Getting into a new relationship – why is it so hard?

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    White Desann


    Hey there.


    Warning: rambling ahead.


    I have just stumbled across this forum, while googling for topics concerning depression (yay, happy times) and I thought about registering and write something down, hoping to get some replies and some outside input – something I feel I need at this point in time.


    I am 34 years old, living in the UK but originally not from here. I moved to this country years ago with my ex, who, after almost 10 years of relationship, shortly after moving left me for someone else.
    I will not elaborate on that too much as it’s not the topic I would like to write about – suffice to say that it changed me deeply, made me fall into a serious clinical depression and got me close to ending my life. While I am over it now and had another, shorter, relationship since then (which also ended badly with her leaving me) – I still feel the ghost of what happened to me, in the form of a cold, creeping feeling of inadequacy and a crippling inferiority complex. It may be relevant to know that my relationship did not end because of faults of mine, at least according to what my exes told me – of course, that does not stop ME from accusing myself of everything bad that happens.


    My life is pretty much sorted, except for my emotional state. I often feel lonely, and while I try to surround myself with activities and friends to occupy my mind, I feel the need to establish something deeper and more meaningful – and lasting. I feel time running by, and I see myself being stuck – no matter how hard I try, nothing seems to move me from my current cynical, yet somewhat still hopeful (in a grotesquely desperate way), form of pessimism and nihilism. I feel I am still depressed, and I sometimes resort to tranquillisers to put myself to sleep so I stop thinking about my sad condition.

    I have been on dating apps for a while now, trying to meet new people and maybe find someone who likes me. I am trying my hardest to be at my best – both in terms of physical form and attitude. I am by no means a model, but I am reasonably fit and not hard to look at. I am educated, from a good family and reasonably wealthy.
    On paper, I can’t figure out what’s wrong with me and why – and yet, it seems I am unable to obtain what I desperately need.
    After a lot of self-analysis, I reached the conclusion that I am unable to be happy unless I know someone else (outside of my family) loves me and wants to be with me. Unhealthy, maybe, as all my friends tell me that we should first and foremost love ourselves and learn to be alone – but if that was the case, why would so many of us want to get married and find love? We are social animals after all, and we are hardwired to be together.

    I have been meeting a girl, lately. I really like her, but objectively I cannot say whether I am just infatuated due to my current state or whether it is real affection – but, in terms of how I feel, I care about her and I am hoping things will develop positively. However, I am afraid that the online dating scene is particularly cruel for men – ladies seem to have the option to be picky, dating multiple men in parallel and pick the “best” of the bunch while stringing the others along. I am not saying this is my case, but I know this girl is seeing someone else as well, despite liking me (according to her).

    Now, all the above ramblings served mainly the purpose of writing all this down for my own sake – as my current conundrum I pose to you is quite simple: how do I deal with the current situation? I feel extremely anxious, I feel I should constantly do something to make sure I am on top of her “Wishlist”, make sure she understands I am not playing around. At the same time, looking needy (which, to be fair, is exactly what I am) is the least attractive thing I could do.


    I probably just answered myself up there. Whatever.

    Thanks for reading.



    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by tinybuddha.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by White Desann.

    Dear White Desann:

    It was a delight reading your post: so intelligent, articulate, witty, your intelligence and education shine through. And you wrote that you are “reasonably fit and not hard to look at”, and to top all  of this, you are “reasonably wealthy”?

    My goodness, I don’t think you are aware of your advantages in the dating scene, online and otherwise. Reads like you are a hidden treasure that many women would be delighted to discover. I’d say that for as long as the woman you are seeing is seeing someone else as well, for as long as her dating profile is still active, that you too see other women. Meet them for coffee or tea, for a conversation, nothing hot and heavy. See online dating as opportunities to interview and be interviewed for a potential romantic relationship, in an honest, kind and respectful way.




    Hello White Desann,

    You seem like a great catch! Haha

    As a woman who used dating apps for a while, I can say that it was a very bad experience for my self esteem. The whole concept of human menu is somewhat disturbing and a lot of people there are extremely superficial.

    I feel like searching for love in dating apps is like searching for a needle in a haystack and it can drain you while you do it.

    I like to consider myself attractive haha and it’s definitely not like you’re saying. We might get a lot of options if we want sex but very few if we want to have something meaningful.

    Maybe you’re coming across too desperate but one thing that I noticed is that for the right person, it won’t matter.

