Alison Steedman is the editor at Dating & Hookup. She lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their histrionic cat, Charles Dickens, where she still carries on a nostalgic and long-distance love affair with her 20's in Brooklyn, NY. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @yosteedman, and you can also send her your writing at [email protected], both of which make her very happy.
I can be an impatient person. I can be impatient with myself. And I can be impatient with other people. Sometimes this is a bad thing; impatience can translate to judgement.
What do you mean you didn’t get to the bank today? How did you possibly not have time for that with the other 6903 things you had to accomplish?
The upside of my impatience, however, is that I have little tolerance for complacence. I’ve never been one to sit around and wait for what I wanted.
For better or for worse, this translates to my relationship advice too.
For “Ann” a 25 year old New Yorker, there are 871 possible “love of her life” candidates out there.
Part two of our discussions with renowned expert Robert Weiss on intimacy disorders and their prevalence today particularly among women. We’ve asked him what can women do to help prevent them from suffering from intimacy disorders and how they can foster healthy relationships?
RW: 1. Maintain close relationships with female friends. Women need to make it a priority to develop and maintain their close relationships with their female friends. I see women (and men, but especially women) do best when they have close social and intimate relationships with friends or “sisters,” if you will, who know them well, and who help them make decisions. It’s the women who see other women as competition or who treat their female friends as a means to an end that I worry about. Healthy women have deep and enduring relationships with other women. In fact, a big part of treatment for women is getting them to bond with other women, and to use that as a primary (and healthy) way of getting their emotional needs met. Think about Sex and the City; one of the reasons we loved that show was the women relied on each other, becoming a type of family that involved women being very close and sharing everything. Those are the relationships that keep women sane. It also reduces longing if women are single, and it makes them more willing to tolerate turning down the wrong guy because they don’t feel so alone.
Have you ever had your pride, your time or your self-worth insulted on the way to get where you’re going? Perhaps you had a job with awful people who made you feel worse about yourself. It was an imperfect situation, but you made a choice. Or, really you just didn’t know what you were getting into.
Or perhaps you had a mediocre boyfriend, but he was the best so far. He loved you, in his way, and that made you feel good. Except those nights when he’d drink too much and forget to call. He had his upsides, that is until he broke up with you three days before he was going to accompany you to your sister’s wedding. Etc.
I have lived some version of an imperfect situation. We all have, of course. We’ve all been in places because we thought we didn’t have a better choice at the time — or, because we actually didn’t. While unavoidable, getting dealt a subpar hand of cards still sucks.
But this is the thing about getting knocked around a little bit, it takes its toll. Yeah, maybe you had to take that job for a while. Or maybe you “needed” that boyfriend to help you cope with that horrible job. But you won’t need them forever. And you can’t forget that. Maybe it’s rough right now but the day will come when you do have a choice. Partly because you believe you can make that choice.
I was reminded of this recently. This is what happened.
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My clients want to have relationships, but they also want to be 100% certain that they won’t get hurt. For emotional self-protection, they tend to seek situations that offer controllable intimacy, which is an oxymoron. Emotional intensity, over which you can feel some control, is not the same as genuine closeness. Being vulnerable enough to allow yourself to be fully known creates the potential for true intimacy. But this also comes with some risk. People who use sex and romantic intensity as substitutes for intimacy often find themselves feeling more empty and unfulfilled with each new relationship or sexual partner. The people I treat are highly vulnerable to rejection and perceived abandonment and are therefore afraid of not having emotional control over an intimate partner. Sadly, they fear the very emotional risks required to deeply and intimately bond, and will settle for short term, intensity-based experiences, which often leave them feeling more alone then when they started.
Meet Robert Weiss, one of the leading experts in sexual disorders and addiction, Founder of The Sexual Recovery Institute in Los Angeles and Director of Sexual Disorders Services at The Ranch Treatment Center in Tennessee. Robert has devoted his life to understanding intimacy disorders and treats men and women who suffer from a range intimacy issues, including sex addiction and abuse, as well as love addiction, which is most common in women, and even dysfunction related to men’s viewership of porn. Intimacy disorders have been on the rise, particularly as a result of technology and dating in the digital age. We recently spoke with Robert as part of a three-part series to learn more about intimacy disorders, understand the symptoms in women versus men and to help women form and maintain healthy relationships throughout their lives.
“You know, equality is a myth, and for some reason, everyone accepts the fact that women don’t make as much money as men do. I don’t understand that. Why do we have to take a backseat?
I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.”
Do you agree with the ultimate Independent Woman (throw your hands up at me!) – are men still running the show and defining the feminine experience at-large? And if so, how can we women take that power back and start defining the feminine experience for ourselves?
Quote & image via GQ
For more on the power balance in Beyonce and Jay-Z’s relationship, check out our guest blog by Jay-Z’s biographer Zack O’Malley Greenburg HERE.
I have had an internet crush on Reformed Whores for quite some time now. So, Marie Cecile Anderson and Katy Frame let me know if you ever want to go slutting around with another Southern Girl some time. It would basically make my life.
Also, fear not, here’s the live version, after the jump!
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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