As a woman who has never been "chosen" romantically/received male attention - is it unhealthy that I indulge in romantic fantasies? (LONG post)

2021.12.08 19:55 thecherryflower As a woman who has never been "chosen" romantically/received male attention - is it unhealthy that I indulge in romantic fantasies? (LONG post)

And along with do you cultivate self-love (and not just doing nice things for yourself I mean nurturing your self-esteem)? How do you choose yourself when no one is choosing you? Would love to read your answers and your own personal experiences.
What tips/advice would you be able to provide to help me cope? At the moment I can't afford therapy but I would like to get it at some stage.
I am chronically single and that's why I'm asking this question (I am someone who has never had any experience romantically).
There are days when I feel down and I'm wondering how you all cope. Not only am I experiencing sadness and grief, but, anger and frustration as well. To be honest, one way (and I will get into this later if you continue to read) is by indulging in romantic fantasies. To highlight these feelings (of rejection) I'll give you a little more background about me, I've also included some personal anecdotes. Apologies for the length (you may skip the stories if you like).
I struggle with rejection (romantically) because it's all I've experienced. I'm 28 and have never been in a relationship/had men notice me/pursue me. I know that male attention is not valuable or important. It's still really hard especially when you're someone like me who has never even been looked at. I would imagine that most of you have been in relationships for X amount of years regardless of how things ended. Someone still wanted to be with you in the first place. You were "picked". You were "chosen". I know, you are all probably rolling your eyes thinking that I'm just a "pick-me". I'm telling you though, you really have no idea what it's like to be chronically single and in a place of longing. You can't possibly fathom that pain. I resent that my friends (who have been in their fair share of relationships) constantly tell me that I'm lucky that I was never approached because men just use you and men are assholes. They always tell me that I have been spared. Again, they have no idea where I'm coming from. Someone still wanted them in the first place. I understand that relationships (objectively) complicate a woman's life no matter what because you are factoring in another human being into the equation - and lots of difficulties do come with that. But still, it hurts. Even if these women were broken up with - someone still wanted to be with them. Someone still chose them initially. This is the point I'm trying to make. But I am afraid this kind of thinking will get me in trouble one day. My friend from childhood is afraid (and always had a feeling) that if I don't stop thinking like this I will get myself involved in a really toxic/abusive relationship. I've never been asked to a dance. I've never had a Valentine either (probably won't have one in 2022 either and I'm okay with that. I will spend it with my family as usual).
There have always been guys I've been interested in - but they were complete assholes. They bullied me. And yet I would feel really envious/upset that they chose other girls and not me. I would feel jealous of their ex-girlfriends/girlfriends. I know it's terrible. In high school, all the boys made fun of me and my crush stopped talking to me (and dated some other girl). Another guy and his group of male friends bullied me severely and made rude remarks, and spread rumors about me in medical school). There was another guy I crushed on for 4 years - I maintained a "friendship" with him - but he was aware that I crushing on him the whole time. I hung around him and he even asked me to lunch a couple times, put his arms around my waist but he would always pursue other girls. It got to the point where I could no longer be in the friendship because it was hard to be around him/talk to him on the phone. I was in agony. So I ended up confessing to him my feelings and I was rejected. I asked him for space and he never talked to me again. He also stopped talking to and ignored all my friends.
Then earlier this year - and I think this is why I'm struggling with anger - I was introduced to a guy (for a courtship with the end goal as marriage, we met through family friends) and we hit it off when we met. Although I will say that my dad was not happy about it. My dad felt something was not right. He didn't like the guy when my family met him and kept making faces while he was over at our house. (he thinks the family is more cheap instead of extremely frugal). So this guy wanted my number (it was the first time this happened). He initiated the texts (and I was in awe this was happening because no guy ever had wanted to get to know me before). Things were fine but then he started telling me things like he's robotic and has absolutely no friends (he's in his early 30s) - but only close to his parents and cousin (who is like his older sister). He began grilling me right away about how many kids I wanted, what my ideal family situation looked like, and he wanted to identify areas of conflict in a relationship. I went along with it because I didn't know any better. He asked me if I wanted nannies for children and if the kids should have medications/psychiatrists. I mentioned that having nannies would be great because I grew up with one (she looked after me and my siblings well). He said he would want his parents to watch the kids (as they have done for his cousin's children). I mentioned that I'd want to work part-time. He asked, "What about all that school and exams?" I explained that my mom worked part-time so she could work around our schedules (me and my siblings, growing up). He said fine but did mention that its important for both partners to work. He said he would work from home because he does not subscribe to traditional gender roles.
