Doc, I’ll get to the point: I feel like a loser.
In addition to student loans, a bad credit score, not being able to drive properly, living with my overbearing mother, I’m bitter over being single and rejected.
Yeah I know its my fault. I’m almost 23 and Ive never had a girlfriend. I was fat and had self esteem issues and mostly didn’t care in high school so I didn’t start asking out girls till late in college. One girl from HS, I told her on Facebook I had a crush on her, she blocked me. Three years ago I asked out this girl I had a crush on in college but I asked her out over email, then in person, got the I’m busy, I didn’t know till later that “busy” means no.
I tried to stay friendly with her on Facebook she blocked me. I tried to confront her she tells me don’t talk to her.
I admit I needed better game, I could have dressed better, should have been slimmer, probably creeped her out but I went through 5 stages of grief with ongoing periods or regret, resentment and bitterness.
As selfish as it sounds, I was angry because I felt like my feelings didn’t matter. And of course they didn’t, she had the right to say no and I had the right to ask. But I still felt like a loser.
Since then I have asked out and have been rejected by at least 370 women, if you include computer dating maybe 410 and I have had 6 coffee dates. But the rejection from this girl from college still weighs on me.
I had to see her every day at school, my heart and my stomach would ache, I saw how she’d avoid me when I walked into a room. I saw the guy she was dating (and is now married to); I don’t know him personally but he is about an inch or two taller than me (Im 6ft 4) and he actually looks sort of looks like me.
Sometimes I felt so angry I felt like beating her up (thought); other times I would stew over this and everything else. Sometimes I’ve thought about suicide. No, I’m not suicidal, Im just angry.
I already know dwelling on the past won’t help, nothing I do will change anything that happened yesterday, I shouldn’t be a victim since I’m free and educated and able bodied, but it just feels like all my efforts to change go in vain. I work out, lost weight, I travel, I even went to France to get a Master’s degree and met people abroad. But Im still the same bitter, depressed angry person that hates his life. Even though I lost 100 pounds I feel worse now than ever before.
How do I break this cycle?
Alright, RL, I’m going to be blunt with you: you fucked up. And the second-most important problem right now is that you don’t realize how you fucked up. Before you can progress, you’re going to have to understand what happened here and why things were going so badly for you.
And I’m not going to lie: I’m about to kick seven shades of shit out of you. This is Chair Leg of Truth territory. So, buckle up man. This is gonna hurt. But I promise you: knuckle down, grit your teeth and learn from this and things will get better.
But first… the reason why things went so incredibly badly for you is that you didn’t just ask people out, you were actively creepy. You don’t give enough details about your friend in high-school, but your story about your college crush gives me a pretty good idea about happened. See, it’s not that you asked her out. It’s that, first you asked her out over email, then asked her out again in person. I’m more than willing to bet that you didn’t get a response. But here’s the thing: no answer is an answer: it’s “no”. So this woman tried to do the conflict-aversion thing and didn’t respond… but then you missed the point and asked her out again in person. So now, you’re telling her that either you missed her hint or you weren’t taking “no” for an answer… which is deeply creepy. This was only confirmed for her when she had to block you on Facebook, and then you confronted her over being blocked.
Fucking hell dude. A large, imposing guy who’s getting in her face about why she won’t talk to him? As far as she was concerned, you’re giving off major “DANGER, DANGER” vibes. That may not be what you intended but intent ain’t magic, especially when somebody else’s safety is concerned.
Being thinner wasn’t going to make a difference. Dressing better wasn’t going to make it better. Having better game wasn’t going to make a difference because at this point you weren’t behaving like a potential date, you were behaving like a potential threat. When you make someone worry that you’re a danger to their person, there ain’t no amount of game or abs that’re gonna pull out a win.
Frankly, you should thank whatever things you hold holy that you didn’t end up having a conversation with campus security over this.
And here’s what’s holding you back right now: you haven’t accepted or owned what you did here. You aren’t the victim here. She didn’t maliciously reject you because fuck you penis, that’s why, she was telling you that you were scaring the fuck out of her with your behavior.
And to be honest: the anger you’re holding onto right now isn’t making things any better. This was three years ago. With where you are in your life, that’s practically ancient fucking history. I don’t think you’re actually going to go beat her up but Nine Hells dude, none of this is healthy. And I can all but guarantee you that this is what’s salting your game with the other women you’re trying to date.
So here’s what you need to do. First of all: you have to own this. You fucked up. You fucked up hard. But until you take responsibility for it, then you aren’t going to be able to learn from this so you don’t fuck up again. But just as importantly: you have to forgive yourself and let this go. Yes, you fucked up. But if you can accept that, forgive yourself for fucking up and make a point to not fuck up again, then you’ll be able to move forward.
And one thing I very strongly suggest is that you start talking to a counselor. A counselor or therapist will be able to help you learn to process this frustration you’re feeling into ways that are healthy for you and everyone around you. Holding on to all that bitterness and resentment is going to eat away at you, physically and emotionally.
The thing to realize is that you’re not a fuck-up. Shit dude, you’ve got a lot of things going for you. Yeah, you have some crappy circumstances – like many, many people out there – but you’ve done a lot and you have a lot of potential awesomeness ahead of you. But not until you let go of your past mistakes and learn how to deal with your present.
I only just learned about this place, and have been reading your stuff a lot. I found your writing of the Geek Girl to be amazing. But I myself have run into a little bit of a problem.
I am currently a 20 year old college student. I’ve always been friendly, but I’ve also always had major confidence and inferiority issues (luckily I’ve been able to move past a lot of them recently with some therapy). I’ve never actually been in a relationship before because of that. I’ve recently moved to new town as I’ve transferred schools. One of the things my therapist has recommended for me was to let this change be a new start for me, and actually try out dating someone casually. I have actually found someone here who I am hitting it off with pretty well, but that’s not why I’m writing.
