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comment by veen
veen  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: April 11, 2018

Pour me a strong one bartender, I need to vent.

"I regret my failures. What I regret more are my failures to try."

Last Friday I had a great evening with a bunch of my colleagues. My company, small as it is, has a handful of 'divisions'. They're like business units except there's no management and everyone is self-organised around a topic. So I went with the ten people involved in sustainable transportation (mostly EVs and carsharing, but in the process of tackling more) to this great Ethiopian place. I've never had Ethiopian before, but they brought out two enormous plate full of food for everyone to share and eat. Spicy, but delicious. To cool our stomachs, we went out to a few bars that were participating in a local-brewery-fest. It – the evening, the people, the places – was incredibly gezellig.

But I still ended up wallowing in self-pity on the way back home. We ended the evening at a small club, and after the music got too loud to talk, I just danced a bit while sipping yet another beer and watching people. I'm not the kind of guy to go talk it up with girls at a bar – never was, never will be. I've also been alone for like forever, and I can't say those two things haven't gnawed at me. So while other people were having fun and/or hooking up, I just felt incredibly, eternally lonely, despite being with great people, and having friends that I value in my life. And I did not try anything, because I don't even know where to start.

The next day, after waking up and taking my swimming class slightly hungover, I decided to make a change. If I can go from 'not at all moving forward' to 'doing a mediocre front crawl' in a few weeks, surely I can show some dedication and persistance in other parts of my life by giving it a try. Making an effort is worth something in my book, and I'm not even doing that. So I gave that one app another shot. No dates yet. Maybe I'll give speeddating a try. I don't know what I should do, but I want to try harder.

goobster  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Hey! Here's a random middle-aged white guy on the internet, who thinks his ideas are going to be just the thing to get you over this hump! Listen up, young one, while I mansplain it to ya...


We are clouds of chemicals. Everywhere we go, we have a chemical cloud around us. When we get in close proximity to someone else, they can sense our clouds, and we can sense theirs.

Ya know what your cloud was like while you were standing in the middle of a lively bar, moping and being all moody and goth? Unwelcoming. Uninteresting. Defensive. Walled-off.

What kind of person is going to find that a compelling cloud to step in to? (Hint: Nobody you wanna be around, for sure!)


You can't engage with anyone else until you sort out your cloud. And, honestly, why would you force that kind of darkness, negativity, and mopeyness on someone else anyway?

So here's the thing.... you be you. Go make yourself happy. Do the things that make you happy. Do stuff for yourself. Get a massage. A haircut. A pedicure. Smoke some weed. Spend a day out, walking aimlessly, and just going in to cafes you have never been to, and have whatever they sell. Be with your thoughts. Wear headphones with nothing but the sound of waves or white noise, and let your head do whatever it wants to do.

You have GOT to find a way to be comfortable in your own skin. With yourself. With your mind. With who you are.

Until you sort that shit out, trying to have a relationship with someone else is just being mean.

Be with that thought for a bit...

(Good luck, my friend. I'm being all tough-love here, and it may resonate with you, or it may not. I hope it does.)

veen  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks, goob, it is much appreciated. :)

I wasn't actually being a sad panda out there. What I tried to say is that despite having a good time, or maybe because of it, I was confronted with what I feel like I am missing out on, which happens to be an aspect of my life that hasn't changed in the last decade. It doesn't feel like a hump, it felt like a reminder of the valley of insecurity that I was thrown in as a kid and am still climbing out of.

I have made a lot of progress, in no small part because of a bunch of people reading here. I like my job, my friends, love my family, I am getting smarter every day, and I'm physically and mentally fit. (Hell, I might be getting actual visible abs if I keep this swimming thing up! It's bananas.)

But I want to share that with someone on a deeper level, and my apparent inability to do so makes me feel like the loser they used to tell me I was.

And that is probably not true, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt.

goobster  ·  466 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We all have doubts about ourselves. If we didn't we'd all be dicks like Trump.

Doubt isn't a bad thing in and of itself. But it shouldn't hang around. Don't feed it.

Look it in the eye, evaluate it with a clear head, learn what you can from it, and then discard it. Doubt is a reminder to look inward from time to time, and make sure you are who you think you are.

Doubt is a fortune cookie fortune: Interesting in the moment, but useless in the long run.

(And by the by... the "sad panda" visual that appeared in my head almost made me spit out my coffee, it was so funny! Thank you for that!)

veen  ·  465 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Doubt is a reminder to look inward from time to time, and make sure you are who you think you are. Doubt is a fortune cookie fortune: Interesting in the moment, but useless in the long run.

I love this. Much better advice than any fortune cookie I've ever read. Doubt, particularly about self-worth, is the bane of my existance, but it must end.

PS: you're welcome 🐼

HGL  ·  467 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Did your friends get laid or actually succeed? I'm guessing probably not at the end of the day your probably didn't do any worse then they did.

Getting girls at the club is a special skill (and not a very useful one long term) , good for a fun night or two but not much more than that so focus your efforts elsewhere and don't worry about it too much.

oyster gives good advice, follow that.

oyster  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Picking up girls at louds clubs only works if you are the type of guy who will ask a girl if she wants to get out of here after never saying a word to her and then turn around too another girl in the same group and asks the same thing after she says no/looks confused. That much rejection crushes anybody even remotely attached their self.

My unsolicited advice is to start small. If you dove in head first the swimming lessons wouldn’t have gone very well either and you likely would have been discouraged. Everybody you see and compare yourself too started small as well, maybe that was years ago in their adolescence but nobody gets to skip it. Can’t really give you specific advice on good next steps since I don’t know where you’re at but maybe write down what you are comfortable with/how far you get and then instead of seeing it as a jump from their to relationship figure out what you can do everyday to interact more. Maybe you could make more eye contact, at the very least exercises like that just get our brain on the line of thinking about these things in my moment. Like writing down emotions, it’s a conscious thing at first but then it gets to be more natural like it is for the people with normal childhoods.

You can always work on any skill you want, this is nothing different.

WanderingEng  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    So here's the thing.... you be you. Go make yourself happy. Do the things that make you happy.

I love this advice. I've been me more the last couple years than I was the previous 30+ years. It's great. I actually think I'm happy. I'm still single, and I think I'd rather not be, but that feels more comparable to "my marathon time was 4:28:14 when my goal was 4:20:00" and not "I can't run 5 km."

blackbootz  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I hear your brother.

Some unsolicited advice regarding loud clubs: They're pretty terrible places to talk to girls, as you said. They're also stellar at making you feel deficient if you feel like you're supposed to be there for something other than the music. But they can be fun if you dance your ass off. Certainly a little liquid courage makes that easier, but this semester I've been sober and I've still gone out a few nights just to dance around. The liberating knowledge with clubs, as in many incomprehensible social scenarios, is that no one really cares what you're doing, how you look as you dance, as long as you're enjoying yourself.

Do you like loud dance music? If so, clubs might be for you. But you might just not like loud music, or the particular DJ. But when the music isn't scratching your itch and you're watching other people have the time of their lives, that's a recipe for a sad walk home.

b_b  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would add that all my friends who are good at picking up girls are giant douche bags. It's not a skill to be envied.

kleinbl00  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Douchebaggery is often the result of the bravado necessary to power through both parties' fundamental instincts to keep to themselves. The real question is: can they turn it off? Because the ability to act like a douchebag without becoming a douchebag can be useful in the first few hours of relationships. The ability to not be a douchebag is what keeps them going.

flagamuffin  ·  468 days ago  ·  link  ·