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Ask Selah R, M.S. LPC Your Own Question

Selah R, M.S. LPC
Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
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I would like to talk to a therapist,by live chat if possible

Resolved Question:

I am 27 and have been suffering from mild to moderate depression for many years now and I can't resolve this. I am reasonably positive about what is the problem and its solution and I would like to share it with you and see if from your side I sound reasonable with common sense or as someone who has got something obviously wrong. Often people outside can see things more clearly than us so I would appreciate if you can bring some more clarity here. I will try to be as clear as possible.

I would like to begin with this example. For a child it's not a psychological problem to want love if his deprived from it but rather a natural need based on how our species and many other species behave and feel. There isn't a way around it than actually for the child to satisfy this natural,instictive need. No amount of therapy or pills would make that deep need go away.

Similar is my case. For years I have been unable to find a girl who would like me. I never had a relationship. Why? My answer is that the vast majority of girls are just not interested in me. I have no evidence to suggest otherwise. I go out often and i talk to girls often but i just find that no one wants to see me for anything more than a "good guy". This is devastating for me. It really breaks me completely and I can't overcome my deep need to have a girlfriend and experience all that that entails.

I am 27 and last time i kissed a girl was at 18. The only way i have managed to have a girl to be with me is by paying which is sad to say the least. I only did that just to experience the female form and sex as i was getting "desperate" in a way.
Further more am not a shy person. If i am in a bar and a girl smiles at me am ready to roll though I never get this or if i get it once in a hundred time it will be from a person i won't be interested. I am very positive looking, smiling a lot and generally good social vibes that would make other comfortable to talk to me. Also i don't believe that am ugly at all. Having said all that I just can't find a girl who likes me. Granted my unwillingness to engage in online dating sites or in the pretentious atmospheres of clubs don't help but I just don't like this way of meeting people. I however cannot overcome my need to associate myself with women.

My room is a mess and i dont have the energy to tidy it up even though I want to and generally i don't have energy to do simple things and hence everything is messy even my windows desktop. I feel unloved, dry of energy, finding it difficult to think through complex things and my depression is damaging also many other areas of my life.

What is very interesting to note is that whenever something arises that makes me feel that am having a chance of dating or that a girl is to visit me who could potentially become my girl, my energy levels completely change. I suddenly feel, in a deep sense, "liked by girls" (not particurly by one person) but as a general feeling and now tidying up my room becomes meaningful,easy and generally i feel very alive as if i've just taken 10 xanax pills. It is very clear to me at that moment what I need.

I am generally in good spirts but I cannot overcome certain natural needs that are powerful and this absence of a girl in my life is bringing me down for years now. Absence of sex is also putting pressure on me. Also no matter how sweet, self confident and loved I might be I cannot force someone to like me and be with me. I might feel beautiful but if she doesnt feel the same way about me nothing its going to happen.
I certainly do have a "problem" but am not sure if its psychological and I can't see how can I resolve it with any way other than simply having a girl which i so much deeply desire as a normal man. I wish I could experience for 1 minute what it is to hug your own girl and the good thing about it is that because of this mess I have come to realize for good how important and valuable it is to have a person in your life.

I should say that I live with my sister, we have a good relationship and generally am not alone. My childgood wasnt perfect by any means but not bad either. Surely my father wasnt exactly good news for my family but I don't feel he has affected me much, not in an visible way at least. I also go out often and socialize but after so many years of non fullfilment of said needs i've broken down psychologically and feel hopeless about it.

I would like to ask if you see any holes in my logic and cognitive faculties. How could I be helped in this case by an expert?
Any advice welcome
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Selah R, M.S. LPC replied 4 years ago.
Chat Conversation Started
Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Thank you for trusting JustAnswer with your important question.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

I would say that individual counseling is definitely worth considering. A counselor can help give you feedback on how you present yourself, what vibes/signals/body language you might be sending off without recognizing it, and help you work through your needs.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

First, you have to make sure there isn't a childhood need that is trying to fill itself with a girl, sex, or "being wanted." No other person can ever fill that specific hole. But through therapy you can learn how to heal those wounds yourself. That leaves you in a much better place to find a girl and actually have a healthier relationship.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

