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Joined: 10/30/2010
Msg: 1
Panic attacks.Page 1 of 2    (1, 2)
It's been over a year since the divorce. I'm not even going to pretend I'm recovered enough for dating much less a relationship with someone. But I've talked to a couple of ladies here, and would like to start going out and making friends again. I'm NOT (sorry for the typo)talking about getting laid, or FWBs...jsut making friends and having some adult to talk to. Lets face it, I spend most of my time talking to myself or my 6 year old daughter. She's smart, but it's still kid talk.

Thing is, jsut the thought of going out with a woman gives me a mild panic attack. I know I'm overthinking it, but....I'm concerned about this situation being fair to her. It's not fair of me to go out with a woman who, if we're being honest, is sizing me up as possible dating partner (Whether the goal is friendship or not, the date potential is always lurking in the background), and I'm still hurting/healing/thinking about my ex. It feels dishonest.

I'm not ready to get back on the relationship horse, as it were, and I'm determined that my issues not hurt anyone kind enough to spend time with me, but staying alone still stinks.

I dunno. Is it possible to actually say, "Let's just be platonic friends and go out without it being called dating"?

Sorry if this is kind of rambling, I'm trying to analyze it as I'm writing, so it's coming out sorta stream of conciousness.
 U make it entertaining
Joined: 7/17/2009
Msg: 2
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 7:34:34 PM
Why don't you go out to some social groups.
Take a class in something you like.
I'm sure there are lots of adults there that you can converse with, and then maybe go out for coffee afterwards.
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 3
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Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 7:42:14 PM
I know EXACTLY whereof you speak with the panic attacks. The first time I went out with a female NOT my wife, JUST FOR DINNER, I almost cancelled and hid in my basement. And I don't HAVE a basement.

But I DO have a bottle of Xanax! And I recommend you get some too. It's just psychological. You need to overcome a number of self-installed, very old prohibitions from your past, and a little chemical help will do the trick to let you be a bit more realistic.

If you let the panic keep you at home, you'll take YEARS to be "ready."
Joined: 7/4/2011
Msg: 4
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 7:53:04 PM
Observation - Things have definietly changed in the dating world since you first began to see your ex. To be honest, dating doesn't have the same dimensions, expectations, and boundaries compared to the 50's through the 90's. It's like a crap shoot these days. Feels like everything is in flux with no real firm base to work from for either person involved.

Suggestion - I agree with what was previously stated. Take it slooooooooow. Get involved with social groups, activities, hobbies, etc - something that jazzes you. Just get to know people at a regular pace. Then, when the first date does happen, you'll have more confidence, more focus, and the date shall go much smoother.
Joined: 10/30/2010
Msg: 5
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 7:53:17 PM
Yeah thats the funny thing, Igor. I've been shot at, (and hit...)and this make me more nervous that that did.

Most of all I don't want to somehow misrepresent myself and inadvertantly hurt someone. Theres enough broken hearts on here already.
Joined: 10/30/2010
Msg: 6
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 7:56:45 PM
Funny, it was a typo. I corrected it and thanks for catching it. I'm gonna go stand in the corner now and be mortified.
Joined: 6/17/2011
Msg: 7
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 7:59:47 PM
^^^ he said NOT a fwb

Op, check out and see if they offer anything in your area..take the pressure off of yourself about meeting one person where you are in the spotlight and do the group thing...if you meet someone there you like you can talk and go from there...if not you might make friends and if they are doing something interesting you could always invite someone you are interested in to go being part of a group (now one you have friends in) you will take alot of pressure off yourself.
Joined: 1/9/2008
Msg: 8
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Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 8:17:28 PM
Thank you for the idea to go on - -- I am not finding what I am looking for on POF. I agree with the terms are so confusing. Their has to be more of us who are just starting out over once again being wet behind the ears and not in the today times of dating lingo. I am with the Arthur of this Panic attacks. Peoples income, retired, vactions, and activities. I just am not on the same page. What happened to a old fashion relationship to be with one person if you enjoy thier company.
Joined: 12/7/2010
Msg: 9
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 8:19:14 PM
But I DO have a bottle of Xanax! And I recommend you get some too.

I have taken these before too (for social anxiety during my 30's) and they work great. Do not drink alcohol, though, along with them...
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 10
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 8:27:11 PM

Most of all I don't want to somehow misrepresent myself and inadvertantly hurt someone. Theres enough broken hearts on here already.
I got out of a relationship recently and feel very similar. Plus, I don't want ANY kind of expectations on me, I have nothing to give right now. So for me, I'm not even meeting as friends. I don't personally see the point since it's usually a euphemism for at least one of the participants..

But you have expressed a desire to get out there again, so you should go for it! You have stated just friends and have presumably been upfront about that.

