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Struggling with thinking I will be alone forever..

(16 Posts)
unhappy2040 Sun 11-Jan-15 00:27:11

Sorry if this all seems incredibly self indulgent, I know that a lot of people have much more pressing problems but I would appreciate any insight you might have.

The crux of it is I've NEVER had any kind of 'serious' relationship, I'm 24 and I've had plenty of fling, one night stands etc but have NEVER been genuinely loved or cared for by a man.

I've suffered from depression for about 10 years, and in the past few years have been really working on my self esteem etc and had A LOT of conversations with friends/therapists along the lines of 'no one can love you until you love yourself' and 'people can tell if you lack confidence' etc etc. I've been doing well for the past year, until now. Essentially, I met a Man I like, and it has sent me into a downward spiral of doubt and depression, as it seems to be potentially following the same old pattern.

I seem to be stuck in a neverending cycle of depression, and I also wonder if it's posssible that I'm fundamentally unloveable and unattractive. Being confident and happy as I have felt for the past year seems to make no difference- and I know a year isn't long but everything that happens always seems to back up my worst thoughts about myself.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Jan-15 00:32:50

If you have friends you are loveable. The person you settle down with will probably be a friend first before he is your partner. They will love and like the person you really are rather than the one you take on dates. Keep working on your self esteem, therefore, and never say no to a social invitation or the chance to make new friends.

rightoldmess Sun 11-Jan-15 00:37:18

Hi, I just posted recently and our posts have some similarities. I can't offer you advice, but I've been given some very (unexpectedly) friendly advice. So am sure you will receive some too.
I too struggle with low self esteem and feel like I'm dipping into depression. I've been very unlucky with men. I do believe in that theory of learning to love yourself first. But its easier said then done. Especially when you have been let down so much
Wishing you the best of luck �� x

FafferTime Sun 11-Jan-15 00:49:54

At 24 relationships seem so incredibly important, but really building up your self-esteem by having interesting life experiences, maybe doing voluntary work or taking up a hobby, will be much more valuable in the long run.

Just make yourself busy with other things and a relationship will probably just happen.

unhappy2040 Sun 11-Jan-15 01:18:30

thankyou for your replies, I do appreciate it.

I know that other aspects of life are important, I have hobbies and have been travelling in the past year, I'm doing well at my job. I'm not sitting around ruminating over not having A relationship all day. I guess I just feel fundamentally alienated that I seem to be shut out of what is undeniably a massively important part of life :s

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Jan-15 01:39:30

I'm glad you're out there being sociable and getting on with your life. It's also great to hear that you're feeling more confident and happy. Realise that you might be getting impatient or losing faith but being happily independent is a valuable life skill many people never get chance to experience, let alone master. It's a very attractive personality trait

FolkGirl Sun 11-Jan-15 03:04:08

I don't have any advice. Just wanted to empathise and say it's a horrible feeling.

Other people will tell you that you're young and there's more to life than a 'relationship' and that you need to love yourself first to be loved by someone else, independence is attractive and that you should get on with your life (friends, hobbies, career)... and, of course, all of that is true. But then you know that already.

But there's a feeling of desolation that goes with this situation. I am in a similar position. I had a crappy childhood that left me feeling worthless and unloveable. As an adult (post 20) I have had one three year relationship, one marriage, one boyfriend and still haven't been loved! I'm beginning to realise that this is because I've chosen men who couldn't love me, rather than because I'm fundamentally unloveable, but that doesn't make it any easier. At 39, I rather feel that ship has sailed for me now and I need to just accept it's never going to happen. I'm getting there and I worry about it less. But, obviously, that's not the ideal and I think you could probably avoid my situation with some good counselling.

Are you having counselling for your depression/self esteem?

What is the situation with this man you have met?

whatnow2 Sun 11-Jan-15 07:17:13

FolkGirl I don't think your ship has sailed at all.
unhappy what has been happening with the current man?

MaudBaker Sun 11-Jan-15 08:11:15

Have you considered dancing - ceroc or salsa? (Try googling - classes are everywhere these days).

