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Choosing Love

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This topic contains 51 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  anita 4 days, 6 hours ago.

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  • #274829

    Lisa
    Participant

    I want to start this new thread to open myself up to the truth about why I am alone and what I can do to change that.

    I feel I have many issues so it will be a challenge but I am only placing one guideline for myself in this thread. That is to avoid agonizing over my problems and approaching them the way I would approach a subject in school. I will try to figure it out as I go. I also have to be willing to do the homework.

    I call this thread Choosing Love because I feel that maybe I have rejected love. More on that later.

    I had a thread called Alone that has helped me quite a bit. I want to change my focus from wondering why love does not come to me to why I am obviously pushing love away.

    I will be coming in to post what I am doing to change to make things better but this thread is open to anyone else with similar goals.

    Thank you,

    Lisa

    #274909

    Anonymous

    Hi, Lisa.

    I read some messages on your first thread. I am a 28-year-old man who has never been in a relationship. We’re different, but I think that we are comparable to one another 🙂

    I didn’t feel like spending the time to read the first thread in its entirety, so I don’t know everything about you.

    If you feel that you are shy and insecure, you should work on that before anything else. You should try finding support groups in your city. Most of them are free, at least in my city.

    I would advise you to consider starting a religious or spiritual path. If you don’t accept Christianity, you should look for  something else. Go outside every once in a while to meet people to practice your path. You might meet a suitable man when you do this, and you will make some good friends too. I was non-religious, non-spiritual for nine years until I began buddhist practice a few years ago. My feelings of loneliness began to subside and I have come across a some interesting women, too (the last one I attempted to pursue rejected me, tho, lol).

    Alternatively, look for communities involving intellectual philosophies such as Stoicism or secular humanism.

    Also look for group exercising activities. That way you might meet people. However, my experience with yoga and dance classes is that it’s a bit harder to develop connections and friendships in groups like this. Exercising will help improve your mood.

    I met a man once who is a data scientist. He gave me an advice to use online dating apps. His outlook on the apps is to merely sift through people as though they were points of data. According to him, there are chips of gold among those many data points, and he had used dating apps to gain some very happy experiences.

    Also, could you find dating columns on your local news papers? I have seen that some older men still use those. (That is, if your preference is to find an older man)

    #274921

    Anonymous

    I suppose I could have also addressed the question of choosing love, as you put it.

    For me, choosing love is a practice in confidence.

    About seven months ago I began my practice to truly improve my confidence. I have definitely seen signs even during that short a time.

    #274941

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lisa:

    Congratulations for starting your new thread today! It is written so well and organized, I am impressed.

    “I want to change my focus from wondering why love does not come to me to why I am obviously pushing love away”.

    I will take your question and answer it as it pertains to my past: why did I push men’s love away?

    As I tried to answer it, I figured that throughout decades of my life, I wasn’t able to identify love, so I pushed everything away, too confused to know what it was I was pushing away. All people were suspects in my mind and I was angry at everyone, sooner or later.

    I wasn’t adequately aware that aggressive, selfish behavior on the part of men meant that they were not loving (and therefore love was not there), nor was I aware that a consistently kind man meant that he may be a loving man. Therefore I pushed everything away.

    anita

    #274943

    Peter
    Participant

    Hi Lisa

    Is it possible to Love and still push those we might care about away? Begs the question what we are choosing when we choose love… or why might we not choose it.

    A passionate and intimate relationship requires us to risk our hearts, thereby offering someone the power to hurt, betray, and reject us. To have the faith that we are lovable and beautiful with our scars, not just temporarily, but permanently in our own heart, is a questionable endeavor for many. We hurt and are hurt by those that we love and love us because we love.  Is it possible then that such hurt is an attribute of Love? Being valuable to hurt a necessary experience to the experience of Love?

    I suspect when we choose Love one imagines happiness and an end to loneliness, being seen and accepted for who we are as we see and accept others. At another level, perhaps subconsciously, one might also imagine being seen and judged not being good enough as we are. Just as we fear deep down that we aren’t good enough… If we cannot love ourselves as we are, the good the bad and the ugly how can we love another as they are?

    Lots of books on the latter most of which will suggest taking the time to come to terms with one relationship with oneself is important. One of the questions being how is it that one loves oneself? Is it unconditional allowing or unconditional acceptance as you are, learning better when you know better while being accountable? Getting to be accountable means who we are matters and has purpose and so opens the door to our greatest joy but also to hurt when we miss the mark requiring the lesson to learning better. Can we say yes to that?

