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16 minutes ago, Sophy said:

Sure, that's fine.

But if you are EVENTUALLY going to have the "I am sometimes suicidal" conversation, then wouldn't it be better to be looking for a non-superficial partner, to start with?

How well is that eventual conversation going to go when you've hooked up with someone superficial?

I am saying that in the beginning of any relationship there is an element of sjperficialality - I want a deep relationship (like most people)

money, looks, what you have (or don't have) at the end of the day doesn't matter - it's having someone that has your back. And it's great to have someone else's back too. ❤️ 

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Just now, StillStandinTall said:

I am saying that in the beginning of any relationship there is an element of sjperficialality - I want a deep relationship (like most people)

money, looks, what you have (or don't have) at the end of the day doesn't matter - it's having someone that has your back. And it's great to have someone else's back too. ❤️ 

Yeah : )

I agree that there *is* an element of superficiality at the beginning of relationships.

The question is: how do you deal with it?

And what choices do you make that are healthy long-term choices that lead to a good relationship based on mutual trust and caring and support.

I don't think we need to fully buy into the superficiality. There are intelligent ways of dealing with it, for example using humour. Saying to people "Ugh, ain't dating just terrible? It's sooo superficial!" could be a good way of introducing the topic of "OMG no one is perfect anyway - shall we kinda admit this to each other and tentatively talk about our imperfections?"

And when looking for a partner, avoiding the MOST superficial ways of getting a partner can be helpful.

Seeking a partner in situations where people know each other over a longer period of time and hence get to see more of each other's good traits - like at school, uni, in a sports team, volunteering, whatever. That helps REDUCE the superficiality, even if a certain degree of superficiality remains.

I think for people struggling with mental illness, struggling with low self-esteem, it's important to remember that yeah AT THE END OF THE DAY the superficial stuff doesn't matter. What matters is truly loving someone and them truly loving you for who you are inside.

Yes, it's TRICKY finding a good partner. Even without mental illness!!! And it's even trickier with mental illness.

But it is possible.

And it's possible to find someone who truly likes you for YOU.

Buying into the superficial madness is not healthy.

Yes, there's a certain degree of it out there in life, but it's up to all of us to deal with it in a healthy way and not to buy into it.

Telling ourselves and each other over and over that "People are superficial" and "No-one will like you for you" makes everyone's self-esteem that much worse and makes relationships seem like they are about being judgemental, not about being loving.

 

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43 minutes ago, StillStandinTall said:

Confidence is confidence.  You can be confident and be overweight or not.

For me, I feel better about myself when I'm getting exercise. The weight has nothing to do with confidence.  I AM 40lbs over weight - but it has been a lot easier to attract (women) when I'm in shape.

Confidence has to do with how you feel about yourself.  It oozes from you pores when u got it

Btw, I will tell you something funny.

Tastes are soooo different!

My *personal* taste is that I prefer slightly overweight men  : D

I find men who are athletic kinda intimidating and it always makes me wonder if they are vain and hence really judgemental and maybe insecure.

My experience is that men who are a bit chubby are often fun, relaxed and have a good sense of humour.

I know that's not always the case!  : )

But it's my personal taste. I like a man who carries chubbiness well, haha  : )

So it's also a fallacy to assume EVERYONE has the same taste and that taste is the superficial version of "perfection".

I personally also find people who try to fulfill "superficial ideals" pretty boring and insecure.

I am attracted to people who take joy and pride in diversity and who embrace that we are all different.

 

 

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1 minute ago, StillStandinTall said:

@Sophy

i think our throw away / swipe dating culture is part of the problem.

thats where I go back to trying to meet people in group settings vs the "perfect" internet match from some dating site 

hopefully we can all find a trustworthy partner - getting there ain't easy 😎 

 

Absolutely! Our "throw away/ swipe dating culture" is dehumanising and I think it's massively contributing to people's anxiety, loneliness, pressure, low self-esteem.

I think it's really toxic!

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2 hours ago, Wannabe737pilot said:

I’ve been following this thread and I have some questions, comments and thoughts for consideration/discussion.

1)      Define “Superficial dating”.

2)      It seems you have a biased idea of what dating has to be. Have you considered on the first few dates with someone asking them serious questions about their beliefs and life dreams?

3)      Regarding meeting people (not for the sake of dating), have you considered meetup and other non-traditional dating meeting places?

4)      In the long term, getting drunk every time will lead to alcoholism.

5)      Why not just go to events to begin with and then start to socialize? Work on gradual progress.

