Psycho-Babble Social Thread 250497

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Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It

Posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 8:44:09

To continue the dating theme, where I need help most of all..... :-)

My insecurities: I am fairly attractive, but have always been a little overweight. Thanks to Paxil, in part, I'm even more overweight, but I'm losing that. :-) So, I never think men are physically attracted to me. I'm always surprised when they are.

Their insecurities: I am a lawyer. I make more money and have more education than most men I run into, which really doesn't matter to me, but "they" always are bringing it up. At first, they seem fine with it, even admire how independent I am, but then I slowly notice they make comments about me being in the "high class" crowd, or I'm "way too smart for them." ????

I'm not smart, just happen to be a book geek. The crowd I run in may seem way up there, but that's because my peers from law school are now VERY successful and some are high profile (when I'm only moderately successful).

Think my insecurities are making me go for insecure men?

 

Re: Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It Susan J

Posted by fallsfall on August 13, 2003, at 10:01:26

In reply to Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It, posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 8:44:09

>
> Their insecurities: I am a lawyer. I make more money and have more education than most men I run into, which really doesn't matter to me, but "they" always are bringing it up. At first, they seem fine with it, even admire how independent I am, but then I slowly notice they make comments about me being in the "high class" crowd, or I'm "way too smart for them." ????
>
> I'm not smart, just happen to be a book geek. The crowd I run in may seem way up there, but that's because my peers from law school are now VERY successful and some are high profile (when I'm only moderately successful).
>
You are smart. You wouldn't be a lawyer if you weren't smart. I'm guessing that you can't admit that because you think it turns the guys off.

I have a MA in Math (Computer Science). I married a man who has a high school education and is currently driving a School Bus. I loved him because he had the emotional stuff that my parents didn't (and because he didn't have the intellectual stuff that they did). We were married for 19 years. In retrospect, it would have been better to marry someone who was more similar in education. I think the discrepancy encouraged him to be subservient to me (and this was the eventual downfall of the marriage). He was perfectly happy to be my slave and give me all of the responsibility. I also missed having intellectual stimulation for those 19 years - I will never get that back.

So my advice is to acknowledge and enjoy your intellect and find some one who can also acknowledge and enjoy it. It may be harder to find that person, but I think it will be worth it.

How old are you?

> Think my insecurities are making me go for insecure men?

 

Re: Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It fallsfall

Posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 10:18:23

In reply to Re: Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It Susan J, posted by fallsfall on August 13, 2003, at 10:01:26

I'm 36. Never married.

Maybe I had the same type of problem as you did. My last serious boyfriend (whom I lived with) did end up being more like a child than a partner.

He quit his full-time job to go back to school, which I fully supported. He was supposed to work part time to pay his portion of the mortgage. I also paid his cell phone bill (which was supposed to be a temporary thing), and then, when I asked him to stay within his minute limit because I didn't want to pay such a high bill, he started arguing that I was "using more minutes" than he was! Then I had to nag him to pick up after himself, and god it had turned into my parents' marriage.

I have no problem at all dating intellectual guys -- in fact that is the type I'm VERY attracted to. But my experience (and I don't mean to generalize) is that highly intellectual men are really into their careers, don't have time for me, and aren't very good at people/communication skills.

Am I being too picky in my own way? (It's not so obvious to me like my girlfriends who want guys who are single, never married/no kids, 6-figure salary, handsome, and in power-jobs.)

Emotional connection is something I can't compromise on, so I thought it was fine to compromise on the intellectual connection. I dunno. Not going to marry just for the sake of getting married, so sometimes I feel I'm doomed to a sometimes lonely singledom.

 

Re: Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It Susan J

Posted by Tabitha on August 13, 2003, at 13:34:47

In reply to Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It, posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 8:44:09

Hi Susan,

I relate to the difficulty of finding men who are educated, intelligent, and single. The typical social clubs I've gone to have very few men with any college at all. Have you tried personal ads or dating services? I've always thought that's a good way to find someone who falls into a specific niche. Or how about fix-ups by your other lawyer friends?

Your comments about the few educated ones being too into their careers... yes I find that's true in the 30's, but lots of them start to get more interested in relationships and life balance starting in their 40's.

I've also tried dating with a serious mismatch in income & education... it's fun for a while, but then I run into just what you and fallsfall described-- feeling more like 'mommy' than partner, resenting the financial burden, dealing with their resentment of me, and just feeling like there's a whole aspect of myself that I can't share with them. I just think a woman has to keep looking til she finds a guy who feels like an equal partner.

 

Re: Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It Tabitha

Posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 13:55:30

In reply to Re: Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It Susan J, posted by Tabitha on August 13, 2003, at 13:34:47

Hi,

I find that most men in my circles these days are married, which is probably normal for guys in their 30s.

