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26 year old male, lonely, never had a girlfriend, thoughts beginning to creep in...

  • 17-01-2020 9:27pm
    Registered Users Posts: 4

    This may sound like a convoluted mess but I just need to write something, might make me feel better if I get it off my chest!

    I'm heading for 27 this coming April and I've never been so lonely in my life. I'm sort of at the age now where people I went to school/college with are in fully established relationships and getting engaged/married, possibly kids.

    I've very little friends and I don't know how. I have always tried to make an effort with people but I just feel and always felt invisible to them, and possibly taken for granted. If i didn't message, nobody ever messaged me, and there was only so much my self esteem could take before I had to stop messaging, and guess what? I haven't heard from them since! I remember the latter days of secondary school where I sent a text out to multiple people asking to stay in touch. I was made fun of over it. Sneered at to be exact. That hurt. Now I see old schoolmates stories on facebook, having drinks over skype video calls because some are abroad, some going to football matches in England together, meeting up for christmas/new years when some return home. It dawned on me, i've never been on a night out for paddies night, halloween, stephens or new years. Never been to a concert, football match, rugby match, on holiday with friends etc.

    Career wise, on paper at least, it's all good, I obtained both my undergraduate and Masters at NUIG and recently moved to Limerick for a Science job, some of my old classmates could only dream of having! Like any person who went to college to pursue a degree and eventual career in Science, had aspirations of working in a research environment or laboratory, I can consider myself lucky. A lot who graduate with science degrees end up in Quality departments of Medical Device/Pharma companies sitting at a desk scanning through paperwork for mistakes and inconsistencies, checking handwriting, signing off and approving batches, making sure other employee's adhere to policies, procedures and regulations etc. Not that there's anything wrong with it, but it's a far cry from culturing bacteria or playing with cancer cells, stuff we actually went to college for. Unfortunately all of it doesn't feel worth it anymore. I go home in the evenings waiting for the next day. That should not be a way to be!!! The job of my dreams doesn't seem to be worth it anymore. I should be ecstatic but I'm not! I'm evening doing an Immunology online course through Harvard Medical School because of this job! And even that doesn't excite me! How many in the country will be able to say, i've a certificate from Harvard University?

    I was always generally shy and quiet as a teenager. I never really got to experience the college life as I was forced to commute from my hometown by train due to financial reasons. I did the general Science course at NUIG and never really got to know anybody in class as lectures could be crammed with 70+ people, so you were essentially sitting beside a random person each day. As for the Masters, it was a flash in the pan, nobody really connected with each other as they already had established connections elsewhere. I was very active about trying to set up class get togethers throughout the Masters, particularly after certain "milestones", beginning of the course to break the ice, after completing big/painful assignments, Christmas Exams, return from Christmas Holidays, Summer Exams, completing the thesis. Nothing ever really happened. There was one girl in my class who I got along really well with, started off as friends and it went deeper and deeper so to speak. She was a few months out of a 7 year relationship, which may having been a warning sign in itself. All the signs were there that she liked me, so I did ask her out. She accepted three dates only to be told by her that she didn't really want to be on them. After that the friendship dynamic changed, I think she started enjoying and feeding off the fact that I liked her and sort of played with me because of it, and ultimately treated me like dirt. That was a big stinker to my confidence. Loads of other details i could include, but i could be here all night!

    At work, we all seem to get along for the most part, but any suggestions to do anything is met with indifference. I am actually in the minority amongst my immediate team. Out of a team of twenty, 3 are single! Three. The other two are good looking women, but so quiet that any interaction is literally pulling teeth out to keep a conversation going. The number is quite staggering especially when you get teased for being single, and everyday you have to listen to what we did this at the weekend, we're going there this weekend, we're moving in together. It really gets to you...

    Tinder is not working for me either. These past few years, all I've heard from people's mouths is how the met their SO's on Tinder. Has the entire dating landscape been funneled into that shallow app or am I missing something? I gave it a try but I rarely get matches, and if I do, rarely get responses from matches. It sort of frightens me, because at the end of the day no matter how much other individuals can cherish being single, we all want that someone special in our lives. Someone who gives us the motivation to go into work and bust a nut everyday, someone we can come home confide in, someone to support and look out for, do fun things together, grow together, build something together. I'm genuinely frightened of a lonely future, genuinely frightened! People say get better photos, but I don't know how, get people to take them of you? Where? standing by the tree in the garden? Or those nights out I never find myself to be on? Take a selfy? Apparently that's a death sentence for a guy on Tinder. People say I am attractive or good looking but it seems to go in one ear out the other, as most are middle aged women. I've had men say I'm a good looking one was my GP the other a drunk elderly man on a train home from college. I just don't seem to believe it. My dating life is basically zero, and I don't know how to change it.