He enjoyed outdoor activities like hiking and biking (esp. mountain biking) and going to remote locations in other parts of the world to hike there and meet the local population (and I thought this was cool and something I would have loved to have done with him) - but he also kept going on about barebones vacations (which I've never done) and kept emphasizing bargain hunting (he told me I could buy a table for $1000 instead of $20,000 - but I never named any prices - I just told him how lovely it would be to spend some money on decorative items for our home. I've always envisioned a beautiful house once I'm married. There's nothing wrong with wanting nice things, right? I even told him what if wanted to buy a lovely dress (I would need a nice wardrobe for work anyway) to get dolled up for myself and for him too (I think there's nothing wrong with wanting to look nice for your spouse also). But when I said that, he said he has experience with people who do things for appearances sake and he wholeheartedly disagrees with this way of life.
I mentioned that going out to eat once a week (and treating myself off and on with a nice gift, etc.) is something I've always done. That just because I grew up comfortable does not mean that I'm an impulsive buyespender. I lived on my own for a few years (while in medical school) and know how to mind and budget money. That family instilled a great respect for money in me. Treating myself is something that I am used to and that I have a right to do. But he said that if he is contributing to the children's college fund while I'm going out to restaurants once a week, there is an imbalance. This was bizarre because I don't think going out for a nice meal once a week would affect the hypothetical children's college fund? He framed it as if it were an "either-or" situation. But I pointed out that it doesn't have to be. Why not do both? I did mentioned that going out and treating yourself is healthy. It's something else we could do to spend time together and connect along with hiking/biking/anything else he wanted to do. I did also mentioned that I go out with my parents often and am pampered by them - I didn't mean "pampered" in a waiting on me hand and foot kind of way, but spending quality with him, saying and doing thoughtful/loving things. Things were fine up until then and he said he would get back to me (we were texting back and forth everyday) but then I didn't hear from him for 4-5 days which made me upset. When he came back, he reiterated all the points in the previous paragraph and said he was concerned about my expectations of being pampered by a future partner. (I had even made my wants smaller and suggested going out twice a month if that would work. He wasn't receptive to that.)
So when I replied, I reiterated all my points adding to the fact that this money thing seemed like something was unwilling to compromise on, like it was a non-negotiable. I asked him to help me understand him and to give me the same grace, that could find an option that worked for us both. I told him that I really liked him and how willing/open I was to make this work (I really was trying).
He did mentioned that while he was growing up, his family was hand to mouth and he never wanted to be hungry for money ever again. But he ended up doing well for himself. He makes 200K+ per year and owns 3 homes (he works at the intersection of IT/finances). I didn't understand why me wanting to spend my money was a big deal - I even suggested a "mine, yours, and ours" financial arrangement. It's perfectly normal to want to treat yourself or go for a hard-earned vacation, etc. right? I mentioned that he appeared to have an unhealthy relationship with money, which I found unsettling. I also pointed out that he didn't tell me what happened in his last relationship (ended over a year ago and lasted 2 years). He briefly glossed over it and didn't tell me what happened. So I said we could always talk about it later if/when he felt comfortable talking about it. I even gave him a way out and asked if getting to know each other was what he really wanted?
He replied immediately and said he believed my concerns should not be minimized and promised no more excuses and said it was clear that I deserved attention, respect, and respect with the level of communication. He said he felt very lucky to have met me. That I'm genuine and amazing. Possess strength of character, integrity to stand up for my beliefs, and the ability to be myself (which is what he was looking for in a partner). He said that he did not wish to cloud my unsettled feelings with sweet nothings. He said he really does enjoy talking with me and hoped I felt the same about him.
I told him I did. That I did feel the same way. And I really meant every word. So I just reiterated my previous points about the concerns I had (about his views about money and the previous relationship) and said I was eager to keep getting to know him. I also asked him what made him want to pursue marriage/a relationship at this point in time. I asked him to be upfront/honest with me about everything (as I have been with him) rather than me thinking he's hiding something. I said I really wanted to keep getting to know him.
I didn't hear from him again for 3 days.
Then when he came back, he ended it with me and I was left feeling devastated. Like something was dangled and then taken away from me. I was so fond of him. Very fond of him. There was so much more I wanted to know about him and now I will never get the chance to. I found out later (a few months later) that his mom was basically shopping him around and looking for other prospects for him which made me upset and feel bad. My parents keep telling me I didn't miss out on much and I shouldn't need trouble convincing myself. It sucks though. I knew we were basically incompatible (with our lifestyles), but, I wasn't asking for much at all. I wanted to demonstrate to him that I absolutely could be a loving, respectful, communicative, and gracefully-allowing partner. It really hurt. Around the time when he broke it off with me, his dad was diagnosed with cancer. (He was taking good care of his dad those few months he had left). Then his dad passed away 3 months ago. I felt sad to hear that.
A couple weeks ago, my parents went over to his house to pay their respects (his mom, older brother, and older brother's fiancee were there also). He and his older brother do not get along at all. My parents noticed that. His older brother owns a home in another city and goes out to eat at nice places and travels a lot.
