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lonesoul

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About lonesoul

  • Birthday 12/10/1978

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    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    Everything! Reading, psychology, movies, television, computer games, hiking, camping, cooking, cycling, dancing...

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  1. I am sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how you must feel about that, I hope you find the strength to carry on. About people saying they love you... All I can say is that it is not always easy. I'm not exactly sure why your family seems to have problems expressing it. I have trouble saying it as well, and I think I've simply learned that putting myself in a state of vulnerability often yielded negative results. Unfortunately, I learned to shut up and now it's extremely difficult for me to say it. I guess all I want to say is don't assume people don't feel it just because they don't say it. If you are able to say it often, do not lose that, it is a precious gift to have an open heart... You have nothing to prove to anyone. What matters most is what you feel about yourself. It seems like you did all you could while she was with you and while it hurts that she is gone, you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you were with her while you could and will have to live with few , if any, regrets about that. It sounds to me like your family might not have the same luxury and in addition to the grief, they might now be living with regrets and it's easier to lash out and blame external causes than to look at one's own mistakes. It might transform your disappointment and anger into pity and compassion to see it that way.
  2. I feel that all relationships should benefit both people involved in it. Whether it's a professional relationship, a friend, a romantic partner, we enter these relationships because they benefit us. Usually, the other person also feels it benefits them, but that is for them to decide. So you have to ask yourself. What am I getting out of this relationship and what does it cost me? Usually the answer is pretty intuitive. You feel it in your bones if a relationship is bringing you more pleasure than pain, or the opposite. Most people will decide then and there whether or not a relationship is worthwhile or not. And that's fine. What I would suggest is that you dig deeper. What is it exactly that makes you feel bad? Why? Are there other ways to see it? Are there any other things to consider? Write it down, ask yourself more and more questions until you feel like you have the true answer. You will know when you're done. If you're not sure, then you're not done asking questions. You might still decide that these relationships are not beneficial to you, but at least you will do so with proper thought and consideration and not out of simple fear. There is a reason that these people are in your life. I'm not talking about a metaphysical "destiny", I'm saying that there is something about your personality that felt interested in being around people that do not make you feel good. Might as well learn something about yourself from these friendships. The more you know about yourself, the more you'll be able to take actions to correct the things that make you unhappy. There might even be some realizations that will have a profound and immediate impact.
  3. Ghosting your partner of several months lacks common decency and respect. It is cowardly. This is the behaviour of someone who will do a lot to avoid conflict. This is the behaviour of someone who will have trouble maintaining healthy relationships because they will not work to resolve problems, they will ignore them and pretend they aren't there which, trust me, doesn't work in the long run. At the end of the day, he left mostly because of his issues. I'm sure you both have your faults, but if he couldn't say to your face "I'm sorry, but this isn't working for me", then I can't help but wonder how good a partner he would've been if he stayed. Just trying to be the voice of reason here. I know the heart often doesn't care about reason, but maybe if you remind yourself that this behaviour says a lot more about him than it says about you, you can change the tune of your mental track and move on.
  4. Lily. I wish I could tell you everything is going to work out and all will be better soon. But I'm just a guy across the world, writing on a forum. Character is built from strife. Today I was listening to a "Philosophize this" podcast and Steven West said that Nietzsche wished suffering on those he loved because it would allow them to grow as a person. I don't know if I would go that far personally, but I have to admit that I am wary of people who don't seem like they've endured much in their life. Yes. Life can be difficult. But these struggles are what make us who we are. I hope you will be able to see that a better woman will come out the other side of this. I'm not sure who said that "pain is weakness leaving your body". It's a little simplistic as a way of thinking, but it's not wrong. One of the things I learned in life is that there are many ways one can look at things, and that you have a choice on which point of view you take to look at them. The negative view, however, is often easier. I, too, wished for an end a while ago (when I was a little younger than you), but I didn't have the will to act. I'm forced to admit that I'm a stronger person now because of it. Do not doubt that if you get through this, you will be a stronger person because of it. There is always another way. I sincerely hope you believe me, even though I'm just a stranger on the internet. If nothing else, know that there's someone across the world who cares that you keep on living.