    I went on some dates with a guy I was messaging back and forth and he had the posture of “I’m interested but not too interested”, he said things like “you have to be super good to be in my life”, “I’ll have fun with or without you” and so on. I thought he was either really not interested or that he was trying not to come across desperate. But I actually liked him so had him behaved naturally, maybe we’d still be talking. Regardless of his motivations, I lost interest and wouldn’t be sticking around to figure it out.

    Around the same time I met my current boyfriend, who I didn’t meet in a dating app. He was thoughtful and not afraid to show his feelings. Hes more like the sensitive, romantic kind of guy. He literally told me how much he was impressed and how much he wanted to know more about me. His caring ways, his honesty and genuine vibe made me want to focus my attention towards him until we became official.

    He told me that many women thought he was less “alpha male”, too sensitive, too deep, too emotional, maybe even too desperate but to me it’s exactly what made me pay attention in the first place.

    I had no doubt in my mind that I made the right choice.

    Im definitely not the holder of the truth but if I can give my two cents, I’d say get a break from dating apps and try to meet people organically. Its slow paced and you’re definitely not going to have so many options but I think its healthier. Also, don’t change your ways to be more desirable for the majority, be honest and be who you are. If she likes you perfect, if she doesnt you can move forward and find a better match.

    Let us know how it goes!

    Wish you the best!!

    White Desann

    Hi Anita and Marge,


    thanks for your replies. I can see that you are trying to instill some confidence in me, I appreciate that – but I am afraid it’s something really hard to achieve. I am trying to meet people outside of dating apps as well, of course – but London is surprisingly unfriendly when it comes to that: lots of different people, yes, but everyone is always busy doing a million things, running left and right, always on a schedule. It feels like the entire city has already planned ahead its future, and there is little room for an extra person – if that makes sense.

    Dating apps seem the only way to find people who actually want to meet, albeit that is clearly not the case in many scenarios.

    At any rate, re-reading what I wrote yesterday I can see that I jotted that down without thinking much. I was in a bit of a low swing, so I apologise for sounding cringy. Sometimes it happens.


    I will keep being myself – I can do nothing else, after all.

    My fear is that myself is not enough – because that’s pretty much what’s been shown to me so far. Maybe that is why I wish I was not myself – wish I could see multiple people at the same time, without being bogged down by useless feelings (which, quite paradoxically, are a hindrance in finding love). I would like to be more ruthless, and I should very well able to be so considering my past – but somehow I am unable to.


    Anyway – I am probably just spoiled. Reading what I write, it feels like I am just a kid who can’t handle life. Maybe that is the case – after all, all of these are INCREDIBLY MINOR problems. Maybe I should not have posted here in the first place.

    Still, thanks again.





    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by White Desann.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by White Desann.

    Hello White Desann,

    At least from my part I was just considering what you wrote about yourself and those are great qualities for a man. Being sensitive and emotional (that many confuse with desperation), to me, are also good qualities as well and I prefer that over the macho man posture that some consider attractive. I also live in one of the biggest economy centers in the world and I know what you mean about London, but mathematicallly speaking, you have about 5 million female opportunities there (yes, I checked haha). And you can always extend your search for neighboring towns.

    Buuut, from your last post I got the feeling that you’re wallowing in self pity and that’s definitely not something – women and men – find attractive. When people tell you that you should love yourself and be content with your own presence, they don’t mean you should be okay with being single, they mean you shouldn’t come from a place of emptiness and expect someone else to fulfill this hole. You sound like you’re waiting for a woman that’s going to show you how valuable you are and that’s not how it works. The world will perceive you as your portrait yourself.

    It’s a tragedy and it breaks my heart to see a man like this but I believe you can overcome this negative view of yourself, given time and work on your part. Therapy sessions help a lot, a professional is the best option so I’d recommend that. And also, the dating scene might not be doing you good, I’d suggest detox from that a little bit.

    And feel free to post anytime!

    Wish you the best!


    Hi White Desann,

    Firstly, I want to echo what Anita and Marge have said… you’re clearly an intelligent, articulate, sensitive man with a lot going for you.  You put a lot of thought and reflection into your life and behaviour.  You sound like a really good catch.

