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26 year old single male & would like advice to improve myself

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Viewing 14 posts - 16 through 29 (of 29 total)
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  • #413929
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel: I will read and reply to you in about 14 hours from now.

    anita

    #413931
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    I decided to read and reply earlier than intended. Yesterday, I asked you what you meant by “always” having suffered from “anxiety/ low self-esteem”. “Always” suggests that you suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem as a child, and since childhood. I asked you what you specifically meant by it because I wasn’t able to detect your anxiety and low self-esteem in your posts outside your later in life (20s) failure to establish a desired long-term relationship with a woman.

    In your post before last, you mentioned growing up around an alpha male group. So, I thought that in context of that group you felt inferior/ low self-esteem. But in your most recent post, you expressed no “anxiety/ low self-esteem” experience in the context of the alpha-male-group, growing up.

    And so, I am lost. I still don’t know what you meant by Always having suffered from Anxiety and Low self-esteem. And therefore, I don’t understand your current difficulty in regard to establishing a long-term relationship with a woman. I wish I could offer you something helpful, but I have nothing to offer when I don’t understand.

    anita

    #413934
    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    I apologise for my posts making you confused as I probably have explained it poorly.

    I have definitely suffered from low self esteem/anxiety from when I was a child, I think what I was trying to say is that it wasn’t really until my young adult life that I really understood what those emotions were/where they came from.

    Growing up around these groups definitely has made me question myself and my approach to life/dating as a result of rejections etc. I was the more quiet natured one within these groups & seeing these alpha male types have success with women and then on the flip side repeatedly getting rejections because of “no spark”, “no connection” etc or seeing girls go back to these alpha male types after rejecting them initially and me never getting second chances really has made me think that the way I am is not good enough to attract a spark within a girl.

    It feels like as I said having things like a good family, stable career, good morals/values, being down to earth, making people comfortable/laugh & being laid back is still not enough to get a girl to take the chance on me.

    Do you think that I need to be more alpha male or whatever the term is to maintain a girls interest, do women feel just a down to earth guy who seems stable is boring?

    I feel pressure to sweep a woman off their feet straight away otherwise at the drop of a hat they’ll lose interest. Does it take time to develop feelings or should it be quick?

    It’s probably confusing because I am at a point of thinking what else can I really do & I feel like giving up

    #413953
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Daniel,

    you seem like someone with very high self-awareness, as well as sensitivity. And I think it’s actually to your benefit that you’re also an emotionally aware person, with empathy and an ability to listen (I am not weak when I say emotionally in tune, what I mean is I am not afraid to show interest/express a feeling/listen to others/help those in need because I care.)

    I also believe it is to your benefit that you’re genuine, that you don’t play games and are wearing your heart on your sleeve. All those are qualities that women like and prefer, so I find it very unlikely that it is something that would repel them on the long-run (But I am starting to feel that this emotionally in tune side of me is weak to women or it doesn’t help ignite sparks or create attraction in me.)

    What I am noticing instead is that you say you have a very supportive family:

    I am in at a personal level thanks to the support/upbringing of my family & friends

    stable career/family life

    And at the same time, you say that your anxiety stems from your parents:

    I think I have always had a degree of anxiety coming from my parents as they can be stress heads

    Have they changed in the meanwhile and now they are very accepting and supportive of you?

    I grew up around a very “alpha male” type of group and within sporting environments where sort of oneupmanship was a theme and a “boys club” type of vibe.

    Have you experienced oneupmanship and “boys club” vibe only in the sport clubs that you were a member of? Or perhaps your father is also an alpha male, and you’ve experienced it at home too?

    I am asking because it seems to me that a part of you might be too blended with your family, even if there might be some issues still unresolved between you?

     

    #413966
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    You wrote: “I have suffered from anxiety/ low self-esteem throughout my life… I have definitely suffered from low self-esteem/ anxiety from when I was a child”.

    You also wrote: “(I) am not afraid of looking at myself in the mirror”-

    – are you afraid of looking at your parents in the mirror? I am asking this because who you are- has a lot to do with your childhood experience with your parents, particularly the experiences you had with them in your first decade of life. You talked about the alpha male group you grew up around as the source perhaps of your lack of success with women (in regard to establishing a long-term relationship), but you didn’t talk about your parents as the source of your lifetime anxiety and low self-esteem. I don’t think that you can solve your current adult-topic anxiety (dating), without addressing the origin of your anxiety, that which took place in early childhood.

    You shared that you are loyal, and I am sure that you are loyal to your parents, but in your quest to improve yourself (your words in the title of your thread), you will have to look at the not so positive aspects of growing up… not around the alpha male group, but around your parents.