6)      Why define yourself with labels such as unemployed and forever alone when by using those labels your setting yourself up to stay that way

7)      Once in the friend zone, you stay in the friend zone

😎      Dating work colleagues in general isn’t the best idea

9)      Whilst the evolutionary perspective does look at physical attractiveness and resources, have you considered other factors such as personality, values, lifestyle and life goals. People can grow out of the shallow dating tendencies after high school.

10)  Getting into any relationship, for the sake of being in a relationship can be detrimental because it can set anyone up for believing abuse is okay or normal or no connection or trust is normal and acceptable. If you get into a bad relationship you should leave safely, but don’t seek them out.

 

So, to respond to this in detail...

I would say "superficial dating" is any situation people get into which has the SOLE AIM OF MEETING A SEXUAL /  ROMANTIC PARTNER as opposed to any normal, social setting with human beings meeting other human beings AS SUCH.

I think it's very different to be meeting PEOPLE first and then if you end up liking someone so much you want them to be your partner, you try and make more of the situation.

A lot of people go HUNTING for a partner like they're on some kind of meat market. They are not meeting people AS PEOPLE but just scanning everyone as a "potential mate".

They are not having conversations with people about their likes, their values, their hopes and their dreams cos, you know, TALKING TO OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IS A VALUABLE PART OF LIFE. In superficial dating settings, they are just talking to other people about this stuff in terms of "hitting on them".

If you are not aware of this stuff, then LUCKY YOU  : )

If you've never been to a bar and heard a hundred cheap pick up lines from men who all they can think of is finding a partner/ getting someone into bed, then good for you. (The same applies to women too - this is not meant in an anti-male way.)

I think those meat-market situations (which includes online dating IMO) where everyone knows that everyone is there with the sole goal and intention of "finding a partner" are actually pretty unhealthy.

It makes every interaction pressured and judgemental.

From the other suggestions you are making, like meeting in non-traditional places, considering values and personality, talking about beliefs and life dreams, focussing on people outgrowing immaturity, it sounds like you are NOT someone who hangs out in those superficial dating spheres!

So good on you!

It doesn't mean they don't exist tho and that tons of people are subjecting themselves to this, assuming "this is how" you meet someone and that everyone is that superficial.

I agree that it's not a good idea to use "becoming friends" as a way to end up in a relationship. Most of the time, yes, being in the friend zone means staying there. Of course, like every thing in life, there are exceptions.

I also agree that a workplace is not the "best" place to get into a relationship. But tons of people do it (look up the statistics!) and it's certainly a more sane, healthy, non-toxic way of meeting a partner than those superficial meat-market dating situations.

Plus, we are talking about people who have trouble getting into ANY relationship. So whether the workplace is the "ideal" place to meet someone is not the issue here.

Same goes for alcohol. OF COURSE using alcohol is a  crappy way of overcoming insecurity and meeting people. But look at people under 30, or even under 40, and 99.5 % of the population are doing exactly that. Using a few drinks to ease nervousness and to feel more relaxed.

Is this a sensible thing to do? Nope. But how much of what our society does is sensible? People are massively fed messages that make them insecure (think: teenage girls becoming anorexic because of society's flawed and superficial body image messages) and then have to find a way of coping with that. Show me any dating situations where people under 30 are not USING alcohol as a means of coping with shyness and nervousness, other than in ultra-religious settings where alcohol is considered to be "bad".

The same goes for getting into "any" relationship. Is this healthy? NOPE. Is this what most young people do? You bet!

Given that we are talking about a situation where people are scared of NEVER getting into a relationship, I think you need to weigh the pros and cons.

Yes, getting into a silly, non-successful relationship at first (as we all do!! we all learn by making mistakes!) is not ideal. But staying single until you are 40 or 50 or 60 is not ideal either and is atrocious for self-esteem.

What is better? Someone taking a chance at a haphazard relationship or someone getting suicidal because they never manage to get into a relationship?

I know this issue quite well, because my brother was affected by this issue. He had his first relationship ever at age 34.

I know it was a huge burden for him and the burden became bigger, the longer it lasted.

I was quite worried about him - not because I think it's "good" to be in relationships, but because I know people who can't get into a relationship start massively questioning their worth as a human being and start feeling like there is something deeply, fundamentally wrong with them. It's VERY different to someone making the CHOICE to be single/ to not be in a relationship.

So I think that the first relationship, no matter how short-term or un-ideal it is, can really "break the spell" and make people realise that they ARE "relationship material" and that they are not somehow "cursed" or "doomed".

