Why do I feel so different after failed dating experiences?

I used to be a happy and friendly guy. But these last few years, I've been involved in the dating game and I feel, that because most ended on a bad note, like im changing into a more negative person. I dont smile as much anymore, Im much more reserved. Before dating, I had tons of friends that were girls, but now I dont have any. I used to not deal with girls and only befriended them but unfortunatly it led me to be their "big brother"/"friend". Now I won't tolerate any bullshit games that girls put me through. This doesn't only affect the girls, but I can tell Im much more hostile and aggressive... something I never was prior to dating. Almost like I have a spine or backbone now and stand up for myself. Anyone have any ideas?

Updates:
Thank you to everyone who shared their serious opinions. Wish i could award mho to all of you. It's a change from all the trolls you see on this site

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Most Helpful Girl

  • I think it's perfectly normal to feel this way, especially after having struggled in the dating world for so long. I've felt this way too when I was single. It's frustrating as hell trying to navigate through this whole thing. Everyone has rules, "Don't call him, he'll call you", "Don't seem too eager or they will lose interest", "Only call 3 days after the initial date or you will seem too excited and clingy!", etc... We've all heard this type of advice. And often times it conflicts with other advice we are given. This only complicates things further.

    Plus it's hard when there are people out there who aren't honest about what they are looking for. So they play games, take advantage of you and then disappear.

    My advice is to just take a break. I know it's hard, but this happened to me. I stopped actively searching and just kind of took a breather. I found myself getting really depressed and angry over the situation. That's when I started to have better luck. I was online dating and I had given up almost, because I wasn't seeing results. I did everything right, I had a good profile, several pictures, I sent lots of messages and was not getting any responses.

    So I almost hung up my towel. I was so frustrated about my lack of success, despite working so hard. So I just started getting passive about it. I didn't really put any effort into dating, I just only responded to guys I was actually interested in who took the time to send me a thought out message. My now boyfriend actually ended up messaging me and send me a really sweet message. We met, and after meeting him I just kind of went into tunnel vision and I couldn't get him off my mind. I really fell for him and just felt this pull towards him.

    I think you should spend time doing things you enjoy. Explore some new hobbies and just try to regain your happiness. Then when you are feeling better, take a small step back into dating.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • Usually there is nothing more strongly related to our sense of self worth than our romantic endeavors. It's like our default setting. Don't confuse hostility with having a backbone. That's the mental loop weak people get caught up in. Think about a tree. A young tree snaps when you push it. A stronger tree bends and smacks you back. But really strong trees don't move. Their rigid and strong and it takes heavy machinery to push it over. I remember hearing the phrase "you can judge a man by what upsets him". What do you think is harder to do: Retaliate and revolt in a dangerous world or maintain ones composure and joy surrounded by turmoil? Dating is one of the few times where we make our true selves vulnerable. It's like we meet each person with a vase. That person in their own unique way judges that sculpture. Each person will feel different. Some will hate it and mock it. Some will say "I like it" but won't purchase it. Some will say "I want it" but when they see the price they can't afford it. Some people you simply don't trust enough to care for the vase. It's a one of a kind and precious to you. But what's important to remember is that those people dont get to determine the value of that vase. They do not know how much work went into it. They do not know the meaning it holds. It is your vase. The trick is learning to separate your opinion of your vase from thier's and acknowledging the subjective nature of it all complete with perceptual biases. Or in more cliche terms you have to learn to love and accept yourself. It's easy to get offended when people don't accept what you believe is of high value and sometimes you begin to question yourself. That's were the anger and hostility comes from. That pain and confusion of seeing and experiencing others seemingly not value something you think is phenomenal mixed with your own doubt about yourself. It puts you in a stressful state. A state that can only be escaped by learning to accept your vase as well as the opinion of others and that's something only you can do for yourself.

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What Girls Said 12

  • Even if there is an answer that would somehow satisfy you, I don't very much believe that having a backbone and standing up for yourself is necessarily a thing to give you a bad taste in your mouth...