No, my problem is that recently not 1, not 2, but 4 people I’ve known before my move here have told me that they had/have a thing for me and that if I’d asked them out they would have said yes (and probably would have said yes the last time I saw them in person). One of those people I’d actually had a crush on myself. Now, I know this isn’t some giant plan they made to mess with me. This really was just a big coincidence. I’m also not really planing on falling back to one of them, even the one that said they currently had feelings for me. I’m trying to start something with someone new.
So really my problem is…I don’t really know how to deal with this new information. Like I said, I have no real experience with relationships, and I had no idea any of these people felt this way about me. I’m just kind of confused why some of them would bring it up and now I don’t really know how to interact with them from here. This question may just boil down to me missing something obvious or me overthinking this, but I just don’t it at the moment. I’d love to here what your thoughts on this matter is.
Out of the Blue
Don’t overthink things OttB. The reason why they’re telling you now is because they realize they aren’t likely to see you again for a while and wanted to get this crush off their chests before you disappear from their lives.
What do you do with this new information? Take it as a sign that you shouldn’t hesitate when you’re interested in someone. If you’re interested in somebody, go ahead and ask them out on a date. Sure, you may get turned down… but you may also find that this person you like has been dying for you to ask them already.
Hi Doctor! I’m currently reading New Game +, finding it a pleasure and interesting reading. I have a question about honesty though. You wrote: “Being honest about your intentions cuts through the confusion and the bullshit. It means nobody ever has to wonder what’s really going on (“Was this a date? I don’t know if this was a date” or “I can’t tell if he’s looking to date me or just to sleep with me”). It simplifies your life immensely.”
Let’s say I’ve just met a girl at University or at a party, I added her on Facebook and we’ve had a bit of neutral chit-chat. After some days of chatting, and maybe a coffee or some hour spent studying together at the library (all of them neutral activity: I’m summarizing my standard M.O.), I ask her to go to the cinema or to the local theater. Should I say “hey, that’s a date by the way”? Doesn’t it sound a lot awkward – especially if we haven’t spent time before (no coffee, no studying: maybe she’s living in a different town, she’s very introvert and so on)?
Thanks in advance for your answer and your time. I’m only at the beginning of your book but it’s already helping me improving myself, without the no-so-subtle creepiness of similar PUA books.
Short version: yes.
Slightly longer version: as a general rule, you want to be upfront about your interest with someone, esp. when you’re inviting them on a date. This is why statements of intent are helpful: “I’d love to take you on a date; what are you doing this Saturday? There’s a show I wanted to see, and I think you’d really enjoy it.”
The phrasing isn’t as important as the clarity. Yes, it can be a little awkward at times… but awkwardness can also be cute and endearing. People have built entire careers on being adorkable.
So just be up front. If you can be smooth about it, then great. But if not… enh, own the awkward and make it work for you.
Hi Dr. NerdLove,
I recently came across your article on deal breakers and found it incredibly insightful and appreciated the way you handled such a sensitive topic. Going so far as to address deal breakers/preferences based on social stigma and biases was nice to see for once.
I’ve never written to blogger for advice before but based on that piece I figured why not. I am a 22-year-old recent college grad who has a firm understanding of what I want in life and my goals. I’m looking for a long term relationship with an ambitious partner.
I very rarely come across people that spark my interest and who I feel I can open up to.
I’ve met someone new in a city that has been nothing but terrible date after terrible date. He is 29, ambitious and very smart. We clicked immediately and spent the entire day of our first date together. It was great! I was happy to finally meet someone that was easy to talk to, enjoyed the same things as I and I could banter with. We continued seeing each other multiple times a week and communicating regularly. We were both upfront and honest about our feelings and what we were looking for.
We were talking about life, sex, and worse case scenarios and he shared that he does not ever want to have biological children and that he is not comfortable with sleeping with a partner who isn’t on hormonal birth control, doesn’t have an IUD or in the case of pregnancy, would not get an abortion (I am pro-choice though). Despite the fact that we are very fond of each other and both wanted to pursue a relationship, he told me that this was a deal breaker for him.
We still see each other and try to keep it strictly platonic and be friends, but we both find it difficult. He has asked to give him space which I have.
When we talked about it more, he said he decided he didn’t want kids at a young age. He hasn’t gotten a vasectomy yet because he isn’t 100% sure he will never want kids and he needs to think about it again now that he’s older. I found this confusing and wanted to know what your thoughts were.
Is this something that I can talk to him about and see if he changes his minds and wants to pursue a relationship or is there no chance at all?
Thanks in advance!
Deal or No Deal?
With some deal breakers, you can find a middle-ground. A smoker dating a non-smoker might get nicotine gum or a vaporizer so that the non-smoking partner didn’t have to smell or taste the smoke on their snugglebunny, for example.
Others… don’t really have a middle-ground. Kids are one of them. You can’t really compromise with kids; either you have them or you don’t. And 99.999% of the time, people of either gender who don’t want kids aren’t going to change their minds. It’s one thing to say he’s “not sure” – which sounds more like he’s interested in you rather than in children – but it’s another when you’ve been together for 3 years, 5 years, 10 years and you’re still waiting for him to make up his mind.
If he, say, decided to get a vasectomy, he could freeze some sperm as a hedge against future child-having decisions. Or he could be a foster parent to a child in need. But odds are he’s thought these things through already. If it were something he were seriously considering, then odds are he would have already taken steps.
So, if you want a relationship with this guy, then you really need to go in with your eyes open and realize that children are likely off the table. If that’s a price of entry you’re willing to pay, then bless you both. But if it isn’t, going in to a relationship in hopes that you can change his mind is only going to hurt everyone involved.