I'm alone and have never had a relationship before

Submitted by darksim on
Printer-friendly version

I've posted some of this before on the Psychology Today: As porn goes up, performance goes down" blog but wanted to share it here too for a wider audience.

I'm a 38 year old male. I've NEVER had a relationship with a woman before or had sex in my life, not for lack of trying, but because no-one has ever wanted to be anything more than friends. Women seem to almost freak at the thought of being romantic or that I could even have a romantic interest in them. I have never even kissed a girl or even known a girl to be interested in me or even say that they find me attractive (so it's not a case of that there are people but I have rejected them). People have flippantly said to me in the past that they're sure that someone must've been atracted to me but I probably never knew it, but I am quite sure that has never been the case. You can tell certain things about women and their general openness or receptiveness to you. Some women are naturally friendly, and when people have erroneously suggested that these women are interested in me, they have been totally off the mark. No-one has EVER expressed an interest, directly or indirectly.

I do mix a lot with girls but at the end of the day, women don't want anything more with me than just a friend. I would say though that I've never been on anything that is unambiguously a romantic date in my life. Yes, I've been on one-on-one social encounters or appointments with women which people might classify as a kind of casual date. However, it has never been that these women know that I am asking them on a date but simply meeting up for a drink (or very rarely, dinner) as friends and nothing more. If I were to even suggest something more, alarm bells start going off for them and they tend to flee.

I've worked on lots of qualities to make myself more attractive, but the sad thing is that women seem to have a certain image of what they would like, and I don't fit that image. I can be more outgoing, fun and personable, and people do openly acknowledge that I'm super talented in many areas (I'm not boasting here but just stating what others have remarked). Many women say that they would like men with certain qualities (eg character, kind heartedness etc - all the things based less on appearance), but ultimately the women I know are still very much influenced by appearance. I do have many of these qualities they seek, but how would they ever know I have these if they are always judging me by my appearance and never taking the time to get to know me? People have remarked (usually either male friends or female ones who are already married/in a relationship) that I really do have a lot to offer and are baffled as to how I am still alone after all this time.

I do mix with many people and have made a number of friends of both sexes over the years, but eventually people move on or get married etc, and I end up the odd one out eventually in that I'm always the only single one left and don't fit in with my former friends after a while who are all paired up sooner or later.

It has been a hard, lonely time, and while I try to be very social and go to lots of parties, it just becomes an endless string of social activities that feels empty at the end of the day because there's nothing ever meaningful that comes out of it. As I am extremely lonely (and understandably have lost confidence and self esteem), naturally I have turned to porn to take away some of the pain and loneliness. I don't think it's a viable solution, but because I have nothing else at the moment, and there is no future on the horizon with any woman, this is what I've used to dull the pain. I know this is probably also a topic for the porn addiction section, but I wanted to discuss it here too. I wouldn't say that my lonely condition justifies my addiction to porn at all, but at 38, living a life without anyone and never having experienced any kind of romantic love or affection, or never having known someone to even be attracted to me can be too much for me sometimes.

I know that I don't have ridiculously high standards for women based on unrealistic ideals from these porn stars. I never have. I don't seek women who would look like porn stars at all. I really don't like women with fake boobs who cheapen themselves and have no sense of dignity or self respect. I would be happy for just a normal, girl-next-door type who isn't all dolled up. Of course, I would still need to be attracted to her, but I'm not asking for someone who looks like a supermodel at all. On the other hand, I do know a lot of attractive women and am friends with them, and since many of them are in my every day circle of friends it's not like my standard is going to be too high. These are the girls who are around me and happen to attractive too. I have even lowered my standards before to such a degree that I once tried to date a woman who (at first glance) looked like a man. I'm not exaggerating here. I thought that she looked ugly but figured that if I'm not exactly considered attractive by women, then this is the best I'm going to get and that beggars can't be choosers. I thought that I should try to look beyond the physical appearance and get to know her as a person. However, even she wasn't interested in me even though I really tried to see the beauty in her and was genuinely prepared to give her a chance. I've since realised that I can't go to the opposite extreme and lower my standards that much that I go for someone whom I'm completely unattracted to.

I wouldn't ever want to visit a hooker just to satisfy that need for sex, as I'm not after empty sex with just any hot girl, or with any girl at all for that matter. It's not sex that I want but intimacy. I want a close, meaningful relationship with a normal girl and someone I love who would love me in return. Sex would be the expression of that love at the right time.

Another thing people have said to me flippantly in the past is that they're sure I'll eventually find someone. However, I remember them saying that 20 years ago, and even 10 years ago or 5 years ago. Time however has continued to pass and nothing has ever emerged on the romantic front. The thought of me actually being with a girl feels as imaginary as unicorns. It does not even seem within the realms of reality.

Apart from no romantic prospects on the horizon, I have had extreme trouble finding any kind of work. I am very well qualified, intelligent, have good interpersonal skills and can work well as part of a team and have a lot to offer, but have been unemployed for a long period of time. This too is taking its toll on me and driving me into a state of despair. I have made so many hundreds of job applications but it hasn't led to anything. I've tried to capitalise on different skills I have to offer and tried to do things differently (rather than trying in the same old way) but no-one seems interested to give me a chance. I've even applied for voluntary positions but even with that, I can't seem to make any headway. I'm offering my services for free and still people don't want me. I am sure that my unemployed state is having an effect on my social life, but then, even when I have been employed in the past, I haven't been any more attractive or eligible to women.
I know that if I had some kind of meaningful work - well, even any kind of work - that I would feel I have more purpose in life and more self esteem, and also more to say to women (at the moment I feel I have nothing to talk about as I don't want to keep talking about my struggle to find work). It would also mean that I would have less time on my hands and less time to view porn. Whenever I've felt that I'm doing something productive and creative with my time, I've somehow felt less of a need for porn. But right now, because I have no direction to my life, even the creative outlets I do have (as pastimes etc) I feel no motivation to engage in.

At the moment I feel in such despair both work wise and on the romantic front that I feel like giving up on life sometimes. I literally cannot see any hope for a future of any sort right now.

I'm sorry for your pain

This is a very tough planet for relationships. Period. Especially now. So don't think you're hopelessly flawed. You aren't.

Have you asked any of your female friends if they can think of anyone to fix you up with? Have you tried online dating? Sometimes you just need a bit of practice and your instincts shift.

Just for fun, draw a picture of yourself and start putting the positive qualities you have, and want to have on the picture. Add new ones whenever you think of something negative (by choosing the opposite quality). For example, be sure to put "chick magnet" on there. Smile Then put the list away for a few weeks. The purpose of the exercise is to help your subconscious reprogram a bit...to jump-start it. Smile

*big hug*

Thanks for the suggestions,

Thanks for the suggestions, especially with the picture thing.

I've tried online dating before. I haven't had very much success though or even very much responses, particularly when I put my picture up or show them my picture. Indeed, often once I show my picture they seem to stop corresponding. The problem with online dating too is that you can end up having a pen pal with whom you correspond and share things for a while without having a sense of their actual personality or chemistry with you. I do prefer to meet these people in real life as soon as possible, but as mentioned, this hasn't really happened so far, except for once where we didn't have anything in common to talk about.

I have also asked female friends to set me up. The problem is twofold unfortunately.

1) I am of Oriental descent but completely brought up as a Westerner. I do not think like an Oriental or adopt any of their cultures. This has often posed a problem with girls and with the idea of setting me up with others. It's not that I am against girls of Oriental descent myself, but I don't want to be automatically pigeon-holed by others into thinking that, just because a girl is also Oriental I will instantly be attracted to them. I am attracted to girls of different races. However, I have grown up in a Western culture and, for all intents and purposes, am Western other than my appearance. I speak and write better English than many English people, and yet people often make assumptions about me. People will sometimes say to me "I know someone who would be perfect for you" and then it turns out to be another Asian girl who can sometimes barely speak any English or, if they can speak English, are culturally very different from me. Now I'm not against cross cultural relationships, but they can be harder, and many Westerners even accept this themselves. However, when it comes to me, they seem to have a double standard because they think, just because I look foreign, that suddenly that will make up for any cultural difficulties with this other girl. I have even heard it said to me several times that I should just find someone of the "same" nationality even if they don't speak English, because we will have that Asian heritage in common and it will make things easier for us. I find this extremely ignorant and almost racist. These people wouldn't want to be with someone from another culture or someone who doesn't even speak the same language as them, so why force it upon me? It's hard enough finding someone to connect with who does speak the same language as you, so why make it even more difficult by going even one step further?

If I were to be with someone who is Oriental, it has to be because I choose it, and not because people automatically think that this is with whom I belong. Some people have even stuck me in foreign groups where the others can barely speak English, just because they think I am "foreign". If people want to do that because they want to mix up the groups, then fine, but then they should also have some Westerners in there as well. But if I'm stuck in there because they think I am exactly the same and that this is where I will best fit in, then I find this demonstrates a complete lack of understanding.

It seems that most caucasian women don't want to date an Oriental and will judge on appearance. Undoubtedly the media is partly responsible for that. It seems that Oriental girls are more accepted and even sought for their exotic qualities and beauty, but the same doesn't hold true for Oriental men. Also, it seems that those Oriental girls who are more western, either in appearance (eg they are Eurasian) or in upbringing don't seem to want to be with Oriental guys either, but would prefer a caucasian man. So it means that all that is left for me is an Oriental girl who may not be able to speak english very well or at all and is completely different from me culturally, and then it comes down to the same problem as described above.

So this has also been a problem in setting me up with others, as well as finding a suitable partner. My female friends seem reluctant to want to set me up with their friends because they seem to want someone better looking or in a certain mould for that friend. They can't honestly say to their caucasian friends that they know this great Oriental guy that would be perfect for them. because it seems that their friends aren't looking for that but have a set image of what they want (eg tall, dark, handsome, or blond, blue eyed etc) and that isn't the image that my female friends had for their friend either.

2) Because most female friends don't take the time to get to know me anyway (partly for reasons above, among other things), they don't really know the real me. Therefore, what happens (and has happened in the past) is that they just look at certain of my interests, educational background or abilities and match them up to another female friend of the same interests, educational background or abilities without considering out respective personalities, humour or values. People can look like a perfect match on paper, but be completely incompatible in real life. Now interests, background etc is a starting point and a common ground, but if my female friends had taken the time to actually get to know me, they might've already discerned that my personality is completely different from the friend with whom they tried to set me up and wouldn't have attempted that in the first place.

