Monday, May 25, 2020

She's Had Too Much Therapy

She has a problem. She is in her late 20s and is still single. It makes no sense, because she is doing everything that the culture tells her to do. She goes on hikes and even goes dancing. She goes to exercise classes and even to museums. 

Better yet, she has done therapy. She accepts her feelings and really, really loves herself. Considering how idiotic this idea is, you can feel confident that it comes from therapy. Imagine that people pay to listen to this tripe, and that insurance companies reimburse it. 

In truth, her life is so full that there is just no room for another individual, no less a mate. The letter writer does not tell us what she does for a living, what kind of job she has. We do not know anything about her looks-- which still matter-- or her manners. We do not know about her conversational skills, or about her conduct on dates. Does she meet prospective mates on Tinder or on Hinge? We do not know about her political beliefs and whether she is a normal human being or an ideological zealot. She does not tell us her relationship goals: is she looking for a significant other, a partner or a husband. Does she want to be a wife? Would she really be happy, as she offhandedly suggests, with a grumpy partner? Can you imagine men lining up to fulfill the role of grumpy partner? Why wouldn't a man who is living with her be happy? Does she tend to make men into grumps?

In truth, she is completely full of herself. She is completely self-involved. And she reeks of desperation. She does not tell us anything that would cast a glimmer of light on the problem.

I am in my late 20s, single and generally extroverted. Before the quarantine I had a full life — I often went dancing, hiking, paddleboarding and kayaking. I regularly went to exercise classes, volunteered and checked out new museum exhibits. I spent a lot of time with friends and gave myself alone time when I needed it.

But I was always kind of bummed that I was single. I got out of a long relationship three years ago and haven't met anyone significant since, despite online dating, blind dates and "putting myself out there." The quarantine has really intensified this sadness.

I'm working on accepting my feelings and drowning out messaging that I must not love myself enough to be happy alone. I do love myself! I think I'm great, actually! It would just be nice to love someone else romantically — and have it reciprocated.

I know there's nothing much I can do now, but what about when we all reenter society? Is there a way to make myself fully happy with my single life? Is there another way to prioritize meeting someone? Do I just have to resign myself to oscillating between a little bummed out and super-sad, maybe forever?

I've been to therapy, and there's nothing glaringly wrong with me, but I wish there was something I could've fixed so I'd now be safe/stuck at home with a (maybe grumpy) partner instead of my grumpy roommates.

— Single and Stuck

She has written to Carolyn Hax, who offers some suitable bromides. In truth, we do not know enough to have an opinion. Except to say that the woman is so totally into herself that one suspects that there is simply no room for another person. You can imagine her out on a date droning on interminably about herself. Why would anyone want to listen to her roll off a list of all the things she has done to fill up a life that she considers to be empty. 

Class this letter under the category: had too much therapy.


urbane legend said...

I got out of a long relationship three years ago and haven't met anyone significant since . . .

Have you examined this relationship to see what happened? Not with a therapist; you. What went wrong? What was right? What do you need to do better, differently, not at all? What does the other person need to do better, differently, not at all?

Out of all this " doing " is there a real you somewhere?

Online dating; this is a thing? Like working from home, you don't have to put on pants or shoes? What's the line from the cartoon, " On the internet no one knows you're a dog " ?
I'm not suggesting this woman is a dog or meaning any disrepect to her; just asking how much this form of contact is worth.

UbuMaccabee said...

“Do I just have to resign myself to oscillating between a little bummed out and super-sad, maybe forever?”

When your emotional range is between bummed out and super-sad, it’s forever.

This is what Alan Bloom meant by “soul in embryo.”

Anonymous said...

Men are not attracted to desperation so she has to stop that immediately. Whining is the worst thing she can do. She has to stop discussing the subject with anyone and talk about anything except herself. No one cares how she feels, everyone has problems.