first hand myself. I also know from speaking to other female friends who are in relationships/married that they've said that if their partner did come on strongly with desire right at the start, they would've fled the scene. It's the fact that these men have sometimes taken the time to get to know them simply in a casual way, making conversation for the sake of getting to know them, not for the sake of seducing them/ wooing them.

As I said, it's not a question of whether I am disconnected from physical desire for these women, because for me, that desire, if it happens at all, only occurs once there is an emotional connection of some sort. Before that, the girl is just a pretty face and the fact that I may think they are attractive is simply an acknowledgement of their beauty, not a desire per se. I think this is where we are going to constantly disagree, because the way you talk shows that physical lust occurs first for you and you believe that if this isn't the case with others, that they are out of touch with their physical desires. That is not the way it works for absolutely everyone else.

All I want with the girl in question is the opportunity to speak to her for more than the sporadic and fleeting 5 or so minutes I have before. There are no feelings one way or another, but that's not to say there couldn't be in the future. To declare my feelings would be like these shopkeepers who expect you to buy their magazines in their shops on the strength of its cover, without even having a chance to see what is inside it and whether there is even anything of interest to you. It could turn out to be a really great magazine, but equally it might not. If you can't even get the chance to glance at the contents page, how can you make any kind of decision one way or another? If I have to decide at this point whether I have any feelings or desire, that would be artificial on my part, and I don't want to have to be backed into a corner like that at this early stage. I know the girl certainly wouldn't if she has to respond to that.

As for how I framed the question with her, it was as simple and as casual as "hey, it would be great to talk more - how about meeting for drinks/ coffee?" It's not something which one has to hinge their whole romantic future on. It's just a simple invitation which would be perfectly fine to accept.

Quote:As I said, it's not a

[quote]As I said, it's not a question of whether I am disconnected from physical desire for these women, because for me, that desire, if it happens at all, only occurs once there is an emotional connection of some sort.[/quote]

I'm curious to the community out here. Before my porn addiction, I could feel physical desire prior to an emotional connection. After I got hooked on porn, it went away, and I could no longer feel that physical desire anymore. What is is like when you're in "balance"?

And for the women out there, what is it like for you to be asked out on a date of some kind while the man isn't connected to any physical desire...whether that be because they lack it completely or because they're repressing it in some way?

Jerry

I think you assume that it's

I think you assume that it's to do with the porn that there is no physical desire before an emotional connection. Prior to ever being hooked on porn, I was always the same way for many years in this regard. Even now, it's not that I'm so hooked on porn/ masturbation either. On average, compared to many others here I've read about, I might look at it once a week without the tendency to binge excessively. Binging is more the exception than the rule. It tends to be more a case of getting out of my system once a week, with the odd few times (such as two weeks ago) where I might have a prolonged period of viewing, but those times are not that common. I certainly never masturbate several times a day for several days. What I've learnt from reading other people's testimonies as well as suggestions on this site on dealing with porn/ withdrawal etc is that the level I am at right now is probably where many others would like to be at. That is not being boastful or arrogant in any way but just a realistic assessment, which has also helped me to not feel overly guilty or depressed about it in the last few weeks.

You seem to think that there are only two options - either one lacks physical desire or one is repressing it. What you don't seem to be understanding or appreciating though is that:

a) people can be wired differently because they view others in a (w)holistic way in that any true desire or attraction occurs when the physical and emotional collide simultaneously, not one before the other. Until then, one can appreciate beauty but not necessarily desire that woman. A woman could be extremely beautiful physically, but once she opens her mouth and speaks and interacts with you, her personality and character could be awful.

b) one can go on a date with someone - any random girl - simply for the sake of interacting with the opposite sex as an end in itself. Some people are interesting enough to warrant spending time with them one on one simply to get to know them. In that sense, I don't have to feel something one way or another, because I'm only seeking the experience for the experience itself, because the more you interact with the opposite sex, the easier it becomes, and you have more actual testimonies of having been on a "date", such that when you look at rejections in the overall scheme of things, they should pale into less significance.

c) the emotional can easily come before the physical without you lacking physical desire or repressing it, because you can be friends with a person for a long time - even an attractive person (or not so attractive person, as the case may be) - without ever considering them in a romantic light. However, it is the emotional connection that may later develop that can spark off the friendship and cause you to reconsider them in a new way, and also appreciate their beauty. You realise that this person has some wonderful qualities, and you see that they aren't so bad looking either.

The way you describe things makes it all too simplistic, as if everyone must have physical desire first, and if one doesn't, it must be because one is out of balance, lacking it or repressing it.

With all due respect

You want to observe PMO's effect on *your* body, rather than assuming that all you have to worry about is whatever you perceive to be someone else's goal of "average." For all you know, your brain is extra sensitive.

You are unique and so is your physiology. However illogical it seems to you, it could be well worth avoiding porn for a few weeks and then asking someone out. See if you feel different, and whether she does. There's often more to this process than meets the intellect. It's a simple matter to prove me wrong. Wink

there's something missing here...

[quote]On the contrary, the women will tend to freak out even more and will think you are stalking them. I have experienced this first hand myself.[/quote]

Hm. What happened? It sounds very awful. And I worry that something out of your awareness was happening and that you learned the wrong lessons from the experience. I've stated my intentions directly with women so many times I can't even count. I've worked for a company that coaches authentic communication and authentic dating, and we train our students this way with much positive results. Whether or not the person is rejected, in almost all cases the recipient of a declaration of intent and feelings feels good knowing what the agenda is and she can respond accordingly without feeling manipulated or threatened.

[quote]Just imagine saying something to effect of "I find you physically desirable and would like to date you." You can bet the woman will run a mile.[/quote]

Actually, that's pretty close to what I say when I meet a girl and want to date her. I say, "Hey, I think you're cute and I'd like to get to know you better." Works pretty well, I might say. I certainly get rejected a ton, but most women are flattered. None have run away.