So I seem to be in a difficult situation here. Out of desperation, I could potentially just give in and go with someone who is so culturally different to me and can't even speak the same language or with whom I would have trouble communicating, but the question is: would I be happy? Would the relationship even work? I don't want a purely physical relationship. I am someone who thrives on deep and meaningful conversation, so to pair me up with someone with whom I can't even do that would be relationship suicide. A relationship that is purely physical or sexual is empty and not what I want at all.

First of all, your writing

First of all, your writing is immaculate. Second, your thoughts are clear but your first reason is totally wrong. Im a white guy who has pretty TV look and all of that and my friend is asian. This guy got way more action than me, then he ended up marrying a pretty white girl! Wherever this guy went, he had a fun presence, was personable, smart, witty, and funny. He was a blast to be around. Most importantly, he carried a vibe that commanded respect. At this time, I was in a very bad state and had a lot of shame and women were absolutely repulsed by my shame and body language. I felt like a leper.

I know you have a lot of good qualities, but you cannot let these thoughts interfere with your desire to be with someone. This is not a good excuse, but I can understand why you would think it is.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Well I don't think you can

Well I don't think you can say my first reason is totally wrong, because that is suggesting that I haven't experienced what I have described above. Perhaps what you mean to say is that you believe my reasoning or thought processes are wrong (with regard to whether Westerners would be attracted to an Oriental man). I don't doubt that there are the odd exceptions (such as your friend), but on the whole, and particularly in my experience, most caucasian (and even more westernised Oriental girls) seem to prefer caucasian men (or even sometimes black men). Even in Hollywood or in the media, black men seem to be portrayed with a more positive, masculine image (eg you get black Hollywood actors in the lead for a film but you rarely get an Oriental unless it is a martial arts movie, and there you're not going to see that actor act but fight).

What I've described above isn't simply speculation as to what might happen. People have specifically said to me that I should find someone of the same background even if they can't speak English, because they can always learn. Yet they wouldn't ever choose such a path themselves. And when I challenge them on this, they simply reply that they aren't the ones with the problem finding someone. However, these have been caucasians and are simply seeking other caucasians not someone of a completely different race and culture where there is a language barrier.

I often feel that I'm not oriental enough to be accepted or fit in with completely oriental women, but not western enough to be accepted or fit with westerners either. And precisely the word you have used to describe yourself is the way I have felt and do feel: like a leper. That is the very word I have often thought about myself.

Now it could be the case that my shame and body language is putting girls off, as in your case. That may very well be the case right now in my present situation. However, that doesn't explain why they were put off say, 10 or 15 years ago when this lack of relationship (and subsequent shame or feelings of low esteem) hadn't reached such a bad state and I was far more successful generally (work wise). It may be that my current state puts people off, but the question is: how did I get like this in the first place? It's largely as a result of experiencing such rejection and the cumulative effect of so many years of loneliness and isolation. I realise it is now a vicious circle and almost a self-perpetuating problem, but how does one explain these girls' rejection of me when I was more whole?

It is true that these thoughts do interfere with my desire to be with someone, but I do still try, and still hope that, despite who I am and my cultural background, that someone will eventually accept me and love me for who I am and will take the time to really get to know me. I haven't found that person yet.

Sorry to hear about your

Sorry to hear about your struggles. When I read your post, my first thought was that this is not permanent, but that you are definitely in a hole. Especially when you mentioned that you were having problems with career, life purpose, depression, etc.

Attraction and romance seem to work in a very weird way. Some people seem to have that magic gust naturally and others dont, but its not all that mysterious if you start looking at things and observing carefully. To Most guys in your position, "careful observation" means looking at the intricacies of "how worthless I must be because a girl "rejects" me". A lot of guys in your position are stuck in hopeless depression, self-hate, and self-pity. There is no doubt that that is a brutal place for anyone to be. Every human being on the planet deserves intimacy and to feel denied that from the universe can feel like a slap in the face. The habits of self-defeat can be deep to say the least.

You are not hopeless. Women are picking up on something deep inside you and your job is to find out what this is. Its probably the same thing that is making it difficult for you to find work. Not only do you need to discover what this is, but you are going to need to be totally pro-active in taking the steps to improve your life. Doing this while depressed can seem monumental, but you will need to keep relentlessly putting in effort. Im not even suggesting a ton of self help stuff either (self-help is best as supplemental material). I would highly suggest working with a therapist and supplementing your work with them with some outside materials.

You are spot on in seeing the need to remove porn from your life. It sounds like you are trying to take charge of this thing. If you keep working on this, there is no reason that you will not start to see a difference in the way women vibe off of you. IT CAN BE DONE. Nobody on the planet is THAT different or hopeless that a mate could not find them attractive. Its a matter of working out this deep vibe thing you are putting out to women. They are like little antennas, I swear.

I know you can think of a hundred things to do to improve your situation, start doing them!

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Thanks for your kind words

Thanks for your kind words and understanding. I should clarify that there have been times when I've abstained from porn and masturbating for long periods of time over the years. However, even in these times, no woman has ever been attracted to me. Thus, I don't know if even if I were to cut it out completely that there would necessarily be a different vibe. 10 - 15 years ago, I hadn't even ever looked at porn (well, apart from the odd magazine that someone might've shown me, but not as a regular part of my diet or something that I would even seek out). Yet, even then, and as described in my reply to your post above, I was still shunned by women.

As for whether people are picking up on things and that is a reason for why I cannot find work, I would have to disagree. I have barely even had an interview, and certainly on my CV, there is nothing to suggest that I am in the state I am in. I am rejected even before the interview stage. The reason is often to do with lack of experience and over qualification, in that there are certain jobs in which employers will not take me on because I do not have the right experience but at the same time they think I will not stay in a job (or am seeking something else) because I am so over qualified both academically and professionally. I have sought career coaches and they have reviewed my CV many times over and, even with their rewriting or reorganising of my CV, I have still not had any success. As for when I do have interviews, I never go in with a downtrodden attitude. I may be depressed internally, but in front of an audience or panel I can be very dynamic, upbeat and persuasive, and able to communicate well.

In fact, in front of audiences or up on a stage, I can be very confident and in my element, and no-one would ever know that there is anything wrong with me [provided they do give me that opportunity to be up there]. In interpersonal relationships however, I can't get past just friendships with women, and with some, it is even difficult to get past the superficial, even though I am someone who can communicate and relate on a much deeper level than the everyday, mundane stuff. I do feel currently that, in my unemployed state, I have less to say and the conversation closes down much quicker. I also do feel less confident (in interpersonal relationships - not up on stage) and less worthy and even more closed off these days however, but that is a result both of being unemployed and the cumulative effect of no relationship whatsoever.

I do feel that if I could just get into a steady job, that would be a step in the right direction, at least in restoring some level of confidence. I don't know if it would address the relationship problem though, as I would simply be back in the position I was when i was employed but had no relationship, and that has not yet resolved itself.

No Doubt, these kinds of

No Doubt, these kinds of problems are deep and ambiguous. They arent the types of problems most of us are used to. We are used to being able to work hard on a problem, the solution becomes clear, and we develop a strategy and follow through with it. Personal problems like this are difficult for a lot of modern people. I think handling depression is like a skill and an art. So far, how have you approached your depression? Have you sought therapy? Worked within a group? Its not always easy to tell the difference between a topical solution and one that can actually penetrate to the depth you require. You will probably have to keep searching for what kind of combination starts working for you. Its difficult, but keep trying to surround yourself with uplifting people in the meantime.

No, the porn abstention is not a cure-all, and everyone responds differently, but from what Ive noticed in myself and with others here, it can bring some big fundamental changes in how the see things. I was pretty addicted, so removing that from my life made a big difference. From what I gather, porn doesnt seem to be too helpful for people's moods in general. The paradigm isnt really "if you abstain from porn, you will attract a mate". Although this can and does seem to happen for guys here just because by taking that out they open up the space in their lives for actual people. But, also too, consider that there is a physiological change in our bodies when we abstain from orgasm. If you havent tested this yourself, it might be worth a shot to see if anything surfaces after a month. Most of the people that try it seem to notice a difference in our outlook on life.

I cant help to notice your writing here. It seems to reflect your depression. A lot of depressed people are pretty damn smart, and even pretty logical, but its serving this underlying feeling of shame and self-hate. When Im depressed, I am picking apart the world intellectually to keep supporting the thought that I am shit, that its hopeless. Its a mindfuck and you NEED to remove yourself from this bad cycle. The bad news is that your intelligence has been hijacked to serve this personal false paradigm. The good news is that your intelligence and hard work is going to help you out.

I cant help but to think that a lot of the bigger issues are "life purpose" type issues, these also arent so clear. I was kind of in a similar situation with work not too long ago. I kept finding myself applying to jobs where I was over-qualified and I wasnt getting any work. I really needed work too. I had to make some major adjustments to my budget and career goals, everything. Its a difficult thing to do while experiencing depression but I had no choice facing homelessness and the loss of my things. There are resources out there as well for people undergoing financial hardships. I know the problem is bigger, but it might relieve some anxiety until you are in a position to get at this.

You might need to discover your passion. If you are feeling this way, you might need to keep doing some soul-searching until you find your passion. Again, really difficult stuff for a lot of us. I know when Im depressed, I just want to keep doing what I want, even if its not the right thing. Healthy people are creative in the response to changes, depressed people dont adapt well to changes.

I have no doubt that you have a lot of personal skills and are capable of amazing relationships, but if you are locked behind this wall, nobody is going to be able to enjoy them. Shame does this to me too.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

I can emphasize

I haven't been in a relationship in over 5 years. I'd like to help you out. It's very difficult though. The dating scene is very frustrating and being out of work doesn't help. I'm basically unemployed too, although I have worked a few hours a week the last couple of months. I understand your pain and your very aware of your situation.

I'm focusing on getting in balance the next 60 days. This is my top priority. Work worries and looking for women are taking a back seat. I don't know if just focusing on balance would help you or not. I find the narrow focus liberating and much, much easier to deal with. After balance is restored, I'll look into dating and jobs. That's my suggestion. Good luck.

Thanks for sharing your story

Not sure if this helps, but I had a Chinese-American sweetheart for a while, who I thought was just gorgeous. Smile Not only that, there were many things I admired about him. I even remember thinking, "Wow! Maybe the Divine Plan is at work here. All those Chinese people killed their girl babies, so all those "extra" men are going to be crawling all over the planet looking for mates. And Chinese men actually have enough self-discipline to do karezza if they choose. Brilliant!" Smile

Now, I totally understand your point of view about being branded based on looks. It sucks. That said, if I were you, I would ask everyone you know to set you up with anyone they can think of. Just the connection with women, whatever their culture or background, will help pull you out of your rut. Don't expect "Miss Right" to be among them. Just date! Even if you just help someone learn a few more words of English, it will have been a successful date. And you can choose things to do that cost very little. Let the future of your dating take care of itself. It will. Time and again I see that when people start interacting with the opposite sex, it snowballs. Trust that you are indeed a gem and get out there. Maybe the women you get fixed up with will introduce you to their Western friends. Wink After all, they are the ones who will understand best that you are part of Western culture.

