Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Feeling Lost

I have been told, and I believe, that NOTHING is more important when dating than confidence. Good looks and natural charm count for a lot, but confidence is essential.

Most of the time I am a confident person. But, as the weeks have ticked by since my wife and I separated, my dating confidence has been in a downward spiral. More and more, I feel completely lost.

I didn't start out this way. Yes, I had some concerns about my age and living situation, but there are a lot of fish in the ocean. I never had a problem meeting men in the past so I thought it was reasonable to expect one or two decent dates a month. But reality has hit home. I've had just one date (that wasn't anything like a date) in two months.

Although I'm disappointed to be doing so poorly, my bigger problem is that I don't know how to repair my confidence. That's why I feel lost.

Sometimes I think if I had just one modestly positive experience, it would do wonders for me. But everything I've tried so far has been a failure and my complete lack of success makes me more and more reluctant to make any effort at all.

Every day I try to motivate myself. The options run through my head: be more aggressive on dating sites, find more ways to meet people in person, focus on making friends. Every day I postpone or reject any action plan that pops into my head.

It dawned on me the other day that my last two posts about my "urban hipster" said far more about me than him. That realization has forced me to wonder if I have some kind of psychological block that is holding me back.

I also wonder if my expectations are too high. Maybe I'm older and/or more unattractive than I think I am.

Maybe I'm too comfortable in my straight life?

Maybe I lack the necessary "hunger" to date?

I just don't know. Nothing I've thought about seems right.

Feeling lost is a new sensation for me. I don't like it and my discomfort only makes my head spin faster.

Maybe I need to flail around like this for a while? Maybe I need to become so frustrated that I reach a tipping point, then I'll finally act in a decisive way. Maybe if I never act, that means I just don't want to be with a man badly enough?

At this point I think I need to protect my trampled ego. I don't have the fortitude to take any more disappointments in stride. What I need are some no pressure ways to meet men. Jason has made some good suggestions. Unfortunately all I do is makes excuses and tell myself why they won't work.

I need a really big kick in the ass and I just don't know how to do it. Any ideas?

10 comments:

  1. A KICK in the ass? Maybe something else up there would make you feel better.

    Just saying.....

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  3. Hello. I am a married guy 17 years, 41, kids, dogs, bills and no place to host a friend. Just read your post, among others from like minded guys. I really won't kick you in the ass, but can offer - fall for yourself, not another person. Find you and I think the other things will fall in place. Who knows, maybe things are not to be 'in place', but at the least you'll have you!! Best to you, always. There are guys out here listening and caring, even if it's an online reader, we're here.

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  4. Would you like me to introduce you to my dating coach?

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  5. Could it be that you need a grieving period for the death of your marriage before you can honestly begin to date? I'm not sure you have dealt with the hard emotional stuff yet, and it's hard to open yourself up to someone new, if your heart is still in pieces.

    Take the time to find you, it's ever so easy to lose oneself in a long term marriage. You and me, become us, and our edges blur, we grow fuzzy as to who we are.

    It's early roads yet, don't despair.

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  6. It sucks that your confidence has taken a little break. But it will come back.

    As for me - I'm not all that attracted to confidence. I know most people are, but for some reason it tends to come across as bullshit. And I don't deal well with bullshit. At least not right now.

    But I suspect you're talking about a more subtle confidence. More of being comfortable in one's own skin. If that's the case - it's hard to do when you're doing something new. Dating at all is tough after a 20+ year marriage. Dating men for the first time makes it harder. Hoping your friends and neighbors don't see you while you're out adds an additional layer of fear.

    I say practice makes perfect. Like I've said before - a date is just a date. Nothing more. The only objective of a date is for YOU to have a good time. Forget about the other guy. Don't put any expectations of the date. This isn't the man of your dreams - it's simply a guy you're sharing a meal and some conversation with. That makes it more organic. More palatable.

    So go on as many dates as you can. Sign up on the more aggressive dating sites. Stop making excuses and take Jason's advice.

    -nl

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  7. Cameron
    New Leaf said it all so well. You have had this identity as the nurturing man in a dysfunctional marriage so long you may have lost all feel for who you are besides an eternal giver. You need as you say yourself to find a new sense of your self and value who you are...that is the self confidence that comes from self acceptance. You will always have a certain doubting, challenging part but that can be a source of wit, charm, sass, and your natural self. Some would find that attractive. I have recently found a great guy who lets me be the doubter and questioner but also lets me be the optimist creative expressive me too. The liberation of dating as a guy with life experience and a better sense of self than a 20 year old is, you can be who you are and dating is the place to have fun.

    You may need more time to get to a better state of being your true self, and then the sense of confidence and the ability to weather the mechanics and the unpredictable encounters with strangers will come naturally.

    As someone who does plunge into despair about this stuff from time to time, I recognize your angst. But you can get past it as I have and find some men to enjoy out there. Give yourself some love and the rest will happen.

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  8. Cameron
    New Leaf said it all so well. You have had this identity as the nurturing man in a dysfunctional marriage so long you may have lost all feel for who you are besides an eternal giver. You need as you say yourself to find a new sense of your self and value who you are...that is the self confidence that comes from self acceptance. You will always have a certain doubting, challenging part but that can be a source of wit, charm, sass, and your natural self. Some would find that attractive. I have recently found a great guy who lets me be the doubter and questioner but also lets me be the optimist creative expressive me too. The liberation of dating as a guy with life experience and a better sense of self than a 20 year old is, you can be who you are and dating is the place to have fun.

    You may need more time to get to a better state of being your true self, and then the sense of confidence and the ability to weather the mechanics and the unpredictable encounters with strangers will come naturally.

    As someone who does plunge into despair about this stuff from time to time, I recognize your angst. But you can get past it as I have and find some men to enjoy out there. Give yourself some love and the rest will happen.

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  9. As usual you have received such good and caring advice all I can do is echo much of it. Grieving for your lost marriage, and getting to know yourself all over again - and loving that new self you discover - are necessary steps.
    Also, all you can control is putting yourself out there - sometimes the right guy just isn't there at the exact same moment you look. So you have to put yourself out there again at lots of moments....

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  10. I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God bless, Lloyd

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