Cards Were Dealt: how did YOU find a partner? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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Cards Were Dealt: how did YOU find a partner?


Pondering love and loneliness... I'm trying to get an understanding of which paths in life lead a person to being able to try out *ships and love.

Which circumstances, do you think, made you eligible for partnership?
even with having SA, and likely various other mental maladies, how is it that you were able to be social enough to the point where other people are romantosexually interested in you?

-- Forced marriage culture?
-- Are you still friends with your childhood friends?
-- Did you make friends easily in high school, work or uni?
-- Do you go clubbing or partake in other "sexually charged" events? how often? ever went by yourself? How do you manage this with SA?
-- Do you somehow get invited to parties and drink a lot and end up having sex?

Please state if you're introvert, ambivert or extrovert.
If you want, you can state how superficially attractive you are as well (0-10 or whatever).

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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TL;DR
basically i was NOT able to get anywhere because as i got older, i got more SA, more depressed and more GAD.
this caused me to retreat from social life, and bla bla bla vicious feedback loop.


my SA was severe in my early years so i could never get close enough to people in that way. altho i do remember having a "girlfriend" when i was 5-6 years old and kissing her on more than 1 occasion. i remember it felt very romantic.

then when school started i quickly become more anxious around people, when everyone started exploring their sexuality by kissing at school dances and whatnot, i anxiously sat in a corner and stared at all the dancing couples, or went home. i felt alienated and betrayed.
yet i was very sexual as a child and dreamt of sex and group sex.

the older i got the more awkward i felt around other people and when i started middle school lots of girls wore ****ty clothing and ppl were going to parties and having sex left and right (at least to my perception).

in 7th grade, i heard a classmate talk to her friend about birth control pills.
my friend since a few years back, who was a little awkward too, managed to get a girlfriend and made sure that everyone knew. she was one of the hottest girls in the school.

in 9th grade, one girl had a baby, and another girl was pregnant. yeah they were white trash but whatever.

come high school and i'm basically socially fcvked. didn't have any friends there apart from a shxtty friend from middle school who got into the same HS. i was the super SA goth kid who couldn't eat lunch or use the school bathrooms from all the anxiety. all the while seeing nerdy people hanging out with hot girls, going to parties and getting drunk. i had a classmate who was super quiet and kinda awkward. turns out he was a drug addict; one day in 12th grade, he died from overdosing some RC.

i only went to school, then came back home, played video games, fapped, then sleep. next day, same thing. i never talked to anyone in school outside of my class. i never went to a single party. i never went to any classmate's house.
video games, porn, movies and 4chan was my life.

i tried to recover from this years later while i was already in the workforce for some time. i met some ppl thru my sibling and had a pretty big social circle but they were all fake acquantainces. during this same period i started uni and tried to make friends there, but i just felt so different and anxious. went to a few social functions but it didn't feel right.... tried to hang out with a uni mate outside of school, but it didn't work out because it turned out that person was hella childish.

i dropped all of these people since most of them ghosted me, the few who were left were ghosted by me for being immoral poopbags.

i met someone on the internet before so i know it's not impossible for that to happen again; but obviously this requires tons of effort and is a 90% failure rate in terms of chemical connection.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 03:47 PM
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I think everyone is eligable for relationships...

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 04:33 PM
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the main 3 - dating site, meetup, meetup.

the first we were friends after so I've had her to chat to since then - not in person for a while, but on and off.

other than that i tend to isolate myself as much as possible. though I did make a few short lived friendships through meetup/mental health circles. never friends with colleagues or ex school associates. I did have some friends during high school though.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 04:51 PM
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I guess the main thing is just being able to talk to people. When I was younger I met lots of girls through work - often in hospitals (lots of nurses) and stuff like that. I can't remember how I actually met a couple that were my actual girlfriends but I know quite a few definitely did the approaching. I would have probably been too shy to do it a lot of the time. But once they made the first move I was okay.

Also met at hostels when I was travelling, I met my wife through work too - a mutual friend introduced us. More recently I met them in hospital (not recommended), and on dating sites. I'm defintely getting too old for all that stuff now though.

Which one is an ambivert? I have no idea what I am.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 05:56 PM
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I'm an introvert. I wouldn't consider myself that attractive, maybe a solid 5.

I've found romance from mutual friends, online, and by happenstance at the mall, bus, etc.

I think each time, I was in a healthy place in my life and had a positive mindset. Usually I am working fulltime, have hobbies of my own, and taking reasonably good care of myself. And was willing to go out and put myself out there.