Heck, I think Marnia has tried to get others on here to try the, "hey, you're cute" line Wink

What happened to you? I think there may be some healing to do around it.

Jerry

declaration of intention is

declaration of intention is a good idea in general, but think you are imagining this all wrong, darksim. The main idea is to not close up and mask your intentions, this gives off the impression of dishonesty and being disingenous with oneself. It's a tough skill to calibrate with internal shame causing so much havoc. These kinds of interactions require the right kind of timing, sensitivity, and tact. Shame will destroy and distort things from the start. Right now, while your shame is in full effect You are going to be interpreting these interactions in the worse light. The idea is to remove yourself from this cycle of thinking completely. Giving up porn is a great start, even if you were dateless before you used porn. Your shame is causing you to use faulty reasoning and will trick you into thinking you are fundamentally flawed. You are not.

Good job in reaching out to someone and risking it, but remember that these are just experiments right now. Whether something comes out of it or not is not as important as the lessons. Remove porn from your life, get to a therapist to work with your depression, keep healing your shame- this is MUCH more important for you at this point. The dating will come down the line, but this is primary.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

[Even now, it's not that I'm

[quote=darksim][quote]Even now, it's not that I'm so hooked on porn/ masturbation either. On average, compared to many others here I've read about, I might look at it once a week without the tendency to binge excessively. Binging is more the exception than the rule. It tends to be more a case of getting out of my system once a week, with the odd few times (such as two weeks ago) where I might have a prolonged period of viewing, but those times are not that common. I certainly never masturbate several times a day for several days. What I've learnt from reading other people's testimonies as well as suggestions on this site on dealing with porn/ withdrawal etc is that the level I am at right now is probably where many others would like to be at. [/quote]

darksim, may I ask on average how many times you masturbate to orgasm per day, week, or month? The reason I ask is that through my experience cutting out the porn is a big first step, but I believe not having orgasms was what truly put me back in balance. Before porn I use to masturbate once a day and with porn I still maintained that same number. Since I have stopped using porn and masturbating to orgasm (2+ months) my perception in all facets of my life have changed.

There is no doubt that beautiful women catch my eye but I've noticed that I don't immediately get that nervous rush in my body. I don't necessarily find her intimidating. Instead, I just feel curious. I observe her for a short bit, but not in a creepy way, more just out of curiosity. On the other spectrum, before I quit porn, woman that I may have never thought to be attractive I am finding more attractive.

I think your view on porn is not helpful. Even viewing porn once a week is detrimental to your emotional well-being. It's like those closet smokers who only smoke on the weekends. Whether they choose to believe it or not, they still are addicted. Otherwise, why even do it? I use to have this same casual view of porn when I first started to abstain. I thought to myself, well, I haven't in a while so it can't be that bad. I hope you see that this type of thinking will get you stuck in the perpetual porn/orgasm cycle.

I would also disagree that the level you are at is what many members here would like to be at. Maybe they would like to move towards that level but I believe, and I know I can only speak for myself when I say this, that everyone on this site, if given the power to do so would eliminate porn from their lives completely. There are no gray areas with porn. An addiction is an addiction whether you choose to believe it or not.

I get the sense that you don't see your porn usage as a problem in your life. But ask yourself this question, is what you are doing right now getting you where you want to be? If you say no, then maybe it's time to look at trying something new. It couldn't hurt.

On average I M/P about once

On average I M/P about once a week, so about 4-5 times a month. There may be the occasional exceptions to this rule where I may binge and will masturbate twice (or rarely 3 times in a week maximum), but on average it is about those numbers. I'm not suggesting that I don't see porn/masturbation as a problem and I apologise if I gave that impression and created a misunderstanding. I am determined to get rid of porn and eliminate it completely. What I keep stressing though is that even if I were to completely eliminate it, I would still be in the same position as I was before I ever started using porn. I've been using porn to masturbate on and off for about the last 6-8 years (I didn't have a laptop before that with internet access and wouldn't certainly view it in a public place). I'm 38 years old now. That means there were roughly 15-17 years of singleness before ever viewing porn (I'm getting that figure by going from about age 15 which is often when boys could easily be dating in their teenage years) yet I still had no success with women.

I'm not saying that I shouldn't get rid of porn. Do not misunderstand. What I'm saying is that people here seem to be suggesting that if I get rid of it, things will change and it will make a big difference. Yes, it will make a difference in the way I relate to women and even in reducing depression, but I will still be in the same position that I was before. How does one address the problem I had that existed pre-porn days? It's not that I can't relate to women now either or even before. It's pushing through from friendships into romantic relationships and being seen as a potential dating prospect.

Think of it in another way: if this were 6-8 years ago and I was visiting this forum with my singleness problem (which was already 15-17 years long by this stage), how would people advise me if porn isn't even existent in my life yet? How would you address the problem of me being constantly rejected on the dating front in the absence of porn? The reason I say this is because people here almost seem to make out that porn is the problem (in fact it is a symptom of my loneliness). Yes, it is a problem now, but it isn't the root cause of my lack of success with women, because it wasn't even a factor before 6-8 years ago when I still couldn't make a breakthrough.

It is as if 6-8 years ago, on a scale of 0-10, I was at level 1 on the dating success scale. Now with porn, it might be that I go down to 0, but even cutting it out, I still only go back to level 1, which was never satisfactory anyway. It's not like cutting porn out will make me go to level 5 or 6. Again, I'm not for one moment saying I shouldn't cut out porn. What I'm saying is that concentrating on the porn is concentrating on the wrong thing and ignoring the problem that already existed before in my life. To suggest porn is THE problem and that the absence of it will change everything is almost like retconning my lack-of-dating history.

