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>> No. 29855 Anonymous
19th July 2020
Sunday 10:16 pm
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I feel like I've lost a lot of empathy for people, generally, and I don't put very much effort into being liked or making friends.

The exception is my romantic and sexual life. When I like someone in that way, I invest a lot in making a good impression and being kind towards them. I've been with my current girlfriend a year and things are going really well.

The problem is I've lost that drive to keep being nice in many other contexts. There used to be a social buzz from telling a good joke and charming even platonic friends, like a bit of dopamine or something, but that's just not there anymore. And since I'm already attached, naturally being flirtatious or pursuing anyone is off-limits, but that seems to be the only way I can stir myself to care.

It's got to the point I've caught myself chatting on dating apps just to feel social, and while I haven't cheated on my girlfriend, I don't know what other way that route could possibly take me. They've now been uninstalled, and I've been trying to think about why I'd feel the need to while I'm already in a good relationship.

This all leaves me feeling quite a cold and isolated individual when my girlfriend isn't around. I don't really seek to impress in groups, I keep things as minimal and professional as possible at work, I barely speak to my roommate, and I'm not particularly interested in meeting anyone new.

I'm not sure what I'm getting at or if there's a solution to this, but I recognise I could probably make life more pleasant for others if I were a bit more open... Yet I don't know if it would really do much for me, in return, which doesn't seem balanced or rewarding.

Short version: I'm only socially motivated by sex, it seems, and now that I'm satisfied in that department I've become a very distant person.

Has anyone gone through something similar? Any general comments or advice?
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>> No. 29856 Anonymous
19th July 2020
Sunday 10:56 pm
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I suppose the question is do you need to be anymore social?

It seems like apart from a bit of curiosity where you did the right thing and stopped yourself, you aren't really hurting anyone by not talking to people apart from for that reason.

Are you happy living like that? Because it sounds like you are. It wouldn't be an unusual state of affairs if you were a farmer anywhere less than 30 years ago.
>> No. 29857 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 7:35 am
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You're turning into a grumpy old man. Welcome to the club.
>> No. 29858 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 8:51 am
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>Are you happy living like that? Because it sounds like you are.

I'm not going to lie, it makes work harder to deal with as there is that office-chumminess expectation.

I do want to be respected as much as anyone else, but I don't feel any pressing need to impress or develop attachments.

It's hard to explain. Perhaps it relates back to bad experiences within social circles of friends that makes me reluctant to bother. Or... Just feeling a lack of will to, really.

What do I really want from my social life? Like I said, I'm very happy with that girlfriend, and being candid, if we broke up I would be happy to go back to chasing girls generally. Yet it doesn't seem to be a balanced life.

Maybe I need to think about what really interests me, what sort of friends would I like to have ideally? Or is that overthinking something which should be natural?
>> No. 29859 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 11:11 am
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It sounds a bit like overthinking, the goal of a 'balanced life' is so nebulous. I get it, it affects me too, but I think I would have be a lot happier if I could sit and play a game for more than an hour or 2 without feeling guilty about it.

Not sure if it is just conditioning that makes me feel that way maybe it is for you too? Thinking about it my parents have gave me all kinds of neuroses from value judgements about perusing things I enjoy too much, like I was going to turn into some sort of incapable monster from liking video games. In retrospect my father was envious of my childhood and a bully.
>> No. 29860 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 11:45 am
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I don't feel a strong urge to make or have friends either, though I've always found it difficult. Some people are loners and that's fine.

Where it becomes a problem is if you've "lost empathy" though. I still care about the welfare of others, even if they are total strangers. You're not a psychopath towards people you aren't shagging are you?
>> No. 29861 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 12:57 pm
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This. I'm quite people averse, I make very little effort to talk to anyone at work that isn't in my department and with friends I have a habit of leaving them to initiate conversation/plans, but I still have empathy.
>> No. 29862 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 2:48 pm
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You lads might be onto something. To some degree I am becoming indifferent to the feelings of others. It's almost like my empathy muscle is worn out or something. That's what bothers me -- I feel a bit less human and like I have no place anywhere.

There used to be a time I made a real effort to be a good person. I used to go out of my way to make others feel comfortable and happy, even in the smallest interactions. Now I find I'm holding back the urge to tell people to fuck off, most of the time.

