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I have not gone on a date for 5 years and I'm not looking forward to

12 August 2016, 19:23

Nairobi - It’s not easy writing a piece about dating, but it’s much harder writing something about not dating. 

Especially when you’re someone who hasn’t dated in the last, say 5 years or so. Mostly not dating has been a personal choice – one that has a lot to do with my levels of insecurity and social anxiety disorder.

You can’t date when the head space you’re in is a constant battleground combating for the right to approve of and like yourself. Nor can you go out and meet people when being in any social situation means you’re constantly second-guessing yourself in the company of people. 

And if you’re in a place where you’re struggling with anxiety, confidence and any other wall-building blockers that prevent you from viewing yourself as dateable, well, putting yourself out there seems like a bit of a death knell.  At least, that’s always been the case for me. 

To me, dating, or being in a relationship means it’s double the amount of worry you have to do. 

Worry over whether or not you’re making your partner happy and anxiety over whether he thinks you’re worth dating. Yes, realistically I know he wouldn’t be dating me if he didn’t want to be with me, but tell that to my anxiety.  


I hypothesise on behalf of my non-existent partner’s thoughts, decide that I’m not worth the effort and give up before I even dare to dive into the dating pool.      
On top of that, I’m not a skinny girl, and because of this, I’ve gotten it into my head that I don’t deserve to be happy or go on dates.  

Has society conditioned me so well that I’ve come to believe that I can’t date because I’m not the physical ideal? And why is it that I tell myself that having mental health problems automatically rules me out as someone’s potential love interest?

You could tell me that making a lifestyle change would be all that it took to be a little more dateable, but the truth is, that it’s just not that simple, and deciding to lose weight shouldn’t be used as a measurement for how dateable or not you are.   

And putting yourself out there isn’t easy – no matter how much help you may be getting.  

I know people, who after years of struggling to achieve their ideal (whether it be losing or gaining weight, quitting an addictive habit, etc), still struggle with their internal monologues. And I relate to this so well, because for me, it’s so much easier to fix things on the outside than it is to do so on the inside.

It makes me feel so very conflicted.

On one hand, I’ve made peace with the fact that I’ll never go out on a limb and dare to express an interest in a guy, but on the other hand, I can’t help but wonder, just maybe I’m missing out on something worth exploring?

On top of that, I’m not a skinny girl, and because of this, I’ve gotten it into my head that I don’t deserve to be happy or go on dates.

But how do I switch off the part of my brain that keeps telling me that I’m just no good for anyone? 

There’s a wealth of sites that explore relationship and dating tips, but I’ve yet to find one that tells me stop sabotaging myself in the quest to date, have fun, and just maybe, end up in a happy and healthy relationship.

Because that’s the crux of the matter, isn’t it? If you can’t be in a healthy and happy relationship with yourself, then how could you possibly expect to be happy when you’re with someone else?

This endless loop is exhausting. But maybe you can help me figure it out? 

What are some of your tips on how to get back into the dating scene without everything being overwhelming?

I’d love to hear from you.

- News24


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