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Feeling like a failure

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SilentlyLoud

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
50
Location
Israel
I'm almost 30 and I have nothing to show for it. I did manage to get my dream job, but only barely and it only happened at 26, and honestly I feel like I lucked out. Either way, it doesn't feel like a great achievememt, people who are in their early 20s are a few years into their careers.

I've only ever had one girlfriend, and zero sexual experience (I'm in a sexless relationship because my girlfriend wanted to wait until marriage). I met her at 27, after years and years of struggling with dating due to my shyness, social anxiety and introverted, almost reclusive nature. To be honest I also feel like I'm not too attractive either. And now my only ever relationship is failing. I'm really scared of starting all over with the whole dating thing. I'm afraid of possibly spending my entire 30s alone as well.

I've been feeling stressed out all the time. Every time I think about my failing relationship and how I may have to start all over I feel like a mountain of stress is being dropped on me. Every time I think about possibly never seeing my girlfriend again it feels like someone very dear to me has died or is dying. At times it's been feeling like a nightmare.

I feel like a huge failure. Now it seems like I failed at making my only ever relationship succeed. Add to that the fact that I didn't manage to have sexual experiences throughout my entire 20s, and that seems like the definition of a failure. I feel worthless, and like things are not going to get better, but only worse.
 
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Bod

Former member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
7,860
Location
Pretty Good
Hi, please don't think your self as a failure and I'd also say you are not worthless, you are still young and will have plenty of time to have a good loving relationship so try and build some confidence in your self like try running to get fresh air in your lungs and feel the goodness in your self. Then maybe start to go out to night clubs to help you in your confidence and you will meet someone.
 
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hairybanana

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2021
Messages
5,344
Location
Australia
I'm almost 30 and I have nothing to show for it. I did manage to get my dream job, but only barely and it only happened at 26, and honestly I feel like I lucked out. Either way, it doesn't feel like a great achievememt, people who are in their early 20s are a few years into their careers.

I've only ever had one girlfriend, and zero sexual experience (I'm in a sexless relationship because my girlfriend wanted to wait until marriage). I met her at 27, after years and years of struggling with dating due to my shyness, social anxiety and introverted, almost reclusive nature. To be honest I also feel like I'm not too attractive either. And now my only ever relationship is failing. I'm really scared of starting all over with the whole dating thing. I'm afraid of possibly spending my entire 30s alone as well.

I've been feeling stressed out all the time. Every time I think about my failing relationship and how I may have to start all over I feel like a mountain of stress is being dropped on me. Every time I think about possibly never seeing my girlfriend again it feels like someone very dear to me has died or is dying. At times it's been feeling like a nightmare.

I feel like a huge failure. Now it seems like I failed at making my only ever relationship succeed. Add to that the fact that I didn't manage to have sexual experiences throughout my entire 20s, and that seems like the definition of a failure. I feel worthless, and like things are not going to get better, but only worse.

Most people don’t end up working in their dream job. Most people work to live and that’s it. I often feel like a failure as well being 31 and having little to show for it. Especially when I’m with my mates who are buying up houses and are well into their careers. But at the same time, it’s not fair to compare ourselves with others. And you know what’s funny is my mates have said they’re jealous of me, because I have what they want, a child. Grass is always greener I guess.

In reading your post, the anxiety you’re feeling is coming through quite strongly. Do you see a therapist? Might be worth looking into to work through some of those feelings.

As for the failure feelings, I mean bro, you’ve got it all backwards. Sometimes relationships need to end. It’s not a failing, it’s a normal part of life. And when a relationship becomes so taxing on your mental health, perhaps it’s not a “failing” to leave the relationship. Perhaps putting your mental health first is what’s important, perhaps not taking care of ourselves is the failing
 
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Shelby1

Former member
I'm almost 30 and I have nothing to show for it. I did manage to get my dream job, but only barely and it only happened at 26, and honestly I feel like I lucked out. Either way, it doesn't feel like a great achievememt, people who are in their early 20s are a few years into their careers.

