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Getting tired of the cycles and patterns where nothing works out and I'm just sick of it (relationships)

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I don't really care how long this post is, and it's long. I'm writing for myself. I wouldn't read a post this long lol.

I have always had depression, but I have never been suicidal. There was always hope, trying again, getting back on the horse, move to a new city (where your problems follow), etc.

But lately I am getting to the point where I experience literally the same patterns in my thought patterns, my fixations, my dependencies, ME, where I am seeing less and less possibility of life improving. I am not  thinking of harming myself today, but I am starting to wonder in general if life is worth living anymore. I am 50 years old. 

The repetition of the same experiences - and here I am speaking of the struggle to make success, the struggle to meet a partner, the struggle to make friends, the missed connections, many professional failures, missing out on opportunities because you are one second late, missing out on girlfriends because some asshole swoops in right before you. I am not very competitive or ambitious, to be honest.

The ironic part is that on the surface, I appear to be a stellar individual. I'm a handsome guy (not arrogant about it, just a history of experiences and information from women), I have a lot of culture and amazing experiences, many interests and hobbies, multiple languages, I'm funny, etc. All these good qualities - but no audience.

The problem is I am an introvert. I also have no career, because I have failed at so many attempts. Also my son comes to visit every couple months, so I keep my life open to spend time with him. A 9-5 would not allow this. So I have no career with the opportunity to regularly meet people, have a network, obligations, etc. I am entirely alone. Relationships - friends or romantic - never last. It's a problem of my thinking. Which is very difficult to summarize. 

I had another experience today, which kind of began a week ago, which just about sent me over the edge. I will describe it, but I am well aware that this story will appear rather silly and petty. It is only magnified in it's relevance to the larger story of my life. The patterns always repeat, I can never escape from losing every time.

It has always been hard for me to make friends. I don't need many. But I do need to feel part of something. I spend probably 90% of my time alone. I am ok with a lot of alone time,  Iam an introvert. But I still need to feel appreciated and loved by SOMEONE - anyone please. So all the alone time is starting to take it's toll. I'm not getting any younger. When I was married I had a built in friend, so it wasn't a problem. But the last ten years, evolving into an older demographic, it's just harder and harder. Every friend or partner that comes along is a significant possibility, and I have been let down so many times, I could write a novel. (I'm trying to establish a history here before I describe what happened today.)

A couple years ago I moved to Nashville from Colorado. To make friends I started going to salsa classes. That was a whole other story, and a year ago I moved back to Colorado. All on my own, totally alone. I was so excited to move back to my happy place. I thought I had it all figured out: Live in my happy bubble in Colorado, then travel a lot to South America, my new obsession. During my move (Sept 2021), my father passed away. Literally the day before I got the moving truck. I have been dealing with the bereavement, in that it has changed my perspective on life, my own mortality, who I am, and does my existence even matter at all. My mother will follow eventually, she's 88. I will then be an orphan. I am very worried about how I will cope with that, in light of my hopeless personal feelings. I don't think there is any help either. I believe we are all inherently alone on this earth. At least I am. But this bereavement is only a part of the emotional decline I am feeling.

Last year I traveled to South America many times to learn Spanish, and also to date. Travel to other countries had been pretty much the only way to meet beautiful women. They are SOOO different from American women. So I have to travel to foreign countries, where the women are lovely, polite, and very interested in me. I can't even get a date in my town. But down there I am fighting them off. It's been a revelation. Lots of success down there. I have mostly dated foreign women over the years. But I have to create a life at home. So I am trying to develop a social circle in my own hopeless, feeble way. It's never worked. It's all in my mind. I'm emotionally very weak.

So recently I started going to salsa classes again. Gotta get out there. Maybe meet a nice girl. Turns out, in our area it's a lot of dudes, college girls, and old ladies. A lot of lonely people. Go figure. But in my class there was one very cute girl. Half my age. I have mostly dated younger women. I get it, it doesn't last, different places in life, etc. I know all that. But the women my age are hideous to look at. Absolutely no interest. I also have to rely mostly on dating apps, but the last couple years this has been a futile exercise - at 50yo. That party is over, at least in the US. 

So we rotate around in the dance class, and this girl and I have some chemistry. Let's call her Susan. I feel it. I think I sense her feeling it. Something was happening. She laughs at everything I say. Every class I looked forward to seeing her, chatting with her, slowly getting to know her. I am not pushy or aggressive. I want it to flow naturally, with some eventual nudging, that's my job. I am also so emotionally fragile, I can't rush into anything. I'm just trying to make friends really - be part of a healthy, fulfilling community. Not get complicated. But eventually yes, meet a girl. It gets tricky with salsa because it is a community of regulars. If a fling doesn't work out, bad feelings can happen, then the regular interactions can be awkward and uncomfortable. So hitting on anyone in salsa is a delicate matter.

