I’m Sensitive, Afraid of Rejection and Push Men Away

I'm Sensitive, Afraid of Rejection and Push Men Away
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Evan,

I wanted to see if you had any tips about modifying my own behavior, because I’m driving myself (and a progression of men) at least a little batty.

Reading your blog has been so useful to me over the last 2 months of intense dating, thank you. I try to — and often do  ­— successfully apply your advice. It’s been up, and down, and absolutely wonderful and then total hell. I’m 34, attractive to people who like my physical type, and I do okay – many men like me, and I like some of them back. I have the usual frustrations with bad dates, vapor trails, and the men who are just emotionally available enough to keep me around but won’t let anything progress, but I’ve learned to accept this as part of the ride.

But I’m very emotionally sensitive and naturally very defensive, and it’s killing me. When a man pulls back just a little bit – even very early on, and very possibly just in my head – I start to freak out on the inside, to write the death warrant on the non-relationship, and to become tense about the whole affair. I write “you’re obviously not interested – nice to know you” emails way too quickly, leaving men going “Wait. What?” They often stick around to work it out – I swear some of them even *like* it – but I’ve poisoned the natural progression of our discourse, and I think the long-term effects are usually negative.

I know this is bad. I logically know it’s very bad. But when I’m in the middle of an “it’s over and he doesn’t like me! I must defend myself!” attack it feels 100 percent like the only course of action. Then I write the email/leave the voice message and… instantly feel horrible. I sit in dread of the response. I suddenly see the mature, thoughtful way I could asked them what was going on with them that I didn’t take.

Do you have any mechanisms, anything at all, for heading off this behavior at the pass? I feel like a slave to my fears of rejection, and it’s causing a “let me reject you before you reject me!” nuclear reaction that slimes everything in radiation and leaves everyone, self included, emotionally flayed. I hate it.

Thank you, even if you just read this! Your blog really is the best.

Best,
Emily

Oh, Emily.

I’m about the last person you should be asking for advice on defending yourself.

I’m constantly writing long-winded, emotional, poorly-thought-out responses to the various ways that my words are minced, mangled, and misinterpreted — and every time I do, I feel a piece of my soul break away.

Being understood is tiring work.

If you consistently fly off the handle that every man in the world isn’t following your imaginary script as to how he’s supposed to act, you’re essentially writing your own unhappy ending.

Being right requires constant maintenance.

And letting everyone know that you’re right is like a full time no-paying job.

Which is the key point — there are NO REWARDS for being right.

All you do is end up alienating the people who have the potential to care for you.

Are your negative impulses “correct”? I’m betting they often are.

But if you consistently fly off the handle that every man in the world isn’t following your imaginary script as to how he’s supposed to act, you’re essentially writing your own unhappy ending.

Remember: Men do what they want, not what you want.

Stop expecting them to do what you want, try to understand where they’re coming from, and you’ll soon discover that they start appreciating you a lot more.

I’m not an easygoing person, but I will be the first to tell you that there are few qualities more valuable — in a wife, in a friend, or in a business partner.

If you don’t learn to let things roll off your back, then most men — unless they’re blindly whipped on your intoxicating beauty — are just going to conclude that you’re too much work. Or, as other men have been known to say, you’re “hot and crazy”.

And a man can only deal with so many tantrums, so much criticism, and a finite amount of drama before he concludes that he’ll date someone less attractive, intelligent and impressive and find himself a nice girl who makes his life easier.

In fact, I just did a teleseminar last month, called “Being a Great Girlfriend” in my FOCUS Coaching group. Took a bunch of questions and spent an hour teaching women how to better understand and connect with men in relationships.

When you fire off angry missives to guys who barely have anything invested in you — much less a real boyfriend — you’re certainly not understanding him, appreciating him, or making his life better.

As “research”, I asked my Mom and wife to tell me the three things that made them great partners. After they both said, “Oral sex”, we got down to these three things: not emasculating him, appreciating everything he does for you, and doing your best to make his life happy every day.

When you fire off angry missives to guys who barely have anything invested in you — much less a real boyfriend — you’re certainly not understanding him, appreciating him, or making his life better.

