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Indeed, you look sad and it's totally normal if you feel lonely.

From a book of wisdom : A woman's beauty delights the beholder, a man likes nothing better. If her tongue is kind and gentle, her husband is the happiest of men. The man who takes a (good) wife has the makings of a fortune, a helper to match himself, a pillar of support.

Men and women are made to match each other, so it's not easy staying single. Falling in love easely is natural for many (I'm the type too), but don't forget where you want to go. It's not what looks nice around the road which dictate how you drive, but it's where you want to go. Love is similar to driving in that case. What do you look for ? Just a date not to be lonely, or a date to marry ? If it's for marriage, keep up the savings for the house ! 😀 But be picky on the woman, if she's really virtuous and great, don't let her go ! I would lose my job to keep my wife, so maybe that coworker is worth it ? Or not ! But falling in love at work, happens very often... Even when you already have a great wife, so emotions doesn't do it all.

I used to dislike my career also, but don't make a hasty choice as I usually do, balance the pro and cons.

I'm really impressed how you can fill up your agenda like this. I'm totally incapable of doing this, I would do a burn-out in two weeks ! Especially doing many charities, I'm amazed !

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7 minutes ago, Silverlining said:

Maybe it will be helpful for you to take a vacation and just relax. Spend a few days away from this city and this colleague. 

I am going on vacation next week thankfully. 

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You are working hard and I believe that you are inspiring other people around you, but it seems that you don't have time for yourself. I am glad that you go on vacation! Take better care of yourself to avoid emotional burnout.

As for the coworker of yours, can you really do nothing about it? May be, you two could go on a lunch and discuss the project you work on together , or have a friendly chat, or you could invite some of your other coworkers to discuss the project (or just to have fun, or for something else, or for any other reasonable reason) and invite her among others (absolutely accidentally, of course)? Just take your time, I see that you are prepared for the worst, but there may be no worst. I think there is no ultimate failure or success when it comes to serious relationship. Don't torture yourself, don't rush her and take it slowly.

Whatever you will decide, everything is going to be the way it should be (which means, alright:))

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3 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Thank you. We eat lunch together every day and have for a long time. We do company events together but haven't spent time alone outside of work before. We share life details and we talk all day. It just feels very obvious that we'd have feelings for each other, but she also talks to other guys the same way sometimes and has mentioned she'd never date a coworker in a group conversation when we brought it up as a group. I'm just confused and feel like I only like her because I haven't met anyone else. I just really like her passion for life and happiness. Things I don't have at all. I'm painfully depressed, but when I'm happy I blossom and am the center of attention. I want to be happy. 

Have I sent you this already? I've been posting this vid a few times on this forum, but don't remember where. I really believe this thing is crucial and very few people are aware of these basic concepts of human behavior. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1fAWT6eRWA

 

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1 hour ago, JustTom said:

Have I sent you this already? I've been posting this vid a few times on this forum, but don't remember where. I really believe this thing is crucial and very few people are aware of these basic concepts of human behavior. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1fAWT6eRWA

 

I don't mean to come off as rude or if I'm not going to take this advice because I know your heart is in the right place and trust your opinion after following you for a while, but I know how to get a girlfriend and I don't think this video addresses the issue I've been outlining for a few months while you were gone. I also don't think I explained my social situation and the relationship I have with this woman in the first place.

I have been addicted to porn for almost 20 years and it has skewed my perception of dating during that time.  I've been working very hard recently to fix that.  I'm extremely popular in my social circles.  I'm one of the central figures at my company, my old company, my former university, and the professional community outside of work.  I get attention and have a great network in that area.  I'm also a central figure in my many friend circles and can take the attention at all of the meetup groups and bar scenes I attend.

Because of porn I was not going out to meet anybody with the specific purpose of dating.  I was not even considering flirting with a random woman at the store or at the gym or anywhere where I practice my new hobbies.  Any time I wanted companionship or was aroused, I would watch porn and quench the desire immediately in an unhealthy way.  Now that I have changed my mindset I've been more attuned to flirting with a purpose other than being friendly.  I have no issue getting phone numbers or setting up dates.  I haven't wanted to get a number because I don't feel like I've found myself yet or the beginning of a lifestyle I want to lead.  I know this is ever changing, but my life has changed drastically over the past year and I want to do a few more things before going on dates such as quitting pornography and finding activities I enjoy.  I'm getting closer.