So last weekend there was a big salsa event in Denver. I went, and surprisingly, Susan shows up too. We ran into each other, and it was all good vibes. Lots of laughs, we walked around and went to classes together, and I thought this is fantastic, she's like my buddy. We're just developing a friendship. But under the surface, I'm hoping to gradually develop that. This is a good start.

But during one class, she's dancing with this guy, (we rotate around) and I notice them talking a lot afterwards. Then they start walking around together. Suddenly, I have competition. Who the **** is THIS guy now? She is not aware obviously of my plans, or hopes. She doesn't even explicitly know I'm really into her. But the way my mind works, I get fixated. I'm thinking about her all the time. Imagining future interactions, conversations. It's kind of ridiculous because again, she's half my age. But some chemistry was there. The problem is ME. I get fixated, then possibly obsessed, on one thing, one person. So as I think of her more and more, it deepens the neural pathways, and suddenly she becomes larger than life. Why her? Well, I haven't encountered anyone else interesting or attractive. Like I said, too young or old ladies. Anyone who shows up my age has been objectively unattractive. So I am well aware a real relationship would never last with this girl. Still, the emotions and attraction evolve into fixation. I can't help it, I like her.

So the whole rest of the afternoon, she hangs out with this guy. I'm walking around, bopping in and out of interactions with her and others. But I am getting nervous. I don't want to compete, so I start withdrawing a little even. Maybe she'll circle back to me?  

Day transitions into evening events. I go get a bite. I come back. Now she's sitting with the guy in the lobby talking one on one. For ****ing hours they hang out now. Like I said, I refuse to get into a pissing contest. I am not competing for her attention like a peacock. I was hoping to not have competition and interruptions in the flow of our interactions. But alas, the world is not mine. I was going to stay the whole night, but I suddenly had a panic attack seeing them together. So I left. Did they hook up? Did they dance all night? Did she leave five minutes later? I have no idea. 

So then the next week, we're back to the normal schedule, our little classes in our suburb of Denver. But... now HE starts showing up, obviously to find her again. I see her at a couple more classes. We chat, it's funny and fine like before. But I don't know their status, if they are still talking. I try to ignore it all and be strong. Maybe I am overreacting? Maybe nothing happened? Just do my thing, be strong. But in truth, I am obsessed with the direction of all this.

So a few days ago she tells me about a little dance get together this weekend which I had not known about. She said "Are you going to go?" I said I would try to make it. (I have family in town currently). But I knew I would go, because I wanted to hang with her again. I assumed the dude would not be there, because this small event was kind of discreet in just our little town. How would he know about it? He was from Denver, we're in another town.

But overall, I'm developing a story with all of this - Susan and the dude become larger than life. They don't even know what is going on in my mind. But she is my target. He is my enemy. It's like a novel with characters. No one else matters except where this story is going.

I know anyone reading this right now is saying "Dude, get over it, you lost and she's with him. Man up. No big deal." Well that's where the depression and neurosis comes in. It's a BIG ****ing deal. Because it's hard enough to meet people, this is an opportunity. If there were other equal opportunities, yeah, it wouldn't be a big deal. But it is to me. 

So I put on a nice shirt, nice shoes, I'm kind of imagining how it will go. I'm reasonably sure the dude will not be there. I'm hoping I can spend a lot of time talking to her, dancing with her, get over last weeks distractions. Make some progress. Maybe that guy was nothing.

I pull into the parking lot, I see a few other people arriving. Suddenly, as I slowly pull up, I see Susan (the girl) and the dude get out of a car and walk in together. I almost implode. Instant anxiety attack. So.... I guess they are a ****ing couple now? Or it's certainly leading in that direction. If I go in, I will only be hyper aware of her, of him, of where they are and what they are doing.

I wanted to join a fun little community and make some friends, but suddenly within two weeks, it's COMPLICATED and HEAVY again. It's the same shit over and over and over and over. Nothing just...flows.... evolves happily. NOTHING ever in my life has just naturally flowed. But if you want to get the girl, you CANNOT hesitate. You MUST take clear action. It's not a game, it is orchestrated WORK. It is quite literally a jungle. Women don't really appreciate this about being a man. But all men are not heroic archetypes who can execute courtship flawlessly and confidently. It is a burden. I guess some men like the competition. You have to be aggressive (not physically, more persistent). In the blink of an eye someone will swoop in then it's a d**k swinging contest. This is one part of manhood I do not enjoy.

