Went out for drinks with some work colleagues last night. First proper socialising I had done since breakup with girlfriend last October. It wasn't easy, as they were basically strangers despite being from work, having only ever really said hello in the corridor before. I think it went ok. There were 4 girls and 2 guys, and the other guy was gay. This is slightly challenging for me being he is very popular and chatty, and though I was open and friendly I noticed the girls reciprocated his eye contact more than mine. I guess I shouldn't read too deeply into it. I get very sensitive to the possibility people don't feel comfortable around me, but it could be due to positive reasons: I was the heterosexual male so naturally more threatening, maybe they found me attractive etc. It is important for me to at least consider these things as my normal reaction is insecure: they don't like me, they find me boring, ugly etc. The Irish girl was the most open and chatty with me. The other girls were more classically 'pretty' but were more cold. The Irish girl seemed to me the more beautiful though. I did my best to keep the conversation light, but I was aware nobody asked me any questions, so I had to keep fuelling the conversation. I also realise people are wearing their own social masks because there was quite a lot of talk about getting drunk, downing bottles of spirits, all the 'crazy' things people have done, blah blah blah, which is a typical way of trying to achieve a level of social acceptability amongst one's peers. I don't much like it because I don't have many stories of my own to contribute. Why do I get glazed-over expressions when I try to talk about my own life? I feel almost 100 percent of my own story, my own life, is so depressing it is not stuff for social conversation. I shouldnt expect too much from just 1 social drinks. Girls are often insecure, but in a different way to men. They are more talkative, and it is difficult for me to see through that this might also be a sign of moderate social anxiety, simply because my personal experience of social anxiety makes me very withdrawn, inhibited and quiet, with or without alcohol. It is also difficult getting a bit older, as everybody was younger than me. I don't consider myself a weirdo finding a 20 year old woman attractive, but I wonder if I shouldn't be considering asking these girls out, at 36. Although I know a lot of girls like older men, so maybe I should relax and enjoy myself?! The other thing I have to report (and I recommend trying this), is that abstaining from caffeine has appeared to make it easier to also refrain from wanting to PMO. I speculate that the lack of caffeine means my nervous system is less super-charged, so therefore the cravings are substantially less, due to feeling more lethargic and sleepy, but in a nice way, at the proper times of the day: I fall asleep more quickly and my appetite is also better, as caffeine, like smoking, supresses appetite. I have no way of proving the science behind any of this, but what I am fairly convinced is happening is that my choosing to quit coffee and tea is actually providing an important secondary abstinence, diverting my attention and fixation away from merely PMO, and this is really beneficial.