    You wrote this about your family of origin, which includes your parents: “I have a stable.. family life… I am very thankful for the position I am in at a personal level thanks to the support/ upbringing of my family… I have been raised to be a gentleman… I have been raised to always present myself well.. – not in a superficial/ self-centered way, but in ‘take pride in the way you present’ way”- reads ALL to be VERY positive.

    The only negative you mentioned was this: “I think I have always had a degree of anxiety coming from my parents as they can be stress heads”, and I don’t know what you mean by “stress heads”.

    Again, you wrote: “(I) am not afraid of looking at myself in the mirror”. Are you afraid of looking in the mirror at the people who have a huge part in who you are; would you be disloyal if you looked at them in the mirror, positive and negative?

    anita

    #414014
    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi Tee,

    Thank you for your response it’s greatly appreciated!

    To answer your question, my father is not the alpha male type that I have grown up around socially. I think that alpha male type of impact has been largely a social thing for me.

    Where I would say my family has impacted me is probably culturally, the expectation is like go to school -> get a job -> further study/university -> get a full time job -> get married/have kids etc etc so although there may not be direct pressure from my parents and they would support however long that process takes I think by default there is a lot of perceived pressure that if I don’t get all this sorted by a certain age or at the same time as my cousins/friends then I am letting my parents down or my family down. They don’t necessarily say things to place pressure on me but you can “feel” it’s there even from my wider family as well as I am the only single one also with all my cousins either engaged/married with kids or with a partner.

    So in effect sometimes I feel rushed to find a partner and there is a battle between staying patient & trying to find someone quickly to release some pressure and end the loneliness I have.

    There’s a lot of factors that probably go into it, the “alpha male” social impact, cultural pressure within my family & a lack of trust in myself which stems from repeat rejection to be honest.

    I have never had a relationship but I have never had a girl openly say “I like you” or something to that effect so when interest is shown there’s always seeds of doubt in my head. For example what usually happens is all the signs will be there and then there is a sudden backflip which leaves me confused & unsure of how to approach these things differently in future.

    #414015
    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    When I say my parents are stress heads I mean that they are natural worriers about their kids/life in general and they so much want what’s best for me and my siblings that I guess they can be overly invested in our lives. I think they have natural levels of stress that’s probably been passed down to me as a product of them and I have had discussions with them about this.

    Sometimes I find it difficult to express to them that sometimes how much they actually care is almost a bit suffocating as I feel like if I choose the wrong partner or make a wrong move ultimately I will let them down so I guess that adds a further layer of pressure in my mind I don’t need when I date someone as I should be just concerned with getting to know the girl not about what my parents will think or whether I will make the right decisions etc

    #414021
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    It reads like you need to be FREE of your parents’ worries and emotional investment in your life. Your life is your life,  not their life. Their lives are for them to live; your life is for you to live.

    Their caring suffocates you- their caring weighs you down; their caring then, in practical terms, is not love. Love Energizes, Love Encourages… love is not a burden, a suffocation, is it…?

    anita

    #414030
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Daniel,

    I think I understand now…. you’re feeling pressure from your overly caring parents, and you feel that if you don’t check that major box (of getting married within the “acceptable” time frame), they’ll be disappointed in you. You’ve checked all their other boxes, but this one you’re having a hard time with…

    It seems your parents’ love is conditional – they love you and accept you if you live according to their expectations. But if not, they start worrying about you, maybe they subtly criticize you, compare you to your cousins and friends, and it makes you feel that “if I don’t get all this sorted by a certain age or at the same time as my cousins/friends then I am letting my parents down or my family down.”

    In other words, you feel that if you don’t meet their expectations, you’re letting them down. You feel like a disappointment, right?

    I guess you would need to tell yourself that you are not a disappointment, even if you live according to your own timetable and follow your own dreams and desires.

    You mentioned that girls don’t feel the spark with you. Maybe it’s because you don’t feel that spark either? If we try to live according to other people’s expectations, and tick all their boxes, it usually dims our spark… because the spark is our individuality, our unique essence, and it needs to be free to express itself…

    Tell me what you think, does this ring true?

     

    #414130
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    It occurred to me yesterday, after reading what you expressed about your parents (common to many parents): “the expectation is like go to school -> get a job -> further study/university -> get a full time job -> get married/have kids etc., etc.“, that this is indeed a very common approach by many millions of parents. I’d call it the cookie-cutter approach to parenting:

    – parents put in the work feeding and clothing their children, arranging schooling, buying toys, letting their children know of the expectations (I compare this to preparing the cookie dough, putting eggs into it, chocolate chips, etc., mixing it all, using a cookie cutter to create almost equal shapes and sizes of unbaked cookies, and then putting the unbaked cookies in the oven and turning on the heat). They then wait and watch, hoping that all of the children go to school, get a job.. get married, etc., fulfilling the expectations step by step; they watch and worry if any of the children is late at achieving any of these steps (I compare this to watching the unbaked cookies in the oven as they bake, expecting them all to rise at about the same rate and to the same extent, then they worry if one of the cookies, or a few of the cookies, seem flatter than the others, being late to rise.. worrying that they’ll never rise).