    Hobbies are extremely limited too, I used to be sporty as a kid, actually represented Westmeath County at youth levels, but had a massive ACL injury at the age of 15 and I never really recovered from as it always buckled. It took a whopping 4 years to get much needed surgery and since I've tried to avoid contact sports because the pain endured after buckling was too great to even worth risking it all again. Even after the ACL repair, knee is still not right, you just know. I wish I could go off and play tag rugby, play football or take up a martial art like jiu jitsu but from personal experience, buckling your knee was arguably the worst pain I ever had the pleasure of dealing with.

    Things are beginning to get to me, my **** social life, lack of dating life, lack of someone special, lack of love, little-no sexual experience, anxieties and all that other ****e has really began to creep up on me these past 2-3 years. And now it is really come to a head. What slowly began as how would people react to me taking my own life, would anyone miss me, who would come to my funeral; is now looking like the ultimate/great escape from the emotional pain right now. I cry myself to sleep, I cry on my way home from work and I am crying as I even write this. I live with housemates who barely interact and all go to their rooms and I tried looking elsewhere in Limerick, but there is a housing crisis at the moment!

    I don't know how my life has come to this, all i ever wanted was a normal life. I don't know what to do with myself... or how I can turn it all around. I feel like I'm making excuses too, so I never really talked to anybody about this kind of stuff...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,269 ✭✭✭The White Feather

    First off take a deep breath and relax! You are doing great. You are working away with a great education so that's fine.

    There's 2 issues here. Friends and Girlfriends.

    For both you have to speculate to accumulate.

    Don't mind people at work or people online. Everyone makes out that they are having a great time at all times!

    I would definitely take up a sport. You had an ACL injury but I had one too so I know the pain. The thing is though you can do a sport like jiu jitsu and say that you will only do the drills. Join a running club and say you are just jogging for fun. Join a boxing club and say you are just working on your hands. No need for competitive action in anything you join. Trust me they will be glad you are there. This way you will get to know a few people and have an outlet after work.Especially if you are getting nothing at work. Join something. Just say you had a bad injury and you are taking it easy. No matter what the club is they wont say get out.

    If you are in bad pain then stop. Watch everyone else. Chat to them afterword. Then you can ask them questions and get to know them. If you can only last 5 mins then just last that. Chat to them about their training. You will hopefully build up the muscles over time around the ACL so it gets stronger. Then maybe if they have anything coming up ask to tag along. Carry the water or towels whatever they need. Then you can give advice from what you see and you are learning away for the next time you are training. This way you are part of the club. Clubs always need a helper and you are getting to know people and branching out. This way you are doing something after work rather than looking online and seeing everyone else seemingly having a great time.

    Just join something that you like so you will go back to it.

    Start tomorrow with a clean slate. If you dont get any interaction from your housemates then go out after work. Go for a long walk. Go for a run. Go for a cycle. Whatever you like to do. Find that local club you are interested in. Maybe join 2. Most clubs have a couple of nights a week. Anything is better than sitting at home waiting for the next day. Then just nudge yourself to interact. The main thing is enjoy it. If you like it, you will be interested in it and then you will like going back.

    It means nothing if you never had a girlfriend. IMHO Looks are more or less irrelevant. Its all about confidence. You sound confident in work so that is a good thing. Now you just apply it to women.

    Just like friends, you won't find them at home unless you keep trying Tinder of course! I would say go out and do things. While you are doing things then practice with women! Go to the cinema. Try to chat for a few secs with the clerk. Ask her is the movie any good? Try to get a laugh or smile out of her. If its a guy then do the same thing! Why? Its all practice.

    If you just out for a walk then ask someone the time. Then progress to make them laugh for some reason.This way you are getting unplanned interaction. Who knows. They might say they have no watch or whatever. Then try to keep the conversation going somehow.

    The eventual goal is to go up to a woman you like and start a conversation and ask her out. Contrary to what you might think, this is very possible. It just takes practice so you get used to approaching someone and then asking her out.

    This is like the movie Groundhog day where the more times you interact, the more comfortable you get. Then you see what works and what doesnt. If you dont know the movie then download it! Watch it. Then you are doing something rather than waiting for the next day to go back to work!

