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Help–leaving me on the hook i think

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  • #333965
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    Were you, or are you currently a therapist? I ask because obviously you know a lot about psychology. And although my therapist who I saw last year did help me see my core belief is the “im not good enough” belief, she didn’t help me understand why or how that formed, and what to do about it. My sessions ran out, so I never followed up to dig deeper. But I have to say you’ve really helped me along and helped me realize quite a few things, thank you.

    So you are saying, if I find peace in the fact that I couldn’t make that big of difference in my family life as a child, I will be at peace with the fact that I couldn’t make that big of difference in this mans life either? That does make sense to me, but much easier said than done of course.

    As for the CBT exercise, not sure exactly what to write about but heres my interpretation:

    Core belief: I’m not good enough, I need to be better/the best

    Evidence in support of this: Didn’t have a lot of girlfriends growing up and didn’t love girly things as a child (felt like an outcast and awkward), didn’t have boyfriends in high school, the man who first introduced sex to me didn’t choose me over his gf, one guy i really liked didn’t talk to me again after I didn’t have sex with him (because I was nervous about it), don’t have THAT many friends–just a few good ones, this current guy doesn’t want to date me, I dont have the fake “plastic” look which a lot of guys seem to be attracted to, my last boyfriend needed to go online to email people he met about sexual meetups/fantasies rather than talk to me about them (though to be logical, he was struggling with a transgender fetish/sexual addiction which stemmed from his own early childhood experiences/abuse, but it still made me feel like I wasn’t good enough and proved I wasn’t good enough in my own mind)

    Evidence against this belief: My family loves me, I have an amazing job as the rehab aide at a children’s hospital where I help kids learn how to walk and live again after traumatic accidents, I take really good care of my body and am in very good shape, I know how to cook healthy food and enjoy cooking, Im a talented artist, I am a talented and focused surfer and yogi, I’m a yoga teacher and enjoy holding space for those in need, I put myself through college without the help from my parents and am the first college grad of anyone in my family, Im financially independent and live on the beach, I’m extremely present and listen to people who are talking to me, I care about people and am very thoughtful, I’m super friendly and get along with almost everyone I meet, I have really pretty eyes and pretty/genuine smile, I’m smart, I have good style, I’ve been told Im very disarming and people trust me easily and quickly, I have a great sense of humor

     

    Without hearing your feedback yet, I can clearly see a lot of the belief is evidenced in my mind by my relationships with men, sex, and dating.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Anonymous.
    #334035
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anonymous:

    You are welcome. No, I am not a psychotherapist. My healing process started when I attended my first quality psychotherapy, 2011-13. I see healing and learning as synonyms, so I keep learning/ healing here, on tiny buddha, many hours per day, every day,  since May 2015. In 2015, I decided to  no longer read books, studies, articles etc., online or otherwise, and learn strictly from my communication with members. (I look up words definitions online and use Wikipedia to familiarize myself with some terms and topics, that’s all that I read outside the forums here). Over time, with persistent intention, attention, dedication and so many, many hours,  I got pretty good at understanding the human experience of emotion, behavior and thinking- how these very closely associated items continuously interact, forming our human experience from childhood on.

    “So you are saying, if I find peace in the fact that I couldn’t make that big of difference in my family life as a child, I will be at peace..”- yes, and I agree, it is indeed “much easier said than done”.

    Let’s look at the CBT exercise. I’ll pick only one (for now) of the evidence that you listed in support of your I’m-not-good-enough core belief and ask you a question about it:

    “didn’t love girly things as a child”- I touched on the topic, but I ask you for your understanding at this point: why is it that you didn’t love girly things and instead you loved boyish things?

    (We can attend the other items later, one thing at a time).

    anita

     

    #334087
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Wow! Well that is very impressive. Well done !

    I did have a run in with this man tonight at a big show in our neighborhood… luckily I was with a group of friends, guys included, so not much of my focus was on him. (although he DID come and approach me again and linger around, asking me how I was, etc. I eventually turned away and continued focusing on my friends–not to be rude but just because I’d like to create this boundary for myself and he is no longer all of my focus anymore). It felt good to begin recognizing small steps to take to regain my self-confidence and self-value. I felt so devalued by him before, but slowly I’m realizing that’s not real. Later that night by random chance, I learned from a few new friends who happened to mention him and that apparently “no one is able to connect with him, and he has never been able to be vulnerable with anyone–just not in his personality and it’s actually sad because hes a nice guy”. I thought it was interesting hearing this–of course I held my tongue and everything between him and I is not known to these people. I found it interesting because he was vulnerable with me a few times, and we were able to connect, but I also found it validating that other people find him confusing and no one can really get through to him–as that is just his nature I suppose.

