A possibly incoherent vent about my failing love life

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The Grand Inquisitor
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24 Oct 2015, 11:56 am

So I'm feeling pretty angsty at the moment, and I thought posting on here might help. I'm 19 years old, which I know is relatively young compared to the chronically single population here, but alas, I am a member. My only two reciprocal instances of romance took place online with people I'd never met in person. One was with somebody whom I found attractive, but realistically was incompatible with because of different values and lifestyles (she didn't even find me physically attractive, and that bothered me a lot). The other was somebody I was more compatible with to an extent, but after arranging to meet up with here, and three or four postponements later, she ended up hooking up with her ex and that was the end of that. So neither of those count to me as anything more than desperation meshing with desperation.

My urge to get a girlfriend rose to prominence when I started puberty at the age of 12. It hurt like hell to watch as my brother (who is a year younger than me) developed a vivid relationship history whilst I remained stilted. Now, he's actually engaged and living with his fiancee's parents (and yes, I personally wouldn't choose to be engaged at his age even if I could find someone). I know there's nothing that can be done about it now, but after having been a high school graduate for pretty much a year now, I'm wishing I could relive the whole experience as someone else. I wish my high school years could have seen me develop more and better quality friendships, and I wish I had achieved romantic milestones that, to this day, I still haven't met. Milestones such as my first date, first relationship, first kiss, etc.

I know it's pointless to want to have lead a different adolescence, but I can't help wishing it had all been different. Now that I'm at university, it's happening all over again. People are cultivating friendships, getting into relationships and asserting their rights as adults, meanwhile I'll occasionally hang out with one of the three friends I kept in contact with from high school. I've been at university for almost a year and I haven't made any friends. One of the people I knew from high school is doing the same degree as me and she's pretty much become a social butterfly, meanwhile, people won't even sit next to me on the bus until it's the last seat available.

Yes, I have a low self-esteem, and it's mainly to do with my appearance. I feel like I'm ugly. I used to go on meetme quite regularly and the girls would offer to rate the guys on appearance. I could see how they rated me compared to other guys, and I almost always got the lowest rate they were willing to give. I have crooked teeth, bad skin (acne, dryness, redness and dandruff), a really ugly up-turned pig-like nose (I've had people tell me this on several occasions), a lazy eye and I wouldn't say I'm fat but my belly tends to stick out a bit. I know some of these are fixable, but I'm afraid that even fixing those, I will still be ugly and I would probably get very close to suicide if I found out that my best still wasn't good enough.

I'm over waking up every day feeling like sh*t about myself. I feel like my looks can only be fixed to the extent that I get to be ok, but not good enough for anyone to be interested in. I feel as though I can't stop myself from being awkward and repelling those around me. I want to be able to feel like a girl could be genuinely interested in me without an ulterior motive. I want to look in the mirror and like the person I see, but I can't. I hate having to see attractive women and knowing they would never want anything to do with me. I hate having to spend every day in bed on my computer, doing my best to distract myself from a sh*tty reality I'm not sure I can ever change. I hate being asked to describe my interests and hobbies and not having anything to say. The truth is, I hate being awake, when a large part of me wishes I could go to sleep and never wake up.

As much as I wish a girl could love me for the person I am, I wish infinitely more that I could love myself for the person I am, but there are things about myself I just can't bring myself to accept, and those are the things I perceive to be bringing me down in every aspect of my life.



MissBearpolar
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24 Oct 2015, 1:32 pm

Have you been screened for depression and/or anxiety? Is it possible that some of your unhappiness and self-loathing and stuck-ness is the result of slightly off brain chemistry (that may well be treatable with meds)?

The student health center at your college exists to assist you (and your classmates) with this kind of thing.

Your appearance probably isn't what's stopping your from dating (the top 5-10% of folks by pure appearance get dates because of their appearance; the bottom 5-10% of folks by looks don't get dates based on pure appearance, and; the 80-90% people in the middle aren't getting/not getting dates based on looks alone, ie get dates as they're smart/funny/sharp/whatever + okay looking).

Quote:
I'm over waking up every day feeling like sh*t about myself. I feel like my looks can only be fixed to the extent that I get to be ok, but not good enough for anyone to be interested in. I feel as though I can't stop myself from being awkward and repelling those around me. I want to be able to feel like a girl could be genuinely interested in me without an ulterior motive.


