Post # 1
First off, I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone on these forums. You’ve all helped me so much and your advice has been invaluable to me.
I won’t delve into massive detail about my ex and my recently defunct relationship – for that, please refer to https://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/heartbroken-lifeless/
However, since we broke up four months ago, I’ve felt under immense pressure to get into another relationship and to meet women. Like my biological clock is ticking (I’m a 29 year old male) and like I’m being judged for being single. I know it sounds absurd but it’s really how I feel. Whenever I go out I do it with the intention of meeting another woman – I’m constantly looking for and keep putting so much emphasis on meeting someone new and if I don’t, I feel I’ll be judged and my ex will be rubbing her hands together thinking (he should have done what I said because now he’ll never meet someone better than me). It was an incredibly toxic relationship.
Has anyone experienced this sort of thing before and if so, do you know why it’s happening and why I feel compelled to instantly find a new relationship with anyone?! If so, what can I do to stop it! I feel I have to change and I feel I need to develop myself immediately and if I don’t, people will look on me like I’m a failure.
Any advice or guidance you guys can offer would be so useful.
Thanks in advance everyone.
Post # 2
Transitioning out of a relationship into being single is tough, and a lot of times emotions can be all over the place and really cloud reality. There is something known as the “spotlight effect,” where people tend to think they are being noticed more than they actually are. For example, you could wake up one day and have a pimple and just assume that EVERYONE is noticing it and staring, but in reality, NO ONE actually is. It sounds like you are being way more self-conscious than is warranted. Do you look at your single male friends and judge them, or think they are losers if they are single? I doubt it! Also, this may sound harsh, but these words were told to me once about an ex, and it helped me move on – she probably doesn’t even care or follow whether you are in a relationship. And even if she did, her opinion doesn’t matter. Also, at 29, you should not be worrying about your biological time clock!
Going back into the dating world can be hard, because when you first start dating, even if you hit it off with someone, you aren’t going to have the same “attachment” feeling that you felt with your ex. But that is normal, and you have to give it time. Enjoy people’s company, try to take things ONE DAY AT A TIME, live in the moment, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. You sound like an incredibly sensitive guy (in a good way!) which makes you a highly desirable man-unicorn in the dating world. Keep with the therapy, try to let go of the past, and feel *excited* about what the future has in store for you rather than apprehensive. It is normal for feelings to come and go in waves, but you will get through it. The uncertainty of feeling like you might never find someone is scary and anxiety inducing, but it is not real! Assuming you have had other relationships before, you may have felt the same way when those ended, but nevertheless, you still found someone later.
It will be okay! Enjoy the positives of single life, and date people for right reasons.