    As for the CBT exercise:

    I didn’t love girly things because in my mind they were boring. I got a lot of attention from boys and I think I fed off that attention, so I wanted to continue that and be a part of their circle. The group of boys I hung out with (including my brother) always wanted to do fun things outside and get messy, and I just had more fun with them (skateboarding, video games, playing tag, climbing trees, playing pranks on people, etc) I didn’t care about getting my shoes or clothes dirty, or messing up my hair. That just wasn’t “in” me, because I cared more about the inclusion, fun, and attention probably. I liked hearing that so-n-so had a crush on me. I also loved being competitive with them and trying to beat them at activities.

    Girls at that age also seemed more whiney, catty, and sensitive about things. I remember a few of them also being very bossy. I always wanted to do more adventurous things. And yes I did find those few girls who were also like me, more adventurous and tom-boyish, but overall I remember feeling bored and missing hanging out with the boys whenever I was at a sleepover with girls or at a girls-only party.

    #334121
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anonymous:

    Thank you. First: I am concerned about this man maybe wanting another hookup with you and although you said that it will not happen, that you want a real relationship, not a hookup situation, I hope that at a moment of loneliness or feeling physical attraction to him, you might forget your resolution. I have no reason to think that your resolutions in life are weak, or that you are weak, this is more of a general concern, as in: people get lonely->people get impulsive-> people make exceptions to their resolutions. If you did hookup with him again, it will only refuel your distress, anger and frustration, so be careful, will you?

    Second part of my post- December 2015, you wrote: “sometimes I become too self- conscious when I’m having a conversation with someone else, and it leaves me sort of disconnected.. I still have trouble expressing myself verbally.. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m thinking or feeling, and I feel at a loss for words. I’m always trying to think about what to say first, so my words don’t come out wrong, but it often takes such a long time for me to get it out.. Why can’t I just speak my truth and my feelings?.. I WANT so badly to be good at speaking them, because I know how important communication is for maintaining a healthy relationship with intimacy”.

    My answer to your question (to which I added the bold feature), four years later: “My mom was emotionally closed off, and unhappy.. my dad cussing a lot very loud. My mom would get scared and withdraw.. My mom never really showed sadness or anger.. she always wanted everyone to just ‘be happy’ and ‘positive’ all the time. Was always the time to say ‘Don’t be sad’… When my mom would say those things, it made me feel like being sad was a bad thing and I should avoid those feelings or try to change them asap” (Jan 2020).

    A parent is supposed to mirror their child’s feelings (look concerned when the child feels hurt, sad when the child feel sad, etc.) Your mother provided you with no such mirroring, being emotionally closed off and withdrawing, not expressing sadness of anger. So there was no intimacy with her, no “healthy relationship with intimacy” with her. You didn’t get to know you and she didn’t get to know you. I am guessing you felt emotionally constipated/ disconnected around her.

    I think that this is the reason you gravitated toward your father, he at least expressed some feelings, and with him you felt relief from that emotional disconnection. So you surfed like him, and you did not want to be like your mother, feminine (“my mom and I can now have fun doing (things like hair and makeup and shopping- something I wasn’t into as a child”); you wanted to be like your father, masculine, a tomboy (“Didn’t have a lot of girlfriends growing up and didn’t love girly things as a child”).

    “I didn’t love girly things because in my mind they were boring… I remember feeling bored and missing hanging out with the boys whenever I was at a sleepover with girls or at a girls- only party”, because, I am thinking, it was boring being with your mother, who was closed off, with whom you didn’t have an intimate emotional exchange. And the excitement was with your father, with whom you did have some intimate emotional exchange.

    April 2016 you wrote: “I’ve always sort of had trust issues.. it just scares me thinking that someone I love could be nothing as they seem. It makes me fear trusting the people I’m close to”-

    – can’t trust a person who is emotionally closed off and who regularly withdraws, who is never sad or angry, because you don’t know what’s with them, what is happening there in their minds and hearts, if anything.