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5 hours ago, Sophy said:

So I think that the first relationship, no matter how short-term or un-ideal it is, can really "break the spell" and make people realise that they ARE "relationship material" and that they are not somehow "cursed" or "doomed".

This. Sophy makes a lot of good points. 

It's difficult to meet someone, especially when you're bit older. And have low income due to depression/anxiety. So you can't exactly go to many places and do or join stuff.

I go to the gym two times a week, but there are mostly men there and approaching women there feels.. weird. Hell, approaching in the first place is a big risk. I would do it more often if I wouldn't get so ridiculously nervous and scared when doing so. I feel as if she will immediately notice this, probably will as women can pick up body language signs waaaayy better than men. Resulting in disinterest due to 'lack of confidence' on my side. 

Well yeah, I've been in bars where I approached women. With a few shots of alcohol of course. But if you think about it, you will need to 'close the deal' within a matter of a few hours, because not many stay there for long. Probably in less than 30 minutes I'd even say. Because loud music, alcohol, never having seen eachother before and the unlikeliness that you will again together with the fact that many don't stay there long, puts high pressure on the whole thing. Also, from what I know is that most women go out to have fun, not so much to find a partner there.

I don't feel it's for me. I have one friend who has no problem approaching women. He manages to get women's numbers, but never really ends up having a relationship. It's usually a short thing. Probably because it is literally built on nothing? But also because he doesn't care for a relationship and just wants to share the bed. I'm getting too old for going out to bars anyway. So many young people, huge gap in age and different views and interests. Just a different generation.

I'd love to meet someone in a more natural way. But my interests are mostly with computers, and they change often. I don't get out much because so many things cost money! joining a club, going to places, signing up classes,  when you're poor you get almost nowhere.

I could of course try to pick up women on the street.. but seriously... 😛

Anyway, dating sites are therefore a go to, and though not ideal, it's probably the best shot I myself have right now. Or at least it feels that way..

Hope I'm not talking about myself too much here... just wanted to share some of my views.

Many of us are stuck in a vicious cycle. Depressed because can't find love, but can't find love because depressed... + all the unemployment issues and subsconscious self-sabotage.

On the positive side though.. after three years I had a date again yesterday with someone, I was sooo nervous at forehand, but once we met I calmed down. Still, very careful with answers because I'm still ashamed of my depression and unemployment. But work didn't really came up and neither my mental health. I noticed she was also insecure about plenty of things (as she told me) so that gave me a new perspective; everyone has his/her issues. And you don't need to go 'all out' with your situation either.

I met her through an online dating site.. I've met women before on online dating sites. But most of the time I am so obsessed with the negative vibe of being unemployed and mental issues, that I hardly message anyone. But yeah, I'm pretty sure we'd all message more if we were confindent about ourselves and our situation.

Ok so.. I don't know if anything I'm saying makes sense or is particularly useful, but I'm feeling already better knowing I still have oppertunities.

Also.. being at home too much with nothng to do furthermore cripples you. It makes you start to think too much about too many things and enlarge your own 'issues' further. Gotta keep busy, and get out of the house.. 😛 

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11 minutes ago, HL05 said:

I go to the gym two times a week, but there are mostly men there and approaching women there feels.. weird. Hell, approaching in the first place is a big risk. I would do it more often if I wouldn't get so ridiculously nervous and scared when doing so. I feel as if she will immediately notice this, probably will as women can pick up body language signs waaaayy better than men. Resulting in disinterest due to 'lack of confidence' on my side. 

Can I give you a tip re this?

Try not to look for an "excuse" to approach a woman at the gym.

Try to look for a *genuine* and *human* reason to do so - for example, you see a woman struggling with a piece of equipment - just be TRULY HELPFUL. Or if you see a woman who is new and obviously confused or unsure about something, then go and be HELPFUL in a genuine way - the way you would just help someone because you are NICE.

People (and women are people!!!! ***grin***) pick up on this - if someone is being genuinely helpful or kind.

This is the kind of stuff that makes someone LIKE you or feel a CONNECTION.

Sure, this is no guarantee that this woman will be interested in you.

BUT - the chances are much higher, than if she can sense that you are just using some "excuse" to approach her and talk to her.

Also: don't worry too much about being a bit shy. Most people are shy, some just hide it incredibly well, often behind quite full-on/ aggressive bravado.

Someone who is genuinely shy is quite sweet - a lot of women are INCREDIBLY GREATFUL if a man doesn't come across all full-on and over-confident. That can be pretty intimidating.

A guy being shy can be a compliment of sorts - it means he cares about your opinion.