The issue I've outlined above is specific.  I've been working with someone and like them.  The issue at hand is I am confident she is interested in me, but feel like dating at work is a bad idea.  I have career goals and things I want to do with my company and in my field.  Dating in the office jeopardizes it in many ways even if the relationship works.  I have a very professional career and these aren't the best places to date.  It is also affecting me mentally.  I'm stressing so much because I'm learning how to set boundaries.  I don't want to date anybody right now, but I get conflicted with my emotions because I enjoy her company so much in my life.  That's why I start to raise all of these questions.

In conclusion, I am not going to date this woman.  I think this is a proximity crush where I'm around her and just enjoy her presence.  We don't really share any activities in common yet and our lifestyle and age gap is considerably different.  I get lonely sometimes because I want companionship, but I also know that I'm not ready yet.  I'm trying to kick a severe porn addiction that was worse than my gaming.  It has been detrimental to my personal growth for years.  The only way I will date her is if we hang out outside of work several times and it becomes a very clear path for both of us.

Once again, I apologize for this long post or sounding rude, but I just didn't think the video was what I needed.  I didn't really explain previously what I explained here, so I just wanted to write it out so people knew that I'm not hopeless with meeting people, knowing myself, or dating.  I just get conflicted with her because I do like her, but also like my career.

Edited by BooksandTrees

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@JustTom  Once again, I apologize if I came off as rude with my response.  That is not how I intended it.  I just wanted to clarify a few things I didn't mention before and I know I can have a tone to my writing voice sometimes.  I'm not angry or anything.  I worry a lot lol.

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I think I just kind of get very depressed and hectic at times so I just overthink and freak out.  I write down my thoughts now and they totally contradict what is actually happening in my life.  I removed my posts because I was blabbering a bit.  I appreciate everyone's comments on the matter and will drop them for now.

 

Thank you

Edited by BooksandTrees

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2 hours ago, Vera said:

@BooksandTrees it seems I'm a bit late.. I don't think dating someone at work is a good idea. You overthink because you  don't want to consider another options?.. 

No, I overthink because I'm not really ready to date right now because I'm trying to quit porn and improve my life, and also I like my career and job. So when I get feelings for someone at work it plays with my head because I don't thin dating at work is smart and I don't want anything bad to happen to me. I start to get feelings and those feelings challenge the core beliefs and direction I'm turning in and I'm battling with myself to determine if I'm ready to date already and if I'd forgo my beliefs about workplace relationships. 

I have to stay strong with my healing and understand that sometimes my emotions can be strong, but they should remain in check and logical. When I start going nuts and overthinking it stresses me out. 

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1 hour ago, BooksandTrees said:

I have to stay strong with my healing and understand that sometimes my emotions can be strong, but they should remain in check and logical.

I totally agree.

Also from what you said, it's totally logical you have a crush on your coworker, it is indeed a "proximity crush" as you said, I don't mean it's bad, but it's just normal it turns out this way. I had one on a 30 years older than me... When I noticed, I stopped having lunch everyday with her and limited any non business talk, because I was already married so no imprudence. You don't control directly your emotions, but you can control what you do and often what awakes your feelings. And the funny part : that woman had married one of her coworker !

Anyway it's great seeing you choose to prioritize your healing. Strong-willed people earn respect.

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45 minutes ago, Mouxine said:

I totally agree.

Also from what you said, it's totally logical you have a crush on your coworker, it is indeed a "proximity crush" as you said, I don't mean it's bad, but it's just normal it turns out this way. I had one on a 30 years older than me... When I noticed, I stopped having lunch everyday with her and limited any non business talk, because I was already married so no imprudence. You don't control directly your emotions, but you can control what you do and often what awakes your feelings. And the funny part : that woman had married one of her coworker !

Anyway it's great seeing you choose to prioritize your healing. Strong-willed people earn respect.

Thank you. I appreciate your input regarding the whole thing. I almost feel relieved when she's not in the office because I'm not in as much emotional turmoil. I just think I'm being unfair to myself and self control can impact me in a good way. 

