When and why was the last time you cried?

Every 3 or 4 days for the last 3 weeks. A girl made me realize after many years of inaction that I really missed attention from the opposite sex. It's not like I have been living under a rock, but I can't say that I've ever had a serious relationship with any degree of vulnerability since grade school. I'm in my mid 30's, about a 5 or maybe a 6 if i really work at it (could stand to lose another 30 lbs which would probably boost my numbers by 1.5 points), quirky, but I had really kind of given up on dating. I work in a stressful career that demands a lot of my time where there is about 10% women. 90% of people in my office are already married. My hobbies/passions don't attract many women to them either. Really though I know I just don't connect with most women, and I have underlying trust issues stemming from some severe emotional damage that occurred in my teens. I've probably never really reconciled that, but anyways..

A good friendship developed over the last few months. I had forgotten what it felt like to laugh and receive a woman's attention (a beautiful one too!). I know my standards are probably too high, but she really hit high on all of the important things I desire in a relationship. I think I may have even discovered a few additional things after getting to know her that I didn't even know I was wanting as well. I know she enjoys my company. We seem to compliment each other well and have several common interests. We laugh a lot and are able to have very open conversations considering the time we have known each other. We both have flaws that we have revealed to each other, and I think we have developed some level of trust in each other knowing those things.

Come to find out after trying to go out on a couple of dates that she has been hurt a lot by men in her life, and she told me that she doesn't want to date anyone. I questioned her on it to go ahead and just tell me what it was, but she's adamant in not rejecting me with her stance. I want to believe that she's telling me the truth, but it's hard to accept. I have no reason to not believe her, and every reason to do so. It's just it would be far easier, if she just said "you're too X for me". There were other circumstances that probably contributed to leading up to this rejection (to which I am to blame), but I had a serious emotional breakdown and I'm still not 100% as to why. Like I said, every 3 or 4 days.

Nothing got ugly, and we were able to talk through it as friends after a week or so. Her maturity about talking through this with me is simultaneously comforting and maddening. Girls don't stick around to let me down nicely. I can tell that she's not going to change her mind any time soon though (not that it would make it magically okay if she did anyways - I couldn't live with myself). But I fear she's just being nice now because she is no longer initiating face-to-face contact or texts. She will reciprocate and carry on. Maybe she's just trying to give me space, because she knows I probably need it and/or is avoiding sending mixed signals. I know if the tables were turned, I could not have handled it as gracefully as she has to date. I feel like I owe her for that.

Back to the WHY, the breakdown (actually a couple) happened when I realized several things. 1) Single life is okay and I am happy at that. But I discovered that I do actually desire companionship, love, and vulnerability. 2) Her positive attention felt like a bright light that made everything just a little bit better. I think I forgot how much a smile and a laugh was worth. 3) When she smiled and laughed or I did something kind for her, I felt rewarded and happy. I felt like a better man. 4) I genuinely feel like she has the qualities I have (or should have) been looking for, and I screwed it up. 5) I'm terrified that there won't be another one like her that comes along any time soon, if ever. 6) My insecurities have me worried that I couldn't perceive that the positive attention I was receiving was nothing more than her just being friendly. Maybe it wasn't. I still don't know. 7) All the normal emotional feelings of rejection/reflection/paranoia driven insecurities.

I have told her how I felt, but I know she's not into it. She's taken a big bite of responsibility lately and is focusing on repairing herself before she gets into another relationship (if she ever does). I respect her decision and want to be friends, because I genuinely care for her and do miss having fun together. But it's been challenging. We have to see each other every day at work, and I stress over my interactions with her (which have been positively received these last couple of weeks). But I am sensitivie to the fact that I don't want her to be uncomfortable/create unnecessary drama with untoward eye contact or unwanted texting so as to avoid being perceived as not respecting her boundaries. She has a job to do too, and I'm not going to let my feelings compromise her ability to show up to work and do her job. Maintaining the professional conduct is really work when I long for the fun friendship we enjoyed when these feelings had not yet gotten in the way. Selfishly I am still distraught, because I know she doesn't feel the same way as I do with respect to a relationship. Regardless, I know I want her to be happy and successful regardless of whether or not she wants to be romantically involved. ...Damnit. Just now.

/r/AskReddit Thread