By entering into a GENUINE INTERACTION - like helping a woman with a piece of training equipment she's struggling with - it takes out that "fakeness" and "weirdness" from the situation and it also takes out the pressure.

If a woman reacts like a snobby cow because you were being GENUINELY helpful (not just pretending to be!!!!) then it is her problem and it makes her a not-very-nice-person.

So any feeling of "rejection" is about one tenth or one twentieth as bad, compared to when you approach *with the intention* of "getting involved".

This kind of non-sexual, non-romantic behaviour is the stuff that relaxes a situation and allows everyone to get to know each other as HUMAN BEINGS first, before everyone gets all uptight and insecure re the dating stuff.

: )

Edited by Sophy
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14 minutes ago, HL05 said:

I'd love to meet someone in a more natural way. But my interests are mostly with computers, and they change often. I don't get out much because so many things cost money! joining a club, going to places, signing up classes,  when you're poor you get almost nowhere.

If you are good at computers, can you use this to meet people?

When I go to the supermarket, there are usually hand-written notes on the pin-boards by guys who are great at fixing computers and who charge a really fair hourly rate (cash in hand).

This would be a way of also meeting people (again - women are people! *grin*) that is non-sexual/ non-romantic.

Sure you'd have to put up with the male customers too, but hey, men are human beings too...  : D

If you really like one of your female customers, then just help her a lot with her computer and be really nice at explaining stuff. Again, like in the gym, don't go overboard with it - don't use helping as an EXCUSE to get involved. Be genuinely helpful so that she think "Wow - what a nice guy!!" and if you get into a conversation, ask things that genuinely interest you on a HUMAN level - not "dating" type questions.

If you don't think that advertising your computer skills in a neighbourhood setting is your thing, maybe you could join a volunteer group/ club based around computer stuff. By meeting PEOPLE you end up meeting women too in a natural, real, low-key, low-stress way.


Oh and YAY for having met someone and gone on a date! And YAY for her being a bit shy too!  : )

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13 minutes ago, Sophy said:

Try not to look for an "excuse" to approach a woman at the gym.

Try to look for a *genuine* and *human* reason to do so - for example, you see a woman struggling with a piece of equipment - just be TRULY HELPFUL. Or if you see a woman who is new and obviously confused or unsure about something, then go and be HELPFUL in a genuine way - the way you would just help someone because you are NICE.

People (and women are people!!!! ***grin***) pick up on this - if someone is being genuinely helpful or kind.

This is the kind of stuff that makes someone LIKE you or feel a CONNECTION.


BTW - this can even work indirectly.

If there's a woman at the gym you like but she never looks confused or in need of help - but she sees you GENUINELY helping someone else (male or female) she will also notice that you are doing something nice.

So even if you are too shy to approach the person you like, by showing that you are a genuinely nice person in your interactions with others, you are showing your character and your values and how you interact with other human beings.

THIS STUFF MATTERS.

And people do notice.

And if they don't, they are shallow fools and you are better off with out them! : )

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Or even if a woman you like sees you talking to other men at the gym, if you find striking up a conversation with other men easier.

If you have a GOOD conversation and say good-natured things, people/ women will notice.

So make sure you're not talking to other men at the gym in loud/ ignorant/ sexist/ bad jokes types of ways.

Make good jokes, when something truly funny happens.

Comment on things in a friendly, easy-going way.

Believe me, a woman will notice and think "Hey, he has cool social skills interacting with other people/ other men."

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19 minutes ago, HL05 said:

Also.. being at home too much with nothng to do furthermore cripples you. It makes you start to think too much about too many things and enlarge your own 'issues' further. Gotta keep busy, and get out of the house.. 😛 

Amen! It's probably one of the reasons why mental illness seems to affect an ever increasing number of people. In the past people stayed put and rarely moved, worked for the same company all their lives, and got married young so loneliness would have been far less common than it is today with most having a rather strong social network.

Today, with everybody moving and changing partners and jobs every few years many don't have a solid social network and the less extroverted and/or vulnerable ones end up sitting at home by themselves dwelling on their problems causing them to slip deeper and deeper into depression. 

There's an interesting phenomena in Japan called hikikomori, about half a million people who live as recluses and don't participate in society. The government considers it a major economic and public health issue.

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18 minutes ago, Sophy said:

This would be a way of also meeting people (again - women are people! *grin*) that is non-sexual/ non-romantic.

