I'm 40 years old and divorced. I am an attractive, intelligent,independent woman.
Yet when I meet a man, especially if the relationship
turns sexual, I become obsessed. For example, I recently met a man, had a
great evening, filled with high energy and chemistry, and no sex. He hasn't
called me; now I'm worried, anxious, and depressed. I can't help thinking
about him or how to contact him. I feel like I'm going crazy. What is wrong
with me? How do I stop these thoughts and feelings? I don't feel I can have
a normal, healthy relationship if I'm emotionally out of control.
Two questions occur to me: one, are you really as independent as you
believe you are? And, two, do you define yourself as a woman by the way you
look and whether men respond to you sexually?
This issue seems to be common among women. Our society tends to define
women in terms of their attractiveness to men and whether men are
interested in them sexually. Yet, women often complain when men just see them as sexual
objects. When men do not respond, many women often question their own
attractiveness and sexuality. Women seem to have internalized the male
perception of women and evaluate themselves by male standards. Rather than
defining themselves by their character, accomplishments and personality, they
tend to evaluate themselves according to whether men are interested in them.
You might want to ask yourself why you are so desperate for male attention
and responsiveness. How did men gain so much power over your self-concept?
A telephone call or lack thereof can change your feelings about yourself.
How did a man become the center of your life? You might want to do a
personal inventory as to your own value as a woman. What else in life do you
have going for you other than pursuit of male attention? Is your life filled
with excitement, friendships, stimulating activities? Are you interesting to
be with or just flirtatious? Do you enjoy the pleasure of your own company
as well as the company of other women?
Once you have asked and answered these questions, and taken action to rectify
your own short-comings, you might consider seeking some psychological
counseling to help you explore your beliefs, attitudes, behavior and
unconscious motivations. The journey may be well worth it.
Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist,
Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing
psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years.
He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation,
couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and
assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing
Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.