You’re just telling him he’s an insensitive schmuck.

Yeah, we don’t like hearing that. Especially if we have valid reasons for not doing what you want us to do.

So, are there any mechanisms for heading off this behavior at the pass?

Apart from taking a deep breath, a time out, and a full day before you write something you regret, the only thing I can think of is this:

“Why He Disappeared — The Smart, Strong, Successful Woman’s Guide to Understanding Men and Keeping the Right One Hooked Forever.”

It’s the best summation I can offer about why men marry some women and not others, and I think you’ll really get a lot out of it. Please come back and let me know what you think. And don’t worry: there’s a money-back guarantee!

Thanks, and please come back here to let us know how it goes.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    Heather

    @ Emily, yes, that “sweet spot” is very, very hard to find. I’m starting to learn to calm down around my guy, but some things are really hard to unlearn. Recently, I accidentally spilled something on my boyfriend’s dresser. I didn’t know I had done it; he found it and said there was some scented oil all over his dresser. I realized I had done it and I apologised immediately and was very sincere. I didn’t realize what “I” was doing but later he gently told me that I kept apologising over and over and looked downright panicked. He commented, “Wow, your ex really did treat you pretty badly, I can see the fear in your eyes when you apologise, like you think I’m going to smack you around for something trivial.” He is very supportive of my seeking help for those seemingly ingrained behaviors and is understanding that I don’t want to be this way. He really is a good guy and I don’t want to lose him.

    @ Heatherk: you know, you sound like me and where I was, last year. I’d been reading EMK and Paige Parker’s blogs/newsletters, along with some others, and read alot of other books about dating but yet it just seemed like I couldn’t meet a guy that was pleasant, kind, and emotionally available, and not a game-player. I knew that part of it is just the area I live in; multiple articles, surveys, studies do show that my area is very difficult to date in, due to Washington DC being such a transient area, along with other reasons.

    I believe you or another poster asked about how to let a guy know, when you’re catching on that a guy really is misbehaving, and you don’t want to be bitchy about it. I went through that last summer, a guy was acting very much like he was interested, followed up, made plans, called, etc, and then did a freak out after we discussed how we wanted this situation to proceed. He disappeared, and then stood me up for a date. I did not “call him out” on the disappearing for days on end, but I did call him out on the standing me up part. All I did was I said, “Hi B, listen, I need to let you know that “I” am no longer interested in continuing this. I have to be honest, disappearing and standing me up are deal-breaking behaviors. I am not angry with you but I am disappointed in your behavior. If you did not want to see me anymore, an email or a phone call would have sufficed, and that would have been that. Best of luck.” An hour later, I got a long, “I am so sorry, you are absolutely right, I effed up and you didn’t deserve that kind of behavior.” email. I did not reply to it, and kept on going. And promptly went out on a date that night with another guy. 🙂

    It is like the old country song, “You gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em…..” I’m just glad that I’m basically out of the dating pool and working on things with my guy.

  2. 22
    EA

    The over-correct:

    Here’s one I’m curious about. I seem to have played it too cool. I was complimented for not pressuring, for being rational, logical, etc. All the things that my previous guy would have NEVER said about me.

    Well, I got dumped because, and I quote, ‘nothing’s happening, I’m not falling in love. I feel like I am cuddling my best guy friend when we’re in bed. You’re so exactly like me that I feel like I’m dating …’ get ready for it ‘my sister!”

    Yes, he literally said I was like his sister and his best guy friend. It’s been two years and he still texts me and hangs out with me occasionally, but he dates tons of women and we’re just friends.

    My take is that with alcohol, you can cut it out completely if you have a problem with it and that works. With food, you still have to eat so you always have to skirt the ‘dangerous behavior.’ I find that with me, emotions are like that.

    It seems like my emotions either control me completely or I have to act as though I don’t have any. And, the guy feels like you’re his buddy, not his GF and he leaves. AWESOME

  3. 23
    Mia

    I’m honestly surprised that Evan married his wife bc in my experience men dont value easygoing, kind, cool women. So many pursue girls that are high maintenance and high strung. She was lucky he came to the epiphany after years of dating, but after reading her guest blog a few years back about how she behaved during rheir courtship, I thought, well, thats what I already do, isn’t that common sense?

