April 18, 2017 at 6:38 pm #145745
I am drowning. I am reaching the limits of how much longer I can sustain my loneliness and I would love some help. As I type this I am close to tears and my heart is in pain.
For some context – I am a 23 year old male from Australia. I have a fantastic and prestigious job after finishing at the top of my class at university. I am a competitive power-lifter and I exercise every single day to begin the morning which makes me happy. I am following my passions with travel internationally, learning a second language, and trying my best to improve the quality of my life. I am reading everyday and I keep up to date with news and political events. I am constantly striving to improve my self-image, my confidence, and the love I have for myself.
Despite this – despite the fact that I am trying to better myself and my life – I am struggling to make meaningful connections with people. At the age of 23 I am yet to have held hands with a female and I currently have no friends. The people I was friends with in University have all moved on with their careers and stick to their own social groups and I haven't socialised for pleasure since 2012.
I have never experienced a relationship – and as strongly as I want to be happy alone and independent and love myself – I am having major issues with self acceptance. I cannot look at myself in the mirror some days. I have read different blogs about self-acceptance and loving myself but it is much more difficult in practice.
To anyone who took the time to read this – thank you. If anyone can shed some light as to whether such a situation gets better with time and if anyone has some advice on how to find love and make meaningful connections – I am all ears.April 18, 2017 at 7:54 pm #145755
You have a prestigious job, you are “constantly striving to improve my self-image, my confidence, and the love I have for myself,” and at the same time “having major issues with self acceptance” and drowning in your own loneliness. Have you/ are you attended competent, quality psychotherapy?
anitaApril 18, 2017 at 7:56 pm #145757
Hi Anita. I have never. Do you think it is worthwhile to do this? I am greatly against medication of any sort concerning my mental health.April 18, 2017 at 8:23 pm #145763
I didn't recommend psychiatric drugs aka medications, no. Psychotherapy as I know it does not involve drugs.
Psychotherapy is about gaining insight into your childhood, into those Formative Years, when your beliefs about you and about love and life are formed. In addition, a good therapist will teach the client skills, such as regulating emotions and mindfulness.
Would you like to share here about your relationships with your parents, clues to your loneliness are probably there.
anitaApril 18, 2017 at 8:28 pm #145765
My parents are amazing, hard-working and extremely supportive of my dreams and hopes. However, I do attribute my loneliness – in the women department specifically – to them. I was always told to focus on my school work and university as opposed to meeting girls. I was told majority are no good and would cheat on me.April 18, 2017 at 8:39 pm #145767
Who told you that the majority of women are no good and would cheat on you? How often did one (or both) of your parents tell you that? What else did they tell you about women, about relationships?
– and how was the relationship between your parents?
anitaApril 18, 2017 at 8:45 pm #145773
My mother mainly reinforced the notion that women, outside of my own cultural group, are not worth it – they will cheat on me and leave me. This was pounded into me since early childhood – they still say nowadays I have to marry within my own cultural group (Persian). I greatly disagree with them.
The relationship between me and my parents is very loving, supportive and great overall – aside from their warped view on women.
I can never imagine telling my parents I have girlfriend, let alone, bring her home. I would be too embarrassed and would feel uneasy. In this respect, I understand that I am not ready for a relationship until I move out. Current housing prices are restricting me in this sense.April 18, 2017 at 9:13 pm #145779
Will be back in about ten hours or so and reply then. If you'd like to share more by then, please do, anything that may be relevant to your loneliness and plans to socialize or date.
anitaApril 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm #145905
I think this stems from your childhood. When you have something to focus on (school etc.) you feel less lonely as it is structured and you have to get through it . When you leave school you have to suddenly make your own decisions .
It sounds like your parents have influenced a lot of your decisions and forced their views on you .
The good thing is you are young and you can rectify this , probably with baby steps .
I recommend therapy. I think you need to make socialising a prority in your life .
A social life is something you can build up . Relationships build around ‘fun'situations where people can let their guard down and just ‘be'.This could be a sports club . You could get to know people through that , then you ask one of them for coffee. With regular contact comes a relationship .
Good luck !April 19, 2017 at 5:52 pm #145917
More to share:
I often feel like I have to force myself to put on this nice person persona. Despite the fact that I want to be a good and meaningful person – it often leads to awkwardness and is never fulfilling like I imagine it to be.
I also have major confidence issues in relation to my physical appearance. Not so much my looks, as opposed to, my height and my constant comparison of my life to others. I am very angry – almost all the time – at things which are insignificant in terms of importance.
Kat – I appreciate your comment and agree social interactions would have to be made a big priority – however…I find many people uninteresting, dull and stupid (for lack of a better word). I feel as if I cannot connect with people and bring myself down to their level of carelessness – and I would feel guilty if I tried as it would hurt my focus and hunger for progressing career wise. I want to be one of the best at what I do and I cannot waste my time socializing. I don't enjoy it to begin with.April 19, 2017 at 8:29 pm #145923
I forgot to return to your thread ten hours ago, and reply as I said I would. I apologize.
It is my understanding at this point that your patents have been telling you from an early age that women are not worth your time because they will cheat on you and leave you (“they will cheat on me and leave me. This was pounded into me since early childhood), and that your male peers are inferior to you, way below your level of intelligence (“many people uninteresting, dull and stupid”)-
And therefore, your parents instilled in you the belief that you must not attach yourself to any person other than to them.
This would explain why you “cannot connect with people,” why you are “drowning in (your) own loneliness, why you are “very angry – almost all the time”-
What do you think?
anitaApril 20, 2017 at 7:00 am #145967
You asked if “anyone can shed some light as to whether such a situation gets better with time and if anyone has some advice on how to find love and make meaningful connections – I am all ears.”
I have more for you, more detail, hoping it will help your understanding and making your life better.