It would be like, if say, in 5 years time, I were to become an alcoholic or drug addict. At the moment I'm not. However, if in 5 years time you were to say to me: "alcohol/drugs are effectively the root of your problem and if you eliminate these, you will see a big change. Why don't you try it?" Yes, there will be a change, but since you know that now in 2010 I don't have that drug/alcohol problem, you can't say that this is the thing causing my inability to breakthrough with women. How do you address the problem now pre-alcohol/drug days?

Why don't you try to abstain

Why don't you try to abstain completely for a little while and see what changes? Don't focus on what was or should be. Change your present behavior and observe. Once a week leaves you permanently in the orgasm cycle. You have to go longer to start to notice what we are ourselves experiencing. Also, keep in mind this is somewhat age dependent. I'm going to guess that you are a little older than some of the guys here who used PMO more frequently. You can't compare yourself to them. You need to compare your own feelings now to whatever you experience after abstaining for some reboot period, the duration of which is up to you to determine. If you get it wrong, it is no big deal as you can start again. All is not lost because you will learn in the process and it will get easier.

This isn't a cure-all. You might still have lots of issues to work on. Those issues, however, will be clearer and easier to overcome when you remove PMO and let yourself balance. People here have been working at this for years. Be patient. You are sure to notice some changes and then you can decide what to do next.

You have female friends. Spend more time with them in the interim. Some of us don't even have female friends. You have a great experimenting platform. You can try things and read their vibe. Having coffee with one is not as useful as extended quality time with several. Look at the positive options you have to work with.

You are right, cutting out

You are right, cutting out porn is not the cure all to your dating ills and you have not binged and had as many problems with it as most of the men here. This should be even more encouraging for you as you start to get into the dating scene. Some of us guys are working through tons of issues brought on by our constant use of porn throughout the years. To be honest, most of us could not even really start much of our progress without getting rid of compulsive masturbation. Thats great that you dont have that. However, you mention that 0 to 1 is not good enough. You have no choice but to accept the conditions right, soon you will figure out how to get to 2 and then 3 and so on. Your depression does not want you to see it like this, it wants you to see it as all is hopeless and that there is something fundamentally wrong with you because of x, y, or z.

As far as your arguments on your masturbation habits before you discovered porn a few years, I would have to ask you how you approached it. If it is fantasy based, then it is similar to porn. If you are thinking about the women you are hanging out with, this can fuel this internal shame. Plus, there is a physiological aspect to this abstinence technique that relies on being able to forgo orgasm COMPLETELY for a number of weeks. Its a very powerful experience and probably beyond what you have experienced with being porn-free in the past. You learn a lot about yourself and your issues as well as see that you are not fundamentally flawed as a human. Test it out, everyone here has reported powerful changes in their thinking and approach to these things. Its not easy, a lot of emotional/mental garbage comes up, but it will make sense.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

My masturbation habits

My masturbation habits pre-porn tended to be mostly purely for the sensation and orgasmic feeling itself, often with no fantasy element whatsover. When I was much younger (late teens/ early 20s) it was sometimes fantasy based, but I outgrew that. I just masturbated for the sake of masturbating as an end in itself. I deliberately avoided (and even now still do) thinking about or fantasising about any of the women I hang out with, because I don't want to go down that slippery slope and end up objectifying them or being unable to relate to them.

The only exception to this rule recently (well, about 18 months ago) is with one friend who looks strikingly similar to a porn star. I never specifically fantasised about my friend but because I masturbated to that porn star who effectively bore her image (or vice versa), it was tantamount in my mind to masturbating to/ fantasising about my friend - or at least I think so - I don't know what others think on that issue. I felt that it had a detrimental effect on our friendship, but other things have to be borne in mind though: my friend has issues of her own in relating to others, and she almost seems to require someone extremely attractive to boost her ego and self esteem (she has admitted to self esteem issues among other things). She literally would flee from me even if I spoke to her for longer than my allotted time of 1 minute or so that she had given me. She always made me feel as if I was not man enough for her or that I was so repulsive that she felt uncomfortable. In retrospect, I don't know if it was solely to do with my masturbating to a looklike porn star which gave off some vibe. It may have had some contributing effect, but my friend knew that I liked her anyway because I specifically told her that. She tended to be uncomfortable around me because she didn't want others to see us together because she seemed so paranoid that if we chatted for too long, others might think that there was some romantic element between us. She also told me that she didn't want me hanging around her because it might scare off potential suitors. However, I don't see that just talking to someone even for a length of time automatically means there is anything going on. Lots of my other female friends do that with other males, and there isn't often anything going on. It's just conversation. I've even had lengthly conversations with other female friends and there's no romantic feelings there between either of us.

I do believe that it was my friend's general discomfort with me that made me even more uncomfortable around her more so than the porn (because I had to keep second guessing every action I made and so I couldn't ever be myself around her), which in turn made her more uncomfortable and so on. But then she seems to have a discomfort with most men anyway, so maybe it wasn't just me. The thing is that this relatively recent experience was quite damaging, and although I still have to interact with her every now and then, I try to keep my distance generally because I don't feel it is a healthy relationship. Unfortunately this hasn't always been possible as there have been times this year where we've had to spend every day with each other because we were on vacation together (not alone but as part of a group). I thought I didn't want her friendship anymore because of how she made me feel so rejected, but being on holiday with her and interacting with her every day made me realise that I do still consider her a friend and that, although she still doesn't seem completely comfortable around me, she isn't as petrified around me as before. However, because of that shame of feeling rejected and because I'm always wondering if she's feeling uncomfortable, I do still have trouble relating to her. She has said to me before that she isn't uncomfortable around me anymore, but sometimes her actions indicate otherwise, so I can never tell with her. I always have to gauge her mood and can't tell whether she's keeping her distance because of me specifically or because there is something else troubling her.

