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blackrider

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About blackrider

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 01/01/1983

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    Male
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    US, Midwest
  • Interests
    See "ABOUT ME" tab above for very LONG detailed bio. I enjoy writing and walking hahaha. relationships and ruminating. morality. very lazy and underachieving. trying to become a functional adult haha. horrible with jobs and women haha. very low-energy.

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  1. Darn man, that is just horrible. IMHO it is very insensitive of her to essentially say "It's all your fault, you caused this," then shut down, then throw you away like a piece of garbage. I think the much kinder, gentler, mature thing, is to say some variation of "it's not you, it's me," when you are ending a relationship that the other person doesn't want to end, and you know that person is going to be hurt. Try to be as gentle as you can on them with something you know is going to hurt them, not say "this is all your fault" AND then shut down and refuse to discuss it further. That sounds really rotten to me, and IMHO a person who would do that to you is not someone you would want in your life. How would you treat someone if you wanted to dump them and you knew they still wanted to be with you? How hard is it for the dumper to make some kind of good faith effort to be kind (yet firm) in dumping? Does she know this is adding insult to injury? I had a similar situation and I just blamed myself for many months, thought that I had done something horribly wrong, that I was a horrible person, maybe I was a horrible abuser to make somebody get rid of me like this. Yeah it's not great to lie about your age, and yes people do have the right to make a one-sided decision to end a relationship whenever they want, but I think that with that right comes the responsibility to be decent to the person you are dumping. Maybe she is trying to "punish" you for lying to her? Possibly she doesn't even know why she's doing what she's doing, and is too immature to see how much it's hurting you. You are right, it's impossible to find other things which can perfectly substitute for the unique joys of a close relationship. But the pitcher example given above is pretty good. It's important to distract yourself with hobbies, work, exercise, and not replay this over in your mind too much, or blame yourself. But it's also important to grieve what is indeed a very big loss for you. I would also recommend going No Contact. Or maybe directly telling her she could have been a little more tactful and considerate when dumping you, would she like it if somebody dumped her like that? (Maybe she was dumped like that in the past, and this is her "paying it back"?) Yeah lying can destroy trust, and I'm sure you've already learned your lesson about not lying about your age in the future. Were there other lies? It's her right to not want to forgive your lie, but still I don't think it warrants the "punishment" you're getting. Would she be willing to go to a relationship counselor with you? I hate to say it, but it doesn't sound like she's WILLING to do much of anything to meet you halfway here. Minimal/No Contact might be for the best here. Sorry she couldn't be more of an adult with you. How long were you together? I think you said 5 months? Is that the entire length of time you knew her? I don't mean to minimize your pain, but it's hard to fully know a person in 5 months. Maybe she was starting to show her "true colors", that is, someone who's not willing to make the effort to be committed to you and handle conflict maturely. There's no way to make this easier, just try not to blame yourself too much and get through 1 hour at a time! Feel free to post any updates.
  2. @cj1981uk WOW, that is just brutal. I would say don't blame yourself, but that's much easier said than done, especially when she seems to be blaming you!!!!!! I really don't think it was your "fault" though, and when relationships fail, sometimes it's nobody's fault, it's just the two people are really not compatible or interested in each other in the same way. Now I totally understand the want to blame, because I was always determined not to be "the bad guy," I almost saw it as a trial where a judge and jury would determine who was right and who was wrong, and I may be heartbroken because someone I cared for just dumped me and lost interest in me, but at least I was "right". Also I am very aware of my own weaknesses, such as a tendency to be needy, clingy, or pushy, so I always have to make an effort NOT to do those things. And if somebody dumped me and accused me of being too needy, I would be horrified! And in your situation, it doesn't sound like you were "smothering" at all. Two texts in two days is not smothering at all. I am sorry she used those words to describe you. I would not put any stock in that whatsoever. Of course, when she mentions her experience with depression, you might think, "well I have an experience with that too (well, I am just assuming that because of you reading this forum!), so maybe I can understand you better than someone who hasn't gone through this." Which is probably true! This is a terrible situation, but really the best you can do is leave her alone and know that you weren't "the bad guy" and that it's not your fault, you didn't do anything wrong. I completely understand how frustrating and heartbreaking it is to be frozen out like this. It's an extreme pain and it has strengthened my resolve to never treat anybody else like that. Breakups are never easy, but there is always a better way to handle it than this. Unfortunately, she does not seem willing or able to even communicate, which just makes everything all the more painful and difficult. Just remember you didn't do anything wrong, and that she closed the door, not you, and that only she can open that door again. You sound like a caring person and deserve someone who is willing to treat you with a lot more respect! Good luck and feel free to post any updates!
