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Feeling ashamed and being shamed of never having been in a relationship

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  • #376352
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Jane:

    Because you want a relationship, and you don’t want it at the same time (afraid of having a bad relationship), here is what I suggest: do not aim at having a relationship with a man. Instead, aim at getting to know a man as a candidate for a relationship.

    When an employer aims at employing a person in his/ her company, the employer does not accept just anyone who shows up; the employer gets to know a candidate through one or a series of interviews, asking questions, requesting paper work, checking the person’s criminal record history, and other records. Similarly, you can “interview” a potential candidate for a relationship

    Let’s look at four things you are worried about in regard to a candidate for a romantic relationship and what you can do about it:

    1. You are worried that the man will be “strange.. much older and very vulgar”- that’s easy and quick to determine in one interview: if a man acts strange, is much older and/ or is vulgar, he has failed the interview process in the first five minutes of the interview, or less.

    2. You are worried that the man will not respect your privacy and will spill the beans in regard to your body and sex life to other people: during an interview, or a series of interviews, listen to the man, does he criticize his ex-girlfriends’ bodies to you? Does he share about the sex life he had with them? When you ask him about his past relationships (and do ask!), does he answer with an attitude of respect for the privacy of his ex-girlfriends, or not? When the two of you are around people, such as in a restaurant, does he criticize other people’s bodies (waitresses, other guests) to you?

    3. You are worried that the man will be a psychopath and create trouble if you want to leave him, threatening to hurt himself if you leave him: in between interviews with a particular candidate, does he call you at night-time repeatedly, interrupting your sleep? Does he stalk you in any way? Does he mention any stalking behavior on his part when sharing about a previous relationship? Checking the man’s criminal history can also be part of the interviewing process.

    4. You are worried that the man will not care about your or his self-development: ask him questions. Mention to him a person you believes cares about his or her self-development and listen to his reaction: he is more likely to criticize a third person in your presence than to criticize you, in your presence.

    What do you think about my suggestions?

    anita

    #376370
    anita
    Participant

    * Correction: Janet, not Jane.

    #376443
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    thank you for your suggestions!

    I’m not good at figuring people out and it takes me a long time to see wether someone is using me or manipulating with me. This is my fear, that before I realize these (interview) traits, it will be too late and the other person will blackmail me or stalk me or make my life difficult. I know I’m being paranoid.. (I blame the news – the cases where the husband/boyfriend killed his partner skyrocketed last year in my country).

    #376457
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    You are welcome. The emotion you mentioned in the title of your thread is shame. It is now clear to me that the emotion behind you never having been in a relationship is fear. You are and have been too afraid of being in a relationship, therefore.. you were never in one, and you are not likely to be in one for as long as you are too afraid.

    If you want to, we can look more into your fear. Before we discuss, if we will, the news stories you mentioned as a source of your relationship fear, let’s look closer- let’s look at your fear of your father. You wrote earlier: “I was afraid of him for most of my childhood and teenage years”- will you elaborate on this sentence, more than you did before?

    anita

    #376504
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    you are probably right. I am afraid of being in a relationship because I love my freedom too much and I really do not want to stress any more than I naturally do about things. At the same time, I am ashamed (in front of others, especially my ex-classmates and ex-friends) that no one finds me beautiful enough or partner-worthy.

    “let’s look at your fear of your father. You wrote earlier: “I was afraid of him for most of my childhood and teenage years”- will you elaborate on this sentence, more than you did before?” – My father is very traditional, kinda conservative. He has always been very strict and serious (although much less now that I am an adult). He loses his temper quickly, but he never raised a hand on us. He had to work very hard since he was a child (he is very much a workaholic) and he wanted his children to be hard workers too. So his behavior affected me more on that level – make as few mistakes as you can. Before going to college, I was not afraid of men. It was in college that I encountered strange men and my friends who were telling me their bad relationship stories. It was scary to see that 90% of people in relationships (at least people I knew) were unhappy or afraid because their partner was controlling or abusive in some way. Girls especially were faced with infections, herpes, always going to the gynecologist because their partners were cheating on them or refused to wear a condom. Girls were limited in who they could hang out with and every time I was having coffee with a friend, her partner would text her a million times asking where she is and with who.  They were/are constantly worried about what they look like because their partners criticize their bodies even though they have perfect figures and for the life of me I cannot figure out who could criticize someone who looks like a Victoria’s Secret model. Men’s standards are so high and I don’t want to stress myself out always wondering whether I’m good enough or not.. I don’t want to be controlled, I don’t want to spend hours on the phone every day reporting where I am or who I’m with. My fear is that my partner would change once we were together long enough for him to manipulate me without me even knowing. If people knew right away that someone is controlling and abusive, they would not date that person in the first place, yet there are so many bad people in relationships because they are good at pretending to be kind and respectful.  I rarely see signs of manipulative friends right away (I usually see them when I’m deep into people-pleasing them), so I I’m too afarid too even try with a romantic partner.

