Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Printable Version
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Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Tim - 06-10-2012 06:51 PM
Had a particularly unsettling rejection recently that made me really question some beliefs I have. When the dust settled I realised that I was being forced to confront some emotional issues I've been avoiding for a LONG time. It was one of those situations where I think I'm aware of my own flaws and potential for failure, but until I'm forced to confront them I'm not really dealing with them at all.
So when I woke up this morning, with a bit more perspective on the matter, I thought I should sit down and really try to start working through them. I read Mark's 3 articles on Emotional Needs in Dating and particularly focused on asking myself why. Below is what I came up with. It's long but hopefully not too rambly. Anyone who reads and comments on it is much appreciated.
Why did I get so mad at X and speak out in anger towards her?
-Because she led me on and made me like her before deciding she wasn’t interested in me.
Why is it such a big deal that she did this? Why can’t you just accept the pain and move on?
-Because I was really invested in her and because I felt like I had earned something that was being taken away from me.
Why was I so invested in her? Why did I cling to that investment?
-Because I had liked her from the start and made that clear. I had opened up myself and immediately sought to connect with her. I clung because it felt important to me, and like it was something that I desperately didn’t want to give up.
Why did I open up so quickly and try so hard to connect with her? Why did clinging to her investment feel so important and like I couldn’t give it up?
-Because I value connecting and because I am emotionally available. I tried hard because I needed that connection, and because I really wanted to feel connected to her. I think this was because I feel a lack of intimacy in my life and I haven’t connected to a girl I like in a while. I need that connection to feel validated and secure. I become very attached very fast because I don’t get intimacy and connection with girls a lot, so I feel like I have to hold on tight to it when it comes along.
Why do I lack intimacy in my life with women? Why does it feel like such a rare thing?
-It feels rare because it is. I don’t get it more because I have trouble finding women I immediately relate and connect to.
Why do I not meet a lot of women who I connect to?
-I don’t meet enough women because I’m not putting myself out there enough. I also might not connect with many women because I don’t know how to connect with women unless it’s already very easy for me to.
Why do I not put myself out there more? Why do I have trouble connecting with women unless it comes easily?
-I’m afraid of rejection, especially when I’m as invested as I became in this situation. I know how much of my heart I put into it, and I know I become very obsessive fast, so I know it’s going to hurt a lot when I get rejected. I know I’m not good at dealing with that pain. I have trouble connecting with women because I am limiting in my beliefs about whether I have that much in common with them, and I let incompatibilities limit my interest in developing a connection. I think this comes from subconsciously seeking out relationship-worthy women or women who I would form a relationship-style situation with, even if I find myself limited in my romantic interest in them i.e. I want to build a relationship even when I am aware that we don’t have all the compatibilities required to make one happen.
Why am I afraid of rejection? Why do I limit myself to a small number of women who I think I can connect with easily? Why do I try and form relationships?
-Rejection is very painful, as I said before. It’s especially painful for me because I invest so much self-worth in my experiences with women. I limit myself to that small number because I am afraid of potential disconnect and because I see all the potential ways connection could fail, rather than where it is possible for it to succeed. I try and form relationships because really I want something that can give me long-lasting validation and affection instead of something brief. Also it feels important to me that I really matter to the girl. I need to feel that she is deeply invested in me and that I am unique to here.
Why do I invest so much self-worth in women? Why am I so afraid of disconnect? Why is it so important to me that I am special and unique to the girl, and that she is deeply invested in me?
-I invest so much because I was close to my mother growing up, and distant from my father, so I place a lot of importance on female affection and validation. I am afraid of disconnect because I don’t deal well with the awkwardness of incompatibility and because I am afraid of social awkwardness to an extreme extent. It is important to me that she is heavily invested in me and that I feel special to her because I need someone who places as much self-worth in their encounters/relationships as I do. Also I am still not completely comfortable with my sexuality, and I feel the need to provide as much security and connection as possible to lessen that discomfort.
Why do I deal with awkwardness/disconnect so badly? Why do I need someone who places as much self-worth in their encounters/relationships?
