Dear Uncle Slash,
I feel like I’m pretty secure with myself, I’m happy, have lots of friends, I am close to my parents, have a decent paying job, and I am happy as a writer (not paid!). When I’ve met men and dated them for a couple of times, they seem to be turned off the minute I have plans that don’t include them. But we just started dating?
They take no interest in what I am enthused about (playwriting). I appreciate a man with hobbies but when their online profile is embellished with “hobbies” and mine are real, I get snubbed because I don’t have time for them.
I do make it a point to make time for someone when we’re on the same page, and I’ve been told multiple times I am the most affectionate woman they’ve met. One thing I know that is turning them off is that I’ve been known to pick up a paycheck early on in the dating or pay half. On the flip side I’ve have men put out disclaimers off the bat that they will not pay my way. So when I show that I am not in financial need, I’m “controlling”.
I’ve been told that by an unemployed ex boyfriend who resented my car, my job and that I was able to pay for dinners and the hotels (we both lived with family at the time). Yeesh.. Are men really scared off by successful women with hobbies of their own?
I run across online profiles with statements like “I’m always on the go” so I figure “Great,a busy guy like myself.” Then when I have plans, I get the cold shoulder. I own my apartment, I like to massage and make breakfast in bed for the specials ones. That should be enough to not label myself a cold gold-digger, right? But if I come off as too much my own person and not needing men, I don’t hear back from these guys. I do really want a partner and want to fall madly in love and not settle. Oh, and I’m not looking for marriage or kids, am I too unconventional?
Dear Unconventional Success,
A few years ago I listened to a fascinating segment on National Public Radio that described a unique graduate degree program in Parapsychology. Teams of real-life graduate student ghostbusters were assigned to investigate various locations with purported poltergeist activity.
I listened on with fascination as the ghostbusters traveled from house to house and recorded cabinet doors that mysteriously opened and closed, appliances that turned on and off in the middle of the night and other loud noises that sounded like dogs pooping.
Much to my surprise, the ghostbusters were able to confirm that each of the disturbances was real – goosebumps formed on my arms – but they weren’t being caused by poltergeists – the goosebumps disappeared.
In each case, the strange activity was caused by a traumatic event that occurred in the exact location many years before – sort of like a meteor falling to earth and leaving a huge hole behind or what happens when our naturopath tells us to eat more asparagus. The thing that causes the trauma is long gone, but the energy of the trauma stays behind causing ghost-like things to happen.
Your question reminds me of these ghostbusters because you seem to be fixated on a similar poltergeist – mainly, your Declaration of Independence or DOI. Just like a slamming cabinet door, it’s an easy thing to fixate on. Your DOI is loud, dramatic, and probably doesn’t shave it’s legs (and it’s hogging all the attention like that Leo friend in all your Instagram photos).
I mean you had an unemployed ex boyfriend complain about your DOI – often – which makes it really hard not to picture him as that no-taller-than-a-lampshade creepy greek woman in the Spielberg movie “Poltergeist” popping up all over the place and saying “They’re here!” She was referring to the dead people…. and metaphorically so was your ex.
You see, Sweetster, it doesn’t take someone with a Master’s degree in Education who cried in the bathroom stall of the boys room at lunch time every day during his year of student teaching to figure this out (though I’m flattered that you thought it did) – it’s obvious to me that this poltergeist is totally leading you astray.
Behind those slamming cabinet doors, I see a little girl who keeps trying to prove to herself that she’s good enough, that she deserves love, and that she has a right to hide away blissfully in her womantuary and enjoy her threesomes at all hours with Beckett, Shepard, and Blue Bell Butter Crunch.
It’s obvious because your message reeks of poltergeist activity. It has that same defensive vibe that my dude friends use when they’re trying to convince themselves that they’re more than enough for their needy girlfriends. To top it off, I imagine your mom and dad churning out that daily e-newsletter in you head with the headline that reads, “Successful Women with Own Hobbies Deemed Unconventional.” (Please unsubscribe immediately).
I’ll leave you with one last crumb. In the animal kingdom, the porcupine doesn’t flash his quills and puff himself up because he’s angry. He does it because he’s a wimpy rodent who feels vulnerable, unsafe and threatened. Quit pushing yourself away and you’ll quit pushing those guys who want to love the real you away too. When you make decisions out of fear rather than love you create an invisible wall around yourself like those sharp quills. And just like the poltergeist, it’s a trick. You might think it’s other people who don’t find you lovable, but really it’s you…. always and forever and simply just that very lovable you.
Your Interim Best New Guy Friend,