You wrote: “I find many people uninteresting, dull and stupid… I feel as if I cannot connect with people and bring myself down to their level of carelessness – and I would feel guilty if I tried as it would hurt my focus and hunger for progressing career wise. I want to be one of the best at what I do and I cannot waste my time socializing…I do attribute my loneliness – in the women department specifically – to them. I was always told to focus on my school work and university as opposed to meeting girls. I was told majority are no good and would cheat on me.”
Reads clearly to me that your parents trained you early on to focus on your school work, on university, getting good grades, a good career. They instilled in you a feeling of superiority over your peers, instilling in you the belief that you must not lower yourself to their level by socializing with them. They also tried to instill in you a feeling of distrust of women, a belief that they will cheat and leave you. The reason they did these two things is to eliminate distractions from the only focus: school work, university, career, professional prestige and making money.
You wrote: “I can never imagine telling my parents I have girlfriend, let alone, bring her home. I would be too embarrassed and would feel uneasy.”- that, I believe, is because your parents, maybe your mother more than your father, instilled in you shame and discomfort about dating. Again, to ensure you spend your time and energy only on school work, university, career: professional prestige and making money.
You wrote: “At the age of 23 I am yet to have held hands with a female and I currently have no friends… I have never experienced a relationship…and as strongly as I want to be happy alone and independent and love myself – I am having major issues with self acceptance. I cannot look at myself in the mirror some days…I also have major confidence issues in relation to my physical appearance”- I think that the reason it may be difficult for you to look in the mirror is that you can see, with your own eyes, that you are not superior. You can see it visually and part of you knows it. There is a conflict between Reality and what you were Trained to believe.
You wrote: “My parents are amazing, hard-working and extremely supportive of my dreams and hopes.”- they were and are not supportive of your dreams and hopes to experience love outside of the relationship with them, and you do have those hopes and dreams.
You wrote: “I often feel like I have to force myself to put on this nice person persona…am very angry – almost all the time ”
You may be an only child, maybe an only son. Your parents may want to make sure that their investment in you pays off for them, that you will financially take care of them now and/ or as they age. They may want to enjoy your professional prestige by bragging to their friends and family about your professional achievements, as they have (?) bragged about your grades and achievements in school and university already.
I think you are… born to be free, free of being someone else's possession, an investment that needs to pay off. Your time and energy should go toward the future- your future relationship with a woman, future chosen relationships with others- and not toward the past generation. Unfortunately, parents often invest in… themselves.
To change the mental training you received, those core beliefs (you are superior to your peers, you will be cheated on and left by women, and more), competent psychotherapy will help. I hope you attend such as well as move out and make your own life, your own beliefs, your own values, your own choices.
anitaApril 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm #146079
Thank you for the input Anita.
I realize that I am my own person – I have the ability to live my own life. Sadly, I believe my value system is far too entrenched in career progression and making the most of my intellect and capabilities.
Despite my obvious desire for a relationship and friends – in this stage of my life (and perhaps for the entirety of it) – I feel I should focus my self on what I am best at. Women are practically alien to me outside of professional working relationships (which are few) and friends are getting increasingly harder to come across as I age.
I solemnly believe that some of us were made to live life alone – as time presses on, these desires for love will fade and I will have never experienced something many others take for granted – but I am fine with this.
Life is but a breeze in the eternity of the universe and one day I will return to a infinite rest with no more pain in my heart. Until then – I will continue doing the only thing that makes me happy – being the best at what I do in my field.April 20, 2017 at 5:07 pm #146089
Thank you for reaching out. I read “I am reaching the limits of how much longer I can sustain my loneliness” and, being in Australia myself, I urge you to call Lifeline at any time of the day or night. You are not alone. People care.
You also write about “being the best at what I do”. That's a great and positive step. You are unique and with time your strengths and values will grow and develop. With age (I'm old) comes the privilege of hindsight. I recognise now that many people, including myself, didn't hit their stride until they were into middle age and older. Until then, there is a deep satisfaction that comes with living and working congruent with your values. (Have you ever heard of the Desiderata?) I commend you on understanding that at 23.
Can I make suggestion about “meaningful relationships”? It seems to me that everyone has one or two opportunities in life to experience deep love, no matter how attractive they are, no matter how much they go looking for it, or not. It will come to you. Meanwhile, while I admire your intellect and the fact that you've achieved so much already in your career, now that your university days are over, perhaps you could redirect your love of learning to a new area.
A balance to your work(or a complement to it) could be to commit yourself to a few hours a week to “play”. Be creative. Creative activities offer you the opportunity to develop and express your authentic self in intelligent ways. What is your natural interest or strength? Music? Art? Photography? What are you attracted to that other people do creatively? Join groups based on that interest – as simple or sophisticated as you choose. If you meet people through this interest they are far more likely not to be “dull” and you'll be far less likely to have to work at being “nice”.
If you develop an awareness of your self and your strengths, and commit yourself to ongoing life long learning (not always of the formal kind), life will bring you wonderful surprises and gifts. The best people of your life are yet to come into it but they will. I promise And they will appreciate you for the unique and authentic person you are.April 20, 2017 at 7:35 pm #146105
Thank you for your kind words – I am in a terrible mood today and reading this put a smile on my face. I have always had an interest in photography (particularly high contrast black and white shots!) and I have a brand new camera sitting at home that I may just use tomorrow.
I appreciate the optimistic disposition you have shown – particularly in terms of the potentiality of the best people coming in my life. This is a really wise statement. It makes me feel a little happier.
I will take your advice on continue applying myself to learning all throughout my life. I am starting French classes (tomorrow actually) along with sign language.
Perhaps one day when I learn to love myself things may change – Do you have any tips in this department? In learning how to love yourself?