Getting to ok, looks-wise, is where 80-90% of humanity resides. I'd say it's definitely worth doing what you can to make the most of what you've got -- soap for the acne, moisturizer (or whatever) for the skin flakiness, clothes that flatter your shape and make you feel good. You're not going to be getting dates based on pure appearance... but neither are 80-90% of your classmates/humanity.

Making the best of what you've got does NOT preclude meeting a girl who loves you just as you are!

Do you have hobbies or interests? Are you pursuing them at college? If not, why not?



The Grand Inquisitor
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25 Oct 2015, 6:29 pm

MissBearpolar wrote:
Have you been screened for depression and/or anxiety? Is it possible that some of your unhappiness and self-loathing and stuck-ness is the result of slightly off brain chemistry (that may well be treatable with meds)?

The student health center at your college exists to assist you (and your classmates) with this kind of thing.

Your appearance probably isn't what's stopping your from dating (the top 5-10% of folks by pure appearance get dates because of their appearance; the bottom 5-10% of folks by looks don't get dates based on pure appearance, and; the 80-90% people in the middle aren't getting/not getting dates based on looks alone, ie get dates as they're smart/funny/sharp/whatever + okay looking).

Quote:
I'm over waking up every day feeling like sh*t about myself. I feel like my looks can only be fixed to the extent that I get to be ok, but not good enough for anyone to be interested in. I feel as though I can't stop myself from being awkward and repelling those around me. I want to be able to feel like a girl could be genuinely interested in me without an ulterior motive.


Getting to ok, looks-wise, is where 80-90% of humanity resides. I'd say it's definitely worth doing what you can to make the most of what you've got -- soap for the acne, moisturizer (or whatever) for the skin flakiness, clothes that flatter your shape and make you feel good. You're not going to be getting dates based on pure appearance... but neither are 80-90% of your classmates/humanity.

Making the best of what you've got does NOT preclude meeting a girl who loves you just as you are!

Do you have hobbies or interests? Are you pursuing them at college? If not, why not?



The Grand Inquisitor
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25 Oct 2015, 6:31 pm

MissBearpolar wrote:
Have you been screened for depression and/or anxiety? Is it possible that some of your unhappiness and self-loathing and stuck-ness is the result of slightly off brain chemistry (that may well be treatable with meds)?


I have depression, I see a psychologist and I take Zoloft.

MissBearpolar wrote:
Your appearance probably isn't what's stopping your from dating (the top 5-10% of folks by pure appearance get dates because of their appearance; the bottom 5-10% of folks by looks don't get dates based on pure appearance, and; the 80-90% people in the middle aren't getting/not getting dates based on looks alone, ie get dates as they're smart/funny/sharp/whatever + okay looking).


How do you know I'm not part of the bottom 5-10%? That's statistically 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 people. How many people statistically haven't experienced romantic antics by age 19?

Even if I'm not in the bottom-most range, the 80-90% portion you describe still differentiate A LOT amongst each other. If everyone in the world held a rate from 1 to 100, and we went by your analogy and said that 1 to 10 is for people who are too ugly to get a date and 91 to 100 is for people who could pretty much date anyone they want, that leaves the 11 to 90 range left. Realistically, an 11 is going to be very different from a 50, which is going to be very different from a 90 in terms of appearance, despite clumping them all into the same category. I'm not necessarily looking to walk into a room and instantly have women swarming over me. That's unrealistic. But what I do want is to feel like I am attractive enough for SOME women I'm attracted to, to be attracted to me. I don't need to be a heartthrob. The way I feel now though is that no girl I'm attracted to could ever be interested in me.

MissBearpolar wrote:
Quote:
I'm over waking up every day feeling like sh*t about myself. I feel like my looks can only be fixed to the extent that I get to be ok, but not good enough for anyone to be interested in. I feel as though I can't stop myself from being awkward and repelling those around me. I want to be able to feel like a girl could be genuinely interested in me without an ulterior motive.


Getting to ok, looks-wise, is where 80-90% of humanity resides. I'd say it's definitely worth doing what you can to make the most of what you've got -- soap for the acne, moisturizer (or whatever) for the skin flakiness, clothes that flatter your shape and make you feel good. You're not going to be getting dates based on pure appearance... but neither are 80-90% of your classmates/humanity.


