Hello Dr. NerdLove:
I’m a man in my early thirties. Growing up throughout my adolescence and, until I was around 25, I didn’t had any kind of sexual or even a casual relationship with any woman. I didn’t go to parties or any kind of social events, my job was menial and going nowhere and I didn’t have many friends. At that point I had just given up and had decided that sex, relationships and love was not for me. However, around that time I met a woman which basically did all the heavy lifting involved at the beginning (flirting with me, asking me out, inviting me to her house, go for the kiss, etc). We started dating not long after and it was with her that I started becoming a grown man (losing my virginity, learning to plan things, learning to drive and move through the city, go to parties, etc).
I never thought of my girlfriend as ugly, but I didn’t find her very attractive either. Everything was so new at the beginning that I didn’t think much of her looks. As time passed I started noticing other girls and me being a more mature, social and responsible man, girls started noticing me too. I’ve never stopped loving my girlfriend but the physical attraction was eventually gone and my desire to be with other women was increasing, so eventually we had an amicable break up.
Over this past few years I’ve been attending therapy and working on several aspects of myself that need improving both mentally and physically. Even though I can’t say I am a fulfilled man, I can really see a difference from the man I was when I was 25 years old, but the issue I have now is that I don’t really know how to establish a connection with women I am attracted to. When the person is very attractive, I don’t really behave like myself but I pretend to be different. Fortunately, this is I problem I have identified by now, but I don’t know how to resolve it. Being myself around attractive women makes me very nervous and anxious, even if my real self tends to be very likeable by other people.
Over the past few years I have only been with a handful of women, and with all of them at most I felt some mild attraction. The problem is I can’t really build any kind of relationship with these women because I am unable to have sex with them. This is in part because I don’t find them very attractive and partly because I masturbate a lot just to unload all this sexual desire that I have in me.
I know that part of the solution is to stop masturbating so that I have enough of libido to have sex with real people, but since the only people that like me are not very attractive I can’t really find the motivation to stop.
As I final note I want to say that I’m really desperate at this moment and I really would like to find a woman to have a relationship with, which unfortunately is something that some women are able notice and obviously drives them off. I know this part would be resolved by working on some personal or professional goals but unfortunately I’m really apathetic towards life in general, I don’t like anything and I don’t care about anything, I haven’t given up but I don’t expect to find the answer soon and I would like to not be alone until I do.
So my questions are:
How can build a connection with people I do find attractive?
How can I look past physical attractiveness and have a relationship with a woman I don’t find very good looking but is funny and kind?
How can I stop being so desperate about having a relationship?
How can I stop masturbating if I am not having sex either?
Lustful, Lonely and Lost