But apart from this one instance above, I never sexually fantasise about any of my female friends. I always make sure to censor my thoughts before it ever gets to that stage. Besides, the way my conversations tend to be with them, especially if it gets past the superficial, is that it humanises them so that it is quite difficult to start thinking of them in a sexual way because I end up seeing them as people.

You've been doing healthy

You've been doing healthy masturbation for the most part. You are lucky, a lot of guys have burned out with all the stimulation. I would still try to get out of the cycle explained here just to see what it is like.

Many of your problems arent directly related to sex of compulsion, but with some major depression. Have you thought about getting to a therapist? They can help you sort out some of these roadblocks you are encountering. Seriously, all of the stuff you are saying about yourself in regards to the dating situations sound like depression. It will make dating a lot easier for you in the long run. You keep interpreting everything in such a bad light right now, its unfortunate.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

You are as orgasm driven as any of us.

[quote=darksim]My masturbation habits pre-porn tended to be mostly purely for the sensation and orgasmic feeling itself...

and

I just masturbated for the sake of masturbating as an end in itself.
[/quote]

You are as orgasm driven as any of us. Healthy masturbation is only relevant once you reboot or during the process if it is a choice between healthy masturbation and using porn. At the moment, for you, it is orgasm you want to avoid so it is best to avoid porn and masturbation too. Once you reboot you can reassess. At that point, some resume healthy masturbation so that they don't get drawn back into an orgasm cycle.

Be patient. You can expect to undo 20+ years of habits in an instant. It may be that you are depressed. You are missing the point in all the porn talk on here. Porn is simply what drives many of us to continue the orgasm cycle. For some it is porn, others sex, others masturbation for masturbation's sake. Each person has their own habits and stimulants. You have to stop orgasm completely to allow time for your brain and hormones to re-balance. Some on here have continued to use porn, but made progress without orgasm. Porn itself is just images. It is a slow process. You have to monitor yourself and wait it out. I see aspects of myself in you, but much of that is slowly changing as I progress. Your body is missing many cues while it is stuck in orgasm mode. You will become more attractive to females. Have some trust in us. You have nothing to lose. One month out of 20+ years is not much. We're cheaper and probably more effective than many therapists.

Instead of playing mind games with yourself in regard to these situations, you could just ask the girls how they feel. Also, you don't have to wait for romantic feelings to magically appear. If you don't like the "you're cute ..." line then try others. "I'd like to chat more about ..." or "I was going to go to ..., want to come?" etc. You might also try asking two of them to come so it is easier for them to say yes. Then you can narrow it down to the one you'd like to spend more time with. I have no idea, but maybe you are not looking in the right group of girls. Go to some new environments where everyone is equally uncomfortable.

Wishing you luck

with your voyage of discovery. Whatever pieces you need are out there. You're obviously a very talented, intelligent man, and I'm expecting a breakthrough any day. Smile

*big hug*

I would really suggest you

I would really suggest you give abstinence a try for at least a month and see how you feel. It will be a hard thing for you to do considering that you don't seem convinced that it will help. But based on my experience I have found myself to feel less needy in regards to women. I feel much more confident in my skin. I've had a similar experience just like you. Before using porn I would masturbate daily. I had very little success with women. In fact, I use to get so nervous just being around an attractive women. When I started using porn with masturbation I fell into an even deeper slump. With no girlfriend I felt hopeless and desperate and I based my happiness on having a girlfriend so I longed for one. My frustration grew deeper and deeper because porn makes you believe that a hot girlfriend will solve your problems.

Now rewind back to this February when I first tried abstinence from PMO. When I first heard about this idea I was immediately excited. It made absolute sense and I was completely convinced that the way I was feeling was because of this problem. Is my life perfect? Not at all. However, I now have the building blocks to move forward in my life and handle the other issues in my life I need to address. It's not an easy road but I can say this, if I was still using porn I wouldn't be able to do things I've done.

Again, I highly suggest that you try abstinence for however long you can. Hopefully it will convince you that it does help. As well, if you do decide to go with this experiment, I also suggest you not worry about wanting a girlfriend or about any past issues with women. Just let go of that for a while. Be present with your life and be thankful for all the great things you have in life. I use to be so consumed in wanting a girlfriend and the desperation showed. Nowadays I just don't care and it seems to make my interactions with people much more fun. This may sound silly but, just enjoy life! Best of luck.

I haven't posted in a while,

I haven't posted in a while, mostly because I've been trying to keep a low profile as it gets tedious reporting on nothing. Also, I find that just talking about things too much is actual detrimental at times because it's just rehearsing everything, not only in my mind but also here in print, and that just seems to reinforce and magnify the problem of not being in a relationship. If I'm not constantly thinking about it but just living life, then it won't be always at the front of my mind and hopefully I can relax about it.

Anyway, I just wanted to report that I've finally managed to find some work. It's not much, but better than nothing and i'm thankful for anything that comes my way. Of course, the only downside is that it's in the evenings and weekends, meaning that there is pretty much no time for a relationship now with these anti-social hours. Hopefully it (the situation not the job) won't last long and I'll be able to find something during the day. It's always better to be looking for work with a job in hand than without one.

As for the porn, well I haven't really felt like engaging in that, but then I've been quite occupied with other things lately. I know around this time of the week would be usually when I would feel most vulnerable. However, I hope that with a job, that will give me more purpose and will alleviate at least some of the depression and need for masturbating/ porn, although of course it could potentially increase it with the stress.

Whatever the case, at least it is some progress and one breakthrough on one front, although I don't know how permanent it will be at this stage, as I have been in this position before.

I am encouraged by reading Seeker's blog (http://www.reuniting.info/node/4955#comment-28474) which Marnia pointed me to recently. I hope I can report on something similar eventually.

Hey!

That's excellent news. I think it show your self-esteem is turning around already.

