Dating causing distress

Postby hopefulkitty » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:10 pm

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum. I have been having a very difficult time the last several years as all of my close friends are either in serious relationships, married, or married with children (I am 27). I, on the other hand, have been single for almost 3 years. While I am in no rush to be married, and am not even sure I want kids, I do want to be in a serious relationship that has the potential to lead to marriage some day. I have been dating on and off for the past 3 years without much luck. I have no problem attracting men, but finding one who I am physically attracted to, who is nice, interesting and with a decent job as well as mentally stable seems to be impossible.

I have dated a few guys for a couple of months but did not work out due to circumstance (one lived 3 hours away and both learned neither of us was willing to move), or due to serious mental health issues (dated a guy for a few months who unfortunately had debilitating depression and migraines and was not in a good place for a relationship). Some simply turned out to be jerks, or were only looking for casual hookups, and some I just wasn't interested in. Because I have had so many "failed" relationships, even though the reason they did not work out was not really my fault, I find I am starting to feel there has got to be something wrong with me. Why can all of my friends find someone and I am having to kiss so many frogs and get hurt again and again.

I am at the point where I am happier when I am not seeing anyone, because I can be sure that I will not be hurt. When I am dating a guy, I find I am insecure, constantly overanalyzing, and have a hard time not assuming the worst, since so many have not turned out. I will say that despite all this, when I am with the guy in person, I am able to relax and be my usual fun self. But when I am not with him, I am constantly looking for signs he is not interested, and have a hard time appreciating all the good signs. If I don't hear from him for a few days for example, I panic and assume it is over and begin to feel terribly anxious and depressed. I should mention that I am a highly-sensitive person and have dealt with anxiety issues most of my life. I know dating is stressful for anyone, but considering my experiences, my sensitive personality and my anxiety, it takes so much out of me sometimes I want to give up.

Sometimes I find myself terribly depressed and social media does not help, where it seems every single person but me is in a happy committed relationship, engaged, or married. I try to limit the amount of time I spent on Instagram and Facebook, but I cannot avoid it completely as I do not want to miss out on my friend's posts. My friends tell me I have a lot going for me (attractive, good job, interesting, funny, etc). I don't understand why someone who apparently has so much going for them is having such a hard time finding Mr. Right. I am told any guy would be so lucky to have me but I am having a hard time believing that. Does anyone have any words of encouragement or any recommendations on how to cope in this situation? Thank you!
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:58 am

Not a cure all, but here is a tip I found useful. Write a list of all the things you want in a partner. Then narrow the list to your top five. For instance, one of your top five is willingness to relocate.

When you meet a new guy, screen against your list and don’t date if they don’t meet the top 5.

The reason the above strategy helps is that we tend to waste months dating someone to find out they don’t want to relocate. We get ourselves involved in relationships that we unwittingly don’t realize are destined to fail, because we (1) are not very clear on what we want and (2) we don’t then screen for those values.

Hope it helps.
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