So many reasons to keep love/sex out of my life. Are they realistic?
June 20, 2013 10:37 PM Subscribe
I haven't had sex since 1999 (back when I was married) and haven't dated since 2006. I really want to meet men and date and have romance and make out and kiss and have sex, but there are so many obstacles! Are they all just manifestations of low self-esteem or are they real--or some of each?
posted by primate moon to human relations (25 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I suffered from depression for most of my life, but I'm feeling really good now and for the last year. I have returned to school full-time to finish my bachelors, and I love it, and I'm actually making long-term goals now (maybe grad school!). For the first time in my life I feel pretty good about myself and finally feel like I might be a little loveable. I also struggle with social anxiety, but I'm trying to cope. Every couple of months I'll think, hey, maybe I'll hop onto the dating sites and try to meet someone! But then I stop.
I detest and loathe my body and just about everything about it, and I feel fairly certain anyone else would, too. Here are some problems.
Liability #1: I am 53 and very overweight and have a decidedly post-menopausal body. Lumpy and bulgy and very thick-waisted. Fat face with triple chins. No neck to speak of.
Liability #2: I have something called sebhorreic keratoses: large, black, crusty bumps all over my back, some of them standing out as far as a quarter inch from my skin. I also have smaller ones over much of my legs, including my thighs, and my arms, though these are the same color as the surrounding skin. They are completely benign, but really ugly. No dermatologist will remove them: they are fairly vascular and removal would be prone to infection, and besides, they'll grow right back. Gross. When I can bring myself to wear a bathing suit, little kids will point and exclaim about them. I can't even wear white shirts since they can be seen through the fabric.
Liability #3: I have crap teeth, including a few missing ones, one right next to the front ones. I have no dental insurance and have been broke for many years now and cannot afford implants. Not an option for at least the next 2 or 3 years. In the meantime, I wear something called a "flipper" or a small bridge: a removable device that almost looks a little like a retainer, with 2 fake teeth hanging off the front that go where the missing ones are. It looks OK when it's in, though two small wires are visible bracketing the teeth. But I have to remove it to eat, and I don't sleep in it. Not only is this an esthetic liability, but I can't kiss somebody! It's a largish piece of plastic that sits up on the roof of my mouth and would be immediately apparent with any but the driest, pursed-lips kiss. And I couldn't bear to kiss someone without it in and look and feel like a hillbilly with 2 major teeth missing.
I can sometimes convince myself that the first two might be acceptable to a man who might fall in love with me for my other qualities. It's a challenge, but with the help of my shrink and lots of positive self-talk, it sometimes seems possible.
But #3 feels like a deal-breaker. Like there's no way I can even THINK about trying to meet men as long as my teeth are the way there are. That I'm just going to have to wait to develop this side of my life until I can pay for implants. This doesn't feel like low self-esteem or shyness or body dysmorphia. It seems like a true obstacle. I'm right, right? I need honest feedback, not empty positivity and insincere cheerleading. Thanks, mefites.