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I had a great day today.  I got a lot done at work, I had a great group lunch again, and I went out to dinner with my friend.  Going out to dinner let me get out of my comfort zone.  I was afraid of going to this city because I don't trust the area's safety, but nothing happened and it was a pleasant area.  I guess 6 years can change a place from druggy infestation to up and coming.  I also got a kick start to my year.  My friend suggested I need to have more fun and I agree.  I want to plan a few vacations with friends this year as well as going out to do fun things.  I never try restaurants out,  I don't dance, go to the beach, hike, travel, see landmarks, or do anything fun for myself.  I get so upset when I see that coworker I like because she has fun and I don't.  It's like I don't allow myself to have fun.  I'm going to stop thinking of having fun.

I noticed I imagine life for myself and picture myself going on vacation and enjoying life, then I live through it all in my dreams.  It's mental masturbation.  I swear I just do this with everything it seems.  Relationships and sex?  Porn.  Goals and hobbies? Watching people on YouTube or social media.  Travel and living life? Daydreams and social media.  

Fuck that.  We need to live life and I need to live life.  I want to experience the world with all five senses.  We live in such a beautiful part of the universe.  People are wonderful when we give them a chance and open our hearts.  I'm ready to live.  I'm not mad anymore, but I won't be hesitant.  That is driving me crazy.  I want to find out what makes me happy this year and will spend time this weekend thinking of fun ideas to try.  I won't plan shit too much, but I want to get creative.

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Today I'm 20 weeks free of gaming.  This is pretty great.  I also managed to calm my mind down about my coworker.  Sometimes I fixate on thoughts and it causes stress.  When I start to obsess over thoughts such as "should I date her? does she like me? I know she likes me, but let me keep running through the evidence.  Hmm...what are the pros and cons?  Hmm....do I even want this?  I'm trying to heal and I also just think it's a proximity crush...hmmm.."  it leads to extreme mental fatigue, stress, depression, anxiety, etc.

I realize that I sometimes delve into these thought processes where I fixate on thoughts, allow myself to daydream, and I start to just ruminate in the world of my imagination.  This is good for writing and creating stories, but it's not good for life.  If I meet a girl I start to daydream what it would be like to go on one date, several dates, be in a relationship, go and travel, etc.  I don't do it for any crazy reason.  I just enjoy daydreaming and thinking about stories and life.  I do this with hobbies, pretending to play sports, etc.  I just see a fantasy in my mind and play it out until I'm done thinking about it.  This isn't good with meeting women because I start to daydream about everything and then I go watch porn or something.  I apologize if that sounds vulgar or something, but it happens after a while and I'm learning to not do that anymore.  It's like I live out a life with these fantasies and don't actually care to hang out.  That leaves me lonely, empty, and sad.  This happened when I had that meltdown last month about meeting a girl at a brew fest and then getting ignored.  I flirted, she was very responsive, I daydreamed about being in a long term relationship, got fantasizing, watched porn, lost interest in talking, and I just awkwardly kept the conversation going instead of continuing a good flow and getting a first date.  This is why I haven't tried dating in years.  I haven't cared to actually date.

I'm 5 days free of porn today and it has been an up and down journey.  It is by far more difficult to quit porn than video games for me.  I've only been able to make it 7 days.

After not watching porn, eliminating excessive daydreaming, and trying to calm my thoughts I've felt better today more than any other day.  I went to the gym, the doctors, the market, and found myself looking at and attracted to other women again.  I'm not fixating anymore.  Porn allows you to fixate, daydream, and then live out a fantasy.  It's fake and not real and bad for you.

I'm also starting to think I'm getting ready to date.  I want to be more social.  I am a little lonely.  I want to hang out with people almost every night.  I know that's not possible, but it's a sign that I am lonely and looking for some connection to people.  I'm going to just listen to my heart and spend time with others.  It's been great.  

I didn't think I was ready to date the other day when I replied to Tom, but now that I think about it, I really am.  I want to flirt and get to know a woman who I find attractive and enticing.  I just want to give myself some space between now and that time because I still find myself attracted to features and traits of porn stars.  I don't want to be looking for women based off of something so superficial like that over their heart, personality, and mind.  Looks are a big part of the pie, but not the filling.  I'm not trying to say I'm shallow, but I am saying that I'm really only finding myself attracted to well put together, sexy, confident women who have a zest for life. 