It's a lot harder to develop a relationship when you are standing on a rocky foundation. Especially in my age group, no one wants to partner with a liability (unless you're exceptionally attractive).
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 06:14 PM
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.When I was younger I met lots of girls through work - often in hospitals (lots of nurses)
Nurses are so hot! Had a couple wild nights with nurses. So one told me its because they see all the death and misery on a daily basis so they know they have to enjoy life to the fullest now
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 06:21 PM
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Never will that can see. Too messed up life.

Good to dream about and that is about it.

Sometimes people are dealt those cards, even the nicest people you'll meet.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 06:26 PM
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how is it that you were able to be social enough to the point where other people are romantosexually interested in you?

-- Forced marriage culture?
-- Are you still friends with your childhood friends?
-- Did you make friends easily in high school, work or uni?
-- Do you go clubbing or partake in other "sexually charged" events? how often? ever went by yourself? How do you manage this with SA?
-- Do you somehow get invited to parties and drink a lot and end up having sex?

Please state if you're introvert, ambivert or extrovert.
If you want, you can state how superficially attractive you are as well (0-10 or whatever).
Nope no childhood friends really. SA was to bad from about 6th grade on to make friends. Made for lonely middle and high school years. Got severely bullied as well so that didn't help either.

The partying and drinking was how I had quite a few if not most of my sexual relationships. Need the alcohol as a crutch to reduce my SA and be bale to communicate. Did much better and was able to date and have some relationships in my late 20's and 30's when I got less akward. Im 41 now. I think the internet really helps in meeting people now a days. Its not perfect but a lot easier to message a woman on a dating site then approaching them in the grocery store or bar.

I would say im a extrovert but with very severe SA so I want to talk and be friendly but dont have the skills confidence to pull it off. I always wished I could be the guy who was the life of the party with all the women. Not the hand that genetics and life circumstances dealt me however
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 07:34 PM
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I've never found anyone, but, to be honest, I didn't bother looking. I only started to care about the whole relationship thing very recently, when all other aspects of my life got to the point where I'm generally very happy with them, and I started asking myself, "Okay, what else can I do to make my life even better?" I pretty much have the approach of "If I meet someone randomly, it's good, if I don't, it's good", so who knows how long it will take to find someone - nobody showed much interest so far, and I haven't showed much interest to anyone either.

Two of my friends who were very anti-social for various reasons found partners through video games and video game forums: they just played the games they loved and chatted about them, then started chatting about everything, and then decided to take things further.

I don't think that's a way for everyone, but, in general, from my observations, people find partners through common interests, rather than by some organised and specialised search. Do you have any interests that can be shared with other people? Do you have any forums you participate in? Well, you obviously do, since we are talking here right now. So that's already a start.

Again, take my words with a grain of salt, since I myself am still sorting these things out.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 10:47 PM
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Um, I didn't have SA when I was younger. I was never popular, but I always had at least one friend and could talk to other people at school without feeling anxious. By the time I got to hs I was being bullied pretty badly. (That's where a lot of my anxiety comes from.)

I'm not an attractive person, and no one's ever hit on me, but people do tend to like me once they get to know me very well.

There's one specific path that opens up the possibility of a relationship for me. This is the only thing that has ever worked. It's worked 3 times, and it's worked the same way each time:
1. Pretend to be a straight cis guy
2. Be introduced to a woman with serious psychological disorders (bipolar, PTSD, low self-esteem, suicidal depression, etc.)
3. Spend several months interacting with this woman in person on an almost daily basis as their friend*, trying to make them feel better about themselves, not kill themselves, etc.
4. *Alcohol appears*
5. Have a long conversation that lasts late into the night, talking about the meaning of life; they see something in me that doesn't exist and, because they've been drinking, they make a pass
6. Knowing that I will never get another chance, and knowing that I'm acting unethically, I reciprocate
7. Sex happens
8. A relationship happens, ending 5-10 years later when they realize

 




*It's important to clarify that I didn't pursue any of these women. They didn't show any interest when I met them, and I never expected them to be interested, so the "indifference to outcome" was probably a factor in their attraction to me (since I was just being myself and didn't drive them away by acting creepy). I was never 'friendzoned', because I had no intention of dating them.