    Ever since I graduated college six years ago I have not been able to find a man remotely my age who seems to value the right things in a woman. From 23-26, I dated men who were 10 plus years older bc they were the only ones who wd give me the time of day — late 30s guys. Starting last year, a flood of 40somethings came out and pursued me- a guy in a wheelchair, a guy who I wd have been fired for dating bc it was a professional conflict of interest, a married man, a man who lived in the woods in another state … These weren’t online guys, I met them in real life . I deserved better, so I thought.

    So I really hunkered down to meet men within 5 years of my age and found 2 30 year olds that I dated for two months each. I know I did NOTHING wrong, but as usual could not get out of the once a week call/date phase. Like many men, they thought I was gorgeous, easygoing, intelligent, and interesting — they just couldn’t be bothered to see me more than the bare minimum. And I wonder if bc I never throw a fit about when a guy calls, and am always pleasant, they just assume they don’t have to call much.

    So if I’m 28yo catch and don’t believe I should have to settle for a man at most 7 yrs older, where am I supposed to find these men that do value easy to be around women ? It seems like they don’t value that until later in life but I’m sick of being with old guys!

  4. 24
    Karl R

    Emily asked: (original post)
    “Do you have any mechanisms, anything at all, for heading off this behavior at the pass?”

    The best advice I ever heard was to rely on a three month progress report. There are going to be fluxuations in someone’s behavior on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, but by the three month mark, it should be an exclusive relationship. And at every three month point after that, there should be noticeable progress moving forward.

    I like this because it takes into account the regular ebb-and-flow of a relationship. It also takes into account that some people move faster than others. But if you look at your relationship and see no discernable difference between where it is and where it was three months ago, then you can (calmly) bring it up in a conversation.

    Laya said: (#3)
    “if guy pulls away, I must have done something to turn him off. I no longer react or feel this way”
    Emily said: (#8)
    “If they disappear/aren’t interested, really, what does it matter? They weren’t right for me, and enough men are interested that there’s no reason for me to torture myself like that.”

    That’s one critical realization to prevent that kind of “freaking out”.

    Most of the time, you didn’t do anything. The reason “why” doesn’t matter. You just weren’t the kind of person he (or she) was looking for. This applies equally to men and women.

    Mia asked: (#4)
    “how common is it to meet a woman who’s not pursuing or freaking out on you or trying to control you? Does a woman who’s not engaging in that bad behavior win a lot of points with you? Do you even notice?”

    In my experience, none of my girlfriends freaked out in the manner being described. This might partly be a function of age (women in their 30s and 40s) or the type of women I am attracted to. However, I would say that freaking out is the exception, not the norm.

    Amanda said: (#6)
    “It’s like I stay in this scenario to try to become stronger and I feel more weak than ever. The more he distances, the more I want him.”

    It sounds like you have a really bad relationship with a really desirable man.

    Here’s the one thing you need to remember:
    It’s a really bad relationship

    He is not emotionally available.
    He does some pretty jerky things.
    You melt down.
    You feel more weak than ever.
    You do not feel like you can openly communicate with him.
    You periodically erupt into a basket case.

    Amanda asked: (#6)
    “But once he’s labeled you to be a crazy drama girl – is there any hope for a future?”

    Is that the kind of future you want for yourself?

    Annalise asked: (#17)
    “he said he didn’t want to date anyone else, but didn’t want to have a girlfriend…”
    “Is this one of those ‘there is nothing to learn’ stories?”

    Yes. There is nothing to learn from that.

    EA said: (#22)
    “It seems like my emotions either control me completely or I have to act as though I don’t have any.”

    There is a middle ground between the two extremes.

    EA said: (#22)
    “And, the guy feels like you’re his buddy, not his GF and he leaves.”

    You know how Evan and I recommend against pursuing raging-hot chemistry at the expense of compatability? There are some men who do the same thing.

