Ask Dr. NerdLove: When Can I Give Up?

Hi Doc,
In the past few months I have felt really tired like I had lost all of my energy and the one thing I need to do is remain under my sheets. It’s not like I would like to sleep, in reality I have not slept well in months. Everytime I go to bed I remember how pathetic and sad is my life and how unworthy am I.

I am 25 and because I left school (one year) I have been in a lot of occupations interviews and all have contributed to nothing. I know it’s supposed to be challenging but each time my hopes of landing a job have been crushed and I am scared that I will never get a job and I will never have a life and I am running out of time and waste my life. I don’t need to be a loser or a burden to my loved ones.

I have never had a girlfriend and that I never kissed or held hands with a woman in my life. Back in high school virtually every girl in my class told me how ugly I was and that I’d die alone and so far they’ve been right. I have approached many women before and always got rejected (occasionally is just a’hi’ and they look at me like GTFO) I have to conclude I am hideous or well below a minimum acceptable standard, because 100 percent of the women I’ve met did not like me. I do not try anymore because I am scared of being laughed or ridiculed.

I know you’ve been through hard times and low points in your life and I guess I need a word of advice about the best way best to keep going. I feel like I am giving up on everything and I really don’t know what to do.

Alright, ATL, you have got a layered collection of issues, and the overarching issue is that you are trying to deal with these in the wrong order. Examples of yours are like math; you will need to address things in the proper order to get the perfect result; otherwise you wind up getting an answer that appears correct but ultimately does not solve anything. Trying to discover a relationship, as an instance, is the incorrect answer. You are not in a situation where you are able to locate one or keep one. Not because you are worthless or as you are undeserving but since you won’t be able to. In your present state, you won’t think that individuals can find you attractive and you’re going to brush off the people who show interest lying or a mistake. You will take people’s answers in the worst possible light, whatever they actually did or said. Those girls you insist were looking at you enjoy GTFO? I can assure you that this is the mind taking a look at things and searching for the worst possible interpretation.

So let us discuss orders of operation.

In cases like this, you will need to work from the inside out. So first things first, ATL: the symptoms you are describing right at the very top? That is depression, man. Not”I have the blues”, but chronic depression. The listlessness, the lack of energy which no quantity of sleep appears to mend, the self-critical ideas as you lay in bed? Those are incredibly common signs of depression. That is why the first thing you will need to do is consult with a therapist and start getting that under control. And as somebody who wrestles with depression himself, I am here to tell you: that shit ai not straightforward. There is no one-size fits all answer. Some people respond nicely to cupping therapies such as Mood Gym or cognitive behavioral treatment. It may take time to locate the plan of action that’s ideal for you. It might not be any 1 thing; you might need more than 1 alternative working in conjunction to help pull you out of the morass and feel as though you’re back in control again. And that is fine. There is no shame in needing help, and being prepared to really take action to get better is a sign of strength.

And while it is by no means by any stretch of the imagination, exercise, meditation and yoga can surely help give you a greater feeling of control. Becoming active gets your blood flowing and your heart pumping, which helps your mind produce endorphins. Meditation and yoga help you get your racing thoughts under control and also teach you how you can find some much-needed calm and quiet at times when it looks like your anxieties are whispering in your ear like Grima Wormtongue. It won’t fix your issues, but they can help give you just a bit more power to continue and to push through.

Your next step will be dealing with basic lifestyle difficulties. Unemployment is awful in general, but for a good deal of men, it strikes on an existential level; we develop the notion that a Real Man Is A Provider and a Real Man is self-sufficient. This is part of why we get so anxious about problems like living with our parents or being”a burden”; it is not only the guilt of relying on other people, however, the fear that this marks us Not Men. If you are not living on your own without assistance from anybody… well, are you an adult? Are you even a guy? But the issue is that, while the stock exchange might be doing gangbusters and CEOs are pulling down record gains, the market still stinks for everyone who is not a multi-millionaire. Jobs are scarce and insecure — especially as businesses get”disrupted” and automation proceeds to eliminate tasks entirely — so everybody lives with the awareness that the job they have now might not even exist tomorrow.

This is the reason your next step is simply getting work. It doesn’t have to be your dream job. It doesn’t have to be the last job you will ever have. It just has to be something which gives you that feeling of control back, a combination guide-rail and stepping stone. It is something to steady yourself long enough to feel like what is not hopeless, you can then use to proceed to a new and better job. So in the event that you must join the gig market temporarily… do it. If you will need to get a job stocking shelves or pouring asphalt, then do it. This is only temporary, something that will help you get your feet under you. Save up your money as best you can so that you can take your next step — if it is finding roommates and a flat, freelancing, creating a side-hustle or taking time to go hit the job market like it is a piñata and you would like to have that delicious candy inside.

However, you will not be looking for a girlfriend; you are simply going to build your social life, holistically. You are going to make finding friends and strengthening the bonds together with the friends you already have. Possessing a solid circle of friends — people who love you, care for you and that encourage you. I realize it is not quite as sexy — as it were — as going out and finding Hotty McHotterson and eventually getting that first kiss or losing your virginity… but it is what you need much more right now. Most guys are desperately lonely and do not have a solid group of friends; as a result, they place all their psychological burdens on their wives and wives. This taxes their connections under the best of circumstances, but in addition, it isolates them. If their spouse is their sole source of emotional support, interacting and psychological intimacy, then those spouses become a single point of failure. Then you would be back in the place you are in now.

