Ask Dr. NerdLove: How Can He Love Her If He Already Loves Me?

Doctor, I need your help.

I am not attracted to anyone in my area, not a single one. It’s either the horrible voice or being underweight or overweight, or the terrible personality (I have this one)

It honestly seems like everyone sucks where I am, and it’s the exact same no matter what area I am in.

I have a weekly D&D game and that’s about the extent of my socialising, most of my time is just spent on my computer. Women are an alien species for me, and not the interesting ones with mind powers or incredibly advanced machinery or powerful magics. They’re the boring kind who the whole movie would be spent trying to communicate with them

It also doesn’t help I’ve never asked anyone out yet and likely never will due to the potential reaction (I. E. Public shaming.)

I’m disconcerted by the fact that I am attracted to NO ONE. What the hell kind of robot brain do I have where that is even possible,

It also doesn’t help that I trust very few people outside of my immediate family, and I’mm constantly on my guard for no good reason. I’ve been using dating sites, but even when I see someone with my interests, I pass them as I don’t believe that it is a real profile ( most of the dating profile I’ve seen are blank or nothing of significance) Furthermore, I strongly believe that most dating profiles are elaborate catfishes.

On another note, I am certain that no one is attracted to me, and if anyone asks me out, it is some form of trick.

More to the point, how can I actually care about freaking anything, I say that as my life has ground to a halt, am too busy with school to make any significant changes and I’m sick of the rat race already and I’m not even working yet.

I would love to switch places with me in an alternate universe where I’m a success living in the biggest mansion in the world, but dimensional travellers are played out, just like time travellers (it’s such a bad idea)

I don’t know, I don’t want to be a loser my whole life, but I have no idea how to change this. I’ve been like this so long that I find it difficult to change anything.

Thank you for your assistance

Tired Man

There’s a lot going on here, TM and I think a lot of it is outside what I can do for you. A lot of what I see here are things that are beyond my pay grade. You don’t really need a loudmouth with a blog, you need a counselor or therapist to talk through some of this. Now, what I can tell you is that your issue is one I’ve heard before. Part of the problem sounds to me like a form of anxiety. People tend to think of anxiety as near heart-attacks and freak-outs, when it can manifest in a lot of different ways – low-key dread, a sense of impending doom, belief that everyone is lying to you…

I mean, stop me if this sounds familiar.

Another part of anxiety is how it can lead to avoidance behaviors; you (general you, not you, TM) live in fear of the possibility of an anxiety attack and so you find ways to avoid it ever being a possibility. You find reasons to avoid situations or people because of the stress or the potential of something going horribly wrong.

But I think the big reason why you don’t like the people around you… mostly seems to be that you don’t really like yourself. Like Baleful Eye back in October, you sound like you’ve got a lot of internalized self-loathing, which is often a symptom of depression – something that tends to come as part of the sucky benefits package of anxiety. It’s easier to dismiss the people around you as fakes, phonies and scam artists than to let them get close to you and risk the inevitable rejection that obviously will be coming because hey, who could possibly be interested in someone as awful as you.

And I have to tell you: I have been there, I have done that and I know that particular feeling very well. I’ve dealt with chronic depression for most of my life and I can tell you first hand: there is no voice more believable than the one depression uses because it’s your voice. It’s dripping poison in your ear, jabbing you in all of the places that you are the most sensitive because it knows damned good and well where you have the least armor. It crawls into your head and tells you that your worthless, that there’s no point to anything, that there’s nothing that you could do. There’s no point in trying because nothing can change or improve. This is your life and it will be this bad or worse until the end.

But here’s the thing: anxiety is a liar. Depression is a liar. It is bullshit that only sounds like truth because it tells you things that you fear, and it does so with your voice. Change is possible. Improvement is possible. I can tell you this with 100% certainty because hey, I’ve done it. I have been where you are, I have been in the hole you are in right now and I have climbed the ever-loving fuck out.

I won’t lie to you: it’s hard. It’s maddening even. It takes a lot of work and – worse – a lot of random chance. One of the frustrating things about depression and anxiety is that they’re all so damn personal that there’s no one way to deal with it. For some, cognitive behavioral therapy works. Talk therapy works for others. Still others need medication to get the worst of it under control… and even then, it takes time to find the medication and the dosage that works for you. And some people need a combination of all of the above.

And you know what: that’s fine. Finding that one way didn’t work for you doesn’t mean that you’re a hopeless case, it just means that you need a different form of help. The important part is getting help in the first place.

Now, I’ve got a few things that I’ve found help get your brain under control that may be worth trying to take the edge off things, but honestly, you need to be talking to a proper therapist. You’re in college which can actually make things easier; you have access to health services through your school, which often includes mental health. And if they don’t have someone on campus, they can almost certainly recommend someone to you. But keep in mind: just as in dating, having a connection with your therapist is important. If you two aren’t clicking and you don’t feel that they understand you or aren’t giving you the help that you need, you can find someone else. Don’t be afraid to advocate for your own needs; you know what’s going on in your head better than anyone else.

This will get better. Once you get some of this under control, I think you’ll find your outlook on life, the universe and everything changing for the better.

It will be ok.

All will be well.


Hi Doc,

I have been dating this guy for the past 1 year, and I really think he is the one. But he had this theatre production to manage intensely for a week, and he fell in love with one of his colleagues. However, he maintains the fact that when he realised he fell in love with her, he never acted upon it and chose to stay with me. He says that for him, it is not considered cheating and that he did nothing wrong.

