Dear Dr. NerdLove:
I’m 26 years old and finally graduated college, now I’m feeling an incredible amount of fear and anxiety about the future. Especially when I wanted 2020 to be a year where I could finally feel satisfied with my life. Obviously a lot has gone wrong this year and it’s even harder to meet people now than before and I feel extremely depressed and start to think I’ll never meet someone even though I know that isn’t true.
So many people have told me for so long that I’ll meet somebody and “It’s going to happen” and other sorts of positive compliments that feel meaningless when it’s been 8 years now and still I’ve never met someone who wants to date me. I’ve had close female friendships that I value dearly, I do know how to talk to women when I feel comfortable with them. It’s just the matter of introducing myself that I struggle with. And I never seem to be able to make it to the next step and I figure all the words of encouragement don’t mean anything really.
In general I have social anxiety and don’t do well in crowded areas with loud noises even if recently I’ve learned to manage it somewhat. I’ve also never had a job in my life, other than a decent amount of volunteer work, which also makes it scary to imagine meeting a lot of new people. I have Asperger’s syndrome and I’m on the autistic spectrum if that clears anything up on why my life seems so empty, though that may be my own negative projection talking.
Lately has been especially rough since I’ve started to feel really isolated from my family and I don’t feel I can really connect with them and I’ve lost two friends that I’ve known for a few years and while it was my decision to end the friendships when they both moved away while I was graduating college, for a variety of reasons, it still hurts a lot that I haven’t seen a friend in person in two or three months.
My family I’ve spent too much time with really, they’re kind of cloying unfortunately and don’t really seem to want me to move on and grow up. More than anything I just want to no longer feel alone, even if that’s a hard thing to quantify. I’ve felt alone for a long time and the quarantine has made it worse, right now is possibly the loneliest I’ve ever felt. I keep telling myself I can make it through it and I intend to I just don’t know how long it will take or what that will look like so right now is an emotional endurance test for me. I just really would appreciate any and all advice you can give me when it feels like I have almost no one in my life to help me right now for emotional support.
Trying To Look Forward