You sure? From what I observed many women get a ton of offers from male friends who are self-proclaimed IT-experts when they have computer problems, lol. It may be a great way to meet old lonely men 😂 

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8 minutes ago, lonelyforeigner said:

There's an interesting phenomena in Japan called hikikomori, about half a million people who live as recluses and don't participate in society. The government considers it a major economic and public health issue.

I bet! Did you hear about the UK creating the first ever Ministry for Loneliness????

I couldn't believe it when I heard it.

Probably cos I don't actually suffer from loneliness per se. I am a recluse because I love it.

The UK Minster for Loneliness's Name is Tracey Crouch. You can google her and her Ministry and its projects.

I have heard of other countries wanting to follow suit.

Amazing

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3 minutes ago, lonelyforeigner said:

You sure? From what I observed many women get a ton of offers from male friends who are self-proclaimed IT-experts when they have computer problems, lol. It may be a great way to meet old lonely men 😂 

Some of them do, I guess.

But not all, believe me!!

As you yourself said:

"Today, with everybody moving and changing partners and jobs every few years many don't have a solid social network and the less extroverted and/or vulnerable ones end up sitting at home by themselves dwelling on their problems causing them to slip deeper and deeper into depression. "

Because I moved to a new country, I have lost my whole big circle of male computer nerd friends. It's been terrible!!!!

I have found a small company tho, of local computer nerds who started up a business - they are really nice and charge by the quarter of an hour.

I do understand that the computer field is male-dominated tho, so obviously you'd need some smart thinking and a few trial and error approaches til you found some non-all-male circles/ groups etc.

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1 minute ago, Sophy said:

Because I moved to a new country, I have lost my whole big circle of male computer nerd friends. It's been terrible!!!!

Maybe you got lucky 🙂 Some self-proclaimed experts do more damage than good because they overestimate their own abilities or don't want to admit when they don't know something. 

3 minutes ago, Sophy said:

I have found a small company tho, of local computer nerds who started up a business - they are really nice and charge by the quarter of an hour.

That's a good idea! Nothing worse than bringing your computer to the repair shop of a major retailer that hires poorly educated and underpaid technicians. When I was 18 I worked for one of Europe's largest electronics retailers for a few months and saw how those guys treated customer's computers... First thing they did was snoop around and look for risque material and if they found something they'd copy it and show all their friends. Much better to get a couple of passionate nerds to help.

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  • 3 weeks later...

You're not supposed to meet people at bars.

You're not supposed to meet people at work.

You're not even supposed to meet people in online dating(!!!!)

I'm not going to approach people at the library/grocery store whatever. That's what crazy people do. Or at least people I do not like and practically on the exact opposite of human personalities to me.

And what happens if you join a club or activity or volunteer? 10-20 people. The same 10-20 people every week so it's not like a constant stream of new people. Always a fair few retired people and students. Maybe 3 or 4 people in your age bracket and desired gender. Now, consider that apparently around 99% of the population over 30 is in a relationship from what I've seen. Half of those who aren't are divorcees with children. From their point of view a man who has barely dated is basically a child himself that they have nothing in common with. Exactly how many of these activities do you even need to go to to meet one eligible single let alone someone who you have a connection with let alone mutual attraction let alone not gonna rule you out for some superficial reason? Especially when you're so weird and lacking in social skills you connect with about 1 in every 1000 people to begin with.

And yet the only activities where there are any number of actual single people are not recommended! It's statements like these, that make me think that normal people, the 99.99% of the population who can date, live in a completely different parallel universe to us 0.001% who can't. Sorry for being curt, it's just something that confuses me. Maybe the 99.99% somehow form close bonds with everyone around them who isn't a single right gender right age person and eventually get introduced to anyone else who is a single right gender right age person who happens to exist anywhere in some mysterious 20 link deep social network. I don't know. I have corrected all the awful social skills I had growing up. I don't see any visible signs of people not wanting me around. So in theory I should be in these networks. If that is how it works. I don't know. Normal people confuse me.

And it's frustrating saying you're better off not in a relationship. Suggesting we can't handle being single, can't feel complete. It's not even being single now that's the problem. It's the long term that's the problem. Growing old completely alone. Not 5 years of no dates but 40 years, 60 years. Nothing to look to forward to. Just getting older. I grew up imagining wife and kids like everyone else. Someone I'm the only one I know who hasn't managed it. And I'll never manage it. Everyone chooses it in the end. People go through a ton of bad relationships and yet for some reason out of the 30 mostly 40y.o. + people in my workplace virtually every single one clearly still opted for the relationship route. And everyone I know in every other social setting too. And yet people still tell me they aren't worth it. They may be hard but everyone clearly shares the belief in the long run they're better than dying alone. It's not just for self esteem or because it's the done thing. Loneliness is very real and we need human companionship.

