Well, exactly one week to the day since I met the girl I talked about in this thread: http://postmasculine.com/forum/Thread-Sm...ther-night
and felt like I had made a bit of progress. But last night I reverted to bad habits. Two steps forward, one step back.
This wasn't anywhere near as painful or stunning (for me) as the one that inspired me to start this thread, but I thought it was time to do some more delving and this was a good opportunity for it. As I did, and went beyond just last night's events, it got really painful and personal. Once I reread what I had said I realised a lot of it wasn't really original or that specific, so it probably doesn't read back as that intense. But as I was writing it, and feeling myself get closer and closer to the source of my pain, it got very intense. I don't think it would be very interesting for other people to read so if anyone does make it through, feedback is appreciated as always.
Last night I met another girl I feel like I over invested in. Since X, the girl in the first post, I’ve consciously made an effort not to get too invested when I meet girls. I remind myself to stay in the moment, try hard to just enjoy what’s happening and not create expectations. It’s definitely worked, and I’ve noticed feeling less invested in girls too soon and not thinking too far beyond the moment since I started this.
So last night I met Y, who was cute, interesting and fun. I decided I liked her and went for her. We were holding hands, flirting and talking for most of the night. I felt like we were both enjoying each other’s company equally and could tell she was attracted to me. We were dancing and flirting so I went to kiss her. I can’t remember exactly what happened, because I was very drunk, but I think I kissed her with a mouth full of the drink we were drinking, because she was complaining about drinking it. Then I tried to kiss her again and she resisted, but I just thought that was because she thought I still was trying to kiss her with drink in my mouth. After that we went straight to another bar, danced for a little bit, and then her and friend went back to their hostel.
I really don’t know how I stuffed up exactly. She seemed to shut off from me straight after the kiss, but I don’t get why that was such a big deal. She didn’t stop me when I went for it. Maybe it was the drink thing but I don’t know.
Anyway, that wasn’t the only thing I could’ve done better I guess. The main thing was that I feel like I’m connected to the girls I meet, but if I look back on the night after it’s over, I realise I’ve never really built anything that strong. It’s more just a mutual attraction and a semi-understanding, which I think feels strong at the time but I guess when it comes to decision time for her (on whether to stay with me or go home with her friend[s]) or when she wakes up the next day she’s not that invested or connected. I guess for me I imagine it’s stronger, because I’m getting invested so quickly.
So... time for the ‘why’ game.
Why did I feel upset and stunned by her decision to just go to bed at the end of the night?
I had thought she was interested in me and enjoying my company enough to want to hang out with just me from then. This was more of a hope in retrospect, because we hadn’t really connected that much and if I look at it then there likely wasn’t that pull for her to want to stay with me.
Yeah but why did that upset and surprise me?
I guess it shouldn’t really have been a surprise, but like I said above I’m not being realistic about how connected and invested these girls are through-out the night and I only confront the reality when it’s too late. That’s why it’s surprises me. But if I was being realistic it shouldn’t.
It upsets me because I’m thinking to myself that things are going well, and I’m building something I’m invested in. I start to care too much about what happens with these girls.
Why shouldn’t it be a surprise? What’s the reality? Why do I start to care too much?
It shouldn’t be a surprise because I should be realistic about where the connection is actually at. The reality is that I’m having fun with these girls, I like them and there’s POTENTIAL for connection, but really I haven’t built one yet. I’m assuming because I can see the potential for one that it’s already there, but that’s not the case.
I start to care too much because I desperately want us to have something and to connect.
Why do I get invested when only the potential for a connection is there and not the actual reality? Why am I getting ahead of myself? Why am I desperate?
I don’t exactly know why I get so invested at just the potential for a connection and not the real thing. I have a few ideas though. One is that I’m just desperate to have one, so I’ll preempt whether it happens or not by just taking the potential for having one as the real thing. This is incredibly, incredibly needy.