Yet, we have completely different ideals. I don’t believe in how one person can be in love with two people at the same time, whereas he says his heart is big enough for it. Isn’t falling in love with another person while being attached cheating? Doesn’t it mean that I am not enough for him? But he keeps saying that he has never compared the two of us, and I am enough for him. So why did he fall in love with her? He says that he cannot control how his heart feels but it sounds so wrong.

I love him so much, but if I stay with him, I will be compromising my biggest ideal, which is to love one only.
What do I do? I don’t want to leave him, but I don’t know if I should be compromising on what i believe very deeply.

Sick At Heart

A couple of things, SAH. First and foremost: I think your boyfriend needs to dial shit back a little. What you describe sounds way more like a crush or infatuation than love. Not that this makes it any easier on you, granted, but a week is pretty damn fast to suddenly decide you’re in love with someone. Something tells me that he’s feeling that crush and rounding up… like, a lot. And, honestly? The dude would’ve been better off keeping that to himself.

I think his dumping this on you introduced a lot of unnecessary anxiety and drama into your relationship – drama that could’ve been avoided if he’d kept his damn mouth shut about it. Because, straight talk: if nothing happened, then there’s really nothing to report.  Relationships aren’t court depositions; you don’t need to tell your partner literally everything. You have a right to not know things – the fact that your boyfriend was infatuated with someone for a hot minute is one of them.

But let’s talk about things from your end, SAH. You are someone who’s solidly monogamous and that’s awesome. But one of the things that people tend to get wrong about monogamy is what it entails. Monogamy just means that you have agreed to not date or sleep with someone else. It doesn’t say a thing about not wanting to. Because here’s the thing: asking whether this means you aren’t enough for him is asking the wrong question. No one person can be all things to their partner; we as a species are built for wanting variety. He’s going to find himself attracted to other people, just as you are going to find yourself attracted to other people on occasion as well. There will be a point where you realize that you’ve got a crush or some heart flutters or pants-feelings for someone else too. This is perfectly normal and natural and happens all the time. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love him enough or he doesn’t love you enough. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with your relationship or that you’re not doing enough to make things work. All those random crushes tell you is that you’re both humans and humans – like bonobos and dolphins – like bangin’.

Now if we move from the groin to the heart… well, that’s where things are complicated too. Now, obviously, people are capable of loving more than one person at a time; families and friendships are predicated on this after all. But in terms of romantic love? Yeah, there’re folks out there who have romantic connections with more than one person. Some folks have a lot of love to give or a lot of room for other partners in their lives. This doesn’t mean they love any one of them any less. That’s just how they work, romantically. This is neither good nor bad; it’s just how they are. There are a lot of books out there on non-monogamous relationships and polyamory if you want to learn more about how it works, but the short version is: there are plenty of people out there who have mutually fulfilling romantic relationships with more than one person at the same time. The style and shape of the relationship can vary (rather drastically at times) but the core remains the same as what you have with your boyfriend. Just with a larger cast is all.

But let’s get to the meat of your situation, SAH. Remember when I said that “Am I enough for him” was the wrong question? Here’s the right one:

“Am I satisfied with this relationship?”

It’s not about whether he might be attracted to other people – he is, because he’s human, just like you – but whether he is happy and satisfied being with you and making a monogamous commitment to you? He said some stupid shit, yes, but do you trust that he’s telling you the truth? Do you believe him – not just accept that he said it but honestly believe him – when he says he cut things out before anything untoward happened? Do you believe him when he tells you that he’s happy being with you and only you, regardless of random, meaningless crushes?

If you do, then the biggest problem is that he could stand to not say every thought that flits through his head. Because, for real, that sort of thing is not a great indicator of maturity or emotional intelligence and he needs to work at that shit.

If you don’t, or he demonstrates that he’s saying one thing to make you happy but doing another entirely? Then it’s time to reconsider whether it’s time to find someone else.

Good luck.


Hi Doc,

A few days ago, I made a joke tinder account with friends, with a fake age, job, etc., but all the pictures were my own. Turns out, I really hit it off with a guy and he was still interested after I told him my real information. The thing is, he’s 23 and I’m 17. Is there any hope for a relationship?
Sincerely,

Conflicted

No.

Look, Conflicted, I’ve had people pull the “SURPRISE, I WAS COMPLETELY MISLEADING YOU! ” card on me before and y’know what? That’s a big fuck-off deal-breaker right from the jump. The fact that he’s still interested, regardless? That’s a red-flag and some side-eye from me.

But the fact that he found out that you’re still a minor and he’s still interested? That’s a not just no but hell no. Sure, you’re almost 18 and I’d be side-eyeing the fuck out of that. But a six year difference when he’s 23 and you’re 17 is way the hell more significant than if you were 26 and he were 32. You’re in very different places in life, and that alone is going to put some major roadblocks to a successful relationship. The fact that there’s that much of an age difference and he’s still interested after the whole “you’ve been punked” reveal?

Sorry, Conflicted, this is setting off my Spidey-sense something fierce.

Do yourself a favor. Cut things off with this guy, stick to dudes who’re closer to your age and stay off Tinder until you aren’t having to lie about your age on there.

Good luck.

 

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