Mr. Right

And real you. Part 2 of 2


2. Understand Yourself Sexually And Emotionally
If you have not done the work to understand yourself emotionally and sexually, you will enter romantic relationships from a position of emotional dependence. You may have the unrealistic hope that someone else will know how to understand you and how to make you happy when you, yourself, may not know. Directly communicating to your partners about your emotions and sexual side is important. Hoping others will intuitively perceive who you are emotionally and what you need sexually is a fantasy. The reality is if you do not know yourself on an emotional and sexual level, then it becomes very hard for people who are close to you to understand who you are and what you need. Make a conscious effort to become aware of your ongoing emotional reactions to the people and events in your life. Observe and label your emotional reactions. Reflect on your feelings and talk with people about how you feel or what you are noticing about yourself without expecting them to put you back together again.

3. Avoid Sextimacy
As I describe in my book, Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy— Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships, Sextimacy, is the pursuit of sex with the hope of also achieving emotional intimacy. Some women are embarrassed to openly admit to themselves or to others that they desire an emotionally meaningful relationship. At the same time, they may hang onto a sexual relationship in the hope that eventually it will deliver more commitment and emotional intimacy. If you are hoping that a sexual relationship will eventually lead to a more emotionally intimate or committed relationship, cease and desist.

Research shows relationships that start with sex before emotional intimacy is present typically do not become committed unions. You will spend your time hoping and working to get someone to change or ‘step up to the plate’ when you could be putting your energy into growing as a person and finding someone who likes the person you have become.

4. Put Yourself In New Situations
A popular idea holds that in order to find the right partner one must first work in solitary on self-improvement—”I just need to do me for a while.” In my experience, when women do this they banish themselves to an arbitrary exile where they feel sad and out of touch. With such a vague goal of “working on myself,” enlightenment eludes and isolation compounds the misery. Work on yourself through developing greater emotional and sexual self-awareness. At the same time, you need new relationships with romantic partners and friends to truly know yourself. Each dating experience provides you with in-the-moment information about your preferences, weaknesses and strengths. If you continue to think and do the same things that you have always thought and experienced, you will remain stuck. Your brain has an extraordinary ability to adapt and grow if you allow it. The catch is—for the brain to grow you have to give it new stimulation, new experiences that challenge you on some level. Perhaps there are things that you like or have wanted to try but have been afraid to do. As long as it reflects a genuine interest on your part, work through the anxiety and put yourself in novel situations where you may meet different kinds of people and experience other aspects of your personality.

5. Believe What People Show And Say About Themselves
It is common when attracted to someone to want to rationalize their poor behavior. If someone treats you with disrespect or chronically lets you down, take this as data that reveals to you who he actually is. If you try to talk with him and he dismisses you or rationalizes his mistreatment of you, take this seriously; it means he may not be a suitable match. If a man says he is not looking for “anything serious” or he needs a lot of “space,” stop approaching, let him go. This means he is not in the same place you are and may not want the same things you want. Believe what people communicate about themselves: if they are acting immaturely, disrespectfully or directly saying things that hurt you, move on. It is not your job to bring him along or show him a better way; it is your job to work on growing as a person.

Building a romantic relationship that enjoys emotional reciprocity can be accomplished. But, be careful of pop psychology if it asks you to create an inauthentic version of yourself. After all, how will you find authentic love if you are not authentic?

Read Part 1 of 2 here.
Mr. Right, Dr. Jill Weber, Lifestyle

Mr. Right, Dr. Jill Weber, Lifestyle

Dr Jill Weber, a licensed clinical psychologist, practices in the Washington, DC area. Dr Weber writes a blog for psychologytoday. com and is the author of Having Sex, Wanting Intimacy: Why Women Settle for One-Sided Relationships. Follow her on twitter @DrJillWeber
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