    I think that what I referred to as emotional constipation/ disconnection, emotions being closed off and held in, is about you growing up with a closed off mother, and therefore,  not having received early- life mirroring of emotions by your mother, with whom you spent most of your time with as a child.

    Your emotional disconnection is also what is responsible for you feeling sad and bored every so often, dissatisfied. January 2016, you were considering moving to your mother’s. You wrote at the time: “Although I love the location my mom lives in, I just feel I’d be sad and bored”- just like you really felt living with her as a child, sad and bored.

    Of course you’ve made lots of progress and you are very gracious and interactive here  on your thread, but that emotional constipation/ disconnection is still a problem and a big part of the reason why you didn’t talk to this current man about your feelings and expectations throughout the year you knew him. And maybe it is part of the reason why you don’t know him that well.

    It just occurred to me, your screen name, Anonymous- as in unknown feelings, being anonymous to yourself?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #334131
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    Thank you for this enlightening post and for pointing out what would inevitably happen if we hooked up again (because I had actually felt all those things the last time we hooked up–it caused me stress, frustration, and pain. So naturally it would be no different if we hooked up again)

    First: I agree he might want that. I also believe that in the past there was a point (after we hung out one night) where I realized I’m trying to make it work with him so much because I’m lonely. After that realization came, I began to focus on making friends with people, men included, as opposed to looking for dates/sex. I also recognized the role alcohol played in our hookup situations/the fact that the hook ups began after my dad got cancer and I needed someone so I grabbed onto him (interesting that this man is very similar to my father in his lifestyle and personality…..). All of this awareness is what’s allowing me to be more objective about this man and our situation. For some reason I have had it in my mind for so long that I can’t “just be friends” with a guy… that all guys just want to sleep with me, and therefore I tend to allow it to happen–when in reality all I need and needed are platonic friends and the ability to communicate my truth/boundaries.

    The only thing I want from him at this point is to express my emotions should the moment come–but again, I don’t feel I can be the one to initiate that conversation at this point. Unless there was a moment where we found ourselves alone (which has happened at the beach several times) where I felt we could have a private honest conversation. I can also imagine him wanting to hook up with me again, and there being a moment where I can say “No. I was actually really upset by our last encounter for reasons a,b,and c…and I just need someone who values consistency and wants to get to know me and match my energy, which you arent able to. So we should just be friends”. Or maybe just that, the truth that really what I need are platonic friends in my life… I think sex is very psychological for me and it really muddies my feelings when that’s involved.

    Yes I did feel emotionally constipated and disconnected around her. My mother I believe was probably emotionally closed off due to her own upbringing as well as being unhappy and fearful in her marriage.  She didn’t have the support she needed with raising my brother and I, and dealing with a husband who was almost like another child was too much for her to handle–so I do understand why she was that way. I wonder if there are exercises I can do with practicing feelings or practicing expressing my emotions? I think you are very spot on with how I felt more connected to my dad and his emotions as well. We’ve ALWAYS been very “in tune” with eachother. And yes, every so often I do feel sad and bored, which leads me to reach for higher goals and new experiences… this has mostly been a good byproduct though as I’ve reached success in my career goals and continue meeting new people and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone (for example, teaching yoga, planning yoga retreats, meeting inspiring like minded people)

    I also feel like yes, I wish I had talked to this guy about what I was feeling–which I believe that I can still talk to him about my feelings as time goes on, the more we run into eachother. But I want it to come from a place where it’s not for romantic interest or gain, but more for my own practice in expressing my truth and communicating my feelings and connecting with a person. The more time goes on, the more I realize we would have been a very bad match at that time, and he would actually have been a terrible boyfriend for me if we had agreed to make our relationship be that way.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Anonymous.
    #334135
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anonymous:

    “I wonder if there are exercises I can do with practicing feelings or practicing expressing my emotions?.. expressing my truth and communicating and connecting with a person”?

    Best would  be to do that in the context of psychotherapy, individual therapy or group therapy, and/ or in the context of an acting class, doing improvisations under the guidance of a good teacher, all in-person, so that you can see the person’s face as you express yourself, and have the whole in-person experience.

    Here in the context of your thread, I can ask you a few questions, you can choose any one of them and type away whatever comes to mind, without editing, not rushing through an answer but not going too slowly either (not being cautious and editing yourself as you type away):

    1. How did it feel with your mother, what did you feel about her, growing up with her?

    2. What would be the perfect man for you, what would the perfect relationship with him be like?

    3. If you could have any life you want, what would it be?

    anita

     

    #334163
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ok, I may consider going back to my therapist just to have someone to talk to about this stuff in person.

