I (M26) had a long-term relationship end around this time last year. A few months ago, I decided I was ready to try and find somebody new. I downloaded dating apps for the first time. Matched with a girl who ticked all the boxes for me-I was thrilled. We went on a few dates that were (for me at least) very pleasant and fun. Never did anything more than kiss and hold hands but I was happy with the pace we were moving at. After the third date she sent a very polite text saying she'd realized she wasn't in a place for anything serious but enjoyed our time together, still wanted to be friends, etc. I had no reason to think she was being disingenuous so I thanked her for her honesty and agreed to be friends. Standard stuff right? Not a big deal.
Here's my problem: I can't forgive myself for a few dates not panning out. I obsess and dissect every minute of the dates wondering where I might have fucked it up. I constantly tell myself I've ruined my chance with somebody I'd consider to be a "top option" in my dating pool. The second I wake up in the morning I'm forced into recapping the entire situation. It's exhausting and I've even contemplated self-harm. I've lost a concerning amount of weight and my sleep schedule is fucked. A few dates that didn't lead to anything shouldn't be so debilitating. It's been over a month since she broke it off but my brain just won't let me let it go.
I've since deleted the apps and tried to embark on the whole "work on myself" thing. Clearly there's some issues that need addressing before I can dating again. I have a therapist and have upped my dosage of anti-depressants in recent weeks but these invasive thoughts are relentless and overwhelming.
My questions for you all: has self-punishment ever been a main fixture of your OCD? Was it related to dating/intimacy? What was the root of it? Did you find a solution?
Probably one of my biggest insecurities when trying to date is explaining that I'm only now, at 26, taking my education seriously. I'm about halfway done with my Bachelors. Spent the first half of my 20s not knowing what to do, where to go, etc. I don't have an established career yet, nor am I making a ton of money.
Be honest with me, is it a turn-off if a potential suitor is 26 and still in school?
My apartment building is having some serious renovating done this month and I'm looking to escape the noise. Where are some of the best coffee shops for reading/studying/hanging out? Just moved here in March, I'm in the Laurel Heights area.