Have part-time confidence, want full-time confidence.
November 3, 2012 7:06 AM Subscribe
I would like help in turning situational confidence into all-the-time confidence, particularly as it pertains to romance and dating.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a 36-year-old divorced straight male. I have had a few satisfying long-term relationships, and am eager to start seriously dating women again, but I can't get out of my own way.
I am intelligent, caring, ethical, and very, VERY funny (you'll just have to take my word on this). I'm not an ogre, but I don't really consider myself very good-looking. Not that I am the type of guy to try to pick up girls in bars, but I think it's safe to say that I would not be successful at such an endeavor if I tried.
I've been in some way physically intimate with 9 women in my life, and 6 of them I met online. The 3 from real life were the base, short-term, regrettable ones. Online, on the other hand, the women I've met all had long (at least a few months) lead-up times of emails, picture-exchanging, phone calls, and so on to the point where we were so emotionally invested in each other that it has never seemed likely that our first physical visit would be a failure, and -yay!- it never has been.
This is the mechanism for dating I'm most comfortable with. However, I am very tired of/done with relationships that start with a few visits and end with me moving to another state. I want to have LOCAL success now, and I live in a well-populated area. But the one OKC date I have managed in about a month on the site (I know that's not very long), the date told me afterwards she was not interested in pursuing something with me.
Now then: at work and at other non-romantically charged settings, I am often extremely popular. With no opportunity of romance, no stakes involved, I can completely relax, "be myself," and it usually pays big dividends in how people respond to me. It's very gratifying and helps me pump up my chest and feel good.
I try, so hard, to bring this relaxed confidence to the romantic realm of my life. I tell myself all these mantras about how kickass I am. And while I do manage to be fairly witty and engaging during these times, I think my lack of confidence shows through and it is a turn-off. Before that OKC date I mentioned, I was so nervous my legs were shaking. This exchange-emails-for-a-week-and-then-meet is not how I'm used to doing it. I have a hard time NOT CARING if it doesn't work out. I feel like I tell myself the right things, but some other part of me isn't buying it. Accordingly (and unfortunately), any romantic opportunity with promise, as narrow and fleeting as that promise may be, leaves me all limerent and thinking about that person way too much.
I feel as though if the work-me could be the all-the-time me, I wouldn't have to wait long to be in a sastisfying romantic relationship, nor would I care if I DID have to wait long. But no matter what I tell myself, I am struggling and failing to be the change I want to see. If anyone can relate to this and has overcome it, I'd love to hear about it (or even if you haven't but think you have helpful advice, by all means).
P.S. I am very pro-therapy but living paycheck-to-paycheck, and I don't want to drain the time and expense of free resources when there are people with much more grave problems than mine. If it matters, I am on Citalopram and it helps a ton.