  3. Thanks for the updates, even though it sounds like pretty bad news. 140 applicants for every job? That is interesting, I have asked myself that same question recently, and can't find any conclusive answers. I do have an anecdote about an entry-level job in my area, paying $13 an hour, and had a well-written job description that painted the job as a good entry-level opportunity "for a college student", and did not call for 5 years of specific experience, or was not a supervisor/manager job, and basically seemed like the perfect job for someone like me....and apparently many other people as well. The Indeed website shows how many people who have applied to a job (on some postings), and this one quickly received around 1000 applicants in under 48 hours of being posted. Of course, the stream of negative thoughts started immediately and automatically: "oh great, how am I going to beat out 999 other people." or, "It's not good enough to be the top 1%. You have to be the top .01% to get anywhere in life and make $13 an hour." I just had my 10th interview of my current job search. All my interviews go "OK". I don't do BADLY, but I don't WOW them with charismatic, electrifying confidence either. I am usually pretty nervous and end up talking too fast, and worry I sound like an "autist" or a "weirdo." (No offense to people on the spectrum!!!! I am probably pretty close to it myself. I'm simply talking about how "normal" people perceive "awkward, anxious weirdos.".....which is probably an unhealthy form of all-or-nothing thinking.) Then I get angry, thinking people in 1980 didn't go on 10-20 interviews to get one job, they didn't send out 500-1000 applications, they "simply" finished high school and said "yep, I'm willing to work" and they got a job making average or nearly-average per capita income. (in the US, I believe this is around $28000, which I then translate to about $14 an hour. HOWEVER I am also deeply skeptical of job/employment/income statistics and how they are reported. But I can't escape the need to measure myself against some sort of number!) The best thing I did recently was I very reluctantly used savings to buy a modestly-priced suit, with matching jacket and pants, and had them altered to fit my weird-shaped body. Ultimately I was very happy with this decision, as it looks a LOT better than the mismatched, shabby jacket I was wearing previous. HOWEVER, I am VERY aware that this costly privilege is not available to all, but if you can scrape together ANY way to make it happen, I strongly suggest it. Especially if you have a weird-shaped body, short legs, etc, and can never find clothes that fit quite right. You will at least have a little confidence boost from dressing better for the interviews. If you are at absolute rock bottom, you could probably get a staffing/recruiting agency to find you a job in some customer service or technical support call center. These places are revolving doors of lost, desperate souls. I was one of them once and I am trying not to become one again! My current "Big Plan" is to try to get training in CNC Machining, which of course will involve agency, time, effort, and money. But in general I am a big fan of the skilled trades as opposed to just about anything else. This is coming from a college grad with a "useless degree" who has lost all faith in higher education (unless it's in STEM.) Of course, higher education is all what you make of it, and I have long ago lost all faith in my own sense of power to make good things happen for myself! And I am bitter that "college/university SHOULDN'T be like that, because of the exorbitant financial cost! They really take their pound of flesh, isn't that ENOUGH? But no, NOW you have to go broke AND show the initiative to be a real go-getter?" anyway, that's a bit of tangent. I just wanted to mention the idea of Skilled Trades Training in an attempt to get myself to do just this, and also solicit opinions of anyone out there who has hopefully good (but maybe bad!) stories to share about skilled trades training and how it worked / didn't work in securing gainful employment. But yeah it's RIDICULOUS out there. I would just recommend setting small goals and taking baby steps. Even going to one interview is tough. I know you've mentioned possibly cancelling an interview because of anxiety / nervousness. I can definitely understand that! I just tell myself it's NORMAL to be nervous for an interview. Then, of course, I criticize myself after the interview, like "jeez, they'll never hire me, I was TOO NERVOUS and weird." But the important part was that I went to the interview and survived. Recently I had an interview with a panel of five people and the whole thing lasted like 80 minutes. After a while, I stopped being nervous, and was like this is just absolutely RIDICULOUS. This is not an executive level job. These people all make a lot more money than this job is paying, and there's five of them interviewing me for over an hour?!?!?!" and I almost had to laugh. I did not get the job, of course, hahahahahahaha. There's not really anything useful I can tell you. I am figuring I will have to survive through about 20 interviews before I get one job offer. So I have made it my goal to get those 20 interviews. It's like the old saying of How do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time. Anyway thanks for the update, and please feel free to come in here and vent anytime!
  4. I understand your desire to contact the person. Thanks for sharing. Also good job for not actually sending the message. I agree with others here that actually sending it would do more harm than good, and essentially be like pouring salt into the wound, torturing yourself. I have felt similarly though. I just wanted the other person to LISTEN to me, to hear my side of the story. I was willing to listen to them - how could they not be willing to listen to me, when I have so much I want to tell them? I was extremely angry and frustrated and confused at the unfairness of it all. Of course we all know life isn't fair, but still, it was extremely frustrating to be shut out by somebody when you have so much you want to tell them. But ultimately, in the long run, I fully believe in the efficacy of no contact. It's really been the only way I could ever "get over" anybody. Although it definitely has been a struggle! I struggled SO many times with the temptation of, "If I just email her ONE more time, maybe she will understand, or at least listen to me, or respond to me, or help me get better closure." When really my root desire was a hopeless hope that she would change her mind and decide to be with me. I didn't want her to JUST listen to me. I wanted her to listen to me, understand me, AND be convinced by me, to change her mind and be with me. Yeah, better communication on her part would have been nice, but I just know if she HAD responded, I would have found something else to obsess over, like "oh you still didn't understand me completely. Let me write ANOTHER long email trying to explain this a little better." Which would have turned into another pointless vicious circle. For me it has finally been one full year of no contact and I can say I've made some progress, but I still think about her too much. I feel it will take at least two full years to "get over her" completely, but at least right now I can go through the motions of life and not feel completely destroyed and devasted, so I will take that as an improvement. Five years is definitely rough. It's hard to say what is "excessive" and what is normal here. Everybody takes different amounts of time to "get over someone." I feel like I take longer, and that "normal" people get over people "too quickly." I feel that when you have real feelings for someone and your heart