The only hole in your logic is that you're not a child any more. You don't have to have your parent's love to keep you alive (providers of food, shelter, touch, identity, etc.). Any adult who tells me their "cure" is having someone else approve of them and love them is an adult who hasn't completely learned how to meet their own needs by themselves. And most potential partners run from that vibe, they don't want to fill a void... they want to be loved and approved of too, for who they really are, not for the chemical rush and psychological bandaid they provide.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

You might also be stuck doing the same things over and over again (such as going to bars) but each time expecting a different outcome (a different type of girl, or a different level of readiness for relationships in the girls you meet). A counselor can help you identify other avenues in your life that might be better arenas for looking for a potential girlfriend. A bar is rarely a good place to meet a healthy partner.

Customer :

anyone there?

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

But the desire to want a partner, the desire to be wanted and loved, is normal. But as healthy adults we need to learn how to fill those needs ourselves, because even a healthy partner will never be able to meet all our needs all the time.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

I'm still here.

Customer :

ah good, am reading, thanks

Customer :

I totally agree with you that expecting from someone to make you happy is a troubleshome road to take on. The responsibility to feel good shouldnt be placed on someone else. I also i take to heart your point that I might be sending innapropriate vibes

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Research shows that up to 90% of what we "get" from another person is based on their non-verbal communication (posture, clothing, eye contact, etc).

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

That's where having a therapist who can be honest about how you present yourself can be helpful. If you have depression going on, you may not realize that it's affected those non-verbal things (typically reduced eye contact, less confident posture, slower/less animated speech, reduced self-care/hygeine/dress, etc.)

Customer :

I completely see that any sort of "needy" vibe would turn off most, we dont like demanding people who expect us to do the job of them feeling good

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Is there anything else I can answer or clarify for you? Or does that answer your question?

Customer :

I would like to expand on your answer with regards XXXXX XXXXX "Any adult who tells me their "cure" is having someone else approve of them and love them is an adult who hasn't completely learned how to meet their own needs by themselves"

Customer :

how exactly can I meet my needs by myself? i would like some clarification

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

A child doesn't have the options adults have to meet their own needs.

Customer :

yes indeed

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Adults can use hobbies, faith, friends, family, enjoyable activities, success at work, and other emotionally fulfilling tools/techniques/outlets to meet their needs.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Adults have a strong need for their life to have meaning, for their work to have value, for the things in their life to make sense. Rarely can having a partner meet all these needs. That's why relationships can be bandaids over wounds, temporary chemical fixes for needs, but rarely enough to give us what we really crave as adults.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

New relationships, sex, being found attractive, all that stuff gives us an amazing boost of adrenaline and endorphines, which brighten our mood, ease our pain and stress, and give us energy.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

That's why we see a lot of people who might have long term depression or anxiety problems use relationships or sexual encounters as a way of self-medicating... because those are powerful drugs, and it's easy to get addicted to them.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

So when an adult tells me that everything will be better when they have a relationship (their job will be better, their house will be cleaner, it'll suddenly be easier to lose weight and exercise, money won't be so important, etc), I worry that they are taking all their problems and placing it in their partner's hands and saying "Now this is YOUR responsibility."

Customer :

yes i fully agree with you, i can see that and it doesnt reflect my case. My english is rather pure so am not 100% confident i sent accross exactly what i wanted

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

That's not a safe or healthy way to be. And most partners will run when they feel that burden being placed on them, or they'll start to resent you.

Customer :

inside me i dont feel a sense of "please make me happy" rather something like "why nonody likes me?" which makes me sad. I am fully aware that self esteem comes by definition from yourself not from others

Customer :

when I say nobody i mean "some" not that no one likes me in my life

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Questions like "Why nobody likes me" makes me think there are still childhood hurts and needs that haven't been healed. That's what therapy helps do. Meet the needs of the hurt child still inside you. Then you're in a better position to figure out how else you can meet your need for approval and community/connection.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Once you find your place (through your faith, through your job, through your hobbies or volunteer work), you begin to cast a vibe that attracts people to you. That's why it's true that people are viewed as more attractive and desirable once they already find a relationship, because they are sending out healthier, more assertive, and more confident vibes. And people flock to that vibe. Because inside we all want it too.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

So it's backwards therapy. The way to get the girl is to not NEED the girl.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Also the more you do (hobbies, work, volunteer, church, etc) the more you're increasing your chances of meeting a girl who enjoys and values the same things you do. That's a great foundation for a healthy relationship.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

That's another reason why it's hard to find a match when you're depressed or feeling low, because you usually stop having the energy or desire to do those other things.