I'm a little afraid of the classifieds, but I might try that. I don't know how to explain the "chemistry" part of it. Even though the guy might be drop-dead gorgeous, and everything on paper that I want, there might not be chemistry and that's hard to pin down when you do it through match.com or something.

Of course, maybe I just don't have the energy to do all of that to find a good partner. That's always a problem for me....

 

How to prevent a man from turning into a child?

Posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 13:58:22

In reply to Dating - My Lack of Self-Esteem/Man's Lack of It, posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 8:44:09

I REALLY find this to be a problem and I always wondered if it's due to boys growing up in single parent households where the mom is in charge. He grows up seeing a strong woman and thinks that his partner should be like that too. Which is great! Two strong people are better than one.

But they seem to let the woman be strong and slip back down into being the one taken care of....

?

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child?

Posted by Ted on August 13, 2003, at 17:03:31

In reply to How to prevent a man from turning into a child?, posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 13:58:22

My wife says she has two boys: our 7-1/2-year-old son and me. :-)

>I REALLY find this to be a problem and I always
>wondered if it's due to boys growing up in
>single parent households where the mom is in
>charge.

I grew up in a two-parent household and my mother was in charge.

There are two different types of children men can become: emotional and playful. Your complaint is valid for the former, but not the latter. I am (I think) in the latter category.

Another problem is that men often have difficulty with emotional development because of sexual stereotypes, the ways we are raised, and often the lack of emotional support from family. If you find someone you truly like, instead of giving up if the emotional development is lacking, try instead to help him understand and learn. You can do this without being a mother figure.

An old saying I constantly remind myself of, "The secret to a long and happy marriage is 'Yes dear'".

I, too, had the problem with finding women who were smart enough for me. I have high standards, even though I have only a BS from university. I dated a PhD; a girl who graduated highschool in 3 years, tutored mathematics, and was first-violin in the orchestra; and my wife who got her math/CS degree summa cum laude.

Ted

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child?

Posted by lostsailor on August 13, 2003, at 17:25:56

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child?, posted by Ted on August 13, 2003, at 17:03:31

>>I have high standards, even though I have only a BS from university.<<

Sad isn't it. I have a BS, too and for mental health reasons, went on an extended medical leave from my M.S, program which I have been on too long to have the vredits still count twoard the degree. Now I have the lovely offer to re-start the program but have to take, and pay for all the classes I have already taken. An assistantship??? No, as the credits I earned no longer count. It's almost funny to find that a BS in now almost the equiv. to a GED in the eyes of many

sigh
~t

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? lostsailor

Posted by Susan J on August 15, 2003, at 9:02:06

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child?, posted by lostsailor on August 13, 2003, at 17:25:56

> Sad isn't it. I have a BS, too and for mental health reasons, went on an extended medical leave from my M.S, program which I have been on too long to have the vredits still count twoard the degree.

<<Hang in there. I know what it's like to lose the drive, or whatever, to finish something like that. I have no clue how I made it through law school -- I went full time at night while working full time. Although I have to say that was one of the happiest periods of my life.

The reason I'm not so hung up on degrees, though, is exactly what you are pointing out. A degree doesn't make you any "smarter," more learned perhaps, but that intellect is there no matter what. You are still intelligent even if you don't have the M.S. degree hanging on your wall.

With the way my brain is working, or not working, I doubt I'd ever get through law school now.

But good luck. Keep the faith. If you want that degree, you'll get it. And if the effort you have to put out is not worth the benefit of the degree, then don't feel like you've failed. Please. You've instead made the intelligent choice that fits your life.

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Ted

Posted by Susan J on August 15, 2003, at 9:11:04

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child?, posted by Ted on August 13, 2003, at 17:03:31

> There are two different types of children men can become: emotional and playful. Your complaint is valid for the former, but not the latter. I am (I think) in the latter category.
>
<<No, I agree with you. The reasons why people become the adults they are, are so complex, I don't mean to generalize. I guess I just don't understand, really, why I keep attracting men who want me to take care of them.

> Another problem is that men often have difficulty with emotional development because of sexual stereotypes, the ways we are raised, and often the lack of emotional support from family.
<<Yes, I realize that. And my father is a classic example of this. My brother, however, was willing to be open and learned a lot from his wife. I'm really happy my brother turned out to be very emotionally healthy. :-)


>>If you find someone you truly like, instead of giving up if the emotional development is lacking, try instead to help him understand and learn. You can do this without being a mother figure.
<<How do I do this without being a mother figure? My therapist says I keep finding men I have to "fix" and that I should find a guy who's already emotionally healthy. I tried to help this last guy I was involved with, only to watch him shut down emotionally until he literally wasn't even human.

