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Old 10-02-2018, 09:05 PM
 
680 posts, read 174,946 times
Reputation: 865

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I thought I was past all that. I've been much better about it in the last year. I hit a situation today though where I ran into not one but THREE women I'm attracted to. None are real possibilities (all work-related), but biology is biology.


One I knew I was going to interact with today, and it went okay. Able to prepare for it and fake the feelings away. The other two surprised me. Butterflies, avoiding eye contact, forced terse speech. Consciously avoiding and yet subconsciously drifting closer.


That feels like unacceptably creepy behavior for a 33 year old man. With women who are possibilities I'll approach and take my chances. Maybe the hangup is, if they were to approach me I'd go for it, but with work being work I'm not willing to take the chance of being assertive...so it's kind of a no-man's land for me, between "Yes, I want to ask her on a date" and "No, she's absolutely not an option at all." I'm afraid my behavior gives away my raging self-confidence issues.


Any tips or advice on dealing with it?
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,227 posts, read 41,812,025 times
Reputation: 83020
Quote:
Originally Posted by At Arms Length View Post
I thought I was past all that. I've been much better about it in the last year. I hit a situation today though where I ran into not one but THREE women I'm attracted to. None are real possibilities (all work-related), but biology is biology.


One I knew I was going to interact with today, and it went okay. Able to prepare for it and fake the feelings away. The other two surprised me. Butterflies, avoiding eye contact, forced terse speech. Consciously avoiding and yet subconsciously drifting closer.


That feels like unacceptably creepy behavior for a 33 year old man. With women who are possibilities I'll approach and take my chances. Maybe the hangup is, if they were to approach me I'd go for it, but with work being work I'm not willing to take the chance of being assertive...so it's kind of a no-man's land for me, between "Yes, I want to ask her on a date" and "No, she's absolutely not an option at all." I'm afraid my behavior gives away my raging self-confidence issues.


Any tips or advice on dealing with it?
The most obvious answer is to deal with this from the social awkwardness/anxiety angle, but I want to urge you to look at it from a mere human angle. I believe this problem is rooted in a wobbly sense of self.

First of all, think about your own personal boundaries, because that is very important. If you KNOW you cannot and will not date someone you work with, then that should absolutely eliminate any possibility of something happening which, in theory, should relieve some of the sexual tension you're feeling.

Once you have your own personal boundaries set, you then have to examine why you don't know how to deal with women who are sexually unavailable to you. You seem to be ok with someone who is a dating possibility, but you appear to be unable to cope with an attractive woman you aren't allowed to date. Why is that?

Beyond that, you should begin to force yourself to NOT fantasize about them or think about them in a romantic way. Retrain yourself think of something else so that you aren't dwelling on them. It IS creepy behavior when seen from the other person's point of view, and you don't want your actions to be misconstrued.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:26 PM
 
1,211 posts, read 533,770 times
Reputation: 2423
Avoid her until you find out she's seeing someone else. Problem solved.

Attacks of feelings should be treated like colds or flu. Keep them to yourself until they go away.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:52 PM
 
680 posts, read 174,946 times
Reputation: 865
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
The most obvious answer is to deal with this from the social awkwardness/anxiety angle, but I want to urge you to look at it from a mere human angle. I believe this problem is rooted in a wobbly sense of self.

First of all, think about your own personal boundaries, because that is very important. If you KNOW you cannot and will not date someone you work with, then that should absolutely eliminate any possibility of something happening which, in theory, should relieve some of the sexual tension you're feeling.

Once you have your own personal boundaries set, you then have to examine why you don't know how to deal with women who are sexually unavailable to you. You seem to be ok with someone who is a dating possibility, but you appear to be unable to cope with an attractive woman you aren't allowed to date. Why is that?

Beyond that, you should begin to force yourself to NOT fantasize about them or think about them in a romantic way. Retrain yourself think of something else so that you aren't dwelling on them. It IS creepy behavior when seen from the other person's point of view, and you don't want your actions to be misconstrued.

I think I can cope with attractive women who are completely unavailable. Happens pretty frequently. Strike up a conversation, get to talking, find out she's married/dating. My heart falls a bit but I bury the feelings of attraction and move on. Or, she shoots me down and I move on. I think the issue here might be...I'm not willing to approach for professional/legal reasons, but I'm open to being approached by these certain women.