    2. the perfect man for me would be someone who is attentive and present with me when I’m talking. Someone who challenges me and inspires me. I’d prefer him to be a surfer because it’s a lot easier to travel and go on trips and live in certain areas if our priorities are the same, such as surfing. (my last bf did not surf and it was very difficult to travel and he didn’t understand my passion and love for the ocean/being by the ocean) I want him to be funny and able to take sarcasm. I want him to know himself well and recognize/express his own needs clearly and honestly. I want him to have a sex drive that matches mine. I want him to value his own health, mental and physical health. I want him to do things that make my life easier instead of more stressful–like bringing me food or cooking every now and then, or planning a trip. I want him to share things with me about his life, his family, his experiences openly. I want him to speak to me directly and not be passive aggressive or beat around the bush with things. I want him to also feel inspired by me and feel joy when I’m around. Someone who has their own goals/drive and is a hard worker.

    The relationship would be very respectful of space and boundaries–not spending ALL of our time together. He needs to have his own outlets and friends. Realizing its important to have a life outside of the relationship with friends and alone time. I don’t need anything too fancy other than a good connection and seeing eye to eye about things like society and the human experience. I’d like our time together to be light and fun, not tense or serious or jealous. There would just be an understanding of eachother’s freedom to be ourselves, but still committed to being exclusive with eachother. Any feelings of non-monogamy I’d hope would be communicated in an open and honest way. I don’t feel like at the moment I want kids or marriage. Unless I met someone who could change my mind or have me thinking in that way.

     

    #334167
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anonymous:

    I will reply to you when I am back to the computer in about 12 hours from now.

    anita

    #334199
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anonymous:

    Your question earlier was: “if there are exercises I can do with practicing .. expressing my emotions.. expressing my truth and communicating and connecting with a person”?

    In your recent post you wrote that the perfect man for you would be someone who would “know himself well and recognize/ express his own needs clearly and honestly”. To recognize such an unusual person who knows himself well and expresses his needs clearly and honestly, you need to be/ do the same yourself, be that unusual person yourself. Because most people do not  know themselves well and do not communicate their needs to their partners/ family members clearly and honestly.

    Let’s look at this man we are discussing. He’s looking for your company recently, what does he want? I am guessing (and I can only guess because he didn’t express his needs), that he wants another hookup. He doesn’t tell you that because he doesn’t want a conversation about it. He just wants it to happen again, no questions asked, no consequences, aka a hookup. Let’s say, over time he wears you down, meaning you are enjoying his attention, you go out to a drink with him and .. well, things just happen, another hookup. Just what he wanted and didn’t communicate clearly and honestly to you.

    And it happened, in this case scenario, because you allowed him to get his way without your mindful consent. A consent between two adults following a few drinks is not an illegal consent, but it is an impulsive consent, given .. under the influence of impulse and forgetfulness, forgetting prior experience and resolutions already made.

    For you to know yourself, to express yourself/ your truth clearly and honestly, you have to practice this now. Not in the future when you will be in a committed relationship, but now. Start anywhere and everywhere there is a chance for you to practice this.

    Before you express a need or a want ask yourself: is it fair for me to ask for this? For example, in a restaurant it would be fair to ask a server for a glass of water, but it wouldn’t be fair  to hand a server some money and ask him/ her to cross the street to another restaurant, a pizza place, and bring you a slice from there. Let’s say this man we are talking about, he approaches you again at the yoga place and you need to know if he is investing in a future hookup. Why don’t you ask him nicely: I noticed you are very friendly to me lately, and I wonder if you are trying to hookup with me?

    Is it fair to ask him that, nicely? I don’t think it is unfair. An example of an unfair request would be to ask him for his phone so that you can see who he is communicating with.

    In other words, if you want a man who will communicate with you his needs and his feelings clearly and honestly, do the same yourself, currently, every chance you get. This practice will build your authentic, connected, flowing (un-constipated, unblocked) person that you can be on a regular basis.

    There are other things you wrote about in your recent post, but what I brought up here is a whole lot. Let me know what you think.

    anita

     

    #344710
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Anita!

    A lot has happened in the past few months that I’d like to update you on. Amid all the COVID turmoil, I hope you are being safe and staying healthy. This is partly why I’m here again sharing, because I feel this is vulnerable time for everyone and I don’t want to make any impulsive actions or decisions just because the anxiety/emotions are intense.