I really think I'm supportive. I don't criticize. I give men "real" compliments when they are deserving of them, rather than fake compliments for no reason, and that I think an intelligent man would see through.

> I, too, had the problem with finding women who were smart enough for me. I have high standards, even though I have only a BS from university. I dated a PhD; a girl who graduated highschool in 3 years, tutored mathematics, and was first-violin in the orchestra; and my wife who got her math/CS degree summa cum laude.
<< Does your wife have a single brother? :-)

But really, that's great that you found someone both intellectually and emotionally compatible with you. Is it luck, or hard work?

Susan

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child?

Posted by Tabitha on August 15, 2003, at 12:37:41

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Ted, posted by Susan J on August 15, 2003, at 9:11:04

> >>If you find someone you truly like, instead of giving up if the emotional development is lacking, try instead to help him understand and learn. You can do this without being a mother figure.
> <<How do I do this without being a mother figure?

Hmmm, maybe by setting an example? If they want to learn they will. Or, sometimes you can gently point out typical conversation-blockers men use, like trying to fix the problem when all you want is validation for your feelings. I knew one male, who incidentally had a very well-developed feminine side, and I explained this idea to him, he asked what you say to validate feelings. I suggested he say something like 'that must be really painful'. And darn if he didn't pick it up and start saying things like that instead of trying to fix the problem! There must be a whole string of women out there benefiting from my training. Then again, I knew another male who had the same habit, I tried the same thing, but his reaction was, well, men try to fix problems and women want their feelings validated, that's just the way it is, can't change it, why try? So you have to find a guy who WANTS to learn.

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Susan J

Posted by Ted on August 15, 2003, at 21:26:01

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Ted, posted by Susan J on August 15, 2003, at 9:11:04

>I guess I just don't understand, really, why I
>keep attracting men who want me to take care of
>them.

You might have cause-and-effect confused. It may be more likely that there is a personality trait of such men that you are attracted to.


>My therapist says I keep finding men I have
>to "fix"

Maybe...

>and that I should find a guy who's already
>emotionally healthy.

Does your therapist tell you exactly how to do this? I am interested in his/her instructions for finding an emotionally healthy mate.

>I tried to help this last guy I was involved
>with, only to watch him shut down emotionally
>until he literally wasn't even human.

Some just can't handle it, either because of maturity, openness, etc.

> Does your wife have a single brother? :-)

:-) Not single. But he wasn't one of the smart ones in the family.

> But really, that's great that you found someone
>both intellectually and emotionally compatible
>with you. Is it luck, or hard work?

I wouldn't say just how compatible we are. Ours hasn't be the best of marriages, but we have made it work for over 16 years.


Ted

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Tabitha

Posted by Ted on August 15, 2003, at 21:32:15

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child?, posted by Tabitha on August 15, 2003, at 12:37:41


> Hmmm, maybe by setting an example? If they want to learn they will. Or, sometimes you can gently point out typical conversation-blockers men use, like trying to fix the problem when all you want is validation for your feelings. I knew one male, who incidentally had a very well-developed feminine side, and I explained this idea to him, he asked what you say to validate feelings. I suggested he say something like 'that must be really painful'. And darn if he didn't pick it up and start saying things like that instead of trying to fix the problem!

My wife had to teach me in this way.


>There must be a whole string of women out there
>benefiting from my training.

:-)

>Then again, I knew another male who had the same
>habit, I tried the same thing, but his reaction
>was, well, men try to fix problems and women
>want their feelings validated, that's just the
>way it is, can't change it, why try? So you
>have to find a guy who WANTS to learn.

And sometimes you have to find a woman who is willing to accept the world as it is and not as she wants it to be.

Face it, Tabbi, you are both correct. The reality is that men and women have to BOTH be sensitive to the other's differences and accept them. To change is good, but not to is not necessarily bad.


Ted

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child?

Posted by Dinah on August 15, 2003, at 21:44:15

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Susan J, posted by Ted on August 15, 2003, at 21:26:01

>
> I wouldn't say just how compatible we are. Ours hasn't be the best of marriages, but we have made it work for over 16 years.
>
>
> Ted
>

I hate to sound cynical, Ted. But that *is* my definition of the best of marriages.

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Ted

Posted by Tabitha on August 16, 2003, at 15:54:14

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Tabitha, posted by Ted on August 15, 2003, at 21:32:15

>
> And sometimes you have to find a woman who is willing to accept the world as it is and not as she wants it to be.
>
> Face it, Tabbi, you are both correct. The reality is that men and women have to BOTH be sensitive to the other's differences and accept them. To change is good, but not to is not necessarily bad.