    But to answer your question, you stand up for yourself more after failed relationships because of what you learned from those failed relationships. Every hardship we live through grants us two outcomes that may either destroy us, or grant us knowledge. You, my friend, chose to give yourself knowledge. You learned from past failed relationships what you want, or at least a more clear idea of what you may want out of a relationship; that would explain the sudden appearance of a backbone!

    Friends come and go, as do various relationships, and from each encounter, we take something from it. Some people choose to allow unfortunate events to govern their future, while others choose to learn and evolve from it.

    I hope that answer was sufficient enough! :)

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  • I think that in a way you have grown up. ( developed a backbone, strength of will etc) This whole crap about being friends with every girl you meet, is often just depressing. You end up with a long list of girls who have 'friend zone' you, but are happy to use you if they need you. This is not a friend, it is a user, that adds no value to your life. So why keep them around? If you are getting cynical about the whole dating game, than take a break! It is often when you least expect it that a girl will enter your life.

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  • Everyone wants to be happy, good dating experiences make you smile more and they make it easier for you to get into another relationship even after it ends, while with failed ones you just keep remembering what is wrong. You don't want that to happen again, you might interpret some of the signs wrong as well. Sometimes things that really hurt you cause you to push against the very thing that happened in the first place... and then you can become more aggressive.

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  • Well yeah, I kinda feel the same.. but for me it isn't just failed romances, it's really an accumulation of bad stuff that has happened. They say you can tell the age of someone by their eyes.. meaning they have seen and experienced a lot of heartbreak, disappointment, rejection, etc. Truth of the matter is you are in a bubble of naivete up until your early 20's and then it's like POP! welcome to the real world! The good news is you also develop character, strength and wisdom as you age :)

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  • I wish I could be there as a friend for you in person. I don't tolerate people being miserable around me so you'd at least have a good time in my company. I was that way in grade school. It didn't get better til high school, but sometimes I wish I kept that aura about me to ward off the shitty people there... I truly and fervently hope it works out for you *hugs you until your spine cracks*

    I'm already in a relationship, but if you'd like a friend, message me, yeah?

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  • Dating is a HUGE part of my life

    The highs are amaaaaaaaaaaaaaazing.
    The lows are crash and burn

    It HAS made me jaded + intolerant + super selective + elitist + very easily dismissive of others.

    People to me have become just a "yes" or" no" vote for sex now
    Nothing else.

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  • Just try to surround yourself with new and positive people. I believe that every person we open up to changes us to some level. So try being around people that motivate you and don't drag you down.

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  • This happens to women too

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    • I use to be sweet and now I seriously don't open up to people as much as I use to and I have lots of friends but I only tell them certain things only my best friend I open up to

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    • Listen, I dont need your "guys do it too" comment. I already told you, it loaded at the same time you wrote your second comment

    • Your welcome

  • Any ideas? Did you read your own question? You answered it already.

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    • Got nothing helpful to say? then fuckoff

  • Failed relationships are never a waste of time, because even though they didn't bring you what you did want... they taught you what you do want.

    Life experiences define us and mold us, but you can prevent it destroying you. Pain is inevitable.. suffering is optional. Refuse to be defined in a negative way.

    It has made you a stronger person, because you don't take any bullshit now and you can stand up for yourself. Just don't allow yourself to become bitter.

    Be nice , be happy and friendly, but set boundaries and don't allow anyone to cross them. People will respect you and think twice about playing you or using you

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  • I agree new people can make a difference. I know, and can definitely agree with your situation. I hope it gets better.

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  • your ego took a hit.

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What Guys Said 15

  • Don't let this drag you down. Look at yourself. It's obvious you see what's happening to yourself and don't like it.

    I don't know the answer. But I know from experience that you do not want to go there. Do something. Change something. Whatever you are doing isn't working.

    Big brother. Only a friend. Maybe you didn't think that's what you wanted. But are you OK with who you are now? Or are you becoming something you don't like? You have to be who you are. Be who you are because you can't be anyone else.

    You changed who you are, thinking it would be better. But what was the price? The old you will appeal to someone. You have to be who you are, so give it a chance. The price was too high. Learn to smile again. Give the real you a chance.

