I’VE GIVEN UP ON FIND­ING LOVE

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - TREND -

I am nearly 30 and have never been in a re­la­tion­ship with a woman. Ev­ery time I look in the mir­ror I feel uglier. I have moved away from the town where I grew up and lost con­tact with most of my school and univer­sity friends. I rarely go out. Is love over for me? No, ab­so­lutely not. It’s hard that you are feel­ing so lonely when you should be en­joy­ing life and hav­ing fun. Were you crit­i­cised and put down as a child? Did your par­ents tell you that they loved you of­ten, or were you con­stantly told that you were not good enough, caus­ing your con­fi­dence to be un­der­mined? This would per­haps ex­plain why you are so crit­i­cal of your­self. You could be suf­fer­ing from body dys­mor­phic dis­or­der, a psy­cho­log­i­cal con­di­tion that makes you be­lieve there is some­thing wrong with your ap­pear­ance when there is not. So you con­stantly look in mir­rors, each time find­ing flaws that are not re­ally there. The re­sult is that you iso­late your­self and have lit­tle con­fi­dence in mak­ing friends or find­ing a part­ner. Ask your GP for a re­fer­ral for cog­ni­tive be­havioural ther­apy to ad­dress this. Also, con­tact the men­tal health char­ity MyMind (mymind.org, 076 680 1060). It is im­por­tant to go out and see peo­ple, so once you get help and sup­port and be­gin feel­ing bet­ter about your­self, get back in touch with old friends, join clubs and take up hob­bies to meet new peo­ple. When you have gained more con­fi­dence, you could try on­line dat­ing sites as a good way to meet po­ten­tial suit­ors.

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