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Unable to Connect With a Partner
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Abacadabra7 posted:
I am 58, male, and have not been able to connect with anyone for 25 years. I have bee through five therapists who have no idea why this should be so difficult for me- there is nothing structurally wrong with me. I just seem to lack an attraction gene. The more women know me the less they want to be around me. My conclusion is that some men (me) are not attractive to women. No matter how much I do for them, no matter how kind and undemanding I am, there just does not seem to be anyone at home inside me that women want- not for a partner and not for a friend. This has been a source of dibilitating emotional pain for me that has severly impacted all aspects of my life. Now I am in such major depression I can barely function through work. The prospect of my remaining years being as isolated as the previous decades leaves me without much desire to keep on living. I have no family and no close friends so the isolation is complete. Why is it that for most people, something so beautiful and natural and so much a part of life is something I cannot have in my life? What can I change?
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TheDeepBlue responded:
Your post touched me a bit. I feel you are a genuine soul who wishes to connect to another. It must be painful for you to feel that void.

You said this has been an issue for 25 years. Did you have a coonection or relationship at one time? Did something happen in your life that created a wall or distance from people?

I maybe naive but I feel that everyone has something to offer and is the right puzze piece for another. I am sorry you have not found that yet. Have you thought about joining a local club or group of people with your interests?

My ex Father in Law found his "soul mate" after he joined the Autobon bird club in town. He also made some great friends and now they play cards every Saturday.

I hope you stay encouraged and hopeful.
Peace and blessings to you!
 
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Boyzmomee responded:
I can see from your post that you are a sensitive and I think, a kind person. We all have something to offer.

Do you have any interests? Do you go to church? There are book clubs, chess clubs, political groups, creative writing groups, hiking clubs, poetry writing groups, masters swimming, runnng, walking, biking etc. There are community classes you can take on cooking, art, etc.

I've made good friends at my synagogue (met my husband there) at the gym and by joinng a book club that had a flyer at Starbucks.

Sometimes the best thing to do when we are depressed is to do something for someone else. Volunteer!

I would alos suggest that you see a psychiatrist for help with your depression.

Good luck!
 
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Abacadabra7 replied to Boyzmomee's response:
Thanks for the kind comments and taking the time to write suggestions.

Doing something for someone else is what how the majority of my free time is spent. I have a steady stream of requests from people, many are women, asking my to help them with something. Everything from building a livestock gate, to electrical problems, on and on. There is no response. I have yet to be offered so much as a glass of water on a hot day or be invited into their home. I do not expect a reward but it would be nice if helping someone could lead to something. I am not a criminal or a pervert and have never done anything to harm anyone.

Volunteering, let's see I have spent hundreds of hours over the past years for one group, handling all of the book keeping and compliance with the NM Open Meetings Act. I have yet to receive a thank you. Just more work in a room by myself.

I have made numerous offers to volunteer with other groups and have been given a "no thanks" in response. The worst was my volunteer catering for a woman who was having a show at her business. When it was over she held a big party for the people who helped and her customers. I was in the kitchen of her place cleaning up and she came to the door to thank me for helping and then told she had to get back to the party and closed the door. I stood there wondering what I must have done to not be invited to join the party. Then I drove the forty miles back home.

I have seen four therapists in as many years. One just pushed meds at me, one told me there was nothing she could do for me. I am working with the fourth and have for a year. She started off our relationship positive "there is a lid for every pot." Now, she is convinced my problems are not solvable and that I have to adjust to being alone- stop wanting things I cannot have.

The local hiking club keeps their schedule a secret- they do not want more members.

My political party will not put me on their mailing list despite being registered for years.

The local arts cooperative also will not put me on the invite list to their functions. However, they do ask me if they can put a sign up on my property when they have a show and I have done volunteer work for them, too.

I have been on the lookout for some of the other clubs and groups you listed but have not found any. This is a small town.

The classes I have taken at our community college seem to be populated with women who are not interested in making new friends, at least not with me. That does not mean that I cannot try again.

Our Neighbors Association has two annual gatherings. After eleven years here I am still not on the mailing list. I even got a call from a woman who was running it who mentioned she noticed I was not on the mailing list and asked me if I would like to be. I replied definately yes. Two years later I am still not on the list. I find about the social gatherings they hold after they event.

I know lots of single women here but seem to be considered not date material. That does not prevent them from asking me to help them with their problems. They just do not want me in their personal life.

The consistency of rejections has left me feeling kind of flat. There is something wrong with me and I do not know what can be done about it. This situation takes all the joy out of life.
 
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Abacadabra7 replied to TheDeepBlue's response:
Thanks for the kind thoughts and empathy. Yes, it is painful living the way I do.

To answer you question, I had a couple of girl friends in my early 20s. For some reason, it became impossible to connect with anyone else. I have kept trying over the years. Unfortunately, the pattern is the same, after a few weeks I am told they do not wish to see me anymore. The reasons vary. I am not what they want in a partner. This is clearly their right. I just would like to know what it is about me that they do not like and that information is not forthcoming.