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  • You need to have a chit chat with Billy Bob Thornton for some advice on how to deal with women bro,

    and stop taking em out on dates, say you want to hang out and only pay for your own shit, get women to invest in you, get them to buy things for you, be like "hey can you spot me on this ham burger" and then when she does, be like "out of the millions of girls I know, you are truly a princess... hey can you buy me some bottled water? thanks babe" when you get women spending money on you, they won't leave because they will want return on investment

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  • I'm on the same page with you my man, I've been meditating to try to get myself back to the way I was. I was getting to the point of becoming one of those douche bags and just using women as I see fit.

    Even if you're alone at least you aren't with some trashy girl. Keep on pushing through all the utter bullshit and games. There's an end to it at some point.

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  • There is a difference between standing up for yourself and being aggressive.

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  • That is normal behaviour, dont be hard on yourself, you are dealing with the pains of rejection and the side effects the dating game. As men we have to endure them no matter what or die a fucking virgin.

    The most important thing, is to give yoruself time to do things that you like, don't exactly think about the dating game because it can really depress you, you will go around circles wondering what you did right and wrong, or even worse start doubting yourself of your personality and looks, which can really harm your self-esteem. It is very possible it wasn't yoru fault.

    Let your anger out and relax about it, once you are more relaxed about it then you can analyse the situation with a more clear mind so that way you can see if maybe you did something wrong.

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  • Yup you discovered the real world. Take it easy, it takes a while to get used to. Propaganda on the TV is a main result of this:

    1. Remember no such thing as a relationship or love. It's called lust. Go out not on dates but to bang.

    2.. life not all about women (or men) do things that you enjoy have some friends that you enjoy.

    3. Money does equal happiness so don't waist time with dating when you can make a buck.

    Overall I will try and tell you it's a mindframe I was in once it takes a while to change but when it does! You b know it. Best of luck!!

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  • Well the backbone part is good, but it does suck that dating can turn you like this...(becoming negative, reserved). Sorry man...

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  • "Almost like I have a spine or backbone now and stand up for myself."

    Answered your own question, cheers mate. If you are unhappy, then figure out what is makinf you unhappy and fix it.

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  • you end up feeling that way when you get fucked around a lot. I was a friendly guy, now I'm just gtfo if you play games. I understand you.

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  • some girls friendzone you because they want you with them through all the hard times she goes through while dating all of the other people in the world

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  • Dating does that for you. Don't worry she is out there. Try to stay positive.. I'm on the same boat as you.

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  • i would think due to how your young you didn't know yourself as well as you think you did and all those girls weren't right for you that's my guess

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  • I know them feels. I was actually really excited after I decided I wanted to start dating and find a girlfriend. But I don't want to put up with girls' shit anymore. I got past a lot of the negativity and can be generally friendly but I'm not as forgiving toward girls. It seems like you need to give girls special treatment and you just look like a dick for treating them equally. There was a time when I was excited about being in a relationship and was confident and not hurt. I think there's a sweet spot in your youth where you're excited and you romanticise things and you're confident enough and have the desire to act upon your feelings. Too early in your life and you're not confident enough and might not know what you're doing, too late and you're damaged; the magic of romance is lost. If that sweet spot time goes shit then it feels like you're just fucked. I think it's important to have good experiences (and at the right time) for proper emotional development. It's going to take time to deal with it and it's not your fault they messed you up but our society doesn't really permit males to act that way. If you're a guy then people will more often see you as bitter and say buck up, if a you're a girl then they'll say it's sad that you were 'used' and men are pigs.

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  • Were you raised by a single mother?

    It sounds like you had a misguided view of women. They aren't what you expected, you dislike the cognative dissonance this is causing.

    You dislike the fact that just as some men simply see women as sex conquests, the majority of women in your life see you as a utility to be manipulated?

    You are on the right path.

    The sooner you realize the nature of women the sooner you can replace that anger and sadness with indifference. Then you can start having relationships based on what's actually good for you rather than the false image that occupied your mi nd. Then you will be happy again.

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    • I was indeed raised by a single mom, although i saw my dad once a year

  • Because women are the devil.

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    • No they're not. They are the greatest thing that can happen to a man. Although my experiences haven't been great, I still respect women who respect themselves. Im just more aware of how they work/think. But frankly, they can be annoying at times too lol

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