    If you date someone like this, shrug and let them go.

  5. 25
    Michael17

    Mia (and Clare): Reading your posts, I find myself thinking that you are female equivalent of the Nice Guy. Let me explain…

    Well, you probably know that many women might keep saying how they want to meet a successful guy who is a gentleman who asks for directions and who is willing to do yoga [i.e., offensive boorish masculine traits that you complain to your friends about, scrubbed away]. Then very often when they actually date a guy like that, they’re torn. They really like him! He’s just what they say they’ve been looking for all along! Such a breath of fresh air compared to all those boors they’ve griped about in the past! Yet, still, Something Is Missing.

    Well, we men say we want to meet a woman who has good looks AND who is easy-going, says what she means and does what she says, no drama, and logical. [i.e., the offensive crazy feminine traits that we complain to our friends about, scrubbed away]. And then when WE meet YOU, and we’re the ones who are torn. We really like you! You’re what we’ve been looking for all along! Such a breath of fresh air compared to those crazy chicks who frustrated the hell of us. And yet still, Something Is Missing.

    I’d say what is missing is sexual polarity. Just as many women get turned on when a guy “put them in their place” from time to time, many men get turned on when a woman tests them hard for “no reason” or even when she acts a little batty from time to time.

    Just some food for thought.

    1. 25.1
      Christina

      Bingo Micheal17! The phrase nice guys (or girls) finish last mean just that. Let me expand on your point.

      We all have a conscious or subconscious perception of what is appropriate dating etiquette. Far too often, easy-going is misconstrued as lacking in self-esteem, desperation or lacking in value. Imagine an LV bag priced at $1, not as many people would want it. The materials and workmanship is the same but perceived value has dropped. It seems like anyone can own one now, far too easily. The logical people would even suspect it is a hoax, hey, nothing is for free eh.

      Now, imagine an LV bag priced at retail $2,000 but at a special discount for you and you only at $1,500, many would go for it, seeing it as a good deal. It still holds it’s prestige.

      It also has to do with the worldly thinking that anything worth going for has to be painstaking, love is suffering, no free lunch, etc.

       

       

  6. 26
    Helen

    Mia 23: Men DO like easygoing women. But some of your posts have not been indicative of an easygoing attitude, so perhaps this is something you want to seriously consider working on: having the inside and outside match, so to speak. Our OP Emily, at least, knows what her nature is. That is a first step in solving relationship problems.

    “I’m sick of being with old guys!”

    The guys you describe as old in your post are in their late 30s. That doesn’t seem that old for a 28-year-old woman.

    In other posts, you’ve compared yourself to married women who are your “friends”, calling them dogs, ugly, loudmouthed, and unfeminine; and wondering how they could be married. You have every right to think these things, but you should understand that no one would consider this an easygoing attitude.

    Do you think Evan’s wife was constantly comparing herself to others like this and insulting her “friends” this way? Men do pick up on these attitudes, regardless of how you may try to hide them. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Who you are speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying.”

    As a first step, it would be helpful to make a conscious effort not to compare yourself to others. A next step might be widening your definition of what’s an acceptable age in men who are interested in you and whom you might be interested in.

  7. 27
    Karl R

    Mia said: (#23)
    “in my experience men dont value easygoing, kind, cool women.”

    That’s like men saying that women don’t value nice guys. Women do value nice. But being nice doesn’t get my foot in the door. It also isn’t the only consideration, even after I’ve gotten my foot in the door.

    My first two serious girlfriends were the hardest to get along with. (They didn’t freak out, but they came with other difficulties.) After them, I discovered that it was possible to find girlfriends who were easy-going … and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less.

    Mia asked: (#23)
    “where am I supposed to find these men that do value easy to be around women ? It seems like they don’t value that until later in life but I’m sick of being with old guys!”

    I had a comparable issue while dating. I didn’t want kids. I discovered very few women my age who felt the same way. On the other hand, I discovered that the women six or more years older than me were much more likely to meet that requirement.