I could have parked, steeled my nerves, rationalized it all, and been strong and lived my best life this afternoon. But I had a panic attack. My instinctive reaction was to turn and flee. And that's what I did. I was suddenly quaking in disbelief at what I just witnessed. For the drive home I stared in a trance, in disbelief. I am not kidding when I say it feels like a cosmic conspiracy to thwart any chance I have at being a part of a happy community with no conflicting, complicated relationship tensions. And maybe some romance. Obviously the world does not revolve around this girl, or me. I will have to get over it, or find another salsa community. Focus my energy elsewhere. However I know that I cannot stop thinking about this situation. In the car I stared and shook my head, completely baffled at how literally NOTHING ever works out. This is not an isolated experience in my life. In one form or another, the same frustration and disappointment has thwarted me in some form over and over and over. I also fully realize that you can't put too much energy into one opportunity, because when it fails you will be devastated. You have to spread your efforts out so you have options. Intellectually i know this. But my own neuroses often prevent me from living this. My intellect is overruled by my reptilian brain. 

I swear to god the feelings of seeing them emerging from a car together and go in together - it was a shock. Like "Yep Chris, it's worse than you thought! Now he's banging her!" Or...  Did they spend the afternoon together? Does she like him or is she just tolerating him? It felt like a choreographed stage performance to rub it in my face, to shut me down, to say "Hey Chris! Oh you like this girl? Well watch this guy swoop in and court her in front of your face. Haha! I could not believe it. It was the total opposite of what I hoped might happen. Before I even got out of my car. I know, the world is random, my thoughts are only in my head.

It's the symbolism in the arc of my life, repeatedly thwarted. A history of unbalanced relationships that never stick. The metaphor of being squeezed out in front of my face, of nothing ever working out, is what astounds me the most. Life is full of obstacles. I wouldn't take it so hard if there were a couple other girls to draw my attention away. But like I said in this group it's a lot of dudes, one or two cute younger ladies, and some middle aged hags.

This long story is not about the girl half my age. It is about my neurotic pattern of emotions that seems to repeat in a loop. Every time I do emerge from a difficult experience, I think "Ok, you learned from this, be stronger next time, don't get attached to ANYONE. Keep it light and fun. You got this." Then it happens again. And I lose again. And again. And again.    

I'm tired of writing and this is probably the longest post in history, if anyone has actually read it.

I am very, very stuck in life. I am not suicidal today, but every time something like this happens it chips away at me more and more now. The hopelessness. I have been single forever. I don't know why. It is very, very difficult to meet people and make any friends. Guys or girls. No one cares. No one wants to get to know me, no one cares if I am there or not. It feels like a resistance, no matter what I try. I have also lost friends and been so disappointed by people I think are my friends, then they reject me. (When I returned to Colorado, I tried to catch up with a friend, we exchanged a text, then when I told him my father just died three days ago, he never responded. No joke. He never even replied. Who does that?! It really, really hurt. I was looking forward to resuming with him. I didn't bother to follow up and chase him, I was baffled. I don't have many friendship opportunities. And now another one, gone. When I sense rejection, I reject you twice as much. I am too old to be groveling, chasing people to be my friend when they clearly don't care.)

I need the pain to end. I need love. And I have so much love to give. But I am utterly, totally alone. If I died, literally no one would ever know. It would be one of those stories where the corpse rots for weeks until the neighbors call the police because of the stench. But I am too chicken to **** myself, Yet at least.

This girl Susan wouldn't even want to be with my complicated personality anyway, lol.

Insomnia is also a major issue for me. I have not had a solid 8 in months. Recently I also started Wellbutrin, I am not confident it will help. Thank god for CO medicaid, (I qualified this year, but probably not next year) because I cannot afford thousands and thousands and thousands and thousand of dollars for full price depression treatment. 

Maybe a week to decompress will help? Then reset. I have to carry on and forget this girl. I hope it is not rubbed in my face any more than necessary. 

Edited by seeeker
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I can definitely identify with the things you write about although our lives are quite different as to the specifics.  Wish I knew what to say that would help but sadly I am sort of in the same boat or at least a different boat in the same pond. 

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21 hours ago, Epictetus said:

I can definitely identify with the things you write about although our lives are quite different as to the specifics.  Wish I knew what to say that would help but sadly I am sort of in the same boat or at least a different boat in the same pond. 

Thanks man, I appreciate the response. Someone actually read my post. This week I had a road trip with my son and I've calmed down. The Wellbutrin might be kicking in, although the effects do makes me physically uneasy. I'm hoping I don't have another panic attack if I see them together again. I would edit my post somewhat in hindsight, but the story remains.

This problem I have of fixation on individuals (females if romantic, males when it's a friendship issue), jealousy, anxiety, weakness, stuck in my head, it's a recurring pattern. It all stems from lack of self esteem. Anyway, not to rant endlessly again....

Best of luck to you, be strong. 

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