So apparently (the guy I was talking to) he saw my parents and didn't even want to talk to them. He ended up leaving the house. I felt so bad when I heard that. When my mom came home she said, "Yeah...he cut you off cold turkey. I don't think he was as nice as he presented himself to be."
Still, I felt bad when I heard that.
But she told me to work as hard as I can on my exams, get residency, live my amazing life and shine bright. He didn't deserve me, she says.
Now there's obviously nothing wrong with living in a small house. My mom said their home was like a relic - it's 50 years old. And his dad who passed away, he was the manager of the IRS (so he was doing well for himself financially). I think unfortunately, it was more selfish penny-pinching/being cheap that he subjected his family to instead of not actually having the means. His mom worked (and still does) also.
Despite the obvious discrepancies, I feel sad. I really wanted to see him again.
So as you have read, it's been nothing but awful and disappointing experiences. That took a toll on me and my self-esteem was severely impacted.
I grew up rather sheltered. My parents forbid me from dating, drinking, etc. I never did any of that stuff to please them and be a "good daughter". I have also been deeply immersed in my studies (I went to medical school and struggled during my time there - failing many exams, repeating a year. It was very difficult. Graduated a year later than my friends). And I've been struggling to study for my licensing exams (before applying for medical residency - my end goal is to become a child psychiatrist). I'm re-taking one of the licensing exams (with a tutor). The whole process has been stressful, but, having extra help has been great. My tutor says I'm improving my test taking skills and knowledge base which is reassuring. I know it's taking me longer than most people, sometimes I do feel a bit insecure about it. Like I'd feel inadequate compared to the daughters of people my parents know who are well-established doctors, lawyers, aspiring politicians and business magnates, academics, etc. (who are all working for prestigious places), married to people in those respective professions and a couple on their way to having kids. But I remind myself that the true goal in life is inner peace/contentment/joy/happiness/personal fulfillment/satisfaction. My worth is not determined by external measures of success.
But I am on the verge of discovering myself - I am realizing what my true values are in life and what kinds of hobbies I want to pursue (for example - floral design and I've contacted a few flower farms to help out at the farm in exchange for their time to help me learn how to make flower crowns, garlands, bouquets, etc.). I've been working on my fitness (I've lost 30 lbs), working on my relationship with God (and nourishing my friendships and relationships with my family). While I'm studying, I've also been trying to (once a week) volunteeget a part time job. No one is taking (well most places are not) because of COVID but I did hear back from a tutoring company called Kumon to tutor children from K-12 (in reading/math). I'm meeting with the center director this Saturday, which I'm excited about. I've always wanted an opportunity to work with kids.
I also want to write (and publish) a book (I've been in contact with an author who is happy to review my work and give me constructive feedback). I really am trying my best to work on myself. I can't afford therapy right now but I want to get it at some point. At the moment, I'm sticking to enjoying the small things in life (that bring me joy - like time with loved ones, thinking about potential hobbies, fitness, etc.), journaling, Bible time, etc.
But there are days when I really struggle with these thoughts and the feelings of rejection/being unwanted/overlooked/etc. I am struggling with anger. So what are some better ways I can cope? I am so sorry for the very long post. Not feeling great today.
Along with working on myself...another way I try and cope is by indulging in my romantic fantasies. I read a lot of fanfiction. And I've created a narrative in my head based off of this one story I've been reading (I know this is really embarrassing please don't judge! I'm being as open and vulnerable as possible). I love mythology, particularly, the tale of Hades and Persephone (it's a modern twist based on the original tale). Persephone is my favorite goddess. So the main character was Persephone in her past life. In the modern day era, she is studying to be a doctor because she wants to save/preserve lives. One day, Hades - the Underworld king - catches a glimpse of her and watches her for a while, desiring to make her the Queen of his realm.
I have that same story playing in my head. That I'm the girl who is studying really hard for her exams in order to be a practicing doctor. At some point, a handsome god catches a glimpse of me at a spring festival (while I'm with my friends) and wants to bring me to his realm, fill his palace (and heart) with life and light.
I've always imagined in my married life living in a beautiful, majestic, and grand home with my husband in an idyllic setting. Surrounding the home are courtyards and vast gardens. He would encourage me to wear lovely silk gowns, decorate our home however I choose, and say things like, "I have all these flowers for you in these gardens so that you may make as many flower crowns, garlands, and bouquets to your heart's content!". He'd be very generous and always show me how much he values and cherishes me (as I would want to do the same for him and pamper him).
I know it sounds really corny (and again, embarrassing). Coping with these feelings is very hard. Somehow someway...idk how....I'd hope my fantasy comes true. Even though I've never been chosen but if I have to wait a bit would be worth it.
Please impart me with your wisdom. Again, I'm sorry for the long post. It's been very discouraging and frustrating
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