Hi folks. I have an issue with a core-belief that I wish to address, and I think disclosing this core belief with others in a self-improvement forum is a good place to start. Fundamentally, this core-belief suggests that any female would view me as unattractive which conflicts with my inert desire to enter into an intimate relationship with a female. Today I gratify myself sexually with masturbation, a process that I find can be enjoyable but it often leaves me with feelings of shame, disgust, and hollowness. It is as if sex is to be enjoyed with a partner and, in the absence of a partner, what remains are unpleasant feelings and a longing to appreciate the experience with a partner. In the face of this conflict I possess a desire to change, but I have remained steadfast in my cycle of behavior for several immediate reasons. The first is a bondage to refuse any intimacy with a woman until my behavioral health has improved. I caused tremendous pain to a significant other several years ago and I did not wish to inflict a similar pain to another human as long as my mind was sane enough to refuse such intimacy. Of course, I witnessed the consequences of my decision. For instance, through social media I saw high school friends enter into and maintain intimate relationships, some bearing children from those relationships. I could hardly tolerate the pain of viewing the images shared by others, and it drove me to isolate from any interaction on social media platforms. Another reason was to disengage from the possibility of bearing children if I were to enter into an intimate relationship. One of my greatest fears is having children and neglecting them in a manner similar to the way I was neglected, subsequently teaching that she or he is unworthy of love and fostering a behavioral cycle of self-loathing towards either the self or towards others, among other things. So, I drove myself into a corner of isolation and, for a time, I could justify it by measuring myself as acting in a virtuous manner – in a sense, I saw myself as a hero because I was protecting other potential mates from my self-pity and abusive, obsessive behavior. With the work I have done in addressing my behavioral health, this methodology has become an excuse to avoid further confronting my negative core-beliefs. Now, I wish to embark on a journey of change, to continue my work in evaluating myself as worthy of love – of both giving it and receiving it. If I am to consider myself worthy of love, I must surrender the belief that a potential mate would characterize me as unattractive. Perhaps this is one of the defense mechanisms I have used to avoid intimacy with a female – in a sense, if I decide I am unattractive I can continue my cycle of self-pity, therefore entering into an intimate relationship is futile. Does anyone else here struggle with a similar core-belief? Perhaps I can learn from reading about others' experience(s) with this matter. Thank you for reading.