dear sharideth: letter #6

probably the worst picture i've ever picked.

*edited for length*  **but it’s still going to be long**

Dear Sharideth.

…I need help understanding myself. There, I said it.

Lately I can’t seem to stay interested in a guy for more than a week… two at the most. We’ll go on one or two dates, and then I’m over it. And I’m talking about good guys – not just some average tool that has great hair and legs that work.

I’ve been in a lot of relationships in the past — about 4 or so of those were actually somewhat serious relationships that lasted over 6 months. And not that it matters, but all their names seem to start with J’s (with the exception of maybe 2). It’s a curse, I think.

Some of the issues I’ve encountered are:

1. Being left for my best friend.

2. Getting left then having my best friend leech onto my ex.

3. “I’m not over my ex who cheated on me a year ago.”

4. Going off and on for almost 2 years.

5. Commitment phobes.

6. Obsessive borderline-stalkers.

…just to name a few.

I gave up dating entirely for awhile because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was fed up with the male population as a whole. I was disgusted when a guy would try to make a move or use some corny pick-up line on me.

Recently (and by recently, I mean 2 weeks ago) a man expressed interest in me, and knowing what a great guy he was I decided to give it a shot. At first, I was genuinely interested in him too. He’s extremely funny, sarcastic, respectful, sweet, very “old fashion” (if you get my meaning) — he treated me like a queen. We had one date, and were excited to set another one. But somewhere between date #1 and date #2, my heart quit on the situation. I was done.

This is actually the same story that goes for the last 3 guys I’ve attempted to date. But my interest quickly runs out and I’m left with the conclusion that I’m a cold-hearted, man-hating witch.

Their response to the “I’m sorry, this isn’t going to work out” speech is always the same. I was the perfect girl for them, their heart is broken and will neve heal, they never saw it coming — one guy was borderline suicidal after the “breakup.”  *sigh*

I’ve talked about it with my friends. I’ve talked about this with my family. I’ve talked about this with people who are older and have more experience under their belts than I do. Most of the time they just look at me and say one of three things:

1. “Maybe you’re just not ready…”  (valid point, I suppose)
2. “You obviously have a problem…”  (thank you, Captain Obvious)
3. “Maybe you should avoid boys with names that start with J…”  (that’s a start, I’m sure)

The more I type this e-mail, the more I feel like the answer is right in front of my face but I just can’t see it.

So, I’m wondering (and asking) if you can help me out here. Do you have any ideas what my problem is? — besides using parentheses too much.


Cold-hearted Man-hating Witch

dear CHMHW

*crack knuckles*

okay.  my primary diagnosis is this…you’re scared $#!+less; with a secondary condition of boy-you-know-how-to-pick-em.  i’m pretty sure those are the technical terms.  in my always never humble opinion, you’re shutting down any emotions or attraction to guys for a combination of 2 reasons:

  1. fear – some where in your datable psyche there’s something that says, “END IT BEFORE IT BLOWS UP LIKE DIE HARD!!!”  so you do.
  2. instinct – something about the guy is telling you to run.  been there, dated that, bought the cab ride home.

you’ve been burned, you’ve been hurt, you’ve been stalked.  it’s a wonder you’re even still willing to try.  i had very similar experiences during my dating years.  i had an uncanny ability to pick guys who could cling like cat hair.  then there was my uber hot best friend…i started going through guys like Kleenex during allergy season.

i’m also a bit concerned about your choice of best friends, but i digress.

the good news is there’s hope.  we just need to teach you how to chillax.  that’s the royal “we” for no one who is wondering.