My suggestion is that you start a new thread in your blog next post...with a new title. Wink

I haven't posted here in a

I haven't posted here in a while. I managed to avoid porn for over a month over Christmas and New Year, and then had a few small relapses, but on the whole I seem to have mostly lost interest in porn or masturbating. However, I'm still pretty much in the same position as before. I'm without a job at the moment again (the last one was only temporary) and I'm still without a relationship or any possibility of one. I've socialized and mixed with others in the interventing time, have gotten on with my life and haven't just been sitting around (but I always did do all these things before anyway), but there's still nothing on the horizon. At the moment the future looks bleak, and even bleaker for a relationship. I'm at the point where I'm about ready to give up on that idea (although I've given up before) and accept the fact that some people just were never meant to be with someone else.

I'm not sure I even want a relationship anymore. I can't imagine kissing anyone now, or losing my "kissing virginity" to just anyone unless they were someone really special. But I couldn't know whether that person is going to be special at the time even if I got to the point, or whether they were just someone who wants to kiss and tell. So I don't want to just give that away to anyone for whom it is completely meaningless or would only last for a short time. This makes the whole idea of kissing someone impossible now and would probably even hinder any further progression of a relationship, should it reach that stage.

Thanks, although I'm not

Thanks, although I'm not lacking in social interaction, as that has never been the problem. I have tons of social things going on over the weekend and sometimes even during the week, and am involved in quite a lot of things which would be conducive to meeting others as mentioned previously. The problem is that no-one seems interested in me beyond just friendship and women don't treat me as if I'm someone eligible, so eventually I tend not to think of myself in that way either.

*sigh*

Maybe I'm a hopeless optimist, but I honestly think there has to be a way out of the dating doldrums. Are you still determined to date only someone who fits your physical ideal?

Well as I mentioned a while

Well as I mentioned a while back (but it's probably been lost amid all the other stuff written here), I have tried to "date" others who haven't fitted my ideal at all. I was even open once before to dating a woman who genuinely looked like a man and whom I didn't find remotely physically attractive, simply because I was trying not to be fussy - I reasoned that if I'm considered so unattractive by these women, then maybe that woman was all I could manage. However, even she wasn't interested, even though I tried to treat her well and befriend her. Of course, I'm glad that I didn't end up with her in retrospect, but my point is that I haven't simply stuck rigidly to an ideal or high standard.

I have connected closely with people before, but this has either been online, which is somewhat of an artificial atmosphere, because people tend to say more to someone they can't see than they otherwise would in real life. I don't like that situation at all and find it a sad state of affairs that it can't be like that in person. I have also connected with women in real life too, but they've always been taken/ attached already, and I don't think it's that they're really connecting as such, just that they don't perceive any kind of threat because they know that I'm not going to try anything.

Yes, there has to be a way out, but I still haven't found it, at least in my case. I've been trying for years... decades... my whole life since I was old enough to date. That's why I'm so tired now and I'm not getting any younger.

Hmm...

Maybe there's a clue there. You're doing something effective online that you're not doing in person. What could it be? And is there a way to duplicate your efforts in person? (I realize it's not like you've never thought about this before, but... Wink )

Well the difference between

Well the difference between online and in person is to do with time spent getting to know the other party, which is partly what I've addressed in my other post below this. Online, people actually take that time to probe further and reveal certain things. It's like spending an evening together on a date and getting to know one another. I would do that in real life, but I haven't had the opportunity unfortunately. I know I could duplicate most of the content of these online conversations in person given half a chance because I can talk at a deeper level and about lots of different topics and it's not like I'm lacking in social skills.

Online, because people can't see what you look like, they aren't automatically judging you by your appearance and deeming early on that you might not be worth getting to know. In fact, a man and woman online may not even be thinking "is this someone I could date?" in the same way they might automatically do so in person, because they can't see each other. Online, often it is just two lonely (or bored) people trying to fill a void and talking to anyone who might be available or who happen to have a common interest or seem like a kindred spirit. It's a shame people don't always think in the same way in real life, but then I'm not sure that would be realistic to expect that.

My experience with the

My experience with the online world is that is is a mirage. You think there is a connection. Even on the phone, you think maybe. Then you meet and there is no connection. In comparison, while it is harder to meet in real life, the connections seems better despite not having the online comfort zone of getting to know each other.

Can you find some sort of activity where you can interact with women and let them see you? One might click.

I agree it is a mirage. To

I agree it is a mirage. To be honest, there is only one person whom I've really connected with online, but there's no romantic connection there - it's just a friendship. I actually don't like talking to people online because I find it artificial and, as you say, there can often be no connection in real life. I don't concentrate on online relationships at all - I was just mentioning that in relation to the previous post and drawing an analogy.

I do have lots of actitivies where I interact with women all the time - even tonight. It's not finding the activities that is the problem, because I am a very sociable person and it's not like lack in social skills or have problem meeting people. As I mentioned, it's getting beyond that and being considered by these women as a potential romantic partner, and not just as some guy who is nice, yes, within the confines of a casual friendship, but not to be thought of as something more. I am sure I could click if I had the opportunity to click, but it's a matter of these women allowing themselves to spend enough time chatting with me to actually do that.

Women have trouble relating

Women have trouble relating too. Why worry about what they consider you? If you like one, work on the friendship and go from there. It doesn't have to be a fairy tale. It's only a couple of words to ask them to coffee. Or if you're good friends with one, go with Marnia's suggestions and tell them your looking. You could even ask one of them to help you along.

Perhaps the more relevant issue is are there women with whom you feel enough connection to ask out? For me that is an issue. I don't connect at all to the majority of females. I can chat with them fine, but I feel almost nothing. For years, I've listened to insensitive lines that questioned my maleness, humanness, sexuality, etc. One does start to have self-doubts. It feels amazing to have the feeling of really wanting to see a particular female. It feels better than being wanted by a female. Women want to be wanted and men want to want. Perhaps the women are picking up a lack of want. Most women will not take any initiative (said by a guy who has been chased by more women that he's chased). Have you ever wanted?

