Dealing with loneliness when not ready to date

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asyouwish

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Dealing with loneliness when not ready to date
« on: June 19, 2017, 04:14:48 PM »
Hey all --

I've only had one relationship in my life, from 15 to 17, right in the midst of FOO * and him, as I now realize, being pretty emotionally abusive, or at least withholding, himself. (I'm 28 now.) So, I do not have much experience in the romance department.

I've been holding onto this relationship a very long time. I stopped talking to him around age 24, when I finally realized how utterly in love with him I still was, and how I'd never let him go if I kept him in my life. Well, I'm not sure that I've let go even now. When I get lonely, or my FOO stuff flares up, my mind goes to him. My therapist says it's because all those neurons -- FOO, first love, home town etc. -- are all tangled up together. I believe her. I can see forgetting about him as I get better.

But, guys, I am so lonely. It's ridiculous -- I have a great life. I have so many friends, a great job, hobbies I enjoy, my own house. I don't want for anything, except romantic love. I keep my calendar very busy, full of coffee dates with friends or hobbies, but it's not enough. I still come home to an empty house every night (except for my wonderful cat) and have to do everything alone.

But dating? Oh, god. How terrifying. I can't bring myself to try it. It's all C-PTSD stuff -- or schema stuff, as my therapist calls it -- but I can't get past it. My FOO's voices are in my head: "You're too difficult." "You're too fat, too tall." They would constantly talk about how my old boyfriend was way out of my league, because he was very handsome and a lot of girls liked him. "He's just using you until someone better comes along." "Why would a guy like him be interested in someone like you?" You get the idea.

Now, I feel so utterly worthless and ugly and broken and who would want that? I don't fit the conventional mold. I'm very tall (over six feet and a woman), and I'm overweight from all the meds. I don't think I'm pretty, though my friends do. I just can't put myself out there when I'm so utterly convinced no one will want me. I know I can't take the inevitable rejections.

I'm working on these feelings. I mean, I get why they're there and I get they aren't true, but I still believe them. So, until I can get over that hurdle even a little, I'm not dating.

So, my question (finally), is are you lonely, too? How do you deal with it? It's so hard to sit with. And, I guess, if you're dating, how do you do it? I just feel way too broken to subject someone to this.

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Lingurine

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Re: Dealing with loneliness when not ready to date
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 09:06:25 PM »
Hi asyouwish  :heythere: I do get your loneliness and to be frank, I think having PTSD inflicts loneliness, even if in a relationship. It's inherent to the injury, I think. I'm in a relationship and can have feelings of extreme loneliness. Not due to him. Just because my memories keep bothering me and keep scratching at the surface. I can imagine everything feels heavy when you are alone. In a way we all are alone and realizing that can be hurting at the core of your being. Existential hurt. To exist is hurting.

Lingurine

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TJS_Colo

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Re: Dealing with loneliness when not ready to date
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 09:02:31 PM »
I'm very much in the same boat. I want to meet someone, but my inner critic is brutal and I'm so afraid of rejection. Even when I objectively observe other regular, imperfect people finding love, I feel like I won't be accepted at my weight or with my damage.

I'm working on all those things, as I'm sure you are. You asked about the loneliness. I also have great friends and a fairly active social life (tho I'm 50 and relish my quiet evenings at home). I'm trying meetups as a way to meet new people in a group setting. Much less exposed than a "date."

Keep working on shutting down that inner critic until you're ready to get out there. Your height (and my weight, which is where my self critic focuses) aren't what's been keeping us from finding someone who will value us.

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GlassChild

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Re: Dealing with loneliness when not ready to date
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 07:56:01 PM »
I'm really glad this thread is here because just today I was like, "I think next time I date, I won't take the person to any important functions with me because I don't want a memory tainted by my an ex in the future," and then I was like, well...I'd imagine a relationship won't go very well if I'm like, "oh hey, I'm going to my best friend's wedding, I'm not taking you in case we break up later."

I also feel so alone. But I know I shouldn't date and on top of  that, my psychologist has been getting onto me about using men to emotionally stabilize myself when I'm having a hard time with my FOO and I know it's true but I really doubt I am strong enough to correct it right now.

I don't know how we are supposed to get over this utter fear of other humans. Hurting them, being hurt by them, etc. I feel you.

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samantha19

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Re: Dealing with loneliness when not ready to date
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 01:32:27 PM »
I used to feel this so badly. I wrote many posts on here about loneliness and feeling like I'd never be able to be with someone again - because I kept cutting off connections due to fears and anxieties.
I just wanted to say that it can get better, even after it feels impossible, because I finally got there and I'm with a guy who is so lovely and who I'm actually attracted to and in love with.
It took me years to get here. Just wanted to add a reminder that your past or your now is not your forever. It's something I wish I could tell my past self.
You're already working on the things that are holding you back so that's really good.
My only other advise would be to not settle for less than you deserve (you deserve true love and kindness). And if you need more time to work on your recovery you can take it; there's always more opportunities coming :-)
Wishing you all the best in your recovery <3

Also, maybe feeling unconventional or different is part of the inner critic. I get that too sometimes, but less now. Everyone is different. Everyone has gifts and I bet you have a whole lot of worth and are just struggling to see it.

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plantsandworms

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Re: Dealing with loneliness when not ready to date
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 03:44:12 AM »
My god, asyouwish, parts of your post I felt like I wrote myself. I also am in my mid-20's and my only longterm romantic relationship was 15-17. I've had some flirtations and minor encounters since then but no matter how much I am initially interested in someone I quickly get to work writing a list of their flaws and stacking it up with the ever-present list of mine. There's always something about me or about them that makes me feel like puking at the idea of moving forward. I have also built a vibrant life outside of the romantic arena, and I do enjoy my independence and the room it gives me to figure out who I am and what has happened to me, but there's also this voice in the back of my mind that says I'm only single because I am not enough - and every day that passes is another strike against me. But I do believe that all of those hobbies and friendships and passions we are cultivating right now are making us really great people to know, and that when we are ready to push past the emotional blocks we will find just what we are looking for (and this time we'll know what that is).  Thank you for sharing this feeling with us.