I can’t find anyone I’m compatible with. I’m 24, single, male, live in Hoboken and work in NYC. I do get to meet lots of people at work and have a few friends, one a longtime friend from college. So, I do go out and take part in the night life scene both here and in New York. I have a growing concern, because I’m not able to connect with any of the women I meet. I’ve tried to figure out why I don’t want to pursue a relationship with women that I meet who appear somewhat interested in me. It sometimes feels like I’m from a different planet. I’ve been looking for someone who is compatible for about two years now. I’ve taken trips with groups hoping to meet someone more like me but was not successful. Should I lower my expectations about what I should expect from a relationship? Thanks for your advice.
Dr. Norquist responds:
The first question to sort out is whether your dilemma is the result of not having found someone you are compatible with or whether it is due to unrecognized fears of intimacy. Also, if connecting with others in general does not come easily for you, then the issue may be more related to the level of comfort you have with yourself, and your ability to accept and enjoy others for who they are.
Take a serious, objective look at your past close relationships with an eye to shining light on the question of how comfortable you are with intimacy and commitment – (emotionally and mentally, as well as physically). Consider as well, how you experienced the intimacy that was modeled by your parents. If, after pondering these questions, you feel that a fear of intimacy and commitment is a factor in not having found a woman you are compatible with yet, then you may want to consider some short-term therapy to assist you in resolving these fears.
If a fear of intimacy is not a factor in not connecting with a woman you are compatible with, then I’d like you to do the following exercise: close your eyes and try to sense what it feels like being in the presence of a woman with whom you are compatible. What qualities does she emanate? How does she interact with you? How does she live her life? Does she have any features that are notable? What is she looking for in life? Sense this woman as fully and clearly as you can – as if she could step out of your vision at any time - and spend some time with you. Do this exercise daily. Rearrange this experience as you see fit, bringing it more and more into alignment with who you are and what you are looking for in that perfect partner. See this partner as existing in your present life.
This is a powerful exercise in which you clarify for yourself what you are looking for, ready yourself for meeting that perfect partner, and send the world and those you meet on a daily basis the message that you are open and available. There is a time for everything. Through this exercise, you will be ready and open for meeting someone, who is right for you, when the time is right. Do not lose hope. In the meantime, don’t put your life on hold. Enjoy it! Happy people are quite attractive to others. If your expectation is to find someone that you are compatible with, there is no need to change this expectation.
(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.chaitanyacounseling.com or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. 2018 Chaitanya Counseling Services