  5. Yes, you deserve praise on at least having made an attempt. You'll get better at it, just like training for anything. The more you work on yourself, the less you will need other people to validate you. As long as you move forward and improve yourself bit by bit, you'll be able to look back and take pride in actual accomplishments. If you spend time on things that you feel are important, your life has more meaning. You will provide your own validation. You will not seek a relationship to fill a void, but rather to add to an otherwise good life. In my opinion, self-esteem and confidence have to be based on actual facts. Just existing is not enough to feel good about myself, it has to come from what I do. If I suffer a setback, I have things to go back to and move on, things that will make me and the world around me a little bit better every day. One step at a time.
  6. I understand how you feel. I used to be like that as well. Saw a pretty girl with whom I had regular contact (friend of a friend, same classes, etc.), and fell hard for her. I would fantasize about "what could be". I would pine over a girl for months (or even years), thinking that letting go was a sign of weak will... That was a while ago. I'm not saying you're like that, I'm just saying that my perspective significantly changed. I know it seems hard to change your perspective, and it might be, but it's also very important that you do so because it will not help you in the long run. Like in_need_of_help82 says, people do not react to neediness with romantic interest. Some will show compassion (or pity) and you'll end up in the friend zone, many more will avoid it and a few might actually try to take advantage of it. It's hard to shift your perspective but it's not impossible. Simply be realistic and remember a few things: She has as much to gain from being in a relationship with you as you do. Your attention, your companionship, your time, your energy, your consideration... These are valuable things that you should not be giving out freely. She has to win you over as much as you have to win her over. It's a two-way street. Do not fantasize. Stop yourself when you realize you're doing it and go do something that requires your whole attention. Thinking about something makes it important, and we tend to think about important stuff. It's a feedback loop that puts people on a pedestal. It's a little like breathing, it will happen on its own most of the time, but you can consciously control it if you want. Try meditation. Even you dream girl has flaws. Identifying a few of them might help counter what looks like some idealization on your part. There are a LOT of people. A LOT of them are not right for you. Unless you're extremely lucky, you should expect things to not work out many many times. That is completely normal. Sometimes it will teach you something about yourself, but most of the time, it's simply not the right person for you at this time. Also, since you have little experience, you will make mistakes, learn from them and move on. No girl is your "one and only chance that only comes once in a lifetime". There will always be another candidate. Trying and failing is always better than not trying.
  7. As a recovering depressed person, here are a few insights I either learned from others, or by myself about depression and relationships... Most of the emotions I felt while depressed were... invalid is the best word I can come up with. We hold beliefs that reflect our experience, but depression makes us biased towards negative experiences, make them weigh more in the balance and make us choose the negative interpretation of events. I could never turn a negative into a positive. I couldn't go from hating myself to loving myself. I could, however, go from hating myself to "It's possible that I might be an average man". I'm only talking about being open the possibility that you might be OK, that the negative interpretations might be false. I found this to be a good first step. Every time you have a negative though, re-frame it so that it at least becomes a neutral thought. "I failed..." becomes "I haven't succeeded yet". "I am a loser" becomes "There are things I have yet to accomplish". You might see that depression is a lot about stuff that happened in the past, but the only thing you have control over is the present and future. Once you get to feeling "neutral", then you can start working on yourself. In order to feel better about myself, I needed to actually have things to make me feel better about. What kind of person do I want to be? What kind of qualities do I want to cultivate? What would I want to learn? What would I want to experience? Don't go crazy, pick 2-3 things and make time for them. There are very few things that can't be developed whether it's a personality trait or a skill. We live in the information age, you can google "how to be more [fill in the blank]" about anything to get ideas. This will allow you to improve your opinion of yourself based on reality, on accomplishments, on decisions. You should not rely on external validation, from friends, family, or a boyfriend. It's nice when you get, it but you should not rely on it. If you actually take decisions and actions to improve yourself and improve your life, it will have long-lasting effects, I guarantee it. Or I'll give you your money back. It's better if you pick things you have greater control over at first. For example, getting a relationship involves a large amount of randomness (right place, right time, right person). This is something you keep in the corner of your mind, if the opportunity arises. On the other hand, learning a new language, developing a skill, that is something you can control. Make sure there is a place for people in your life. I say "people" not "a person". We are, at heart, social animals and a good circle of friends, family and acquaintances is important. There are LOTS of ways to meet people, and the easiest is to combine social activities with stuff you would like to improve from step 3. I took up dancing myself. This is how you cope with loneliness, you should not put the weight of relieving that feeling on the shoulders of one individual, especially if you are very depressed. If you can't reliably call up someone to hang out, when you feel like you need it you need to add more people to your life. There is something to be said for emotional suppression. Your friend