I was (am?) socially broken, and had (have?) crippled my self-confidence, as well as my body. Help me fix me.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (31 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I realise that this might well have been done to the death - and I have searched, but I think my situation is suitably edge-case enough that it could warrant a post of its own. There is quite a bit of backstory, I'm sorry for the braindump.
I am 34 years old. I met my ex-wife at college, and we were inseparable from that moment on. We stayed together throughout college, got a house together, got married, and spent our entire 20s never more than a few hours out of each other's company. Over the years, infatuation became familiarity and from familiarity a slowly brooding contempt began to arise in the relationship. We both put on some weight, had sex less and less often, and gradually the marriage started to become more of a chore for both of us, but we were so heavily vested in each other that splitting up was a difficult thing to do.
Then 4 years ago I discovered my ex-wife was having an affair with one of my so-called friends, and, as a result, the marriage abruptly ended. No qualms with her - the marriage was a dud, we needed to end it, she probably got there before I would I have done the same.
That all said - I took it fairly badly over the proceeding couple of years. I clammed up, got miserable, angry and pessimistic. I stopped seeing my friends, I even moved away to a completely different town partly-purposely to be alone. I did not go out. I lived as a hermit. I spent money I didn't have on pointless toys and frivolities and got my finances in a total mess because of it, I drank a lot, I did not socialise with anyone outside of the office, and I generally got very, very down. The only constant was food - I seemed to get by and self-medicate myself by - well - eating. As a result, my weight ballooned.
Sexually, I was impotent. I mean that in every sense. I would see women actively cross the road to avoid walking past me in the street. I met this one girl in Amsterdam - not a prostitute! - in a hotel bar we were staying at, and we ended up making out and retiring to her room. I could not function - there was alcohol involved, but I wasn't pie-eyed drunk. I haven't had meaningful sex in possibly six or seven years.
At the point where I realised what a mess I was making of my life, I was tipping the scales at 400lbs.
A quick reality check, a change of job, a change of city, and the clarity one can only get from being near the bottom snapped me out of it. I'm doing better now - I'm taking care of myself properly, and I've lost a chunk of weight since then through eating much more sensibly (and am still doing so) - though I'm still firmly in the 'Morbidly obese' BMI category - and I'm becoming far more socially active than I was before, finding new friends and being a social animal(!) at work. Bear in mind though that I am still very much the wrong side of >340lbs.
All of which has reawakened my desire to get out, meet people and get dating again. Which is where my social awkwardness and crashing lack of self-confidence comes in. A week or so ago, I met this amazing woman through a work colleague. She is, well, gorgeous. I have no idea how this happened, but we somehow hit it off and spent the night flirting and socialising with each other, but it went no further than that. We did exchange numbers though, and we arranged to meet up for dinner a few days later.
We went on the date, and it was great. At least - I thought so, and she did too, at least she appeared to, and said as much at the time. We got on really well, went to a couple of bars after the meal and chatted until late. We discussed the issue of my weight - she's never 'been out with a big guy before', and I told her how I got this way, but that I was fixing it and so on. She didn't seem too bothered. We talked at length about a 2nd date, and the places we could go and the things we could do and made tentative plans for the coming week. There was no intimacy, other than a peck on the cheek when we left. I received a text from her after getting home that night, which says - verbatim - 'Thanks for a fantastic night. Sleep well and I will see you soon! X'. I replied with similar sentiment, and sent a couple of follow-up texts a day or two later, and I've heard nothing since. It's been 5 days.
So, there's that whole will-she, won't-she issue, and I don't know if this will go anywhere; I'd really, really like it if it did, but the larger question is how do bigger guys, with self-confidence issues and crappy social skills go about dating? I've tried internet dating, but it did precisely nothing to repair my ego, as I managed to get single figure numbers of women who actually conversed with me on both match and eharmony in 12 months; and out of those only actually turned into a date (and what a train-wreck that was - perhaps a future post?). I also found the ethics of these companies somewhat questionable - a week or two after my subscription would lapse, all of a sudden a very attractive lady would be wanting to talk to me; providing I re-activated my subscription, of course!
I'm rambling now. Any advice is very gratefully received; I will answer any questions you have, if you need more colour. Thanks.