I believe your definition of ok must be different from mine if you think that many people fall into it. I see ok as being not ugly, but not attractive either. Where compelling qualities are balanced with repulsive qualities. They're not attractive enough for people to be romantically interested in, but not repulsive enough for people to be disgusted by. If I'm not going to be attractive to anyone now, and I'm not going to be attractive to anyone if/when I become ok, why bother? I would say that most people are reasonably attractive. I mean attractive enough to appeal to SOME people they'd be interested in, but I don't feel like I appeal to anyone I'd be interested in. And no, I don't think my standards are unrealistic or sky-high if that's what you're thinking. I'm not looking for models, or someone who's absolutely flawless by mainstream beauty standards. Of course, like most people, I have preferences that aren't necessarily mainstream, as well as some that are. Pretty much all I want is to be a reasonably attractive guy who is capable of being with a reasonably attractive girl.


MissBearpolar wrote:
Do you have hobbies or interests? Are you pursuing them at college? If not, why not?


If I'm being honest, I don't get motivated by very much. I spend most of my free days in bed, watching tv shows, playing Pokemon on my 3DS, watching funny or philosophical youtube videos, and looking through forum posts.

There have been times that I've had the opportunity to attend social events at uni, but I don't go, because in the past I've had bad experiences showing up to social events alone. I've actually been humiliated by people before. Granted, that was a more mid-teen thing and now I'm a young adult, but I still feel like I would be very awkward if I went there seeing as I don't know anyone. Last year I went to an acquaintance's birthday party, and he even told me that I was very awkward while I was there. I even knew most of the people there and I was still awkward. I really need to have someone I know to hang around with at these sorts of events, or I will soon get awkward and it's just not a good time. I guess I kinda need a wingman or it all goes to cr*p very quickly.



MissBearpolar
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25 Oct 2015, 8:17 pm

The starting point would, presumably, be to make the best of the looks you've got, talk to the doc about the depression meds (it sounds like they might need to be adjusted since you're still so damn unhappy) and make a conscientious effort to get out more... meet new people, some of whom are debate and cute.

Is there a Pokemon club for grownups? Student club for YouTube videos? Any activity that you enjoy that might possibly introduce you to new people who share your interests? Surely there are a million clubs and rec sports at your school.

The self-loathing, well, others can tell. If you think you're Quasimodo-like, others are quite likely to treat you as such... even if you aren't. My point with the percentiles of attractiveness wasn't that there's no differentiation in percentiles 11-89, but that the folks in those percentiles ARE dating, that the 11th percentile alone isn't likely the sole cause of your lack of dates.

You've got friends and a brother with whom you appear to be on semi-decent terms -- why not ask them to set you up?



SavageHerring
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26 Apr 2016, 6:49 pm

I just wanted to say you're not ugly. ^^ and stay positive, you will find someone, you are still young, I didn't have a real relationship until I was 22. :heart:



brain_damage
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26 Apr 2016, 7:14 pm

I cannot really tell what you should do here because I never had a relationship either, but my gut feeling tells me as an autist, you should optimize wherever possible to compensate.

But even if it may not be worth it, why not at least try to expend effort to maximize your looks.
- take roaccutane for acne
- tan
- train in the gym
- eat healthy
- lose the glasses
- lose the beard
- better clothing
- braces
- consider surgery for your nose, if it's real bad looking

By 21-22 you may have drastically improved your looks while you're still young. It's best to start as early as possible.



Last edited by brain_damage on 26 Apr 2016, 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kraftiekortie
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26 Apr 2016, 7:18 pm

If that's him in the avatar, I would say he's actually a pretty good-looking guy.

He looks sort of like a lumberjack type.



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26 Apr 2016, 7:40 pm

brain_damage wrote:
I cannot really tell what you should do here because I never had a relationship either, but my gut feeling tells me as an autist, you should optimize wherever possible to compensate.

But even if it may not be worth it, why not at least try to expend effort to maximize your looks.
- take roaccutane for acne
- tan
- train in the gym
- eat healthy
- lose the glasses
- lose the beard
- better clothing
- braces
- consider surgery for your nose, if it's real bad looking

By 21-22 you may have drastically improved your looks while you're still young. It's best to start as early as possible.