    If I held out for someone my age, my dating pool was so small that it was likely that I would still be single 6 to 8 years down the road (when I reached the age where the pool rapidly expanded). Or I could add those women to my dating pool immediately, and potentially cut 6 to 8 years off my search.

    You will eventually be in your mid-30s. You can hold out for a man who is your age. Or you can make your search go faster. Choose the option that works for you.

  8. 28
    Katarina Phang

    Michael17, interesting! So in other words, men love unpredictable women, right? And a woman can capitalize on that little mystery every now and then.

    I can’t agree more. Unpredictability is one power a woman has to get him all curious and intrigued about you.

  9. 29
    Maria

    I need a “good post” smilie for Michael 17. That’s exactly it. Without gender polarity there is no relationship, nothing for a man to want to hold on to (other than an awesome buddy). I would also add that an easygoing disposition may generate warm friendly feelings and good will, but it doesn’t engender passion.

  10. 30
    Mia

    Michael , I get what you’re saying. But I’m seeking a healthy relationship where the man is thrilled to be with a woman who acts in a considerate and low key manner. I’ve dated men that I got away with acting psycho with when I was younger but don’t want that anymore.

    Even so, I am the furthest you could get from the stereotypical sweet nice girl — but I’ve just worked extra hard to behave like a normal, sane, feminine lady when I meet a relationship prospect. Deep down, in my natural state I’m an emotional neurotic basket case who’s high functioning — ivy league, good career, confident, yada yada.

    And im a prolific dater who dates like a man in some ways — with an appreciation of quantity and variety — and in one recent four month period had a fling with a gorgeous Chilean writer who was 40 with a kid, continued a fwb thing with a 34 yo short bald guy , nailed a 20 yo college kid I met an hour ago at a concert , hooked up with a 25yo jewish ex coworker, had one date each with a middle aged guy in a wheelchair, 29yo ex frat boy, and mid 30s Asian lawyer , dated for several months a hipster, made plans for separate weekend visits with a redhead world traveling rake on a motorcycle and a handsome Indian doctor, and continued to keep in touch via email with my nerdy broke ex bf. I met all of them in real life bc I’m an active interesting person who’s up for anything.

    I’d honestly prefer a relationship but have to go out with all these guys until I find one.

    So even as a naturally crazy person, why would I act batty to these men who I don’t know that well? Why unleash the psycho on innocents? Huh . I have 3 dates coming up this week with guys that I don’t care about, maybe I’ll test them and act bratty and report back.

  11. 31
    Veronica

    @Michael17
    I very much agree with the polarity between the sexes being an important thing, but it doesn’t have to take the form of me acting crazy for no reason.
    I think it is possible to keep a man satisfied and still be a nice, easy going person. For example, keeping it lively in the bedroom 😉

    My current bf had a long history of dating strong, bitchy women with attitude (I suspect because his mom was one). I am a strong woman, but not bitchy in the slightest. I think it just took some time for him to realize how nice it is to date someone nice- but like I said-I find keeping it spicy in the bedroom keeps him from feeling like I am too ‘vanilla’.

  12. 32
    henriette

    So, from the comments I’m gathering that men find “sexual polarity” in women being unpredictable and sometimes downright psycho. Well, great.

    Most of the truly bitchy women I know are married, but would I want their marriages? Not in a million years. A man who puts up with, or even enjoys, that kind of drama is simply not the one for me.

    As for the original letter, well, sometimes dating does feel like a game of “chicken;” you want to let go before the other person has a chance to do so and cause you lots of pain. Whenever I start to feel this way, I try to take a deep breath, distract myself, and also think about what it is that *I* want. Rather than being so worried about HIM – is HE pulling back? Does HE no longer like me? – I force myself to consider whether or not I admire him as a person, find him interesting and kind, etc. Often, I realise that I’ve been so focused on my panic that I haven’t actually been getting to know him and his character.

  13. 33
    AllenB

    For me it is the gender polarity thing that I don’t get. I have had so many women like me, even fall for me . . . for a while. Then they break up because they don’t see being with me for a long time. Then they say “but I have this or that friend” probably because they feel badly for dumping me. I am pretty sure my lack of grasp of gender polarity is what I am missing and from what I see of it, I would rather be alone. I don’t want to be “tested hard for no reason” and likewise, I don’t believe in putting someone in their place unless they have earned it.