Or maybe I’m afraid of actually connecting, so I like to pretend that a connection is there before it is to avoid creating one. This seems counter-intuitive because think that I love the feeling of connecting with a girl, but it does make sense in some ways. I could see myself avoiding a connection because I’m afraid of the pain I’ll cause myself if I get too invested and it doesn’t work out. Or maybe I’m afraid of truly opening myself up and really revealing myself. Like I still feel that’s not good enough or I’m afraid of truly seeing what it looks like in the open.
Why am I afraid of being open or creating that connection?
Well, I still am very affected by my need for female validation. It’s still a big source of self-esteem for me.
Why is that?
I guess for all the reasons I’ve discussed before. My close relationship with my mother and distance from my father growing up, my dysfunctional first relationship, my feelings of inadequacy as a man, etc. I haven’t changed a lot there.
Why haven’t you changed?
Well actually I think I have to a certain degree. Like I said before, I’m becoming less invested when I meet girls. And as I said in another post the other day, I had a big realization with this other girl that however good our night together was, it wasn’t going to solve the problems of self-esteem and self-acceptance that I look for in girls. So I am making little steps.
But I haven’t changed massively because I still haven’t built a strong foundation of self-esteem outside of women, most likely in my work, and because I still have beliefs and issues with women that I haven’t uncovered and explored.
Why haven’t I built that strong foundation? Why haven’t you worked on these beliefs?
I’m trying to build it but it’s hard. It’s one of those things where I’m still doing it because I want it in order to get female validation, so I’m doing it for them and not for myself. I have to keep working away on it though, and then at some point it will change, and I’ll be building it for myself. I guess maybe I’m not doing it enough for myself yet because I’m not focusing on doing things I do for myself, rather than what anyone else thinks.
I haven’t worked on them because honestly I don’t know where to look next. I’ve reached a wall in my understanding at the moment, and I don’t know how to progress beyond it. I know I seek female validation because of the reasons above. I know how I look for it and my patterns for when I’m trying to get it. But what comes next, I don’t know.
Why don’t I invest in myself for myself? Why do I do it for other people?
Because I’m not doing it for my own reasons. Because to some extent it’s something I do to get validation.
Why is that?
Because, at the end of the day, my highest motivation for many of my actions is to get validation from other people, men or women.
Why is that?
Because I haven’t explored and invested in myself enough to change my motivation from external to internal.
Why is that?
I’m still stuck in the belief that those external sources are what will give me happiness.
Why is that?
Because external validation is a powerful force and it’s very hard to get free of the desire for it.
Why are YOU still struggling to get free from it?
Well, as I said above I haven’t invested in myself and what I get internal validation from enough to start to be motivated more by that.
And, I guess I’m afraid.
Why haven’t you invested more in yourself? Why are you afraid?
Again, because I don’t believe in the alternative. I’m afraid because I don’t believe it’s possible, or possible for me.
Why don’t you believe?
Lack of evidence that it works. I mean, I know it does on a rational level, and I know it has to a certain extent because of experience over the last few years. But I still have to make that leap from hoping/semi-believing it works to knowing it works.
I feel like I’m beginning to go in circles here, but I’ve also confronted the real issue at the heart of this: there’s a leap to be made, from hoping and trying to have faith that things will work, to knowing and having proof that they do.
There’s something I have to give up to get to the next stage, and I’m not quite sure what it is.
Honestly, as I write this I’m scared shitless. I can feel a giant ball of anxiety in my stomach, and it’s not just from feeling hungover and a big breakfast. I’m coming up against shit that really scares me and looking at it head on. It’s very painful to look at my flaws so closely and truly acknowledge them. I’m afraid, and I want to run from the sources of my fear. I can see now how I do it every single day; run from it that is. It’s in the littlest things, like surfing reddit when I’m bored, or talking about irrelevant, unimportant things just to fill the silence and what it hints at or fails to distract me from. Underneath the boredom there’s fear. Underneath the anger or when I’m bothered by something, there’s fear. It’s so real right now, as I lie on my bed typing this, that I don’t want to be fake or cliched about it. I want to feel it all as it comes to me and builds, and acknowledge it. Another cliche I’d hoped to avoid, but I don’t want to fear my fear. I mean that though; it’s there and I mustn’t hide from it.