I've only ever had one girlfriend, and zero sexual experience (I'm in a sexless relationship because my girlfriend wanted to wait until marriage). I met her at 27, after years and years of struggling with dating due to my shyness, social anxiety and introverted, almost reclusive nature. To be honest I also feel like I'm not too attractive either. And now my only ever relationship is failing. I'm really scared of starting all over with the whole dating thing. I'm afraid of possibly spending my entire 30s alone as well.

I've been feeling stressed out all the time. Every time I think about my failing relationship and how I may have to start all over I feel like a mountain of stress is being dropped on me. Every time I think about possibly never seeing my girlfriend again it feels like someone very dear to me has died or is dying. At times it's been feeling like a nightmare.

I feel like a huge failure. Now it seems like I failed at making my only ever relationship succeed. Add to that the fact that I didn't manage to have sexual experiences throughout my entire 20s, and that seems like the definition of a failure. I feel worthless, and like things are not going to get better, but only worse.
Do you think there are some things you can improve about yourself to make it work in your relationship? Listening? Helping out more? Apologizing? Not always having to be right?

Of course I don't know your situation, and maybe it's not you, but her. But usually when I feel like this I reflect on things that I do, that stress the other person out. Like instead of constantly complaing to my bf about household chores, I've recently learned to just do it myself. While that seems unfair, it saves the relationship, and gives me a distraction. I don't stress anymore because I know that I did what needs to be done, instead of complaining to him. Like I said I don't know your situation, but there are ways to fix things. Sometimes it requires a bit more work on your part, but she could also be stressed out too and need help.
 
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SilentlyLoud

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
50
Location
Israel
Do you think there are some things you can improve about yourself to make it work in your relationship? Listening? Helping out more? Apologizing? Not always having to be right?

Of course I don't know your situation, and maybe it's not you, but her. But usually when I feel like this I reflect on things that I do, that stress the other person out. Like instead of constantly complaing to my bf about household chores, I've recently learned to just do it myself. While that seems unfair, it saves the relationship, and gives me a distraction. I don't stress anymore because I know that I did what needs to be done, instead of complaining to him. Like I said I don't know your situation, but there are ways to fix things. Sometimes it requires a bit more work on your part, but she could also be stressed out too and need help.
Of course I think everyone can always improve themselves, but that's not why my relationship is failing. I already listen, apologize when necessary, support my girlfriend... etc. The problem is not me, and in fact it's not my girlfriend either. It's her mother. In one of my other posts I described how she is an issue in more detail. But in a nutshell, she is a very controlling person and allows herself to interfere in the relationship, and my girlfriend has been unable to put up boundaries for her. Lately she interfered too much and is basically preventing us from getting engaged and progressing in the relationship (she could do this because she has control over my girlfriend). As a result I feel like she has damaged the relationship possibly beyond repair.

I really don't see how this could be fixed. Recently my girlfriend told me she is willing to defy her mother and marry me despite her disapproval. In which case her mother would possibly cut contact with her, or make her choose between me and her (she is that kind of person). I don't fully trust that my girlfriend will be able to follow through this because she has never been able to put up boundaries before, but even if she does, is this really the solution? She is very attached to her mother, and despite her mother being toxic, I'm not sure how I would feel knowing that I was part of the reason that ruined my girlfriend's relationship with her. Plus I'm not sure my girlfriend would be able to handle this. I'm really worried at one point she would start blaming me for it and would want to end the relationship then herself. On the other hand, if she is willing to do this to save the relationship, then I guess it would be her choice and of course I'd love and respect her more for it. It's a complicated situation.
 
S

SilentlyLoud

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
50
Location
Israel
Hi, please don't think your self as a failure and I'd also say you are not worthless, you are still young and will have plenty of time to have a good loving relationship so try and build some confidence in your self like try running to get fresh air in your lungs and feel the goodness in your self. Then maybe start to go out to night clubs to help you in your confidence and you will meet someone.
Thank you Bod.