Why do you think you are not a potential romantic partner? The single sexes are generally considering romantic options in others. Are you buying into ladder theory?

I'm not sure how much difference there really is between friendship and romantic connection, but then I've not really had female friends.

Have you done any form of counseling?

wtf???

i can't believe your being shut out of the gene pool to such an extent. this is unreal. i'm actually pissed from reading your story. these people around you, who do they think they are? these women you speak of, are they immortal or made of gold? i don't get it. it may not be you so much. we do live in an anti-society so that probably has a lot to do with it, but damn, this is crazy.

I think people are

I think people are influenced a lot by society and by their peers. It is right to feel angry about this, because it is an injustice, and I'm glad that it is that emotion you're feeling, and not pity for me, because one thing I don't want is pity. This whole rant is driven by extreme frustration, exasperation and even anger, but isn't me just wanting others to feel sorry for me. No, these women aren't made of gold, and it's not like they're all the pinnacle of beauty either. Some of these are just ordinary, average-looking women. What I want is the chance to be known, and for others to see who I am, what I can do and what I can offer. I don't want people not even taking the time to find out because they've already decided in their minds from looking at my physical appearance that I'm not worth getting to know.

I'm not boasting here, but I know that some of my male friends have tried to affirm me by saying that I would be an excellent catch and would have so much to offer the right girl. However, they can't understand why it is so hard for me to even make any kind of headway in the dating world.

I know this would never happen, but I wish that some of these women were even forced to have to spend an evening with me out of circumstance (eg if we got stuck in an elevator together) - then at least (or so I'd hope) they might actually take that time to talk to me, although having said that, some people still will avoid intimacy/ contact/ opening up even in these situations. It's not like in these movies you see where people are forced together by circumstance and they put aside their prejudices and differences and come to a new understanding of each other. That doesn't always happen in real life as I've found. People open up to whom they want to open up to and remain closed to whom they want to remain closed to unfortunately.

It's clear you are very

It's clear you are very grounded, intelligent, and kind - all the qualities that women want in a man. The main issue besides physical appearance (which we can't really change much ultimately) that I see is a very normal human tendency to start to let our experiences tell the story of who we are and therefore what is possible. I remember the exact point when I was in my teens where I had to reorganize my view of who I was as being someone who had a hard time reaching orgasm through penetration, and update it to reflect the reality that I was very orgasmic through penetration when i was with a sensitive and loving man. A few moments before my first experience having an orgasm through penetration alone, there was a hesitation in myself, in which I realized I had to not only surrender to the pleasure, but also in this process surrender the identity I had built up around myself and what I was capable of because of my previous experience.

This is an issue of identity and of belief systems. If you have identified with being unable to have a relationship because of your experience, your attitude is now reinforcing that reality despite your best efforts to change it. Things will not change until you see in your mind's eye that you are fully worthy of a deeply intimate and fulfilling relationship and that this is entirely possible if not inevitable. Retelling new stories is a sometimes long process of reprogramming and emotional readiness. The good news is that we can reprogram ourselves and our beliefs if we are dilligent. A spiritual practice would be a great help here. Everything good that I have manifested in my life has come about from deep centering in a daily spiritual practice. Some spiritual practices have actually been called "technologies" because they are very effective at deconstructing and reconstructing our sense of ourselves. Humanity is in a huge process of reorganization right now and it is important to take consistent steps in the right direction, as the stakes are very high. I recommend Sedona method, prayer, bodywork, or visiting your local shaman. Good luck sweet man!

no pity

[quote=darksim]I think people are influenced a lot by society and by their peers. It is right to feel angry about this, because it is an injustice, and I'm glad that it is that emotion you're feeling, and not pity for me, because one thing I don't want is pity. [/quote]

fuck pity darksim. this post makes me want to avenge you. anger is not a bad thing. it is intended to induce action. it is not intended to be a constant situation though. but our anti-culture is set up to keep it going by telling you to constantly relax, thus cleverly maintaining it at low intensity. "anger" is basically like saying "fascism" to most people. they don't see it as something curable by remedying the situation. they see it as bad juju. it's because they are lazy. you may want to try being more arrogant and obnoxious towards some of the women you meet. it does help in the pickup. really. if it's not in your nature to be that way just think of you post here and let the anger help you.

How's that working for

How's that working for you?

Anger should steer and not be suppressed, but why bother lashing out at some random woman? Women like confidence and then they tell you about what an arrogant, egotistical, SOB their ex was. Quality women want a subtle inner and centered confidence.

deliberate misunderstanding

lashing out? very dramatic. sorry i should be more subdued. how's it working out for me? it worked out fine when i used to do it that's how it worked. we were talking about a special situation this guy has. it will help to gain quick success to build his confidence and experience. what is wrong with that???

the quality women myth doesn't help darksim. 'quality' women are not marked and he hasn't found one yet. you go one assumptions and what worked. geeez.

There is a place for anger,

There is a place for anger, and it should stir us up against injustice, but I don't think that it's right that this anger should be expressed indiscriminately or even overtly towards these women. In my experience when other men appear angry or disgruntled with women generally because they believe it is their right (because they've been offended/ rejected etc by certain specific women), I've found that women (and men who are onlooking) don't have sympathy for that man. Even when I've witnessed that myself, I don't tend to have sympathy, because the man comes across as obnoxious and with a chip on their shoulder, and the natural human tendency is for one to assume that maybe there's a reason (as demonstrated by that man's behaviour) why he has been rejected. I don't believe I should be arrogant or obnoxious to these women I meet even if they do treat me badly. It would just make me seem more unreasonable, even if they may have been unreasonable in the first place. It's not in my nature anyway. Also, even though I am angry, and express my anger here, it's because here is a safe place to do it - a place where people are trying to solve their problems and become whole. I don't generally want to be someone who goes around carrying my anger and then allowing it to spill out in relationships. That's what i want to avoid, and to get rid of any bitterness or resentfulness, even though here it is something I may express because of all these years of pain and loneliness.