    So this man finally got back into contact with me through social media. By chance, naturally some events happened in real life which led me to him in person. While in person, we chatted and he invited me to his close friends house for dinner. It was an intimate dinner with his friend, friends wife, and their two children. It all went VERY well and we had fun. He took me home, no physical moves were made, just a hug goodnight.

    A week or two goes by, I run into him again naturally. He invited me over for dinner and cooks for me. We have great chemistry. He then makes out with me, and I pull the plug (kindly) and say I need to leave because I have work in the morning. Hes respectful and nice about it all. I did this because even though there is a tremendous amount of sexual attraction, as we discussed, I can NOT have casual sex with this man because my heart doesn’t feel safe/this isnt an exclusive relationship obviously.

    A few days later, my friend sees him and looks like hes hooking up with another girl at a bar. This isn’t surprising to me as I knew he was seeing others, though it did disappoint me after such a great couple of dinners.

    A few days go by, he sees me but since I’m disappointed, I’m not very enthused. He later texts me asking if “I saw him”. It leads to a phone conversation where I call him because I can’t sense his emotions through text message but he seems upset? I very kindly let him know that it’s fine if he wants to hookup with other girls etc., but that I can’t do physical stuff with him if thats the case, it’s just not my lifestyle but its totally fine for him if thats what he wants to do.

    This leads to a conversation about how he is emotionally scarred from a 12 year toxic back n forth relationship, where his ex was very manipulative with his emotions and used his emotions against him. He says he cant ever show his emotions and has a lot of trouble expressing them. He tells me he’s scared of commitment because he doesnt think hed be a good partner, among other fears. He does think we have good chemistry, and says he does feel a connection with me. He says he needs to know a girl for at least a year before committing (I believe this is due to having sex too early in the relationship and leads to an unhealthy thing). And that he thinks that when he meets new girls, if emotions aren’t as “intense” as they were with the toxic ex, than he gets it in his head that the girl is not “the one”. He says that he never shares this stuff with girls, and had very nervous laughter through the conversation. I do believe he’s telling me the truth and that he doesn’t open up often to many people.

    Overall the conversation was very good. I told him I need/value transparency and we both stated how we have a lot of respect for eachother and thanked him for sharing all of this. I could relate to all that he said as I have the same issues with not being able to express/show my emotions. I said that I’m fine with being his friend but I can’t do the physical stuff if its not more of a solid thing. Clearly he doesn’t want to commit so I’m leaving it as that… we are friends.

    I’d also like to add, after I said this about not being physical he says “ok I get it, if you don’t want it to be romantic..” and my reply was “No, I DO want it to be romantic. I really liked making out and hooking up with you.. I just can’t if your doing that with other girls” and he said ok and he understood and thats when he talked more about his issues.

    My issue lies with how sad I’d be if/when he meets someone and knows them for like a month and then decides to marry them. I just feel like thats going to happen and I’ll be left wondering why not me. And I REALLY don’t want to fall into some trap of thinking if I try harder and get him to know me more than he’ll commit (because I KNOW thats not true).

    Do you think me setting the boundary of no physical stuff was the right choice? And do you have any advice at how to move on from him? I don’t want to move on from him but I’m afraid I need to because I’m going to be sitting here hoping he’ll change his mind and be “ready” to take the relationship further as time goes on, and I just doubt that will happen…….. And if it did it could be YEARS from now!! So what am I to do?

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Anonymous.
    #344742
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anonymous:

    Good to have you back here! I just read some of our previous communication so to refresh my memory. It’s been a bit over two months since our last posts here, and a whole lot has changed in these two months.. had no idea back then that the world will be pretty much on a lockdown. I am fine for now, one day at a time, as it always was and will be, thank you for your concern.

    You had an intimate dinner with this man at his friends’ house, no physical moves that night other than a goodnight hug. A week or two afterwards, he invites you for dinner at this place, made out some but you pulled the plugs (excellent! Proud of you, if I may say so, you stuck to your value of no hookups/ casual sex: no sex outside an exclusive relationship), he’s “respectful and nice about it all” (so far, so good). A few days later, he is spotted hooking up with another girl.