This 'strategy' obviously wouldn't work for me now, because I'm older, uglier, and queerer than I used to be, so any trace of physical attractiveness I might have possessed is long since gone. And I can't really see how knowing it would be of any use to anyone else. You'd have to have my particular combination of traits for it to work (or rather, for it to be necessary). The simple answer to the OP is: people found their partners by having the traits that they have. And they can't find partners because they have the traits that they have.

Wishing she had a mindblowing GUI
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 12:56 AM
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I was in an environment surrounded by guys during uni (at some points before uni too but they were mostly Muslim guys and insular, and most people weren't attracted to me before uni) that being said neither of the people I had relationships with later approached me first.. But I still got approached by other guys in that environment who I didn't date so it still increased odds.

I've talked about this a bunch I think and kind of can't be asked to go into details. As mentioned my second relationship was asexual, first one I experimented a bit and didn't really like doing that stuff.

I have a feeling I'm almost universally unattracted to anyone who ever approaches me first (unless I've already got a crush on them I guess, but that hasn't ever happened.)

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Please state if you're introvert, ambivert or extrovert.
Some kind of ambiverted schizoid thing.

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 02:26 AM
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I moved abroad where I was considered exotic and I went to nightclubs, as in places where people dance. I very rarely went to regular bars where everyone just sits. Not that I dance much at all. I probably only danced 5% of the time I spent at nightclubs. Most of the time I just stood in the sidelines nursing my drink for as long as possible. The drink was my security blanket. It is true that most guys at nightclubs are just interested in sex but because you meet waaaay more people than you would otherwise (especially for introverts like me with little to no friends) it greatly increases the odds of finding a relationship. 1 out of 120 is still better than 0 out 1.

American guys have generally not been interested in me. I have tried online dating here and fooled around with a few guys but it has never gone beyond the 2nd or 3rd date. Either I'm not attracted to them or they aren't attracted to me. Virtually never a mutual attraction where the guy wants to date me. I got drunk in order to handle talking to strangers. Can't handle dating/flirting while sober. Way too nervous and uptight. Only got 4 relationships out of it.

Never been able to meet guys through normal ways. Never had much of any friends, so I couldn't do the friends of friends route. Guys at school were never interested in me. I'm kind homely so don't attract much of any attention in the US. Never really joined any clubs other than the social anxiety meetup a few years ago. A handful of guys asked me out there but none of them I found even remotely attractive. The guys I was attracted to showed zero interest.

I've never been friends with a guy first and then gotten sexual with him. It's always sexual right from the get-go.

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 06:22 AM
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Ages ago I used to try the AOL profile thing where I would just state in a matter-of-fact way what I was interested in. Only got maybe one message from a woman one time and I think she might have been a hooker (it weirded me out too much to pursue it). Anyway, I spent a lot of time on that back then and by the time I came to the conclusion that it was pointless, I knew the online dating thing was probably never going to be a great tool for most average (or below average) people. I could have told you in 2007 online stuff is pretty useless if you're seriously looking and you're awkward or shy or whatever.

Other than that I had a few who were interested in me wherever I was working. I met one in particular in the 90s who really liked me but she was a bit overwhelming and wouldn't give me time to think about whether I was really interested. Just always smothering and not backing off when I'd tell her I needed a few days.

That was pretty much when I decided I was probably not right for a relationship. At least not a relationship that exists solely as a path to romance. I could have maybe handled one that was mostly platonic with occasional fooling around but never really had any idea how to accomplish that during the years when it would have been realistic and mutually beneficial.

I can't say I never needed a life partner because that's probably the only way I could have ever realistically survived away from my parents. That is probably why I am where I am. I didn't recognize that need when it was timely and a realistically achievable goal. I would not have had any real idea how to communicate that intent and would have been pretty uncomfortable trying. It would have been a complicated idea for me when I was 28 and had no experience whatsoever. There were probably "code words" for it but I didn't know them (and none really come to mind, hence this post).

But. Like I said. I did have a couple of GFs. The only one I had that had any potential to lead to anything meaningful happened organically. I was at work and she was flirting with me and I just thought "why not?". I guess I had been talking to her for a while and didn't realize there was some attraction there. I used to just talk to whomever was there on my break.

I guess you have to talk to people as people and not necessarily always with any dating or sexual intent. Even if you're not attracted to them. Just talking will sometimes open doors to other places that you wouldn't have known about if you didn't.

If you don't talk to people, you'd better hope you're very attractive and you just make them want to find an excuse to talk to you.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by andy1984 View Post
the main 3 - dating site, meetup, meetup.


rate myself re looks? lol. no. that's degrading.
this means then, that you are comfortable enough to draw some attention thru the internet.hmm.