  1. self-evaluation – the next time you feel like bolting, ask yourself why.  is it him or is it you?
  2. if it’s him – what is it about him that has you putting on your Pumas?  i’m going to guess a common thread to the “clingers” is that they believe they’re dating you in the committed sense of the word before you’ve even gotten past who’s paying the check.  not your problem.  just try to avoid accepting a date from a guy who seems over eager.  if he seems emotionally unavailable or that you’re having to work to keep his attention, probably a cheater or someone who will grab your BFF after the break-up.
  3. if it’s you – breathe.  in…   out….  a date or three isn’t going to kill you or shatter your soul.  if he’s a decent guy, it’s okay to tell him when you’re starting to freak out.  but maybe don’t put it those terms.  just tell him you have a tendency to run and you’re trying to relax.  he’ll probably be okay with keeping it light.  just don’t dump the entire ex history on the poor man.
  4. take your time – there’s no rush to make reservations at Outback Steakhouse.  get to know guys in casual settings.  learn something about them from their friends.  you’d be surprised how quickly a guy will roll over on his womanizing homie if you ask. 

if you really feel like something is busted in you, talk to some one with some initials after his or her name.  i’m pro therapy.  an objective ear will hear the things you’re not saying and be able to wisely interpret the things you are.

i’m sure there are readers here who will have more better advice as well.

oh so sincerely,


all right.  help her out.  what do you guys think?


3 comments on “dear sharideth: letter #6

  1. Jonathan B says:

    I’d tend to agree with your primary diagnosis, Sharideth. It sounds like she’s scared of getting hurt, not cold-hearted. A true CHMHW does not usually notice the niceness in guys, unless it’s as a vulnerability of which they can take advantage. She doesn’t sound like that at all.

    I’d also say that if each of these guys reacted with “utterly devastated never going to heal” after breaking up only 2 or 3 dates in, then she may still be dating clingers, too. She may also have a dose of “need to be needed” going on in there. Sometimes we’re attracted to clingers because their neediness makes us feel important, and meets a need to be important to someone inside us. Plus, needy people are less likely to leave us. Obviously, we’re speculating off of limited facts, here. But she may need to take a look at where her basis for her own worth and value are.

    It’s really easy for us to try to use a relationship as a foundation for our emotional stability, and clingy people are attractive for that because they want badly to be what we ask of them. But no human relationship, whether romantic or family or friend can ever be a firm foundation for our emotions and view of ourselves. We have to work on making the fact that God designed us individually in the womb and that Christ died for us on the cross be our foundation. It’s the only truly reliable one. Family, friends, and spouses can then build on that foundation; but if we try to make them the foundation, we ask them to bear a weight they weren’t designed to bear. Only the Chief Cornerstone is made to hold that weight. I say that as someone guilty of making other people a foundation more than I like to admit. When our foundation isn’t right, we’ll make more mistakes as we try to shore up crumbling areas.

  2. I think the guy in the above picture looks drunk, and that ““END IT BEFORE IT BLOWS UP LIKE DIE HARD!!!”” is probably the best line in the post, and also that me plugging my own blog on one of your previous posts has led to my most-read post thus far.

    Oh wait, what do I think about the chick who wrote the letter? Here’s a question: how well do you commit to anything else? For example, in the last few years:

    How many jobs have you had?
    How many times did you change your major in college?
    How many times did you change colleges altogether?
    How many clubs/organizations/churches have you been a part of?

    If your ability to commit refers to everything in your life, maybe you should look beyond the problems you have with guys. Just sayin’.

  3. Jenn says:

    I agree and I will say that fear is a really powerful emotional shut off point.

    I will say that I have really struggled to define the line between gut feeling that something is not right and my fear of making the same mistake again. That mistake being getting engaged to a raving lunatic and having to get out – admit I had made a mistake that the whole of my friends and family after the fact claimed they saw was a mistake. I listened to the I told you so’s and all the chastising and took to be that I was wrong/broken in my judgment.

    I want you to know that we all make mistakes and the best way to avoid making the same one when it comes to dating those likely to come unhinged in the dating process is to ask yourself these three statements are true.

    1. I do not need to rescue (in other words I am not asking/expecting/desiring this man/relationship to complete me, change the course of my life or validate me in any other way)

    2. I am not here to rescue him (reverse of the above question)

    And a non-yes question

    3. What to do I have to lose?

    The answer to 3 – is FOR ME, the opportunity to get to know this person and see where it goes. If you answer losing face then I think the answer to 1 or 2 is not no or you’re not in the right place. We all make errors in life – but being wrong doesn’t make you a bad person. Leap with knowledge but know if you fall, you’ve gained the opportunity to try another time, rather than you’ve lost something.

    Hopefully that makes sense.

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