    Is it possible that accountability, discipline, meaning and purpose are associated to the experience of Love? Maybe even attributes of Love?  Is choosing Love also choosing accountability, discipline, meaning and purpose?

    I wonder if choosing love starts from a place of developing a healthy relationship with Love it self.

    #274973

    Lisa
    Participant

    Hi Mandelbrot,

    Thank you for taking the time to read some of my thread. I know, it’s very long and can at times be just a little bitter, LOL I don’t even want to go over it again but I might here and there to reference my thinking then as opposed to now. I am learning that there are others who have also not been in a relationship so thank you for sharing that with me.

    Briefly, I am a somewhat older woman who has never been able to form a relationship with a man. I have daydreamed practically my whole life everyday about having one. I am going on a search right now to find out the truth as to why? I think my experiences when I was growing up have distorted reality for me and my goal is to see clearly.

    I am shy and insecure unless it’s just a friendly social setting. I agree with you that it’s important that I look for support. I also need to stop seeing my room as an escape. I can still make my room a haven for relaxing but I use it as a place to hide.

    I am open to all forms of spirituality. I was raised Catholic but believe in learning from everyone. I have also thought of that.. taking a class or an interesting course to be around other people. I am so happy for you that you have found a way to curb lonliness and please keep optimistic about meeting someone who you will enjoy spending time with.

    I would enjoy reading philosophy as I spend so much time wondering. I will read up on Stoicism and Secular Humanism.

    I love yoga and yes physical activity does indeed improve my mood. I feel better physically too. I have a strong body when I take care of it.

    I am hesitant to use mobile dating because I feel as if I should have least been able to try meeting someone in person before I felt I had the right to use online dating. I feel like I should have success first and then I could try other forms of dating. I don’t know if that makes any sense?

    I think like you said with my shyness and insecurity needing work first, if I am open to different ways of meeting men than different ways of dating will come easier for me.

    I am looking for someone I am compatable with above all who I like spending time with and who likes spending time with me.

    It’s so wonderful that you bring up confidence! I think I need to work on that quite a bit. I could be blaming men instead of just owning up that I am afraid of pursuing relationships. I am afraid of love. I tell myself all the time, he won’t like me, he will never like me.  I am creating my reality.

    I am so happy for you that your work on confidence has gone well! Thank you so much for sharing with me.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa

    #274979

    Lisa
    Participant

    Anita and Peter, * I will absolutely get back to you both tonight! I will respond but I am unable to right now.

    Thank you both for contributing to my new thread and for your thoughtful input. 🙂

    Sincerely,

    Lisa

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    #275017

    Sofioula
    Participant

    Hey Lisa

    I had the same anxiety as you do. I hadn’t even kissed a guy up until I became 23. I had my first relationship later the same year. For all these years I considered myself a failure for not having dates, man to flirt with, relationships, that I was a virgin etc. But hey, those things just came up one day and became reality out of the blue.

    But not so much out of the blue. You see, it took years for me to embrace my femininity, become the girl I wanted to be outwards and inwards and find the courage to chase life. I had also severe social anxiety which, with meditaion and positive affirmations I healed completely  to the point which now I’m a social butterfly !!! Now I’m going through a break up and I found myself in a dark place again, but my determination is working miracles

    I’m sharing all this with you to show you that faith, timing and hard work can swift your situation. Just focus on you. Just you, just one single step at the time. Have a blessed day.

    #275043

    Lisa
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you! I wouldn’t have progressed to making this thread without your help and help from others who posted in what can be described as an anxiety filled thread.

    Yes I want to explore what I said about pushing love away and putting myself out there and noticing my thoughts and how I feel and hopefully writing it down. I want to change my thought patterns.

    I am sad for your experience pushing people away but I understand pushing everyone away. I do that very well. In fact the nicer one is to me the more likely I will do a very good job of pushing that someone away. I have often believed the people who do not think so well of me that I often think that the person who does like me does not show good taste. I know that is a terrible thing to say about myself but there it is. That’s how I often end up feeling.

    Well I what I want more than anything is clarity. I want to realize what my thoughts that I grew up with were and whether or not they are really what was/is going on? I will explain better when I start posting what I am doing and learning.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    #275047

    Lisa
    Participant

    Hi Peter,

    I would think pushing people away we care about as far as people we know….I think I feel people I have known love me but do not necessarily like me.  I am not number one or equal to others they love so if I can not have that than I don’t want anything.  I guess that is how I have always been.