So, as I said. Order of operations, guy. The further you get your life in order, the happier, the more fulfilled and the more confident you will be. And that, in turn, will make it easier for you to discover a relationship.

Finding these aspects in your life will form the stable foundation which you can use to build on. You won’t feel out of control or at the mercy of this toxin your depression is dripping on your ear. You will be in a situation where you are going to have the ability to recognize your value and understand that you’re deserving of love. More importantly, however, is that being unmarried or not will not be what defines you as an individual.

I get that it is hard. I get how hopeless it feels at the moment. However, I am here to guarantee you: it’ll be ok.

You’re going to be ok.

I promise.

I am a female in my late 20’s with a version of a problem you have heard before. I can not get a date. The last guy I dated was in school and we were best friends first and changed to a connection as it became apparent we had feelings for one another.

I do lots of activities where I am around people. I play D&D with a number of groups of people (eternally DM), volunteer at church in places where I am about other people my age, go to the gym, play intramural sports, and hang out with friends where I could meet more of the social circles. My friends describe me as fun, friendly, flirty when I need to be, passionate about what I enjoy, witty, independent, and amusing as hell. However, I am quite analytically minded, pragmatic, and not very good at showing my emotions. When I jokingly asked which Star Wars character I was most like, they {} said R2-D2 or K2-S0. I’m also fairly overweight, but I am working on it and know that won’t change immediately.

I have plenty of guy friends, so I understand I get along well with men. They take initiative and invite me along to matters; it is not like I’m just tagging along with them. However, it’s never more than that. Anytime I attempt to ask a man out, which only occurs after significant flirting and it feels like they’re curious (and friends tell me it seems like they’re interested-so it is not just me misreading signs ), it is said that they simply think of me as a fantastic friend. And men ask out all of my single friends, but not me.

What am I doing wrong? I am not going to mope around and say”woe is me, I will be single forever”. When there’s something that I should mend, I’ll get right on it. Is it that I am not attractive enough? Or am I completely missing something else?

Here is my question for you, TMBF: Can you feel attractive? Not in the sense of”here are all the dudes that think I am hot,” but how you think of yourself. Can you look in the mirror and think that you’re sexy? Or do you look at the things you believe are your defects and consider looking good despite them?

How you describe yourself and how you describe your look makes me suspect it is the latter. I’ve known plenty of people, especially people who are obese, who look at their weight as the disqualifier from… well, everything. They don’t feel as though they have a right to dress well, to put effort into their presentation or to simply think of these as being a hot bad-ass. And that feeling of”I am not good enough” will get in the way of, well, everything. Because straight talk: there are folks out there who like big women, just because there’re people who like big men. And I do not just mean fetishists or those who believe that obese women are distressed or will put up with more bullshit, people that are attracted to and want big women and desire relationships together.

But it’s tough to find them when you do not feel as though you’re permitted to believe you are a sexy badass.

So my first suggestion for you is to begin treating yourself like you are hot. Find the things which make you feel unstoppably magnificent. Maybe it is a kick-ass dress. Perhaps it is another make-up routine. This is not about changing yourself to somebody else’s perfect, but in finding the things that make you feel like a goddamn package of awesome that individuals would be crazy to pass up. Because, like I am often saying, mindset is fate. And recognizing that you are money and knowing that individuals would be blessed to date you changes the way you approach relationships and relationship.

My next suggestion would be to examine how you are coming across to people. If you’re slightly more emotionally reserved and pragmatic just because that is how you obviously are… cool, you do you. But if you are holding yourself back because you do not feel as though you’re permitted to have a presence or express yourself… well, that’s when it is time to give yourself take a bit more emotional space. It might be that your cool demeanor and book might be putting people off because they believe you are not interested. It might be that by leaning into your passions and letting those passions become a bigger part of your life, you will feel empowered to become more expressive.

My third suggestion is to give things time. Sometimes the issue doesn’t have anything to do with you and what to do with the people around you. It might be that in your age and in your social circles, you are with people that aren’t mature enough for you; god knows that those men who like big women frequently have to overcome plenty of societal programming that informs them that their desires are black and that they should just want conventionally hot ladies. It can also be that you {} been in a position to satisfy the perfect guy yet. A very good friend of mine spent years dealing with assholes who would tell her to her face that she had been good enough to fuck, but not great enough to date. She was convinced she was going to die alone, unloved and unmourned.

A couple years later, I officiated at her wedding.

As unhelpful as it might sense, at times the issue isn’t something which you could fix; it’s only a matter of demographics and time and waiting for items to line up properly. Which ai not fun… but it also suggests that this too will pass.

You have got a lot going for you TMBF, and I guess that the more you adopt your amazing, the more chance you’ll ever have. Live an great life which makes you feel amazing and the rest will begin to care for itself.

Very good luck.

This post was formerly published on and is republished here with permission from the author.


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