I'd also find some way to volunteer for some cause I cared strongly about while I was waiting for the right job. Volunteers tend to be nice people, and often less judgmental. Do something where people work in groups. Put on your biggest smile (even if you have to strain at first) and look people in the eye.

*big hug*

Thanks for sharing Marnia.

Thanks for sharing Marnia. It does help to hear that you found an Oriental attractive. It also does help JRsun76, if I didn't say it, to hear about your Asian friend who was able to marry a pretty white girl. More cases of these helps to dispel any myths that have built up that Caucasian women are just not attracted to Orientals. Of course, I'm not saying that I absolutely have to be with a Caucasian, but rather that I want the choice and not to be forced into one thing by others. I want the same choice that everyone else has.

Other friends have told me that I should just get out there and start dating girls just to get the practice, just as you have. However, the problem is getting that date in the first place. Over here, it seems that women read too much into something as casual as just getting a coffee together and often respond by saying they only want to be friends. However, I have not suggested anything other than friends. It is simply two people (who happen to be of the opposite sex but could easily have been the same sex) meeting up and spending some time together. Often, I am not even attracted to these women per se, but just want to do something with someone of the opposite sex because it gets so boring and mundane only ever doing things with men. I find it almost as if these women are effectively saying to me "you're not worth my time or worth getting to know". I don't always want to have to do things in groups with these women either, because then they can easily use the group scenario to avoid having to actually talk to you and get to know you better while just saying the token few words to you.

It almost feels as if people have become so PC and uptight about dating these days. I remember in the 90s that women seemed at least a bit more open to doing something together one on one without reading too much into it - or at least those in my circle. Now women seem to only agree to the group thing and will immediately view it as a romantic date if you suggest something. If they don't immediately think that you are their type (which generally I am not immediately anyone's type unless they get to know me) then they will not give you a chance.

Sometimes all I want is to use the so-called "date" as the opportunity to interact and practice interacting or to break the cycle of not dating at all. However, I can't seem to even get past first base. It really makes me wonder how I can ever be in a relationship if I can't even do this. Being in a relationship is, to me, like running, and I can't even crawl yet.

If I could just find a few who would be willing to go out with me and help break the cycle, that would be a start.

I am looking into voluntary work, but that too has been difficult. However, I potentially have something in that vein lined up next week, but that depends on how the interview goes. Hopefully it will be successful and I will have some measure of good news to report.

Trust the process

Maybe dating would be a complete waste of time, just as you say. But do find ways to keep the door between you and the world open. It makes it easier for Miss Right to find you. Wink Looking forward to your report on the volunteer thing. Do you like animals? I've heard that shelters are often looking for pet walkers. Could be a laugh. I've heard both men and women are friendlier to people with dogs. It seems flirting with a dog on a leash is somehow less threatening. Wink

Well I wouldn't say dating

Well I wouldn't say dating would be a complete waste of time. I would really like to be able to do it if I could, even just for the sake of being able to be with someone of the opposite sex for a change. However, I do wonder if, at this time (while I am unemployed) it would ultimately be in vain. Are women really that interested in someone who has no job and apparently no future? I too don't feel I would have much to contribute to the conversation unless we get past the superficial. However, part of conversation does involve talking about the mundane everyday stuff - small talk. So much of our identities and security are (even if wrongly) bound up in what we do. That is one of the first questions people always ask when they meet you: "So, what do you do?"

I don't know if a relationship would even last at this point while I am jobless. I certainly don't feel I could truly be happy. I don't know how some people though are able to continue a relationship without a job. Of course, a job can't be one of the requirements for a relationship otherwise what about if you are already in one and you lose your job? Does that mean that the other should immediately desert the one who is now unemployed?

Would women date men who are unemployed (even if they are actively seeking work)? Isn't financial security one of the things that women look for in men?

You have a lot of heavy and

You have a lot of heavy and well- thought out thoughts concerning this. While you are getting rid of your porn and masturbation habit, these thoughts will probably seem more real. You might want to put them on the back-burner for a while, its easy to obsess over the bad stuff. Try to keep busy and keep remembering that what you are doing is going to add so much to your life in the near future. Come back to these dating problems and you will have a fresh mind to deal with them. Keep things simple and get out in the sun and away from the computer if you can.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

I have noticed some of this

I have noticed some of this too. I'm the type that will just go out for the heck of it. I try to do fun things that don't cost a fortune. The worst that can happen is some friendly conversation. Beyond that we might become friends or try to take it further. Many women have an attitude that men want them just for sex and won't give most men the time of day because of this. I think this is an issue with follow-up dates too because many women...maybe men too...get hung up on the fact that it must be serious or will get serious. I've got male friends I've spent tomes of time with that I don't any longer. It's not a big deal. People move on. I figure I need to eat or have some entertainment anyway so why not share that with someone. Oddly, when women bother to share in the process, the tend to find me real and nice. But that doesn't always come across in the beginning. This is perhaps an advantage to the dating process in certain religious circles. If sex is off the table, then women and men can think about the person and make better decisions. Perhaps most women don't get it if men are not chasing them to the bedroom. That chase triggers emotions that vanilla dating doesn't. If you've ever been pursued, male or female, you've felt this.

Just keep trying. It is the only way to ever find anyone. Maybe try to do more and try less. Maybe women are detecting that you are trying too much. Build relationships of whatever form with whatever women you are around. Some might even begin to pursue you if you show friendly interest in them. You can also make it less of a date by doing an activity. I think coffee is terribly dry. Take the coffee and go somewhere...a walk, the park, people watching on a bench, etc. I think it works better to say you are going somewhere anyway and seeing if they want to come. Plan events and then find the tag along. You can pick public or group activities so the women are less intimidated.

Are you open enough with the women? It might help to push the dialog if you throw out some crazy topics and let your guard down a little. This can test the possibility for closeness and let both people see if a relationship is possible. I'm experimenting with this approach so I can't say it works for certain, but it seems to help. The faster you push through the superficial, the more real you appear to the women and the faster you can open them up. It shows internal confidence in that you are willing to let them see who you are. Think of it as non-physical openness (sex). Most people rush to physical sex as a way to get to know a person. That makes little sense to me as anatomically there isn't much difference. The more important difference are intellectual, emotions, etc. No matter what happens both of you are sure to learn a lot more about yourselves and each other, making you better prepared for the next time around.

Go get em!

Thanks. I've gotten sort of

Thanks. I've gotten sort of brazen lately. I even share some of my strategy with potential prospects. That too seems to help. Maybe the women are less threatened if they now the game plan. Unfortunately, this approach sucks for getting most jobs. I think the interviewing employees are intimidated. I've got to become jekyll and hyde: one for the girls and one for the jobs and then figure out how to flip the switch on demand.

It is true that women have

It is true that women have probably had bad experiences with men who only want sex and can therefore write all men off as being tarred with the same brush. One thing I do notice with many of my female friends (or even other females I casually come across) is that they often complain that men never ask them out. However, what it seems that they really mean is that no man that they like ever asks them out. These very women who complain will not automatically go out with men who then do take the courage to ask them and will even shun and run away from these men. And then they have the nerve to complain again.

I don't think women are detecting that I try to much, because it has come to a point now where I don't even try at all partly for the above reason because women only want a certain type to ask them out and partly because of numerous rejections. It has come to a point where I have to almost be emotionally distant and not too friendly because otherwise they will misinterpret my intentions and run away. If I want to maintain any kind of semblance of a friendship with them and not scare them away, then I have to remain at a certain distance and almost "know my place" with them. It's almost better to remain at arms length and have some measure of friendship than to try to get closer and have no friendship at all. Of course this isn't ideal at all and completely unsatisfactory and unacceptable to me, but I still need friends and interaction even in a limited way.

In that sense, I am not open enough with women. Not at the moment certainly. It's not that I can't be, but that I almost have to remain closed otherwise if I open up they will close up. I want to be able to open up and feel completely accepted and even if I do like a woman, it won't matter to them because they still accept me. Unfortunately life is rarely like that.

Check out this forum-

Check out this forum- http://www.nomoremrniceguy.com/forums/

Also, you cannot take women's words at face value when they are talking about dating. Women are not a good source of advice for dating advice, unless of course you are trying to transcend the whole thing like with Marnia. A lot of guys try to listen to what a girl thinks she wants and make the mistake of trying to do these things to please them, it does the opposite. Big no! I grew up listening to my single mother complain about how she wanted a "good" man to do this and that (of course, after each jerk used and left her), this was my education on how to be a man (to be what other men werent), instead I needed a father figure that knew how to own himself and assert himself. In short, that miseducation from my well-intentioned mother was NOT what was best for me. Ive had to unlearn decades of bad habits.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

I'm not too sure what

I'm not too sure what exactly you're referring to when you say "you cannot take women's words at face value when they are talking about dating". Do you mean that I can't take them at face value when they are freaking out/running away from me and should continue to pursue them, or how they complain when they say men don't ask them out, or do you mean something else? Can you clarify please?

Trying to learn about how to

Trying to learn about how to date from listening to women talk to their friends is not a good idea for men.

Its also a bad idea to try to adjust your behavior based on what they say about you or to you while you are trying to date them. The feedback you get from them should touch your gut, not your head. Your head can play a part, but its secondary to your gut in this.

To elaborate on Marnia's earlier point, try not to be attached to the outcome. Every chance you get to go out with a woman will help you. It might not work out, it could be plain disastrous, it could be even dangerous, but its an opportunity for you to get past some major hang-ups in this area. There is no way around it, the mating game is brutal for everyone. Instead of paying attention to your failures and all the reasons why its not working out for you, pay attention to your successes. Look at what you did in one night, you got rid of your porn on your computer. Some people cannot do that for months. Recovery in dating and figuring out what is happening in your mind and life that is interfering with your romance is using the same kinds of muscles involved with recovery from porn. I feel that romance is just an externalization of stuff that goes on in our own heads, how we treat ourselves, how open we are too ourselves, how we respect ourselves. Throwing away your porn made room for you.

