for the miserable, lonely and depressed: how to find a partner

So I am active in quite a few groups dealing with the autistic spectrum, emotional trauma and mental health. Every once in a while I see a post from someone bemoaning their loneliness and wishing they had a partner/friends or saying they are staying with an abusive person because they are too old, sick, unattractive, interested into the wrong things, whateverhaveyou to find someone better. This is for all of you and while the beginning sounds rather harsh I hope at the end of the post you might consider this tough love rather than judgement. So first off the divise question: do you really think you are THAT special? Do you think there are no other people out there struggling with health, weight, their past, age and whatever else it is that makes you think there is no one out there but you. There are 7 billion people in this world. The chinese have a nice saying illustrating the point I want to make here:

If you are one in a million there are still 1000s like you.

There are other old, sick, not model shaped or -looking people in the world. Other people into washing machines, struggling with their sexuality, racial identity, others who had a hard time finding a partner or growing up. Believe me if I say you ARE not at all alone. You are isolated perhaps, but your struggles are not that unusual. You need to find your tribe. So why do you think your situation is hopeless? I have a guess to make in order to answer this question: because someone told you over and over and OVER again that no one quite likes Jane Austen or washing machines as much as you do or that no one likes people of your morphology/race/age/whatever. These statements erode the value of self. Our brains function rather simply there: if you hear it often enough . You have been brainwashed into thinking abusive thoughts about yourself. So how do you overcome these negative concepts of yourself? First hint: not by sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself. You have these messages hardwired on a looptape and as long as you do not actively fight the looptape it will go on and on and on. So if you want to have friends, confidence, a loving partner… you are in for an uphill battle. That is if you want to improve you will very likely do so, but you really need to want this, you will need to declare war against the abusive voices in your head, draw up a battle plan and be determined enough to see it through. I really really REALLY hope you want to fight the abusive voices in your head, because everyone as down on themselves as I used to be hurts me and reminds me of the horror that such a “life” is. If you do, I bow deeply because that takes courage and strength. Setting the goal is already an admirable deed. So what do you do in order to do battle? I suggest you get some inspiration in general and and ask your friend Mr. Google for more suggestions on how to do positive affirmation to shrink your . Some suggestions may seem whacky to you, some might be so wrong for you that they hurt you, it’s perfectly fine to leave those alone and only take what you like. The general gist I can give you to fight your problem is this: – determine what issues you have – sort them into issues you can do something about (likely candidates are weight, no social skills, low self esteem, maybe monetary issues) and issues you can’t do anything about (chronic disease, age, physical features such as height, the shape of your nose…) – work on accepting the thing you can not do anything about – work on the issues you can do something about For low self esteem, lacking social skills and abusive voices in your head I’d like to be more specific: Social skills are learned by being among humans, reading about human interaction, listening to humans, finding a mentor to discuss issues with and talking to humans. Yes, especially for autistic people this is hard. But stop thinking about all the things that give you anxiety and start thinking about alternatives that are accessible to you. Such as discussing things you do not understand with fellow aspies/auties online, googling questions, watching movies and then scout IMDB for puzzling things… Be creative. You have an unusual neurology, so you learn in unusual ways. Stop doing things the normal way and then forever whine about them not working. They were never meant to work for you. Low self esteem is in my opinion best encountered by doing things. Maybe pick a skill you want to have or improve on (sports, intellectual, creative, spiritual, whatever you can think of) and work on it. Bonus points if you can join a local club and meet people that way. If they are hurtful to you, leave the group, their issues are not yours to solve and if they attack a new person right off the bat chances are it’s not you, it’s them. (It helps being upfront about issues you may have, medical, struggling to understand social interaction, whatever. If they pick on you for it, wrong group.) The main point is to develop a skill, to see yourself improve, to experience what you can do if you put your mind to it. The next step will be finding people who you can exchange thoughts with. Make your craft be seen and evaluated. If your local group did not pan out, yell “hooray internet” and look for fellow enthusiasts there. You want people giving you constructive or positive feedback. Abusive voices are best encountered by retraining your brain with positive affirmation, shrinking the inner critic and often doing a leap of faith. Put things out there even if you are insecure about it. I have published quite a few blog posts that I am very insecure about, be it content, be it grammar/spelling, be it my skill as a writer. But I made a decision to do it anyway and let other people be the judge. Turns out no one judges me as harshly as I judge myself (seriously, reading a blog with no pictures?? ;P). Being reminded of that by my followers, by my blogs growing popularity and the encouraging messages does wonders. If writing is not your forte it obviously does not have to be a blog. That’s why I wrote pick any skill and try to make it seen. Through that you should build a social network of supportive people you are fond of. And most importantly do not focus on your goal of finding your perfect partner. Use the time to work on yourself, cheerish yourself, find friends you can turn to when you will have a fight with your partner, belief in yourself. This time is for you. Learning to make the most of it will help tremendously once you want to make the most of being with someone, romantically or otherwise. You will have things you can talk about like that one time you fed an obscure animal or repaired this strange trinket or which techniques you used to become fluent in korean or all the interesting things about the history of your favourite country. You will also have interesting things to suggest what you two can do then, show them your favourite spot you discovered hiking, teach them how to make the perfect sushi roll, solve a rubics cube or how to compose music. And most of all you can inspire people around you to overcome their abusive voices as well. For now focus on becoming a person you would want to go out with. Through the law of attraction good things will come to you.

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