is broken, it SHOULD take a long time to get over them. These feelings mean something, if not to them, then certainly to you! This is the power of love, in my opinion. It is not some trifling emotion that should be treated casually. It's a big deal, in other words, and is always a long-term thing. For me, I figured that around two years was my average. (for "getting over" someone.) So that has helped me manage my expectations and not get too worried when things seem to be moving "too slowly." But honestly I think five years is too long to suffer! So I definitely support you talking to a therapist if at all possible. I visit a therapist about once a month and it has been helpful putting things into perspective. Of course a huge part of depression is "cognitive distortions" where we essentially misinterpret things, put things through a very negative filter, and blow things out of proportion, and it's definitely a struggle trying to fix that. Also, I think that when you contacted her recently (the brief message you sent her a few months ago, where she responded for you not to contact her again), that may have brought the pain right back to the forefront, and that contacting her again now would just be an even worse re-play of that situation, bringing even more pain back. Also, that is probably the best she is going to give you in terms of "closure", and is exactly what would happen again if you were to contact her again. It's good to write the message, but just don't send it. I still do that sometimes. In the course of my regular journaling, I will feel the urge to say something to her, but knowing that I simply cannot, I address what I'm saying to her, and go on a rant. I am thankful for the sense of perspective that at least now I know that sending such a message to her would not do any good. However, I should note that I did essentially tell her everything (or mostly everything) I wanted to tell her, in a series of long emails, that were probably regarded as creepy or pathetic or just too much, which I sent in a period of a month after our relationship ended. I am kind of glad I "got most of it out of my system" at that time.....but I still felt the urge to "scratch the itch" and get even MORE out of my system after that. Also, I have no proof that she even read those messages, let alone really understood them....and I would never get that confirmation for any future contact with her. TL;DR: I'm glad I resisted the sometimes VERY STRONG temptation to contact her, because it would just re-awaken the pain. It really is like an addiction, as some people have mentioned, and it can be helpful to go "cold turkey." However, it IS a very legitimate, valid, understandable desire to have the desire to be HEARD and listened to. But that could also lead to the pitfall of, "OK, now you HEARD me, but did you really UNDERSTAND me," and you can see how that would be a slippery slope of you being tempted to contact her again. It's doubtful our unrequited love-recipients would ever truly be able to understand. So yes I agree, no contact whatsoever is the best thing to do here. And this would include not looking for pictures or news about her on facebook/internet/anywhere. I deactivated my facebook and haven't been on it in a year, and I don't miss it. I deleted every bookmark related to her or her family, deleted every email I sent or received from her, essentially tried to delete her from my life. She had done the same thing to me, so I will just do likewise. I just wish I could have moved on from her as quickly as she moved on and forgot about me. But then I remember that love is a powerful force that shouldn't be gotten over quickly or easily, and I respect the painful process. We don't do these things because they are easy, we do them because they are hard!! I promised myself I would write a short post this time...... Good luck and good job on the no contact!!!! And keep doing what you can to find a good therapist. Even talking to them just once a month can be helpful. Also if you google "no contact" you will find a TON of information and stories on how it has helped people.
  5. Great topic! First, I would advise to not feel guilty or ashamed about any racial preference as regards dating/intimate relationships. I think @ColdFire put it much more nicely than I could. People can definitely be a bit "tribal", and I think this is perfectly natural. However, there are also "different strokes for different folks", and other people are very open to dating outside their race. But I once had the same fear you did. As time passed, I stopped worrying about it and just accepted my preferences as they were. The more important point in my opinion, is the idea of getting to know somebody before developing deeper feelings for them. My ideal is similar to yours, where people gradually go from strangers to acquaintances to friends and finally to something beyond friends. I don't think a serious relationship CAN be "rushed", and it seems strange to me that people can go from strangers immediately to "lovers." I suppose they might not really be true "lovers" after such a short time, but are rather just "going through the motions", but I am biased because I've always been like this, I've never been comfortable with "casual dating" at any point in my life. For a while I thought this might be considered "demisexual", which is where a person can only feel physical attraction to a person when there is some kind of emotional connection/relationship already established. I'm not sure how related this is to asexuality, which I also thought I might be. Ultimately, I concluded that I was a pretty standard basic heterosexual who just had a strong preference for monogamous long-term relationships. Not sure if you're aware of the concept of "love shy", there's a big Love Shy forum out there. In my opinion, this ties in pretty well with the concept of "Forever Alone", which is usually somewhat introverted young men who go through their twenties struggling with dating and relationships, and then there is the concept of the "wizard" or thirty-year-old male virgin. Hmmm not sure the point I was trying to make, other than you are not alone! For me I was not just introverted, but definitely shy, anxious, and awkward when it came to socializing with women (and really ANYBODY, especially new people, women and men both.) I guess there is technically a difference between introversion and shyness - some introverts are not shy, but I unfortunately am both, and I wonder if you may be too. (Not sure if there are any extraverts who are shy, but that's another tangent!) But for me, introversion and shyness go hand in hand. I wonder if you might have a bit of shyness or social anxiety as well? (I'm not sure "shyness" is exactly the same thing as "social anxiety", but I think there is a huge overlap there!) Basically I just wanted to keep this thread alive and give my long-winded 2 cents, which is that I mostly understand where you're coming from with this, and I have no great advice! I just wanted to give you some support that it's really no problem if you have a preference for dating people of your particular race, and especially to the idea that it's very natural to not really develop deeper feelings for a person until you actually get to KNOW the person. Of course, getting to know a person can be very challenging if you don't see the person regularly! And there's also the implicit issue of approaching, which I always like to make explicit! In other words, shy, introverted men are usually not getting lots of women (or even people in general!) approaching them/you/us. It is definitely intimidating knowing that the bulk of the responsibility for initiating/approaching is on you, when approaching is a particularly weak area for you! (I