I’ve been a fan of your website for a while now, and a lot of what you write really speaks to me. I was wondering if you could help me out with an issue I’ve been having. I am, by all objective accounts, a pretty attractive guy. I’m a little on the short end, but I work out a lot, dress nicely enough, and I stay well-groomed. I am, after all, an Officer in the US Navy.
However, I can’t get out of my own head when it comes to dating. Any interaction with a woman turns quickly into over-analysis followed shortly thereafter by self-loathing. My internal dialogue ends up being along the lines of, “This girl is not being receptive because I’m too fat/short/ugly,” or “I am too fat/short/ugly to talk to this girl.” This has not worked out too terribly for me, as I am not a virgin, and have had girlfriends in the past, but it’s no way to meet someone I could actually settle down with.
A week or so ago, in an attempt to expand my comfort zone, I went on my first Tinder date. I thought it went phenomenally. We bantered, we laughed, we talked about our families and our hopes and dreams and at the end she said that she’d like to do this again. We texted a couple times after that, but then she stopped responding. I quickly went from elation to self-loathing and complete preoccupation with this girl. The fact that she didn’t respond reinforced all my initial aversion to talking to women. I fear rejection not because of public humiliation or anything like that, but rather the fact that rejection makes me hate myself. My question is what do I do about this? How can I get myself to a point where a rejection or a fade-away doesn’t make me question my worth as a human being, or more specifically, a man?