    The point is to keep doing things rather than dwelling on stuff that doesn't help you.

    Of course the big thing is to join a club of some sort. Then you will get to have chats and broaden out your friends circle.This leads to friends and/or girlfriends and nights out with the club.

    Be proactive!

    Email those 3 quiet women and arrange a night out. Say its a team thing. They may say no but at least you tried.
    Go in next week and try to make the quietest one laugh. Yes its hard but thats where you have to think. What is funny? Can you get her to chuckle? This is practice too!

    Even if she is like a stone its a fun game for you at work trying to make her laugh.Try to make the others laugh. Livens up work for you at least! Of course maybe just do it at break time if its inappropriate while working.

    These are all ideas that may seem crazy but keep interacting with them. They may be just painfully quiet. If you truly cannot get anything out of them then don't mind them. Think of after work activities like hobbies that you can do.

    Set a goal for yourself. In 2 months I will have/be............ or by the end of next week I will have joined........ or at least enquired about......

    Think of an action that you can do. Remember, sitting at home after work isn't doing anything for you. Get outside and walk. Call over to an old friends house. Say you were just passing by. I did this before. Now, it didn't really need anywhere but the point is that I did it. I found it gave me a bit of confidence. I was basically knocking on a strangers door and saying hello. Every little bit helps. Store up each tiny win like saying hello to someone passing and smiling at them. Then you progress to asking them the time and then eventually asking her out from scratch.

    Ask that old friend whose door you knock on if he wants to go for a drink. Ask a guy at work if he wants to go for one. If they say no, dont let it bother you.

    Go out to a pub and have a drink on your own. See what happens. Nothing may happen but its a goal you have set and completed. You would be amazed at how confident you feel after doing it. No one cares that you are on your own. Say you got stood up if there are people nearby. That buddy of yours is like a wallflower you say. You are out to have a laugh. Say can I join you to a group? They might say nah or yes but the point is you asked. You went from at home to asking strangers can you join them.

    If they say no, hang tough. move to a different area. Try again or go over to some women. Start a conversation. Its all practice. If it goes nowhere then go home. Mission completed! If it goes somewhere then even better!!

    You are doing great. You have a great job. You have a clean slate that you can start tomorrow. You can do it. Just begin and don't look back. Its water under the bridge. Write down what you would like and put it up on the wall. What would be a win for you this month? If it doesn't happen, roll it over to next month and apply what you learned the last month.It will eventually happen!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,674 ✭✭✭✭Tom Mann Centuria

    That's some stream of consciousness, some really great advice in there though.

    Oh well, give me an easy life and a peaceful death.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,328 ✭✭✭Upforthematch

    Its good to get your funk written down and out in the open Op so well done!!

    Let me ask, other than science, what was the last thing you felt passionate about?

    Movies? Music? Following a team? Cooking? Languages? Politics? Volunteering? Travel? Comedy? Reading novels?

    Your social life is quiet now, fair enough, I suggest you invest your time brushing up on these interests or finding new ones.

    This will help you take back control and stop living for work. If your interest is something you could chat about at your work teabreak that's even better.

    Give this a few weeks, and meanwhile, find out ways of meeting others with this interest. If the group you find is "younger" that's a real win. You never know what would take off from there...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,653 ✭✭✭KiKi III

    So far we know that you're intelligent and well-spoken, educated and successful. Not a bad start.

    I really identify with your loneliness and fears of a lonely future.

    I moved home to Ireland a few years ago having lived abroad for 6 years and in the interim almost everyone I knew had either moved away or settled down and got married.

    Hobbies are essential. Don't limit yourself to sports. There's all sorts out there. Book clubs, Poker clubs, hiking, pottery (yes, really), improv/ stand-up comedy etc etc

    Do you have siblings?

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,881 ✭✭✭TimeToShine

    I would edit a few bits out OP such as the part time course and where you studied, putting it all together can be identifying especially in Ireland.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,149 ✭✭✭Augme

    I actually disagree nearly all of whitefeathers post. It read like some pick up artist monologue and long term it is not going to do you any good.

    Firstly I would recommend counciling. Everyone should do it, like an NCT or physical. It's important. You need to work on your own self esteem and your own opinions about yourself. Being able to chat up women isnt actually going to improve that long term. It will just mask it.