-I see a disconnect as something I should be blamed for, or that there’s something flawed about me. When I don’t connect I feel like it’s because I’m not worthy as a person. I need someone who places as much self-worth as I do because, as I said before, I’m not comfortable with my sexuality. I feel like I need to justify my sexual desires with an emotional connection, because there is something wrong about purely desiring a woman sexually. I need to feel she’s invested because I know that she’s going to have a big impact on me, and the idea that I wouldn’t have the same impact on her makes me scared and vulnerable. I feel like she has so much power over me in that case, and I don’t have enough self-esteem to stop myself from being really hurt.
Why do I feel flawed and unworthy? Why do I feel it’s wrong to desire a woman purely from a sexual point? Why don’t I have the self-esteem to stop myself from letting a woman’s validation be so powerful?
Low self-esteem. Lack of belief in my own value. A belief that sex needs to be connected with commitment, due to my childhood and background. Etc, etc.
This could have continued from here, but I decided to leave that for another time. I know where these answers are going to lead me, and I need to have more energy and focus when I go to deal with those.
It was hard to be honest, and I still feel like I'm avoiding confronting something. If anyone has the perspective to point that out, that'd be awesome.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Drewid - 06-10-2012 08:28 PM
I've been thinking about a similar post concerning my struggles over the last week, but what's interesting was that yesterday, when I was at my lowest, turned out to be pretty close to a breakthrough day. I'll probably start a journal of some sort soon, although those do seem to get less responses.
It's important (to me at least) to remember that my inability to validate myself is at the core of all these issues, and I'm not going to fix that *through* women, although better interactions and relationships are going to come out of improving my self-esteem.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - FirstAidKit - 06-10-2012 08:45 PM
Damn. Thanks for posting that Tim, that must have been difficult. a lot of that resonated with me.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Tim - 06-10-2012 09:02 PM
(06-10-2012 08:45 PM)FirstAidKit Wrote: Damn. Thanks for posting that Tim, that must have been difficult. a lot of that resonated with me.
When you don't deal with your issues you forget what it's like when they come out and affect you, or what it's like to actually make progress. Then when they do, it hits you so much harder than you think it would. This particular time was a pretty tough experience for me.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Creatine Dreams - 06-10-2012 09:06 PM
I read it and a lot of what you are saying resonates with me as well.
Validation is a weird thing. If you are not getting it from a particular source, it becomes very valuable.
For example, I know that I rule at guitar and that if I play, people will complement me. But a complement does not particularly make me that happy because I know that I am good.
I do not feel the same about my skills with women. So when a woman shows me attention, it becomes very valuable.
I hope that makes sense and is relevant to you.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Mark - 06-10-2012 10:30 PM
Going to challenge a few assumptions here.
Quote:Because she led me on and made me like her before deciding she wasn’t interested in me.
She made you like her? Really? It was her choice for you to like her? Did she put a gun to your head or something? No, this is bullshit. You chose to like her. Why?
Quote:Because I was really invested in her and because I felt like I had earned something that was being taken away from me.
What did you earn? Her attention? A moment of affection? Why do you feel a need to earn anything from anybody? Why is affection and investment from women something you need to earn? This doesn't sound like you earned anything, it sounds like you felt entitled to something because you put X amount of effort in and got nothing in return. An honest interaction is unconditional and expects nothing in return. An interaction where something is expected in return is needy and unattractive.
Quote:Why do I lack intimacy in my life with women? Why does it feel like such a rare thing?
Perhaps it's because you go after women who are incapable of giving it to you. Perhaps you only feel comfortable trying to connect with women who treat you a certain way.
I'm not saying you should have the same values or preferences as me, but I met this girl, and there's a reason I walked away within seconds of meeting her. What she said aside (it was snarky and a bit rude), what she demonstrated to me on a deeper level is that she is not someone who is comfortable or capable connecting with other people easily. I decided a while ago that I don't have time for those kinds of people, especially women.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Tim - 06-10-2012 10:59 PM
(06-10-2012 10:30 PM)Mark Wrote: Going to challenge a few assumptions here.
Ok you're right, I chose to like her. She didn't make me do anything. I chose to like her because I thought it was worth the risk. I took that responsibility upon myself. Having to accept the consequences of that was harder than I thought it would be. I still think it's wrong to lead someone on if you aren't interested in them, but you're right, I take that chance every time I put myself out there. I thought it was worth it before the decision, I still think it's worth it now. Ok.