    Later on you talk on the phone with him, you then let him know of your value (italicized, above). He then shared with you that his is scared of commitment, that “he needs to know a girl for at least a year before committing”, and that “when he meets new girls, if emotions aren’t as ‘intense’ as they were with the toxic ex, than he gets it in his head that the girl is not ‘the one'”.

    You asked me if I think that you setting a boundary of no physical stuff was the right choice, if I have advice on how you can move on from him even though you don’t want to move on from him (“I’m afraid I need to because I’m going to be sitting here hoping he’ll change his mind”)-

    My answers/ input today: let’s look at what he told you in that phone conversation: he had a 12 year “toxic back n forth relationship”, and from what you shared earlier it was his only long term relationship. What this means is that he didn’t yet have a single long term relationship that was solid for any significant length of time. His only long term relationship was back and forth.

    He presented himself regarding that relationship as the victim of a “very manipulative” woman who “used his emotions against him”. Fast forward, he is using women’s bodies for sex while at least a few of the woman want more than sex, you being one of them- is he a victim turned perpetrator (but presenting himself as still, a victim), or perhaps he wasn’t a victim during that 12 year on and off relationship.

    Notice the following: he says that “when he meets new girls, if emotions aren’t as ‘intense’ as they were with the toxic ex, than he gets in his head that the girl is not ‘the one'”- but wait, if his ex was not the-one (he calls that relationship toxic and says she manipulated and used him, so I figure she was/ could not possibly have been the-one), why is he basing choosing a future the-one on how he felt for the one… who was absolutely not the one? (I would imagine he would choose a different indicator for the-one from the indicator he used to find a toxic, manipulative woman).

    Plus, a mature person will not base his choice for a partner in life on an intensity of emotion because intensity doesn’t last.

    “He says that he never shares this stuff with girls”- meant to make you feel special. If he doesn’t share about his emotions with other girls, it means he is only willing to share his body with them, doesn’t it, pursuing them for sex. And on the phone with you, he is pursuing you for sex (to take place at a later time) by making you feel special. I suppose he is making the other girls feel special in one way or another.

    In summary: I think that you should stay away from this person in each and every way because he is bulls**** you. I think it’s likely that he wasn’t committed to his alleged toxic ex (she may have been toxic, he may have been toxic with her as well, I don’t know, but neither do you). I think that he is superficially a “nice guy” but not really because he uses women, and he is not honest about it.

    Don’t get confused by the fact that he spent an evening with you not trying to have sex with you, or that he bothered to talk to you about emotions while not having sex with you- he has time, he doesn’t mind talking once in a while, mixing some truth with half truths and lies.

    Regarding “how sad I’d be if/ when he meets someone and.. decides to marry them.. I’ll be left wondering why not me”- a wedding ceremony is not going to change him from a superficially nice guy to a truly nice guy, from a guy in the habit of having sex with a variety of women to a man content with just one. “why not me”- I hope because you are smarter, and will choose better than a woman stuck with an unfaithful man.

    anita

     

    #344766
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    im so glad you’re staying safe during this awful time.
    Thank you SO much again for your perspective. It always opens my eyes.

    This is such a vulnerable time for me because I work in a hospital, and the stress is high. I’ve been feeling so emotional, and this relationship is right in front of me—and I felt like I’d do something stupid since this is such a difficult time in the world. I’m so glad I wrote here.

    After our phone conversation I felt good. But I also had some lingering questions.. and funnily, one of them was “Is this what he tells every girl? That he doesn’t share things with them?”

    On some level my body and heart KNOW that I’m being somehow taken advantage of, or just like something just isn’t right here. I’m not trusting him. And luckily I spoke up and set the boundary because I know if he asked me to dinner again, I may have ended up having sex with him again and he still wouldn’t have given more.

    I was even contemplating asking him to dinner to talk more and share more intimate things about myself and why I’m scared to have sex (because I’m scared of being used/manipulated since that has happened in the past to me) BUT that wouldn’t get me anywhere. He’d act “understanding” and agree to “take the physical stuff slow” but I still would most likely end up having sex with him if I’m being honest with myself and it would still end up in a non commitment type of situation.

    A man who actually cares to get to know me would’ve asked why I’m scared to get physical. He would want to understand me. Would you agree? Be more reassuring and try to get to know more of me. Me calling him and explaining why I’m scared to get close—because I fear manipulation and being used—would not make much of a difference, dont you think? This man has not done or shown that—aside from a showy dinner with friends, and the dinner date at his house. He’s lived an entire life of hooking up with women, why would he ever change that behavior now? He’s 38 years old and saying things like he’s hoping to “find the one”. It’s like, he isn’t going to find the one by giving himself around to everyone expecting a quality girl to be ok with that and want to put effort into him? When clearly the energy/intent isn’t reciprocated.