    I can hear that you are feeling very critical and judgmental of yourself.  You hold yourself to very high standards.  Coming from someone that has experienced a similar journey in life, putting that kind of intense pressure on yourself to succeed can become such a source of suffering and a real limitation to your goals, ironically.  You deserve forgiveness and self-love for all your mistakes and imperfections.  We are all beautifully flawed humans and none of us have it all together 100% of the time.  It’s important you take alleviating your self-criticism very seriously, because relieving that constant pressure will allow you to relax, to work through things at a more forgiving and gentler pace and to truly savour all the weird and wonderful moments of your journey to find true love.

    I also want to reinforce some of the comments Marge made about online dating.  My perspective is a little different but after trying online dating for the first time this year, I have come to similar conclusions.  I have known friends that have found love successfully online to be sure.  But there are many pitfalls too.  With a lot of people you meet online, you are meeting them in an atmosphere of romantic expectation and pressure, and there are all kinds of unhelpful behaviour dynamics that evolve out of that, such as game playing, judgmental behaviours, and rejection to name but a few.  Whereas if you meet people organically, it is basically just a conversation, and you have a proper opportunity to test the waters and to explore the depth of your connection without all those expectations of romance sitting there in the background.  In my own experiences with online dating, the two women I briefly ended up dating had a real connection with me, but both also had abandonment issues, became clingy and introduced a lot of pressure to rush into a relationship at a pace that made me feel really uncomfortable, and in the end I felt like I didn’t even really know them on a deep enough level that could justify that kind of commitment, so I walked away.  There simply wasn’t enough time to establish a connection absent the atmosphere of expectation that online dating often creates.

    None of this is to say your experience will be anything like mine, of course.  You do you – you need to find the path that is the right one for you.   But if you elect to keep pursuing online dating, do it on your terms and in a way that makes sense to you and is aligned with your goals and your own way of approaching things.  Don’t feel like you have to fit any particular mold.

    I’m curious as to what your previous experiences of relationships have been and how they have helped form your desires and expectations for a new relationship?

    As to your anxiety, that kind of thing is always complex and will take some more time and effort for you to unpack.  But your post reads like (as for so many of us) your anxiety is generated by wanting to seem attractive to a potential lover and to be a pleaser.  But you could flip this perspective around and ask:  what will she contribute to your life?  What happiness will she bring, and how are her personality/interests/strengths/weaknesses aligned with your own?  Don’t ever feel like you have to barter away your own standards just to not be alone.  It’s a very understandable and human pattern we all fall into at times, because we crave attachment.  But finding a way to let go of that sense of attachment is so often the way forward to finding true love, paradoxically – because a true love would be a love where we accept ourselves and another without feeling like we have to look or act a particular way.  It’s okay to be who you are – to work on your flaws / limitations and bask in your strengths.

    And your problems are definitely not incredibly minor.  They are universal human problems that we all face in our lives.  And you deserve empathy, respect and compassion for whatever feelings you’re struggling with.

    As Marge says, meeting people organically will be more slowly paced but it is definitely a healthier way to meet people.  Maybe get involved in some clubs or groups doing things you love and just explore social connections in the context of being yourself and doing activities that you enjoy.  Your perception of London is valid in light of your feelings but not in light of the reality of the romantic potential of living in a modern metropolis.  Your opportunities to meet attractive, available and worthy partners are vastly wider than those living in country or more regional areas, where the dating pool is much more limited.  It is just a matter of finding the right environments where you’re in your element, involved in the work or passions that make you who you are.

    Wishing you the best of luck too and do let us know how it goes!

    White Desann

    Hey guys,


    I am pleasantly surprised to read such great replies. I knew from reading other threads that people here are helpful, but I would like to thank you again for taking your time to read me and share your thoughts so eloquently.


    Marge – yes, you are probably right concerning me wallowing in self-pity. Although it comes in waves, some days I just let my depression lull me in a comfortable sadness, and convince myself that this is “just the way it is” and I should just stop trying.
    The next day, however, here I am again – hoping for a better tomorrow. I am constantly on the edge, hopping off and on the everlasting merry-go-round which keeps turning but never goes anywhere – and all it does is make me dizzy.

    And yes, I probably expect someone to directly or indirectly be the solution to my emotional loneliness. I still have to find an alternative way to fill that void, that constant reminder that my waking up in the morning is only in function of myself, as there is no one waiting for me in the evening. It somehow feels…meaningless.

    Therapy is something I am considering. I had been attending counseling sessions in the past, but I felt like they were not really helping so I stopped. As mentioned, I tend to be very hard to sway – for better or worse.