(06-10-2012 10:30 PM)Mark Wrote:Quote:Because I was really invested in her and because I felt like I had earned something that was being taken away from me.
Again, I know you're right. I realise the idea of someone owing you something when they've made no real commitment is ridiculous. I felt like I had earned a commitment from her to continue feeling a certain way. Obviously I want that because I crave security. But it's not healthy to want that. Why do I want to earn it? Because I'm going in with the mindset of trying to get something I can hold onto and keep. I realise that's not healthy, and it's very needy. It's the mindset of someone who is trying to take, and not give. I'm trying to get deeper on that one and figure it out.
(06-10-2012 10:30 PM)Mark Wrote:Quote:Why do I lack intimacy in my life with women? Why does it feel like such a rare thing?
I think you're partly wrong on this one. I think I go for women who can give me that, but I think I'm asking for intimacy in an unhealthy way. As discussed above, I'm looking for an intimacy that I feel is not going to be taken from me. That could be either of the anxious or the avoidant attachment side of my personality I guess. Not wanting anything with a girl unless she can give me all the validation I need and as consistently as possible. But that's impossible obviously. A person can change their feelings at any time, and even if I knew they wouldn't, it's unhealthy to rely on the validation of any one person too much, particularly if we don't really meet each other's needs.
Maybe I do only feel comfortable trying to connect with women who treat me a certain way, but I don't know if we're thinking of the same type. What type are you talking about? Keep in mind that this first time I've had an experience exactly like this, so while some of what happened was continuing a trend, much of it was new.
I don't have the same ability to pick these traits in a woman off the bat as you do, so I missed that. Also, I was probably starting to idealize her by that stage, and might have been overlooking her flaws.
To be honest though, even if I could have sensed that, I don't think it would have changed the situation. I probably still would have tried to open her up, and still gone for her. I don't know exactly the best way to get past this. Maybe it's to just walk away from the situation each time it happens, and don't even let myself get started. Or maybe it's to get burned enough times that I just learn my lesson. Maybe it's to try connecting with other women who I'm less naturally inclined to try to connect with. I really don't know.
I'd like to say that I'd walk away from women who aren't willing to open up and connect, but I don't know if I would. Like I said, this situation hasn't exactly happened to me before. I think because I have a scarcity mentality with women, I'm willing to overlook things like this when I do find a girl I like. Obviously I need to deal with that. Either I need to change the women I'm meeting, or I need to change the way I interact with the women I'm currently meeting.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Leo - 06-10-2012 10:59 PM
@ Tim. For how long did you interact with this girl?
How well do you know her?
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Zac - 06-11-2012 12:31 AM
What did you like about her?
I think it was fine to try, I just think maybe you were a little too invested in a certain outcome.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Tim - 06-11-2012 12:42 AM
It happened over the last 3 nights.
I liked her perspective on things; her understanding of the local cultures and her interpretations of what she'd seen. I liked her ambition and the fact that we were both International Relations majors. I often just 'click' when I meet other Pols/IR majors. I thought she was cute and found her charming and flirtatious in a way that matches me. I just enjoyed being in her company.
I think you're right Zac. Regardless of whether it was 'a good idea', the real problem is trying to create an outcome which isn't really possible, wouldn't be healthy if it was, and is assuming too much from the little that had happened.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Zac - 06-11-2012 12:45 AM
We all do it sometimes. Why bother with any of it if you don't care.
I have a lot of respect for you putting this all out there.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Mark - 06-11-2012 01:27 AM
Yeah, the problem here isn't that you tried or that you liked her, it's that you invested so much so quickly and idealized her. It was only three nights together, partying together in mixed company I may add. And no offense, but interesting ideas on culture and a shared enthusiasm for politics isn't exactly the foundation for earth-shattering emotional intimacy.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Leo - 06-11-2012 02:00 AM
@ Tim. It takes time to get to know a girl. I've been super infatuated with a girl, have sex with her, spent time with her, etc. For a moment I think she's the "one" UNTIL I really get to know her, her craziness, her issues, her flaws, etc. We all are flawed but some girls really need professional help. I dated a girl that was emotionally abused for her BF for 6 years, interacting with her was UNBEREABLE, she thought all the time I was emotionally abusing her and I wasn't, etc. I moved on, and I thought she was the "one". Another girl had problems with her body image, she thought she was ugly, never had an orgasm, etc. I couldn't stand it.