    The problem then is that while you will be learn to be great at initiating conversation with women and chatting them up, you won't be able to make it last or have anything meaningful out of it because your self esteem will still be in the dirt. After a few dates and it goes badly wrong, you'll crumble back to where you are again. Outward confidence but no self esteem behind it is a recepie for disaster. It will be like a lump of **** pained in gold. From a distance it looks fantastic but when you get close to it and touch it, you then realise it's just a lump of ****.

    It's clear that you have lack self esteem from a young age and there's a reason behind that and it has been a long term issues. Work on solving that and it will be a much bigger help.

    With an improved self esteem will come more self respect. And this is essential. You need to have a much amount more self respect for yourself. This is the second area that I strongly disagree with whitefeathers post.

    The whole idea of joining a sports club so you can hopefully get five minutes of chat while being the water boy is such a depressing and desperate bar to set. Have more self respect for yourself and set the bar far higher. Desperation is such a massive turn off for both sexes and when it comes to friendships and relationships and unfortunately you have displayed desperation nearly all your life by the sound it. Simply doing more activities in a state of desperation isn't going to change anything. It will only make it worse.

    Join a club because you want to take part in an acitivty and do something. If you make friends, great, if you don't, who cares? You are stilling doing something you enjoy. That's the the position you need to be aiming for.

    Starting focusing on self development for your own sake, and then you have a much better chance of improving the external elements of your life like friendships and relationships.

  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭Gonad

    Get yourself to the gym . Get buff . Women love that no matter what .

    I was so thin growing up and barely got any girls . Ended up in a relationship for a few years and when we split I couldn’t get any luck with women . Literally nothing for a long time .

    Went gym for a few months , ate a few extra meals a day . All of a sudden I had a big back , shoulders and muscles on my arms . Women that would never give me a look before suddenly became a little more interested :)

    Also gym is very good for you mentally .

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,505 ✭✭✭✭Mad_maxx

    Not getting a girlfriend or boyfriend often boils down to bad luck, one of my sisters was in her thirties before finding someone, she earns over a hundred grand per year and lives in rathmines, she is now engaged to a guy earning the same

    Point being, being long term single is no gauge of a person's life - success

    You can't control everything and twenty seven is young

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,972 ✭✭✭Cosmo Kramer

    I agree with the poster who said you may have said a little too much in that you have identified your age, County, University, current city and field of work and I would maybe suggest removing one of two of those things.

    But that in itself shows how much of a goldfish bowl Ireland can be. It doesn't sound like you have travelled at all and, if that holds any interest for you, it's something to consider.

    In work a few years ago I was friends with a lad who was in a very similar situation to you, similar age too. Probably the only difference was that he had a good circle of friends to fall back on, but even that wasn't enough for him and he was visibly unhappy on a daily basis in the office.

    Anyway, he decided that enough was enough and he had to get out of the country and try something new for his own sanity. So, he finished his professional qualifications, saved a bit of cash, took a six month sabbatical from work and went off backpacking on his own without too much of an idea where he was headed, but in the general direction of New Zealand.

    It was the best decision he ever made and he didn't come back after the sabattical (which was just a fall back really - I don't think he ever intended to come back). Anyway he is now happily married in Auckland and splits his time between his job, his wife and using his work leave to travel across NZ, Australia and South East Asia.

    It's a big move and not for everyone, but maybe something to consider. The grass isn't always greener, but sometimes it is.

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭Lyan

    I can relate to a lot of your experience OP. Though I was actually diagnosed with high functioning autism as an adult which sort of explained it all. Honestly, the people on this forum aren't going to be able to help you in any way other than repeat oft-spouted advice that is of little help to someone with your difficulties. <snipped>

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,269 ✭✭✭The White Feather

    For Augme

    I was very like the OP. I started doing all what I said and gradually over time broadened out. I was giving loads of steps that he may take. Even if he does one or 2 then he is doing great.He has a great job and great education so he is doing great already. For me, I had to get used to talking to people so that's why I started asking people the time etc It was an effort to just do that.

    Yes you should join a club to take part but you have an ACL injury like I had and I was always worried it would go completely as well so I just did the basics and started chatting to people there.Over time I built up the strength in the knee to where I don't think about it anymore. By then I had friends in the club.

    Counselling is a great idea if you think it would help you. I didn't think it would help me so I didn't do it. From my own experience, I just needed to get out of the rut. Rather than just work then home, you are doing things.You aren't joining a club for 2 mins conversation by being a water boy. You are joining a club to get the ball rolling. I mean talking to someone on the first day was nerve wracking for me so I started small. Maybe you are fine with new people unlike me so I needed to practice it! If you are fine then chat away and then you are in the club!