I was in similar situation to you last year but joined a dance class and now I have a whole new life. I went along on my own as almost everyone does and did the beginners classes - no partner needed - and learnt to dance! By the way, I'm not a superconfident person who finds doing new things and meeting new people at all easy, but I did it.

I'm not brilliant (nor are most people) but i can do enough. so now 3 times a week I go to dance classes.

I've met some lovely people, feel fitter and happier and its as though a whole new world has opened up to me. This time last year I would not have believed my life could feel this good. Good luck.

kaykayred Sun 11-Jan-15 10:27:07

You are so young! I know plenty of people that never had any "proper" relationship until their early thirties!

Rather about dwelling on what you don't have, think about what you do have, and enjoy it while it lasts! I wish I'd done more travelling in my twenties. Are there things you want to do? Backpack around asia? Run a marathon? Learn how to swing dance? Whatever they are, try and do them now! Live your life rather than waiting for someone else to come along.

Relationships don't automatically bring you happiness. They don't somehow magically close all the gaps that you feel exist in your life (if any). Yes, they can be fun, and wonderful, and great, but relationships will pretty much be a mirror of the people inside them.

If one person is deeply insecure, unhappy in themselves, not very confident, generally unsure of everything, then it doesn't really make for the easiest relationship. I would be very wary of dating right now - abusive men can smell low self esteem from a distance. I guarantee it would be better to live forever alone in a CAVE than to spend your life in an abusive relationship.

It sounds like you need to be doing more about your depression - you mention you have been seeing someone, etc, but maybe this is just a blip? Or maybe it's time to try a different approach?

I'm not sure why meeting a man you like would be cause for such pain? Could you try looking at it from a different perspective? Something like, "even if this isn't going to go anywhere, it's nice to know that there are people that I am interested in".

It's no reflection of you if he isn't interested. Maybe he is already madly in love with someone else. Or maybe he just got dumped and wants to live the single lifestyle. Or maybe he wants to go travelling for a few months and doesn't want to get involved with anyone. Hell, maybe he is secretly gay? There could be a billion reasons, none of which are "this person is inherently unlovable". Just as no woman owes any man a date, the reverse is true as well.

Pandora37 Sun 11-Jan-15 11:11:09

First of all, and I'm sure you're sick of hearing people say this, is that you are very young and I don't think it's at all unusual for you not to have had a serious relationship by your age. It feels like the whole world is in a relationship but it's more common than you think. I wonder if you're looking for a relationship to validate yourself. I've had depression and I always thought I'd feel so much better about myself if I was in a relationship. Which I did to a point but the low self-esteem and depression were still there and having a relationship won't cure you of that.

Let me tell you something about relationships that a lot of people won't say - sometimes they are shit. They really are and you end up coming away feeling worse. I do think people like us are magnets for people with abusive tendencies so you have to be very careful. A couple of people have told me they think I attract troubled men, perhaps because I'm a bit troubled myself I don't know.

But then I'm not much older than you and am convinced I will be alone forever so what do I know grin. I think these things sometimes are in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have been loved once. I always thought that if someone loved me there must be something wrong with them. Well, it turns out there was something wrong with him (he was arrested for something horrible whilst we were still in a relationship). Made me feel like there must be something wrong with ME then if that's the kind of man I attract. I do believe that he loved me, or at least he thinks he loved me, but was being loved by someone who turned out to be doing something illegal behind my back better than never being loved at all? As you can imagine, the fall-out from that caused me a shit load of grief but I sure as hell learnt a lot from it. So I don't know. I've seen what I thought were loving marriages that have lasted 20/30 years fall apart through cheating and lies. I'm not really selling relationships here am I but the point is even if someone tells you they love you that doesn't mean they won't cheat or break your heart in the future.

