"Involuntary Celibate," or the sliver of human society--composed almost entirely of men--that delights in blaming the inability to find romance or intimacy on other people.

It is a community defined by anger and outsourced hatred toward women. The supportive negativity is seductive and difficult to separate from.

Some do manage to leave the niche forum behind. By sheer will, natural maturity over time's passing, or new experiences that illustrate personal worth, these men come out on the other side with healthy relationships and a positive approach to other human beings.

Reddit, one of the very internet spaces where the Incel Community established its footing and pedals its ideals, has some other more positive corners.

One thread was stoked with self described former Incels. These Redditors are beaming with gratitude for growing out of that way of life. They shared their hindsight views about their former selves.

DannyMThompson asked, "People who had considered themselves "incels" (involuntary celibates) but have since had sex, how do you feel looking back at your previous self?"

A Fedora Fugue State

"Oh god, high school me wore fedoras and believed my 'superior intellect and science-based social theories' were too much for everyone and that I was really a James Bond type with my knowledge of various fields."

"Turns out I was gay as f*ck but so deep in the closet my zip code was in Narnia, not really that smart in anything but too ADHD to focus past basic knowledge of anything and in a desperate need of a new wardrobe."

-- Whythef*cknaught

Innocent Beginnings

"I remember when I first found the incel community, it was actually a pretty helpful place. It was more of a support group for people who were unattractive, socially awkward, etc."

"Then the toxic masculinity started to creep in and took right over, as everyone knows."

"New job with great people, I started to do different things. Played hockey for the first time at thirty. Joined the group for a couple of travelling tournaments where we got absolutely Vegas type plastered for weekends in different cities."

"Job is very much a hang out and chat type job (security), so talking with the women on the team on the regular starts removing the air of mystique I had built around them."

"All and all, I ultimately blame a World of Warcraft addiction that held me back in my early twenties to my late twenties and just missed out on those socially formative years."

-- Redditaccount6274

Revenge is Tempting

"I hated everyone because all of my experiences with people where being bullied, I started being bullied at 4 and it didn't stop until the middle of high school."

"The forums where full of people thinking the same, it made me feel secure, like I was right. I didn't have to walk the hard way to improve myself, they told me I could just let go. Nobody will ever love you so why try?"

"So I stopped showering, stopped eating, stopped caring for myself."

"At the time I didn't see that would I have just showered girls wouldn't have been disgusted by me. I hated immigrants, gay people, women, handsome guys. Everyone I saw as more accomplished then me."

"It was a hard time getting out of this mindset, but eventually I made it. Turned my grades around, made some friends and went to therapy."

"When I see incels or people like that I just can't hate them, they are in pain and struggling and need help. Depression is one hell of beast and some people lash out in anger."

"So when I look back at my old self, I really just want to give him a hug and tell him everything is going to be ok."

-- boy_robot_Sky

You're Not Ready Until You're Ready

"When I finally did get out there and start having relationships it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I realized that I had previously felt like an incomplete person because of my inability to connect with anyone, and that was holding me back from other things in life."

"Like I thought nothing else was worth pursuing because I hadn't properly entered adulthood yet. I kinda wish I'd just got on with it and pursued my other interests a bit more."

"I don't know why I had to wait. Maybe it was depression relating to me being lonely."

-- Digibollocks

What are Friends For?

"I was a being of pure hatred. I always thought it was someone else's fault. Even though I have had sex since that time, I think it's important to know that having sex isn't what vindicates you."

"Inceldom is a state of mind which requires strength and sometimes outside guidance to overcome."

"One of my friends essentially gave me a proverbial slap to the face on the subject and told me exactly what to do and how to become a more better person."

"In conclusion, I look back with regret and sorrow, for all the people I hurt and made uncomfortable, because I know there are many."

-- Saintsman12

A Transactional Mindset

"I never really considered myself an Incel at the time (mostly because I'd never heard the phrase) but I was very incel-ly in high school, I was the type of person who would hold a door open and then wonder why girls weren't falling into my lap."

"Turns out high school me wasn't that attractive and 'nice' isn't a personality. I fell very much into the Chad n' Stacey's frame of mind for a while."

"A lot of things changed really, but mostly I just grew up. It's a super childish view of things and just doesn't take into account that the people around you are...well people."

"If someone held a door open for you, you wouldn't throw yourself at them. It's about the maturity in relationships."