If women are running away from you, its because of an attitude you have with yourself. I swear, it has little to do with anything else. Example- my last lady who just broke up with me broke up with me because I was "too different" or whatever other excuse she had in her mind (who knows). The bottom line is that she FOUND an excuse and focused on it. It could have been anything. My point is that if I am living my passion and living in the world and sure of myself, etc. Then either 1.) it will not make a difference whether or not a girl accepts me or not because there are tons of women in the world, or 2.) They arent going to find those excuses because they are going to be too busy watching me shine. Are you going to keep making excuses for them? Everytime you say ok, she likes such and such quality, but... but... Or this girl is good, but Im too... You gave yourself away already before you started! Stop doing this. Im taking all excuses away from you! Find your passion, and the rest will fall into place. Expect and embrace failures because you are going to feel like a failure a lot in dating. Embrace these feelings as being part of the learning process. If you can start embracing and conquering this fear, it will show in the way that you move and carry yourself. Women are highly sensitive to men that think they are failures or rejected. It means we will make poor mates. Flip this entire paradigm and try to see that every day is full of small successes. COnquer your inertia and depression. Find the things that are sucking out your life and remove them, replace them with things that make you feel good about yourself.

Sorry Ive been unclear. My brainworms are acting up too this week

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

At the moment

At the moment, being without a job and feeling as bad as I do, sometimes I'm not sure if I really do want to go out with anyone right now or that I should even be with someone. On the one hand I do, because I feel so lonely, but on the other hand, I feel that I will have nothing valuable to contribute to the relationship and that they won't truly respect or value me. I was thinking about this subject this afternoon while driving. I don't think it is to do with the shame of having used porn that makes me want to shy away from women right now. It's more to do with the lack of a job and that I feel so unworthy and ugly in their sight that it makes me want to hide myself away until things improve and I feel like someone of worth again. The problem is that I don't know when that will be.

[quote]
Look at what you did in one night, you got rid of your porn on your computer. Some people cannot do that for months. Recovery in dating and figuring out what is happening in your mind and life that is interfering with your romance is using the same kinds of muscles involved with recovery from porn. I feel that romance is just an externalization of stuff that goes on in our own heads, how we treat ourselves, how open we are too ourselves, how we respect ourselves. Throwing away your porn made room for you.
[/quote]

I don't know whether I really accomplished all that much. I've gotten rid of it all completely from my computer before only for it to eventually be replaced again. The accomplishment is for it to remain porn free and for me not to want to replace it or feel the need to even seek out free porn on the internet, or the need to fill that emptiness with some addictive behaviour.

[quote]
If women are running away from you, its because of an attitude you have with yourself. I swear, it has little to do with anything else. Example- my last lady who just broke up with me broke up with me because I was "too different" or whatever other excuse she had in her mind (who knows). The bottom line is that she FOUND an excuse and focused on it. It could have been anything. My point is that if I am living my passion and living in the world and sure of myself, etc. Then either 1.) it will not make a difference whether or not a girl accepts me or not because there are tons of women in the world, or 2.) They arent going to find those excuses because they are going to be too busy watching me shine. Are you going to keep making excuses for them? Everytime you say ok, she likes such and such quality, but... but... Or this girl is good, but Im too... You gave yourself away already before you started! Stop doing this. Im taking all excuses away from you! Find your passion, and the rest will fall into place. Expect and embrace failures because you are going to feel like a failure a lot in dating. Embrace these feelings as being part of the learning process. If you can start embracing and conquering this fear, it will show in the way that you move and carry yourself. Women are highly sensitive to men that think they are failures or rejected. It means we will make poor mates. Flip this entire paradigm and try to see that every day is full of small successes. COnquer your inertia and depression. Find the things that are sucking out your life and remove them, replace them with things that make you feel good about yourself.

Sorry Ive been unclear. My brainworms are acting up too this week

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato[/quote]

I should clarify that women aren't running away from me as friends. I do have a lot of female friends. It's whenever there's any suggestion that I like a girl (either on my part, or because someone else has speculated that I like her, or because the girl herself thinks that I like her (whether that is the case or not)) that the girl will run away or withdraw. Also, they don't want others to think that they could possibly be interested in me or that there is anything going on between us. They don't seem to mind it so much if the guy is handsome, because it stokes their ego. But if someone like me shows an interest or is thought to be of some signifcance to them by others, the girl will do anything to get away. It's almost like what you would see in high school when a girl is so insecure that she will reject an unpopular guy because she needs the approval of her peers. It still surprises me that there are so many women like that, whatever age they are. You might think that they are insecure in their teens or early twenties but become more secure the older and more experienced they get, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Still in their late twenties or thirties, they still display this almost high school behaviour.

All of this just makes me feel repulsive to the opposite sex and like a leper, as you mentioned before. I've felt this way for a long time, even before falling into a pattern of porn addiction. If even one girl could find me attractive that would be a boost to my confidence and I wouldn't feel like I should be walking about with a paper bag over my head.

I also feel like a cripple in a way, or someone who is disabled and unable to lead a normal life. What I mean by this is that, for most people, finding the right relationship is often just a matter of both of you finding someone mutually compatible and mutually attractive. Most people will try out someone but that person may not be suitable, or you might be attracted to someone or they might be attracted to you, but the feeling may not be mutual. It's almost taken for granted, like walking. In my case however, because no-one has ever shown an attraction to me, it feels as if I am not normal. It's like I am unable to do something that nearly everyone else can do. I've personally never come across anyone else who hasn't in some way been in some relationship (no matter how short) or on a romantic date or even found to be attractive by another. I don't know this reality at all. In fact, to me, it is virtually a fantasy. I feel like someone who has never been able to walk his whole life.

I remember once one of my female friends moaning (to me) that there was a time that she hadn't been in a relationship for 2 years. I also remember hearing others sometimes complaining how they haven't had a boyfriend or girlfriend for 6 months. I completely fail to sympathise with these people. It's as if they take it for granted that they should always be in a relationship of some sort, just like many take it for granted that they should always be in employment. These people have never really known the pain of not having anyone nor having no hope of anyone either. No wonder they can treat relationships as disposable, because they haven't had to work that hard to get it. It's almost as if, if one doesn't work out, they'll get another one without too much trouble.

I also wonder whether at my age, because of my complete inexperience with relationships and never having even kissed a girl, women would even want to be with someone like me. Would they really want to break in someonelike me, given that everyone else is far more experienced even say, in their 20s? To me, if I ever were in a relationship, I would be discovering things for the first time and a kiss might mean far more for me compared to them. For them, it could just be one kiss of many that they've had in their lifetime, and therefore something far more casual and less meaningful. To them, because they can easily get another relationship, the relationship would be more disposable, whereas to me, it would be far more valuable. Would women really want a situation like this? Am I even eligible as a person in this way? Isn't it almost like someone who has never worked their whole life and has no life experience and tries to find his first job at 40?

I ask these questions, not to make excuses but to find answers to these questions that have built up over the years and play in my mind quite prominently now.

If you made your drawing of yourself...

add to it, "I am valuable and others see it." It is you who fear you have no value because you are jobless at the moment. That is not true.

I suspect there's nothing wrong with you, other than that you are (understandably) sensitive to the racism in the culture where you live. Do you have any relatives living where this wouldn't be a factor, with whom you could stay for a time and do something productive? I have a feeling that if you spent some time where you were part of the majority (or where Asians are totally integrated), some of this cloud would evaporate, and you could take your new center of gravity with you wherever you go.

A close female friend of mine is from LA. She and her twin sister got to attend a special high school for really gifted kids...where almost everyone else was Asian. She said they felt ugly the whole four years. (In fact, they're both not only bright, but very pretty: http://www.facebook.com/deborah.langheld?ref=ts.) Just goes to show how being immersed in another culture can cause subtle wounds.

*big hug*

Marnia - Is there any

Marnia - Is there any science to the drawing of oneself?

Darsim - Not everyone is more experienced in their 20s. Even those that are "experienced" have not necessarily experienced anything meaningful. Many have developed very poor attitudes to relationships and sex. Some girl may come after you, but be careful what you wish for because that is not necessarily good.

Are you being too aggressive? Girls might not like the sudden flip from friend to pursuer. That might have trust implications to them. Be more sly and slow about it and see what happens. You could also confront one of them about it. They might be more open than you think and willing to help if they were actually your friends to begin with.

Also, are you projecting that you are only going after these girls because they are not Asian? I don't think that would come across well if detected.

Nope, not

a speck of science. I just found it a helpful exercise years ago. It gave me a way to reorient my thinking from negative to positive. Every time I thought of something I didn't like about myself or my circumstances, I put the opposite on my picture. It became fun, and I think it really did help me move out of my negative thinking in some areas.

You should wiki this with

You should wiki this with more instructions (or is it there already?). We just draw ourselves however we wish...stick figure, artistically, etc? Then we put down the desirable attributes? Is it more effective to be more extreme or realistic...do we write fit and healthy or super toned muscle man? Do you only do this to counter act the negatives? Or can we put desirable traits down too?

An anecdote to support this. The brain seems to need opposites. If you bite the left side of your tongue, you are likely to do it again soon after. But if you gently chew on the right side, the brain sorts it out and find the safe middle. I managed to break someones habit of chewing their cud this way. They had been doing it for years. As I write this I wonder if there is some extension of this in low carb diets. You go from too much carbs to no carbs for a short period and then to some healthier middle. Some for the abstaining many are trying here.

We need a way to have too many dates. I bet most of us would reboot real fast with too much companionship for a short while. We should experiment somehow with willing female volunteers.

Not too aggressive

[quote=freedom]Marnia - Is there any science to the drawing of oneself?

Darsim - Not everyone is more experienced in their 20s. Even those that are "experienced" have not necessarily experienced anything meaningful. Many have developed very poor attitudes to relationships and sex. Some girl may come after you, but be careful what you wish for because that is not necessarily good.

Are you being too aggressive? Girls might not like the sudden flip from friend to pursuer. That might have trust implications to them. Be more sly and slow about it and see what happens. You could also confront one of them about it. They might be more open than you think and willing to help if they were actually your friends to begin with.