    For Gonad, a gym is a great idea as working out is great mentally. Again, I did this too. I was hoping to make new friends there but I found everyone doesn't want to be bothered while working out. So I concentrated on myself and working out gives you a great boost!

    As an aside, I remember there was a girl near me when I was younger and I wanted to know her more but she wasn't interested. Worked out for a few months and then suddenly she liked me. This was because I looked better but more so because I was much more happier and confident.I had forgot about her and concentrated on myself.Someone looking at me used to terrify me never mind talking to them. Gradually I would be able to go up to anyone as I practiced it non stop. Even buying something, I would try to say something to the person behind the counter. For some people reading that they say so what? For me that was incredibly hard at first.

    The point is have a few different avenues going. Don't think one thing is the magic bullet. If you like the idea of counselling go do it. But go to a gym as well. Join a club too. Chat to people. Go to movies. Cook etc like KIKi and upforthematch suggest. Plan a holiday for a change of scenery. etc

    Pick a few things you like out of these and do them. This is why I am throwing loads of ideas out. Yes there are loads but pick whatever suits you! A few things going during the week will make everything seem better!

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,179 ✭✭✭✭cj maxx

    OP , +1 on finding a club or something you would like. Even if it gets you away from your house mates a few evenings a week or at the weekends. If you feel your knee can't cope with sports what about a book / film club. Look up for meet ups in your area. Groups do anything from hillwalking to kayaking to just a meetup in a bar/restaurant.
    Also if your struggling at the minute ,therapy or counseling might benefit you. There's usually one that can take you at a suitable time.
    Oh like others have said maybe edit your post to remove some details like your county and college. Ireland is a small country.
    Good luck

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭wiggle16


    Posters are reminded that offering or soliciting PMs is strictly prohibited. This is for the safety of both the OP and the poster. Any unsolicited PMs arising from a PI thread should be reported.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,119 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes

    Just try and keep positive and have more fun in life.

    A positive mindset is so important it helps stop the negative dialogue in your head.

    Tell yourself all the positive things you have accomplished.

    Best of luck op :) x

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple

    Is was hard to read that, you are in such pain. You are very articulate, clearly an intelligent and emotionally aware man. A thinker.

    You didn't mention your family, they are one of my main supports in hard times. Has the separation, when you moved for the job, removed that connection?

    I too think counselling is needed here, as you are so upset. Do you know how to go about getting that? If you have a good GP they will be able to recommend someone reputable. I would make this a priority as you are having self harming thoughts.

    The gym/sport activity recommendations may be useful too, if it appeals, not for meeting people specifically, but to get some of that positive buzz you get from being active and healthy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14 ldeayton


    First of all what I'm posting here is in no way meant to be picking on you or kicking you while you're down.

    I can relate to a lot of what you have said in your original post and the experiences you face and your thought processes.

    The subject of your post is your inability to meet a partner and form a relationship. But a lot of your long-winded diatribe of a post is about how much better you see yourself compared to your old school friends and college mates.Without sounding harsh, none of them care about what your job is and how great you consider it. They seem to be having a great old time regardless . What I'm getting at, is your thought process: it’s bitter.

    Throughout my own life I've had many friends come and go. I've had college friends who professed we would stay in touch forever but once we finished the course I never heard from them again. Such is life.

    Nobody wants to be friends or have a relationship with somebody who is negative. Sure we can all have a moan,That's part of how humans communicate. But if there is an underlying bitterness or negativity that in itself can permeate unconsciously through your personality.

    Others here have suggested counselling and I too would agree with that. It's not gonna have immediate results. But long-term if you are content with yourself this will evidence itself in how you interact with other people. Wouldn’t life be lighter if you weren’t carrying that negativity around?

    Returning to the subject of your post: your concern about meeting other people for relationship. Notwithstanding that we are all attracted to the physical attributes of people , we are also attracted to those who are confident. When I use the term confident I don't mean it in terms of arrogance, rather it’s someone who is confident in themselves and who they are are. The most successful relationships I've had are when I've been confident in myself and dear I say it, those relationships faltered when I lacked confidence in myself or I became bitter.

    As I said, I’ve had the same thought processes as you. I had to change. It’s not gone entirely but I’m aware of myself. When I look back at me from years ago it’s an entirely different person.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,690 ✭✭✭cloudatlas

    Email those 3 quiet women and arrange a night out. Say its a team thing. They may say no but at least you tried.
    Go in next week and try to make the quietest one laugh. Yes its hard but thats where you have to think. What is funny? Can you get her to chuckle? This is practice too!