As Mark said, don't idealize her.
Thanks for being so honest and open up.
P.S.: Mi sister gave me a tip, she told me: Leo, remember that EVERYBODY has flaws, wait until you see her flaws.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Tim - 06-12-2012 03:24 PM
Ok, sat down this morning for part 2.
This time I decided to look at the three emotional motivators, and what I prioritize. I'm going to continue down the line of thinking I stopped at before, and really examine the reasons for my low self-esteem, why I have guilt surrounding sex and desire, etc, next time, but for now I was inspired to look at this.
Again, it's long but hopefully not uninteresting. Anyone who reads through and comments is much appreciated.
Part 2: Status, connection, and security
-What are my needs for each of these?
Status. I think I have the lowest need for status. I tell myself that I like a girl to challenge me, and in some sense I do, but I think it’s less than I wish it was. I like to mainly agree with a girl I’m attracted to (classic Nice Guy behaviour). I like challenge in the sense of flirting and bantering. I genuinely love getting really sarcastic and playful with girls. I like it if they’re the same. Where it stops is when there isn’t the underlying tone of ‘I’m doing this because I like you’. Also, I don’t like to be challenged beyond that. I don’t want to argue with her or have her challenge my beliefs a lot. I guess that’s kind of sexist in a way. I also have a low need for status in terms of her having to be super hot or ‘high value’. I don’t really care if she has a high social status. What’s more important to me is the way people I respect act towards her; i.e. if they respect and like her. If her relationships with them are mutually beneficial, then I like that.
I think I do have some insecurities surrounding status, in that I sometimes want to sleep with ‘high status’ women to appear more ‘high status’ myself, but when I come into contact with these women in reality I am always very turned off by them. So I think this is more an insecurity about my own social status rather than seeing them as highly desirable and then wanting to sleep with them.
Connection. I think this is much bigger than status, perhaps slightly more important than security or about the same. I think I need to feel understood a lot, and that we have a lot of shared values. I’ve come to be better at relating and understanding many perspectives, but I still seem to only really be interested in those that match my own. I tend not to relate to girls who are politically conservative, who are at all religious and those who aren’t intellectually curious. I also am turned off by women who aren’t conscientious and compassionate. I have a strong sense of justice and I need to find that in women too. I think my main problem with connection is that I am so scared of disconnect that I don’t make bold moves and honestly express myself. If I do so, I do it with a lot of neediness and defensiveness. As I said before, I don’t like being challenged too much. I think my self-esteem can’t handle being criticized, especially if it comes with a lot of emotion behind it. This extends to my personal views and beliefs about the world. Hence why I need to have similar opinions to the women I go for.
I think when I have my need for connection fulfilled it feels incredibly good. I just revel in the feeling of having reduced that gap in understanding between two people. As someone who talks a lot and feels the need to say a lot to express himself, it feels amazing that so little or nothing needs to be said for us to be sharing the same ideas and emotions. When we’re both on the same wavelength on an emotion, that to me is the pinnacle of what I want in dating.
Security. This one’s a tricky one for me to analyze. I think I need to feel safe around a woman to a large extent. I want her emotions to feel relatively stable and that if there’s misunderstanding that we’re going to take the effort to work things out and still like each other. Maybe I slightly confused connection with security before.
Trust is important to me, because I like being able to tell women (or anyone) something and not be judged for it. I think that’s a big part of trust. Yet at the same time I know that over the last few years I’ve also become more open in situations where trust wasn’t necessarily established. I think this is a good thing as long as I can remove most of the neediness that might be coming out when this happens. I also need higher self-esteem so I can deal with the misunderstandings or judgment when it does come. I think higher self-esteem and lack of neediness are very related, so these are probably similar goals.
I think trust is also important for me beyond that. I need to feel that she trusts me too. That she wants to open herself up to me, and that I can understand her. I don’t think I always can though, so maybe that’s something to work on. I know that becoming less judgmental has helped me with that, and I continue to work on that.