could be wrong - I'm mainly speaking for myself as a shy, introverted male who "should" approach people more, but I have struggled greatly with approaching!) Unfortunately I don't have any good tips or tricks about initiating/approaching! ( I've never been good at it, it's always been awkward and non-smooth for me, my shyness does not help with approaching at all, and it's something I've always struggled with, and will always be at least a little nervous about. I also do not like "pick up lines" or "pick up routines", and I think basic boring small talk is a much better way (for me) to attempt to talk to new people.) The last thing resembling a relationship I had with a woman was, she was a new person at my job, and I am generally friendly and open and helpful to new employees as a rule, because I appreciate how nerve-wracking it is to learn a new job, and I hate the feeling of being "thrown to the wolves", "swim or sink", etc. So as I was talking to her about the job and just being generally nice ("It's an easy job, you'll be fine, don't be nervous, everyone is very nice, you can ask anybody questions anytime, especially me, I love helping people out") we then began having small talk and chit chat, which I thought I didn't like, but I enjoyed small talk with her. (I suppose I don't really hate "meaningless small talk", as it allows you to develop a rapport and familiarity and comfortability with a person.) And through the small talk, I found we had common interests in music and movies and TV and current events, and could get into longer, more detailed conversations about those things. After a few months of that we were getting along very naturally and very positively. As this pattern continued, we became friends who hung out outside of work. After about 2 years of this, a switch flipped in my brain, and I fell hard for her, and that spelled doom for our friendship/relationship, and the whole thing ended horrifically for me. The point of that anecdote is that 1. it takes a long time for people like us to get to know someone and become real friends with them, and that is fine. 2. feelings can change over time, so that you can fall crazily in love with a friend you've had for a few years. Now, I'm not suggesting to make friends with women at work, and I know you are having some struggles with work right now as well (as am I!!!) But the reality is, people spend a lot of time at work, which gives them proximity and familiarity with a group of people that they don't have elsewhere, and it can be a kind of "springboard" to getting to know people, and making new friends. (it can also be a springboard to bullying and conflict and gossip and abuse and drama etc) I guess the ultimate point is try to put yourself in positions where you see the same or a mostly-same group of people on a regular basis, which is what it seems you were trying to do with the gaming meet-up, but it also sounds like that is not working out very well, and that it's also not very conducive to talking to people. Personally, I play trivia once a week and that has been great fun socially. Now I am not really close friends with the people in my trivia group, and I haven't really met any new women, but it is a regular social outlet that I am thankful for. So I might tentatively suggest to look into local trivia teams, it seems to be growing in popularity the last couple of years, so there should be something in your area. Basically, you just go out to a local bar/restaurant and play a live game of trivia and win prizes. Sorry for the super-long post everybody! Also, do you think you would qualify yourself as shy as well as introverted? Because that can definitely be a "double whammy" when trying to meet new people, but certainly not insurmountable!
  6. Hope things are going a little better. Please feel free to give us an update, or venting, or anything! Yep job search can seem like cruel and unusual punishment sometimes. Especially with that situation with your previous manager. Really a terrible twist of fate that you ended up at the same store as him! But I think you made the right choice staying away from him. Doesn't make your situation any more pleasant though! Interviews are horribly nerve-wracking, I can definitely understand the urge to back out of an interview because of anxiety, panic, or nervousness. I am amazed I can make it through interviews myself without completely "spazzing out." However I still get pretty nervous, which leads to me talking too fast, and in kind of jumbled sentences, and I worry I come across as awkward and weird. But I think some amount of nervousness is natural and to be expected in an interview, and hopefully the interviewers can understand that! Basically interviews can get somewhat easier the more you do. Ideally I would do 2 or more a week, but it's been challenging enough getting 1 a week. But even 1 a week seems to be enough so that I get into the habit of interviewing and it becomes less intimidating and I get less nervous. However I have done 9 interviews in the past few months, and still no offers. So it is difficult to keep plugging away. To keep applying to jobs and keep going to interviews. It takes a LOT of steadfastness and persistence and I wonder how "normal" people can all do this!!! In order to keep some momentum, I have tried to make a game out of it where I set a goal like "I will probably get a job by the time I submit 400 applications. Because let's say 1/20 applications will lead to an interview, and then 1/20 interviews will lead to a job offer." (This assumption may prove horribly wrong, hahahaha.) So for now I have set a goal of 400, and started using a spreadsheet to meticulously record every job I applied to. I also used a stopwatch to measure exactly how long it took me to apply to each job. This way I was able to start collecting and analyzing data, and found some encouraging things, like it "only" takes me an average of 14 minutes to apply for any given job. Or that I am 64% of the way towards my goal of 400 jobs. Obviously some job applications are much longer (stupid things with 200 question personality tests, or they want an explanation of every single gap in the past 15 years!), while some are much shorter. So I wanted to actually MEASURE this to prove to myself what the average was....and an average of 15 minutes per is pretty good in my opinion. On the same spreadsheet I also include a bunch of information, like job title, date applied, a link to the job posting, company name, department, location/city, a rating or "grade" of how "good" I feel about the job (A, B or C), information about pay if known, a general notes area, do i receive an interview, do i get a rejection email, when did that happen, etc. I use it to calculate average time needed to apply for jobs, see how long each one took, do a count of how many jobs total, how many minutes/hours total, and how close I am to my goal of 400 jobs (which I may change to 500, hehehe.) But yeah point is, the whole job search process is horrible and any little thing you can do to make it more like a game and to keep your motivation, will hopefully be beneficial. Anything to keep up the motivation to go to interview after interview, even 20 interviews. Let us know how everything is going!
  7. [[Template forums/front/topics/postContainer is throwing an error. This theme may be out of date. Run the support tool in the AdminCP to restore the default theme.]] This is the error that seems to be appearing on all pages. Also there has been a problem with Paypal Donations for quite a while, it's giving an error regarding the email address for the DF Paypal account. I even tried sending a Paypal donation to [email protected] on June 10 but it was never accepted. Thank you for looking into these issues!