Also, are you projecting that you are only going after these girls because they are not Asian? I don't think that would come across well if detected.[/quote]

I'm not too aggressive. If anything, I tend to be more passive, particularly these days. I tend to take things extremely slowly and prefer to build up a friendship over time. I tend to wear my heart close to my sleeve and rarely give any indication that I am even pursuing anything more than a friendship. I will say though that the moment I suspect that a woman knows I like them (whether I truly do or whether it is unjustified) I do often begin to feel more awkward around them, especially if they've already demonstrated a distancing of their friendship as a product of me potentially liking them. This is again, as described elsewhere, as a result of a sense of unworthiness. I feel that if they were to truly know that I like them, they will automatically reject me as has happened many times in the past. Then I tend to have to second guess all of my words and actions and inadvertently end up playing a stupid game which I tend to hate. I have to make sure I don't appear too friendly, double check that I haven't spent too long talking to them etc. That makes it harder for me to act naturally around them which compounds the problem.

What I mean by "more experienced" even in their 20s, is that they've had the experience of a kiss or the experience of someone being attracted to them - not necessarily that they are more mature or have had a good experience. I am sure that many have had bad relationship experiences in their teens or 20s which have set them back or set them up with an incorrect attitude to relationships and sex in general. I don't doubt that at all, which is why I also said that some almost take it for granted that they should always be in a relationship (and will pick anyone that comes along who shows an interest in them). They haven't learnt to value people or the rarity of relationships and the hard work that is required to make them work.

I don't go after these girls solely for the reason that they are not Asian, so I don't think that I would project that image either. I can't choose the person whom I will feel attracted to - it just happens, whether they are Caucasian or Asian.

Speaking from personal

Speaking from personal experience not everyone in the age range you are talking about is as experienced as you think. You have to have skin in the game to get experience. Even then, some just don't fall into the right circumstance. And even if they are more experienced, it shouldn't matter to you. I used to think the way you do about this, but no longer. It is special to be inexperienced...the right girl will like you for it...maybe even like you better. It's liberating to put the lack of experience behind you. Each person brings unique experiences and you bring things that the "experienced" person does not. As for your own feeling of not having the experience, I think you are more likely to get it if you don't focus on it so much. Besides, you have to want to be the kisser, not be kissed. You have no control over being kissed, but full control over finding someone you want to kiss. It is all mindset and then legwork follow-up. I need to take my own advice.

Try acting more naturally despite liking them...it's not a crime. You need to move quicker because being pursued can be a bit disturbing. I think you're better off letting them know you think you like them. Find a way to be not overly committal so they are not uneasy and you don't feel as rejected. I think it would be ok to ask for some explanation if you get rejected. Feedback is good for all so the gals might be willing to share if you explain and remain non-judgmental. You might become better friends in the process.

You may be right

[quote=Marnia]add to it, "I am valuable and others see it." It is you who fear you have no value because you are jobless at the moment. That is not true.

I suspect there's nothing wrong with you, other than that you are (understandably) sensitive to the racism in the culture where you live. Do you have any relatives living where this wouldn't be a factor, with whom you could stay for a time and do something productive? I have a feeling that if you spent some time where you were part of the majority (or where Asians are totally integrated), some of this cloud would evaporate, and you could take your new center of gravity with you wherever you go.

A close female friend of mine is from LA. She and her twin sister got to attend a special high school for really gifted kids...where almost everyone else was Asian. She said they felt ugly the whole four years. (In fact, they're both not only bright, but very pretty: http://www.facebook.com/deborah.langheld?ref=ts.) Just goes to show how being immersed in another culture can cause subtle wounds.

*big hug*[/quote]

You may be right about these subtle wounds. However, I don't know if I am really immersed in "another" culture as such. Since this is the only culture I know, was born into and grew up in, this is my culture as far as I know. It is only my appearance which is different. It might be different if you were born and grew up in one culture and then transferred to another one later (such as in the example of your friend and her twin sister - although I don't know the details of their situation).

The drawing idea sounds like a start, but I wonder if it would end up merely as positive thinking - not that that is wrong in itself. However, the problem I see with it personally is that I may tell myself that I have this or that quality and may try to reinforce these positive attributes in my mind (or through things I do) but then when it comes to women not agreeing with that image of myself that I'm trying to build up (eg if I tell myself I am good looking or interesting to talk to but women don't seem to agree) that would still ultimately reinforce a negative message in me. Yes, I could choose to reject what those women are telling me if it is one or two, or even a small handful, because not everyone is going to like me. However, when it comes to every single woman effectively sending me the same message or disagreeing with the image I'm trying to build up, then that is going to cause me to think sooner or later that maybe there is some truth in that. Can everyone be wrong about me? Statistically, in all the hundreds of interactions I've had in all these years, you would think that there should've been at least ONE woman who was attracted to me or would've returned my interest. At least one seed sown should've yielded a crop. That hasn't been the case however.

Please don't misunderstand. It's not that I'm rejecting suggestions being made either by you or others here. It's that I feel so disillusioned and discouraged after so many years.

"At the moment, being

"At the moment, being without a job and feeling as bad as I do, sometimes I'm not sure if I really do want to go out with anyone right now or that I should even be with someone. On the one hand I do, because I feel so lonely, but on the other hand, I feel that I will have nothing valuable to contribute to the relationship and that they won't truly respect or value me."

Intimacy can happen in many ways and you should stay open to it. You can have intimacy and connection with your friends, family, even the universe. In fact, you can develop the skills you need in a romantic relationship by learning to be present and appropriately intimate with all kinds of people. You sound like a social person already, and you probably have good social skills, but when you are learning to change your personal paradigm, these social connections are excellent places for growth. In the meantime, learn to cultivate value in your life. Are you producing more than you are consuming? Are your friends happier after they see you? Are you bringing things to your family, neighborhood, area? Are you doing things and activities in your life that are giving you a sense of personal value and pride on a daily basis? These are very important things. Even if you do not have a job, there are things that you can do to add value in your life. For example- Ive been unemployed before too and its the absolute pits. Hated it. But there were things that I could do to value myself. Things like clean my room, organize the closet, take on a project to keep me busy. Things that are a source of personal pride can e very small. I know that when I was at the very worst part of my depression, just brushing my teeth was a hard task, but after struggling with that small task and making it happen and pushing through the inertia, it became a source of pride. It was small, but it doesnt matter, what matters is that we are doing it and we are not sinking further.

"I don't think it is to do with the shame of having used porn that makes me want to shy away from women right now. It's more to do with the lack of a job and that I feel so unworthy and ugly in their sight that it makes me want to hide myself away until things improve and I feel like someone of worth again. The problem is that I don't know when that will be."

No, not shame for having used porn, you have shame because you do not like yourself and porn is just a part of the larger problem. Do some google searches on "toxic shame". I didnt realize this until fairly recently, but most of my depression was deeply tied to shame that I held inside. This paragraph that you wrote up here is oozing with it. Therapy might help a lot with this. This is a major impediment to your improvement. You are going to keep sabotaging yourself at every step.

"I don't know whether I really accomplished all that much. I've gotten rid of it all completely from my computer before only for it to eventually be replaced again. The accomplishment is for it to remain porn free and for me not to want to replace it or feel the need to even seek out free porn on the internet, or the need to fill that emptiness with some addictive behaviour."

Perspective, since you are depressed, you are going to see everything as being "useless". Everything that you are doing for yourself right now is leading you forward. Every time you fail or stumble, you learn to pick yourself back up faster. Its hard to see this when you are depressed.

"All of this just makes me feel repulsive to the opposite sex and like a leper, as you mentioned before. I've felt this way for a long time, even before falling into a pattern of porn addiction. If even one girl could find me attractive that would be a boost to my confidence and I wouldn't feel like I should be walking about with a paper bag over my head."

You could still feel that way if one girl felt attraction for you at some point. These points that you are making about no girl ever liking you and feeling like a cripple are just complications of chronic shame and depression. Im very sorry that it has gotten to that point for you in life, but it does not need to be permanent. The brain is SO plastic, you can start to see improvements in a short amount of time.

"I also wonder whether at my age, because of my complete inexperience with relationships and never having even kissed a girl, women would even want to be with someone like me. Would they really want to break in someonelike me, given that everyone else is far more experienced even say, in their 20s?"

Dont worry about this stuff right now. I need to point out that right now, while you are depressed and have this deeply hurt perspective on things, you are not going to be able to think objectively on these kinds of things. Its possible to get out of this hole, but its going to take a minute. Be patient and know that you are going to be able to get through this. It can totally be done.

A suggestion I would like to make is that you would benefit from meeting with a spiritual men's group of some kind. Its a great place to experience deep connections with other guys. Its a good place to learn to open up because men are safe and removed from all of these concerns you have with the opposite sex. I think with your intelligence and maturity, you would benefit a lot and they would benefit from you. I experienced this is addiction recovery settings, but there are other groups in major cities forming to meet this need as well.

Hang in there, stay positive in this, it will get much better.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Thank you for your detailed

Thank you for your detailed response. I will have to look into this area of Toxic shame. It does sound like something I could very well suffer from. Are there any good books you could recommend on this subject and recovery from it?

I do definitely have a sense of shame about myself and the way I look and even my cultural background. Sometimes I can barely even stand to look at myself in the mirror. Sometimes I feel I can't even approach women to talk to them because I've already internalised that they will wonder why I am even talking to them. Because of this internalisation, when it is at its strongest, I can't be spontaneous with them. This isn't to say that it is always like this. There are times I can be carefree and fun and able to laugh and make them laugh. But when I am in this shameful mode (which is quite often and can be set off by any number of things, but most often a sense of rejection) I am unable to come out of myself and relate in an open way. I become more closed and withdrawn.

Certainly when it comes to relationships and even expressing that I like or am interested in a woman, I cannot simply put myself out there like other men might. I feel so ashamed of myself and the way I look that I think the woman will wonder how I could even think there was any possibility that they might go for someone like me. Certainly when in the company of other men who are making a play for the same woman, I feel that I simply cannot compete. I am not able to act in a charming way, not because I couldn't say those words or because I would feel awkward or silly, but because internally, I feel that I am so unworthy that the woman would just laugh at my sad attempt to win them over - that they would say or think: "You? Give me a break. Have you looked in a mirror?"

It is for this same reason that I don't feel I could be successful even if I learnt the various tricks of how to charm a woman. Some male friends have suggested that I go on one of these dating courses (which costs money which I don't have at the moment) where people learn how to approach others and say or do things to create an environment of attraction with the woman. I feel that I would just be going through the motions even if I learnt these tricks, because internally, I would still feel ashamed and have a sense of self loathing. This would override any sense of false confidence that is projected, because inside I would still feel like crap.

