I was hoping you could give me some perspective here. I’m 36 years old, and I have never been in a serious relationship. Partly this is because I was super shy and grew up with parents who were ultra conservative when it came to dating. But… a huge part of it is that I’ve never been able to connect emotionally with men.
My girlfriends tell me I’m friendly and awesome (though…that’s what girlfriends do, right? 😉 I’ll start off on the right foot with a man, but somewhere down the line, 2 weeks, 2 days even, he’ll get super cold with me, and act like I don’t exist.
I know women complain about this issue with men, but with me, it’s been almost EVERY guy I’ve met since I turned 18. How can that be? I feel like I have to be doing something wrong, but I don’t know what. And of course, it’s always the single, available guys who act this way. If they weren’t attracted to me at all, fine. But they’ll often initiate conversation, and I’ll be responsive, and inevitably down the road, I’ll get blown off. All. The. Time.
I’m really trying hard not to become hateful toward men, but, it’s hard when I’m always getting slammed. What can I do? CAN anything be done? (note: a couple of times I tried asking the guy what’s wrong only to be subject to an angry outburst telling me I’m imagining things). Thoughts?
–Hot and Cold
Thanks for sending in your question— and I must say first—of course something can be done! There is always hope.
A few things stand out for me in your message.
You mentioned that you aren’t able to emotionally connect with men, and then you said that it’s becoming difficult not to become hateful toward them. This is a really common issue that lots of women have, so rest assured that you aren’t alone.
When it comes to relationships, past failures have a nasty way of coloring our vision in a way that when left unchecked, create a downward spiral.
It goes something like this:
1. Gal meets guy. Things go great, AT FIRST.
2. Guy pulls away (either genuinely or in the gal’s mind— either one produces the same result).
3. Gal wracks her brain trying to figure out why things have changed and unintentionally becomes way less casual and relaxed across her interactions with said guy.
4. Guy senses that the power dynamic has flip flopped—he is no longer the hunter, he’s the hunted. Gal has shown her hand. He senses that he has total control and as a result, her mystery wanes. He losses interest (usually totally unconsciously).
5. Relationship ends with a male disappearance and lots of unresolved questions, so gal determines that X is the reason why guy pulled away.
X could be the true reason or not, it doesn’t matter.
6. Gal dusts herself off and ventures to try again and “avoid doing things that guys don’t like, like X.”
7. Cycle repeats. And repeats.
8. Gal’s skepticism and confusion toward guys builds while her confidence circles the drain. Her perceived reasons (X) for the male disappearances stack up.
9. Gal starts manifesting exactly what she has come to expect—disappearances.
All of that leftover negative energy from past experiences is still there in all of us, lurking in the shadows…
…waiting to sabotage us.
And guess what, if you don’t get rid of it, over time that negativity will only grow and hang around until you do something to neutralize it.
Often we don’t give men enough credit for being perceptive, but they truly are. If you’re giving off an insecure, semi-angry vibe, you’ll send them packing without either of you even knowing why.
The most classically beautiful, wonderful woman in the world will absolutely repel men if her attitude goes south.
So, how do you turn this cycle around?
Just like you would fall in love with anyone, you must go out and simply get to know more men with no other intention than understanding and gaining more experience with them.
Each must be judged on his individual merits—not through the lenses of failure and rejection. Which I get, can be hard (like you mentioned… after getting slammed so many times). That’s why it’s important to make it all very innocent and low pressure.
I’ve talked about it before, but it bears repeating—to attract men, you must love men and trust that they (as a group) are a neutral entity. This is how to maintain the positive attitude necessary to negate the negative experiences.
The nuts and bolts of what I’m suggesting are:
1. Seek out friendships with men, genuinely get to know more of them. Flirt with guys at the grocery store. Join a club. Get to know your father better if he’s still around. Talk with more men and really listen. Ask old guys relationship questions.
2. Give it time and practice.
3. Release your negative beliefs as you comfort level naturally grows.
4. Ease into more dating and continue to keep your expectations low. Keep dating more than one person until exclusivity is on the table.
5. Avoid letting negativity take root. If it feels like he’s pulling away, bring your focus back onto yourself.
I hope this helped. Sending you positive energy!