    Even if she is like a stone its a fun game for you at work trying to make her laugh.Try to make the others laugh. Livens up work for you at least! Of course maybe just do it at break time if its inappropriate while working.

    If a colleague isolated myself and another colleague to ask only us out on a night out I'd find it very strange. Trying to get her to 'chuckle' may end up annoying her. If she is 'like a stone' then it's not a 'fun game' Keep work professional, don't piss off your colleagues or try to force relationships or end up being 'that creepy guy who won't leave us alone'.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,432 ✭✭✭LeBash

    Email those 3 quiet women and arrange a night out. Say its a team thing. They may say no but at least you tried.

    White Feather gave you lots of good advice but for your own sake and the sake of your career, dont do that.

  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser

    <Mod snip>

    Hey JW, trust me there are many many other people out there with the same experiences/feelings as this. You are not alone. I can echo a lot of these experiences (even right down to the college/course :P ) it sounds like you are a nice guy who's maybe just a little too caught up in his own head about things. Perhaps a turn off for people may be your opinion of yourself, you seem to put yourself beneath other people in some regards but better than other people in other regards (I am one of those "unfortunate" people working in quality sitting at a desk all day as you put it, I did work in labs and other settings for a while, and shockingly, my current job is by far my favourite: different strokes for different folks) nobody is better nor worse than you. We all have different experiences and I think you're just too caught up in things, you're overthinking. As I said, you think you're alone in these experiences but I just wanted to emphasise you're not. There's a lot more of us out there. You sound like a nice guy, I'd give you a shot personally, I think you just need some self confidence, don't focus on the negative aspects of your life so much. You've got a lot going for you, more than most. Take pride in those and forget about the areas that are lacking, they will happen in time :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,269 ✭✭✭The White Feather

    I think my advice is being slightly misconstrued but maybe I didn't explain it properly.

    I mean to make an effort to be friendly by arranging something or talking to the work colleagues. Not just wait and say they say nothing.

    Of course you are not isolating people and just asking them to go. Everyone gets asked to go. Even the people who never go as they might change their mind.The point is to say, once everyone is asked, "hey are ye going on the night out? Be great to see ye there" Then if you are out, make an effort to say hello when they arrive as they might head off quickly. Then at work you can say it was good to see you there.If they didn't go then you tried.

    I didn't say go over and make constant jokes to someone at work.I assumed OP has some common sense! Its just showing that everything isn't all work related. You have to respect boundaries. I didn't think that even needed to be said.

    But at least you made an effort to talk to them. You can only worry about your end. If you try and its still the same then theres nothing more you can do.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,690 ✭✭✭cloudatlas

    I think my advice is being slightly misconstrued but maybe I didn't explain it properly.

    I mean to make an effort to be friendly by arranging something or talking to the work colleagues. Not just wait and say they say nothing.

    Of course you are not isolating people and just asking them to go. Everyone gets asked to go. Even the people who never go as they might change their mind.The point is to say, once everyone is asked, "hey are ye going on the night out? Be great to see ye there" Then if you are out, make an effort to say hello when they arrive as they might head off quickly. Then at work you can say it was good to see you there.If they didn't go then you tried.

    I didn't say go over and make constant jokes to someone at work.I assumed OP has some common sense! Its just showing that everything isn't all work related. You have to respect boundaries. I didn't think that even needed to be said.

    But at least you made an effort to talk to them. You can only worry about your end. If you try and its still the same then theres nothing more you can do.

    Just a different perspective but the problem with your advice is that these 'practiced' interactions or constantly trying to crack awkward jokes will come off as contrived and forced and people pick up on that.

    'If you just out for a walk then ask someone the time'. - Hanging out in bars and trying to get into groups and approaching women to ask the time sounds a bit like pick up artist advice.