How do I know this? Well, I am experienced in or have specifically studied/ practiced certain things which should make people very confident. I am good at public speaking, performing to a crowd, even being charming in front of a crowd. When in front of others, when there is no personal interaction involved, I wouldn't seem shy, reserved or withdrawn. Some things which people who are very outgoing can't do (such as speaking in public) I can do and even thrive on the thrill of doing. However, none of this has made me any more confident when it comes to personal interaction, particularly in the area of romantic relationships. Now don't misunderstand. I can interact well personally on a social or professional level, and if I were asked to be a host and to personally welcome or go round attending to people one by one I would be able to do that. That kind of thing still involves a measure of distance on my part. It's when I have to personally put myself on the line that I don't feel that I can be accepted for myself in my own right. In a professional situation I am not being asked to put myself on the line which is why there can be a sense of emotional detachment. If I have to put myself out there to women as a potential suitor or someone who is eligible, that is where the shame kicks in. I cannot be confident in my own abilities or worthiness, because I have experienced years and years of rejection or the underlying message (whether directly or indirectly) that I am not acceptable or worthy.

It wasn't always this way. When I was younger, even in my late teens or early twenties, I was more confident and blissfully ignorant of the fact that women might not see me as attractive. It did not occur to me at the time that there might be anything wrong with me. I was able to, for the first few years, put myself out there more boldly and unashamedly. However, after being rejected there, and then experiencing repeated rejections over the years, the message and image was built up that women simply did not find me attractive. That has become my internal picture now, and my external image of how I see myself. The deep sense of shame and resulting low self esteem and lack of confidence followed, particularly by the time I got to my mid to late thirties and had never known any kind of affection or attraction [to me].

I do actually meet with a spiritual men's group on a regular basis and talk/ pray through some of these issues. However, the problem is so deep rooted (and other people in the group also have their own needs/ problems) that my own issues can't be sufficiently dealt with within that context or limited time frame. It probably would be an idea to see a therapist/ counsellor, but again that costs money and with no job at the moment, that is something I can't afford.

I do feel though that I need some positive experiences from women to reinforce a new message and internal picture. I certainly don't want to attach myself to the first woman who comes along who does demonstrate a greater understanding or sympathy, as I don't want the relationship to be one similar to counsellor-patient. I also don't want it to end up as a codependent relationship. I would rather it is a relationship of equals where both are whole and able to give to the relationship, and not simply some means for me to sponge off as much affection or affirmation from the woman as I can. I feel that that sort of relationship would be very heavy and unbalanced and wouldn't allow me to relate in the way that is truly me behind all of this emotional and shame-filled baggage. I know that beneath all of this, I am a fun, creative, intelligent and interesting person and this is the person I want women to know - the person I was once, and not the one who is currently buried in a mountain of shame and depression.

Yes, shame can be paralyzing

Yes, shame can be paralyzing and keeps people depressed. Fortunately, as with most things with the brain, it doesnt need to last forever. The brain is a pretty plastic organ and with the right actions and attitude, it can change pretty fast. Depression is being locked into one kind of thought indefinitely.

I learned about toxic shame from a book called "No More Mr Nice Guy" by Robert Glover. http://www.nomoremrniceguy.com/forums/
Here is a forum based on the book. It is mostly men who have had a hard time relating to women for similar reasons. If you post your story on there, you will get a ton of helpful responses and leads to other material. These guys are much more knowledgeable about these things than I am. But they have all been through their own personal hells in trying to figure out why they were suffering from poor relationships.

Dating courses are more helpful once you take care of the depression and shame. I dont regret learning and gaining insight from PUA material, but every time I worked with it, I saw how obvious it was that I needed to keep working on these deeper issues. It can help overall if you have the right attitude, but if you cannot handle rejection in any way and it causes you to go into a downward spiral of depression, then it might not be the best place to start. If you can approach dating as an experiment and that there are no "failures" and you can remained unattached to the outcome of your interactions, then it is like an elevator in learning to overcome your fear of women. Also, you really learn how to stomach rejection and move forward.

Thats awesome that you have those skills in the professional realm. I think that once you get past this major hurdle and you are firing on all 4 cylinders in your life, you will likely be the complete person that you want to be. Its not unheard of. My experience has been that while I was once very shy and weak around women in public, when I go out, Im actually a lot more smooth than a lot of the men that are more "socialized" than me. I feel that because I have been what I have been through, I have some depth that maybe men who have only scratched the surface do not have. Once you turn this around, not only are you able to keep up with the next man, but in a lot of ways you have something that most men do not have. Women can sense this as fast as they can the shame. With your background and intelligence, once you get past this cognitive bump, it is possible to make a complete 180 in your personality and actually thrive in these environments that you are stumbling in.

You'll have to find a group that addresses problems that are relevant to you. Some spiritual groups dont do much for people going through this stuff, in fact, some can make it worse. Do some explorations and find some people that you can relate to.

"I do feel though that I need some positive experiences from women to reinforce a new message and internal picture."

If you can manage to do this and stay level-headed, then it does wonders. You will find that women will be more responsive to you as you heal your shame and depression, being in the association of women will naturally heal your shame and depression too. Ive found that at my worst, just learning how to smile and take a smile from a woman was enough, then moving on not expecting anything more. Or a small conversation. If I could hold a small conversation with a woman or just flirt a tiny bit and she respond in a tiny way, well that was another milestone, and then move on with no attachment. These are healing as well and do not require the full relationship. In fact, there is intimacy everywhere, but its hard to see unless we become balanced, but to become balanced, it helps to try to see and experience this in our day. Your personality will start to "thaw" once you heal from the paralyzing shame and depression and you will see these opportunities.

As far as therapy, there are always sliding scale based on income services. A lot of students working to obtain their licenses are required to do a number of hours in the field and a lot of these people can be pretty talented and enthusiastic about working with you. Dont be dismayed by their lack of experience, its that they have the willingness and the heart that really counts in this area. Ive paid 10 dollars a session for good therapy in the past. It can be very helpful in dislodging some of those major blocks.

I know you can do this.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

I'm moving over to the left margin ;-)

@freedom. I had to laugh at your suggestion about too much dating. Brilliant! You're right that extremes can be a way to return to balance. That's the Daoist philosophy, too.

As for the picture idea, I'll try to add it to the wiki. Yeah, stick figures are fine. I'd start with the good qualities you know you have, or have the potential to develop. But then, the sky's the limit. Wink You might focus on how you want to feel about your body rather than, for example, putting down your desired measurements. Smile But it's fine to put qualities you feel are an exaggeration. You may surprise yourself and grow into them.

@darksim. I'm glad you're seeking comfort, even if it all seems hopeless just now. If you think you're ugly, that could be a reason you don't feel drawn to Asian women. If so, maybe try to see the beauty in them. In this way, you may see yourself more clearly.

Thanks for putting yourself out there with us.

Try some of the suggestions. Intellectualizing why they won't work will just paralyze you. Better to have a laugh by trying something you think is utterly silly than to sit there chewing over reasons it can't work. Sometimes you have to go outside the box to see the way out of a dilemma. It can lead in strange directions, though. This website is proof of that. Wink

I will try some of the

I will try some of the suggestions.

[quote]If you think you're ugly, that could be a reason you don't feel drawn to Asian women. If so, maybe try to see the beauty in them. In this way, you may see yourself more clearly.[/quote]

It could be a reason I'm not drawn to Asian women, but that's not to say I don't find some attractive. However, I wouldn't say I'm immediately drawn to them because I guess I find them too similar to me physically, and I tend to prefer what is different. People talk about how they like exotic types, and this usually refers to Caucasians liking an Asian woman, for example. Well to me, exotic is Caucasian, and I guess I prefer something exotic. But that's not to say I wouldn't be open to an Asian if the right person came along with whom I could meaningfully converse and there wasn't a huge cultural divide.

However, as mentioned before, I've found that the most westernised Asian women I know (not just in terms of physical appearance but in terms of personality, upbringing, education, cultural values etc) seem to adopt a similar attitude to me and prefer to be with a Caucasian themselves. In fact, I always see these girls with Caucasian boyfriends/ husbands. They don't seem to be open to someone like me, as if I'm too Oriental for them, which I'm not (apart from appearance). That only leaves those Orientals who are culturally very different to me and not westernised at all, and have trouble speaking the same language as me. I find with them it is more like just making polite and limited conversation about the most mundane things because of that language barrier. This isn't what I want from a relationship. If I were to be with someone like that, then how is that any different to me being with, say, someone from some Aborigine tribe who can barely speak English, to take a different example? I'm not saying I have something against an Aborigine, but that an Oriental who can barely speak English and is culturally very different to me is not far different from any other nationality I were to pick at random with the same kinds of language and cultural barriers. The only difference is that, in this case, the Oriental woman looks superficially the same as me because of our physical appearances. But if I have to be content with that, then why shouldn't everyone else? Why should others have a greater choice and people who speak their same language whereas I have to settle for something far less, just because of my appearance? That doesn't seem fair.

I'm not directing that at you by the way, but at the idea that others have put forward before about me.

Thanks

[quote=JRsun76]Yes, shame can be paralyzing and keeps people depressed. Fortunately, as with most things with the brain, it doesnt need to last forever. The brain is a pretty plastic organ and with the right actions and attitude, it can change pretty fast. Depression is being locked into one kind of thought indefinitely.

I learned about toxic shame from a book called "No More Mr Nice Guy" by Robert Glover. http://www.nomoremrniceguy.com/forums/
Here is a forum based on the book. It is mostly men who have had a hard time relating to women for similar reasons. If you post your story on there, you will get a ton of helpful responses and leads to other material. These guys are much more knowledgeable about these things than I am. But they have all been through their own personal hells in trying to figure out why they were suffering from poor relationships.[/quote]

I'll have to look into that book and maybe that forum too. It certainly can't hurt to explore it.

[quote]
Thats awesome that you have those skills in the professional realm. I think that once you get past this major hurdle and you are firing on all 4 cylinders in your life, you will likely be the complete person that you want to be. Its not unheard of. My experience has been that while I was once very shy and weak around women in public, when I go out, Im actually a lot more smooth than a lot of the men that are more "socialized" than me. I feel that because I have been what I have been through, I have some depth that maybe men who have only scratched the surface do not have. Once you turn this around, not only are you able to keep up with the next man, but in a lot of ways you have something that most men do not have. Women can sense this as fast as they can the shame. With your background and intelligence, once you get past this cognitive bump, it is possible to make a complete 180 in your personality and actually thrive in these environments that you are stumbling in. [/quote]

I can do these things in the professional realm, but unfortunately because people almost "typecast" me or make assumptions about me in the social realm based on the person they think I am (or the person they've come to know me as whilst in this deep depression who is lacking confidence), they frequently won't even allow me to do the things that I'm even specially trained in because they think I can't do it. They wrongly assume that if I'm shy one on one, that I would be terrified up on stage or in front of others, or that I would never be able to host certain events. If, by chance, I do get to do these things, people are surprised, because they think it is out of character when it isn't at all. I am most in my element in front of others. I bet there are many shy professional actors are there out there. I don't get enough opportunities for people to see the real, uninhibited me because people don't always understand the difference between one on one interaction and group/ on stage interaction. This is another factor that has diminished my self confidence with others because I feel that everyone sees me in one way and automatically concludes that this must be the way I am, rather than recognising that perhaps I've only become this way as a result of different circumstances, but that the real me is dying to break free. If people could only see the real me they might actually find someone attractive and worthwhile to know.

