Dealing with Apathy, Anger, and Desperation (in Dating)

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Worm_In_My_Chest92 asks:

Alright, so, 4.5 years ago me and my ex broke up. Loved her and always will, no one will ever understand, yadda yadda. I’m 24 in 2 weeks. Since then, no girl I talk to comes close to her, in any way physically or otherwise. I’ve spoken with three girls who I would actually date but were (very) short-lived flings. And I’ve hooked up with a lot of unattractive girls. Most of which left me feeling gross, guilty, and even more alone than before. I’m not particularly unattractive or boring, I’m not lazy, and in my last relationship I gave so much love, and so did she.

I feel like I’m wasting my 20’s and missing my chance (did I ever have any chance?) Everyone is getting engaged and any attractive girl has had a string of boyfriends since highschool, including my ex. Most recently talked to a really attractive (2 months single) girl. We hung out, had her in bed, kissing etc. Thought my wait was finally over, next day was pure silence followed by “not ready for a relationship thing” text, followed by more awkward silence.

Okay then. Here’s to another 4.5 years.


Demetrius says:

Listen, I know what it’s like to feel a mix of apathy, anger, and desperation in dating. Trust me though, in this *specific* situation, it’s probably not as bleak as you think. At the very least, you can control how you move forward.

Before we get to how to move forward, let’s address the actual points you made: 

  • “no girl I talk to comes close to her, in any way physically or otherwise”Probably because you’re still hung up on her? It’s entirely possible that is what is holding you back from meeting someone who can measure up. I know you want to think that no one could measure up but I promise you, there are tons of people more attractive and more charming than your ex in the world.
  • “And I’ve hooked up with a lot of unattractive girls. Most of which left me feeling gross, guilty, and even more alone than before.” Here’s a tip: Stop doing things that make you feel gross, guilty, or lonely in dating. Just because you’re a dude doesn’t mean you have to be okay with casual sex, it’s not for everyone. You’re creating your own suffering. Stop doing that.
  • “Everyone is getting engaged and any attractive girl has had a string of boyfriends since highschool, including my ex.”Compare and Despair. Some people meet the love of their life at 20, some at 50 after a divorce or two. Everyone has a different timetable when it comes to finding love.
  • “We hung out, had her in bed, kissing etc. Thought my wait was finally over, next day was pure silence followed by “not ready for a relationship thing” text, followed by more awkward silence.” – Look, that’s just how dating works. You meet someone, it either works or it doesn’t. Each failed dating experience is not a sign that you’ll die alone. If anything, it should be a sign that you’re still charming enough to meet someone, it’s just that they want different things right now.
  • did I ever have any chance? – Until you’re dead, there is ALWAYS a chance that you’ll meet someone

More than anything, you don’t really have context for what it’s actually like to be single and dating as an adult, and maybe that’s why you’re feeling such intense despondency. If you’ve been single for 4.5 years, and you’re about to turn 24 years old, that means that the last time you were single, you were 19 years old. Nine. Teen. Years. Old. The last time you were dating, you probably couldn’t even go on real dates. On top of that, I’m guessing that where ever you’re from, it’s probably pretty normal for folks to get married a lot younger than they might in New York or L.A., so that’s only adding to your skewed perspective on dating, and your odds of finding love. It’s easy to feel apathetic when your vision of dating is one in which you’re either a success or a failure at 23 years old.

I understand feeling anger and desperation in your situation, so don’t think I can’t empathize with you. There have been times in my dating life where I just wanted someone, anyone, to connect with, and no matter how hard I tried, how well written my dating profiles were, or how much I lowered my standards, I couldn’t find anyone to connect with. I understand what it’s like to feel like you aren’t alone. There have been times where I’ve felt anger because of dating slights, both big and small. It’s understandable to feel angry and desperate when the one thing you want more than anything is completely out of your grasp, and you don’t see a clear path to get it. I understand the anger, and the desperation, but apathy? Nah. I wont let you do that to yourself.

The only way that you could be wasting your chance to date in your 20s is by actively not trying to date. Sure, you can get discouraged, we all get discouraged, but if you want something you have to work for it. If you try and fail, try again until you succeed. And then keep trying. It’s okay to take a break from dating from time to time if it gets to be a bit overwhelming, but if you’re on a quest for love, you need to actually go out and search for it. Resigning yourself to years of unhappiness because you’re currently unhappy is the surest way to prove yourself right. You wont find love if you’re not looking for it. That little voice in your head that tells you that your love life is hopeless is a liar.

Stop listening to it

 

There is always hope, there’s always a way, if you’re willing to fight for it. You can get the things you want in life and in love, but they’ll require work. For some people, it’s harder than others, but it’s not completely hopeless until you give up. You might not find your perfect match tomorrow, or next year, but if you continue fighting for what you want, you’ll get it eventually. Love is never out of reach if you keep fighting for it.

Good Luck Out There.

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