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New Beginnings Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Putting myself out there and the fear of rejection
KeepOnMovin
♂ Member
Member # 38245
Default  Posted: 11:19 AM, June 10th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So, two weeks ago, I met my old college roommate at a bar/restaurant in the college town where we went to school. About an hour away from my house. We sit at the bar, have a few beers, eat dinner and catch up. About 7:00 or so, two ladies come in and sit next to us. We flirt, goof and have several laughs. My buddy is being the perfect wing man, but married and needs to head home to go to a campaign event for his wife (running for state office). He leaves.

I stay and continue to chat up the girl next to me, Amanda (her friend was totally uninterested). I find out Amanda is new in town, a marathon runner, getting into road cycling, and trail running. All of these are totally in my wheelhouse. Iíve run several marathons and ultras. I ride gravel, road, and mountain bike. If itís outdoors, I do it or give it a try. So, we have a lot in common. She is even a beer snob!!

So as the evening comes to an end, I totally whiff. I didnít ask for her number. She said she was interested in trying gravel cycling, but does not have a gravel bike. So rather than invite her to ride with me some time (and borrow a bike from the local shop), I just point her to the FB page for our group. There are several group rides each week, and I told her to try the local bike shop. I know the owners and they would happily loan her a bike to try.

GAAAAAAAA!!!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

As I drive home, I make excuses. I tell myself Amanda was out with her friend and probably not interested in meeting someone. She was probably too young for me (early to mid-30ís Iím guessing), and wouldnít have been interested anyway. I tell myself Iím out of practice, and itís all been a traumatic experience, and Iím probably not ready to date yet. I don't want to be "that guy" who has to explain that he's sitll married, but separated. These are just excuses. How do I know any of these things? I never asked. I didnít put myself out there.

I probably am not ready for a relationship, but I am lonely. I would like to have somebody to at least have a cup of coffee with, or eat dinner. Even she isnít Ďthe oneí. But when it comes right down to it, I think I have a fear of rejection. Been there since I was a kid. Iíd rather not ask, than to hear somebody say, ďnoĒ, I think.

Iím 45. Iím in good shape. I have a good job and make good money (engineer/supervisor at a large company). I am decent looking, although my hair is thinning. I cook and am a decent homemaker. I can make about anyone laugh, but usually it takes a bit for me to warm up to somebody. Iíve never intentionally hurt anybody. I donít lie or cheat, and I have integrity. However, I do lack confidence and self-esteem. So, I think I have a lot to offer.

Most people tell me my wife was crazy to leave, and that I will have no problem meeting someone. But it isnít happening, and it's because of me. Iím not huge on the bar scene. I like to have a few beers, but Iím not a barfly.

I guess, Iím just asking for advice on how to approach women. Iím out of practice. How do you put yourself out there? Who do you approach? How do you know when she's intereted. How do you ask for her number? Any help on getting past this fear of rejection?

September 9th will mark 2 years since the final DDay. STBXWW moved out in January of 2013, and we have a court date July 11th to get this finalize. Much dragging of feet by both parties. But I have no desire to R, and neither does she.

I did get into a relationship with a coworker that started in the summer and fizzled out after about 6 months. I wasnít ready for a relationship, and I was reluctant to get physical. When things did get physical, I had enormous feelings of guilt. Not sure why. I didnít so much feel like I was betraying STBXWW, but maybe my kids? I didnít want them thinking Dad was out dating when the divorce wasnít final.
Sometimes, I think this A thing and the rejection is really more traumatic than most people realize. But maybe Iím just making more excuses. If I donít put myself out there, I wonít get hurt.


Me: BH
Her: who cares?
Married: 22 years
2 sons at home
1 son in college
Divorced on 9/4/14!
Often it's the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.

Posts: 301 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Midwest
norabird
♀ Member
Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 11:28 AM, June 10th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It is absolutely okay that you have lingering trauma from what happened. There will always be some change in us from what happened, I think. Eventually it becomes more of a positive change but it's still there.

Don't be too hard on yourself for not asking for her number, but don't let yourself undersell yourself either. You most certainly have a lot to offer any woman! Maybe she wouldn't be interested--but maybe she would be. Worst case scenario, you test the waters and get some practice, or make a new friend. Hopefully she will show up at some bike events and you can follow up with her.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4165 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
Williesmom
♀ Member
Member # 22870
Default  Posted: 11:36 AM, June 10th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

It is totally traumatic. I'm 8 years out from the first D-Day, and it still lingers with me.

