|07-02-2008, 11:17 AM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: newcastle, UK
limiting beliefs arising from lack of romantic/sexual experience
I'm a 23 year old man. I'm a virgin, and have never had a girlfriend, or even gone on what could be considered a date. I've kissed a few girls, but only when very drunk in situations where it was very clear it meant nothing, and would lead to nothing, and not even that in over 2 years.
I was very shy and introverted in school, had very few friends, and spent most of my time reading. At the age of 16, I discovered drugs and alcohol, and with these as crutches, I spent a lot more time socialising and making friends. Many of the people I got to know then are still among my closest friends.
I still use alcohol (drugs not so much) as a crutch in social situations. Over the past year, as I've gotten into personal development I've taken much greater active control of my life. I have taken up a variety of hobbies incompatible with alcohol, including tap dancing and rock climbing. Although I'm still quite quiet when sober, I'm more friendly and cheerful than I was 8 years ago, and have less social anxiety, so I've had some success at making friends in these contexts
I used to be very lazy and out of shape, but over the past year, I've been eating much better, and getting lots of exercise. I've lost about 30 lbs, and am in the best shape I've ever been in. I occaisionally get compliments on how I look. I now shave regularly (I used to have a long, unkempt beard) and generally take greater care over my appearance
I'd hoped this would help, somehow, that it would increase my confidence or something, but it hasn't. I still find it impossible to think of myself as attractive, or that anyone could possibly be interested in me.
Dealing with this situation, starting and maintaining a loving, long term, mutually beneficial relationship, is one of my main personal development goals (my others are reducing my comsumption of/dependence on alcohol, and doing regular volunteer work with an eye to possibly moving to a more fulfilling career, both of which I am making slow progress on). I've done a number of things to help me further this goal. At bars and clubs, I will start conversations with strangers. I don't feel up to the task of hitting on them yet, but feel like just going out and talking to people must be a good start. I've joined an internet dating site. I even asked someone out, someone I'd liked for a while but always talked myself out of asking. She said no, let's just be friends, so that's what we are (and actually, that's been fine. None of the awkwardness I'd been worrying about).
So I have been making efforts here, but it's been like pulling teeth. I feel like I have to summon up all my energy and willpower to do anything at all, and then I lapse back into inactivity for a few days while I regroup. I take action, but it's very haphazard and inconsistent. I have yet to get anyone to actually respond to me on the internet dating site (been on there a bit less than 2 months now). I have a profile and a picture, though both could probably be improved. I've sent many generic "winks" to let people know I'm interested, but no response. I've sent a couple of actual e-mails, no response there etiher, but they take so much more effort. Not only because you have to think of something to write, but because they're more personal, the feeling of rejection if (and it feels like when) they don't respond is greater, so it takes more strength to send them. I havn't even admitted to any of my friends that I've joined an internet dating site. I guess I feel like, if I let people know that I'm trying, it makes my continued lack of success that much more humiliating.
I know how I feel about myself is holding me back, but my results seem only to confirm those feelings. I feel kind of like I need to trick someone into liking me, or that if anyone wanted me, it would mean they were desperate or there was something wrong with them. I think maybe if I could approach this with confidence and enthusiasm it wouldn't be so hard, but the best I can manage is a kind of grim determination, and the thought that, surely, if I look hard enough, I must be able to find someone (anyone?) who'll have me. I sometimes feel like I'm only doing this to prove to myself that I really am that freakish and unloveable, or so when I talk to people about this stuff I can say "my life doesn't work that way, and I know because I've done my best to make it work". Not only does this make it hard for me to put the time and energy in, I'm also aware that it's deeply unattractive. I try not to convey this impression, of course, but it probably comes through anyway, and no girl wants to feel like you want her just because you have no other options, or that you'll take anyone and that she just happens to be the only one who'll say yes.
So I don't know what to do, really. I'm trying, but I'm not getting anywhere (early days yet, though, really - I've only been making an effort sporadically for about 2 months) and it's not making me happy. My self esteem is starting to suffer (in other areas it's quite high - in many ways, I'm proud of who I am and the life that I've built). I'm wondering if I should just give up on this goal, and accept that that means there's a good chance I'll spend the rest of my life single. There are other areas of my life where this time and energy would make me happy, would make a positive difference in my life, and I feel like I'm wasting it here. It feels like a cop-out, though, and I know that right now I wouldn't be able to truly accept being single, I could only resign myself to it.