    Damian – I understand what you mean about dating apps. And I agree. When I meet someone, it’s because we “matched” already, according to a heart-shaped button we mutually pressed on our mobile phone some days before. Somehow this convinces my brain that it should be a done deal, that we like each other already, and that if I fail it’s because I messed up somehow. It’s all fluff, I am aware of that – rationally. Sadly this is not a rational business.

    You mentioned that you are interested in my past relationships. I do not want to bore you with details, but I will give you a brief overview.

    I only had two (and, if it matters, I never had any physical relationships with anyone in my life outside of those two girls).

    The first lasted about ten years – it started during early university days. I did not initiate it – she did the first move. I felt shocked – as I was the nerdy/edgy outcast who was completely oblivious to anything female-related. I was right in the middle of my dark/metal/nobody understands me phase, torn between a delusional conviction of intellectual superiority and a bitter envy of anyone who was more socially savvy than me (i.e. pretty much everyone else). That meant simply this: I accepted her without thinking twice. Why wouldn’t I? I had nothing to lose and a lot to gain, after all.

    Luckily we were quite a great match, and we ended up being together for the following ten years (with our up and downs, as it is normal). Unbeknownst to me, during this time I had become so emotionally dependant on her existence that I set myself up for what was coming.

    We moved out of the country together – to find better job opportunities. Shortly after, she decided to end everything after meeting someone else. I don’t know how long this had been going on behind the scenes – I was so oblivious and so sure of her constant presence that I never thought that could happen. It hit me like a lorry transporting lead – my world collapsed. I lost 30kg, started stuffing myself with random meds and alcohol and got close to killing myself. I am not sure how I managed, but somehow I got through it despite having to still be around her (it took months for her to actually leave our home – yes, we were living together even after she started seeing the new guy).

    Time passed and I got into online dating, where I found my second girlfriend. Not much to say about this one, it only lasted two years and it was probably bound to fail from the beginning, as it started extremely quickly (same-day quickly) and we simply rushed things too much. We ended up realising we were not compatible after all, and she decided to go her own way. This second breakup was not as painful as the first one, so there’s that.

    Both of them, by the way, are now happily engaged with someone else, the first one with kids too.

    So yes, maybe my craving for someone is because I need to prove to myself I am worthy of something too. Something that lasts. No matter what.

    I had said I would not go into details but I guess I did anyway. Sorry about that.







    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by White Desann.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by White Desann.
    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by White Desann.

    My fear is that myself is not enough – because that’s pretty much what’s been shown to me so far. Maybe that is why I wish I was not myself – wish I could see multiple people at the same time, without being bogged down by useless feelings (which, quite paradoxically, are a hindrance in finding love). I would like to be more ruthless, and I should very well able to be so considering my past – but somehow I am unable to.

    Hi White Desann!

    I think the others have given you really good advice, but I read something from you that I want to touch on specifically, which is the quote above.

    I think it’s important to recognize that successful relationships aren’t about being “enough” and failures aren’t about being “not enough.” It’s all about matches… do the two people in this couple truly match up well in the most important ways or not?  when they don’t, they break up. You’ve been shown that “myself is not enough” so far because the ones you’ve dated haven’t been the right matches. If you aren’t the right match for them, they also aren’t the right match for you. Being more ruthless wouldn’t be the right step for you because it isn’t who you are, and being ruthless attracts a type of woman that would not match well with who you are. That’s why it’s so important to be exactly who you are because that’s the only way you’ll ever attract and date a true match. When you find that, that’s when the relationship will work much better than you’ve experienced in the past. As Marge and Anita said above, there are definitely plenty of women who would find your qualities attractive (once you regain confidence in who you are and project that), so it just takes patience and conversations with new people until you find a good match.


    Dear White Desann:

    You are welcome. You wrote to me and to  another member: “I can see that you are trying to instill some confidence in my, I appreciate that- but I am afraid it’s something really hard to achieve”-

    – I didn’t try to instill confidence in you. I told you honestly what I felt as I read your original post. I enjoyed your intellect, wit, writing skills.

    You are aware yourself of your intellect. You wrote in a later post regarding an earlier part of your life: “I was.. torn between a delusional conviction of intellectual superiority and a bitter envy of anyone who was more socially savvy than me (pretty much everyone else)”-

    – you are aware that you are intellectually gifted. And you are aware that you are socially challenged, your words indicate that.

    As social animals, we need emotional wisdom to operate well in relationships and in other social contexts. Intellect alone will not do.