    I think the best advice was above.. join meetup or a local club that you have interest in and just aim to make friends with people. Don't put pressure on yourself just aim to get to know people and have normal interactions where you make the other person feel at ease and get to know them and once you feel relaxed in the group you will pick up on any cues if a woman fancies you or you can ask her to go for a coffee etc.,

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,278 ✭✭✭santana75

    Op first of all you're not alone in what you're experiencing. That whole scenario of people not contacting you if you didnt contact them.......this is very common. So dont be under the false impression that everyone has this great group of loyal and honorable friends. Thats not a reflection of actual reality. It can be very painful when you find yourself in that situation though, nobody is texting or calling to ask you to go do stuff. The worst thing you can do is to take it personally, as though it was a measure of your worth. Its not. Neither is academic achievement by the way. Sometimes in life it takes a while to find yourself, to know who you really are. Thats the absolute foundation of true friendship with others, knowing who you are. Because the less you know yourself, the more you'll try to cling to other people and get them to validate you. But you'll also attract the wrong people to yourself. Get to know yourself from the inside out because when you do that you'll draw other people of a similar nature to you, and it wont be a massive effort either, you wont have to chase anyone.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,269 ✭✭✭The White Feather

    <snipped>I used it to get new friends and meet women. Not tricking anyone or just getting women into bed. I used it as a kickstarter to get me out of the rut I was in like the OP.

    I was very like the OP and I was just working and going home going through days barely having a conversation with people. Then I didn't know how to get talking to people.

    Its not "awkward jokes" I don't mean stand up comedy jokes just a change in outlook to be ready to have a laugh rather than just sitting there only talking about work all the time.

    You are not hanging out in bars trying to get into groups. Its having confidence to go out by yourself and chatting to new people. I had no friends and sitting in every night is a headwreck so going out felt great. Next thing you know I was talking about a match on tv to some stranger. You are being yourself just with strangers. Nothing contrived about it. I remember going over to a woman when I was out alone and she said "I saw you out alone, I could never do that. You must have loads of confidence" I was literally shaking like a leaf but the ice was broken. Some went nowhere other than a quick chat but some ended up friends/girlfriends. Much easier nowadays with mobile phones as you can say Hey you watching the match next week again? We must meet up etc

    I saw a guy I just knew to see from when I was in college.Never had talked to him before and i didn't know his name.I went over and talked to him just saying didn't you go to
    ? Then met his friends and off we went to a club. I was out alone. We usually see someone we know from somewhere and because I had gone up to strangers, going up to him didn't feel half as bad! Before I started going up to people I would have ran away (literally!) as I would have been afraid for him to see me alone. No one cares that you are alone. I said my other friends no showed or went off early. No one cares when you are out. So trust me if you are afraid to go out alone.

    Most people are very nice yet we all worry about "being the creepy guy" when nice people don't think that. Then we end up not talking to anyone. I was crippled by that thought all the time.

    The main thing is not just doing one thing. Join clubs, go out preferably with friends but alone if you have to. If I waited until someone else wanted to go out I would still be waiting. Go to meet ups, chat at work etc

    For most people, it seems weird having to learn to interact with people but thats what I had to do and what I am suggesting to the OP. Its not "contrived" its ideas to get the ball rolling.A practical exercise is asking a stranger something simple. Then I realised that its the same thing as going up to anyone.I started off trying to talk to people at work. Making an effort to talk about other things than work here and there. I asked people if they wanted to go on a night out. They said where, I said where you want to. I had no idea where to go as I had never been out much until then! The place they said I had never heard of as I didn't go out! I had to go down after work to find it so I knew where it was.Some went, some didn't. But it got the ball rolling! Eventually got to know them better and ended up friends rather than person I shared a carpet with for 9 hours a day. Not everyone there of course but enough to make work a better place for me.

    Most people are very nice is what I have found.The nerves go away and then you can chat to anyone anywhere anytime no problem. I started chatting to people everywhere as it didn't matter then. I went from staying in doing nothing to going out most weekends and joined clubs talking to people.

  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭Lyan

    @The White Feather

    Sounds like you are a natural extrovert who just had some anxiety issues though. A lot of males have a lot worse luck and such advice as yours can be laughable or even insulting in its simplicity and ignorance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,269 ✭✭✭The White Feather

    Lyan wrote: »
    @The White Feather

    Sounds like you are a natural extrovert who just had some anxiety issues though. A lot of males have a lot worse luck and such advice as yours can be laughable or even insulting in its simplicity and ignorance.

    Look, this thread isn't about me but no I'm definitely not. Constant battle with inner feelings to try and push myself out there. I have just practiced it non stop to get results. I said everything i did wasn't working so I needed new ideas.

    I still am very quiet but if I have to be I can be a little bit more extroverted. Purely as I practiced it.Its not my natural side. My problem was I had no friends, no idea how to get them and never had a girlfriend. Then thought it would happen in time but gradually things got worse. Just going to work and home. Spent nights playing games. Great for a while but then you want company. Then said I was unlucky and hopefully it would change. It will be ok, I'm a good guy. Never did change until my mid 20s where I said I need to do things differently.I said sitting at home isn't going to get me meeting people. I need to go out to a pub. Well, you need friends for that as you can't go out alone. So what now? Nothing you can do. Hopefully a work night might come up.