I'm in an impossible situation. Too messed up to date now but its now or never. Waiting seems like a luxury reserved for people who aren't in their 30s with an entire dating history that doesn't even reach 6 months in total. It's now or never for me. If my odds feel like 1000 to 1 at 32 how can I expect to meet someone when I'm 40?! I don't meet women's standards now. My lack of experience will be a red flag to everyone now. The dating market is super sparse as I've said now. In a decades time? Not to mention as I'm about to say, the plan of ignoring it and fixing the rest of myself just doesn't seem to work. I've done tons of therapy. The precipice of growing old alone is too real and ever present.

I've actually tried to go down the "relationships aren't worth it" route an awful lot in the past few years. First I said "I'll ignore them for now, sort my self out, deal with them later". But my mind just ended up filling me with the thoughts that I'd be in an even worse situation later. And so I changed my mental strategy to "Ok I'll just accept I'll be alone for life. Learn to deal with it". I REALLY REALLY REALLY tried to force that mindset on me. Tried to ignore love and intimacy. Desperate, so desperate that as this was my fate I MUST learn to live with it! Somehow! But ultimately trying to think that just doesn't work. It's impossible to ignore relationships. My mind can't do it. There have been times when I've started to accept it and then some crush has turned up with a boyfriend. Love really is all around you. It's impossible even to find a social situation where you aren't a friggen 7th or 15th or 33rd wheel. And that I can't cope with. I know I should be able to. I can on individual occasions but I can't cope with a whole life spent as a 15th wheel.

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8 hours ago, NothingToLiveFor said:

I'm not going to approach people at the library/grocery store whatever. That's what crazy people do. Or at least people I do not like and practically on the exact opposite of human personalities to me.

And what happens if you join a club or activity or volunteer? 10-20 people. The same 10-20 people every week so it's not like a constant stream of new people. Always a fair few retired people and students. Maybe 3 or 4 people in your age bracket and desired gender. 

The library and grocery store aren't the only places though. If you're just joining a club or volunteer group with the expectation of meeting someone you're bound to fail. You need to have a genuine interest in those things, the idea being that you'll meet people with similar interests so you can make new friends and expand your social circle. Once you have a healthy social life you'll meet a stream of new people, your friends will involve you in other activities and introduce you to other friends sooner or later.

You have to meet new people without giving people the impression that you have ulterior motives. A guy taking a yoga class to meet women is creepy, a guy taking a yoga class because he's passionate about it is friend material and can be introduced to single friends...

8 hours ago, NothingToLiveFor said:

Now, consider that apparently around 99% of the population over 30 is in a relationship from what I've seen.

It just seems that way: Found a statistic that says 56% of the population between 25-34 is single and 38% between 35-44 is single. 

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2 hours ago, lonelyforeigner said:

You need to have a genuine interest in those things, the idea being that you'll meet people with similar interests so you can make new friends and expand your social circle.

There's pretty much only one regular activity now and yes I'm definitely passionate about it. Clearly I can't join another though until I discover something else that is a group based activity that I really want to learn or do. And there isn't anything. I have a hard enough time finding motivation for solo projects. For meetup groups it was just to meet women - why else would anyone want to have dinner with 20 strangers? There aren't many interesting activity ones in my area and even when there are how I help checking to see if the list contains any women in my age group? You're expected to find an off button on your intentions or summon genuine interest in god knows how many activities from nowhere despite depression. That's supposed to give you a chance and yet at the same time you're not allowed to actually want it to give you a chance. While at the same time you're not allowed to use avenues which actually are supposed to be for dating (like online dating).

Damned if you do, damned if you don't - this advice clearly came from people who don't know complete datelessness and so must realise at some level that there odds of never meeting anyone ever again are pretty low. (i.e. vast majority of the population). Their situation gives you more leeway to "just let it happen".

Also - coming on too soon makes you creepy and yet trying to build a friendship first makes you a "nice guy TM" which is apparently even creepier. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

2 hours ago, lonelyforeigner said:

It just seems that way: Found a statistic that says 56% of the population between 25-34 is single and 38% between 35-44 is single. 

I suspect that's marriage rate and doesn't include people in other relationships.
 