    Would you agree? And the fact he verbally stated he thinks he needs therapy should be enough to make me realize he isn’t ready for what I need, so why try to push it? Why try to force communication and security? Why the need to explain myself and clarify things? When I know it won’t make a difference at all. I think this quarantine came at a perfect time interestingly, because I’m able to distance myself so easily.

     

     

    #344784
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anonymous:

    You working in a hospital, being in the frontline of this pandemic- makes you a Pandemic Hero. I came up with the title and gave it to three members here, one working in a hospital in France as a medical student, another introducing and distributing testing kits in Sri Lanka, and the third person is you.

    And, being a pandemic hero means in no way does this man we are discussing deserve you!

    From what you shared, this man’s interest with women is casual sex, variety of women, and the fun of the pursuit. The fact that he is willing to take you to dinner with friends without having sex with you on that one night, does not mean that he is not strictly after casual sex with you.

    He won’t get far with most women if he tells a woman: all I want with you is casual sex, I don’t want to take you to dinner, don’t want to talk to you on the phone about your feelings, I don’t want to hug you unless I am having sex with you, etc… that kind of straightforward talk almost never works for men. So they have to sprinkle their pursuit of women with some glitter of nicety, give them something of what they want: just a bit of sincerity, just a bit of listening, a sexless hug.. oh, how (not really) sweet.

    Aim at seeing the difference between a man who pretends to be nice so to get what he wants, and a man who is genuinely nice.

    Because this man is dishonest,  giving you some truths, some half truths, some lies, it is a waste of my time to try to figure out what of anything he tells you is true and what is not, there is no point to it. Why bother… See my point?

    anita

    #344816
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    thank you for the kind words. It feels stressful and like a lot of pressure, as the worst is yet to come.

    I completely understand the logic behind sprinkling in niceties to get sex. That much is clear. And as soon as he said 12 years on and off, that raised a red flag. That means he must’ve been toxic as well… could not be all one sided. And it’s proving to be true, the toxicity in him—whether he recognizes it or not.

    Im planning on just trying to avoid him as much as I can? Seeing as how some of my friends are his friends, we live blocks away, and we see eachother around our neighborhood in different places (stores, beach, etc) I’m just going to keep it cordial I suppose. Not much else I can do.

    Since he has come back around, I’m betting at some point he will try again… in few months or even less. When that happens, what is to be done? I guess just staying strong in my boundary and clarity with what I want in a relationship. I’m hoping I can stay strong and recognize that just because he treats me well one night, doesn’t mean he’s wanting what I want. The sexual attraction is unfortunately very high, I don’t know WHY, so I’ll need to just avoid any situations that could lead to that happening (bars, dinners alone, etc)

     

    My main question now is why do I get stuck up on a person like this? Why do I hang on, thinking if I can make him feel comfortable with opening up more than I’ll feel like proud and happy with myself. Part of me keeps seeing him as this wounded little boy from having toxic relationships to look to, poor parenting, and just difficulty with vulnerability. And I feel for that and can relate. But what is this strong desire to keep poking and prodding and trying?

    we spoke before about having a “not good enough” core belief from not being able to change my parents relationship or make a difference in their life. How does this tie into what’s happening with this man?

    #344818
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Anonymous:

    You are welcome.

    “My main question now is why do I get stuck up on a person like this.. Part of me keeps seeing him as this wounded little boy from having toxic relationships.. poor parenting.. difficulty with vulnerability.. And I feel for that and can relate.. what is this strong desire to keep poking and prodding and trying?”-

    – I think you see yourself in him. While you were taught as a child to not express your feelings, to be strong, independent, you pushed down the little girl in you who was vulnerable and weak and needy.. so you are not aware of her. But when you see this man, you see the young child that you are- in him, and you want to help that young child, reach her. Or more accurately, the little girl in you is trying to reach your awareness, wants you to see her.

    Add to it your sexual energy, the fact that you find him sexually desirable, that there is no other man around that interests you, add your stress at work and need for relief.. and well, it all adds up. But primarily, in the core, I believe it is what I typed in the paragraph above.

    anita

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