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Ask Coach Jen K. Your Own Question

Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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Im still feeling stuck with relationship problems and crying

Resolved Question:

I'm still feeling stuck with relationship problems and crying every day. I still live with a roommate who's boyfriend lives with us so everyday I look at a couple and want what they have and feel like I'm not a person b/c 36 years have gone by and I still haven't experienced something so basic.

I've been seeing a therapist since November. I have been seeing a psychiatrist once a month since March. Also for about 3 weeks I've been on Prozac for depression. 2 weeks at 20mg and 1 week at 40mg. I still feel like I will never have a romantic relationship, will never have a boyfriend, will never experience these things that everyone else seems to. I am working on my weight, but the psychiatrist is stressing it a bit too much in our talks and it's annoying (lapband, gym, Overeaters Annon, Weight Watchers... seriously, I get it, I'm fat).

Also, despite losing weight already I still have quite a long way to go (currently 315 and want to be around 145 or 165) so it will take at least until the end of next year for me to reach that goal or anywhere close.

I was talking to a friend about how I feel about my lack of relationships and she says since I'm still not hopeful that I'm "not thinking clearly" and that I need to give it time. I think I'm thinking very clearly and while I'm still upset/depressed about the situation I'm looking at it logically. I can't make men like me, and I can only do things for myself like be healthy. I'm probably never going to have a relationship/sex/kids/family. I have to accept that. Am I thinking clearly? And if not how will I know the meds are working?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 1 year ago.

CoachJenK :

Welcome back. I am sorry to hear that you are struggling but happy that you have reached out.

CoachJenK :

I hear all that you feel and wish I could provide the magic answer. You are doing all the right things by seeing your therapist, Psychiatrist and working on your weight....yes it does take time and I can hear your internal pressure.

CoachJenK :

You will know if the meds are working by how you feel and if you are ruminating less.

CoachJenK :

Your desires are all normal but I cannot agree that you will never have it. I do think that as the depression lifts over time you can move more toward what you want. No, you can't make anyone like you but as you begin to feel better then you will project that out in the world.

CoachJenK :

I encourage you to stay with all that you are doing and continue on your weight loss journey.

CoachJenK :

Involve yourself in things you enjoy and with others that enjoy the same things and live your life.

CoachJenK :

I know you desire the relationship but in the meantime life is for living with or without a relationship.

CoachJenK :

I will wait to hear back from you.

Customer:

I don't have a lot of friends and the few I do are married or have children that otherwise occupy their time. I've tried meetup groups and I think the last time we talked I was a member of one. That group has since broken up and I have yet to find another one with a good mix of people. They are either many years younger than me or many years older than me. Most of the groups in my age range aren't for singles, but for people in relationships, parents, etc. So to have "friends" I either end up the oldest or youngest of a group and that is uncomfortable either way and seems to not meet any of my goals anyway.

Customer:

Also, yes, I plan to stay with my weight loss goals and even have a financial motivation to do so since I told my trainer that I was going to keep signing up for sessions until I lost 100 more pounds. Sessions are $40 each so that alone is my motivation.

Customer:

And a lot of the things I enjoy are things I do alone. Writing, video games, music, tv. There's not a lot I like to do that involves people other than things at the gym. Yes, I have met people at the gym esp since my trainer introduces me to a lot of his clients. But its mostly for gym classes since most of the people I meet are women my age and older with families and barely have enough time for the gym.

Customer:

OH, and of course my roommate is my friend but she is in a relationship which I think I mentioned last time. Her boyfriend lives with us. I really like him but of course they are in a relationship. She is going through a little of the same that I am because last year she kept saying she didn't want to get remarried and then in November she suddenly is all about marriage and children because she sees all her friends getting married or pregnant. She's at least in a relationship and while her boyfriend wants to work on the relationship, he's being slow about it because he's going through financial difficulty. She's being impatient because she turns 34 this year and doesn't want children after 35 but the boyfriend got laid off and his parents are in financial trouble. But I keep telling her to check with her doctor to get a good estimate on how long she has to have kids. But both of us are doing the same "I want marriage" thing and I think its aggravating me more to see how much closer she is than I am to having what she wants.

Customer:

The roommate is also the one that pushed me to go to therapy and to ask about depression and medication b/c she went through something years ago that made her go to therapy and it helped. I keep asking her what it feels like when the meds work and she is the one I disagree with as far as my dating life.

CoachJenK :

I hear all of this as I did when we first spoke and my feelings remain the same that I want you to live your life and keep doing the things you love and keep working on your goals. Wanting something so bad doesn't always bring it to us. So enjoy today and now.