Customer :

one moment please

Customer :

I agree with you and we are on the same page. The only thing that I may be missing is that i send out the wrong vibes thought

Customer :

*though I cant see that as am generally pretty spirited person

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

That I can't really answer from here, because I can't see you, I can't hear your voice, I can't see what others see when they meet you. That's where having a real life counselor or coach can help you get that honest feedback.

Customer :

yes I agree to that

Customer :

are there counselors who actually go out with you?

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

It's dangerous to ask your friends, because they are going to want to protect your feelings. You need to find someone objective enough to give you the truth, but who can also help you find ways to change the non-verbal vibes you're sending so you can improve your chances.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Personal coaches are more likely to go out to view you in the environment. Some behavioral therapists will too. Sometimes we can also ask a friend to videotape you with their phone camera or something like that, so we can review it in the office together.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

I don't go clubbing with my clients, but I have gone to their workplace, or to a public place (like a mall) and seen how they interact with strangers. That can be good practice, as it's usually less stressful than trying out new skills in a bar or club.

Customer :

can i ask you this, is it unreasonable as a man to expect a smile or a normal look before i approach someone because i always felt unattractive with people who show no interest and just sit there expecting everyone else to make the first move

Customer :

i just wanna test against someone impartial some of my views

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

That really varies based on your area. For example, in my area, it's pretty normal for strangers to smile or look engaging when they notice someone who appears to be ready to initiate eye contact or a conversation. But in other parts of the United States that I've been in, that is not the norm. Other places can be neutral or even suspicious of you until you actually make the first move and open a conversation. I think in today's dating world, women still expect men to make the first move, and most women (again, in clubs and bars especially) will not send out welcoming signals until you directly initiate a conversation... mostly because they don't want to send out signals (smiles, random chatter) and end up attracting too many men.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Just like you want to feel a connection before you open yourself up, most women feel the same way. So they wait for a guy to be nice but direct and assertive. They also wait to see what you say to judge what they think you're after (a one night fling versus a potential relationship).

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

I think many women have also been encouraged to be more stand-off-ish in that setting as a matter of protection against unwanted advances by guys who may not have the best boundaries (or may be too drunk to notice when the woman has signaled that she wants nothing to do with him).

Customer :

may I tell you my view on this and you tell me if its fallacious

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Sure, but I really only have a few minutes left till I need to wrap this up.

Customer :

yes certainly, this is last

Customer :

the reason i dont approach girls who show no interest isnt because am shy but more like am not attracted by this attitude. I believe being social is a mental state of mind which is reflected in your attitude that makes people feel comfortable to talk to you. They think you as "friendly", These are the kind of people i find more at ease to approach. I dont think that you are "socializing" just because you are surrounded by physicall bodies

Customer :

would you agree to that?

Customer :

and that wraps it up

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

I do agree. That is why I don't recommend bars or clubs for trying to meet new partners, because you're either running the risk of them not dropping their guard to let you initiate contact, or you run the risk of liking what you see in a person and them being different when they haven't been "loosened up" by alcohol. I think that's why we're seeing a lot of success with the online matchmaking sites, because they help jump over that hurdle. And why I recommend people find groups (like hobby based of volunteer based) because people in those situations will generally be more open and approachable, their more friendly side, because they are doing something they enjoy or find valuable.

Customer :

do you class me as reasonable generally given my txt and views?

Customer :

i dont expect to check up on you on these qualities but just to see another person view out of interest

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

From what I see you seem pretty normal. I think you're just stuck in a rut of repeating the same patterns that aren't working, and it's time to try something different to see if you get different results.

Customer :

amen

Customer :

thanks for the consultation

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Best wishes :-)

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

G'nite

Customer :

I suppose i click accept now.

Customer :

g'night

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Yes you can, and I'll step out of chat.

Customer :

you got it

Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience: Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
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