To expand on what I started talking about security, I need to feel that her opinion of me is going to be stable and not change too much. I think this used to be a big problem for me because I would use a lot of flirting and ‘outer game’ to get women attracted but not have to reveal myself. Then when I did so, a lot of the neediness would flood out. I think it made some women suspicious, so they would test it and then that supposedly bold, carefree, humorous persona would reveal itself to not be that strong, and be somewhat of a mirage. I think my need for security comes from not believing that presenting myself honestly can be attractive, and so I want to ‘capture’ her attraction from the start, and then be able to rely on it always being there. Obviously this is impossible. And obviously when I use a fake persona to get them attracted but then reveal a very different side of me, there’s a much greater chance of them losing interest because of the incongruence, and because the fact that I am doing so shows how needy I am.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Tim - 06-13-2012 02:29 PM
Ok this is the third and final part (for now) of sifting through my emotional needs.
Firstly I continued going down the line of thinking that I stopped at the other day. I think I reached a point where I don't need to go any deeper, I just need to broaden what I've already touched on. I imagine I'll do this some time in the not too distant future, either after talking with a good friend about this or if I meet another girl. I had one really big realisation when I wrote this, which really hit me. I developed on it briefly in here, but I think I'll need to explore it further too.
Finally, I wrote a linear narrative of what happened with this girl from a factual perspective and then went back through it and tried to break it down from an emotional perspective. Mainly focusing on how I was feeling but said a bit about how I thought she was feeling too. This is where I'm most likely wrong, so any perspective on this would be very helpful.
Again, anyone who reads through it and any feedback is highly appreciated. I feel like this has been an incredibly valuable exercise for me. Having others point out flaws in my thinking or reinforcing where I've interpreted things correctly is very helpful too.
Why do I feel flawed and unworthy? Why do I feel it’s wrong to desire a woman purely from a sexual point? Why don’t I have the self-esteem to stop myself from letting a woman’s validation be so powerful?
1. I feel flawed for many reasons. Traumatic incidents in friendships (not major ones, just those where I had my trust betrayed and that hurt me when I was weaker). Being lazy at school and in other areas of life, making me less confident in my abilities. A father who was a bad male role model in some ways, and made me not want to become more masculine because I thought that meant being more like him. My parents fighting a lot and making me feel that life was unstable and the world was unpredictable and scary. Not understanding girls when I was younger and getting rejected by them, making me feel unworthy and like I couldn’t understand them, so I needed their approval more. Having a messy breakup with my first love and girlfriend that left me feeling disempowered and weak.
2. I feel it’s wrong to desire a woman purely for sex because I don’t think she really wants that, and I shouldn’t want something a woman doesn’t want (especially because I was close to my mother, and didn’t want to see her hurt, so I especially hate the idea of women being hurt). Wow... that was an ‘aha’ moment if I ever had one... Very obvious but because I was close to my mother and at times afraid of my father, and because I hated watching them fight (never physically), I developed a great aversion to upsetting and hurting women. I fear upsetting or hurting a woman so badly because if I do then I I feel like I am acting out like my father did towards my mother... Man I can’t believe my therapist never picked this one out.. The cruel irony is that I was still thoughtless and abusive towards my first girlfriend. Wasn’t able to escape that trap at all.
Listing incidents that made me not want to be like my father:
-Feeling embarrassed that my parents were both much older than my friends
-Feeling embarrassed when my dad was a scout leader for my troop and feeling shame when he would get annoyed at the other kids
-The times he made my mother cry
-When he would get angry at me and my brother
-How I wasn’t close to him during my teens and felt like he didn’t understand me at all
-How we’ve never had a real heart-to-heart conversation
Other reasons I think wanting sex purely in and of itself is bad:
-Sex and sexuality not being talked about in my home growing up
-Being caught watching porn by my parents and being so ashamed that I denied it even though it was obvious I had been
-Them having judgmental views on sex, especially casual sex
-Being shamed about my sexuality as a kid by other kids at school
-My experiences with my first girlfriend and our respective sexual histories
I think the reason I don’t have the self-esteem to stop women’s approval from having so much power over me is all to do with what I’ve said above, so I won’t repeat that.
I met X on Thursday night. Went up to her and started talking. Thought she was cute so immediately started flirting. We started talking about our lives.
[I teased her but didn’t disagree with anything she said really. Classic Nice Guy. Like I said above, I don’t like having friction with women].
