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My dating story / 'tips' for dating

ryan123
ryan123 Member Posts: 20 Connected
I've had mental health issues for about 15 years. After battling through the first few years and continuing to work - and thus have more money and freedom - i had to give up 10 years ago. I just couldn't do it anymore. I have really bad anxiety and agoraphobia. I've had all the therapy etc you could want, but i just feel it's a waste of their time and mine to keep going: i can analyse my issues until the end of time; what i need is a practical solution to them. 

Anyway......

Here's a more negative experience:

I've never been a very sexual person to be honest, so the idea of having a girlfriend has never interested me that much. To be honest, i really (really) like my peace and quiet. I like living alone, doing things alone, and seeing people occasionally when i need to. But, those hormones kick in every so often and sort of 'tease' you, especially when a new woman enters your life. I've had that happen a few times in the last 5 or so years; for example, a very attractive friend entered my life for about 3 years (we were basically best friends). Nothing actually 'happened' between her and i, but the relevance here being the issue my mental health problems caused for me. For example, she had two daughters who loved me and whom i loved back. We spent all of our spare time together pretty much. She worked at a childminder's and where i was so close to her and her friends (and unemployed), i'd spent countless hours there (even had a DBS check so i could 'work there' essentially). So, basically we were a 'perfect fit' in many ways - her friends would have backed me as they used to constantly tell me how much they liked me, how i was family, how my friend and i were 'like a married couple'.

Leaving aside the personality differences etc, you might ask: why didn't we go out? I mean i slept at their home about 200 days of the 3 years we were friends. 

This might ring some bells for you: What if they want me to go on holiday with them?? What if we go to London on a trip and i can't leave the car?? What if her toddler wants me to take her to London for the day but i can't because of my stupid problems?!! What if she wants to go on a romantic stroll down the beach?? What if her children don't like me as much in the future when they realise how limited i am as a person in their lives?? What if she wants to have a child with me??

My agoraphobia/anxiety indeed means i can't go to London on a day trip, and i can't visit the zoo, and i have to pre-plan every journey i take, and i can't go abroad etc. She used to tell me these things aren't important - after all, we were best friends for a few years. But, not only do they mean something to me - the fact my life is limited compared to most people's lives - she'd look at it from a rosy perspective without considering any complications. On the other hand, i'd look at it from a complex perspective.

We ended up falling out because of a multitude of reasons, but partly because, to be honest, i just thought that with my issues the way they are i would never remain the 'most significant man in her life'. Considering how close we were, it did bother me a little that eventually i'd have my place taken over, and i'd find that very difficult.

Here's a more positive experience:

About 3 years ago, i met a Spanish woman on a language app - i speak French and was practising both that and Spanish. We became friends. After a few months, we started talking about more difficult topics and she told me about how she survived cancer twice. I then felt compelled to tell her 'my problems' (which i don't consider as bad as having a golf-ball-sized tumour removed from your head!). She seemed interested and kept asking me questions. She didn't seem to think it was embarrassing or weak or anything. She seemed like she wanted to help me. For the record, like a lot of people, the idea of 'being helped' is actually something i find quite annoying. I don't see my issues as 'requiring help', i just wish i could cure myself of them. But, she wasn't overwhelming, so i came to realise she just wanted to give her own support because she'd been through so much herself. We continued to get closer and we'd talk every day and night. Then about 18 months after meeting online - about 9 months after talking like this - she booked a flight to come visit me. Long story short, i'm a very charming man (arrogant! lol) so i let her stay in a hotel as she desired, i didn't pressure her to stay at my home, i didn't make any move on her etc. She left and we would closer. Then when we spoke on Skype two days later she told me she missed me and had looked to book another flight. She booked another for 4 weeks later on my birthday. Anyway, obviously i knew what that meant.... 

We still talk everyday and who knows, we might meet again, we might not... I told her i'm happy for her to meet somebody else. And she told me the same (i don't believe she actually means it lol). 

The point of my 2nd story, at least for me, is to not just be yourself, but to meet somebody who you *can* be with (or at least potentially be with). In my 1st story, it just wouldn't have worked out. When we were at her home, it was like we were a married couple. I won't go into gory details, but she was a very 'seductive' woman.... But, i knew outside of her home i wasn't ever going to match the suited-and-booted men in her life. This 2nd woman though, she's been through a lot in life, she genuinely took an interest in my well-being, she flew all this way to meet me (twice), we went cycling, i felt relaxed around her.... in other words, i made things work and she was happy to do that. She even tells me: nobody would know you're ill. Yeah.... a few hours in my company, you wouldn't know. However, 24/7, 7 days a week, you'd notice. 

You don't have to meet somebody on a dating app (or language app), i'm sure you could meet somebody in some odd places (social media, for example). But, for me, i learnt that you have to be upfront before you go any further. I talk to other women online - e.g. language app - and i haven't told any of them of my issues and probably never will. It just doesn't seem necessary. However, if ever they wanted to visit me.... that's where the first big issue arises ("oh, by the way...."). 

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