  8. @Starsea has some great advice here (as usual!) I too have struggled with "seeming needy and annoying." I really don't want to come across like that, because why would you, but at the same time, I have been honestly pretty needy for certain people or a certain kind of relationship. But I would reiterate Starsea's point that COMMUNICATION can only help this situation, just as it can help just about any issue in any relationship. I'm not saying communication can fix all problems, but more simply that it's a sign of good faith and good will that people are willing to listen to each other and at least willing to make an effort to improve things. Maybe she was willing to stick with you through your tough times, maybe she wasn't. Well, the fact that she seems to be ignoring you now does not bode very well, in my opinion, although I hope I'm wrong! It is just a HUGE "pet peeve" of mine when a person gives me the silent treatment, or ignores and avoids me. It drives me crazy and it IS a legitimately frustrating, immature, and cowardly thing to do. Would YOU treat somebody like that - just completely leave them hanging? Maybe she has other legitimately conflicting factors in her life that are causing her to shut down like this. But's it's impossible to tell if she doesn't communicate with you about it! But yeah I hear you, it is insanely frustrating when someone you care about just shuts down and avoids you and doesn't respond to you, so I don't blame you for being upset! I'm not even sure the best way to proceed here, apart from sending her a message saying something like "I feel hurt when you don't respond to me. I can give you space, but I would appreciate some sort of communication. If you want to end this relationship, that's fine, just tell me, and then we can move on with our lives. But right now I feel like I'm being left hanging." I learned that "needing space" is NOT the same thing as "an excuse to avoid talking about obvious problems indefinitely!" Similarly with a "cooling-off period." I would think that a cooling-off period should only last a short while and not turn into an excuse to avoid someone entirely. Anyway, good luck and let us know how it goes. How close are you with her and how long have you known her? It's especially frustrating when this happens in a long-term relationship.
  9. I think the vast majority of us crave affection and want somebody to love us, so just know that is a very natural, healthy desire. But I know what you mean by being "desperate", I too have been longing for affection for so long that I have become desperate. I guess the trick is not to seem desperate! Fortunately for me, I can hide it pretty well. Desperation is a weird thing. Technically it's nothing to be ashamed of, because it's a very natural response to not being able to fulfill a very natural need. At the same time, I can totally see how other people are turned off by desperation, and I wouldn't like someone approaching me with a tangible sense of desperation. But I'm not going to shame myself or you for being desperate either. You have mentioned the "stench of depression" and I think desperation is a very similar thing. I wish more people could understand this, and be more quick to show empathy when they encounter a desperate person, rather than harshly judge them. Because the fact of the matter is, desperation is a legitimate response to prolonged loneliness and rejection, and I don't think most "normal" people understand that, because they have never really been desperate, because they've never been THAT lonely! So I would say try to have a small-talk conversation with her at the next meetup. If she's not at the next meetup, it probably would be ok to message her and ask her if she's coming to a meetup at some point. Of course I'm no expert at making small talk with new people either! I suppose you ask them how their day has been, how their week has been, how she found out about the group, who does she know here, does she go to school, does she work, does she have any brothers and sisters. It would probably be a good idea to have solid eye contact during this and to appear approachable and friendly. Sometimes the person will mention within 2 minutes "oh well me and MY BOYFRIEND were watching TV last night" which I appreciate: them finding a clever way to mention their boyfriend early in the conversation, just to get that out in the open as soon as possible. Because I'm not really sure of when or how is the best way to actually ask them that question! But yeah I would say your first goal is just to have a small talk conversation with her for a few minutes and then see what happens. Sometimes I think about doing a ridiculously direct approach, like "I think you're cute and you seem nice, wanna go to coffee/lunch/dinner/movie sometime?" This might be too direct to actually work, though. I don't know, I haven't been in this situation for a while! But it would be better to try talking to her and have it go horribly (and it probably won't!), than to not talk to her and regret never taking a chance! I know this is a really easy situation to overthink/overanalyze! Anyway I would recommend to talk to her or try to talk to her, and let us know how it goes. Maybe before/after the meetup, or during a break, if it's the type of thing where people are not freely mingling about.
  10. @Teddy545 No need for apologies, you are fine! I don't think there is any weaponization of empathy going on here, haha.
  11. "Hahaha" is really just me laughing at my own stupid "jokes", which I often do multiple times in a post, and more or less indicating a light and relaxed tone. I suppose it is my own alternative to "LOL", which is technically meaningless conversational filler! But basically it is my attempt to keep a sense of humor about things, even things that might not seem humorous. If I weren't laughing, I'd be crying...hahahaha. Certainly there is not much funny about people breaking each other's hearts, people throwing other human beings away like garbage, people going through the mere motions of a relationship and going through a revolving door of "lovers", people being alone for years and never being able to share love with another person, people stuck in loveless or abusive excuses for "relationships", etc. But I have found a sense of humor, or even just trying to have a sense of humor, to be helpful in getting through the daily struggles! But sometimes it's very much "gallows humor", or "whistling past the graveyard!" I meant to point out that I too felt like a total outsider, until I eventually met some people who accepted me for who I was, and then I felt more "connected", like less of an outsider. I was thankful for that, and it taught me that no matter how much of a "weirdo" I thought I was, I still did desire companionship with people, and was even able to succeed at it to an extent. And just to clarify, these friendships were not what I'd consider "casual", rather I meant the word "casual" to apply to the short-term "relationships" I had with women at that time. And I indeed wanted those relationships to be more than short-term or casual, but unfortunately, the women did not feel the same way. I used to be a much clearer and better writer, I swear! Anyway, I'm kind of in another misanthropic outsider loner phase right now, where I don't really feel close to anyone. I have drifted away from those old friends, largely due to time and distance, but there are no hard feelings thankfully. I think even the "weirder" of us are capable of deep and meaningful relationships, but it can be very difficult to find the right people to do that with! Or sometimes we put up a "wall" which can be difficult to take down. I definitely have a wall up right now, and I honestly don't feel like taking it down! And then we get into the idea of "SHOULD" and we "should" do this and we "should" do that, the tyranny of "should" etc. Yeah, I "should" let down my wall, and I "should" make more of an effort to make new friends, or meet new women, but I don't really want to! For me, I see it as part of the grieving and recovery process from getting over this woman I used to know. She was the person I felt closest to, then I got pretty strong feelings for her, then that came to a catastrophic, horrendous end, and it's taken almost a year to even begin to move past it, and her being gone has left a huge void in my life, and I still can't envision another person filling that void. So I guess I am trying to fill that void myself. It's also well worth noting that it's possible to have very close male/male friendships. There have been times in my life where there was a mutual "mancrush" and I got along with male friends in such an unabashed way that it might make some men uncomfortable. In other words, it's possible to find a sense of intimacy, connection, and closeness with other men, in the context of a close, albeit completely platonic, friendship. In this way, it's somewhat possible to "substitute" for the intimacy that you / I / we all are seeking with a woman in a romantic relationship. Needless to say, these type of male friends are not easy to come by either! I'm rambling again, hahahaha. Take care and try to laugh about the un-laugh-about-able!
