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Unlovable? Advice For A Rookie?

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Can you be loved if you have major depression? I'm 32 years old and I've never dated or had a relationship. There's a variety of reasons for this but in a nutshell it's mainly a combination of fear and lack of confidence. I've had opportunities but never followed through with them. It's difficult for me to trust people and I know this is another factor. I want to change this and be able to have healthy and loving relationships.

I first sought help around ten years ago and was diagnosed with MDD, SAD and GAD. I still see a therapist and as far as relationships go I've always been encouraged to date, but I've also always been extremely hard on myself - telling myself that "I'm not good enough", "No one would want to be with me", "I'm not a good person", "Why would anyone be with me when there are so many better choices out there", etc. Over time I just began to think relationships just weren't meant for "someone like me" - someone so utterly unloveable and pathetic. I'd even look at friends, families, couples and think that will never happen for me and just see myself going through life alone. I punished myself like this for years with this type of thinking and the horrible part is that none of it is true! It was just a lack of faith in myself - I never even gave myself a chance!

Fast forward to my present situation - there is a person in my workplace that I think may like me and I feel the same way. At first I didn't want to jump to any conclusions but over time many little things to things that were a bit more obvious reaffirmed my hunch. It seems that people in the office even caught wind of it and occasionally tease him about it. The problem is that I'm having problems believing this person likes me in spite of how clear it seems to be. I feel I need to put a stop this cycle I've been in my entire life and take a chance but the fear seems to be winning out. I've been with this company for about six months and whenever I'm around this guy I try to stay and talk with him but I get scared and eventually need to leave the room.

There isn't anyone I can really talk to about this stuff so I brought it up to my therapist - who suggested that I just tell him that I like him. He also gave me an exposure exercise in which I need to talk with this guy for at least 15 mins a day. I really didn't know how I was going to pull this off but the next day I bumped into him and was prepared to give it a shot - but this time he didn't stay and ended up leaving the room.

So, now I'm wondering if it's too late. I think he probably just thinks that I don't like him due to me constantly "running away". But that isn't the case at all! Is there anything I can do or did I just screwed up yet another chance because of the fear I've always carried with me?

Normally, I would just try to forget about it but I whenever I'm around him I feel something and the idea of throwing that away makes my heart ache. What can I do?

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"Can you be loved if you have major depression?"

Of course you can. Depression is not all that a depressed person is. There are other qualities that you have, all of which can presumably help attract a person or make them fall in love with you.

"I've also always been extremely hard on myself - telling myself that "I'm not good enough", "No one would want to be with me", "I'm not a good person", "Why would anyone be with me when there are so many better choices out there", etc. Over time I just began to think relationships just weren't meant for "someone like me" - someone so utterly unloveable and pathetic."

The question is: who says you are "utterly unlovable and pathetic"? If you've never dated or had a relationship before, how could you possibly know that that's what people think about you? Why would you assume that?

"Is there anything I can do?"

Yes, there is something you can do. Be honest and tell the guy in a very clear fashion. The reason you haven't is because you're afraid your feelings won't be returned, and you're afraid of that because it would reinforce what you already told yourself was true: that you're unlovable. The thing is, you're never going to get this out of your mind until you get a response from him. Whether it be the response you like or not, wouldn't you rather eliminate the doubt in your mind? If it's a response you don't like, the worst that can happen is a temporary stinging feeling in your heart. Then you move on, knowing that you didn't waste another minute wondering.

The alternative is what you've been doing so far by default: nothing. Doing this will accomplish nothing other than prolonging the feelings of doubt that you have. Those feelings are not particularly useful.

"Normally, I would just try to forget about it but I whenever I'm around him I feel something and the idea of throwing that away makes my heart ache. What can I do?"

That idea makes your heart ache because you know you'd be wasting a perfectly good opportunity to find out the truth. The possibilities that exist if you found out that he returned your feelings are too enticing to ignore, yet that's what you're doing anyway as long as you don't find out. If you 'forget' about it, you'd also be forgetting about a potentially great opportunity for you. The only way you can make your heart permanently stop aching is to take a chance. Be brave and hope for the best.

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