Phew. A lot there. I hope it all makes sense. If you want any clarification or further info, just let me know. Any feedback or advice you can give would be much appreciated.
|07-02-2008, 01:13 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
First of all, let me say, that you're doing great! Even when you think you're stuck, you get experience and results. The results are just not the ones you want. Let's try to find out why it is so...
Your post is quite wordy, but still I feel, that some pieces of your puzzle are missing.
You still use alcohol. You make friends easy, when drunk, right? What about girls? Is it different? If yes, in which way?
What about girls you meet through your life (co-workers, hobby partners in club and so on)? How do you communicate with them? Is it easier, or you're still "pulling teeth"?
As for internet dating site - I think, something is wrong with your profile. It's quite easy to meet someone there. Very easy. But the problem is not inside you. Anyone can do this, no matter what. Can I have a look at your profile?
I feel I can help you. But I may need some personal details (my questions already ask about them). Send me an e-mail (better) or a PM, if you don't want to make them public and if you want some "personal coaching" from me.
|07-02-2008, 02:18 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Hi there cheech, my impression is that if you are doing better at talking to girls then it may be time to move forward by initiating touching. I am not talking about inappropriate touching, but a pat on the shoulder, a friendly hug with girls who are friends. If you are walking behind a girl you like, you could put your hands on her waist. In a more intimate situation, try gently brushing her hair away from her face. You could also learn a bit about massage and offer your services; most people would love to have a massage. Touching is generally much more flirtatious than talking and will get girls to think about you in "that way" without you having to say anything.
Also a word of advice for responding to internet dating sites. I know when I put my picture up (this was 10 years ago) I got tons of responses but most were very brief and not thought-out. Something like "hey, you can contact me if you want." Put some time and effort into writing a generic response that conveys something unique about you, what you want from a relationship, and what you bring to a relationship. Then you can just tweak it a bit for each ad you respond to. It's like developing your cover letter, and your profile is your resume. If you do this, your response will be better than most of the replies she receives and it should help your chances of being contacted.
Good luck, muchacho, it sounds like you have made some amazing progress already.
|07-02-2008, 02:19 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: newcastle, UK
yeah, I make friends easily when drunk. Girls as well as boys. I do have more male friends than female friends, but I also have a number of female friends, some quite close. I make my living playing poker online, so do not meet anyone through work. When I meet people through my hobbies, I generally get on fine with them, male or female, but because I'm quiet, I only really get to know the more friendly, talkative people. There are plenty of people I've met through these activites that I know well enough to smile at and exchange a few pleasantries when we meet, but none I feel close to, or have ever arranged to do anything with outside of the context in which I know them.
I'll PM you (and anyone else who's interested) my profile, and you can let me know what you think. Any advice, feedback or requests for further information all welcome.
|07-02-2008, 02:27 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Hiya, Cheech! Congratulations on taking steps to be what you want to be. Getting fit, taking care with your appearance, and looking boldly at who you are being that your life is occurring for you the way it is -- that is wonderful!
Would you want to go out with you, Cheech? Your post gives me a feeling of such... weight, as if you were still holding onto that old 30 pounds. You might not realize that what you've expressed here -- the feeling that dating is like pulling teeth, oh so difficult and taxing -- is being expressed in your actual dating attempts, and women are very good at feeling men's vibes!
I know that "heavy" is not who you are. Who you are is loving, generous, abundance, power, and infinite joy. You will be a fabulous LLTMBR partner. And to attract the right girl, the most important thing is to be the right guy. Actually BE the person you would enjoy spending time with. I recommend that you get back into the zone of loving your life -- remember the resolve it took to lose that poundage and to take care of your beard, etc.? Slip back into that resolve, and use it to build a life that you are head over heels in love with, regardless of whether you have a lover or not. Make a list of 30 activities that would light you up, and do them all in one month, or two, or whatever inspires you. Take dancing lessons for singles, or learn to cook Indonesian food, or join a running club, or go to Zanzibar. Whatever it is that would ignite your spark and have you feeling gleeful about your own experience.