^THIS
Sitting around and moping aren't going to fix anything. Fix the things you can and accept the things you can't fix and know you put in your best effort.


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JaneBuss
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27 Apr 2016, 8:24 pm

If your picture is your avatar, you look fine to me.

If your looks are killing your confidence, then do something about the things you can change without major medical procedures -- meds or cleansers for the acne, gym plus healthy food for the body and a trip to the mall (or a vintage boutique) with a stylish friend for some new duds.



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27 Apr 2016, 8:35 pm

This may seem silly but make a list of things that are positive about you. Are you good wth your hands, do you have nice coloured eyes. Focus on those things even though they are really really difficult to see when you are so body concious.

When I'm feeling concious I pick out the things I like about myself. I like my blue eyes, my long hair, being a good hugger, and my boobs (a weird one I know but I like them)

Depression is harder than alot of people know but keep fighting!!

If that's you in the avatar your beard is awesome I must add



VinoVeritas
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27 Apr 2016, 9:58 pm

I am 46 and married, but the way you describe yourself reminds me strongly of myself at 19.

I have high functioning autism along with depression, which I manage without meds. It sounds like you have a better handle on the depression than I did at that age, which is good. Skin problems, weight, and general unattractiveness were exactly how I would have described myself then. I had one relationship in high school - we were both considered unattractive and unpopular, and maybe that was how we ended up together. It became increasingly dysfunctional and I broke it off before I left for college. I didn't have another actual date until about 25.

Judging by your avatar pic, you are about as heavy as I was (and still am). Which is not very heavy. In my case it took me years to realize that I only thought I was fat because my father is borderline anorexic and would criticize my weight over and over. Being away from home for a few years helped; realizing there was something wrong with him helped a lot more. The skin problems appear to be psoriasis, which is genetic and completely uncurable but has proved treatable with a harsh shampoo and salicylic acid. With some work I was able to look a little bit better, but more importantly to stop feeling ugly when I looked at myself. People pick up on your self-image, and if you are unhappy with yourself they will steer around you.

I think this sort of thing is much more difficult for us on the spectrum because we have to work so much harder to understand how people see us. But I think there are solutions out there for you, even if it doesn't feel like it some days.



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27 Apr 2016, 10:59 pm

Quote:
a really ugly up-turned pig-like nose (I've had people tell me this on several occasions


Beauty and ugliness are subjective.

Sure, there are trends based on culture and probably biology (and the inter-mingling of those two things), but that's not the same as there being some objective measure of attractiveness. DIfferent people have different aesthetic tastes, and there is a whole lot of variation out there.

Also, who's telling you this? Maybe you've just been talking to a**holes.


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The Grand Inquisitor
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29 Apr 2016, 7:27 am

I'm kinda surprised this post was revived, being made in October of last year and all. Anyways, my thoughts on a few of these matters have changed slightly since I made this post, and I'll address these changes the best I can by replying to your comments.

SavageHerring wrote:
I just wanted to say you're not ugly. ^^ and stay positive, you will find someone, you are still young, I didn't have a real relationship until I was 22. :heart:

Thank you :) That's really very kind of you to say!

Like I said in the original post, I was feeling a bit moody at the time of authoring it, so I probably over-dramatised it a bit.

brain_damage wrote:
I cannot really tell what you should do here because I never had a relationship either, but my gut feeling tells me as an autist, you should optimize wherever possible to compensate.

But even if it may not be worth it, why not at least try to expend effort to maximize your looks.
- take roaccutane for acne
- tan
- train in the gym
- eat healthy
- lose the glasses
- lose the beard
- better clothing
- braces
- consider surgery for your nose, if it's real bad looking

By 21-22 you may have drastically improved your looks while you're still young. It's best to start as early as possible.


Maximising what I can is the plan for now actually.

