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Hi all:

I'm new to this website. I have been struggling with this issue for along time. I haven't been in a relationship for 6 years and am feeling alone. I miss companionship. I have only been in two relationships, which ended with me always taking care of the other person and getting the short end of the stick, so to speak. I am scared to death of intimacy because I am deathly afraid that I will once again end up in the same situation. I just know this is going to happen even though I have had several years of therapy reguarding this issue. I also am vey shy around people who may want my attention. I have never really been on a "date", because for me it seems to be based on

two people judging each other to see if they are worthy of being together. I don't want the trama-drama danc. What I really think is that two people should be really good friends before anything romantic happens, but the world doesn't seem to operate that easily. Can anyone out there giv me any advice?

I'm just "confused" and scared

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Okay, it's first thing in the morning for me, but I found your post really interesting.

 

The first thing I'd like to ask you is do you think it's possible that you are attracted to men who need excessive caretaking because you are insecure and don't feel that you, just being you, are worth anyone's attention in a relationship? Or perhaps the men were originally more or less self-sufficient, but by constantly trying to "earn your keep" you (unintentionally) gradually made them more and more helpless and dependent on you?

 

Also, do you think it could be that you are insecure and lack self-esteem and thereforeeee have a skewed perspective of what dating is about, which allows you to justify not dating without forcing you to confront the fact (possibly) that you are simply terrified of it? Because I always dated like a mad woman, and loved it, and never felt like I was there to judge anyone, or that I was being judged. We were just going out to the movies or something.

 

You want low-key relationships that gradually develop into romantic attachments so that you will not be so afraid of rejection. I would suggest that you immediately, today, develop a burning interest in sports; join at least one team of some sport, and more optomistically, two. This will serve two purposes: First of all, men who participate in (note, I said participate, not watch) sports tend to be more healthy, mentally and physically, than men who don't participate. You're immediately moving into an arena that automatically excludes people with all sorts of issues because they can't function in that environment.

 

Secondly, it will help you develop confidence, all kinds of social skills, get you right next to a bunch of guys without forcing you to date anyone or make up something to talk about, and provide you with an activity that will at least take your mind off of your lack of a current relationship.

 

You've been in relationships before and obviously you're capable of sustaining intimacy. You may not actually like sports, but that doesn't matter; this isn't a recreation so much as a determined attempt to change an aspect of your life that hasn't responded to your normal efforts. So step outside the box. If you can find a co-ed team, of anything, join it. Stay away from things like water-ballet; sports that normally attract adventurous souls and are largely male-dominated, like climbing, or hang-gliding, would be best. I personally recommend scuba diving. Just bear in mind: Nothing will work if you tell yourself "this won't work." Just have fun and enjoy yourself, and I guarantee you, men will chase you down the street, because that's attractive to everyone.

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