Self: Why are you so hesitant about a potential romantic relationship?
Inner self: Because I don’t trust women, they’ve hurt me.
Self: Dig deeper, that is a surface answer only.
Inner self: I’m afraid because I gave myself completely once and she did not treat my heart with care. Conceptually, I’m stuck between “no relationship” and “relationship but no control and unlimited potential for hurt” and while the first is not ideal the second is terrifying.
Self: But you love yourself?
Inner self: Yes, I do. There are things I’m still working on, as is the case for any human, but I like who I am at the core.
Self: Then what are you waiting on?
Inner self: I don’t know. I feel a bit like Steve Carrel in 40 year old virgin, where he says “I respect women, I respect them so much that I avoid them completely.”
Self: Answer, what are you waiting on?
Inner self: I guess I feel like I am waiting on the right kind of person to show up. It sounds cliched.
Self: Good things take work. But work does not always make them obvious, sometimes you have to seek them out.
Inner self: Yes, but part of my problem is that I’m sick of the standard power structures between men and women. For example, a friend of mine told me that someone I know likes me and would go out with me, but that I should be assertive because she is hesitant. That frustrates me, because I did make an effort previously and while I value clarity and try to practice it I don’t like the idea that “it’s the man’s job to start/direct things.” I feel that the kind of woman I would like to spend time with would reject that notion. Is that fair?
Self: Certainly. But it does not excuse you from making any effort.