  12. @Hermitic well..... just to clarify, hehe. Meeting women wasn't "EASY" per se, as I for 3 out of 4 years I struggled greatly with that, and didn't meet any women, was painfully shy and withdrawn. However my final year I met a new group of friends who turned out to be very good, nice, decent, great people, thank goodness. They were also very social. So my social life jumped overnight from having 1 or 2 friends and knowing no women, to having 3 or 4 or 5 friends and knowing several women, and meeting new people regularly. Really I just got lucky by meeting the right group of people! Very lucky, and I am very grateful I met them, because like I say, they were good friends who accepted me for who I was, and I did not have to "wear a mask" or try to be someone I'm not in order to fit in with them. Prior to that I always felt like an outsider, misanthrope, loner, but I also wanted to have real friends and to "fit in" socially to some extent. Which I think is natural. I'm still basically the same way, always have been. So it was for the first time in my life a socially stimulating and exciting time. I was unprepared for it. I enjoyed it, but I also had a bad habit of drinking too much, and also I "had to" drink in order to have any confidence with women. Indeed when I first met the woman I would lose my virginity with, I was quite under the influence, for better and for worse. I can't recommend drinking to excess, however I also can't deny that it helped "take the edge off" when talking to women, "liquid courage" and all that. But I was also drinking to escape feelings of depression and doubt in general, so, definitely not a good thing. Ideally, I would have faced my anxiety with women WITHOUT the use of alcohol, and just gotten used to talking to them without alcohol. Well, to be fair, after the initial first meeting, I was completely sober when hanging out with and "getting to know" the women. But yeah, maybe "EASY" wasn't the most accurate word, because prior to that, meeting women was terribly difficult, and since then, meeting women has been terribly difficult! It was really a serendipitous thing based on my new circle of friends at that time. In some ways it felt like a temporary window into "normal" social life, hahaha. I just wish my few experiences with women had been more long-lasting! And when I say "hypersexualized", I don't know, I could be completely wrong about that. Part of that probably comes with my own obsession with sex! And creating this possibly-fictionalized nightmare-world where we are living in a thoroughly Decadent and Debauched world, akin to the Fall of Rome! But I am still convinced that there is generally a lot of casual sex going on, hahaha. Stories of high schoolers sexting each other and such. But you are right that to some extent, this stuff has ALWAYS been going on. I think it is part of being human that we have the height of libido from ages 16-20 or so, and this is probably part of our prehistoric past trying to compel us to reproduce as soon as possible. I still wonder considering all the drama between men and women, if people are really communicating about sex, or relationships, as much as they should be. I am the world's biggest fan of Communication, I can't even begin to emphasize how important I think Communication is in any relationship. People need to communicate their expectations and thoughts and feelings to each other, and they seem so bad at doing that! But yeah I hear ya, it is very hard finding someone you connect with. Fortunately I have found a few people that I did feel a real connection with, that I did want to have a serious relationship with....but the feelings were never returned, resulting in heartbreak for me. It's hard enough finding someone you have feelings for, and THEN they have to have similar feelings back towards YOU? What are the odds of that? That's like 1 in a million TIMES another 1 in a million, therefore, the probability of having a successful relationship are like one in a google, hahahahahahaha. I am probably making what Dr. David Burns calls a "cognitive distortion" there, which is leading to that overly pessimistic conclusion, hahaha. Well you try to have a good day, and always feel free to talk more about sex, or especially Intimate Relationships, which is one of my favorite topics, haha.
  13. Great topic @Hermitic ! I think different people have different expectations regarding sex, and it is best if we can pair-up with somebody who agrees with us on this issue. For example, I have no interest in casual sex. I think sex is inherently very powerful and profound, as it is the process that creates new life. But because it has a "pleasurable" component (supposedly, hahahaha), I think a lot of people try to separate that pleasure component from the reproductive component, and that can cause mismatches of expectations among people. It possibly explains the motive for casual sex, in that it's something you can do for "fun", and take steps to minimize the reproductive aspect. But even when I was younger and had a MUCH stronger libido, I didn't want to have sex outside of a committed, meaningful relationship, possibly because I felt the hedonistic/pleasure aspect could never be fully separated and compartmentalized from the reproductive aspect. You were sharing something deep and special with someone else, so ideally you would have a special relationship with a special person. So as a 21-year-old virgin with no success with women, I was feeling increasingly insecure, as all of my friends were not virgins, had been in long-term relationships, etc. I think I made up my mind to just "get it over with" and see what happens then. I met a young woman who was very experienced and she was very willing. Not surprisingly, I got feelings for her very quickly, and was heartbroken when she got bored with me. I felt a bit resentful that I had "compromised my ideals" and had "thrown my virginity away" on someone who wasn't interested in a real relationship. I vowed that I would re-establish my original plan of "waiting for somebody special." (Not that I didn't think she was very special at the time! She just didn't want to have a relationship with me.) I soon met another young woman (I was in college/uni, never again was meeting women so easy!) and we began hanging out and I started to get feelings for her. I had a few possible chances to have sex, but I said to myself NOPE I just want to take this slowly and just enjoy non-sexual physical things like cuddling and making out (which to me, were very enjoyable and MUCH more in my comfort zone than sex, which seemed so special and serious! Unfortunately the people I was interacting with did not seem to share my opinion on that.). She dumped me soon after because she felt I was wanting a serious relationship (and I did!), but she did not. And then I was angry that I DIDN'T have sex with her when I had the "chance." Then I finished college and tried to become an adult, hahaha, and have been a spectacular failure with women ever since, not even getting so far as "casual dating." For me, I have come to accept my own