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a certain someone will love the YOU in the title. you could have said thou.

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haha i actually thought of both those things



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Originally Posted by leaf in the wind View Post
I'm an introvert. I wouldn't consider myself that attractive, maybe a solid 5.

I've found romance from mutual friends, online, and by happenstance at the mall, bus, etc.

I think each time, I was in a healthy place in my life and had a positive mindset. Usually I am working fulltime, have hobbies of my own, and taking reasonably good care of myself. And was willing to go out and put myself out there.

It's a lot harder to develop a relationship when you are standing on a rocky foundation. Especially in my age group, no one wants to partner with a liability (unless you're exceptionally attractive).
what happened on the bus that sparked a lasting connection? do you understand what i'm getting at?
this would never happen to me because;
1. even having people look at my quite often, no one talks to me
2. i'm too socially awkward to not sound like an idiot in a situation like this



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Originally Posted by Shadowweaver View Post
I've never found anyone, but, to be honest, I didn't bother looking. I only started to care about the whole relationship thing very recently, when all other aspects of my life got to the point where I'm generally very happy with them, and I started asking myself, "Okay, what else can I do to make my life even better?" I pretty much have the approach of "If I meet someone randomly, it's good, if I don't, it's good", so who knows how long it will take to find someone - nobody showed much interest so far, and I haven't showed much interest to anyone either.

Two of my friends who were very anti-social for various reasons found partners through video games and video game forums: they just played the games they loved and chatted about them, then started chatting about everything, and then decided to take things further.

I don't think that's a way for everyone, but, in general, from my observations, people find partners through common interests, rather than by some organised and specialised search. Do you have any interests that can be shared with other people? Do you have any forums you participate in? Well, you obviously do, since we are talking here right now. So that's already a start.

Again, take my words with a grain of salt, since I myself am still sorting these things out.
i've had sex via internet vectors.

that said, this thread is about the psychological and sociological mechanics that expose a human organism to interpersonal sexual activity.

i enjoyed your post, your specific kind of optimism brings some levity to my existence.



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The simple answer to the OP is: people found their partners by having the traits that they have. And they can't find partners because they have the traits that they have.
Annoyingly zen.

it's not completely true, but zen nonetheless.



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Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread View Post
I have a feeling I'm almost universally unattracted to anyone who ever approaches me first (unless I've already got a crush on them I guess, but that hasn't ever happened.)
fascinating

but it sounds like you weren't that socially phobic or am i misreading... ?

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ambiverted schizoid thing.
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I moved abroad where I was considered exotic and I went to nightclubs, as in places where people dance. I very rarely went to regular bars where everyone just sits. Not that I dance much at all. I probably only danced 5% of the time I spent at nightclubs. Most of the time I just stood in the sidelines nursing my drink for as long as possible. The drink was my security blanket. It is true that most guys at nightclubs are just interested in sex but because you meet waaaay more people than you would otherwise (especially for introverts like me with little to no friends) it greatly increases the odds of finding a relationship. 1 out of 120 is still better than 0 out 1.

American guys have generally not been interested in me. I have tried online dating here and fooled around with a few guys but it has never gone beyond the 2nd or 3rd date. Either I'm not attracted to them or they aren't attracted to me. Virtually never a mutual attraction where the guy wants to date me. I got drunk in order to handle talking to strangers. Can't handle dating/flirting while sober. Way too nervous and uptight. Only got 4 relationships out of it.

Never been able to meet guys through normal ways. Never had much of any friends, so I couldn't do the friends of friends route. Guys at school were never interested in me. I'm kind homely so don't attract much of any attention in the US. Never really joined any clubs other than the social anxiety meetup a few years ago. A handful of guys asked me out there but none of them I found even remotely attractive. The guys I was attracted to showed zero interest.

I've never been friends with a guy first and then gotten sexual with him. It's always sexual right from the get-go.
i enjoyed this slice of life.


Yeah so i definitely should add that without alcohol and other drugs, i have a much much harder time being social.
I started using inebriants & entheogens in 2011.


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But. Like I said. I did have a couple of GFs. The only one I had that had any potential to lead to anything meaningful happened organically. I was at work and she was flirting with me and I just thought "why not?". I guess I had been talking to her for a while and didn't realize there was some attraction there. I used to just talk to whomever was there on my break.
.
seems like you are an extrovert, is that correct?

