RE: Confronting and realizing my emotional needs in dating
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.
(This post was last modified: 06-13-2012 12:16 AM by Tim.)