rather traditional, conservative views on sex. It's been pretty easy accepting that, and a lot harder accepting OTHER people's more casual attitude towards sex. But I accepted that my ideal partner had to be someone who agreed with me on this point. (For what it's worth, this has given me a clear perspective on "the double standard" between men and women, i.e., this "double standard" is explained very elegantly and succinctly by the very different reproductive roles of men and women. That is, women face much greater risks/costs/disadvantages because they get pregnant for 9 months, while a man can impregnate 10 different women in a day and then run off in the night, with no further responsibility required! For me, this made perfect sense when considering women as "the choosers" and men as "the initiators" or "the salesmen." Of course, I felt angry and unconfident and like a failure, because I was a particularly bad "salesman" and couldn't get any women to choose me!!) So in short, I personally don't care for casual sex, because I believe sex is by nature not very casual, but instead very intimate, so it is best experienced in a truly intimate relationship. However, even though I wish I had lost my virginity in the context of an intimate relationship, I am kind of glad I "got it over with" when I did, because like you say, there is a very real stigma against male virgins. However I guess I practically AM a reborn male virgin at 30+ years of age, because I haven't had any experience since, because I am stubbornly holding out for a real, intimate, committed, long-term, monogamous, loving relationship, which has been VERY hard to come by hahaha. If sex is difficult to get (although it's hard to imagine it as such in the hypersexualized culture in which we live!) then a committed relationship is even more difficult! So yeah it really rustles me to see this "hypersexualized" culture where sex is treated as a hedonistic, pleasurable thing, with no deeper meaning, like the "hook up" culture and "casual dating" and "chill hangouts" and "netflix and chill" and sexting and Tinder and such. That being said, if I were being offered casual sex (not that I am, hahaha), I would probably take it, just to experience it once again after so many years. But I am confident that it would never replace my life-long goal to find a long-term partner to have children with. Oh yeah and great post @Third Eye Seeker a few posts above! I think pornography is a big part of this "hypersexualization." And for the more underconfident, introverted, low-self-esteem men (which often coincides with Depression and Social Anxiety!!), it can be challenging to participate in this "sexual smorgasbord" that everyone else seems to be engaging in (and you don't necessarily want that, you might want a committed relationship!), so if you are young and have any libido at all, you might be drawn to pornography on occasion. I would personally recommend strongly against that, because IMHO, pornography represents an even more unhealthy and unrealistic view of sex than the actual sex actual people have! I would encourage young men not to make a habit of pornography. I did and I regret it greatly. Some time ago, I deleted it all and quit looking at it cold turkey, and have felt much better. Of course that is just anecdotal evidence, your mileage may vary. But I still believe pornography does not promote shy men to be confident with women, nor does it promote a healthy, positive view of women, or sex in general!! Getting older and thinking more about having children definitely shifted my views on sex, made me think more about it as The Life Creation Process. I began to feel a deeper respect for life itself, and the process which creates it, and then feeling disgust to see people treating it like some hedonistic game. People are gonna definitely disagree with me, but this is just my own opinion! I am not judging anybody here. Sometimes people go through different phases/stages. Sometimes you want casual sex, sometimes you only want intimate sex within a serious relationship. I simply have never made any serious effort to pursue casual sex! And also I would reiterate that if you have sex with someone who has vastly different views on sex as you do - for example, you take it very seriously, and they take it very casually - that is probably not going to end well. Regardless of your beliefs, both people should probably be on the same page. Let's talk about SEX, bay-bee hahahahahahaha Anyone else feel free to rant, and make my rant look like less of a rant, haha.
  14. @Searchingforasoul thanks for the great topic! I enjoyed your own stories of the impact music has had in your life and how it creates such strong memories. I am a huge Tom Waits fan too and you had a great story of how you were introduced to him. For me, a friend was playing the "Blood Money" album, and I was entranced by his barking voice over the enchanting melodies, hehe. Then I went back to the very beginning, when he still had a "normal" voice, like on "The Early Years" and "Closing Time." And then everything in between of course, with "Alice" being a particular favorite. It is my dream to see him live in concert, but that might prove difficult, hehe. Noise music eh? I find the concept very interesting for sure, but hard to listen to! Not sure if you're familiar with the genre "power electronics", which seems to be an evolution of noise, but even noisier, and even darker subject material (see Whitehouse). But your mention of Einsturzende Neubauten can't help but remind me of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, who I think would be of interest to many people on this forum! @Third Eye Seeker always nice to see another black metal fan! I totally understand, black metal is definitely at or near the top of preferred genres for me as well. Nothing else can capture both darkness and beauty that well, IMHO. Of course some of it is not so beautiful either! I see you enjoy Behemoth and Enslaved, yes they are interesting for sure, although I am not too experienced with them. I always have to mention Mgla, one of my favorite "newer" black metal groups, they have great appeal to fans of all kinds of black metal. Lately I have found myself listening to a lot of Goatwh0re (silly name obviously, haha), which I'm well aware are not really "black metal" so much as "blackened thrash/death", hahaha, but the riffs are just SO darn catchy, and I've long admired his guitar style. Of course I enjoy all types of metal, and recently had a phase where I was listening to a ton of Type O Negative (gothic metal/rock) then moved to listening to a ton of Nile (superfast technical death metal, I love fast blast beats, haha.) What do you think about "Depressive Black Metal"? (I just have to ask that of a black metal fan on a Depression forum, hahaha.) I saw you had some Cocteau Twins in there, which I have been meaning to listen to more of them, but for some reason they make me want to mention Dead Can Dance, who I am sure has some fans on this forum! (Beautiful semi-gothic/"world" music which rose to fame in the 80s) @Lady