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:26 AM
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seems like you are an extrovert, is that correct?
I have spent the vast majority of my life either alone or avoiding people and/or awkward social settings. So no. Not really. I can deal with people on limited terms and that has waxed and waned over the years.

I can be (at times) good at conversation. I think (believe it or not) nicotine made me better at communicating and kind of provided a need for communication (in a roundabout way). Because when I was a smoker, I tried to limit my smoking (but couldn't) by buying fewer cigarettes at a time. Which caused me to have to ask other people for one. So I felt like if I was going to bum a cigarette off of someone I should at least acknowledge their presence. This ended up causing conversation.

Not that you should take up smoking. Definitely don't do that. Anyway, no. Not really an extrovert. I tend to prefer one on one conversation when I do it and I pretty much do not like pressure so as soon as the person starts to apply any type of pressure I will generally exit.

But, maybe I was a bit more motivated to try to be an extrovert when I was 21 (which was when the GF thing happened). I was in the break room and she was in the break room and I wasn't really attracted to her so found talking to her easy. I mean, I might have had a slight attraction but my anxiety builds as my attraction level becomes higher. Low attraction generally means I can have a fairly normal conversation with them as long as they don't do anything that spikes my anxiety. For example, asking an awkward question. She didn't do that (must not have) and we just talked about normal stuff and I didn't even know she liked me and someone later told me she wanted to go out sometime. So she must have known I was a bit shy in that way and maybe she was too.

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:15 PM
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Intense introvert. My first relationship was with a coworker a few years ago. Then I decided to give online dating a try, and have been with my current GF for almost 2 years.


It's been a difficult journey learning how to be in a relationship, given the challenges presented by being an introvert and the need for a good chunk of alone time to recharge. Hardest part was probably trying to get her to understand my introverted nature and SA affecting my daily life.


I had friends through high school, but never really kept in touch afterward. Outside of work and my GF and her circle, I have no social life of my own basically.


I'm not the type to enjoy clubbing/bar life, so that's not an avenue I would pursue for finding a partner either.


Most likely avenues for me to find a lifelong partner are either at work, or online dating. And basically making friends at work is most likely, at my age.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 03:13 AM
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fascinating

but it sounds like you weren't that socially phobic or am i misreading... ?
No I've always been socially anxious, as a child I was indirectly diagnosed with selective mutism, but not officially diagnosed with social phobia until about 23 when I tried to get treatment.

It wasn't overly relevant to what I felt like bringing up in my post. The awkward process of getting into a relationships wasn't something I felt like going into and plus, as pointed out, it won't apply to your situation. I shared what I believe was potentially the only useful info which is to say if you date as one gender you can attract het people of the opposite sex by being in an environment where you're rare and a lot of the other people don't have partners. Obviously this can't apply to queer dating as easily.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 03:25 AM
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All that's needed to have a romantic relationship is to be able to relax enough to talk and really connect with pple. Connection feels good. Pple with all types of qualities and circumstances (fat, slim, poor, rich, mentally ill, healthy, short, tall, unemployed, employed, hs dropout, educated, incarcerated, lol etc.) have relationships. I've dated and been married before. I still have **** going on that makes it difficult for me to feel connected so I'm not really into relats atm. Connection is the main draw of relationship so they don't feel too worth it when I'm not able to enjoy the best part of them. I am seeing someone casually just to get back out there, but I'm not that invested.

Um idk abt all those 'verts.' Don't necessarily agree with the theory/definitions behind them, but that's a whole nother barrel of fish (since it's widely accepted in society and I don't care enough to have that arguement.)

I don't agree with the rating thing either.

On enhanced mobile I don't receive notifications besides pms. Apologies if I don't respond.

Know your ACE (adverse childhood experiences) score?
Sometimes, SA is a symptom of significant developmental, attachment or interpersonal trauma (emotional neglect counts). If you're still stuck after you've tried SA treatments such as CBT and exposure, research C-PTSD and see if it resonates. Here's an awesome resource. Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving
SparklingWater is offline  
post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 05:52 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Montreal, Canada
Gender: Female
Posts: 338
My Mood: Drunk
@versikk

He looked at me, I looked at him, we both smile and do this for the next 3 months (same bus to work). I eventually ask for his name. Basically just be happy, people like being around positive influences.

It takes a certain approachability that one doesn't have when withdrawn and depressed. This kinda thing doesn't happen for me anymore.
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