[quote]If you can manage to do this and stay level-headed, then it does wonders. You will find that women will be more responsive to you as you heal your shame and depression, being in the association of women will naturally heal your shame and depression too. [/quote]

I don't know. I do have quite a number of female friends, but that doesn't seem to be enough to bring healing in those areas. I can accept that they are able to accept me as a friend and even have a conversation at length, but when it comes to anything more, it's almost as if I'm not seen as eligible in that way.

[quote]
Ive found that at my worst, just learning how to smile and take a smile from a woman was enough, then moving on not expecting anything more. Or a small conversation. If I could hold a small conversation with a woman or just flirt a tiny bit and she respond in a tiny way, well that was another milestone, and then move on with no attachment. These are healing as well and do not require the full relationship. In fact, there is intimacy everywhere, but its hard to see unless we become balanced, but to become balanced, it helps to try to see and experience this in our day. Your personality will start to "thaw" once you heal from the paralyzing shame and depression and you will see these opportunities. [/quote]

I did use to be able to have really long, meaningful conversations with some women about 15 years ago. I remember having a 4 hour phone conversation with a female friend (but unfortunately she was married and never thought of me in a romantic way - and I wouldn't want to get into that kind of thing anyway). I can even have moderately lengthy and relatively meaningful discussions with some women now, but nowhere near as long. It seems that as the cumulative feelings of shame and depression have set in over a period of time, my ability to have those lengthy conversations has diminished. Actually, I don't think it has, but it seems that now many female friends just don't want to talk to me at length or confide in me or have deep and meaningful conversations. They would rather do it with others, but seem to shy away from me even though deep down I know I have that ability and am a good listener. I certainly can empathise with them and any of their difficulties. Even this loss of opportunity to have these kinds of conversations has reduced my confidence and self esteem.

I have an idea

Can you volunteer to teach a continuing education class in something you know well? My husband tends to be shy socially...but is an excellent speaker and as funny as a stand-up comic when you put him in front of a class on a subject he enjoys teaching.

Find a way to sparkle! Ladies will notice. I did. I remember watching Gary MC a graduation before we got together. He was brilliant, and it showed me a whole different side of him.

And what about Toastmasters? You don't need it, but it's a good way to network with nice people, and you'll get a chance to speak your truth about things. Good for the soul.

Here is a post from a guy

Here is a post from a guy from that forum. Its a good roadmap from porn to dating.

Read No More Mr. Nice Guy one time

Stop sexual fantasy, porn, sex, and dating (the last two only temporary) if you want good sex in the future
- My thread on sex addiction and your sexual future, and use the rubber band technique for fantasies, K-9 blocker for porn
- Dr. Glover's thread on Nice guys and Religion, which focus on sexual compulsion and hiding it
- No dating, pursuing women, sex, or Dr. Glover's dating class until the right step in this plan. - if you are not convinced, read my post on why sex messes up recovery. If still not convinced, look at my stronger message here, with a link to "NG horror stories" - links to threads of people who didn't listen, and links to their later threads about the disasters in their life.
- If you're still not convinced, read the Parable of the Man with No Spine

Toxic shame and fear of abandonment and recovery from a breakup though you haven't had major abandonment experience, but show signs of it
- Regarding all the things SHE said, before posting them here, see what I think of what she said
- Make more guy friends, which it sounds like you are starting to do. If you have trouble making friends, consider reading How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. If you have an issue with not seeing the importance of having safe people, or feeling everyone around you is untrustworth, read Safe People by Cloud and Townsend.
- Taking an active role in Toastmasters. While not your safe people, speaking up and things will be great for you. I am big on TOastmasters - but put a lot into it, just don't tell things too personal to start.
- Posting on other people's threads. I especially think you should follow Xeeker's Breaking Free thread:
and read Eden's entire breaking free thread and follow him. Eden is 20 and I think has the same mindset you had when you were 20. I hope that by helping him now, I can keep him from getting the kind of baggage you've gotten, so he can lead healthy relationships in the future.
- Read this article on abandoholics (from Susan Anderson Chapter 2, skip if you've already read it) and post your reaction to it:
- Perhaps read my post on why the emotional brain is important to deal with first (much of what I write comes from Bradshaw and Anderson)
- Listen to the audio version of from John Bradshaw's Homecoming and see how you react
OR
- work on Journey from Heartbreak to Connection at your own pace. Try to do every exercises, and skip if you get stuck. Chap 1 has a great one on taming your amygdala. Chap 2 and 3 are on why we pick the wrong people, and how our parents influence us. Chapter 5 is really about healing that inner child ourselves, so we look for it in relationships. Chapter 7 is about why we avoid relationships and try to protect ourselves so much.
- Perhaps read my post on avoiders, just to be aware of it

Eliminate ineffective nice guy behaviors and replace them with health male behaviors
- Contune with the the No More Mr. Nice Guy Breaking Free-s
- Read Dr. Glover's articles on Setting the tone and Taking the Lead and
- Read Brohamb's Breaking Free thread, an example of a guy who has held of dating until he worked through his issues, and now having some better luck with dating than other guys. He didn't have his first date until 20 and is now 22 .
- Read Way of the Superior Man by David Deida about what it is to be a man
- Read Dr. Glover's article on Stop Being the Safe Guy
- develop your hobbies and passions more
- lift weights if you don't already

Learn to be assertive
- Because you come from a Christian environment, I want to recommend a book I have actually have not read but would like to read called Difficult Conversations you are Avoiding, by Henry Cloud and John Townend
- Instead, you can read their first book, Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. Eden Park liked this book a lot. Some reviews of the above book say to read this one first.
- Or you can read the assertiveness classic that most on this board have read, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty by Manuel J. Smith
- Your Breaking Free exercises should be done

Evaluate where you are at. Are you ready for women?

Learn more about dating, before dating
- Read about ladder theory
- Read Jack's post on how a woman is much more than how she looks: http://www.nomoremrniceguy.com/forum...0&postcount=21
- Read Dr. Glover's article on Get All the Way In
- Read Dr. Glover's article on Being a Good Ender
- Read my review of the book below
- Read How to Get a Date Worth Keeping by Henry Cloud
- consider taking a salsa or swing dancing class to practice leading. Dr. Glover said he learned more from salsa classes and dog training than he did through years of counseling education

Start meeting women (morotorium is over, you can take Dr. Glover's dating class if you want to do now) and then learn a few things on the way. Still no sex, as Dr. Glover says wait at least 90 days, so you can learn her character.
- Start meeting 5 a week and setting up coffee dates, and practice ending it with women you are no longer interested in meeting. This will be practice for bigger endings that will be to come.
- and posting about it as Brohamb has done on his dating log (read it too)
- This will be frustrating at times. So read David DeAngelo's 4 minute phone number trick
- Learn about nonsexual touch to be on the right ladder with these women. David DeAngelo provides a guide in his eBook Bridges, one location being here: http://wap18.info/Adult/Adult%20Eboo...%20Bridges.pdf.
- As you get more dates, post the answers to the questions in Cloud's book on following a dating plan from start to finish, including what you like and don't like, evaluating their character.
- Read my review of How to Get a Date Worth Keeping again
- Reflect on your dating and see what is working, what isn't, what you like about people you are meeting, what isn't

Learn more about sex and relationships
- Learn about being sexual, and the importance of talking about sex before being sexual, perhaps with the Christian book Sheet Music by Kevin Leman
- Listen to Dr. Glover's podcast on the pre-sex talk
- Read Dr. Glover's Get All the Way in article again (http://www.nomoremrniceguy.com/forum...ad.php?t=12532) which is older, and then read what he writes in his preview to his All the Way In class / consider taking it, which came later
- If dates are still being elusive, consider looking for David DeAngelo's eBook, Double Your Dating
- Read Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman (Christian based book)
- Perhaps review your Breaking Free-s
- Read my post on avoiders and make sure you're not doing these things

Learn more about money and leadership and communication, since women over 30 like men who know about these things

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Thanks for all those

Thanks for all those suggestions. I will definitely look into those and follow them up.

I have read How to Win Friends and Influence People, Boundaries and Five Love Languages several times before (I actually own copies of those books). I'm trying to get hold of a copy of "How to have a date worth keeping" too, which has also been recommended by other friends. I'm keen to see what he has to say. In that book, doesn't Henry Cloud mention in one of the chapters how people should go out with everyone once, and even sometimes more than once? That everyone is worth at least one date or worth having a conversation with and getting to know, even if it doesn't lead anywhere romantically?

However, while I agree wholeheartedly with that, a great many of my female friends and other females I interact with/ come into contact with don't subscribe to that view at all, and some would actually strongly disagree. They believe that if there isn't any physical attraction (or that you don't fit the image of the type of person they would like) then they wouldn't even give you the time of day and get to know you. Often, the standard reply (if you suggest getting together for an activity) is that they only want to be friends. But no-one (at that point) has said anything other than wanting to be friends. I certainly haven't, and since I would be subscribing to Henry Cloud's viewpoint, all I would be wanting to do is taking the time to get to know them because everyone is worth having at least that one conversation/ contact. What would you say to that since you've read and reviewed the book?

I have taken dance classes and am already pretty good at both that and leading. On the dance floor I am more free, but that hasn't helped me have the confidence in the area of social/ romantic interactions. Also, I find that 10-15 years ago women I knew seemed more open to coming along with me to that kind of event, or even being willing to dance with me. These days, not only will they read too much into it (I don't view it as a date but just that I enjoy dancing and want to get some people along to enjoy it too) and will sometimes even not want to dance with me because they place too much significance in the fact that it might mean something when it doesn't. If they would just dance with me (because partners are so interchangeable and everyone else is swapping) then that would be the end of it and I wouldn't even think anything more of it. But because they can adamantly refuse to do so with me (perhaps because they think I'm not attractive enough for them or that it will supposedly lead me on) turns it into more of a big deal.