In my early 20s I used to go out a lot with friends. Sadly, it has never helped me meet people and potential partners. I'm moving to another city soon due to work and I have no friends there, so I'm not sure how I could go out if there are no people to go out with. And if going out hasn't helped me with dating before, how would it help now?
 
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SilentlyLoud

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
50
Location
Israel
Most people don’t end up working in their dream job. Most people work to live and that’s it. I often feel like a failure as well being 31 and having little to show for it. Especially when I’m with my mates who are buying up houses and are well into their careers. But at the same time, it’s not fair to compare ourselves with others. And you know what’s funny is my mates have said they’re jealous of me, because I have what they want, a child. Grass is always greener I guess.

In reading your post, the anxiety you’re feeling is coming through quite strongly. Do you see a therapist? Might be worth looking into to work through some of those feelings.

As for the failure feelings, I mean bro, you’ve got it all backwards. Sometimes relationships need to end. It’s not a failing, it’s a normal part of life. And when a relationship becomes so taxing on your mental health, perhaps it’s not a “failing” to leave the relationship. Perhaps putting your mental health first is what’s important, perhaps not taking care of ourselves is the failing
I do see a therapist already, but we haven't talked about my anxiety much. Recently I've been very preoccupied with the issues in my relationship and feeling like a failure, so this is what we mainly focus on. Next time I will mention working on the anxiety.

Regarding failure, what you're saying makes lots of sense. Though it's not only the failure of my relationship making me feel this way, it's also my failure when it comes to dating in general. I failed miserably at this throughout my entire 20s until I met my girlfriend. My only ever relationship getting to this point sort of "reawakened" those feelings of failure I used to feel years ago.
 
B

Bod

Former member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
7,860
Location
Pretty Good
By going out and trying to meet other people it can help and build our confidence up and we can start to feel it too so you just carry on and take it day by day. You will meet someone in time.
 
Talula67

Talula67

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
4,045
Location
United Kingdom
Bless you @SilentlyLoud I can also feel your anxiety / frustration coming through your post.

Labelling yourself as a failure is harsh. We tend to compare ourselves to an ideal but life isn't like that at all.

Perhaps focus on what you do have may help?

I don't want to sound patronising but can I ask you -

What would have to happen for you to feel fulfilled?

What would make you feel successful if I could wave a wand and make that happen?

What would your ideal life look like?
 
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SilentlyLoud

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
50
Location
Israel
Thank you @Talula67.

Regarding your questions:

What would have to happen for you to feel fulfilled?

Either of the following:
  1. Be married.
  2. Be successful with dating
Since #2 is not the case, I prefer #1 because I'm sick of being alone and single and really don't want to go back there. Although I must say even if I was successful with dating, I'd still choose to settle with one person and be married. Being married to someone I really love is something I've always wanted. I was hoping this would be with my girlfriend but looks like it may not be the case.

What would make you feel successful if I could wave a wand and make that happen?

Not being so bad at dating. Having had at least some sexual experience. Instead, due to all kinds of difficulties, my entire 20s are gone without any sexual experience (and I don't know when or if it's ever going to happen), and very limited romantic experience.

What would your ideal life look like?
  • Having went to college right after high school and started my career at 21-22. But instead I wasn't able to go until 22 and started my career only at 26.
  • Having had a normal sex life. Instead, due to ineptitude (or whatever prevented me) I'm still inexperienced sexually at nearly 30 (although to be honest the last 2 years have been by choice since my girlfriend wanted to wait until marriage).
  • Being married by this point, after having had a fulfilling sex and romantic life in my 20s.
None of the above happened, and just thinking about it is depressing me. When I met my girlfriend, I thought I had a chance to make at least part of that happen, but her mother just had to destroy it all (I hate that woman). Now I feel like I'm losing the only ever chance I had at finally having at least a bit of what resembles a normal life.

Another thing is that while my relationship is falling apart and I'm feeling like a failure, my younger brother is getting married. I will be honest, I can't help feeling jealous, and while I'm happy for him, at the same time it's making me feel worse because it's a constant reminder of what I'm going through.
 
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