This is probably a multifactorial thing related to multiple sources of stress and a few big social fallouts over the past two years. I've noticed I'm a lot more friendly when I have certain basic needs taken care of.

Right now it's as though that pool of empathy has shrunk, and I'm saving what's left for one specific aspect of my life. Maybe this isn't wrong, per se, I just have some big needs to take care of for myself first.
>> No. 29863 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 5:45 pm
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I don't know what to tell you in terms of a solution to the problem, OP, but I wanted to post to say that I actually find myself in almost the exact same situation.

I've got about 4-5 people I'd call actual friends, and I rarely see them compared to what you'd probably call a normal social life. I think some of that is a normal part of adulthood, you can't spend every weekend out on the lash like you did as a younger lad, but even so. I spend a lot more time chatting to various birds I've met online or used to shag, than I do with any of my male friends.

Not sure what to really do about it.
>> No. 29864 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 6:18 pm
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I don't even really have the 4 or 5 people. The only people I spend time with socially are my girlfriend, and one or two girls who I dated but never became fully involved with. I message a few friends from back home almost every day, but as far as a real social life, there's owt.

I just don't enjoy socialising with mates like I used to. To be fair, my social life when I was younger wasn't the typical go out and get smashed, but tended to be focused around close one-on-one relationships, so maybe this is just a continuation of such.

Reflecting in this thread has still got me wondering: what do I actually want, socially? If I don't enjoy impressing crowds, and I don't like hanging out with mates so much... in what environment do I even want to fit in? What sort of social environment can I create for myself?
>> No. 29865 Anonymous
20th July 2020
Monday 9:43 pm
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Well I'm quite similar in that regard. When I was growing up, the village I lived in really only had one other lad in my age group who was interested in something other than just playing football and setting fire to things. So I only really had him for my early years.

Through secondary school I had a bit of a turbulent time, I'd get to know people and be mates with them but I was always more comfortable doing stuff one on one than at bigger events like parties and what have you. I more or less forced myself to do those things to avoid being a total outcast.

In early adulthood I had a reasonably respectable circle of friends, but over the last decade it's only dwindled further and further. Out of the 4-5 people I mentioned, I consider two of them my actual friends, who I'm comfortable inviting over or asking if I can come round to hang out at theirs, but I still only do so every month or two.

I think I was always shy but as an adult I've just sort of given up on it because it's too much hassle, and I don't want to feel like I'm bothering anyone. The longer it's gone on, the less I can be arsed- There's been plenty of times they've flaked out on plans and such and I've just stopped bothering trying to organise things any more.

I think like someone else said, it's just turning into a bit of a grumpy old git and is somewhat inevitable. I think you should probably make an effort to keep one or two close mates for the sake of your own sanity, but otherwise I really wouldn't worry about it.
>> No. 29871 Anonymous
26th July 2020
Sunday 8:06 am
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OP here. Girlfriend is away for another three weeks. I'm too much of a grumpy shite to get in touch with any old uni friends or colleagues, I didn't enjoy their company much. On the other hand, I don't particularly want to spend the next 21 days in isolation, either.

I've been going to the gym like crazy, being very productive (even working weekends etc.) and I even made the time to meet up with someone that helped me out during my last big move. This is a girl that I almost dated, but didn't. Nothing happened, nor did I want it to, but I'm not going to lie -- it was exhilarating to be around a girl I shared a bit of chemistry with. The only social interaction I've properly enjoyed since the girlfriend left.

I don't think it's healthy for me to only be social with people I want to fuck, but here we are. I've been thinking about joining tinder yet again but have not.

Should I just bite the bullet and make the effort to hang out with someone I don't have those feelings for, and see how it goes? I don't know if I'll enjoy it, exactly...
>> No. 29872 Anonymous
26th July 2020
Sunday 9:16 am
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>in what environment do I even want to fit in? What sort of social environment can I create for myself?

Get a hobby and join a club. You can be sufficiently sociable to avoid turning into a reclusive nutter without having to make any real effort. Golf, angling, snooker, model trains, whatever - they're all just ways for men to hang out with each other without any pressure to have a proper conversation. It's a bit tricky at the moment because of the plague, but clubs provide the kind of nodding-terms familiarity that keeps men sane.

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