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Not Good Enough For A Relationship


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I feel like I'm not good enough for a relationship. Never experienced one. I really crave companionship & affection but also need my space. I have a hidden disability which is often misunderstood. (Asperger's Syndrome). I'm scared that my depression and this might scare a guy away. It's gotten to the point now where I don't even want a prince charming, I just wanted someone to understand.

Sad to admit it, but I was so sure I'd off myself before I could have a hope of finding a decent relationship. I dabbled in some casual stuff - went a little crazy actually. At the time I felt like it was all I could manage and it was all I deserved. So this leaves me in my current situation:

Stopped the casual stuff, been alone in the house, need to get my life together and really crave a loving relationship but am honestly so scared to have one. I want to help myself first and not rely on a relationship to fix everything for me, because it won't. But then I wonder - Will I ever fix this stuff? It might just be a part of me I need to accept, learn to cope with day by day in life. Should I really push relationships away because of it?

Do you think I'm ready to pursue a relationship with this understanding or should I work on myself some more? And if so, any tips?

​Do any of you feel the same?

Edited by EllaMight
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You know, I've often pondered the question myself...

I'm not sure there is a right answer. I think evolution is an ongoing process. What is worse, abstaining from a relationship or trying and failing because of your issues... The result is the same in the end: you're not with that person.

So I guess it boils down to deciding which will help you grow more: sorting things out on your own or learning by exposure to actual "relationshippy" situations. It can also be a little bit of both. Maybe there are a few things that you should sort out first and then the rest can be worked on as an ongoing process.

I talk to a lot of people and I'm sometimes amazed at how some of them manage to be happy in a relationship. Nobody is 100% "issue-free", at one point you need to look at yourself and say "good enough".

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Personal experience has taught me that the key to forming strong personal relationships - romantic or otherwise - is to have a solid foundation from which to base them. That means having a good sense of who you are and what your needs are. That can be a bit of a Catch 22 because for many of us a very powerful need is companionship and affection. How to prepare yourself for relationships without relationships?

The answer I've come up with: By getting into them slowly and nurturing the ones we have. Casual dating is perfectly fine so long as you're honest with yourself and your dates of your intentions.

Pursue your interests, hobbies and passions. If you're uncertain what those are, start experimenting. Start small and work your way up. Confidence and comfort zones expand gradually, they don't instantly shoot out (and if they do that's often a dangerous sign of pending crash). But you do have to bring yourself outside of your comfort zone to boost your own self-awareness and enrich yourself, and cast away irrational fears. This all lends to improved self-confidence.

Volunteer your time to aid those in greater need than yourself. This helps put life into another perspective, takes you out of your own head and also goes towards satisfying the need to nurture that many feel.

If you can accept yourself for who you are, then so can others.

Best wishes

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EllaMight, I think you are partially on the right track. We need to work on ourselves. You have to internalize the realization that you're worthy and capable of having a fulfilling relationship with another person.

Start getting out more - join a club or organization or two that focuses on stuff you like, or as PutABirdOnIt recommends, volunteer! Get out there! This will help you develop better social skills, and help you recognize your gifts.

And another part of it is that realization... you can be as happy as anyone. Your mind is stifling you right now. Free it!

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Thanks for the advice guys! I'm one for self-improvement and I'm eager to take your well thought out replies to the real world

lonesoul

I should expose myself to more relationshippy situations, you're right.

I talk to a lot of people and I'm sometimes amazed at how some of them manage to be happy in a relationship. Nobody is 100% "issue-free", at one point you need to look at yourself and say "good enough"

So true. I guess you just have to find what works for you. "good enough" - I've been given this piece of advice before and it's honestly probably the best thing I've been given, being an over emotional perfectionist, so thanks for repeating it. :)

PutABirdOnIt

Casual dating is perfectly fine so long as you're honest with yourself and your dates of your intentions.

I recently started casually dating online for the first time and it's given me a lot more insight about myself and others. I also got a huge surge of confidence from it which crashed and burned quickly as you said. :D On the good days I feel like I could totally handle a relationship but on the days where my anxiety takes over I'm just an irrational mess.

Thanks for the advice! I'd love to look into volunteering (I like helping people) before rejoining college in September. Have you had any experience with volunteering and if so, how did it help you?

RatBoy

​You're right, a simple but probably the most important step in all of this is probably just to get out more and get more exposure.

