You Need Help: After a Bad Date I’m Worried I’m Unlovable

Q:

I recently went on a date at the “happiest” place in the world. You can guess which state I’m from! The girl I was potentially trying to date brought her friends to I guess see how we’d gel. Long story short it was the worst day of my life. All they did was ignore me and talk about interests related to them which led to me leaving at different parts bc I needed to clear my head and it felt like it was the three musketeers on a date not me. When I called the girl out over it she apologized and I thought that was that.

Later she ghosts me for 4 days saying I made everyone uncomfortable esp her bff that she brought. I admit I wasn’t myself. I found out that morning my dad is dying and also had an anxiety attack which led to me walking off to find a bathroom to vomit in. She said I was inappropriate and I bought embarrassment and shame on her (shame on your family!) but she didn’t even know the full story. We had been out on a handful of dates but I guess this was my test and I “blew it.” It hurts that I lost her as a friend too. It sucks to be judged off one day because I wasn’t smiling or howdy doody.

I also feel like being a lesbian of color no girl will ever want me and I’m too ugly, too old (in 30s), or not mentally stable enough (I have depression and anxiety) to ever be lovable to anyone or not be a stepping stone till you get to your real love.

Is it worth it to tell her what happened? And I understand it’s an explanation, not an excuse, but just try to get her to see where I’m coming from?

A:

Hi Reader! First, thanks for writing in with this question. I appreciate your vulnerability here. Alright, let’s jump in.

Considering y’all are in your 30s, your date’s actions strike me as particularly… childish. The reason I volunteered to answer this question is because it reminded me of a date I went on when I was a literal teenager. I understand wanting to bring your friends for your own safety, but bringing your friends and forming a little clique that you lock your date out of is incredibly immature. The fact that she went back on her apology shows her immaturity even more: she can’t accept that she was wrong for inviting you on a date and ignoring you the whole time.

I want to address up front that you don’t owe her an explanation. Don’t reach out to her at all, she doesn’t deserve your vulnerability, especially since she couldn’t even apologize for her behavior. Given her response already, there is no guarantee she’ll be understanding or compassionate when she hears about your father. I would save your energy for other people and move on from her.

What I want to spend more time addressing is your feelings of insecurity.

You say that you feel because you are a person of color and in your 30s, and that you have mental health diagnoses, you aren’t lovable. I’m here to tell you that this is categorically untrue. I’m a Black queer woman in my 30s who also has bipolar disorder, and that doesn’t make me any less lovable. I’m sure you have people like friends and family members that love you in your life. When you’re single, you often hear that you should focus on those loving relationships and not worry about romantic love. But I know that’s easier said than done, and also doesn’t really help.

It is perfectly normal to want a girlfriend or partner, to want to have romantic love in your life. I’m not sure how long you’ve been single, but if you have been for a while that is especially understandable. Sometimes when we have been single for years or even months, we start to settle. We settle for people that we don’t have that chemistry with, for people that disrespect us or our time. I don’t know if that’s what you are doing here but it sounds like it might be, which is why I don’t want you to contact this person again.

You will find someone that will love you. It may not be on the timeline that you want, but it will happen. You’re not too ugly or too old to find someone that will cherish you the way you deserve. Plenty of people with mental health diagnoses find love. As long as you communicate openly with the person you’re dating about where you’re at on any given day, that’s just fine! Once you feel safe — unlike how this person made you feel — you can decide if and when you want to share details about your mental health, but you don’t owe anyone vulnerable parts of you, especially if they don’t do anything to show you they’ve earned it.

We live in a world that doesn’t value people of color or women over thirty, so I understand why you feel like this. Finding love takes patience and work. You might go on a few dates with bad matches on your way to finding the one, but that doesn’t mean you give up. While you are dating, it is important to have someone to talk to in order to keep you grounded and remind you of what you want. That might be a friend or a therapist — whoever you choose, make sure you’ve had a conversation with them about what you are looking for and that they have the bandwidth to be a strong, positive force in your life as you go through the highs and lows of dating.

Some people might recommend that you do not date until you deal with these insecurities, but I’m not going to say that. Again, because it’s easier said than done, but it also supposes that insecurities can magically disappear instead of the reality, which is that they ebb and flow. Somedays you might feel ugly, other days you might think you are the hottest person in the room. At either stage, you deserve love and affection. And you will find it someday. I sincerely hope you do because being loved is one of the greatest experiences in the world.

Dating is tough enough already. You don’t need the added negativity of dating someone who doesn’t respect you enough to pay attention to you. You were grieving on that day, and the fact is your date didn’t make you feel safe enough to tell her what was going on with you. As you date, you will find people who are better matched with you and your needs who you’ll feel like you can confide in when things come up. Save your energy for those people, and not for the woman you wrote in about. You are only in your 30s, you still have so much time left to find what you are looking for, don’t give up!!

Also, I’m very sorry to hear about your father. Sending love to you and your family.

xo

Dani Janae


You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.


Before you go! It costs money to make indie queer media, and frankly, we need more members to survive 2023As thanks for LITERALLY keeping us alive, A+ members get access to bonus content, extra Saturday puzzles, and more! Will you join? Cancel anytime.

Join A+!

danijanae

Dani Janae is a poet and writer based out of Pittsburgh, PA. When she's not writing love poems for unavailable women, she's watching horror movies, hanging with her tarantula, and eating figs. Follow Dani Janae on Twitter and on Instagram.

danijanae has written 138 articles for us.

12 Comments

  1. First, spot on advice.

    I try to think about how I signal to people that it’s a hard moment for me and I am not at my best. It doesn’t have to be defensive or an overshare. It might have helped this person to meet you with compassion to say early, “this is a hard day for me and I might be distracted or need some space at times. I’m not ready to go into it, but I wanted you to know.” Everybody has hard days, and the stigma around mental health teaches us to hide that from people around us. Your date and their friends might have still decided to be jerks, or they might have shown up a little more. Either way you would have given yourself the chance to have a little support or gentleness that day. (And maybe you did this already – if this is off base please ignore).

  2. Thank you, Dani Janae, for choosing this question to address and for your helpful, thoughtful answer.

    I’m currently reading a book called “Roar Like a Goddess: Every Woman’s Guide to Becoming Unapologetically Powerful, Prosperous, and Peaceful” by Acharya Shunya and it made me think of this Q&A.

    After retelling a myth about the goddess Shakti, she writes in Chapter 4: The Goddess Path to Unconditional Self-Respect, “As for the thread of emotional attachment that keeps making you go back to the disrespectful ones, burn it!” and “Shakti is telling you: disrespect is never okay.”

    There are lots of good messages and entertaining, inspiring stories in this book and I would recommend it to anyone who feels inclined to check it out. (I literally checked it out at the library & then bought it because it was so empowering!)

  3. Wow, I’m the same demo as this person and just was ghosted by my ideal person so I really needed this, and I’m almost ready to hear it. If anyone wants to join my Unlovables support group hit me up. We’ll make T-shirts?

  4. I was also totally expecting the age demographic of this terrible date to be teens maybe early twenties. I agree with Dani Janae that this person was acting childish, both in their behaviour during and after the outing. I hope the letter writer is able to find love and support through friends and family during such a heavy time of navigating grief.

  5. you’re sooo right!! “Sometimes when we have been single for years or even months, we start to settle. We settle for people that we don’t have that chemistry with, for people that disrespect us or our time.” — can be soo hard not to, ouf!
    also, very true “[one] supposes that insecurities can magically disappear instead of the reality, which is that they ebb and flow”

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!