Girls, how do I move on after so much bullying and rejection?

When I was young, I was bullied constantly by classmates and immediate family. I had no self esteem or confidence, and assumed women wanted me to stay away from them. I've been literally robbed by girls I've gone on dates with, stood up/cancelled on last-minute a majority of the time, got made fun of and mocked/had untrue rumors spread, etc. I'm not one of those MGTOW idiots who are too bitchy to own up to their own problems and fault girls, but these things do leave a mark over time.

Now, I'm 24, have a great job and doing a masters program in addiction studies on top of that, I volunteer 2x a week, go to church every Sunday, and am an amateur boxer (I'll admit, I'm bad lol, but I'm in killer shape from that and years of wrestling/Crossfit). I even picked up hobbies like the saxophone, graffiti-drawing, going to museums, anything outdoors, reading about social justice issues, etc. At my 5-year reunion, I was constantly getting approached about how "different" I seemed. And I have a lot more friends now.

BUT - I still have not been able to let go of my past. I've never had than 3 dates with the same girl, even when I've really wanted to. I see someone who I think is attractive, and I keep my head down and walk away really fast because I'm too scared to approach her. My friends, even those who are girls, say things like "she was totally checking you out" and I would automatically assume they'd be kidding. Most of my guy friends are out living life, while I'm keeping to myself and feeling sorry even when I probably don't need to.

I don't know if a lot of guys went through similar things; I take VERY careful inventory of things like mental health, etc, so I feel like I'm closer to being ready to date again. I want to move on with my life and be happy/free from all of this emotional baggage.

Can anyone who's had experience with this, or know of guys who have, give some tips on how to get my feet wet in the dating game?

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  • maybe you should go see a counselor. I think you should get comfortable with girls just being friends too, and go from there. Try meeting girls with the same mindset... maybe at your college or your hobby of boxing. A good book to read would be the subtle art of not giving a fUc7. Also I recommend reading the search for significance since you did mention church. That book helped me see myself in God's eyes more than how your bullies treated you.

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