There was a period of time of about ten years when I categorized every woman I met as "sexually unavailable" and rejected myself out of hand before anyone else could. Part of the reason I did that was to normalize my social interactions with women. (The other reason had to do with abysmal self-esteem and self-worth.) This is more like I acted around girls I was attracted to before that time...hopeful that there might be something, but too scared to act on it.


So you think just bury the possibilities entirely?
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,227 posts, read 41,812,025 times
Reputation: 83020
Quote:
Originally Posted by At Arms Length View Post
I think I can cope with attractive women who are completely unavailable. Happens pretty frequently. Strike up a conversation, get to talking, find out she's married/dating. My heart falls a bit but I bury the feelings of attraction and move on. Or, she shoots me down and I move on. I think the issue here might be...I'm not willing to approach for professional/legal reasons, but I'm open to being approached by these certain women.
That's my whole point.

These women are not available to you (supposedly) because you (supposedly) have a personal boundary against asking out women you work with.

The reason that what "worked" for you before doesn;t work now is that you don't actually have a boundary here because of your "it's ok if she asks me" workaround. It makes your personal boundary flimsy and porous.

If you actually do really have a personal rule against dating women you work with, then who asks who won't matter. You KNOW going in that no one there is available to you, based on your own preset rule and your own resolve, so ... you should not be treating them any differently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by At Arms Length View Post
There was a period of time of about ten years when I categorized every woman I met as "sexually unavailable." Part of the reason I did that was to normalize my social interactions with women. (The other reason had to do with abysmal self-esteem and self-worth.) This is more like I acted around girls I was attracted to before that time...hopeful that there might be something, but too scared to act on it.
Well, the truth is you STILL are doing this, and it's making you behave unprofessionally. It doesn't sound like your self-esteem has improved too much in the 10 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by At Arms Length View Post
So you think just bury the possibilities entirely?
For your purposes, yes you should do that. Until you learn to enforce this boundary you say you have, you need to restrain yourself from "going there" in your head.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:06 PM
 
Location: El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río Porciúncula
14,518 posts, read 15,298,413 times
Reputation: 10366
Get counseling from a clinical psychologist. Problem solved.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:07 PM
 
680 posts, read 174,946 times
Reputation: 865
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovehound View Post
Get counseling from a clinical psychologist. Problem solved.

Doing so.


Problem not solved. Not yet.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:12 PM
 
680 posts, read 174,946 times
Reputation: 865
Quote:
Originally Posted by BirdieBelle View Post
That's my whole point.

These women are not available to you (supposedly) because you (supposedly) have a personal boundary against asking out women you work with.

The reason that what "worked" for you before doesn;t work now is that you don't actually have a boundary here because of your "it's ok if she asks me" workaround. It makes your personal boundary flimsy and porous.

If you actually do really have a personal rule against dating women you work with, then who asks who won't matter. You KNOW going in that no one there is available to you, based on your own preset rule and your own resolve, so ... you should not be treating them any differently.



Well, the truth is you STILL are doing this, and it's making you behave unprofessionally. It doesn't sound like your self-esteem has improved too much in the 10 years.



For your purposes, yes you should do that. Until you learn to enforce this boundary you say you have, you need to restrain yourself from "going there" in your head.

Self-esteem. You're wrong. But I'm curious as to what makes you say that it doesn't sound like my self-esteem has improved?


For the rest of it. Okay.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,227 posts, read 41,812,025 times
Reputation: 83020
Quote:
Originally Posted by At Arms Length View Post
But I'm curious as to what makes you say that it doesn't sound like my self-esteem has improved?
Because even if you're not trying to pursue them, you STILL require validation from women you find attractive, to the point that you cannot even be around them and talk normally.

And if your self-worth was indeed rock solid, you would not be putting yourself in this purgatory by allowing the "if she asks me" workaround. You would be settled in your own safe boundary.

I've read all your other thread, even if I haven't posted there. I am familiar with your journey. You've done a lot of work, but the fact that after all that effort and therapy you treat women you're attracted to like this means that you haven't come as far as you'd like to think.
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
43,227 posts, read 41,812,025 times
Reputation: 83020
Quote:
Originally Posted by At Arms Length View Post
... yet subconsciously drifting closer.
What does this ^^^ mean?
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