Question: I am an attractive guy, the tall, dark and handsome type but I dont have social skills. Growing up with a friend who dominated all conversation with the greatest of ease, which made me more self conscious about my lack of ability to talk to people. I know people want to have sex with me because I have been offered sex from all types of men and women and even a female cousin but all were rejected. [Editor’s note: what’s that now?]
Despite my lack of social skills I did manage to stumble blindly into four, very short, relationships which none lasted longer then 4 weeks, all the relationships were ended by me. Now I am worse off when I talk to people in public and I just have a sick feeling in my stomach that I will end up alone, not because I cant attract a girl but because I am incapable of having a long term relationship.
There’s a guy who attends our events. He’s a regular customer. There must be upward of fifty registrations from him in our database over the last two years alone. I met him well over a decade ago at a speeddating event I was running. Some people might look at this guy and think, “Jeeze, what’s his problem?” When I see that he’s signed up for another event I think, “God Bless him. He’s not giving up.”
The first bit of advice I would give you is not to give up. You have to keep at it. Here’s something pretty neat that I realized only recently: the dating scene is such that every day holds a nee possibility for matching up with someone. Look, I’m down on dating, too. But it occurred to me a few weeks ago that I can go from having no matches on Tinder or OKC to getting four or five a day or two later.
You’ve decided that you’re too much of a freak to ever find anyone. I think that way, too. But you know what? I guarantee you that there’s someone else out there who feels the exact same way. A lack of relationship experience is far more common than you think, especially nowadays, thanks to technology. It’s not easy anymore, for anyone.
Forget about finding a partner. You need to sharpen your social skills. That’s your priority. Go to Meetup.com and join some groups, then attend some of their get-togethers. Don’t obsess about making a romantic connection. Just go looking to meet new people. The other must for you is to find a good therapist and talk through why you have so much trouble connecting with people. There could be more going on than you realize. You very well might suffer from social anxiety or a panic disorder. Don’t just let it go, thinking you’re just some weirdo. Find a professional who can help you connect the dots and untangle the wires.
One of my bigger fears of late is whether or not I’m capable of maintaining a long-term relationship. Am I too damaged? Too broken? Is it too late? But then my cat got sick. What I wanted to do was sit and hope he’d just get better. The last thing I wanted to do was take him to a doctor and have the doctor tell me something was wrong. But I did. I faced the fear gurgling in my stomach and took him to the vet. And, as I suspected, something was wrong. The doctor found a nodule in his neck. My cat was diagnosed with hyperthyroid and put on medication. I have a feeling he’s going to need surgery.
I am utterly terrified but I will do whatever it takes to keep him with me for as long as possible. That’s love: putting your needs and fears aside for the better of someone else. I know what needs to be done and I do it because his comfort matters more than mine.
So, I am capable of loving someone. I bet you are, too. Acknowledge that, because it’s important. Maybe there’s a disorder at work. You’re not alone there. Anxiety, depression, panic…these are all very common. A doctor might suggest meds to help you be more calm in social situations. There are all kinds of answers for you out there, you just have to go find them.
The one thing you can’t do is walk around thinking there’s something wrong with you. Trust me. I’ve done that for the better part of my adult life. And you know what? There is something “wrong” with me – I have attachment issues – but they’re something I can improve upon. I might not ever be able to fix the problem, but I can face it head on and find a workaround. But I will never overcome the challenges I face for being a dismissive avoidant type if I feed into the belief that I am broken beyond repair. You can not let that kind of thinking inform the rest of your life, because it will if you let it.