    What you need is to gain that emotional wisdom. You are  impatient, too desperate, pessimistic. Your emotions overwhelm you and rain on the parade of your fine intellect. I have this image; your fine intellect is like a beautiful mountain with rocks on top made of precious stone. But alas, it is so  unpleasant on the top of that mountain because rain hits it hard, and hail too, and storms…then the sun comes out and the wind dies down, but all too soon, here is the rain again and the storm is on.

    It takes intent, attention and practice over time to manage the rain and hail and storms (unpleasant emotions), to lower their intensity, to find occasional refuge in a bit of sunshine and take a few deep breaths, and it takes learning how to function well in bad weather, so that bad weather feels less threatening.

    If this makes sense to you, let me know.



    Dear White Desann,

    Thank you for sharing with us some of your relationship history (and it’s not boring to me at all).  It is helpful to get a sense of your experiences and what you might be looking for.  I’m so sorry, though, to hear of the painful end to your first relationship.  You should be proud of yourself for the strength and resilience you demonstrated in overcoming the loss.  Not all people manage to get to that point, as you did.

    I want to echo some of the beautiful words of Valora above, especially:  “You’ve been shown that “myself is not enough” so far because the ones you’ve dated haven’t been the right matches. If you aren’t the right match for them, they also aren’t the right match for you. ”  I think you’re way too hard on yourself for the way things ended in your first relationship.  It reads like you went into that with pure intentions and had to suffer an unexpected and traumatic turn of events.  Often, sadly life is just like that – through no major fault of our own.  You aren’t clairvoyant, but us humans have a terrible habit of berating ourselves with the benefit of hindsight for not “seeing” problems or being able to somewhat anticipate or change a traumatic event.  There may be more to the story but from everything you’ve described it was a pretty unforeseen outcome, and you can’t hold yourself accountable for that.  No one is perfect and we all make mistakes (it’s how we learn!).  But even though you aren’t perfect, you will be perfect for the woman that is your match, and vice versa.  The right woman for you would only see your flaws as minor frustrations or temporary setbacks – simply things for you both to work through as your love deepens.

    I think what you’ve said about the assumptions we often leap to in online dating is a perfect example of why it often sets us up for failure.  It may be a better use of your time to find ways just to get out and meet people without any attachment to outcome, and while doing some kind of activity you like.  You’ll likely meet some really lovely woman when you least expect to, when it’s the furthest possible thing from your mind.

    And don’t beat yourself up for feeling lonely or desiring a perfect someone to fill the void.  We all feel that when we’re single and it’s perfectly normal and part of being human.  I have been single mostly for about a year now, and have had moments of loneliness, so I totally get what you’re feeling.  We would all love that special someone to come home to, to share our day with, to go on adventures with, to have deep and meaningful chats with, etc.   It’s especially torturous when you’ve had and experienced that (which it sounds like you have), because the happiness of being with a special someone is so magical and so delicious.  So life sometimes feels strange and unsatisfying in the absence of that once we have but tasted it.

    You don’t need to feel like you derive your sense of worth from anyone else.  You could use this time of being single productively, to get to a point where you can derive your sense of worth and purpose from yourself and yourself alone.  I truly feel that is the way forward for you.

    What do you feel you are most looking for from a partner?  What kind of traits and qualities are you most attracted to?  It may really help you to visualise those – while you get on with the business of making your life as happy as it can be while you are on your own for now.  That way you will more readily recognise it when it comes along.

    You’re a beautiful human, and you should never feel like you’re not good enough.  You are good enough.  Don’t give up hoping for a better tomorrow.

    White Desann

    Hi Anita,


    yes, you are correct – I am impatient. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I feel time is passing by while I remain stuck; I feel like any idle day is a useless day, and the more days pass the less desirable I become. I know it is foolish, and maybe a symptom of the hectic lifestyle I have grown accustomed to (almost as if I have a deadline to achieve happiness) – but I look around me and see others moving forward while I stagnate. It feels like I do not have the luxury to be patient.

    Your mental image is interesting – and while I do consider myself educated and intelligent, I do not think I am particularly gifted; surely not made of precious stones. But the storms are indeed there, and yes, I need to learn how to mitigate them. Thank you for your advice.