----

Do you think it's okay to actively seek a relationship or is it a better idea to just wait for things to happen organically? A lot of people would agree with the latter, as do I, but I noticed I tend to be too shy for anything to happen without pursuing it a little. Friends that have been guys in school often didn't pursue a relationship. Nowadays, the shier guys that I think would suit me of course never really approach me. And the few guys that do approach me more often than not have shady intentions. In a way I feel more confident doing the approaching because in the back of my mind I know my own intentions and so feel more comfortable in the situation. (Online dating is good, but I'm talking about the real world)

Edited by EllaMight
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We often think we're not good enough for a relationship until we somehow find ourselves in one.

Three things I think are important to consider before putting yourself on the market:

Your financial situation. This does get overlooked and can lead to problems later on. If you have a stable income and you don't overspend, you're good here. You may also consider any substantial debt you may have, however, for most of us debt will always be there. The idea is to be within your ability to support a relationship because we all know it's not cheap to date (though you can get away with some cheaper options), go on trips, celebrate birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc.

Your health. If you're depressed AND suicidal, that's an indication that you should probably hold off. If you're abusing substances, hold off. However, if you have bouts of depression and/or anxiety that you can get through with support from friends, family, a counselor, and/or medications then there's nothing stopping you. Don't dismiss yourself so readily for having depression. I can't speak for Asperger's but I'm sure there are many out there in relationships. Anyone worth having would be willing to listen and support you to the best of ability.

Your life goals. Do you have any passions or interests that drive you? If you're not sure then you might want to reflect on that and seek out opportunities (such as volunteering, internships, entry level jobs) to begin that process. Aside from careers, what do you like to do in your free time? The reason all of this is important is that in the dating process, we are really looking for compatibility and security over the long term. To effectively do that, we display enthusiasm/desire for whatever interests we have. If in dating, we have no passion to share and no goals in mind, that puts the question in a date's mind, "Does this person know what they're doing?" So if you don't have a clue, there's some growing to do and IMO means you should stay out of the dating scene for the time being. I had a couple relationships and didn't have the answers - those relationships eventually collapsed.

So there you go. Be careful, but don't unnecessarily impede yourself from experiencing the joys of a relationship.

Edited by afflicted
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I wrote a post to a guy yesterday who also had horrible anxiety pertaining to his worthiness when it came to relationships. He also had a hidden condition (not Asperger's, his was an illness, but something apparently not obvious), and was afraid that the eventual exposure of this reality would cause people he was in a relationship with to leave him. It's not exactly the same situation, but I think it would be worth reading? I hope there's something helpful in there, especially the last paragraph.

I'll quote it here for convenience:

Everyone isn't taken and not everyone is a moron that doesn't understand a condition is not the sole facet of a person's being. If it was I might as well introduce myself as "Hi, I'm recurrent major depression. Oh and I've got twisted legs, a weak stomach and if you get me pregnant, I might die." That's not my name though, my name is Lean. And Lean is super. She can't eat bread and she gets real angry about the world sometimes, but she's kind and she's trustworthy and loyal and independent and helpful and she has terrible taste in movies and her interests are primarily illegal but she has a great imagination so she'll probably get through life without ever perpetrating them. She also likes to swim, because it's easy on the joints. She can talk alot. She's got morals. I could go on, but you see my point.

So first off, anyone who claims to love you but can't see past your illness, doesn't love you, and you don't need them. If they can't add up the sum total of your wonderfulness and equate it to more than your sickness then they're extremely bad at math, or they're just a limited individual. There is no such thing as one person for every one person. There's people you'll find endless compatibility with but one issue will just blow the whole thing apart. There's people you find endless things irritating about but there's one thing that supercedes all of them and makes them totally your type. No road is smooth, but you can be damned sure that in a world of seven billion humans there's one who'll take you for all your wonderful traits, and it won't matter about the rest. Wanting to be with someone so much that a little hard work feels like nothing...kinda what love is about.

But you've got to get out there, and not be scared. Try to like yourself. If you like yourself then you don't care who doesn't like you. The right person isn't going to fall down your chimney unfortunately (...technically its possible, but if you come back and tell me that I'll have to see some photo evidence), there's a multitude of ways to meet people these days. And don't shy away from the net, in fact, if you're really worried about the issue of your health condition then creating a profile and declaring it up front really removes the fear of having to tell someone at a later date. Tell people you're on the hunt, its funny what people think about when they're not around you. A wealth of possibility lies in friends of friends, ya know.