You might want to write a list of the qualities you want to find in your perfect woman, and then go ahead and BE those qualities. Why wait for them?
Being in love with your own life is the best way to be a planet around which magnificent women will orbit. That's the kind of "gravity" you want, right?
Lots of love,
|07-02-2008, 04:14 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2008
Wow, Angela so completely "gets" it. Incredible advice. (Where were you when I was 20?? )
May I add a few subtle things for cheech, because you sound like me just a few years ago and maybe I can save you some time/effort: As you build yourself this cool life, as you interact with girls..., How can I say this... This sounds blunt, but: Don't brag on yourself. Ever.** Never try to impress a girl. Never mention how cool your car is or how great you are at rock climbing or whatever, even if you are a freekin world champion. Just let her be impressed by observing you directly, or by your friends bragging on you. (And if you're cool, they will -- they'll want everybody to know they're associate with such a cool guy.)
Reason I say that is this: I had a pretty wonderful life (except for women, heh), incredible hobbies, great job, even one or two minor celebrity friends, etc., and I thought the way to get women to like me was to trumpet my success... or at least mention it off-handedly. I figured as long as what I said about myself was true, I wasn't lying, and they needed to know about it to know how cool I was, right? Wrong. I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I was like, dammit I've built a cool life, I'm such a great guy, but where is everybody??
At some point, I just decided... yeah people are probably tired of hearing about me, and I just shut up about myself and adopted a little humility. And wow, what a difference. Not rock-star success or anything, but better than ever before in my life. Today, looking back, I understand that bragging on myself betrayed massive, deep-down insecurity -- I was trying to convince girls that I was cool, because I wasn't sure myself. And I've also learned that insecurity kills attraction faster than anything. When I quashed that behavior, my success increased dramatically. And I'm finding, perhaps counter-intuitively, that the more humble I am, the more I try to pump up people around me and sincerely make them feel better about themselves (simply spreading the love as it were, including not only friends but total strangers as well), the more successful I am with women.
I just look back at myself and go, wow I was such an idiot!! I'm hoping that you, and anybody else reading this can learn from my mistakes.
Also, get a handle on your body language. You could be subcommunicating low value (unattractiveness to women) without even knowing it. To be honest, I did this for the first 30 years of my life. David DeAngelo has done some excellent work on this subject if you want some pointers. Combine strong, alpha-male body language with a humble, genuine, loving demeanor... dude, women seem to really respond to that. (I know: "Go figure", right?? hehe)
** If you're not doing this, please don't take offense -- I may "projecting" my own experience/behavior on you a bit. After all, I don't know you, and I've never seen you bragging on yourself, so you might already have this nailed. If that's the case, keep on doin' what you're doin' and ignore lil ole me! I'm trying to relate something that's really helped me and I wish I'd started (not) doing a lot sooner.
|07-03-2008, 06:24 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
What great responses are given! As I perceive the whole situation, the best suggestion is Angela's, about "weight". Cheech, your post is heavy and weighted, indeed. My very first inner response was just to skip it. But I walked in your shoes, so I decided to help. (BTW, I started to get first results in this area of life after 3 years of effort and "trial and error training", i.e. taking action).
So.... take it easy. And make it easy. Learn to have fun with girls (I'm talking about friendly conversations and some nice social activities).
And, please, quit drinking eventually. (I did! ) It destroys your neural system ...at least, makes it "too sensitive" so you take many "not pleasant" things too seriously and weighted. "Alcohol is depressant". (c) P.Bragg
I think, I'll give move practical and particular advice after I read your PM. I'm just about to do it.
|07-03-2008, 06:28 AM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
"Some of the qualifications for a girl they will lose their flower to are: she must be amazing looking, into spirituality or yoga, smart, follow a mans lead, high vibing etc. What they fail to realize is that while itís great to have standards, they themselves wonít qualify to get this girl. "
I recognize myself in my late teens - early 20's
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