Dedicated to Men Who Feel Like They Will Be Alone Forever
This is the hour your mind processes years of rejection. Never fitting in growing up, low self-esteem at the lunch table in middle school. Punched holes in the wall and tears on the pillow case. You analyze how you could have texted that girl differently who stopped responding. The day hasn’t even begun, and you’re already exhausted.
What’s the point? Why even get out of bed? Why even fucking try when you feel like you’ve been trying your whole life, only to be met by a slap in the face?
The easy answer is, “It gets get better.”
But what if it has to get worse first?
What if you’re supposed to get rejected 100 more times before you get a girlfriend? What if you have to go on 10 more shitty first dates before you get a second date? Would you still do it?
It’s tempting to go for the quick fix. Alcohol, drugs, level another World of Warcraft character to 100, look up articles on the internet and go to bed. Rinse and repeat.
What does it take for awakening? Where’s our movie scene where our best friend comes in, flips the bed over and tells us it’s time to go out there and kick some fucking ass?
Sometimes you get an awakening. Sometimes you have to snap yourself out of it.
In the darkest hour, you still have a choice.
In the book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl talks about his experience living in a concentration camp. Even in the darkest of hours, the prisoners still managed to chose how they dealt with their circumstances.
We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms—to choose one’s own attitude in any given set of circumstances—to choose one’s own way. – Viktor E. Frankl
For you, maybe that means you go for a walk for 20 minutes today instead of spending time looking at pointless YouTube videos to try to numb yourself.
Schedule lunch with a friend. One who makes you laugh. Tell him you are having a hard time getting a date so he can make a joke about it.
Sign up for an improv class. Learn to get outside of yourself instead of constantly sitting with your thoughts.
Focus on one thing at a time.
Anyone can shake off one bad day. But a series of bad days? If you’ve gotten to the point where you think, “I’m going to be alone forever.” Then you’ve had a series of bad days. I’ve been there, multiple times.
To shake off a series of bad days, you have to have a series of good days. A series of good days starts with one good day. One good day starts with making one better decision than yesterday.
That means breaking habits that don’t serve you. Cut out friends who bring you down. Put the bottle down. Get exercise. No more soda. Start a journal. Meditate. Think of all the things you are grateful for. Pick one. Do that for a week, then pick something else.
Over time you’ve slowly made several better decisions that take the weight off feeling like shit all the time. The time you used to spend sulking in your own misery has been replaced by a group workout class. The time you wanted to eat a whole pizza alone and watch i reruns has been replaced by going on a walk with your neighbor.
This isn’t referred to enough in the dating world, but having a life outside of dating is incredibly important. There’s a huge difference between a woman turning you down when you are:
- Have friends
- Have a decent job
- Have fun hobbies
- Are happy
Than when you are:
- Depressed and looking for someone to fill the void.
The “no” will feel like a light sting if you have your life together. The “no” will feel like the world is going to end when you are depressed and lonely.
So much of dating advice is packaged as, “Say this, do that” because it’s a quick fix. Telling someone to take a look at all the areas of their life and slowly build them up doesn’t sell, and it’s not sexy–but it’s one of the most important parts of being attractive to women.
You’re unique, your fear isn’t.
I had a conversation with two friends this week. Both are incredibly lonely in their lives and feel totally lost about what path to take next. One wants to end his life, another keeps moving from city to city to run from their problems. Both mentioned how they feel alone and that their problems are unique.
When life sucks, it’s easy to think we’re alone with our problems. I’ve found this is literally never the case. Sure, maybe your situation is unique, but the pain and suffering you are enduring has been had by many before you.
Pain is the bonding agent for humans. Pain is why we laugh at comedians. Talking about how we’re going through a tough time is how we connect with people on a deeper level. Have you ever seen a movie where the main character was perfect and had his life together? If you have, that movie probably sucked.
Here’s an exercise I do when I get get “special snowflake syndrome” with the problems in my life. I got this idea from the “Headspace” meditation app.
- Take three minutes to breathe and relax.
- I focus on my breath and begin to control it. One slow breath in. One slow breath out.
- I think about what other person in the world might be experiencing fear, anxiety, shame, guilt at the same time as me. (Note: with 7 billion people on this earth there’s a 100% chance someone is experiencing the same emotion as you at any given time).
- I envision that person and I sitting together and silently acknowledging we are going through the same pain.
- After a few more breaths I open my eyes and I always feel better.
It’s a simple exercise. It works.
A guy I used to work for just spent another $10k on equipment to try to save his business. His problem isn’t having more equipment, it’s another issue entirely. Last weekend I was in Vegas and saw people so far down in debt they stayed up all night just to try to win it back.
I get emails from my readers saying, “I’ve spent the last month trying to meet women online and it’s not working.”
It’s easy to point the finger and say, “I’d never do something like that.” But we all do that. We’re all emotional human beings with hopes, fears and dreams. When we want the pain of a failing business to go away, we’ll blow money left and right to try to save it. When we want the feeling of a woman’s touch, we’ll copy and paste the same message to every match we get online hoping that just one will respond.
When our emotions get dialed up, we turn into a dog chasing its own tail in search for nirvana. We start to get delusional thinking our one approach to the madness is going to solve it all. It’s not our fault everyone else doesn’t understand us.
“If I just keep trying this same thing… eventually it will work.”
Insanity doesn’t end in a pretty way. That’s why it helps to have friends. I know when I start to get really down or sad, I can’t rely on myself. Even when I want to hide in my introverted world, I ask for help. My friends say, “You’re going to drive yourself insane.” Then I wake up and stop.
Even if you’re in the absolute worst place in your life, you’re still allowed to choose what to do. I remember nights laying in bed loaded on drugs thinking about how much I wanted peace. Every day felt like chaos and a waste of time.
The only thing I made myself do was put one foot in front of the other each day. It didn’t have to be pretty, I didn’t need to change the world. I just needed to change myself.
Originally appeared in The Good Men Project
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