I can't help you with meeting people, because I haven't had much luck. But, I will say this: find your passion - something that you like to do, and just do it. Do whatever you want, wherever you want. It's incredibly freeing to be able to do that after a long term marriage.

If you meet someone while living your life, great. If not, you've still had a wonderful time.


You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister. -George Costanza
There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women. - Madeleine Albright

Posts: 7646 | Registered: Feb 2009 | From: Western PA
fraeuken
♀ Member
Member # 30742
Default  Posted: 11:56 AM, June 10th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

KeepOnMovin, no advice just telling you that are you heard.


Iím 45. Iím in good shape. I have a good job and make good money (engineer/supervisor at a large company). I am decent looking, although my hair is thinning. I cook and am a decent homemaker. I can make about anyone laugh, but usually it takes a bit for me to warm up to somebody. Iíve never intentionally hurt anybody. I donít lie or cheat, and I have integrity. However, I do lack confidence and self-esteem. So, I think I have a lot to offer.

With a few changes (no thinning hair but graying and making good money in software business) I could have written the same thing from a female perspective so hang in there, we are out there .

After my divorce I dated a man who had nothing to offer to me and where everybody was scratching their head why I would chose him - after lots of soul searching I realized that he seemed to be a safe bet. Guess what, I was rejected by that much older man who turned out to be an alcoholic and lived in his truck which he cleverly hid from me for quite a while. Talk about another blow to my self-esteem...

I agree with Norabird, use those opportunities as a practice run. Most of us gals would probably appreciate an honest compliment to start a conversation or maybe an opening question;nothing over the top but an open smile and genuine interest.


Temporarily independent with the whole world at my feet.

Posts: 1253 | Registered: Jan 2011 | From: California
better4me
♀ Member
Member # 30341
Default  Posted: 12:12 PM, June 10th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Sometimes, I think this A thing and the rejection is really more traumatic than most people realize. But maybe Iím just making more excuses. If I donít put myself out there, I wonít get hurt.
Truth!

How do you put yourself out there?
Just like you did two weeks ago. You go out with your friends, you chat women up, you do the things (like the bike club) that you are interested in and hope that like minded women will also be in attendance, you make friendships first. I also use OLD since many of my interests are primarily female based (cooking, crafting) and I don't meet people through my line of work.

Who do you approach?
Women you are attracted to. Women with whom you have had a good conversation. Women at the bar like Amanda. But you know that already.

How do you know when she's interested?
If I'm interested I will be smiling, making eye contact, asking questions to keep the conversation going, probably touching the guy's arm when I'm making a point during the conversation, coming back to the person if I've drifted into another conversation...

How do you ask for her number?
"Would you like to get together sometime to do __________ (a common interest, to talk more, to continue getting to know each other). Getting the number then naturally follows...

Any help on getting past this fear of rejection?
Ah, the thing is you don't really "need" to get past it. You can have the fear and not let it paralyze you. You can have the fear every time and because you realize that the only way to get what you want (a relationship) you are going to have to take the risk of rejection. There is not way around that fear--you just have to go through it. It won't be easy, but most things that are important aren't easy.


DDay 11/17/2010 BW:52
Divorced

Posts: 3130 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Iowa
Sad in AZ
♀ Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 1:12 PM, June 10th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I don't want to be "that guy" who has to explain that he's sitll married, but separated.

This is the biggie for me. If you were in a marathon divorce situation, I could completely understand starting to date (or trying to do so) before the ink is dry, but in your situation, I would say no. At this point you should probably look at going a year from the finalization of the D before you start looking for a relationship. Of course, it could happen sooner and be successful, the the odds are against it.

Look at it this way. You haven't lost your touch. You talked, you flirted. You got to know a member of the opposite sex. Revel in that and trust your gut. Believe me, if you were ready, you would have pursued.

And don't be too concerned about your perception of her age. I'm frequently mistaken for someone 20 years younger, as are a lot of the ladies on SI


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20164 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
KeepOnMovin
♂ Member
Member # 38245
Default  Posted: 4:34 PM, June 10th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Wow! Thanks so much for the feedback. i swear i get more good advice from this forum than i ever have from a counselor, or even most of my good friends (with exception for the few that have gone through the A and the D). From each response, i gleaned something i needed to hear or learn.


Don't be too hard on yourself for not asking for her number, but don't let yourself undersell yourself either

Huge problem for me. even my manager at work coaches me to promote my accomplishments rather than diminish them. Same for a few of my good friends. i do have a lot to offer, but i tend to focus on my gaps. makes me an easy target...