Don't imagine worst case scenarios, because even if a woman develops feelings, she won't crumble and die. And you would recognize the signs and likely back out or do something about it if that started to occur anyway, right? It's all about boundaries.

It's a risk.. because you too could be hurt (maybe the true underlying fear?), but you're obviously getting tired of staying at home chatting up your six year old, so maybe it's time you took it. Panic attack or not :)
Joined: 3/29/2010
Msg: 11
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 8:35:56 PM

I dunno. Is it possible to actually say, "Let's just be platonic friends and go out without it being called dating"?

OP - no worries man, there are plenty of women around who are glad to say those things for you.

no need to live under the anvil like that...

for now, go out and find a woman or women to sleep with you.

you are starting over, so get yourself in order...lose some weight...spend time with your daughter..

learn about dating

go bed a few women till one stands out...
Joined: 8/28/2011
Msg: 12
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 8:37:56 PM
No, there's nothing wrong with wanting to be just platonic friends for now. You've even put that on your profile, by choosing "Dating" rather than "Long term", for example. After a tough breakup, we have to start somewhere, don't we?!

And if you communicate with a woman from here and she doesn't pick up on that little detail on your profile, then be sure to make mention of it. There may be many women that aren't interested in what you're looking for ("strictly platonic"), but there will be others who are. I think it's just a matter of being honest right up front. Then there will be no broken hearts on either side.
Joined: 8/21/2011
Msg: 13
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 9:01:19 PM
I say, don't date this way. You can do many things to enjoy womens' company without it being a date or just friends. Join groups, bowling, lots of things.
Until you can learn to be alone, you should not be ready to date. Saying only as friends is not the answer. It would only be friends until you felt comfortable enough and over things.
I dont' date anyone that hasnt' been divorced over 2 years, as friends or otherwise.
They have too many issues to resolve.
Joined: 8/5/2008
Msg: 14
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 9:04:01 PM me a mild panic attack.

Know exactly how you feel, been there done that.

Is it possible to actually say, "Let's just be platonic friends and go out without it being called dating"?

Yes. Just be honest and repeat: "This isn't a date right? Just a ________ (movie/museum/etc.) Right...?" At least that clears up any "expectations" that either of you can have. If you have fun doing it, then don't hesitate to see each other again. You never know, you may meet someone special.

But I DO have a bottle of Xanax!

I hope you think twice about that, if you can go drug-free then so much better.

for now, go out and find a woman or women to sleep with you.

I think the Xanax would be a better idea.

Just be honest with these women, and go out and have some fun. And keep us posted. Good luck!
Joined: 10/30/2010
Msg: 15
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 9:14:34 PM
"for now, go out and find a woman or women to sleep with you.

go bed a few women till one stands out..."

Um, no. Not at all my style. Maybe when I was in my 20s...
Joined: 7/9/2011
Msg: 16
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/6/2011 11:32:23 PM
Bladesmith, there is nothing wrong with wanting to be friends. I have talked to some women on here that are the same way so you can find friendships here. I hope you can find them near you. is a great site. You find groups near you and it's a group thing so no pressure. I do taco Tuesdays, Tai Chi, and sometimes a hiking one. Once you are out doing activities you'll loosen up and be ready when you think it's time to date.

I do recommend you change your profile. Condense it into looking for a friend/activity partner for now as you transcend back into the dating world and change it to friends from dating. Then list some activities, foods, hobbies...

Where it says first date maybe say mini golf or something silly to do to break the ice.

You are a nice looking man and have some integrity by what I'm seeing so far. Thank you for that. Not many left that aren't thinking all guys should sleep around to chose.
Joined: 5/25/2011
Msg: 17
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 12:44:15 AM

You are a nice looking man and have some integrity by what I'm seeing so far. Thank you for that. Not many left that aren't thinking all guys should sleep around to chose.

Ditto to what Rain587 said.
Op, a lot of women in similar positions to yourself,ie: not long out of a relationship or perhaps recently divorced would LOVE to meet a guy like you where there's no expectations whatsoever other than enjoying some adult company and getting to know someone.
You sound a decent guy and i hope you meet someone lovely
Joined: 5/19/2009
Msg: 18
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 10:20:17 AM
Why don't you change your profile to say "friends" instead of "dating" and take it from there.
You may have to do some explaining to your contacts if they ask you why you are looking for friends in a dating site, but at least you will not be creating untimely expectations.
If all you need is an adult person to have a conversation for now, you don't even need to go on a date. Get on Skype and talk your heads off...

Good luck.
Joined: 7/23/2011
Msg: 19
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 12:16:05 PM
Just be frank and crystal clear to a woman you talk to, make you point and leave it to her decision. Most importantly, don't lead her on, don't give a false hope. So if she does, she does and if she doesn't just respect her decision.

