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Where do I even start with this.

(40 Posts)
ColdWinterNight Tue 14-Jan-20 06:05:08

I literally don't even know where to start with this.

I wasn't loved as a child growing up. I had quite an emotionally abusive upbringing - including being regularly told how unloveable I was.

I've had therapy. I'm largely healed but it's always going to be a work in progress.

I have good friends, interesting hobbies, I'm intelligent, educated and have a career, I'm reasonably attractive and present myself well. I'm well aware of both my positive qualities and my flaws.

I know my worth and have good boundaries so I'm happy to walk away from friendships and relationships that no longer make me happy.

In a nutshell, I don't know what else to do. I feel ove done everything I can to improve myself and I'm generally happy in my life.

Yet, I've never been loved or genuinely cared for. By anyone.

My relationships all fail for one reason. I'm not young, slim or pretty enough. I know this because I end these fledgling relationships once the negative comments about my age, my weight or my looks come in. I never get criticised for my personality, behaviour or character. The only aspects of me that men reject are those 3 things.

I'm giving up now but it just makes me so sad that I'm going to live the rest of my life without having ever been loved or 'chosen' by anyone.

I don't mean chosen in the 'taken of the shelf' sense. I mean in the sense of being prioritised and committed to.

I just dont even know where to start with trying to understand this ir why it keeps happening. Why haven't ever met anyone who has wanted me for me.

ColdWinterNight Tue 14-Jan-20 06:46:55

I have posted about this before but the advice was to take up hobbies and get therapy/counselling.

I've had counselling and therapy and I have hobbies.

I suppose i just wonder whether in the midst of all the "once you're naked, he won't care what you look like" type posts I read, there is anyone else with the same experience as me?

Interestedwoman Tue 14-Jan-20 08:38:16

I have had that happen a few times. I accepted after the most recent one that not everyone is going to fancy me- some people will, some won't and that's just the way it goes. Eventually you'll find someone who's happy with how you look, I promise you. OLD in particular can mean a lot of rejection and is hard work to deal with. Hugs and best wishes. xxxxx

IvyBush123 Tue 14-Jan-20 08:42:21

I am not sure if this is helpful. I am not a beauty. I really am not - yet I am married with kids and when I was younger and single had a lot of men interested in me.
I think it doesn’t matter that much how you look but how you feel about yourself. If you feel you are ugly and act like this then men thread you that way. If you feel that you are beautiful and desirable the way you are it is the same.

Justkeeprollingalong Tue 14-Jan-20 08:42:21

How old are you OP?

Palavah Tue 14-Jan-20 08:44:43

My relationships all fail for one reason. I'm not young, slim or pretty enough. I know this because I end these fledgling relationships once the negative comments about my age, my weight or my looks come in.

These are shitty guys to be making negative comments like this. It's not normal.

Have you talked in therapy about the kind of guys you are attracted to/not attracted to and what you are looking for in relationships. Did that throw up anything interesting?

ohwheniknow Tue 14-Jan-20 08:49:30

What kind of negative comments?

You say you end things once the comments start, so it's clearly not a case of men telling you they don't want to continue because of xyz but them starting to put you down and you refusing to tolerate it. Both would be unpleasant but there is a world of difference between the two.

Decent people don't put down or critique someone they're dating, they just call it a day if they've decided they're not right for them. The men you describe aren't doing that; they're continuing things but expecting you to take derogatory comments damaging to your self esteem. Decent men don't do that.

Isn't it more that the relationships in question "failed" because the men were nasty pricks but you were robust enough not to tolerate it? Would you want to be with the kind of person who thinks it's ok to break others down?

ohwheniknow Tue 14-Jan-20 08:51:40

I wonder if you're being targeted because these men are still picking up on vulnerability in you.

These do sound like the kind of warning signs you are in men who go on to become extremely abusive. Breaking someone's self esteem is a good way to keep control of them.

ohwheniknow Tue 14-Jan-20 08:52:07

*warning signs you see

picklemepopcorn Tue 14-Jan-20 08:53:17

I think love happens despite looks, but looks matter when love fades.

There is a hormone thing that means we overlook things that might otherwise turn us off. When that dies down, we get irritated by each other again.

I think there may be another factor, some kind of behaviour or outlook which we learn from having been loved before. There's a brilliant parenting/attachment course called 'I can't dance' or similar. We teach our babies to love and be loved. Your parents weren't able to do that, so it's harder for you now.

You could have an inner resistance to putting yourself at risk- perfectly sensible- which means you don't mesh in quite the way the other person expects.

Sorry, does any of that make sense? Do you think that could be contributing?

StVincent Tue 14-Jan-20 09:00:37

It’s brilliant that you are able to reject and walk away from men when they try to tear down your self esteem.

The next step is avoiding the few men who’d want to do that in the first place. Obviously easier said than done, they don’t have a tattoo saying “twat” on their foreheads. But I would honestly think out of 100 men only a handful would be like this. Most men don’t aim to hurt.

Instead of criticising yourself, let’s put the men you’ve dated under a microscope - what do they have in common? What attracted you to them?

Because if you want a happy relationship you’ll have to try to shift what you look for and expect in men to start with. Away from that toxic few to the more normal many.

AllHeart1 Tue 14-Jan-20 09:40:26

My relationships all fail for one reason. I'm not young, slim or pretty enough. I know this because I end these fledgling relationships once the negative comments about my age, my weight or my looks come in. what kind of comments are they? Obviously it may be that these men are just shallow and superficial and you are strong enough not to tolerate that, but could it also be that because your self-esteem is low you read negative into something which potentially isn’t meant to be?

