Looking for advice…

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    I just feel lost. Very lost and numb. I’m in my late thirties and although it seems like I have a great life, I’m quietly struggling to get through most days. I have a limited social life and have been single for many years. Most of my ‘love relationships’ last a few months and then disintegrate into nothing.

    My most recent experience in dating ended (it was a 4 month relationship) after I told him that it hurt me that he kept me a secret from his family. He saw his family almost every day and he wouldn’t even talk to me on the phone when they were in the same room with him. I felt he was embarrassed of me. His response was that he was very private and didn’t talk about his romantic relationships with his family. Our time together was basically restricted to Friday evenings; a time when he knew his family wouldn’t drop by his house. Initially I was proud of myself for voicing my opinion and being true to myself and recognizing my feelings. However, now I feel insecure, weak and unsure. The relationship is finished, and once again, I’m sad. I enjoyed spending time with him and our dates were the highlight of my week. Maybe I didn’t make the right decision?

    In addition, it looks like I will be transferred from my current office (which is close to home) to one which is possibly an hour commute away. I’m trying to keep my anxiety in check, but with a limited social life, my time alone is often spent thinking, and more thinking.

    How do I cope right now? I’ve already lived through two episodes of depression and really don’t want to revisit it. I’m scared.


    Firstly, some opinionated opinion from the priceless pages of my asshat opinions: you don’t need to be some dude’s dirty little secret. You were right not to put up with that bullshit. You done right, girl.

    Secondly. You seem to have a good handle on the things that aren’t helping you. You mention your limited social life twice. You mention the thinking and more thinking. You’re struggling with anxiety and depression, and you’re scared, and that’s very understandable. This is scary stuff.

    So helpful things might be the opposites of the things you mention. Expanding your social life. Spending less time thinking over your situation. Being courageous. These things are not easy. I had a very small social circle, tried different things to make more friends, and it took me years to finally make it work (but I did). And there wasn’t a magic formula, I just did the things they tell you to do: get out there, take classes, join the local theatre group, volunteer, yadda yadda, you know the drill. And it’s so, so hard, especially if you’re also up against your own anxiety. But in the end I did find my people, and I made some friends, and it got easier.

    Keep pushing, but not so hard that it’ll exhaust you. Make sure you’re comfortable, and just lean into it a little. Step by step expand your sense of what you are capable of, and the kind of person you are. I used to give myself little gold stars if I managed to make small talk with someone I didn’t know well (yep, really). Now I can casually flirt with people. And there’s nothing I can point to to say: there, that’s what changed. I just tried as best I could.

    All my best wishes.


    Don’t be scared. I too struggle with social anxiety and bouts of occasional depression. You were totally right for bringing that issue up to him and should in no way feel insecure for what you did. No one wants to be treated like a secret to someone that thought they mattered too. You stood up for something you felt strongly about. That’s 1 point toward your self esteem 🙂 Great Job. Keep pushing!


    Thanks for your advice. It’s reassuring to know that others feel that I made the right decision. When I’m sitting on the couch alone, I begin to question, and dwell on (!!) my own actions. I present myself as a strong person, but in truth, I have a lot of trouble appreciating myself.

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