Customer:

Also, logically I'm 36... By the time I lose weight to be healthy I'll be 37 or 38. That's too old already for a first kid, plus I've never had a relationship so it's kind of extreme wishful thinking to think I will have one.

CoachJenK :

as I said the meds are working when you are feeling more comfortable in your skin and less negative about things.

CoachJenK :

There are plenty of women having children in their 40's.

Customer:

And I really wish wanting something could bring it. Years ago (2 or 3 years) I was really hopeful. I thought a relationship was something I could have and I just had to wait for the right person. There hasn't been anyone at all.

Customer:

And I'm thinking I'm going to have menopause early since I started menstruation early so 40 is probably not an option.

CoachJenK :

The pressure you put on yourself is a lot and not really a good thing and hard to feel good about things when your focus is on having a relationship.

Customer:

Plus there's never dating. I'm not going to magically meet someone when I'm 38, get married right away and have a kid. I would question it too much.

CoachJenK :

your doctor could help you understand that but again finding the negative in most things is how we know that depression is at work.

Customer:

I completely understand what you mean about pressure. Unfortunately its all I think about. At work, at home everywhere I wonder what I am going to do with myself for the rest of my life without a relationship and no marriage or kids.

CoachJenK :

I know and I wish it wasn't that way for you.

CoachJenK :

I want you to feel good about all the things you are doing great and for yourself.....I do believe things will feel better for you.

Customer:

And ok... negative is a sign of depression so I'll be sure to take that into account b/c no one really said that. That does help. Another friend said that when her meds worked she just felt happy. It was a feeling she hadn't had before b/c she had depression literally all her life so she knew it worked b/c of that feeling.

CoachJenK :

The negativity is a part of it for sure. Feeling the weight of the world and this hopeless feeling....all part of it.

Customer:

I do feel like the weight will come off if I work on it. I was having trouble at work and that has gotten better b/c I talked to my supervisor. I had stopped writing for a while because I felt like I couldn't write realistically b/c I never had a relationship so I wouldn't be able to write about one. I still have no clue how to write about one but I feel better about trying to write without the relationship being in the story.

CoachJenK :

Telling you to give it time is not helpful I know because you will say to me you already have, but it is true. You need some more time with the medication and finding the optimal dose

Customer:

Things are feeling better. But I do feel like an emptiness is in me because I'm missing this huge chunk of life experience. And I know a lot of missing it is fear b/c what if I go out with a guy and he wants to kiss. I haven't done that. What about sex? Haven't done that. Holding hands? Nope. So yes a lot is fear. But a lot of that is lack of opportunity. I go out with my roommate and the guys talk to her when she's in a relationship and not at all to me. And that's always the way its been even years ago when I weighed less and felt much better about things and more hopeful.

CoachJenK :

I understand the fear....I just feel things can feel differently for you. Keep searching for some social groups not just Meetups and don't lose hope. Keep doing all that you are and check in with me and let me know how you are doing.

Customer:

And I feel like no matter what I do, all I can do is be the best me possible. I can't make men like me b/c they really just about never have. No matter how I felt about myself or what I weighed, they really haven't.

CoachJenK :

it only takes one and I do believe he is out there and waiting for you as well.

Customer:

I really don't know what other social groups to go for. I just know meetups. I'm in the suburbs so other than the local bar I don't know where to meet people.

CoachJenK :

religious events, hobbies, etc

Customer:

And yes it takes one but I feel like that's looking for the impossible. I'm not marrying the first guy I go out with. I'd feel like I was settling for anyone who will take me. It's kind of how I feel now.

CoachJenK :

Depression talking there....it only takes one and plenty of people meet, fall in love and bam that is how it goes. Open the mind a bit if you can and look less for the negative or the problems.

Customer:

And I don't go to church. My hobbies are all things I do at home alone. There really isn't much. I go to the bar with my roommate a couple times a month but I hate it and just go to pretend to be social. I usually just end up standing somewhere alone while she dances with her boyfriend.

CoachJenK :

read what you just wrote above. all negative. push yourself out of your comfort zone a bit and find things that you do with others rather than being alone.

Customer:

And yes it only takes one. But its unbalanced. Someone who knows about and has experienced relationships and me... Very unbalanced.

Customer:

I really don't know what to do with others.

Customer:

I go to the movies alone or with my brother or with my roommate's boyfriend. I go to the mall alone. I hang out in Barnes and Noble on weekends alone.

CoachJenK :

there is a term...act as if....sounds silly but it can work. so find something different and go and do it and Act as if you are having fun and enjoying it and it just may turn out that you do. do this with several activities so you can really find the one that feels right.

Customer:

I go to the Asian markets nearby with my brother and sometimes his friends but again they are 22 and I'm 36.

