I don't know how to deal with people of the opposite sex
Updated: May 22, 2019
During my first semester of life coach training, I learned a term that struck me like a bolt of lightning. A complex equivalence. Complex equivalence draws an unrelated conclusion from an event to create a 'logic' that is instead completely illogical. It’s probably easier to say it’s like jumping to the completely wrong conclusion and then basing important decisions on the faulty conclusion. Disaster is a virtual certainty.
For the first time, I was able to describe my own situation. I was attracted to women right throughout school and into my early 20s but didn’t have the knowledge or experience to figure out how best to conduct myself so that they would see me as the kind, loving man I believed myself to be. It made me feel shy.
In short, it was complicated!
For years it made me worry about how I’d been seen by the girl or woman I was interested in. Would I be rejected if I made a move and asked her out? What if she rejected me? What would I say or do? How could I exit gracefully? I had lots of questions but very few answers. Each time I thought about it, my mind inflated the problem so that it seemed even bigger than it had seemed the previous time I’d thought about it, until eventually, it assumed monumental, insurmountable proportions.
My early experiences were difficult. On the few occasions when I had summoned up the courage to ask a girl out, I was rejected. It only happened a few times, but after a certain point, this was enough to discourage me from trying again. I became so over-sensitive to rejection, actually anticipating that it would inevitably happen, that I decided that I couldn’t risk trying to date another woman for fear that another rejection would end any hope I had of the warm and loving relationship I truly wanted.
That decision, while protecting me from the pain of rejection also stunted my personal growth and development and it was heading me in completely the opposite direction from attaining my true desire, a woman whom I would love and who would love me in return.
Fortunately, in spite of my own self-sabotaging behaviour, I hatched a plan to take up ballroom dancing. It took a two year stint of basic ballroom training in my 20s to un-programme myself from my limiting beliefs.
I wish I’d done it sooner.
It took being so fed up with being single that I was willing to risk being in a new environment, meeting new people and learning new skills and to make the life changes I needed in order to succeed. If only I had known when I was much younger, what I needed to do to successfully meet and interact with women, I would’ve avoided the years of loneliness that hanging on to this limiting mindset had given me.
In my book, ‘ReWrite The Rules’, I dive much deeper into other aspects which contributed to my difficulties, some lessons which can be passed on to parents and teachers alike.
As a first step, it is important to know within yourself whether you truly have difficulty in dealing with people of the opposite sex or is it just people in general who are the cause for concern.
You’ll need to define the problem clearly. Write down what happens, what you think could happen and why you think this. While you’re thinking about it, perhaps you could consider that maybe your problem is based upon shyness on your part and not on any problem, real or imagined, that you might have with the opposite sex.
Now that you’ve read about my life, could you perhaps identify similarities to your own life?
A constructive way forward is to identify what kind of relationship you are looking for. Describe it in detail and write it down as if it were real and was happening right now.
A relationship with a person of the opposite sex isn’t always about attraction and romance. Sometimes it’s about friendship and camaraderie. Sometimes it starts with friendship and ends with romance and sometimes it’s the other way around.
Maybe all you are looking for is a platonic friendship but you’re worried about how that will look to your friends. You worry they might judge you. It is my belief that if you have friends of the opposite sex who are simply platonic friends, your same sex friends should not be judging you. They should be envying you. It takes a strong confident person to know what they want out of relationships and to go for it, regardless of what your peers might think.
Friendships with the opposite sex can offer so many advantages that same sex friendships can’t provide. You’ll gain deeper insight into how the opposite sex thinks and feels. You’ll learn what pleases them, what doesn’t and what topics to stay well clear of. Most of all, you’ll gain the kind of confidence interacting with the opposite sex that you don’t get when you’re in a romantic relationship.
Let’s also consider your opposite sex friends probably have friends who may be looking for romance with someone exactly like you. You have a ready-made, non-threatening means of getting to know them with no pressure to commit to a first date, or a second, until you’re satisfied that there is something there you’d like to know more about. You are more easily able to negotiate healthy boundaries which have further payoffs such as working relationships in professional careers.
For many people, it can take courage to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone, and admittedly it’s not always easily done. If it hasn’t happened for you in your early to late teens, there’s no pressure and no rush. You might just need a little more maturity, a little more time to grow into a relationship, but if you want it, you will find it. Billions of other people have and they can’t all be wrong.
With the right guidance and support, there is great potential for your life to flourish with the opportunities a friendship, romantic relationship or even a professional relationship can offer.
If you are struggling with dealing with members of the opposite sex, contact me here.
Together we will find the solutions you are looking for...
Contact: David Gillman - The Mindset Mechanic