Mozzer I began digging more into the Smiths more during the past year, and I can definitely appreciate the living legend that is Morrissey! It is interesting how our musical tastes change over time. When I was young, I liked any kind of metal because it seemed rebellious and edgy, and now I look back with amused embarrassment at how bad some of that stuff was. I wish I were exposed to a wider variety of music because it seemed like music "stuck" better when I was young, or it was easier to enjoy, and I wish I had used that to build a wider foundation in jazz, classical, (classic, old school) country, basically anything and everything. Another problem I have as I get older, besides "new" music not "sticking" as easily, (meaning music that is new to me, not new in terms of time!) is the idea of separating the music from the musician. A lot of musicians are just total scumbags as people: narcissistic, drug abusing, cheat on their partners, abandon their children, etc. I would not want to know these people in real life! How can these horrible people understand and express the same emotions I feel? I don't want to be like them! I wish I could just write my own music instead! (Believe me, I've tried, but I just cannot force that creative impulse whatsoever!) Many would argue, you've got to separate the art from the artists, MANY artists were horrible people who created beautiful, timeless art. And I can totally understand that. But I guess I don't WANT to separate the art from the artist, because I'm not sure how POSSIBLE that even is: art and music seems to represent something deep and profound from our souls. How CAN you separate that from the creator? I guess the point is, even deeply flawed people can still create beautiful things. I just wish they would express more of that beauty and goodness in their personal lives, haha. But of course, not ALL musicians are horrible scumbags, haha. Some other favorites include Leonard Cohen - many people here would probably appreciate his very poetic songs of love and longing and sadness, haha. Neil Young - he is a living legend in my mind, especially when he plays with Crazy Horse and does lengthy "jam" versions of his songs. Also I have begun to appreciate jazz a lot more as I have grown older, and would like to develop a deeper understanding there of all the various jazz genres. Sorry, every post I write turns into a book! Anyone else feel free to share your music stories! I know we have several music threads already, but I like the "meta" approach/tone of this thread, hahaha.
  15. Welcome to DF! Thanks for sharing your story and feel free to share more. I am not a professional and can only speak of my own experience, but many of us seem to have shared some similar experiences, hahaha. So I can't really add much new to this topic. One thing I do find interesting is how bad people are at reading signals. In my opinion, it's much better to have an open, direct conversation rather than rely on nonverbal signals to do the talking. However, when I have feelings for someone, I feel like the signals I'm sending them are impossible to miss. How can they NOT see I have feelings for them? So it is possible that this woman already has an idea that you like her. Maybe not, though. Just as signals are often unnoticed or misinterpreted, people can also be obtuse and not notice obvious signals. Well, probably some signals of some things are clearer than others. I don't know. I had a similar situation that ended badly and I have been in pain and confusion for months afterwards. Just not knowing, not understanding, being confused. Not fun! So for this reason, I always encourage to just talk to the person. Or write them an email. Or send them a text saying "by the way, the person I like....is you" hahahaha. It might not change the general outcome, but I think it's a much better way of dealing with that outcome. Of course many people are not good at communicating either. You can want to communicate with them, and they can refuse to communicate with you, and if you're like me, you may desperately beg "PLEASE RESPOND" hahaha. Sure sign of a bad situation there, haha. Anyway maybe telling her how you feel, and it doesn't need to be a big dramatic thing either, maybe just something like "yeah I think I have a crush on you and I was really surprised to see you dating this new guy so soon. Couldn't you tell from the way I was acting? Have you ever had feelings for someone they did not return? How did it make you feel? How did you handle it? Maybe we should spend some time apart until this blows over. Call me if you feel like dating hahaha" Maybe try to help them understand how you're feeling, by getting them to think of a time they were interested in somebody who wasn't interested in them. I can't imagine this is ever a pleasant feeling. One-sided, unrequited feelings. I've only ever been on the giving end of one-sided feelings, but I imagine being on the receiving side of it is very awkward, and we are well aware that many people avoid anything awkward like the plague. Just ignore it and hope it goes away. In my opinion, this is an immature way of "dealing" with things. Probably the pain of having one-sided feelings is a lot worse that the pain of awkwardness the receiver of one-sided feelings feels. Knowing what I do about having one-sided feelings, if someone ever felt that way about me, I would want them to talk to me about it. But I'm not sure if I'd be mature enough to say "You seem to be acting weird. Do you have a crush on me or something?" hahaha. Well, I would HOPE to be that mature. At the very least, telling her might give you more of a sense of closure, and be able to move on and get over it more quickly. Like, I clearly told her, and she clearly said yes or no. Of course she might not clearly say yes or no..... At that point I might put my foot down, and say "I need to know yes or no. Think of when you had a crush on somebody, wouldn't YOU want to know yes or no?" But I think anything that isn't a definite yes......is a no. "I don't know" = no. OK that's enough of my unsolicited advice, hahaha. I'm not telling you you should do this necessarily, but just something to think about. I know in my tribulations with unrequited feelings, I wish I had been more direct and timely with my verbal communication. Please let us know how things go! Also, I think a gap year is a good thing. I wish I had done a gap year....or 2 or 3! I was wayyyy too immature and unfocused when I started college ("uni" as you Brits call it, haha), and as a result I got a useless degree, and have not really moved forward in my life in the 10 years since graduating uni. At 30+ years old, I still feel like I am 18-20, hehehe. Also I wish I had seen a therapist at around that age (18-20), which might have helped address my issues before they became bigger problems. Also I would caution you not to use drugs or alcohol to try to escape your worries! Those can become very bad habits that ultimately just make things worse. Good luck and please let us know how things are going!
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