I actually do have a lot of guy friends and have had for years. That isn't a difficulty. However, I do get bored after a while ONLY hanging out with guys or being able to do things with them one on one. After a while, I can get so sick of it that I don't want to hang around with them. It's not that I dislike their company, but because I've been oversaturated with it and never have any one-on-one female company, it makes me not want to have to do the same old thing yet again. Sometimes I only invite women out for what could seem like a date because I want a change from the same old routine of being only in male company, not that I'm even interested in the woman. Some of my female friends even believe that, unless you are romantically involved with one another, men and women should only ever have close friends of the same sex and will add to the gender divide by keeping both sexes separate for many activities. This doesn't help things at all. It's no wonder you'll end up getting books like "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" with both sexes seen as being completely alien to one another. Men and Women can have a lot more in common than they think if they actually take the time to get to know each other. I don't like these women/ female friends trying to encourage me (or other men) to do more male bonding when I'm up to my eyeballs in male bonding and have been for decades. What is sometimes needed is more interaction between the sexes and even more dates of the type described by Henry Cloud where it may not necessarily mean anything but is just a way of getting to know one another.

Oh, I took this off of a

Oh, I took this off of a poster from the No More Mr Nice Guy site. His name is Rufwarrior. If you get a chance, contact him and ask him about these things. He knows a lot about this subject and has been a huge help with helping me.

Thats really great that you are as social as you are. You have a lot going for you, I really wish the best in figuring out this important relationship piece. It seems to be a major one for all of us here in one form or another. It sems like the drive for companionship and mating is so strong in people that it can propel us into great personal transformations if we can figure it out. I know its been a major force in overhauling my personality over the past couple of years.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Well I posted my story over

Well I posted my story over on that No More Mr Nice Guy forum. I had to condense and combine some posts as there's a 1000 character limit. I guess I'll have to reveal more things as and when people respond. Do feel free to contribute over there and even fill in any blanks if you see fit (part of the discussion here has evolved as a result of constant dialogue, but over there it would be just a cold posting).

Thanks for your kind words and suggestions. I hope I will eventually have something positive to report.

It's great

that you're following up on some ideas that feel right. Taking action itself can be healing. When you have something to report, start a new thread. Wink We try not to let them go past 50 posts, as they drift into multiple pages.

it always comes down to "men

it always comes down to "men being too nice". Women are never too nice that's for sure.

Only men because men need to be violent and aggressive, but it's only for women. Because sex dominates the marketplace. Sex dominates everything, and women control the social arena. Being too nice is never a problem for anything except for sexuality.

Does ANYONE SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THIS TYPE OF THINKING??

WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED TO BEING A REAL GOOD GUY!?!?!?!

Do women want to be abused!?

I've had women tell me they

I've had women tell me they often need rough sex and that gentleness doesn't do it for them. Others say sex without orgasm is just friction. Maybe they are too orgasm focused too. It could be the sick are seeking the sick and the sexes are incompatible before they even start. Maybe we need to ask a girl to abstain for two weeks and then go out. Some are scary obsessive in planning their entire future lives with guys they barely know. It is worse than porn because they are heavily invested emotionally.

Oh...Zone

"Does ANYONE SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH THIS TYPE OF THINKING??"

Yes. There *is* something wrong with your thinking. Nobody wants to be abused. Stop blaming women and start taking responsibility for your own actions/attitudes.

Its a law of nature and

Its a law of nature and there is no use in complaining about it. We are well aware of the problems it can cause. Either we can 1. be a part of this "vicious" game and we can be adults and accept responsibility for the consequences and outcome with the possibility of learning about ourselves, or 2. Learn to harness and tame this energy with a partner as suggested here or 3. Complain about how unfair it all is (which is akin to complaining about gravity while looking over the edge of the grand canyon).

Either way, expect some discomfort (especially 3) and some tough life lessons.

Courage is knowing what not to fear.
-Plato

Being Asian doesn't mean you can't get a date.

I do not vouch for the veracity of any of this guy's claims. I do think he has written about some of the racial issues that Asian men in the west have to deal with. I would never buy one of his products either (because everything he says is available for free elsewhere) and I think some of his ideas may be borderline misogynist. Just pointing out that you aren't alone and that there's something you can do about it.

http://theasianplayboy.blogspot.com/

http://theasianplayboy.blogspot.com/2009/08/why-some-asian-guys-score-an...

"Ever wonder why some Asian guys score and others fail in the dating scene?

It sure is easy to chalk failure up to racism, different backgrounds and cultures, “not from the same world” and all that gibberish. The truth of the matter is that it’s not “Asians” that are failing—it’s men that are failing. Most of the Asian men that are out there failing to get phone numbers are men that would be rejected regardless of their race and looks.

That’s not to suggest that race has nothing to do with it. Of course, people are going to notice what race we are and what we look like. The problem happens when people start making an issue of race, and for the most part, the problem starts not with the datable women that are rejecting you—but with you."

I must've missed this post.

I must've missed this post. Thanks for the links. How did you come across this website you mention? It would be good if it were all condensed into one book rather than different sections on a website. It looks like you have to pay for some of these services and from what I can tell of some of these articles, they sound like standard dating tips than specifically addressing Asians (although I haven't read through the whole thing). I will have to explore in further detail though.

I have ordered a copy of No More Mr Nice Guy and How to Get a Date Worth Keeping. It will be interesting to read these.

Yeah...I think you figured it out.

The guy is making money essentially giving the same dating advice all the "dating guru's" are giving only he tailors it to a particular group that he belongs to. I believe there is something racist about the way some women make dating selections. I know a woman who only wanted to date Asian guys so it works both ways.

If you know how I would download some free dating advice from a torrent program. I followed some of the David Deangelo products for awhile. Most recently something called "Deep Inner Game." I got some good ideas from it. I don't think people should have to pay in order to heal so f- it. If it's out there go and get it. You will get a *LOT* of suggestions on what to do. Take the ones that make sense and do them. There are thousands of dating advice gurus and dating books on the market. It's never too late to learn a new skill.

It's just important that out of those suggestions you do think make sense...that you actually *do* them. Even if it feels uncomfortable at first.

Good luck man.

I'm Asian, too...and not some "exception to the rule"

I'm Asian, born to two immigrant parents, making the first generation born in the US.
Because I was raised here, I identify most closely with western culture. We have a joke about that here, we're called bananas -- yellow on the outside, white on the inside Wink

All of the women I've ever dated have been white, but I faced a lot of challenges dating in American culture because the culture of sex and courtship is so different here from where my parents come from. Conflicted notions about masculinity and assertiveness are ingrained in my parents culture. As a result, the subconscious behaviors and cues that many kids learn from their parents were absent in my household; I had to learn them myself. Combine that with the fact that they were overly strict (I'm 32...in retrospect they look back and admit they royally screwed up there)...my social development was delayed until college. The experiences I should've been having in middle school didn't show up until I was 19.

I had my first kiss when I was 15. Not because I took any action...but because a woman was attracted to me. What was the (incorrect) lesson learned? Sit and wait...the right woman will come along. We never kissed again.

Next kiss was at 19 in college. This time we dated for 8 months. No sex.

Next kiss was at age 22 at New Years' Eve. I was drunk, she was really, really drunk. We made out for awhile. And she passed out. By this point, I'd been in college 4.5 years, and finally learned how to socialize. The sexual assertiveness and masculinity were still developing, though.
Next kiss was at 22, and I dated her for 5 months. Finally, sex.
Next kiss was at 23, dated her for 5 years.

=============================

Then at age 28, I was single again and spent a lot of time really focus on developing myself internally.

I suggest you look at the Authentic Man Program (www.authenticmanprogram.com), which is where I really got the most bang for my buck. There I came to learn -- in an experiential way, not conceptual/theoretical -- how my years of accumulated beliefs about "correct" and "incorrect" behavior were really getting in the way of my pursuit of sexual relationships. There I learned how I would emotionally disconnect in my interactions, choosing instead to put up a false front. There I learned how I was repressing my sexual desire instead of shamelessly expressing it...at first, to myself, and then when appropriate....to a woman.

It's hard to describe how it's done, but on the last day of a 3-day session, you get a 2-hour interaction with a woman, with 2 observers and a coach, each one watching the interaction -- moment by moment -- and stopping it in real time to check in. Here I learned a few big things:

(1) I was getting real-time feedback from an attractive woman about how she was perceiving me AND how I was impacting her emotionally and sexually
(2) I was getting real-time feedback from observers with a keen eye who could clearly detect incongruency between what I was expressing vs. the ACTUAL feelings and emotions going on inside.

How I was most impacted in this situation was:

(1) learning how attracted this gorgeous woman really was to me (I later learned that you got paired up with women who found you attractive)
(2) becoming aware about how blind I was to when women were interested in me
(3) being shown how often I was disconnecting from myself...and especially my desires...
(4) finding out how much that disconnection annoyed her and turned her off to me.

So what's interesting here is that without the awareness I was given by other observers, I would never have realized she was attracted to me...and even if I had, I wouldn't have known how I screwed it up. Then I would have blamed it on: my car, my clothes, my age, my etc.

It's been 3 years since I took their course, and I've had more sexual partners in the last 18 months than in my entire life cumulatively up to that point. (And that's what brought me here...along the way, I found a porn addiction and realized that it was causing my erectile dysfunction.)

In any case, there are so many things going on in your interactions with women that are outside your awareness. This isn't your fault. You simply are unaware. Unfortunately, because your mind is logical and needs to come up with a logical explanation for your frustration, you have no choice but to focus on the things for which you are aware: your race, the feedback of women (which can also be inaccurately filtered by their own defense mechanisms and lack of self-awareness), your lack of success to date, etc.

I wish you luck...you can definitely get past this. I sure have. But the first step -- and the only person who can take it is you -- is to open yourself up to reality that your lack of success is a result of the many things you are unaware of, and not the accumulated "evidence" which you've compiled through your life.

Best to you - Jerry

p.s. since you're asian...

I forgot...one added "benefit" of being Asian? I'm in my early thirties, but people think I'm 5-10 years younger than I actually am. I made a date with a really attractive woman 2 weeks ago. Our first date, she demanded to know how old I was because she thought I was too young for her. I laughed and assured her that I was probably older than she. I asked how old she assumed me to be...she responded that she thought I'd just graduated from college. Not grad school, undergrad :)

And yes, I was right, she was 29, so I have 3 years on her.

Don't worry, my friend, at age 38 your only enemy is the years of accumulated falsehoods lodged in your neural pathways.

Jerry