Well, Ted, fortunately 'the world as it is' is full of all kinds of people. In this case I accepted that I needed friends who were a little more empathetic and supportive than he was willing or able to be, and quit seeing him. Let's hope he's found a woman with different expectations.

 

Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Ted

Posted by Susan J on August 18, 2003, at 8:46:53

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Susan J, posted by Ted on August 15, 2003, at 21:26:01

> You might have cause-and-effect confused. It may be more likely that there is a personality trait of such men that you are attracted to.

<<Perhaps. I don't feel confident enough in this aspect of my life to really say I know what is going on. I "think" they are healthy and open and caring when I meet them, and those are definitely attractive traits to me....I don't know where it goes wrong. Still working on that.

> Does your therapist tell you exactly how to do this? I am interested in his/her instructions for finding an emotionally healthy mate.
<<Hahah! Great question! No, she hasn't told me how to do that. I go back tomorrow, and I'll ask her. She is a very supportive person, but I don't know how much practical advice she can give me.

> I wouldn't say just how compatible we are. Ours hasn't be the best of marriages, but we have made it work for over 16 years.
<< I certainly don't want to pry, and since I've never been married, I really have nothing to compare it to. But is it not the "best" of marriages because it doesn't live up to some ideal our culture portrays, or has it been really hard? I lived with a boyfriend for several years. It was so difficult for me, it really damaged me as a human being. While I don't think I was depressed while living with him, it started soon after. Almost like the war was over, now I can collapse kind of thing...

I don't know if I experienced the typical ups and downs of a "marriage" or not. But if it was a typical marriage, I don't think I'm cut out for it.

In any event, good luck with everything. I respect someone who's been able to manage a relationship with its ups and downs for 16 years.

Susan

 

...a man from turning into a child?--susanJ

Posted by lostsailor on August 19, 2003, at 13:42:11

In reply to Re: How to prevent a man from turning into a child? lostsailor, posted by Susan J on August 15, 2003, at 9:02:06

<<Hang in there. I know what it's like to lose the drive, or whatever, to finish something like that. I have no clue how I made it through law school -- I went full time at night while working full time. Although I have to say that was one of the happiest periods of my life.

The reason I'm not so hung up on degrees, though, is exactly what you are pointing out. A degree doesn't make you any "smarter," more learned perhaps, but that intellect is there no matter what. You are still intelligent even if you don't have the M.S. degree hanging on your wall.

With the way my brain is working, or not working, I doubt I'd ever get through law school now.

But good luck. Keep the faith. If you want that degree, you'll get it. And if the effort you have to put out is not worth the benefit of the degree, then don't feel like you've failed. Please. You've instead made the intelligent choice that fits your life. <<

thank you, susan.
I know you are right, but wanted to thank you for the "reminder"
~tony

 

How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Susan J

Posted by KimberlyDi on August 25, 2003, at 11:59:27

In reply to How to prevent a man from turning into a child?, posted by Susan J on August 13, 2003, at 13:58:22

"The only difference between men and boys are the price of their toys."-unknown

or an answer? "Don't treat him like one."

or ask yourself "What is the common denominator in your relationships?" you.

Females are geneticly programmed to be nuturing. I think the main problem begins if the man takes it for granted. Start looking at yourself. How do you treat your boyfriends? Are you like me? Caring, loving, attentive to his needs? Do you make sure his prescriptions are refilled before he runs out? Do you take care of him? If so, you may need to set some boundaries. Or look at what he does for you, and see if it evens out.

Even if the *so-called problem* is you, it isn't terrible. No one can fault a person for being nuturing. One would just have to stop enabling the childlike dependence to take place.

Communication is important also. You have to tell him what you want. Most guys do like to please. :)

Or I could be WAAYYYYYYYY off base.

my 10cents worth
KDi in Texas

> I REALLY find this to be a problem and I always wondered if it's due to boys growing up in single parent households where the mom is in charge. He grows up seeing a strong woman and thinks that his partner should be like that too. Which is great! Two strong people are better than one.
>
> But they seem to let the woman be strong and slip back down into being the one taken care of....
>
> ?

 

Susan, i didn't even look at the Poster!!!!! KimberlyDi

Posted by KimberlyDi on August 25, 2003, at 12:05:36

In reply to How to prevent a man from turning into a child? Susan J, posted by KimberlyDi on August 25, 2003, at 11:59:27

WHhoooppssss!
Susan,
I didn't realize it was you. I entered somewhere in the middle of the thread, and probably got the wrong slant on it.
Forgive me!!!
KDi in Texas



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