Dear Dr. Norquist:
I’m a guy who can’t seem to find the right person. I’m not unattractive or a louse, but for the longest time I’ve had trouble starting a relationship with anyone. The problem is that when I meet a woman, I can’t seem to progress past the friendship stage. Many of these women become my good friends, but they just don’t seem interested in starting a physical relationship. My bad luck has left me feeling unattractive and unconfident. I get frustrated when I hear about my friends falling in and out of relationships. Any ideas on how I can improve my relationship status? I know it’s vague, but it’s been troubling me for a long time.
Dr. Norquist responds:
Your statement “my bad luck has left me feeling unattractive and unconfident” gives us some important information with regard to your question. Perhaps the women you meet are not interested in starting a physical relationship with you precisely because you feel unattractive and unconfident.
We tend to communicate our feelings and beliefs about ourselves to others in subtle ways that we are usually not aware of – the way we carry ourselves, the words we use, and the “vibes” that we each give off. Others tend to reflect back to us whatever our beliefs and feelings are about ourselves. If you do not genuinely feel physically desirable, chances are women will react to you that way. After several bad experiences, it’s easy to pick up this belief about your undesirability and start to wear it through your mannerisms.
You need to consciously work at changing this belief. Refrain from any verbalizations that endorse this belief, watch for subconscious thoughts that feed it, and practice visualizing yourself feeling strong, confident and desirable. See yourself interacting comfortably with women while in this confident state.
(Dr. Sallie Norquist is a licensed psychologist (NJ #2371) in private practice and is director of Chaitanya Counseling Services, a center for upliftment and enlivenment, in Hoboken.)Dr. Norquist and the staff of Chaitanya invite you to write them at Chaitanya Counseling Services, 51 Newark St., Suite 202, Hoboken, NJ 07030 or www.chaitanya.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax at (201) 656-4700. Questions can address various topics, including relationships, life’s stresses, difficulties, mysteries and dilemmas, as well as questions related to managing stress or alternative ways of understanding health-related concerns. 2014 Chaitanya Counseling Services