    I hope what I wrote makes some sense. 🙂

    #376505
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    Yes, what you wrote makes sense to me:

    “I am afraid of being in a relationship because I love my freedom too much”- you love your freedom a lot because growing up as a child, you did not have freedom, you were trapped. Therefore, you very much appreciate freedom, and you don’t want to be trapped again!

    The reason the stories of your girlfriends in college scared you so much is because you already experienced some of what they experienced, not with romantic partners- but at home:.”(your girlfriends) were unhappy or afraid because their partner was controlling or abusive in some way”- but so have you been: unhappy and afraid at home because your father was controlling or abusing in some way.

    I don’t want to be controlled”- because you very well know how it feels to be controlled.

    “Before going to college, I was not afraid of men”- except for one:

    “He loses his temper quickly, but he never raised a hand on us”- you didn’t know the first 100 times or more that the will not raise his hand on you, when he lost his temper. You were afraid that he will, or worse.

    Thing is, when we grow up afraid, we instinctively numb ourselves to the fear, best we can.. we almost get used to it and are able to minimize it. As adults we don’t remember that much fear, but the fear was very much there, and we keep being afraid as adults.

    And your girlfriends, they also did not have good home lives, that’s why they make the choices they make in regard to boyfriends, and why they stay in abusive relationships.

    anita

    #376506
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    It just occurred to me, notice this- you wrote: “I am ashamed (in front of others, especially my ex-classmates and ex-friends) that no one finds me beautiful enough or partner-worthy“-

    -but then you describe how others find your ex-classmates and ex-friends, not beautiful, but unsatisfactory, as they “criticize their bodies”. Plus,  they don’t treat your ex-classmates and ex-friends as worthy partners, but as inferiors, as subordinates to control and manipulate, and as victims, to  infect “with infections, herpes”, etc.

    See the illogic here?

    anita

    #376544
    Janet
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    maybe that’s true and I forgot that I was afraid at home or shut those feeling out. Perhaps I subconsciously am afraid of being controlled again even though at the time it did not feel like control.

    “See the illogic here?” I do and I was contradicting my statements. What I should have added is that I know girls who are really beautiful (above average you could say – by society’s standards), have a great figure, but their partners criticize them for having a stretch mark or cellulite (even though they are perfectly healthy and enjoy exercise). Those are the things that people don’t see right away (until they are intimate). Men don’t even ask me out on dates or on a drink as friends because they don’t like what they do see. Even though I don’t necessarily need to be in a relationship, I would love to have some guy friends (and not just girl friends). It is funny, in college, guys/mal schoolmates would be so nice to me when my attractive friends were around and we would have great and fun conversations that I engaged in, but they barely said hi to me when they passed me in the hallways. I’m not trying to feel sorry for myself (I do hope it does not seem that way), but it saddens me deeply that I should be punished this way for not fitting society’s idea of beauty most men buy into. I’m not extremely thin, but I exercise and try to live a healthy life, I take care of my hygiene and make myself look presentable. I do the best I can with what I have been given, but it is never enough. I had an ex-schoolmate/friend (female) once tell me that she cannot picture me being intimate with someone because of the way I look. It would be easier for me to convince myself that I’m being dramatic and that I’m normal if I was the only person who thought this way, but actually hear this from someone else is kinda soul-crushing. I didn’t even ask her about her opinion, she just decided to say that to me while telling me about her relationship.

    #376548
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janet:

    “Men don’t eve ask me out on dates or on a drink as friends because they don’t like what they do see… they barely said hi to me when they passed me in the hallways… I’m not extremely thin, but I exercise and.. take care of my hygiene and make myself look presentable… I had an ex-schoolmate/ friend (female) once tell me that she cannot picture me being intimate with someone because the way I look”-

    – I have seen (haven’t you?) all kinds of women being approached by men: very tall women, very short women, very thin women, obese women, morbidly obese women, physically disabled women, mentally disabled women… all kinds of women. But no boy or man has ever approached Janet- question is why?

    The only answer I can come up with is that indeed you were not approached because of the way you look: you look scared and very uncomfortable regarding boys/ men, physical intimacy and sex. The schoolmate who told you hat she cannot picture you being intimate with someone, could have meant that she couldn’t picture a scared and very uncomfortable Janet having sex.

    anita

Viewing 9 posts - 46 through 54 (of 54 total)

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