Ah, women. I, for the most part of my life had women pegged completely wrong. Absolutely and wholeheartedly. As a young boy, I didn’t have much to do with girls because it was the natural thing to do; run with your own species. Yet looking back I often wonder if I had allowed myself to play with the girl’s things might have been a lot different.
I’ve recently found out through learning about myself that I get along better with women, and it’s not because that I feel women are better than men, or that I am deviating from my heterosexuality, it’s mostly because I am gentle and sensitive. Lads like to shout at the TV over their favourite football team at the same time as giving their best mate a dead arm, whereas I’m more inclined to sit and give my friends compliments, boost their self-esteem, talk about their hopes, fears, and dreams.
Not that I’m saying there is anything wrong with either scenario, only that I best fit in with women.
My first love was in the last year of primary school. I was 11. I have heard many people telling me that my hormones were just finding their balance and that I was probably unsure what I was feeling, yet I know how it was. It was particularly painful for me to watch when she chose someone else. I can remember getting up each morning feeling as if I had lost the will to motivate anything, that life was just a monotone drone of noise. It took quite a while to numb that feeling as we moved on to High School. I feel this experience would set the tone for all my next experiences with women and finding love.
I can remember getting up each morning feeling as if I had lost the will to motivate anything, that life was just a monotone drone of noise. It took quite a while to numb that feeling as we moved on to High School. I feel this experience would set the tone for all my next experiences with women and finding love.
All the way through High School, and because of the experience that I had as an 11-year-old boy, I didn’t let anyone close enough to hurt me that badly ever again. I was stupid really because I’m sure I could have had a few wonderful moments, but my aversion to risk had gone through the roof. When women came close to me I’d turn beetroot red and run away, it was an in-built protection system of sorts.
I lost my virginity at 18. I was the first of my friends to do so and I remember coming back with a smirk on my face. The whole experience had been another kick in the teeth. My friends had encouraged me to shack up with a 24-year-old woman which resulted in disaster. I was young, in love again, and making mistakes. The only saving grace was that this all happened on holiday at my Dad’s and I could take a sharp exit back to my Mum a few days later. Gone.
From there I had various on and off relationships with a few people that didn’t lead to anything serious. The problem with me was that women DID want to date me but they didn’t want to stay long in a relationship with me. I had an aversion to risk and I hated conflict. From what I’ve learned since then, women, if not overt about it, want their partner to be risky and strong.
I was neither of those so anything that I entered into at the time was doomed to failure. Like the woman from abroad I went to see who I met over the internet. I was having internet relationships before they were ‘cool’. The best thing with Internet relationships was that there was no need to be strong and risky; the people that I was dating only saw a portion of my life which didn’t include standing up for myself and that was fine by me.
I went to meet her eventually and our relationship lasted two meetings. That was before I found out she was seeing another man, too. Yes, and she was married. I was very vulnerable back then, and I was very open to being preyed upon by certain types of people. Yes, she may have taken advantage of me at the time, but I was told several times over and over by my friends, ‘fun only’. I only had myself to blame as I look back.
It dawned on me about a year on into my sobriety that I had been attracting the wrong types of women into my life when I was looking for love. I wouldn’t say they were ‘broken’ only that they were a bad fit for me. It was around the time I was learning the foundations of psychology and human connection that it became clear to me what I’m giving out to the world isn’t the best version of me.
I was negative, depressed, hurting and angry, and yet whilst this mentally attracts a lot of people that want to help, it also attracts people that are in the same position as I was. That’s not a bad thing in itself, it’s just not productive if I want to have relationships and intimate relationships that bolster and complement. Being in the same negative state can spiral us both into depression.
I’ve also realized that my experiences in childhood have a lot to do with the intimate partner that I would end up choosing. I had a very flawed way of thinking in that I was always going for the unavailable women and clinging onto them. I expect most of that was my protection system, always choosing unavailable women so that no risk was needed to be made and I would never get hurt as badly as I did when I was 11.
Strong females were my type, and mostly because I was raised by only my Mum. Women that liked their man to lead were a no-go area for me because I couldn’t lead for toffee at the time. Meeting people as indecisive as me was bad because we’d never decide on anything.
A significant part of my eagerness to change was kicked off when I read a book called “No more Mr Nice Guy” by Dr Robert Glover; that booked opened a whole new world to me in my flawed way of thinking when it came to women. It taught me that by priding myself on being nice, having a million women friends and bending to their every need is all well and good but it’s not going to land me in a healthy relationship, or even one at all. It was pivotal to understanding that I was ‘broken’ and needed help.
I stopped desperately looking for love in the end. I know I was lonely but I really did have to start working on myself first before I could even think about trying for a new intimate relationship. There was so much underneath the surface that I had to work out first. I couldn’t bring a woman into that, it wasn’t fair. I had to be happy with myself to seek happiness in others.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
(via The Good Men Project)