Things will not be complex as long as you are being honest and straight forward.
Joined: 10/17/2006
Msg: 20
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 12:28:15 PM
Poor wittle YOU has panic attacks LOL ain't that a beyotch...I suggest you "man up" and take the bull by the horns. If you opt to self medicate yourself, DON'T...can ya say shrinkage?

Oh wait, never mind.. pill up all you want.. you just want to be "friends." LOL
Joined: 6/13/2011
Msg: 21
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Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 2:12:19 PM
Ease into it. Look for single parenting groups, they usually have activities where you and your daughter can meet other single parent families. It's a group thing, the kids play, you just talk to other single parents. If it gets awkward, you can suddenly declare it "bedtime for your daughter" or some other excuse. I know when I was in Parents Without Partners when my daughters were young, like yours, they had all these discussion groups, newcomers mixers, dances, etc. Something for everyone's tastes. Then you met people, became friends, and there was no real pressure to date anyone. There were lots of opportunities to just hang out and talk and make new friends.

Get involved in things like the PTA, where you will meet people, and get used to hanging out with women who are not your wife. Become a "soccer mom" if your daughter is athletic at all. Once you start navigating these waters, you will find we are not ALL sharks...

Good luck!
Joined: 8/15/2011
Msg: 22
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 2:27:22 PM
I suppose you could read up on some books about social anxiety and see if there is a local support group in your area. Also, as mentioned above, some consistent activity where you must deal with new people all the time, including women, might help you.

Exercising regularly and eating well will help you as well. Healthy body is the first step to a healthy mind.

Last thing, I would simply avoid mentioning the issue to women in general who are not linked to said support group, if you ever join one. As a man, IMHO, any weakness exposed to the public will probably be held against you. Maybe not to your face and maybe not so much in their words, but eventually it will.

I can't speak for anyone else's opinion but mine, but when it comes to public weakness, I don't expect nor consider even the possibility that most women, in a dating context, would see whatever limitations I had as anything other than a good reason to dismiss me as a dating candidate. What do they say about chickens? When one is bleeding, the rest attack and slaughter the one that is bleeding.

I'm genuinely sad that I live in a world and culture where most adult men cannot show emotional weakness ( it is, after all, human) without social repercussions unless they are protected by that magic shield called really good looks and lots of money. If you are hot to most women and have loads of money, then if you cry and have a panic attack, then you are just " a sensitive person with a heart of gold" And if you have a panic attack and you are poor and ugly? Well, then most women will probably treat you like a loser and want you to go away as fast as possible in a dating context.

Find support, but IMHO, keep it very discrete.
Joined: 1/7/2008
Msg: 23
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Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 2:51:02 PM
Aha, the intrepid Friends Without Benefits relationship. Would this be an exclusive FWOB relationship or would the parties have other platonic friendships on the side? And would you disclose those other friendships without benefits? Are these relationships, er...friendships, intended to be perpetual or just stop-gap measures until you can find someone who wants the real thing? What happens when you find the real thing? Would you tell your FWOBs you have a profile on a dating site(s)? What would their neighbors think? What would you tell your daughter? And would the non-dates be dutch non dates or are you footing the bill?
Joined: 8/16/2011
Msg: 24
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 2:55:43 PM
I'm not ready to get back on the relationship horse, as it were, and I'm determined that my issues not hurt anyone kind enough to spend time with me, but staying alone still stinks.

Yes, it does but in solitude there is growth. And you have to do the work or you're just going to continue making the same mistakes. Do you have any adult family members or male friends to spend time with? I think you can find friends on here but maybe your focus should be internal for a while. I reread the OP and I don't think he suffers from social anxiety I think he's healing from a divorce and is rightfully scared yet doesn't like being alone but it's something he must do.
Joined: 7/15/2011
Msg: 25
Panic attacks.
Posted: 9/7/2011 3:26:53 PM
Look OP, this is dating, not life and death. Being creative means you live more within yourself, someone like me who sells, is an extrovert, so the transition is easier.

First off, try some things IRL, about groups your interested in. Or POF meet up events. Go there, have ONE c0cktail so you can relax, and just mingle.

Next make sure you're clear, you want "dating-light", that means you want to have fun, whatever you both agree is fun, you're not looking for a relationship at this time. Nothing can be "lurking" if your clear about what you want at this time.

If after a few dates, you still feel this level of "panic", perhaps you need a longer break, until you feel more secure in yourself to date.

As for "platonic", you must admit, that's a lot to ask of somebody on a dating site? Be mindful of the profiles you choose, if they say "divorced 5 years looking for a LTR", that's probably the wrong person for you, no matter how much they attract you.

Still even given that, there should be plenty to choose from.

Good luck.
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