I just don't think that's what I'm actually attracted to and know it right away because I don't get along with them.  They come off as self absorbed and full of drama with attitude issues.  I find myself getting along with women who are kind, peaceful, fun, adventurous, intelligent, charming, mature, and attractive.  (This is for dating purposes, not just anybody.  I don't pick and choose friends like this.  I'm just writing about who I've been attracted to and who I actually feel like I'm attracted to.) This makes me believe that I am starting to understand myself more.  Porn kind of leads you to these sultry, unrealistic women who don't enjoy what they're doing in the videos anyways.  It's not real and that's not a real woman you'd meet.  I want a teammate, a friend, an adventurer, someone who wants to have fun and learn, someone who enjoys romance, is flirty, etc.  It also leads you into scenarios that don't exist at all.  You randomly meet a chick and then start banging.  That's not how this shit happens, obviously, but when you watch porn you start to just get instant gratification issues and then lose sight of what it's like to build a relationship with people over time and taking the time to getting to know them and everything.  It's unfair to myself and the women I meet.  It makes me feel bad.

So this learning plus the decision to have more fun, think less, and be less hard on myself is going to be my personal goal for the year along with the video game quitting.

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Hey hey, thought I might have something helpful to share. This type of repetitive thinking (I do the same in another, more stressful context) actually ends up to be a habit/dopamine addiction for our brains, which makes it very hard to stop once we're used to thinking like this. Funny timing, yesterday I decided to treat it like an addiction and quit it, which translates to forcing myself to think something else and move on with life the moment I catch myself ruminating. It's hard to do the change at first, but we deserve life, not wasting our time inside our brains with scenarios.

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7 hours ago, fawn_xoxo said:

Hey hey, thought I might have something helpful to share. This type of repetitive thinking (I do the same in another, more stressful context) actually ends up to be a habit/dopamine addiction for our brains, which makes it very hard to stop once we're used to thinking like this. Funny timing, yesterday I decided to treat it like an addiction and quit it, which translates to forcing myself to think something else and move on with life the moment I catch myself ruminating. It's hard to do the change at first, but we deserve life, not wasting our time inside our brains with scenarios.

Hey, welcome back, I agree with you about this being an addiction. I was talking to my therapist about it because I mentioned that I was living a lifestyle that had many addictions and bad habits that were being concealed by gaming. 

It's like a movie where you think the main character beats the bad guy, video games, after he and his people were terrorized by it, but then there's other bad guys to beat like porn addiction, day dreaming and fantasizing, then thinking bad about myself, having low confidence and putting myself down all day. 

People say don't be negative to ourselves, but deep down inside I think we're being negative because we have so many bad habits such are detrimental to our happiness overall and it's some sort of defense mechanism to get us to stop. This leads to depression. Depression to me is suppressed rage and anger, not sadness and sorrow. Self understanding has opened a lot of doors. 

Let's change our paths. 

 

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Funny how daydreaming is something very few find acceptable. It's probably because we focus a lot on productivity.

If your interested, look at the INFP MBTI profile, I'm one and it's very accurate in my case. Once I understood my tendency to dream and idealize things is a natural way for me to function, it's much easier to accept it and to harness it, just like fire can be destructive or a wonderful source of energy. Some people need to dream, I do idealize and it leads me very often to deception, but it's my fuel to get up in the morning. Hope is possible only because you can think about a better future that has a chance to occur. Excessive dreaming leads to inaction or insatisfaction, it's true, but that doesn't mean that daydreaming is a bad thing in itself : just give it a reasonnable amount time and don't dream about something undoable or bad. What happens in Porn is just impossible to do because no men and women react like that in reality, it's just marketing to keep you hooked and paying... So dreaming about it is something to avoid, and I'm not even mentioning the bad side.

Anyway, I'm saying this because maybe you are a natural dreamer too. In that case, focusing your dreams on your goals and on beautiful things can help you a lot improving your happiness.

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1 hour ago, Mouxine said:

Funny how daydreaming is something very few find acceptable. It's probably because we focus a lot on productivity.