dies, you feel sad, that is normal, you should grieve. You lose your job, you feel worried about paying your bills, that is normal. You ask a guy out and he says no, you feel like lying in bed for three days with a box of tissues and sad music. That is not normal. You should not feed invalid emotions. By feeding I mean that there is a limit to how much time you should spend thinking or talking about a negative experience before it becomes a useless activity. Most people will be happy to listen and support you if something negative happens. The problem is talking about the same (or similar) things over and over... It pushes people away, but the worst is that it builds up the problem in your head. My hypothesis is that there is a feedback loop... The more time you spend thinking about something, the more your brain feels that this this is important. Don't put the spotlight on these thoughts any more than necessary. Change the subject, do something else that you should be doing (see #3). Go clean something, you will have a spotless house in a week! Lower your expectations. People rarely do what you would like them to do. And that's fine because you probably don't do half of what people would like you to do. Get rid of as many as you can, even the ones most people have. Stop comparing yourself! Accept that there will always be someone more intelligent, funny, charming, beautiful, tall, talented than you are. There are billions of us, the chances that YOU are the best at anything are extremely slim. And that's perfectly fine. Most of us are not looking for "the best" or "perfect" anyway. People have very short attention spans when it comes to things that do not directly impact them. That is to say: people are self-centered. And in a way that is a good thing. That thing you think was the "end of the world"? Chances are everybody else will have forgotten it by tomorrow. Just look at the news. Very dire things happen on a daily basis, and yet, give it a week or two... Abandon preconceptions of what people find attractive. Even if you don't believe you are attractive, the might be someone else who does. Attraction is a complicated subject and while looks ARE part of it, they are definitely not the whole deal. Well that's the most important stuff I found to be useful in my toolbox. I probably have a few more tools lying around. All I can say is that I managed to climb out of that pit of despair I was in many years ago. All I can say is that many people have overcome it, there is no reason to believe that getting better is beyond your ability. These things are simple but they are not easy. Depression makes the negative thoughts automatic, these tools must be consciously and willfully used until they become automatic. Nothing happens overnight, I took years, but I'm particularly stubborn
  8. Dating sites/apps... I've been on and off them for the past 8 years. And even in the late 90s, there were online chat rooms for dating. Here are my thoughts on it. We like to think that our situation is unique and special, whether it's positive (I'm such a great person!) or negative (I'm the ugliest, most boring person and no one's got it worse than I do), the fact of the matter is that there's a lot of people struggling with similar issues. Start from the beginning, why choose to go on a dating site instead of finding someone "out there". Shyness? Low self-esteem? Too busy? Not socially skilled? Lack of offline options (picky)? Something else? Whatever got you on there, you can be sure that a large number of people will also be there for the same reasons, so we end up with a cocktail of people who have issues and/or situations that get in the way of connecting with people the traditional way. Next is your gender. A highly attractive and/or successful guy leading an interesting life won't have to work very hard to get opportunities. They still need a decent personality to maintain a healthy relationship, though. For the rest of us, we have to work for it. It's the social expectation, there's no such thing as gender-equality in dating. Guys make the first move, the second and the third and have to deal with rejection, a LOT of it. That's true in online dating and offline as well, but offline, half the women (optimistic estimate) are not even open to dating (already in a relationship, homosexual, other situation...) Women have the unpleasant task of doing the rejecting, something that is unpleasant for any normal, decent human being, but I've not had to do it very often so I can't comment on that. You can get used to the quick rejections (which are usually communicated by being ignored). These girls do not know the real me, they know a couple of pictures and a few lines of text. What they rejected is not me, it is what they imagine me to be. If they saw a major incompatibility, then it's fine, most people are not compatible with you anyway so let's not waste our time. If, on the other hand, we might have hit it off, but they have issues preventing them from connecting with compatible men, then their imagination will get in the way and I can't do anything about that. They, like everyone here, have work to do. What hits me harder, and maybe someone else here has gone a step beyond, is when it goes a little farther. You start to have a conversation, everything seems great then it fizzles out. Or you do go on a date, but then it's obvious that the girl still filters using the "butterflies in the stomach" system... That's the kind of rejection that triggers me because now they got to know me a little better and are basicaly saying "Meh... Pass". I usually take it a little too hard, especially if we seemed to have a lot of stuff in common. That's on me and that's when I usually want to delete all my accounts. But it's part of the game. Online dating is a painful experience if you're struggling with personal issues surrounding relationships. Very painful. I understand your desire to avoid that pain. That pain resonates with me in a special way this week. But the fact of the matter is... Getting better will invariably involve discomfort and pain. It is inevitable. I'm not saying you have to stick to dating sites, but whatever course of action you find that will get you to a better place, it will be uncomfortable. Try to accept it as part of the process, because I don't know about you, but giving up on relationships permanently is not an option. The loneliness doesn't go away.