But, I will say this: find your passion - something that you like to do, and just do it. Do whatever you want, wherever you want.

I am taking this to heart. there is a quotation out there that goes something like, "Find what you love and let it kill you." attributed to Charles Bukowski. i'm working on this.


Most of us gals would probably appreciate an honest compliment to start a conversation or maybe an opening question

I never have been one to use and opening line. i think a line, unless meant to be funny, is creepy.


Ah, the thing is you don't really "need" to get past it. You can have the fear and not let it paralyze you. You can have the fear every time and because you realize that the only way to get what you want (a relationship) you are going to have to take the risk of rejection. There is not way around that fear--you just have to go through it. It won't be easy, but most things that are important aren't easy.

This is so true. i don't think you ever lose your anxiety or fear. you have to be able to embrace it and use it in your favor. those emotions can be very powerful.


If you were in a marathon divorce situation, I could completely understand starting to date (or trying to do so) before the ink is dry, but in your situation, I would say no.

yes. i think i needed to hear this. i have a lot of 'pressure' from friends to get back out there. However, i'm not ready (not sure i'm will be able to wait a year after the ink is dry, however) But i don't like the idea of having to "explain or justify" anything about myself. i am who i am, and this is my situation. i know when i hear somebody say, "he's separated" or "in a bad marriage" or "working through a messy divorce" all i can see are red flags.

So, thanks again for the feedback. i really appreciate it. you all are the best!!


Me: BH
Her: who cares?
Married: 22 years
2 sons at home
1 son in college
Divorced on 9/4/14!
Often it's the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.

Posts: 301 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Midwest
phmh
♀ Member
Member # 34146
Default  Posted: 7:59 PM, June 10th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You are attractive, active, athletic, interesting, and have so many great qualities. I am confident that there is a great lady out there for you that you will find someday.

But I agree with the others to wait until the divorce is finalized (so close!!!) and even a bit after that to start actively looking for someone.

My divorce happened much more quickly than yours, but I started dating too early (about 4 months after divorce; 8 months after D-Day.) I met some great guys (and also some not-so-great guys), but I wasn't ready to date them. I know I hurt at least one of them. And I wound up deleting a few guys from my potential dating universe when I was healed because I was the crazy lady talking too much about her ex on a first date.

You're still young -- it's worth it to fully heal and find someone good than find yourself in another bad relationship!


Me: BW, divorced, now fabulous and happy!

Married: 11 years, no kids

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo


Posts: 3359 | Registered: Dec 2011
KeepOnMovin
♂ Member
Member # 38245
Default  Posted: 9:13 AM, June 11th (Wednesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thank you phmh!! It really means a lot hearing the positive feedback from you. I have so much admiration and respect for you!

But I agree with the others to wait until the divorce is finalized (so close!!!) and even a bit after that to start actively looking for someone.

I do know i shouldn't be thinking relationship right now. i know that in my head and in my heart. I knew that last summer. it felt nice to be desired and have somebody to do things with, but it did end with hurt feelings and some lingering weirdness.

I just really have this 'unsettled' feeling. Can't put my finger on it. i can't relax. i know a lot of it has to do with my realtionship with DS17, and i have so much to do to get my house ready to sell. I have no idea what expenses i will be able to split with STBXWW. Her last comment was since she hasn't lived there for a year, she shoudln't be responsible for any of it (been in the house 12 years). Supposed to meet with the attorneys to hash this out next week.

I really need to continue to focus on my realtionships with each of my boys, finalizing my divorce, and selling my house in that order. STBXWW has been attempting to ramp up the contact again, but that needs to be it's own post.

I feel better this morning. It helps to know there are folks out there who have been there and done that and who care enough help me through this. Hope you all have a great day! k


Me: BH
Her: who cares?
Married: 22 years
2 sons at home
1 son in college
Divorced on 9/4/14!
Often it's the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.

Posts: 301 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Midwest
ManBearDivorce
♂ Member
Member # 36258
Default  Posted: 6:42 PM, June 14th (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think needing a cup of coffee with somebody is different from feeling like a cup with somebody would be nice.

Get it?

You may be ready but getting over that hump was hard for me too. Many times have I kicked myself in the butt for not asking for that girls number. Only after many women then it came to me. Even then I got rejected but I swept it off my shoulders better after every time until there was no pain but a "Tomorrow will be a better catch". Just have to get out and keep at it. You will get better. If you don't try then there will be no answer.


Posts: 339 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: St.Paul Minnesota
Topic Posts: 10

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