    Maybe if I understand gender I can get there, but if not, I will stay the nice guy that women like but never love. I would rather that than not be true to myself.

    1. 33.1
      Christina

      Hi AllenB,

      I hear you. “I don’t want to be “tested hard for no reason” and likewise, I don’t believe in putting someone in their place unless they have earned it.”  I think like you too but I do the dumping, either way I am not with the person I  want to  be with either.  

      I have plenty of options so it’s really not for the lack thereof. It is more a matter of quality then quantity as far as I am concerned. It is also a messed up broken world as well so that doesn’t say much for social norms. hahhahaha.

      I do think it is helpful to see social norms as a guide of sorts especially in the beginning until someone has had time to discover your real personality. I march to the beat of my own drum I thought. I am different I thought. What it means is that I miss out on the well-adjusted people who potentially have the same beliefs I do.

      I have come to accept that I can never run totally away from social norms, anything out of the ordinary is suspect, people fear different, people fear change. So I use it intelligently to allow myself more opportunities while keeping my authentic self intact.

  14. 34
    Ruby

    Maria #29

    “an easygoing disposition may generate warm friendly feelings and good will, but it doesn’t engender passion.”

    A non-easygoing disposition might also engender “drama.” Drama might be passionate, but it won’t last in the long term. You can be nice, but still have a spine, and you can have a fun, passionate relationship without the craziness. In fact, over the course of a lifetime, it’s highly preferable.

  15. 35
    Rampiance

    After some traumatic experiences with men and some beautiful ones, too, I felt two ways: I was mortified of getting helplessly attached and becoming the doormat I had been too often; and I was hopelessly romantic and still really enjoyed the company of men. Well, now I call myself hopefully romantic, and I also learned to stand up for myself while being kind and considerate. I used a practice that might help you, too.

    The key is to find The Third Way between desire and detachment. Desire is fueled by your passionate nature, and detachment is counseled by your practical, logical nature. I put both to work at the same time in an exercise that is harrowing at first and then ultimately satisfying.

    Upon getting to know a man, sometimes I’d get that obsessive feeling ~ wondering how did he feel about me, when would he call, what did his every little action mean … where would this go …. and then, what if it didn’t go, what if he never called, what if I fell for him and he ditched me, what if, what if, what if ???

    That’s when I’d do this practice. I’d think of the man as fully as I could ~ all his cuteness, kindness, everything that attracted me, all the best of the futures I could imagine with him. Then I’d imagine a tragic accident that would leave me without him in my world forever … and I’d throw myself into that scene as fully as I did the previous fantasy. Crying over his dead body, imagining life going on without him, feeling the blackness and despair.

    But the thing is, in every case, life did indeed go on. I couldn’t escape the fact that in my imagined scene that seemed so awful, the tragic fantasy continued afterward with me alive and actually not so very much different than my real life in the present moment. My tears poured at first, then dried. My heart wrenched terribly, then continued beating.

    This practice was helpful to me because I could put my overactive imagination to work and play out scenes in depth and intensity without actual risk-in-the-flesh. I could check out the very worst of the “what ifs”. After living through the trials and coming out the other side, I felt equipped to go through the real thing and deal with whatever might happen. I found courage to face the unknown because I’d already dealt with the worst I could imagine. I’d do this as often as the terrors would arise.

    In seeking The Third Way, those of us who have super-active imaginations can put them to work as relief valves instead of as nuclear reactor meltdowns.

  16. 36
    Kathy

    I have 3 words for this woman:
    Borderline
    Personality
    Disorder
    Look it up. Classic signs…textbook in fact. Fear of abandonment. I’ll reject you before you reject me. This cannot be solved with a quick note on how you should treat a man…it takes long, intense therapy!

  17. 37
    Still-Looking

    Mia – you stated, “men dont value easygoing, kind, cool women. So many pursue girls that are high maintenance and high strung. ”

    Some men do pursue high maintenance, high strung women. Some guys will tolerate such traits only if the woman is extremely attractive though in my experience the infatuation is soon overcome by her demanding nature. Other men actually enjoy stress filled relationships.