-- britbakura

An Incel of Yesteryear

"I am SOOOO glad I had my teenage years in the late eighties & early nineties before the internet, let alone social media."

"Ultimately I had to sort myself out. But if I had had access to the sort of Incel stuff online around today, I fear I would have lapped it up with a spoon."

"A very large group of like minded people telling me it isn't my fault?!?! I can stop moping and start hating? Fantastic! I'm in! I would have been able to celebrate my status instead of reflecting on it and changing it. I'm sure I'd have been more than tempted."

-- WilliamBonnivet

A Pedestal is not a Human

"I despise that guy. He's an embarrassment to me."

"Somehow, it never occurred to me until I had sex that women are literally just normal people like you or I. They laugh, they swear, they fart, they sh*t, they even (gasp) enjoy sex!"

-- OptimizedHappiness

Kindness With No Agenda

"The first, and most important, concept that I learned was that women aren't sex dispensaries that you deposit 'nice coins' into and get sex in return."

"They have to choose you. I still kept doing nice things for girls because that's the way I was raised, but I removed my expectations for getting anything in return."

-- thatonecoolkid99

To Get Out of Your Own Way

"I looked back and realized how many times girls showed an interest in me and I didn't notice or I self sabotaged without realizing what I was doing."

"I eventually learned to get out of my own way but I'm still working on not pushing away people because I'm scared if I don't reject them they will reject me, kind of thing..."

-- Aggressive-Income

A Literal Jolt to the System

"I was depressed, underweight, socially isolated... I never got fat or super into gaming as is stereotypical, just worked a lot, hung out with my dog, smoked way too much weed, and just sort of forgot how to interact with women. "

"One big event was buying and learning to ride a motorcycle at 27- sort of shocked me out of my routine, opened my eyes to the fact that life was not a downhill slide from the adrenaline filled days of 18-22, that new experiences were waiting to be had."

"Eventually I met a woman that I just couldn't bear to have the usual "flirt until I awkwardly distance myself" experience with.

"I forced myself to not to my mind wander when we talked, I powered through all anxiety to call and text her daily, I even eventually would do crazy stuff like get dressed up nice and go to dinner with her -not something I could have ever seen myself doing at one point."

"So I'm married now, still have some issues, but very happy."

-- PoopSmith87

The Enlightenment

"It's a bit like empirical science. A lot of useless speculations disappear like morning mist in the sun, when you apply 'try and fail again and again until you have some degree of success.' "

"It takes practice to be a human being, and some people postpone their practicing indefinitely. A big problem is that some people believe what THEY think other people think of them, i.e. they live in a prison built and maintained by themselves."

-- fifticon

Downward Spiral

"It's kind of a self fulfilling prophecy. You expect that you deserve a girlfriend (probably don't at that point because everyone starts out bumbling and inept, the girls too), then get rejected and are surprised and angry and hurt."

"So then you expect to get rejected and give off an angry, rejected vibe which kind of scares females (and maybe rightly so). That vibe keeps women away and you take it as further proof of your predicament."

-- youmeyoumeus

Was Always Training for a Global Crisis

"Came to realize my faults and am working on them. That said, it is hard. People take for granted the mental wellness they get from being in a relationship. Nobody is entitled to a relationship of course but the human mind and body still needs it."

"I find it funny that a lot of normies are going crazy in quarantine when that was my life pretty much for the past 5 years."

-- ikhezu

A Sleeping Giant

"I was that one that you often see that thinks he's so ugly and short that he can't get a girl. Turns out I was gay and my jealousy of "Chads" (didn't know any of the lingo but still) was attraction to them."

"Once I acknowledged that and came out I've been able to have plenty of sex. I'm still not a 10 but I do well enough for myself. I've also done stuff to improve my confidence level like dress better, grow a beard, style my hair. I used to work out a ton too before corona closed my gym. I wasn't happy and did the mental legwork to change it."

-- cardswon

Seeing Through the Institution

"I had been pretty heavily indoctrinated religiously and i just felt women were inferior in every way. Luckily this was when i was younger and I honestly grew out of Christianity before i grew out of hating women."

"Whenever i finally got over it i realized my hatred was all from jealousy and i came out as trans. I had been driven so deep into the closet for such a long time and it really sucked."

-- ThatGirlOverThere9

A Helpful Axiom

" 'If you met an arsehole today you met an arsehole. If everyone you met today was an arsehole then everyone you met today met an arsehole.' "

"Made me realise I was/ had the problem."

-- Redland_Station

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