No. There was no event that precipitated this pattern. I just got older. I would love to join a group or a club but have yeat to find one that will accept me as a member. I have had people get up from the table I just say down at all get up and move to another table. There has been a long list of similar responses from other groups. One of the worst was a benefit dinner. The host sat a single woman across from me. She looked at me and I smiled back at her. She then shot to her feet and went to a table across the room where she spent the evening. The seat across from me was the only empty chair at the event.

I know these events sound like minor irritations. Unfortunately, that is the extent of my social life in this community after eleven years. It is as though I am a public enemy. It would be nice to know what my crime was.

There have been two therapists I have talked this over with and their advice to me is to relocate to another community. Something must have happened here that has caused me to become a pariah.

I appolgize for going on about this. It is a source of real misery for me. I am starting to feel ashamed to be out in public.
 
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An_208291 replied to Abacadabra7's response:
Try to give help at an animal rescue shelter. Perhaps a dog/cat rescue centre, an equestrien place.
If you could find a place like this to lend a hand, I am sure you will find it more gratifying than helping some of those people you mentioned. People who love animals, seem to connect with people differently. Just my 10cents worth...
 
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Boyzmomee replied to Abacadabra7's response:
Have you thought about relocating? I too live in a small rural area and had to really work to establish connections.

There is so much going on in larger cities. Some of the activites you described seem as if people are taking advantage of your services rather than volunteer work where people work together on an activity or for a cause.

The community classes I'm referring to are not regular junior college classes but they are offered at that location. They have people of all ages and are short term.

I'm really thinking that you may need to relocate if you have exhausted all possibilites in your area. Can you do that?
 
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shudnobettr responded:
I'm assuming your in a small community. They can be brutal. We had a retired Police Sgt as our town cop. As a big city Police Sgt he servived murderers,rapists, gangs, drug dealers & thieves, but he couldn't survive small town politics.
He picked on the wrong guys kid and they blackballed him.
I'm with the other poster. Give them a big Bronx Salute and move on. There is someone out there waiting for a good honest man like yourself. I'd tell that bitch who left you in the kitchen you hope she chokes on her next free meal.
 
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Abacadabra7 replied to An_208291's response:
Those are good suggestions. I am currently doing volunteer work delivering hay for a wild horse herd across the border in CO. I get the usual response from the coordinators. I get a telephone call asking my to deliver a truck load in a few hours, which I do and then- "thanks, see ya."

The pet shelter in town is looking for dog walkers. I could do that. However, that is another solitary activity. The dissappointment with volunteering is that I am always given an assignment to do alone and then it is over. It never leads anywhere. I do get invited to their gatherings. That could change, of course, and I sure hope it does.
 
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Abacadabra7 replied to Boyzmomee's response:
That is on my mind a lot. Unfortunately, it is hard to close down a farm I have spent eleven years building. There was nothing here to start. I built everything and hate to leave it behind to be vandalzed and burgled. I have had it listed with a ranch broker for just about one year and there has been zero interest.

There is a choice here and I just might have to close it down and move for part of the year or rent it to someone. I realize I cannot stay here.

As for the college. We really do not have a community college here. The University of New Mexico has a campus in Taos that offers undergraduate lower division core courses, vocational training classes and that is about it. I have enrolled in some and they are pretty good. However, they are not about socializing. Everyone dissappears as soon as the class is over. They are at night and people have families.
 
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Abacadabra7 replied to shudnobettr's response:
That is exactly what happened to the Chief of Police Taos brought in from Los Angeles. He was a hard charging Darrel Gates type cop. He lasted about two months before the town council said he was too mean.

If I offered an angry comment to all the people, including the women, who have not lived up to my expectations of normal social behavior, I would become more of a nut case than I am now. It is tempting though.

It is clear to me that relocation is critical. I can feel myself deteriorating rapidly both emotionally and neurologically. The lack of social stimulation, affection given and received is having a greater effect with each passing year. I am experiencing an increase in accidents and confusion.If I do not get out soon I am afraid I will die here or become incapacitated which is the same thing.

Before Katrina struck, my pyschiatrist suggested I try New Orleans- a city with a high degree of social activity and weirdos are accepted more easily than say Boise Idaho or Salt Lake City. I like Colorado Springs- it is a pretty city, not too big, nestled against some nice mountains, has a river running through it, is home to the Air Force Academy (I am strictly a civilian but I have respect and appreciation for the USAF and dig airplanes).

Any relocation ideas are greatly appreciated.
 
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GuardSquealer replied to Abacadabra7's response:
Ok I have a couple of suggestions, ideas questions, ect.

First is personal hygene. Do take care of yourself? Are you clean? Bathe regularly? Deodorant and aftershave / cologne?
Keep your clothes clean and neat? Are your teeth in good shape? Brush regularly? Breathe good? Hair neat? Just checking. When you live alone sometimes it is easy to start letting things go.

It seems you have a bit of paranoia. Things probably aren't as bad as you may think they are. Relax a little and just let things take there course. What type of farming do you do? Do you have animals? Do you own a dog? Owning a dog makes you approachable when you are out and about. Maybe get a nice friendly one that you can take to town. If there is a park. Take the dog to the park and see if anyone approaches you with the dog.

