Are you into me or Not?

Hi everyone, I’m a 29 year old first generation born Chinese American gal, born and raised in Cleveland, OH. I suffer from Severe Social Anxiety along with and Overly pleasing personality disorder. I already acknowledge that the root of social anxiety and my high need to please stems from my childhood and my culture ties. Sometimes I can still remember my first panic attack when I was 6 years old. Throughout my childhood I suffered from severe neglect from my parents cause of their work schedule, and they also put me in charge of taking of my baby sister. Because of my parents neglect towards my academics, I eventually developed extreme test anxiety at 10. The test anxiety was so overwhelming when I was at college I eventually had to drop out after freshmen semester. Right after I quit school I moved back home and slowly I fell into a severe depression and my social anxiety got even worse. I would consider that the lowest point of my life cause I spent the next year inside my house and the following 4 years constantly battling depression and suicide. I eventually was hospitalized and went through 4 years of in and out of out patient therapy. It eventually got better and now I am learning how to cope with my social anxiety. I now can go out and run errands and not allow complete strangers to trigger me to be insecure in public situations. I’ve recently got the confidence and started school back up to finish my degree and I can kind of say I am at a ok point with my disorders. Recently, I’ve decided to give online dating a try but I realized I’m almost 30 now and I feel like the dating situation and rules have changed. Again I’m starting to recognize recently the same anxious triggers and I’m looking for some input on what I should except dating in my 30’s vs my 20’s. Also what are men like in their 30’s? What do they look for? Are they willing to settle down, do they still like the play the field? I’m really looking for some insight for dating in my 30’s. Also what do men think about a girl who suffers from personality disorders? are they accepting or understanding? Or do men think “that gal gots problems! She’s crazy!” Looking for some effective advice hopefully.

6 thoughts on “Are you into me or Not?

  1. Anna says:

    [Hey there,
    Good job on willing to put yourself out there, that is pretty neat!

    Would encourage you to try online dating sites that are paid and have a certain credibility to them. Dating can anxiety provoking because you are meeting a somewhat stranger, but the good thing is that you wont be meeting anyone right off the bat, you do communicate with them for a bit before you both decide to meet up in person. So you are not meeting a total stranger but someone who you have been communicating for a while. With that being said, I would encourage you to steer away from the 100% free sites.

    Just something to consider, would you consider doing something like swing dancing? It is a fun, and non-threatening way to meet new people, everyone is there to learn a dance. And to normalize things for you , you will be surprised to hear that a lot of people suffer from social anxiety, and learning a new skill like that helps.

    And something that has helped me when I feel anxious in social situations is to remember that most people are self-focused so they are probably focusing on what is going on with them than with anyone else, so chances are they are paying attention to themselves than to you. All the best!

    • KathrynFK says:

      [I know it’s hard to remember when you’re out there and anxious, but just remind yourself that a date is not a test. You don’t have to perform for or please anyone. As a lady on a dating website, you are in the minority, you are in demand, and YOU have the power! Doesn’t that feel great? One date doesn’t go great? Oh well! There are probably going to be 5 more replies to your profile in your inbox by the time you get home. Instead of looking at dating as a means to an end (ie finding a guy who is ready to ‘settle down’ as you said), look at it as its own adventure (and as a chance to work on overcoming your social anxieties). It creates too much pressure when you go into each date thinking you have to impress the person and suss out whether they are ‘mr right.’ That will happen on its own if it’s meant to. Also, people love to talk about themselves. Asking questions takes the pressure off if you get nervous talking about yourself.

      Regarding the mental health thing, I wouldn’t lead with a profile headline about having a “personality disorder” (duh) but I think it’s fine to let someone know on a 1st date that you’re nervous or have trouble feeling relaxed around new people. Most people I’ve told about being diagnosed as having social anxiety disorder have been surprised. You probably come off a more social and amiable than you think.

    • Dennis Hong says:

      [I think Kathryn has a point. Perhaps, by nature of your social anxiety, you’ll become so hyper-aware of how others perceive you that end up coming across as perfectly natural? 🙂

  2. kerplunkLYN says:

    [Personally, I think dating online is extremely challenging for someone who does not suffer from anxiety and is used to meeting & dating online. If this is your first round back in the dating scene, I would not recommend online dating. I don’t say that to be mean, but more to look out for your well-being and to avoid ending up with a real creep who could take advantage of your “overly pleasing” personality. Dating online is not for the faint-hearted & it’s not for everyone. There are a lot of predators online.

    Instead, I would suggest starting by being set-up through friends, family, co-workers. Maybe even a group for people with social anxiety could be a good place to meet people.

    To answer your next question, for me, dating in my 30s was far superior than my 20s. I was older, wiser and knew what I wanted so that made me more secure and confident. I stopped wasting my time on losers which just enhanced my experiences. On the flip side, I found the men I dated were also looking for something serious, took me out on nicer, more thoughtful dates, and didn’t push for intimacy as quickly as they did when they were younger. Overall, it seemed to me, like both me and my dates were looking to find a good long-term partner, not a short-term hookup which seemed to be the trend in my 20s . 30s > 20s. FOR SURE.

  3. Joanna says:

    [I would not look at guys as a whole and say they all think you’re crazy. You have to take a person as an individual. Sure there may be guys that think that but there are more compassionate and understanding guys too. And no one is perfect without problems. There’s a very wide array of people out there, so I wouldn’t count you as odd or anything. Believe it or not, there are men with those difficulties too. You may bond with one who shares a similar situation. You sound like you would benefit from a mental health support group for those with your specific issue. Take initiative and look into that.

  4. CompassionateSanDiegan says:

    [I’d say- figure out what works best for you as far as feeling comfortable with the dating process. Online dating is a good way to start to get to know someone without the pressure of meeting in person right away. Most of all though, stop labeling yourself and focussing so much on the negative aspects of yourself. Focus on your strengths and positive qualities and realize that everyone has flaws and weaknesses. Continuing with therapy is probably a good idea and they could even provide support through the dating process. I would also say that men in their 30s typically are more interested in something serious but it varies from person to person.

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