Don't really know where to start so I'll just blurt it all out...
I'm in my early thirties, virgin, no friends, living in a house share, no social life, no confidence, ill at ease with my looks (goofy teeth, no chin, receding hair, short, skinny), passive aggressive and loner.
Despite all this I have an okay job, reasonable salary and somehow a thin veneer over myself that I think has fooled most people about my situation - at least I hope it has. Because if it hasn't, they know I'm in turmoil and are ignoring it - which is worse.
I can't make friends - just can't. Tried, but can't.
I dream about moving away from Ireland, but can't. (My father is very ill, and my family kind of rely on me to help out at home). I'm not even sure what moving away would gain me as I'd still be the same person that I am here - just living in a different country.
I think I've been badly influenced by TV - I think everyone should have a social life like Friends, that girlfriends are as easy to come by and should be as beautiful as in the TV programmes. That everyone needs to look perfect. That everyone social life is like a Guinness ad.. That your dinner is not correct unless it looks like something cooked on a TV programme.
I've seen programmes from America and life seems so fantastic - sunshine, beaches, winter sports, motor sports, lots of activities and lots of people enjoying them. Look at Ireland - everyone goes down to a dingy pub, gets drunk, eats some crappy takeaway food and goes home. A successful night is not getting involved in an altercation with some other guy. Chances of meeting a girl - zero. Whereas in USA, yes there is bar life and violence, but there are so many sport and activities to pursue that don't exist here or are small cliquey clubs. Plus from my visits there, it seems that people are more open and friendly. I find Ireland to be a bunch of clannish eejits who have their own groups and at my age there are not many openings for me.
I did try one outdoor pursuit but I was put totally off by the people involved, it was so badly organised that I've been put off it for life and will not even consider trying it again (I was not given any training for this activity and hated every second of it).
I did try once to chat to a girl in a bar, she turned her back on me and ignored me. It was very humiliating. That would have been approx 10 years ago now and I’ve not spoken to a girl I don't know since. It's only as I type this that I realise its been so long and that there might be some significance to the event.
I don't know how to improve my life here in order to make me happy. I want to date girls, but I've no experience and there doesn't really seem to be the just dating culture that other cities have. The impression I get is that dating in Ireland is a means of finding someone to marry rather than having a good time with someone (take 'having a good time' to mean whatever you want, I'm not only talking about the obvious).
I've never dated anyone or had a girlfriend. I'm the only singleton at my work. When I do go out I never see anyone I really fancy. I am intimidated by girls because I've not had much exposure to them. I'm scared of being cheated on or rail-roaded into things I don't want to do because I'm so timid and meek around girls.
I've been attending counselling for about a decade now on and off. Obviously it hasn't worked! I am stuck and nothing so far has helped. I'm not even sure if I want help as although I hate where I am, I am comfortable here and know it. I want to change, but I don't like change. Even changing my daily routine upsets me at times.
Why would I not want change, yet spend time and money on counselling in order to achieve something I don't want? I think I do want change, but what I want is not realistic.
In the evening I sit in my room (like I am now, typing this out) alone watching You-tube videos, internet TV, or porn. I don't chat much to my house mates - in fact everyone sits in their rooms too!
I have such low self confidence and in my appearance that I'm considering getting braces (cost ~ £6000GBP) and am taking finasteride/propecia for my hair loss (not sure of its success, but I had a scare with my 'reproductive organs' which can be caused by propecia - yet I continue its use and accept the risk).
I overhear people talking (mostly young people at uni leaving age) talking excitedly about going to USA, Canada, England or Australia to live and work. I get jealous – really jealous. It all sounds so exciting. They know people there earning good money and having a great time. Good weather, etc. Life seems so much better in other places. Familiarity breeds contempt. The grass is greener on the other side.
My family means a lot to me and I could never leave them, but still I yearn for life in another country - like the USA. Is it a real yearning for the American way of life or is it the American dream I want? I don't know. I dream of winning the lottery too. Maybe improving my life here would put things into a better perspective. People say that girls get easily suckered in by marketing and feel burdened by the media to look and act in a certain way. Well, I feel that pressure too. I'm bringing it on myself.
I want to look like Beckham, have a beautiful wife who is pretty and demure yet dirty in the bedroom, etc. Who am I kidding? As I write this I know it is all rubbish, but it is how I feel. I am totally suckered in.
I love my family but at times I feel they are holding me back from spreading my wings. I think in my family (my parents) there is a shame associated about going abroad to work you weren't good enough to get one here. My parents have not spent more than 5 weeks away from home town in my living memory so I don't believe they appreciate the appeal of living in a foreign country. I don't even know if I want to leave. It might be that it seems like a quick and easy fix. That is the problem of living on a farm. Townies will not understand the connection with the land. I love it and hate it in equal measures. Mostly hate at the minute. There is nothing like making hay in your family's own field on a hot sunny summers day. Equally, that same field can hold you back and stifle you in so many other ways.
My parents helped me out whenever they could – to the point of where I feel sometimes that I've not been able to let go and stand on my own two feet. Maybe, it can be construed as stifling my development. I don't know. They meant well, but I feel stunted. Like a young bird not allowed to fly off the nest on the cliff face. All the other baby birds do so, open their wings and fly away, despite the dangers of the rocks below, yet I'm still in the nest.
I get stressed easily and am always worrying about something or someone. If it is not work, it is an ill family member. If not that then it is any combination of what I have written above. It is affecting my sleep. However, I'm not taking sleeping tablets and am trying to avoid them.
I'm not even sure why I've spent the best part of 1.5 hours writing this out. I know that none of you will be able to help me. So why have I done this? I don't know. There is nothing that you can say to help me. Numerous counsellors over a period of 10 years could do nothing.
Yet, every now and again, when things are down I sit in front of this computer and go through this same process and write out this almost identical post on some forum or another. It has been on here many times and it been on many other sites too. Maybe it is theraphy for me to go through this process.
Why do I do it when I don't think you will be able to make the penny drop or clear the fog? I don't know - maybe it is that nice warm feeling when you see that some else has spent a considerable amount of time to write a reply. I really appreciate it when someone replies. It makes me feel wanted when I see that. When you are in my situation and see that strangers care enough to give up some time to try and help you it does give you a lift.
I've tried so may things from fluxotine, CBT, through to God knows what and it hasn't helped. <Mod snip>
I so badly want my life to be fun, exotic, ladies, laughter and happiness. However, I also know that is fantasy. Real life is a grind. But surely it has to be better than what I've currently got?
I also know that there are people in a worse position than myself. But then I equally know that there are many many more people in a better place than myself.
I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent and articulate, so why can I not sort this problem out?
Even if you can't help, I hope it will give food for thought to someone who might be in a similar situation or who maybe doesn't even realise they are in a similar situation.
Please post this.
Look on the positives, you have a good job, you are articulate and you obviously know you want to get more out of life. Plus you have family that you love and who love you.
Now, forget the looks thing, most people have hang ups about looks in some way. Make the most of what you have, dress well and put the best side out.
Don't give up on things like clubs and sports even if they are badly organised.
Get out of the room, get off the internet, and make an effort to meet people. Don't focus on meeting girls. You must have some interests outside of work, focus on those. Even try helping out with a charity or taking on a course (for fun).
I know some people will read this and go here's the old join a club thing but it does work. If you like squash join a squash club, if you like photography like that club. Just do it.
Online dating - to heck with it, just go for it.
And as for the Friends thing, even the actors in Friends would love that life. It's not real, so come on, get real, get out of the room.
Best of luck to you OP.