Basically, what I'm getting at is that you can't base your self esteem on one person loving you. Relationships are very nice, and yes being loved and cared for by someone who chooses to love you is a great experience but you cannot make it the centre of your world. I relied on my ex to give me self esteem so it was awful when I had to end it. Sounds to me though like you're not even giving yourself a chance. I was like that because I thought I would fall apart if the man didn't love me back or it ended. And I did for a while but I survived. Sometimes in life you have to take risks and face rejection if you ever want to get anywhere. One thing for sure is that talking yourself out of pursuing things with this man because you're filled with self doubt is a sure fire way that you will never have a relationship with him and possibly with others if you keep doing the same thing. It sounds to me like you're mentally putting obstacles in the way because you're scared it will confirm that you are unlovable which is maybe why you've only ever had flings (do tell me if I'm way off the mark). You deserve to at least give yourself a chance and yes he might reject you and that's horrible and scary but it's something you need to go through if you really want a relationship. Good luck. smile

tumbletumble Sun 11-Jan-15 11:14:43

I know people who have found love much later in life. It can happen at any age!

dirtybadger Sun 11-Jan-15 12:03:05

I'm 24 and single. About half of my close friends are single. They're all smoking hot, awesome people. I'd just like to stress how single status has bugger all to do with attractiveness or how "loveable" someone is...more so choice, circumstances and chance.
The only one you can do much about is choice. Some people make small choices or subconscious choices which are barriers to relationships without actually "choosing to be single" as such (for example someone may want a relationship but choose to allow themselves to be "pursued" because they don't want to be the person making the moves. They might be single for a long time).

22-25 seems to be the age that a lot of people come out of their first serious relationship (a few years+). And there seems to be a theme. They're shit relationships. Obviously not all, and many people stay together having met young but IME there are lots of people leaving relationships playing catch up on "finding themselves". I include myself. I've been single for a year, and that year has been me realising who I am because since I was 20 I've been half of a relationship, which I entered into with low self esteem. I don't think that relationship has left me with any advantages, although of course it's hard to say where I'd be if I'd been single for the duration. I only just found out that my ExDp spent the entire relationship chasing a mutual friend, plus all the other stuff I already knew. Technically I've had one more cohabiting relationship than you, I'm off the mark. What have I gained, though? I spent 3/4 years paranoid because I was with a lying scumbag but was too passive to end things. I don't think I'm in any better a position than you (except for the fact that I am now super happy single because I know how miserable a shit relationship is compared), I've got no reason to believe I am any more attractive or loveable based on my relationship. If anything it should have made me feel the opposite!

Reads a bit like I'm moaning about it all but the bottom line is "be careful what you wish for". No relationships is better than crappy half hearted ones (or abusive ones in some peoples cases).

unhappy2040 Sun 11-Jan-15 14:30:27

Thankyou for the replies, and sorry to hear about the shit relationship experiences some of you have had.

Logically, I know that having no relationship is better than being in a bad one, it's hard to remember that sometimes though.

I'm not currently having any counselling for my depression. I'm on antidepressants, which I think so help to an extant. I had counselling last year, and to be honest it was pretty bad (A simple case of not really getting on with the counseller). and the counseller discharged me from the local mental health services despite the fact that I said I felt the counselling hadn't helped and I thought I needed a different type of counselling. hmm So now I'm back with my GP, who is nice and tries to be helpful but of course doesn't have the time to spend on helping me with much other than my medication.

The situation with the guy I like currently:- I met him as he is a good friend of a relative, I'd been getting the impression he was interested for a while so I made a move (which is unusual for me) We went out and it all seemed to be going well, he seems keen etc. That was a few weeks ago now, I did text him once to see if he wanted to meet but he couldn't as was busy. I have no reason to disbelieve this excuse, but to be honest I think the hint is loud and clear. And in this situation there's the extra level of awkwardness that I probably won't be able to avoid ever bumping into them again. sad

It causes me so much pain liking someone becuase my inner voice always tells me that I'm being stupid, that It won't work out because it never does and it just makes me feel horrible and humiliated. What makes it extra hard is that people have said things to me over the years that have just backed up all the negative things I think about myself, so It isn't just negativity that I've come up with myself.

albal14 Sun 11-Jan-15 19:20:27


I know the feeling. I'm a few years older and male.
It is difficult , but I 'd like to think you will get through this. I went on a sun holiday this time last year, alone,it was wonderful and still brings happy memories, when I look back. I reccommend it.
Want to give you a big hug. Go for it.

All the best

unhappy2040 Mon 12-Jan-15 10:45:02

thanks for the reply

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