If your interested, look at the INFP MBTI profile, I'm one and it's very accurate in my case. Once I understood my tendency to dream and idealize things is a natural way for me to function, it's much easier to accept it and to harness it, just like fire can be destructive or a wonderful source of energy. Some people need to dream, I do idealize and it leads me very often to deception, but it's my fuel to get up in the morning. Hope is possible only because you can think about a better future that has a chance to occur. Excessive dreaming leads to inaction or insatisfaction, it's true, but that doesn't mean that daydreaming is a bad thing in itself : just give it a reasonnable amount time and don't dream about something undoable or bad. What happens in Porn is just impossible to do because no men and women react like that in reality, it's just marketing to keep you hooked and paying... So dreaming about it is something to avoid, and I'm not even mentioning the bad side.

Anyway, I'm saying this because maybe you are a natural dreamer too. In that case, focusing your dreams on your goals and on beautiful things can help you a lot improving your happiness.

I know what you mean.  I'm an ENTJ -T for turbulent commander.  I've agreed with the write up.  I looked at this back in November I believe and really enjoyed the read.  I noticed my daydreaming problems when my father would make me do his errands with him.  He'd have me wait in the car for 30-45 minutes at a time while he would flirt with women in random buildings and cheat on my mom.  Or he'd force me to watch him wash his truck for 30-40 minutes at a time.  Or he'd keep me on the boat for hours and not talk to me.  I had to keep myself entertained.  I went on adventures with friends in my head, learned new hobbies in my head, did all kinds of stuff in my head.  It is sad and it lead to me not wanting to make friends or do anything.  I fully lived my life in my head going on crazy adventures, traveling, seeing things, etc.  If he was abusing me or my mom I'd have to close my mind out from reality and put myself in a safe spot in my mind so i could be protected.

It was my escapism before video games.  I did escapism with gaming, porn, daydreaming, TV shows, etc.

Really sucks, but abusive and neglectful parents really suck lol.

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I think I'm really over this coworker crush. She reminds me of a woman I almost dated 2 years ago now who would tell me everything in her life, passively and actively flirt with me all of the time, then say she's got a boyfriend and just thought we were best friends, then keep flirting and sending me suggestive photos, asking if I found her attractive, etc. 

This girl hasn't done the latter things with me, but it's just constant flirting and then me getting enamored with it all and my mind starting to wonder. She makes me feel special and then like a stranger when we're not at work. 

Now that I've separated her from my emotions and taken time to reflect on it by being cognizant of my thoughts and emotions I know I don't like her. I like the idea of her, but that's wrong also. 

For some reason I fall in love with someone who is dainty, flirty, sexy, but unattainable who knows they'd never date me, but want to use me. It's similar to how some girls seem to fall for the bad boy stereotype. 

Maybe I'm safe now because I'm aware. I've had manipulative relationships before and am aware of the warning signs now, but this one has just been the young woman who feels like she's the center of the world, very beautiful, talks when it's fully on her accord, uses me, flirts and then backs away. Both were offputting because sometimes they'd genuinely ask how I'm doing and give me attention, but it's toxic attention because when I'm with them, most of the stories they share involve me giving my attention to them from some sort of circumstance. It's never a fun, two sided conversation and if I ask for her opinion or share a story they give a mottled response at best.

They just keep telling the typical story: 

"Omggg guess what JUST happened...." 

Then she tells me a boring story about some stupid scenario she was in, but her intense eye contact and flirting keeps me interested while she's playing with her hair and distracting me. I give my response. 

Her response:

"Literally, though!!! And like...."

She repeats her reaction to the same story and does it a different way so she can keep gathering my attention. I then try to share with her a story and by then she's just backed away and not interested. She just wanted my reaction to the story. 

I have won. I have figured it out. I am over this bull shit. I want a more mature and genuine woman in my life. But I have learned and overcome my battle here. 

I am the winner today for a greater victory tomorrow. 

I'm also at the fabled 1 week without porn benchmark.

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11 hours ago, BooksandTrees said:

Really sucks, but abusive and neglectful parents really suck lol.

Bad parents are the worse... They give you a tons of trash to clean up when you grow older.

Great for the victory over your crush. Love is mutual give, not I take what I want, is it attention or sex, then I'm happy.

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I really want to watch porn, but I really don't want to be depressed again, especially since I'll be on vacation in 3 days and it usually takes me 3 days to not be depressed.  This blows lol.  I really would love to watch, but it's not going to make me feel better.  I think I just really want some intimacy or something.  I'll go to bed instead.  

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