2 hours ago, lonelyforeigner said:

You have to meet new people without giving people the impression that you have ulterior motives. A guy taking a yoga class to meet women is creepy

I've tried to switch off "ulterior motives" but guess what. If you want to find someone to date you want to find someone to date. There's no off button on motivations. And "creepy" is my least favourite word in the English language. These days it's solely used by those lucky enough to have social skills and good mental health to shame those (especially men) who aren't.
 

2 hours ago, lonelyforeigner said:

Once you have a healthy social life you'll meet a stream of new people, your friends will involve you in other activities and introduce you to other friends sooner or later.

Well after all those years fixing the social mistakes I know about I'm still not likeable enough in my 30s then it really is game over.

I mean there's been social activities for the whole group and partners but no random friends that I've gone to. 

And I've been invited to house parties from a late 30s married with kids guy for all his other late 30s, 40s, 50s old married with kids friends (and their kids). Seriously, I find it hard motivating myself for any social activity, it's hard enough being the 7th wheel for genuine close friends. Looking through a list of participants on facebook and every single profile photo is with a kid and a partner and every single response is along the lines "Somes fun! Sure we can make it!" with the 1st person plural pronoun and sometimes followed by "can the kids come to?". Honestly I know you're expected to find motivation to do social things but there's only so much you can find. I doubt any of them having single friends anyway (and there I go again - wanting to do something for the getting dates motivation. Time is running out so much for me I can't just switch it off!)

Edited by NothingToLiveFor
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You don't have to find an off button but it shouldn't be your primary reason for being social. Establishing a larger social network needs to be your goal for now, dating comes second. Most women don't exactly find it attractive when a guy doesn't have much of a social life unless they're needy themselves which often leads to a codependent and often dysfunctional relationship. People want well-rounded partners... Yes, depression makes it hard as f*** to be well-rounded but you have to start somewhere. 

There's no reason you can't use online dating but unless you're in the top 20% you're probably going to lose whatever self-esteem you have left. It sucks for guys, too much competition and people online have a catalog mentality that'll make them eliminate you based on shallow reasons even if they'd like you in person.

Given that most of your friends are married that's exactly why you should try to be more social and find a new group of friends. Like you suspect, most of them will have friends who are married and have kids too so you need to find a new group of friends who aren't in committed relationships and still have time to do non-family stuff. 

Not sure how many of those people in the statistic I found are single single but I found another one for all age groups that says 29% aren't in a relationship so that's still a large number of singles. 

2 hours ago, NothingToLiveFor said:

Also - coming on too soon makes you creepy and yet trying to build a friendship first makes you a "nice guy TM" which is apparently even creepier. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

It really depends on how you approach them. Some guys can ask for a woman's phone number within minutes and won't be considered creepy, you need to read their body language. Maybe one of the women here can chime in on what to look for, I'm totally inept when it comes to interpreting non-verbal communication, lol. 

Establishing a friendship with the goal of asking her out some time down the road is creepy because you have ulterior motives, it's not the same as falling for someone you're already friends with. Having friends who are only friends because they want something from you isn't that great... Try to look at it from a woman's perspective.

Not sure how old you are, I guess in your 30s so it's not impossible to turn things around but there's no doubt it's going to be a lot of hard work to catch up with those that have dating experience.

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I'm sure this is an inappropriate comment to make, but I feel like a lot of people (including myself in the past) think they deserve a relationship with a total catch, when they themselves are not a catch. This is problematic and well, delusional. If you want to land a quality person, you should strive to be a quality person. It's not about looks and money, but just being someone who is trying their best. I mean truly trying. If you're unemployed and watching tv all day, ballooning to hundreds of pounds, smoking and drinking, playing video games...you aren't trying very hard. I was once a terrible catch so I asked myself, what do I have control over? I couldn't control being average in looks and intelligence, so I learned to cook, and I started making sure my house was always clean and a nice home, I worked out and kept good hygiene and what not, invested in hobbies and cultivating talents...eventually I became a better catch and finding a partner became easier.

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8 minutes ago, morecoffee said:

I'm sure this is an inappropriate comment to make, but I feel like a lot of people (including myself in the past) think they deserve a relationship with a total catch, when they themselves are not a catch. This is problematic and well, delusional. 

Word! I used to get upset when people told me this... Truth be told, back when I was looking for dates I would have had ZERO interest in a woman with my looks and psychological deficits. Sometimes it seems that the longer we are single the more we build up unrealistic expectations.

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1 hour ago, lonelyforeigner said:

Establishing a friendship with the goal of asking her out some time down the road is creepy because you have ulterior motives, it's not the same as falling for someone you're already friends with. Having friends who are only friends because they want something from you isn't that great... Try to look at it from a woman's perspective.