Next is the internet. With the internet there is no reason why you can't find a woman. Have you tried any dating websites? Try www.plentyoffish.com or maybe even match.com Craigslist is a little less effective but it doesn't hurt to look at the women seeking men and see if anything interests you. Maybe even a foreign woman? Lot's of nice older asian women and european / russian women looking for nice american men to rescue them. Surely you could find someone that way.

And also women can sense insecurity. It wouldn't hurt to have a little more self confidence. If you don't believe in yourself no one else is going to believe in you . You have just gotten yourself into a rut and keep spinning the wheels making it deeper and deeper. But if you believe in yourself and get out and push you might be surprised at what you can do.
 
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Abacadabra7 replied to GuardSquealer's response:
I appreciate your taking the time to post some suggestions, GuardSqueler.

I hate to tell you this. There is nothing wrong with my hygine or my physical condition. My therapist- a woman, has told me repeatedly there is nothing wrong with my appearance and my behavior is entirely appropriate.

I am not paranoid about any of this. I have been letting things take their course for many years and the course leads no where. It is hard for others to understand what it is like to be totally isolated. I devote an enormous amount of time helping other people with their problems. Many of these are single women. Not one of them has ever shown even the slightest interest in anything to do with me. It is as though I do not exist except to help them with their problems. I am so tired of repairing plumbing, electrical, stacking hay bales, hauling their livestock, fixing roofs and never experiencing the slightest appreciation for my efforts. I do not charge money for this. I help them becuase they needed help and I am a friendly guy.

The internet? I have been a member of Eharmony, Match.com, Chemistry, POF, and OKcupid for three years. I have never had a date. Out of hundreds of messages I have sent, I have received about ten replies. All of these were "thanks but no thanks messages." All of the messages I have sent were composed carefully and were directed at specifics contained in the women's profiles. I am complimentary, humorous and sincere. I do not express needyness or insecurity, The only responses I have had were from women to whom I added in my message that I did not expect a reply- that my message to them is meant as a compliment for them. That has caused some of them to respond with a thank you. WHen I follow up with another message they do not reply.

I have four dogs. I take one to town every time, a black lab. No one has ever shown interest in my dog or in me. I have spent years at a dog park in one city I used to live in and that got me exactly no where.

I do not feel insecure around women. I am friendly and outgoing and generally have a postive attitude. I start each day feeling good and end each day in misery. My espresions of despair are confined to this forum and one other. So, it is not as though I drag a dark cloud ove me when in public.

I have been talking to therapists about this for years, all women as I wanted a woman's perspective. Each of them has started out believing there is nothing wrong with me and, like you wrote, no reason why I cannot connect with someone. As time passes, they change their minds. Two of them told me there was nothing they could do to help me further. The therapist I have seen for the past year now believe that it is unlikely I will ever connect and I need to stop wanting what I cannot have and learn to be alone. This has been hard to accept.

I am at my wits end about this as nothing seems to work and no one has any idea why. Anyway, I do appreciate your comments and the time you took to post ideas. If you have any other insights I would really appreciate them, as well. I know this all sounds a little strange and it bugs the hell out of me, too.
 
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GuardSquealer replied to Abacadabra7's response:
Well it seems that you are so sure that you don't have a chance that you don't. You have a valid answer for any question and that is probably why the therapist gave up on you. Usually when I was looking for a date, I couldn't get one. But when I decided to give up for a while I would have more women interested than I could handle. So you probably need to relax. And see what happens. If that doesn't work try paying an escort for a date. And at the end of the date ask her what she didn't like about you.
 
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Abacadabra7 replied to GuardSquealer's response:
Guard Squealer, thanks for sticking to my problem and replying. I apperciate it.

I get your point and am aware of my discussion that follows each suggestion raised. You see, this has been a part of my life for a long time and I have tried and continue to try many things suggested by the folks on this thread. That does not mean I am Mr. Know-it-all. I am trying to get to the next level after trying out the suggestion but perhaps there is no next level of ananlysis. Like you wrote, I could try to relax and let it be. I spent years not being actively searchng. No one knew I was alive. But, so what?

Some of th best advice about this situation I have read parallels what you wrote. Charlotte Kasl wrote a book' "If the Buddha Dated". She obsereved that partners are a gift from Th Univsderve". Either one is sen or one is not. There is nothing that can be done to force that to happen- searches will be in vain. It is something that just comes or not.

Charlotte is a LSW in Montanta, in he 50s now, hetero, and as charming a gal as I could want to know. So, I paid attention to her. Her book is slim, written in a friendly, light hearted style and was meant for chicks. But is applies to all humans.

I recommend it to all who are interested in this chamber of the human heart.

Yoour suggestion about hiring an escort and debriefing her at the end of the evening was interesting. In my small town area- Taos NM nad environs, I doubt there is such a service. But I could expand to larger cities. I would love to spend an evening with a woman and actually hear all of her impressions- good, bad indifferent. IF I cannot find an professional escort, I wonder if I could find a Psychology student, one older than the mean, to accompany me for an evening and write her observations. That could be an interesting experience for both of us.

Thanks again, my friend.


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