  9. One of the most important lessons I learned in life: Do not fight reality, adapt to it. That's our biggest strength as humans: our adaptability. You might want to google "channeling sexuality". Some of it is somewhat spiritual, if that's your thing. Explore this drive. Try to go as long as you can without release (self or otherwise). This kind of experiment might allow you to see that you don't have to be a slave to your libido. I tried it, it was... interesting, and I was not single at the time. It is a powerful force. See it as a strength, as a means to improve your self-control. If you're never tempted, tested, how can you improve your strength? Food for thought.
  10. 1. From personal experience... Maybe...? When severely depressed, it is not uncommon to feel completely disconnected from one's emotions. It is a defense mechanism to reduce the emotional pain. Unfortunately, the brain doesn't pick and choose which emotions get reduced or disconnected, they all get thrown in the bag, good or bad. Depending on one's level of self-awareness, one can know from an intellectual standpoint that an emotion is suppressed or should be felt. Imagine you're standing inside a house in winter and look out the window. You see it's snowing outside and it seems like there's a strong wind. Intellectually, you have strong reason to believe that it's cold outside, even though you don't feel it directly. I've been in situations where tears were the only indication that I felt sad. I did not actually feel the emotion of sadness that caused the physiological reaction. 2. This may depend on why she is depressed. What her thoughts are. But basically, she told you what she needed: "Not to give up on her". Simply be there. It is common for depressive people to withdraw from people. The thing is, depression is a black hole that sucks any energy you throw at it. I've left people emotionally and physically drained after they tried to talk me out of being depressed because that simply doesn't work. Once a depressive person starts to realize the effect they have, they withdraw in fear of losing the people they love because of this mental state. Develop your own self awareness. If you feel drained or dragged down, you're throwing energy at the black hole. Do something else. You can be the stable presence in her life, the one that her condition doesn't chase away, the person she can lean on when she's weak. One that cares when she feels like no one does or should. Basically, be the one thing that goes against her negative beliefs. HOWEVER. Take care of yourself as well. You are just as important as she is and you wouldn't be as effective at supporting her if you sacrificed your own well-being.