But its important too to note that while being in a relationship seems like the be all and end all...it really isn't. I've never been in a relationship, and that used to bother the hell out of me. But looking back I realise that I was in no fit state to be of any emotional value to another human being...and I was seeking a relationship for entirely the wrong reason. Validation. I was staking my confidence and emotional well-being on what another person might think of me. That's...not what relationships are for. Relationships are for sharing your good with someone else. Unconditionally. To share and expect them to make you feel good is not unconditional. It should be its own reward. When you enter into that kind of arrangement you should do so with pure intention. You don't have to be fearless, you don't have to be one hundred percent healthy...but you can't have any other motive than to want to spend time with that person, and to give to them, and if they give back, then you're onto a winner. If not, then you've got to let go and try and be happy that you at least acted in a dignified way, and expressed the best of you. You can't get someone to love you. You can only hope they will. A person who requires collateral in exchange for their affection is not a person you want to be with.

I'm really sorry you feel the way you do, EllaMight. I bet there's lots of wonderful things about you that someone is bound to adore. But at the end of the day the only person you really need to love you is yourself. If you love yourself, its not hard for people to love you. I've seen a few of your posts around and you're helpful and intelligent and articulate and wonderfully caring. You're also very very young. If you die naturally you've probably got a good few decades to worry about finding someone to spend time with. Please don't worry too much about it. Whether you are with someone or not says absolutely nothing about your character. Just be the best you that you can be and I bet there's more than one person out there who'll love you for it.

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These threads are always interesting.

They make me want to ask "exactly why do you feel you're not good enough?".

So very few of us come out of the womb lacking in happiness potential. Think about it. Most of us are born pretty whole. Limbs, fingers, toes, binocular vision. And if you look around (sit in the mall for an hour and just observe!), there are a lot of less perfect people pretty darned happy with life.

So what happened? Parents not knowing how to be parents? Abusive siblings? Bullied? Inundated with messages from TV, music, and movies? Messages that say you've got to use these cosmetics and drink this alcohol and drive this car to be happy or successful?

Well, not a lot of folks achieve the looks and glamor of those movie stars. And if you read a little into things, those folks seldom carry the same partner for long. So they're not happy.

So... what? Live your life. Be happy with who you are. Pursue your interests. Get your depression treated. There's someone out there who will care for you, as you will care for them.

I'm a reasonably ugly, stoop-shouldered, bad teethed, shy fat guy. BUT.. I've got a pretty good sense of humor. And I care. And I've got an OK brain. And through some forty + years of dysthymia and a few episodes of major depression, I've always managed to hold down a job and pay my bills. And I've fallen in love. And had a few girlfriends. And been married, albeit for only 4 1/2 years - we were both sort of depressive types, and it got to her. Meh... if only we'd known at the time.

But there it is. It can happen. Just be the compassionate self that you can be. As you fear your depression may be an impediment, there's someone out there who fears THEIR deficiency is also an impediment. But you UNDERSTAND.

Take care, all!

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I feel like I'm not good enough for a relationship. Never experienced one. I really crave companionship & affection but also need my space. I have a hidden disability which is often misunderstood. (Asperger's Syndrome). I'm scared that my depression and this might scare a guy away. It's gotten to the point now where I don't even want a prince charming, I just wanted someone to understand.

Sad to admit it, but I was so sure I'd off myself before I could have a hope of finding a decent relationship. I dabbled in some casual stuff - went a little crazy actually. At the time I felt like it was all I could manage and it was all I deserved. So this leaves me in my current situation:

Stopped the casual stuff, been alone in the house, need to get my life together and really crave a loving relationship but am honestly so scared to have one. I want to help myself first and not rely on a relationship to fix everything for me, because it won't. But then I wonder - Will I ever fix this stuff? It might just be a part of me I need to accept, learn to cope with day by day in life. Should I really push relationships away because of it?

Do you think I'm ready to pursue a relationship with this understanding or should I work on myself some more? And if so, any tips?

​Do any of you feel the same?

If you have Asperger's, I'd suggest meeting people who are introverted, yet still social to some degree, and don't have a reactive temperament. They get emotional like everyone else but don't express it right away.

You are slow to process emotional signals, right? So meeting people with temperaments that match yours will be better than meeting extroverted people who are enthusiastic about expressing themselves. You won't have to worry about getting overwhelmed.

Then, you'll feel more comfortable, more relaxed, and will probably feel better about being with someone.

Just a thought, but it's based upon experience. I have signs of mild Asperger's and I can't keep up with people who are outgoing. It doesn't give me time to think. I have tried to get things going with very outgoing women, and except for one time when it went fairly well, it has generally been a disaster, and I have no idea why I tried so hard in retrospect. I rarely felt comfortable. It was always about trying to hide the fact that emotionally I didn't know what was going on.

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  • 5 months later...

I haven't read any of the replies so sorry If I am repeating something already mentioned, but my advice is to focus on your own life, on your own ambitions and what you want to do, and instead of worrying about finding a relationship, let it find you when you least expect it and probably feel much more confident about the idea. All the best.

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