CoachJenK :

join a book club and ask them at barnes and noble about one. do volunteer work with others...open your mind the possibilities are endless.

CoachJenK :

sometimes when we are helping others we are able to focus less on our own "problems"

Customer:

Act as if reminds me of something. My friend loaned me some Joyce Meyer cds and her term was "Do it afraid". Basically yes you hate going out alone for example because of fear, but do it even though you're afraid. Sounds like "act as if" but both make sense.

CoachJenK :

yes exactly.

CoachJenK :

put on that smile and sometimes you end up smiling

Customer:

Barnes and Noble near me has a writing group but not many people belong. That's another problem though. I get home so late most things are over by the time I get home.

CoachJenK :

weekends

Customer:

Yes, weekends. But when I look at meet up groups most of their things aren't on weekends. That's why I had problems with the other one even though I liked it

CoachJenK :

Check this out too. http://www.volunteermatch.org/

CoachJenK :

start your own meetup. notice how I am pushing you to think outside the box, act as if and go a bit beyond the fear.

CoachJenK :

you can do this!

Customer:

I thought about starting my own meetup but I would only be able to do things weekends and that would take time from spending with family. Plus we've been back and forth traveling to my grandparents on weekends since my grandfather has been really sick this year so I don't want to commit to a group when I'm not sure when I'll be going to my grandparents. Plus on the site it's $12 a month and I feel like I would be paying for a group that I wouldn't have time for because of my grandparents.

CoachJenK :

again the negativity. you can do a meetup once per month even.

Customer:

And I worry that I won't have good group members. That's why the other group broke up, because the group organizer kept making plans and ended up doing them alone because no one showed up.

CoachJenK :

I am giving you ideas and they are just that...you find something that works for you.

Customer:

And I get what you mean about negativity but is there any point where it is just being realistic? I feel like I was being realistic when I said I'm probably never having a relationship/marriage/kids etc. I feel like I was being unrealistic wanting and expecting and waiting for it all these years

CoachJenK :

I feel that your conviction about it never being is not realistic.

CoachJenK :

remove the negativity and open your mind and heart to possibility of anything. create what you want without finding the reasons not to.

Customer:

Statistical improbability? I'm 36. I'm African American. I'm overweight. I've never had a relationship. The probability that the relationship situation will change is teeny tiny. Even if I wasn't overweight, the age, race and experience still make it unlikely.

CoachJenK :

and there is a man out there who will be thrilled with your stats!!!!

CoachJenK :

but in the meantime I want you to live and enjoy.

Customer:

None have been so far, so what reason do I have to believe someone will be.

CoachJenK :

I feel that it will be

Customer:

Also, on a dating site in February, someone was interested but he turned out to be married. I still email him and we talk about things, and he seems shocked that I haven't had a relationship. He is just an example, but for whatever reason men like him that are just looking for sex (and yes he admitted he just wanted sex) or men who are literally my father's age are the only ones interested.

CoachJenK :

and the experience you describe is very common and I know you personalize it to you but sadly it happens often.

CoachJenK :

there is the one out there! BUT enjoy now as that is all we have!

CoachJenK :

I will be signing off for the evening in a few minutes. just wanted to give you a heads up so I don't cut you short.

Customer:

And it's hard to live and enjoy when I see my few friends in relationships and I get left out of things because I'm single. Or I go home to my roommate cuddling on the couch with her boyfriend and I'm reminded that I've never experienced all the things they have.

CoachJenK :

but it doesnt mean you won't.

CoachJenK :

get out there and live! there are plenty that are in relationships that are miserable. enjoy the now and what you have.

Customer:

Ok that's fine about signing off. I think we're pretty much "resolved." I would have to sign off soon too since I'm on the bus and close to my stop.

CoachJenK :

how neat we are chatting while you are on the bus.

Customer:

And yes there are people in relationships that are miserable. I've seen my roommate go through that too. It's still something I would like to experience.

CoachJenK :

Please take my words with you and open yourself up a bit. I am here when you need.

Customer:

Yes, I'm a technology brat. I bought a Microsoft Surface so I can have a computer on the bus.

CoachJenK :

I believe you will.

Customer:

I still disagree with you and everyone else but I do appreciate your input. Thank you!

CoachJenK :

its ok to disagree that is what makes the conversations rich. Push yourself a bit and act as if.

CoachJenK :

come back again to me and let me know how you are doing.

Customer:

Yes, thanks. I still have no clue what to do ...but one of the volunteer things is in my parents town so maybe I'll try that. I will keep you posted. I still don't anticipate much of a change though. I think I'm dreaming the impossible dream as far as relationships. I have faith in my work and everything else except that.

Customer:

Thanks again and have a good night.

Coach Jen K., LMSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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