  11. I think most people think this at one time or another, moreso for people on DF, I guess. I think we all do this at some time because we seek to control this situation. Finding love is largely not under our control, but this kind of "decision" is. This way, when you fail to find a relationship you'll have a good reason for it: you're not open to it. No more worrying about "Am I good enough? Is there something wrong with me?" I can't say for the others, but I've never managed to stick with it. Loneliness always gets the better of this "resolution" and pushes the door open. I've come to accept the fact that, in the end, it's not a decision I can make, not permanently anyway. I'm really analytical so I analyzed this to death over the years, here are my thoughts. When faced with an unfulfilled desire that brings your happiness down, there are three things that can happen. 1. Fulfill it. In this case, it's not so simple because it requires things to happen, things that are not entirely under your control. But there are things that are under your control: you. Working to improve yourself has two effects, it makes you feel better about yourself, and it makes you more desirable. Your brain will feel like it's "working on it" and might bother you less about the fact that you're not in a relaitonship 2. Stop wanting it. Have never really achieved that. If you really want to try that, I believe it may come with having a higher purpose. Like monks. If somehow you manage to convince yourself that there is something much better for you to achieve in life for which a relationship would not be beneficial, then maybe... Honestly, I think it's extremely difficult, but even partial success would help I guess. 3. Reduce the impact of its absence. This is a mix of #1 and #2 now that I think about it. Your conscious mind has only one thing that it can focus on at any one time. You can switch from one thought to another and it seems like you can think about multiple things, but you're really not. The only way to multitask is to make some tasks so automatic that your can do them unconsciously (like driving a car). But I digress. Thinking about the fact that you have no relationship, dwelling on it, repeating it in your head serves absolutely no purpose but to bring you down. That's your brain in "problem mode", the only productive way to think about a problem is "solution mode" which is asking yourself "What can I do about it?". Unlike a leaky faucet, there aren't a clear set of steps that will lead to a resolution here. So... since it's not a good use of your brain time, you have to focus your brain time on something else. What would be a productive use of your time? Suggestions that have worked for me: Clean up your place if it could use some love. I have found that the state of my place is often a reflection of the state of my head. I hate cleaning, but when I do so, I feel better afterwards. Don't be alone. Someone invites you to do something, you say yes unless you have a dang good reason to say no. If your social circle is not a source of these invitations, become the planner. Social activities is a huge stabilizing force for me. Do an activity you like that requires high concentration. Strenuous exercise, art, learn a language, even math problems! Get a change of scenery. Becaus you are used to your immediate surroundings, you ignore most of it, leaving your brain idle to think about... your problems. If you go some place new, you'll have new things to look at and stimulate you ("Oooh, shiny!"). Go on a trip if you have the means. Mindfulness. If you can't get somewhere else, deeply examine your present experience. Don't just eat food, focus your attention on every single detail of the texture and taste as if you had to write a two-page report on that single bite. Yup, you might feel foolish contempalting the texture of the plastic mouse or the clicking sounds of the keys under your keyboard, but it's a way to refocus your attention. Haven't used that one too much, but the good thing about it is that it can be done anywhere, anytime. If you feel some feelings creep up, you do this. It's not unlike meditation which is also another suggestion. Finally, no matter what you do, you will still have feelings of longing late at night when you go to sleep. Use these feelings as a driving force towards making you a better person for you, and some lucky person down the line. As I said at the beginning, finding love is not something that you can control, only influence. A big part of feeling better about being single is "letting go" which is not the same as "giving up", not by a long shot.
  12. Some people are better at attracting interest than others. Initially, it's basically being a good "social salesman". Some people are good at it, others, not so much. It's a skill, I believe it can be learned with practice. Being a good "social salesman" gives you more opportunities (whether one is just looking for sex, or looking for something serious), but it doesn't necessarily make you a good partner for a long-term romantic relationship. It gives you a good marketing department, but it doesn't change the quality of your product. I'm not a very good social salesman either. I don't turn heads and I am overweight. I find that looking for a partner is like gambling. You place your bets, sometimes it pays off and often (in my case anyway) it doesn't. But, once in a while you get a win. If the internet has taught us anything, is that there is a market for even the most useless thing out there. I hypothesize that the same is true of people and attraction. You never know what a girl will find attractive/interesting. Seriously. I'm in my 30s and I've had all kinds of girls and most of them started out as "Nah, she wouldn't go for a guy like me..." You're not a mind reader, you do not know what kind of guy she's into so ignore that voice that tells you you're not good enough. If you're interested you go for it and let her decide, don't make that choice for her. If she's not then she's not. It's hard not to take it personally sometimes, but that is something that every one needs to learn. It's not necessarily about you, it's not necessarily about her: it's just not a good fit at this time. One piece of advice is to place yourself in comfortable situations that play to your strengths. If you're not very good at chatting up strangers while yelling in their ears and establish rapport, bars and clubs will not be a very good place for you to find love. I personally don't think they are a good place to find love even if you are good at it. So many people in there are just looking for a good time that those that aren't are droned in the sea of hormones. It's been a while since I hung out in those places, and I never found much success. You might want to think about whether or not this is an appropriate place for you to find what you are looking for. Find the activities/settings that make you feel confident. Usually that will be when you're doing something you are passionate about and/or that you are good at (those often go hand in hand). Find an opportunity to socialize with people performing those activities. It's much easier to establish a connection with people that share your passions. Common interests is also a good basis for a successful relationship. If you can't find any of your current activities that would allow you to socialize, then it might be a good idea to find some. But these other people are right. Relationships are difficult. Strange that some people think that just saying "relationships aren't that great, bro" will convince someone out of a basic need. My relationship ended recently and even though I lead a perectly fine life outside of one, there's this primal need for something that friendship cannot satisfy. It's like carrying around a 10-pound bag of sand all day long.