    It is not that these (millions of) parents don’t love their children, it’s that they misunderstand their children (and themselves): they do not understanding how elaborate a human being is, and how much more individual attention a human needs. Going back to the cookie analogy: some cookies need more chocolate chips, others need less sugar; some are lovely in their own flat ways… and different does not mean inferior.

    Is my analogy making sense to you or does it only make you feel having fresh, out of the oven cookies.. (lol)?

    anita

    #414163
    Rob
    Participant

    Daniel,

    There’s nothing wrong with being nice, the “nice guy” people don’t find attractive is the kind who tries to buy a girls affections with his “nice” and thinks he’s owed it when he does so.

    Best bit of advice I can give you is don’t take the process so seriously. Have some fun and flirt with as many women as possible. You can take your pick from the ones who respond. If you don’t feel like they’re for you, keep flirting! Your skill will grow. You’re taking it all too seriously.

    There are a few similarities between me and yourself though lots of differences too. Anyhow, I am married and I would have been married much sooner if I had done what I suggested above much sooner.

    #414190
    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi anita

    Thanks for your continued advice & responses, apologies for my delay in reply has been a tough week/month and just been going up and down.

    In response to your posts, your analogy does make sense to me.

    I think my parents sometimes see the emotions I may be going through or the disappointment I may be going through they really feel it & live it with me which I think it exacerbates the problem to a degree because it makes me feel a certain degree of pressure that is on top of what I already feel because I sort of feel like I am responsible for other peoples feelings as well and have to fake how I feel.

    #414191
    Daniel
    Participant

    Hi Rob

    Thanks for your post I appreciate the advice a lot!

    I think it all comes from deep rooted loneliness to be honest, like my siblings have partners/are married, I only have a couple good friends who both have partners as well and I feel like a burden on all of them as I am the “single one” and basically outside of them I have no one.

    I have been putting myself out there a lot & doing my best to flirt and attract people and pick/choose whose right & not right but I’ve always had this massive underlayer of loneliness that’s incredibly difficult for me to manage and I grapple between deleting dating apps for a break vs not deleting them because I can’t take myself off the market so to speak.

    Maybe I need to just get off them a while & try find some sort of purpose on my own

    #414200
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Daniel:

    You are welcome. This is what I figure this morning: your parents have been in the habit of over-reacting to non-positive events in your life/ to your low moods, getting very stressed and unhappy, and they either over-react to positive occurrences in your/ to your elevated moods, feeling hopeful and happy, or you are afraid that they will over-react to these and end up getting disappointed, stressed and unhappy.

    You adjusted to your parents’ over-reacting by under-acting, that is: you appear neutral, best you can, stable, predictable, laid back, not low and not high, somewhere in the middle. The idea behind this adjustment is that the more stable you are, the less there is for them to over-react to. This adjustment makes you non-spontaneous and (for lack of a better word) boring in the context of a romantic relationship.

    Here is evidence that your parents are overreacting: “Basically I think I have always had a degree of anxiety coming from my parents as they can be stress heads… they are natural worriers about their kids/life in general and they so much want what’s best for me and my siblings that I guess they can be overly invested in our lives… sometimes how much they actually care is almost a bit suffocating as I feel like if I choose the wrong partner or make a wrong move ultimately I will let them down… I think my parents sometimes see the emotions I may be going through or the disappointment I may be going through they really feel it & live it“.

    Here is evidence of how you adjusted to their overreacting: “Basically the feeling is like this silly sort of analogy… I am like a book you pick up, read the blurb and the review and it looks pretty good nothing wrong with it at all, you start reading and have a good impression of the story but eventually it bores you and you put it down & never got back to it… making people comfortable/laugh & being laid back… do women feel just a down to earth guy who seems stable is boring?”.

    You asked me sometime along the way: “Do you think that I need to be more alpha male or whatever the term is to maintain a girls interest, do women feel just a down to earth guy who seems stable is boring?“- I don’t think that trying to be more of an alpha male is a solution. I think trying to be less laid back, less predictable; more spontaneous, and more alive: more reactive to your emotions is the way to go. In other words: do some undoing of the adjustment I mentioned.

    You wrote: “I sort of feel like I am responsible for other people’s feelings as well and have to fake how I feel“-do you fake feeling less so to minimize over-reactions in others?

    I am guessing that you do what everyone does: projecting our parents into romantic interests, and in your case, expecting the woman you are dating to over-react if you.. do not under-act. Does this make sense to you?

    anita

Viewing 14 posts - 16 through 29 (of 29 total)

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