    I think most men, especially as they get older and wiser, are looking for easygoing, kind, cool, and fun women. Not women who are spineless and agree with everything the man says, but women who have a mind of their own yet are laid-back and sweet.

    If you act batty/bratty you will likely find that men will tolerate such behavior for a very short time. They will ignore the red flags, have their fun with you, and then move on. Such behavior is tolerable for a weekend fling – not for a long term relationship. As EMK and others have mentioned so many times, the alpha male and bad boy personalities might create some initial chemistry but such men are lousy prospects for the long term. The assessment is the same for high maintenance and demanding women.

    Keep us posted with the results of your experiment…

  18. 38
    Heather

    @ Mia:

    HAHAHA!!! Your last comment about acting psycho and bratty just made me smile. I was literally telling my married girlfriend this, last year. She’d been through the dating trenches too, and she’s my sounding board and sanity check. I told her, “Maybe I just have to be psycho, check a guy’s phone, snoop in his email, act like a little bitch, just so I can meet someone. Because that’s all I see anymore, are girls who treat men badly, getting the guy. We nice girls who don’t want drama, hate drama, and would treat a guy well, get kicked to the curb.” I realize it goes both ways, as I have had guy friends say the same thing, but I have to operate from where I am, as a woman. I stopped pursuing men and I had no fewer than 3 men tell me later that at first, they thought I didn’t like them at all, because I was so “hands off.” I told one guy, “I respect a man’s space and privacy and I am not interested in being the psycho chick.” He was really impressed by that, and while we did not work out as a couple, we do remain friendly and banter some on Facebook.

    I can totally understand how you feel, and where you’re coming from. Been there. You keep hanging in there and you do what you do best. I really was getting to a point where I just thought, you know what, I like me, I love me, and I am tired of the nonsense and drama I see here in the DC dating pool. I’m going to take a breather for awhile, focus on me, my Mom’s fight with cancer, and my best friend, home from a tour of duty overseas. I was really becoming OK with the thought of never finding anyone else and going on alone, and then my fella came around. You just never know who or what could happen to you.

    Big hugs. You’re going to be OK. 🙂

  19. 39
    Helen

    Folks: it’s slightly creepy how many posts here interpret “sexual polarity” as meaning drama and slap-downs of the opposite sex.

    Michael17 wrote: “I’d say what is missing is sexual polarity. Just as many women get turned on when a guy “put them in their place” from time to time, many men get turned on when a woman tests them hard for “no reason” or even when she acts a little batty from time to time.”

    Say what? I don’t view a man who attempts to “put women in their place” as masculine. I view them as insecure control freaks. I also don’t like drama in men.

    Speaking for myself only (but maybe some women agree): the most masculine men I know are not dramatic at all. The traits I personally find masculine is if they know how to fix things easily, enjoy outdoor activities, enjoy showing care to women, and don’t complain or gossip. The strong, quiet type with no excess drama.

    The most feminine women I know are also not drama queens. They are modest and pleasant, and they move and act with grace.

    Drama would only detract from masculinity and femininity in both cases. You can fully embrace your sexuality without acting batty or “putting someone in their place” – that’s indicative of discontent and egotism, which aren’t attractive traits at all. Embrace the things you enjoy – that makes you attractive.

  20. 40
    Helen

    Another thing: I found that Evan defined femininity himself in another post. THIS comes much closer to the truth than acting psycho or batty to attract a man:

    “Being feminine isn’t defined by long hair or a curvy body or — as you falsely state — becoming some ‘submissive little doll of a woman’.

    “Being feminine is about being receptive, warm, upbeat, nurturing, supportive, sexy, and confident in your own femininity.

    “The great news is that you can still be smart, strong, and successful and possess ALL of these qualities.”

    See? No room for drama or psycho behavior in any of this. If anything, it sounds incredibly relaxed. I really like this definition. Embodying your feminine nature is something to relax into, not something to desperately strive for.

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