If these men aren’t ending the relationship they might easily be the type you shouldn’t want to continue a relationship with anyway, or it could be that you’re running too soon.

Without knowing exactly what kind of comments they are it’s impossible to comment specifically.

ColdWinterNight Tue 14-Jan-20 11:00:31

Thanks for the replies.

I'll have to be brief - on a quick break at work!

So I did try online dating but I was pretty choosy about who I ket up with and any flakiness/red flags at the messaging stage and it didnt go any further.

Most recent one was a very close friend of some friends who came very highly recommended...

I dont have a particular type. I've been out with computer programmer, builders, teachers and musicians. With different upbringing; socio economic backgrounds; levels of education...

It's not that I'm doggedly dating 'bad boys' or anything like that.

Comments have ranged from being told by one man that his feelings had changed once I'd turned 40 and he'd found it difficult to come to terms with that; to being told that all their previous ex girlfriends were sexy and beautiful - the implication being that I wasn't; that I could "stand to lose a few pounds". To just never being complimented or being told anything nice about myself ever.

I'm 45.

StVincent Tue 14-Jan-20 12:41:03

That’s just so, so odd. And you’re sure you’re not just ignoring the good comments? I have a friend Like this who is piled with compliments on her work but seems to filter them out and only hear the negative stuff/interpret stuff negatively. Eg someone will say “you did such an amazing job today Shannon, we couldn’t have done it without you. Have a nice evening.” And she’ll hear “you’re useless, get out of here so we can undo all the things you’ve done.” It’s awful.

picklemepopcorn Tue 14-Jan-20 13:07:37

That's a possibility, also that they tried to give a 'I'm just not that into you, not sure why' answer and you pushed them into details, effectively forcing them to come up with something, anything.

But that's not great- I'm surprised you got back out there after that, I'm very impressed.

I've been married a long (long) time, and our relationship is nothing to do with physical attraction any more. It's a legal, ethical, economic commitment to our family unit. And even at the start, that was our marriage commitment, not to stay in love but to prioritise each other and our family.

I'm not sure what I'm saying except, perhaps, keep kissing frogs for as long as you enjoy it. Forget about looking for a prince. He may turn up, he may not.

anotherdisaster Tue 14-Jan-20 13:21:30

It has to be one of two things then surely. You are either picking total arseholes, or you're focusing to much on negative things.
To be honest, you don't sound like you like yourself very much, despite saying you have had therapy and are mostly healed. I don't think you are at all.

ColdWinterNight Tue 14-Jan-20 16:47:59

I do like myself. I think I'm ok!

I'm not ignoring the positives/compliments - that's not to say there weren't any but unsolicited negative comments about my appearance/age arent something I'm going to just take. And my walking away from them wasn't a knee jerk reaction or a response to 'fishing' questions - eg "donyou think I'm pretty? "Do I look fat in this?"

I don't ever criticise myself in that way in front of boyfriends. I might state a fact like "I have a really lovely dress that doesn't fit me any more - I'm blaming it on cheese and beer!" and I wouldnt take offence at any response to that. But being told you're now too old because you had a birthday or that you're less likely to cheat because you're not as attractive as their many beautiful exes isn't quite the same thing.

pog100 Tue 14-Jan-20 17:14:03

Honestly OP most men really aren't like that, particularly when you aren't in a long term relationship that's souring. It's got to be something with the subset of men you are engaging with. Not that I have any obvious solution!

ColdWinterNight Tue 14-Jan-20 17:40:47

I can't imagine how I'd meet anyone different though! These are decent men! I dont associate with arseholes willingly. In many cases, I've met their friends and their families. I'm a decent person and they seemed to be too until they became rather more 'discerning' than they had been initially. I find it kicks in around the 3-4 month mark. Other than a disastrous marriage, I've never had a relationship lasting longer than 5/6 months for this reason.

My marriage was disastrous because I didn't get rid soon enough, you know, in the early days when he wouldnt introduce me to his friends and walked 6ft in front of me in public because he was embarrassed to be seen with me (obviously was much younger then and I wouldnt let that happen now!)

But these are all men who've managed long term healthy and happy relationships with women both before and after me.

ColdWinterNight Tue 14-Jan-20 17:57:31

So i can only conclude that it is, in fact, me.

3rdchristmaslucky Tue 14-Jan-20 17:59:58

Lady, you need some Lizzo in your life.

Love you for you. All of you! And then other people can too.

ChewChewIsMySpiritAnimal Tue 14-Jan-20 18:00:15

Well think of it this way. Men who are flaky or who are willing to insult you to your face aren't worth your time. You ending things as soon as that happens shows that you do value yourself, and that you have strong boundaries. That's something to be so proud of.

ChewChewIsMySpiritAnimal Tue 14-Jan-20 18:02:05

healthy and happy relationships

You don't actually know what's going on in their relationships though. It could be they enticed in a woman who didn't have the boundaries and sense of self worth that you did, and every night they tell her she's fat/ugly/old. Surely you wouldn't rather that was you? If these men were good enough for you you'd still be with them. It's a cliche but you haven't met the right person.

ravenmum Tue 14-Jan-20 18:23:05

Do you tend to go for younger, traditionally very good-looking men?

UYScuti Tue 14-Jan-20 18:28:29

do you not just fire back with 'well you're no spring chicken/oil painting yourself darling'
....are all these men trying to imply that you are 'punching'?

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