Well, what exactly are you supposed to do then? You meet someone you're attracted to. If you find someone attractive you're single and they're single then you want to date them. Without the presence of an off switch preventing you from wanting to date them you're already doomed to be creepy.

You could ask them out straightaway and undoubtedly get it wrong = creepy. Not to mention the confidence this needs. But if you take any time building up the courage to ask them out then you are becoming friends with someone you want to date = creepy. You could avoid them and shun then, being careful not to do anything which could be seen as "friendly" as if you do you are suddenly being dishonest. Guess I have to be avoiding and shunning everyone I find attractive then. Maybe you're expected to avoid and shun them and then, when you've build up the courage you return and ask them out! I'm being sarcastic as that is clearly ridiculous but if you're not allowed to become friends with someone you want to ask out then that seems the natural conclusion. You are expected not to choose someone purely based on looks, to choose someone based on personality but if you're attracted you want to date them so you're not allowed to give yourself a chance to find out more about them as then you have "ulterior motives"!

And what about when you're not in the place in life where you reasonably can date. Desire is not attached to logic. If you know you can't date then you don't suddenly stop WANTING to date someone you are attracted to. It also doesn't stop the thought "I hope I can get better, get comfortable enough with myself to ask miss X out on a date" i.e. it doesn't stop you having vague plans in the future to ask them out. So, again, do you have to shun miss X? Seeing as you can't be friends with her if you have any thoughts of dating her otherwise you're creepy.

I guess you need to build the social skills first to read the signs straight away. But the only way to build those skills is through practise. So you have to socialise and risk meeting people you're attracted to while you're building those skills. It's a paradox!

So can we please just stop pretending the word "creepy" is used for things guys like me actually have control over!

You have to keep on finding more activities to go to in order to build your social life (Given most people over 30 are married exactly how many social circles would you have to work through to find one which isn't?) to get dates but you're not allowed to do activities in order to build your social life to get dates! You have to somehow magic up enthusiasm for an increasing range of social activities and somehow switch off thinking about dating. And that's how you get dates.

You see this is why I gave up. I wrote a post here months back saying I'd given up - how do I now be happy as a single guy - and I was told that even that was wrong as giving up makes you an "MGTOW" which is itself a bad creepy thing! It's amazing! YOU REALLY CAN'T WIN!!

If you are a guy who is unlucky enough to have poor social skills who isn't aromantic and asexual you are creepy no matter what you do. No matter how hard you work to improve those skills. The world just hates awkward guys while simultaneously telling us we have to somehow find it in ourselves not to hate ourselves in order to change our situation. Another paradox.




 

Edited by NothingToLiveFor
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42 minutes ago, NothingToLiveFor said:

I guess you need to build the social skills first to read the signs straight away. But the only way to build those skills is through practise. So you have to socialise and risk meeting people you're attracted to while you're building those skills. It's a paradox!

It's a bit of a catch-22, most learn those skills in their teens or early 20s so it's definitely an uphill battle once you're over 30. 

42 minutes ago, NothingToLiveFor said:

You could ask them out straightaway and undoubtedly get it wrong = creepy. Not to mention the confidence this needs.

Confidence is key since we're expected to make the first move. I think the secret to not being creepy is being honest about your intentions from the start, don't pretend to wanna be friends if you're looking for more but don't act like she's the love of your life either. Keep it non-committal at first, don't overwhelm her by telling her you want a relationship within 5 minutes of meeting her but if there's mutual chemistry (again, you need to read her body language) say you enjoy her company and would like to see her again. She'll get the idea and that way it doesn't come across as creepy. One problem many lonely guys have is the inability to view dating as a game, when they finally do work up the courage to ask someone out they're already thinking long-term relationship instead of let's get to know each other. You're too emotionally invested from the start and that makes things awkward for both parties.

Perhaps you could start by flirting with women you're not particularly attracted to to build confidence and social skills? That way it won't be soul-crushing when you get rejected. 

42 minutes ago, NothingToLiveFor said:

The world just hates awkward guys while simultaneously telling us we have to somehow find it in ourselves not to hate ourselves in order to change our situation. Another paradox.

It's hard but not impossible. The world certainly doesn't help awkward guys, we're expected to be assertive and confident, if you're not then tons of opportunities are denied, be it romantic or professional. It sucks but it is what it is, you can either play by the rules or continue on the current path. Like @morecoffee already pointed out it's better to figure out what you can do to improve yourself than getting bitter. 

Edited by lonelyforeigner
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