Started liking her. Talked to her and her friends about Postmasculine.
[I think I wasn’t very strong talking about it. Not ashamed, but unable to communicate it with conviction and pride].
Out of all of them, she didn’t seem to be very keen on the concept of it.
[I ignored this red flag. I just thought it was down to my bad explaining, but actually the others seemed fine with it].
Our group left the bar we were at and went to another one. She and her friend wanted to go to out dancing so we left to go to another bar.
[I was having fun at the bar, but I didn’t want to leave her. I don’t know if I was prioritizing staying with her too much at this point, or if this was fine].
Nothing was going off so we wondered about what to do. Halo suggested we go to our place to drink and I agreed.
[At first I just said yes because I thought it’d be fun. Then I think I got caught on the idea because I was needy about wanting to get her alone].
Girls eventually decided they didn’t want to and we walked them home. As we were saying good night I kissed X.
[Could argue about whether it was timid to wait until the end of the night, but I hadn’t really had a chance to be alone with her].
Awkward moment with the others there but she wanted to.
[This is where I started getting really excited about her, and idealizing her perhaps. From this point on I started to think a lot about seeing her and wanting to hang out with her].
Next night we met with the girls and drank at our house in the hot tub. Had a fun night with the group including giving each other massages.
[As Halo later noted, I was hesitant about massaging her. Sense of shame about my sexuality].
Kissed her for a bit at one point. [I thought I wasn’t very needy for most of the night]
In the hot tub we talked about Postmasculine again, and all the girls there had read some of it by that point.
[I actually really opened about how I got into PM and a couple of the girls seemed impressed with my honesty. I didn't intend to do this, so all my talking about it was very genuine and not approval-seeking. I didn’t see how she responded].
At the end of the night as people were going to bed X and I ended up lying together and talking. Kissing in between talking about ourselves and our lives.
[At one point she did say “I feel like I don’t really know you”. So I talked about myself and my life. Asked her about hers and found it interesting. When I was kissing her I didn’t have many expectations of what I wanted to happen. I just wanted to keep lying there with her.]
Her friend came out and said she had ordered a taxi. X didn’t seem to want to go, but left with her.
[I didn’t ask her to stay. Maybe this was a weak move. I felt like I’d see her again and there was no reason to push things. This could have been me avoiding making a move, but at the time I really felt like I was in no hurry. I felt really un-needy].
Next night I went to the girls hostel and drank with X and co, plus some other people from the hostel. Group went out and danced and drank. X had some guys hitting on her and one who kept dancing and grinding with her. I wasn’t bothered because I could tell she didn’t like it.
[I ignored it because I didn’t want to seem jealous. I also really wasn’t that bothered. I kept thinking that I know she likes me, and later in the night I’ll be with her. I felt some jealousy but I told myself I didn’t want to let that emotion dictate my actions. I continued having a lot of fun with our group].
She made an excuse to leave him and I grabbed her to dance with her. She seemed happier but didn’t really make an effort to dance with me.
[This is where I first knew things were wrong. I think I started acting needy from here on].
X, her friend, another guy and I left the group and went for a drink. I could sense something was off. X’s friend and I were off to the side talking and she told me ‘X doesn’t like you that much’. Not in a mean way; she said it like she was sorry for me and that she wasn’t happy with X.
[This felt like a punch to the gut. I felt weak and like I had lost something. I didn’t know what to do].
We walked back to the girl’s hostel and I asked X if we could talk privately for a minute. I asked her why she’d gone cold on me and she started talking about the website and how we’d come as very inauthentic talking about it. She also said stuff like “I don’t sleep around” “Look, I’m only here for a few days, you’re here for only a few days...” “you’re a really great guy”.