    Month later, I'm still at home playing games!!

    F*ck this lets go anyway. Sick of being home. First time I got a drink and left straight away as I panicked. Left the drink untouched. But then later thought, that wasn't so bad! Next time I went there, I got a drink and acted like I was waiting for someone as we all think that guy is creepy all on his own dont we? I found no we dont, no one is looking or cares even if they do. This was only after doing it a few times.

    Exactly like the OP. This is how I improved things for myself. I forced myself to chat at work, joined a club and started practicing talking to people.Hope he does something similar or anyone reading this in the same position where talking to new people is terrifying. As I said earlier, I had an ACL injury like the OP and thought sports cubs were out but went there to do a small bit anyway.I went there a few times originally but walked home as my nerve went as I got there. I had to do trial runs where I went there when it was closed just so I didn't panic. So I practiced even going there! It was either force myself to make an effort to talk to new people or else stay at home playing games.I still get nervous and have to fight with myself not to slip back into my old ways all the time even though I know it will be ok.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭wiggle16

    Moderator Warning:

    The discussion or advocacy of pick-up-artist "techniques" is strictly forbidden in PI. No more general discussion please.

    Edit: Lyan, I deleted your last two posts as the general discussion is over. Please don't try to post it again.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,069 ✭✭✭Xertz

    OP: Sorry to hear you’re having a rough time. It sounds like you very much have it all together on the work side of things but just need more social connections.

    A few things I would suggest:

    Have a look at and just turn up at stuff. They’ll all be people who are interested a particular activity or topic and they’re all going to be open to meeting new people. Well worth showing up to a few of these and just see what you think of it.

    Get involved in maybe something that’s just fun and not too serious, like a foodie group, music nights. Or, trying turning up we language groups or something chatty. Maybe learn how to cook or paint or something physical ? Get involved in arts projects - always festivals and community stuff looking for volunteers to help in all sorts of capacities and roles.

    If you’re involved in academia, join things like postgrad societies, groups within your own subject area. Maybe if your old department is organising public lecturers or events just show up at them and see who’s around and get socialising in the academic world again. Who knows, you could end up finding some interesting research options or at least be more connected to that organisation. Also join and attend any professional groups for your area.

    On sports maybe just join something like a cycling group or yoga or anything really that doesn’t involve your knees - A lot of people aren’t all that into high performance sport but there are loads who are up for joining say; a walking group. Also if you’re into performance and team sports, but have knee issues - maybe join a rowing club ?

    I would say just focus on expanding your circle of first and don’t stress much about finding a GF. You’ll get there eventually and you sound like a guy who has a lot of depth so, you’ll be far more likely to meet someone by getting involved in doing stuff than through soulless online dating. We’re not all geared up for hooking up. Some of us are a lot more profound so, I guess my only advice is just find spaces that you’re enjoying interacting with people in and then things will probably naturally happen and you’ll probably make some good friends too.

    I’d also say just remember that we’re all on our own tracks and life runs at different paces for different people. Comparing and benchmarking isn’t really something that’s very useful. A lot of life is random chance and really all I would say is just embrace it for what it is. Don’t focus on what it isn’t.

    Even just going on one post, I can see you’re articulate, you’re intelligent, you’re very aware and in touch with your emotions and think a lot. That’s all great and positive. You just need to meet a bigger diversity of people.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    Many folk live a long and fulfilling life without having close friends or getting married etc.

    There is no one pattern or kind of life for everyone to fit into or be a failure.
    There really isn't.

    Maybe you are in the right place for you to be in? Not following the herd?

    Many go through a stage of acute loneliness; I remember once going for a walk in a forest, stopping as I realised, no one on this earth knows where I am.

    It was a devastating feeling at the time. But now? It matured me. More than a dozen superficial friendships would have done. I learned to like myself and my own company

    Not having a girlfriend is not a failure.. And I bet that many of your acquaintances who you see as happy are not.. I call this ggs .. Grass is greener syndrome. And I bet they envy YOU!

    One way I found good company was volunteering and with your skills? So much need for folk like you.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 51,687 Mod ✭✭✭✭Stheno

    @op take your time when I was your age I was also very quiet and it took me time to be comfortable with myself I didn't do the social norms

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