Posted in Dating / Relationships, On confidence, Separation / Divorce

Confidence – the vicious cycle

I have been giving a lot of thought to how much of a vicious cycle a lack of confidence is when it comes to attracting the opposite sex. I am incredibly self-conscious when it comes to being around women to whom I feel attracted, even if we are already friends. My lack of confidence I know has been a serious problem in my ability to attract women or take friendships forward into romantic relationships.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never had much of a problem with mixing with people – men or women – and I can make friends without too much difficulty so I do not have the social anxieties of others with low self-esteem. It is not a case of getting out more; I never had that attention when I was far more outgoing and had a larger group of friends.

The problem is taking things that little further and about how I feel inside. Women have never wanted to be more than friends with me and that has give me serious anxieties about whether I am ever going to be in a relationship with anybody else. Am I going to spend my life in the “friendzone”? I have had only one relationship and that ended with my wife telling me that she had never been in love with me. Before her I had never been out on a date. Nobody has ever asked me out on a date and nobody I plucked up the courage to ask out was ever interested in me.

I’m no narcissist, I don’t want women falling at my feet – the prospect would actually horrify me. I just want to be able to look back and think “yes, that girl was crazy about me”. One, just one would be enough to give me something to build on right now.

This is why I see it as a vicious cycle. Without confidence I’m not going to be able to attract potential dates and without dates I’m not going to build my confidence.

* My ex-wife tells me I am kind, considerate, affectionate, loyal, intelligent and great company
* Miss X tells me I am smart, funny, ambitious and level headed
* Little Red told me on our first and so far only meeting that I am good company, funny and approachable

These things you’d think would be enough to boost my confidence but they are not. I still feel undatable and unable to take relationships with women beyond friendship. My ex-wife was never in love with me, Miss X cannot make up her mind what she wants and with Little Red… well, who knows at this stage?

And right now I don’t know how to break this circle. The self-help book has been a tremendous help for everything except this. I know I have to see myself as a good catch before anybody else will. Saying it is easy, believing it is the hard part.



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

5 thoughts on “Confidence – the vicious cycle

  1. I know this will sound foreign, but maybe try looking for a “relationship” stop looking for a friend first. I suggest this because; it will make you look at potentials for love affairs. I admit, I would be lost if I didn’t have a solid friendship with my guy; but when I met him he had just been dropped by his five year long girlfriend. His self-esteem was thrashed. I was looking for friends and going through divorce too. So, we agreed to meet and be a casual love affair. We were both used to long endearing relationships, but our hearts weren’t ready to move on from there. After, hours of non-committal fun we found a friendship that was, incredible. I moved 3000 miles away from him and we found out then that we didn’t want casual anymore. We had a bond. So, hey, look for fun, sassy and maybe you’ll find what you were looking for.

    1. I think you’re right. By saying I want “friends” and “nothing serious” I guess I am seriously limiting my availability – especially amongst women in the intended age group 30-40. I certainly do want to make friends and certainly do want to go on dates without the expectation of commitment but in the long run, and at my age, I need to really think about finding a life partner above everything else.

      The other reason I’ve been considering a non-serious relationship is because my mood is all over the place a lot of the time. I wouldn’t wish to impose that on somebody else; I do not want to rely on somebody I have just met as a crutch for my mental anguish over my long-term self-esteem problems, the breakdown of my marriage, feelings of personal inadequacy and a lack of confidence. I really wanted to be through most of that before I was ready to move on to another relationship.

      I guess I just have to be open to everything, take everything as it comes and see how I feel when I get there.

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