  13. You feel you won't meet them? That's the depression talking: you can't predict the future. Although socialization would certainly help hasten that, I believe it is counter productive to engage in activities that you do not enjoy. You would not be in the right frame of mind. If you find your own life uninteresting, then it is entirely within your power to change that. Engage in more activities that you find interesting. If you have a passion for medieval cheese-making then you go and learn about medieval cheese-making! If you don't have any interests as is often the case when you're depressive, then your first order of business would be to try stuff you haven't done until you find something that you like. A few years ago, my goal was to lead a somewhat well-rounded life. My job is very intellectual, so I aimed to use my free time for physical activities (I took up martial arts), and artistic activities (I painted miniatures, and then I took up dancing). It's a good place to start, find activities for the intellectual sphere, the physical sphere, the artistic/creative sphere and maybe your spiritual sphere. I'm not religious at all, so it's an extra challenge to find something spiritual, but it is possible. The starting point is for you to find your life interesting. I've often heard girls say they liked a guy who is passionate about stuff. Not sure why, maybe they figure if he's passionate about his activities, he can be passionate about them. Being passionate about stamp collecting is rather "niche", but you don't have to be a professional rock climber either to be interesting. I empathize with your loneliness. I felt it for the longest time. The interesting thing is that pairing up is not the only remedy for it. As I was saying to a fellow DFer, one can feel lonely at a dinner party and "connected" alone in the woods. It is a matter of finding out what makes you feel "connected" and cultivating that. There are really nice books on the subject. I read Loneliness: Human Nature and the need for Social Connection by John T. Cacioppo. It is not the only one, but I enjoyed it.
  14. Yes. Sounds awful, but yes. Basically, you have a strong desire which your brain can only imagine being met by her. You have to convince yourself that others can as well. It's quite implausible that, out of the 7+ billion people on the planet, there is only her or that she is the best one for you. You cannot convince someone to love you. Love is not a choice, either way. Getting out of the friend zone is doable, getting out of the "leave me alone" zone is... let's just say it's not a very good use of your time. I've had the most success "getting affection" by not making it the focus of my life. Go about your life, do fun activities, socialize. The more satisfied you are with your life, the more chances are that someone will want to be a part of it. The more satisfied you are with you and your life, the less you will feel a need for someone else to validate it. There is a lot more to life than getting a girl (or boy), and this does come from a guy who used to think that life wasn't worth living without a girlfriend.
  15. I've had many such dates where I believed the other girl wasn't that into me even though I enjoyed myself. First of all, assume you're wrong, maybe she really did enjoy herself and it's just depression talking. Everyone has issues, even people in relationships. If only people without issues got into relationships, the human race would be extinct. Having issues is a fact of life. I suck at flirting as well. I also seem to suck at relationships, having lost one recently. There are alternatives to walking up to strange women in the produce section and online dating. One of the best way I found was to participate in social activities that I enjoy (very important). Ideally, one that has women participating as well. If you don't have any ideas, then try lots of new stuff. Bonus points if it is somewhat physical as exercise does wonders for the mood as well. What this will do is get you out there doing stuff that you like to do to increase your life satisfaction. It will put you in a positive, low-pressure frame of mind to just "chat" with others and expand your social network of friends and acquaintances. So what you get is you're doing stuff that you enjoy (increasing your happiness), socializing with people (increasing your social skills) and seeing that lots of people do enjoy hanging out with you to reinforce your self-esteem. This is the best place to be in, mentally, for when you do meet that wonderful future girlfriend. If there are women in your activity, it also establishes a common interest while sharing experiences creates bonds. But even guys have sisters, cousins, female friends, female colleagues... Nothing beats a good "reference". For me that was dancing. Some forms of dancing involving close proximity (kizomba) also double as a source of physical contact. If you think you could enjoy it, I highly suggest it, but in the end, I think that if you participate in an activity "just to meet" women, it will backfire. You should do it because it makes your life better whether or not you find someone while doing it.
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