I have friends who are in similar situations to me, but express their woes or sorry state publicly on Facebook. I don't believe that is the place to do it. It just makes the person look like more of a loser to others when they have status updates like "why can't I ever get a girlfriend?" etc, and more of a porcupine whom others want to steer clear of and not get pricked.

fine then

you don't need to pick up chicks with it. fair enough. but you don't need to tiptoe around women neither. this is what i mean--"In my experience when other men appear angry or disgruntled with women generally because they believe it is their right (because they've been offended/ rejected etc by certain specific women), I've found that women (and men who are onlooking) don't have sympathy for that man."
you don't need to do that. and why can't anger be de-pathologized???

Well, I'm certainly convinced

you're a catch. Here's an idea. Are there dating sites where you can get to know people who are local? If you feel "luckier" on line, then that's the place to start. Maybe by the time you decide to meet in person, you'll be persuaded that they've caught a glimpse or two of the real you.

Just take your time during the online part, so the friendship has time to ripen.

Just read this~

From Deepak Chopra (goes along with what Hotspring is saying):

"Your only identity is I AM undefined and infinite. Any label you give yourself limits yourself."

rediscovered

I haven't checked in here

I haven't checked in here for a long time. As much as I would like to report some progress, unfortunately that's not going to be the case realistically. If I had made my first post 20 years ago and checked in every now and then, and then finally came to check in again today, you might think that surely things have changed, but they wouldn't have, because that is exactly what has not happened. 20 years on from even bringing up some of these things with people who would've said "you're bound to find someone - just give it time - you're still young" and nothing has ever changed even having tried so many different things and trying to become a more well-rounded person with lots to offer. I'm still alone and no-one has still shown the slightest interest in me in all these years. The longer it goes on, the harder it becomes anyway.

Thanks for all your suggestions and advice. I think it's pretty much over now though. There's not really much point in discussing things further anyway. I've decided to give up on ever finding someone. Some people are just meant to be alone and will never be deemed eligible. I guess I'm one of them.

Have you considered that

Have you considered that giving up might be what you need to do for a while? Perhaps then you can be more goallessly open while deciding how giving up compares to fighting the fight. Both are fine. Do what feels best for you.

Err.... why didn't I ever think of that before???

[quote=freedom]Have you considered that giving up might be what you need to do for a while? Perhaps then you can be more goallessly open while deciding how giving up compares to fighting the fight. Both are fine. Do what feels best for you.[/quote]

You don't seriously think that I haven't considered that over such a long period of time? Over the past 20 years I've already given up many times before, pursued other goals and didn't bother with even the thought of women for a few years. I know very well what the two are like compared to each other as I've experienced that many times.

It has never been the case that "love comes when you're not looking" for it for me, because whether I've been looking or not looking, the result has always been the same.

Have you been throwing the

Have you been throwing the baby out with the bath water? You can't deny that you want a mate. That would be fake. It's important to stay receptive even if you're not actively looking. You can control to some extent the amount of neediness and in turn hopelessness you feel by finding as much fulfillment as you can without a mate. Perhaps you've already tried that too.

Can you think of anything you have not tried?

Ouch

Hah, I think I like you. You're like a more depressing version of me on a bad day.

Relax, and don't worry over the future... a LOT changes in 20 years! By then, it's very likely that the both of us will have found the right person.

I promise you that if you stop obsessing over how alone and off-putting you are, and just focus on enjoying yourself (in positive ways) and put yourself out into the world, that everything else will come to you naturally. There's no value in "patience" filled with hostility or resentment.

Guys like us, we tend to forget that the more down we are on ourselves, the more likely that everyone around us, especially strangers, are inclined to look at us the same way we do. What reason does anyone have to believe we're worthy of attention if we ourselves don't believe it?

I don't think you're reading my posts correctly

[quote=Danny Dubya]Hah, I think I like you. You're like a more depressing version of me on a bad day.

Relax, and don't worry over the future... a LOT changes in 20 years! By then, it's very likely that the both of us will have found the right person.

I promise you that if you stop obsessing over how alone and off-putting you are, and just focus on enjoying yourself (in positive ways) and put yourself out into the world, that everything else will come to you naturally. There's no value in "patience" filled with hostility or resentment.

Guys like us, we tend to forget that the more down we are on ourselves, the more likely that everyone around us, especially strangers, are inclined to look at us the same way we do. What reason does anyone have to believe we're worthy of attention if we ourselves don't believe it?[/quote]

I don't think you're reading my posts correctly. What you're saying "a LOT changes in 20 years! By then, it's very likely that the both of us will have found the right person" is exactly what people have said to me 20 years ago. The point is that a lot HASN'T changed in 20 years. I'm not talking about what COULD happen in 20 years time. I'm talking about what HAS happened from 20 years ago in terms of finding anyone or someone wanting me. NOTHING!!

That sounds like such a trite answer: "oh I'm sure you'll find someone - a lot happens in 20 years." I've heard this hundreds of times before in the last 2 decades, but this has NEVER come to pass.

If you've read through this whole thread you'll see I have focused on dozens of other things and haven't had a pity party. It may seem like one here because this is the only place I might actually voice some of my actual feelings, but I haven't been living life not doing anything or trying to improve myself or learn new skills etc. The point is that DESPITE all of this, it hasn't helped me one bit. I am still alone and no-one has ever wanted me, and that is the super frustrating thing that I've tried many different things, but at the end of the day it ultimately comes to nothing.