[I got annoyed when she said this and said ‘I don’t need you to tell me how great I am’, because the last thing I like hearing when I’m rejected is how great someone thinks I am. She replied ‘oh you don’t?’ in a sarcastic tone, which suggested she thought I was coming off as arrogant. When she said about sleeping around, I said 'yeah I don't either, you know that', and when she said about only being here for a few days I said "that doesn't matter, why don't you just let things happen?". I really meant it too. I know I'd been thinking about wanting to see her and spend time with her, but I was also just enjoying the time we were spending together. When I was with her I'd spent most of the time in the moment and not thinking about 'where is this going'. I hadn't thought much about how long she was here or what that could mean]
I asked her why she kissed me if she wasn’t interested she couldn’t really explain herself and kept shrugging her shoulders. She was bad at communicating all of this, but I got what she was trying to say. She said a couple of really judgmental things (not about me or PM) that made me do a double-take. Then we continued talking about us and PM. She basically said that we should spend less time talking about how vulnerable, sincere, etc we are, and just be those things. I agreed with that and said it was partially because I hadn’t really talked about the site with strangers before. I could tell that there was still things she hadn’t said, but I couldn’t get her to open up about them. I walked her back to her hostel and said good night.
[I walked home angry and stunned. I could feel a whole lot of wounds had been opened up that I hadn’t felt for a long time. When I got home I talked to Halo, and he talked me back into a logical place, but I still felt the pain. The next day or so I sat down and started writing part one of this.]
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - questra - 06-13-2012 03:37 PM
Tim - thanks being so open and sharing. I don't have any feedback at the moment but really wanted to appreciate you sharing this.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Zac - 06-13-2012 08:11 PM
I think the best thing for you at this point would be to get out and start talking to more girls//expand your social circle. The introspection and sharing is definitely valuable to a point but getting yourself out there more will help you much more imo. It's hard not to be invested and over analyze when your social circle consists of 3-5 people out of an entire continent.
So, approach program contest? Halo I'm calling out out as well. Mall. This Saturday afternoon. Primer día.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Tim - 06-13-2012 08:32 PM
I'm thinking... Yes.
Thanks Questra. Any feedback you do have would be appreciated.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Novak - 08-01-2012 02:41 AM
(06-13-2012 08:32 PM)Tim Wrote: I'm thinking... Yes.
Thanks Tim for being so honest and forthright about your past experiences since I can relate to some aspects but especially the issues with connecting and having sex because you are attracted to someone (end of story, doesn't always have to be deeper than that).
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Tim - 08-03-2012 09:25 PM
Well, exactly one week to the day since I met the girl I talked about in this thread: http://postmasculine.com/forum/Thread-Small-but-important-experience-I-had-the-other-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.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Creatine Dreams - 08-04-2012 02:56 AM
What a strange and interesting thread this is.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Drewid - 08-04-2012 05:48 PM
I had a lot of these same issuess, and took a few weeks off to really work on building my self-esteem.
While I do want to improve my interactions with women, I also realized that in order to do so I have to build my self-esteem outside of that context, because I'm changing for myself, and that's how I know I'm succeeding.
One thing I'd also suggest is to worry less about what you want to get rid of, and focus more on what you want to replace those feelings with:
One way or another, when you do really change there *will* be new feelings that will replace the old ones. It's useful to imagine what those might be, and try them on for size.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - esqnyc - 08-06-2012 02:05 AM
I have the same issue of over-investing in women and building them up more than they are. Its awesome that you are doing so much reflection. But dude, I think you're being way too hard on yourself. You admit in your post you are making progress. Focus on that.
Not sure what happened with the kiss but at least you had the balls to go for it. I suspect that the reason she shut you off post-kiss is because you acted differently after the perceived rejection not necessarily because she was turned off. Imagine if you didn't go for the kiss. You would probably beat yourself up for not going for it. If you haven't already, read Mark's article "Shut up and kiss her" because it's on point and will make you feel better.
I say keep up the good work and perhaps slow down on the booze.
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Salaam - 08-06-2012 03:46 PM
Awesome last post Tim, you're feeling your way to the heart of the matter. Chasing and searching for that tension and fear inside of you that most people hide from.
“…feelings like disappointment, embarrassment, irritation, resentment, anger, jealousy, and fear, instead of being bad news, are actually very clear moments that teach us where it is that we’re holding back. They teach us to perk up and lean in when we feel we’d rather collapse and back away. They’re like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we’re stuck. This very moment is the perfect teacher, and, lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.”
"fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth"
― Pema Chödrön
RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating - Traindom - 08-06-2012 05:21 PM
Love that quote. How would we know what is threatening us if not for those feelings? They let us know when we've reached a wall and signal us to overcome it. I'm reading an excerpt of Pema Chödrön's book now.