- I've started using acne cream that, whilst it doesn't make my skin flawless, it certainly helps. I was actually on Roaccutane a few years back, and that did a pretty good job for then too.
- I might experiment with tanning in the future. I don't think it would do much to enhance my appearance until I take a few more important steps though, so I'll leave it as a thought for the time being.
- I have since started going to gym, though until lately, my visits were fairly sporadic. This week will be the first week I've ever worked out 6 straight days in a row if all goes according to plan. So far, I'm at 4.
- Eating healthy is a work in progress, but I've made strides since I decided to watch what I eat more vigilantly. I find that the more I go to the gym, the less inclined I am to consume junk, and the less I go, the more inclined I am to eat junk. So going more regularly will hopefully kill two birds in one stone.
- I've actually bought new, more modern glasses now. I'm also in the process of getting my contacts fixed up. I don't think I could wear contacts full-time though. They're a pain to put on and get off, and my eyes get a little itchy whilst wearing them.
- I ended up shaving the beard too, due to a few sparse areas that were bothering me that no one else probably even notices. I feel better with a beard though (most people tend to think I look better with facial hair, and I share that opinion), so I plan to grow it back, but I'll keep it short for now.
- Clothing is something else on my mind. Whilst I have purchased a few new items of clothing since posting (see profile picture), I don't feel like it's worth buying a wardrobe's worth of clothes until I'm comfortable in the body that's going to be wearing them, and until I can get the best fit at the size I want to be at.
- Braces are another thing I've been considering, but not on the top of the list at the moment either.
- Plastic surgery is a last resort. Certainly something I wouldn't consider undergoing unless all else fails. I'm going to have to see how everything else pans out before I pay any mind to this option. I'm not sure my nose is as bad as I described it in my angsty state.

kraftiekortie wrote:
If that's him in the avatar, I would say he's actually a pretty good-looking guy.

He looks sort of like a lumberjack type.

Thanks dude :)

nurseangela wrote:
brain_damage wrote:
I cannot really tell what you should do here because I never had a relationship either, but my gut feeling tells me as an autist, you should optimize wherever possible to compensate.

But even if it may not be worth it, why not at least try to expend effort to maximize your looks.
- take roaccutane for acne
- tan
- train in the gym
- eat healthy
- lose the glasses
- lose the beard
- better clothing
- braces
- consider surgery for your nose, if it's real bad looking

By 21-22 you may have drastically improved your looks while you're still young. It's best to start as early as possible.


^THIS
Sitting around and moping aren't going to fix anything. Fix the things you can and accept the things you can't fix and know you put in your best effort.

This is the current strategy I'm adopting.

JaneBuss wrote:
If your picture is your avatar, you look fine to me.

If your looks are killing your confidence, then do something about the things you can change without major medical procedures -- meds or cleansers for the acne, gym plus healthy food for the body and a trip to the mall (or a vintage boutique) with a stylish friend for some new duds.

Thank you :)

As I mentioned above, these are things I'm looking into.

Alliekit wrote:
This may seem silly but make a list of things that are positive about you. Are you good wth your hands, do you have nice coloured eyes. Focus on those things even though they are really really difficult to see when you are so body concious.

When I'm feeling concious I pick out the things I like about myself. I like my blue eyes, my long hair, being a good hugger, and my boobs (a weird one I know but I like them)

Depression is harder than alot of people know but keep fighting!!

If that's you in the avatar your beard is awesome I must add

Thanks!

This seems like a reasonable strategy. I might try employing it when necessary.

animalcrackers wrote:
Quote:
a really ugly up-turned pig-like nose (I've had people tell me this on several occasions


Beauty and ugliness are subjective.

Sure, there are trends based on culture and probably biology (and the inter-mingling of those two things), but that's not the same as there being some objective measure of attractiveness. DIfferent people have different aesthetic tastes, and there is a whole lot of variation out there.

Also, who's telling you this? Maybe you've just been talking to a**holes.

I think beauty is simultaneously both objective and subjective. Objective in that there are universally attractive traits and subjective in that there are also traits that are more divisive. Statistically, the further away someone is from conventional beauty/attractiveness standards, the less opportunities they'll likely be given to find romance. Sure, there are trends and fluctuations, but there are also unattractive traits that never cease to be unattractive. I guess the trick is finding that balance between current conventional standards and your own individual preferences.



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29 Apr 2016, 7:56 am

^^you sound like you're doing amazing :D please don't do plastic surgery I think that when you fix one thing if your self concious you tend to just find another thing to pick at.

I hate my nose to but if I changed it I think I'd just find something else to focus my hate on :) it's nice to hear

It's woderful to hear how confident and positive you are and is a great example to others (and sorry if I'm coming of as a weirdo I'm just kind of envious of your motivation :oops: :oops: )