This is why I feel like I am just wasting my time even having any kind of hope that "some day" I'll find someone, because this is all just pie in the sky as far as I'm concerned. It is not real life to me. It all occupies the realm of make believe.

Hi darkism,

I don't think you've posted since I joined this site in April. But I've read a bunch of your stuff that I came across somehow. Your sorrow and sense of hopelessness really struck me. It's plain to me the extent to which you're suffering. I think you might be one of the only voices I've come across who conveys in words the hopelessness I feel myself. Latetly I've been thinking over the past 20 years to when I was 16. That is when most people lose their virginity by. But I am still a virgin, and it feels pathetic. I think I remember you saying something about being concerned because you are Asian? I hope I'm remembering correct. I was going to write you at the time to tell you that as far as looks go, people have consistently told me I look like a fashion model or movie star. But that doesn't translate to happiness in relationships. When you're as socially incompetent as I am it doesn't matter how good you look. Anyway, I'm glad to hear you're still around. If nothing else misery loves company, and I'm sorry to say that I have a hard time finding a fulcrum for happiness within my own mind. Especially when I am honest with myself about how important having a relationship is for me. My strategy at times in the past has been to repress my interest in relationships so I wouldn't have to face this pain. But now I feel like I'm on my deathbed, looking back, realizing the error and tragedy my entire life has been. I'm trying to change now and find a way to love in my life while I can. But the obstacles to this are enormous and I feel utterly hopeless a lot of the time.

Late to the discussion

darksim,

I found this forum through google searches and the topic caught my eye. I read both these threads in their entirety. Your ENTIRE story, your background, your feelings, your thoughts and rationalizations mirror my own. Eerily so. My situation is virtually identical. I am a little younger and employed. I have a bit more of problem with the porn (my google searches were about no PMO) but everything else is the same. Asian. Intelligent. Have female friends but never felt any woman was attracted to me. Never had anything close to a romantic date. Never had a kiss. Never had a relationship.

I don't know if this is any comfort to you but there is some comfort for me to know that I am not truly alone in this experience. That I am not uniquely broken. Completely independently, we have had the same life essentially. Completely independently, we have come to the same conclusion. Some people are destined to be truly alone. Not everyone gets to have someone. Some people have no special someone out there waiting for them. I am one of those people. Like fate, despite our best efforts to the contrary, it seems we cannot escape it.

I obviously don't have any answers. No solutions. If I had any, I would give them to you. I know what this despair feels like. But I felt compelled to register and post this because I feel a strange kinship to you. The best way I can explain it is : People who complete feats like climbing Mt. Everest. They may be complete strangers but they have this connection. They are part of the exclusive elite group of people who have achieved that feat and both sides know it. Similarly, I feel like since you have reached the same conclusion/"feat" that I have about being fated to be alone. We have both looked into the deepest, darkest parts of Nietzche's abyss and we both know what lies in there and what it has taken out of our souls.

Yet, even though I have reasoned this out, at least in the rational part of my brain, there is still some part of me on the emotional side that holds out that small, tiny bit of hope. That I am wrong about this and that I may someday find someone special.

That tiny bit of hope eats at me. Even though I am resigned to being alone, I feel like I can't go down without a fight. It's been about a decade and a half fight for me (not quite as long as your fight) and I have certainly entertained the scenario of throwing in the towel many, many times. But I feel like if I give up, it is not fated that I suffer being alone. I would then have the guilt of being complicit and allowing my suffering to happen. If I do all that I can to change it and then I still fail, then at least I have the right to be angry if I never do find love. It wouldn't be because I didn't try.

So, therefore, two days ago, I decided to go full "no PMO" for 8 weeks. This is a suggestion I have read from a lot of sources regarding porn addicition. I take all the success stories about this method with a grain of salt. But I do think it has potential to help. It certainly can't hurt.

I had recently watched Your Brain on Porn after a recent failed attempt to complete No Fap November this past month. I did it on a whim to see if I could truly transcend the lust and desire (so that I wouldn't need to find love). But I still looked at porn and edged and tried to avoid orgasm. I failed to go all 30 days but I managed to do 2 two week stints without orgasm. Even so, I did feel different and am convinced that I do need to reset my brain chemistry after years of porn. I didn't feel more attractive and women didn't magically start smiling at me. But I did feel like the lust would build and boil over and transform me into someone else. Like it would drive me to do anything to satisfy that hunger, even if that meant asking every single woman in the world out (and being rejected) until I found that one woman in the world who would find me attractive enough to fuck me (or at least kiss me).

At any rate, that's my story and where I'm at. Whatever happens, I'm hoping that you succeed (and report back here). Because if you succeed, then I will know that I have a shot at love too.

Thanks for your thoughts and

Thanks for your thoughts and input, and identifying with me. I'm sorry you have had to endure a similar situation and I truly sympathise with you.

I haven't checked in on here for almost a year now, but thought I would report back.

And I can report that....

wait for it....

.... you know you want to see the outcome...

It's still the same as ever!!!

Still not even a glimmer of hope of a relationship. :(

But after 20+ years of trying, why should I expect anything now?

To quote a passage from William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet:

"past hope, past cure, past help."

I lost my previous password

I lost my previous password so created a new account to update on this thread from years ago.

Since the last time I visited, I wanted to report back. I wish it could be good news and say that I found someone, but I never have. I tried online dating for a while but it never came to anything. I barely received any responses and when I did, they turned out to be weirdos, either responding or showing up in person.

I have now lost all hope of ever finding or meeting someone. I am thinking next week of visiting an escort for sex and a girlfriend experience. I know it will be empty and unfulfilling, but it's not like there's anything remotely on the horizon and i'm not getting any younger.

I'm sad that I have to pay someone to even spend any time with me and even give me my first kiss, but this is the man I have become. I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner since my last post, but maybe I was still holding out hope, which is dead now.