Hax Philes: ‘Covered in scales’?

One reader, speaking for many:

I’m in my late twenties, single, male, and have never had anything remotely close to a serious relationship. For a while, but especially the past few months, I’ve been approaching women all the time, but it’s an incredibly miserable, depressing process that yields tons of (mostly swift, but rarely caustic) rejection, few numbers, fewer dates, and no sex and/or meaningful connections. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m educated and have a great career, an active social life with some very close friends, and ample outside interests. I also try to stay reasonably well-groomed.

My rejections and mounting social failures are causing me to harbor some incredibly severely negative feelings toward myself and toward the opposite gender. I know these are wrong on an intellectual level, but suppressing them is a constant struggle.

How can I escape this rut and be happier with myself? That’s really my main goal. Physical and emotional connections with other human beings would be nice though.

I know his frustration is a common one. Have you ever been in this rut, and, if so, how did you break out of it? (And, please–go easy.)

» See all Hax Philes discussions    

Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997, after five years as a copy editor and news editor in Style and none as a therapist. The column includes cartoons by "relationship cartoonist" Nick Galifianakis -- Carolyn's ex-husband -- and appears in over 200 newspapers.
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Carolyn Hax · March 28