    Damien – yes, there is more to that story; I did not want to delve too much into details though. I surely have my downsides, I do not want to claim I am always 100% the best partner ever (I am an INTJ, after all). As a matter of fact, though, my exes always wanted to remain friends with me (which is something I was not able to do, for my own sanity) and stated they still care about me – which tells me that, whatever I did wrong, it was not something that made them utterly despise me.

    Whatever the case, I see your point. As said, maybe I am spoiled – maybe I expect things to always go well, despite reality seldom cooperates. We have all been there, right?
    As for your question, I have thought about it in the past. Clearly, what I need is stability, with someone spontaneous and honest. I need to be able to relax my mind without being in constant fear of being left behind due to every minor mistake. I am always on edge, always double guessing myself and always ruminating. This is evident in my recent dates too – I am not able to accept anything less than perfect behaviour from me, in fear that every little thing can be fatal. “Did I give her the right answer?” “Did I ask the right question at the right time?” “Am I talking too much? Too little? Am I coming across too shy? Too forward? Is this really me talking or the person I want to be?” – you get the idea. I am insecure, in short. And yes, I need to work on that myself, without expecting others to fix that.


    I am 34 but I feel like a teenager. Shame on me. This is probably due to pretty much skipping my adolescence, busy reading countless books and play videogames instead of experiencing the wonders of interpersonal drama.


    Thanks again for your invaluable help. I will hold your advices dear.

    • This reply was modified 8 months, 1 week ago by White Desann.

    Dear White Desann,

    I totally respect that you wouldn’t want to share everything on a forum.

    INTJ is one of the truly lovely types!  I have known a couple of INTJs in my time – usually people of great integrity and intellectual depth.  I myself am ISFJ.

    I agree with your deduction about your exes.  It says a lot about who you are, that they both wanted to remain friends with you.

    Ruminating, being on edge, worrying about mistakes – all clear symptoms of anxiety, and a specific type of anxiety.  It takes one to know one.  It sounds to me like you have an unrelenting standards schema.  I’ve had schema therapy for that myself.  It’s important that you realise that no partner will remove that inner voice of criticism from you, but there’s a good chance that a therapist that you connect with / have a rapport with would.  It’s self work and not relationship work really that will be the key.  Schema therapy really helped me minimise that critical voice in my own head (that inner perfectionism – holding myself to extremely high standards), which generated a lot of inner anxiety.  The most hilarious example of this from my own life (from the benefit of hindsight – though it was a little sad) was when I was once chopping carrots while preparing dinner for my ex-partner, and I became anxious when I realised I had not cut them perfectly and feared she would reject me for being a bad cook.  It’s hilariously absurd in hindsight, but I was genuinely stressed about it!

    If you can’t find a schema therapist in your area, I can suggest a book (and any related literature) that might really help you work through stuff on your own.  It has a whole chapter dedicated to unrelenting standards schemas and how they are rooted in our childhood development.  The book is called ‘Reinventing Your Life:  The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behaviour and Feel Great Again’ by Young and Klosko.

    Absolutely though, we all deserve stability and honesty from a partner.

    I too spent much of my teens with my head in books and videogames.  If anything though, that experience gave you the depth and intellectual rigour that you have to this day.  What a precious gift and an asset that you can bring to any future relationship!  You are far, far deeper than a kiddy pool… and the kind of man that the right kind of intellectual woman would be so intrigued by, to the point of finding you irresistible.

    You’re very welcome and I hope at least some of the above offers a valuable perspective on things in your journey.


    Dear White Desann:

    “I’m impatient.. time is passing by while I remain stuck.. I stagnate. It feels like I do not have the luxury to be patient”- I agree, you don’t have the luxury to be patiently stuck, patiently stagnating. I meant that you need to be patient with the process it takes to un-stuck yourself and move forward toward love relationship and marriage, which is what you want.

    You wrote about emotional storms, storms of unpleasant emotions: “the storms are indeed there, and yes, I need to learn how to mitigate them”- it takes engaging in a process of learning how to mitigate those storms, particularly your frequent storms of fear (“constant fear of being left behind due to every minor mistake. I am always on edge.. in fear that every little thing can be fatal”).

    The process of mitigating fear storms includes committing to a daily routine of aerobic exercise (brisk walking or swimming will do), daily two or more guided meditations with the theme of Mindfulness, carrying a figurative tool-box with a variety of tools. For example, time-out, is such a tool. Another is a list of distractions, such as taking a short walk when particularly anxious, listening to music, even playing a computer game, whatever fits the place, time and situation you are in. And more.


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