    Yeah there is certainly risk giving love to someone new, especially if one has never felt being the most important person to the people that brought you into the world. You search endlessly for unconditional love but you wouldn’t accept it anyway because you feel flawed and in my case feel you do not deserve such attention.

    Could I love myself with imperfections? Yes, loving yourself has to come first.but I have to work on that.  You question whether being hurt by someone you love is a possible attribute to love? I guess I would say that to accept myself and my imperfections, which is vital to loving myself,  would be the same for me accepting the imperfections in someone else and loving them…imperfections and all? In this there would be less fear of hurt and understand that hurt might inevitable?

    You are right if I am understanding you correctly..if we expect perfectionism in ourselves we are most likely going to expect it from others. Creating a lot of pressure.

    So hurting is a learning experience and does not define who one is? Being more open opens you up for love but also learning.

    Love does or should support things that may not seem like positive things. But I guess balance is the word that comes to mind makes me think that one helps the other.

    Developing a healthy relationship with love is my goal this year and instead of seeing it as “perfect,” maybe I can see it more clearly and not feel so afraid of it. It exists in everyone so it is not the perfect person I am looking for but my accepting of love for what it is.

    Thank you Peter.

    Sincerely,

    Lisa

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    #275057

    Lisa
    Participant

    Hi Sofioula,

    I am happy for you for being able to form a relationship after feeling the same kind of pressures I still feel. I am much older than you but I can relate when you describe the anxiety. The anxiety for me was the same when I was 23 as it is for me now except I did feel more hopeful when I was 23.  Some day it will happen. I would tell myself this and I believed it. It will, just happen, I believed.

    I almost feel like as the years have gone by for me, that everything that made me attractive and likable also made me vunerable to being hurt. Instead of embracing my femininity, I retreated more and more into my room. I want that to change and want to embrace everything that makes up who I am. I want to stop hiding. I want to be comfortable being myself and knowing that’s enough..

    Affirmations work really well for me and I am trying to get into meditation or I will be. I love that these things have helped you in such a positive way. I am sorry you are going through a break up but I am so glad to hear that your determination is working for you. Hope you are well.

    Thank you for your advice. My attention is to focus on me and what makes me happy first before I can attract someone else to share my time with.</p>
    You also have a very blessed day tomorrow and thank you,

    Sincerely,

    Lisa

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by  Lisa.
    #275189

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lisa:

    You are welcome. I wish you success in exploring why you push love away, noticing your thoughts and feelings and changing the thought patterns that need to be changed.

    You wrote in your recent post that you pushed people away because you believed people “do not think so well of me”, and that if they do, they do “not show good taste”. You mean that if you let these people in, those who like you, that they will find out they made a mistake, and you are not the likeable person they thought you were?

    anita

    #275263

    Lisa
    Participant

    Yeah Anita, it’s really a mountain I am climbing.

    I always think that it’s best for people not to get to know me because I feel the more they know ME the less likely they will want to spend time with me. That is so ingrained in me that when someone has shown an interest in me I wonder what is wrong with them?

    I know this is wrong, but they are my feelings.

    I need to be reprogrammed. Lol

    I am embarking on my journey starting tomorrow on everything I need to work on including the suggestions from people who have posted above.

    I am trying something different.

    Lisa

    #275425

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lisa:

    I noticed that you are “trying something different”, and I am impressed  by you, I am, how you were able to start a thread so different in attitude than the one before.

    I too had the same fear you expressed and thinking what-is-wrong with a person who is interested in me. When I was a girl, I believed that I was less than other girls my age and that feeling/ belief didn’t change for decades after. I felt inferior to others and it was a painful way to live.

    I was very surprised once it occurred to me only  a few years ago that I was not inferior. That idea grew stronger with time, more present through the day. It took a long time.

    anita

    #275453

    Victoria
    Participant

    Hi Lisa,

    I too have retreated from others. I have found that I struggle to either have the motivate to communicate with others or when I am in a social situation I just stay quiet, so I feel more like a ghost or a shadow, like a prop to make a group looking bigger.

    I am on a journey to change this and choose love. I first need to choose to love myself, I need to focus on my strengths and enhance those, so if I am ever down about myself I can combat a negative belief about myself with a positive one. I am making more of an effort with my appearance and thrown out 80% of my belongings which has made me feel lighter.

    I realised that the reason I have rejected love is because I don’t feel worthy of it, which when I realised that I fully cried for at least an hour. But it made me realise why and that I have the power to change it.

    I hope you are doing well this evening (:

    – V

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