I’ll tell you what emotional cheating isn’t: acknowledging that a person of the opposite or same sex is attractive
Why, if I am someone who is already insecure and not feeling “good enough”, am I going out with someone who blows my wound wide open with his disrespectful attitude towards me and women?
***By having a very honest conversation with you, you get to acknowledge that because your beliefs centre around you being “not good enough”, having to compete with other women, and on some level also believing that you’re supposed to find someone out there whose eyes only work for you, you’re now in a self-fulfilling prophecy. This results in attempting to get somebody who behaves in ways that exacerbate your insecurity to validate you and forsake all others while at the same time, because you’re blaming you for his crappy behaviour, comparing you to other women, and telling you that if you were “enough” he wouldn’t so much as look at another woman, ultimately reinforcing your belief that you are not good enough.***
***…it’s also critical to note that recognising that someone is attractive is not the same as being attracted to them. A person can note attractiveness without having a romantic or sexual interest. Don’t conflate noting attractiveness with emotionally and/or physically pursuing an attraction with someone or being in a continued state of being attracted to someone.
***Noting attractiveness doesn’t diminish the love or attraction you feel for a partner. No one is “going off”–it doesn’t mean that they want to have sex, run off, or start an emotional affair.
It’s as if you’ve stopped believing in relationships with love, care, trust and respect. Don’t reduce them all to what you experienced.
***You then have your friends who you say are not in healthy relationships who are having crushes, which by extension of them not having left the unhealthy relationships, explains their mentality. Crushes are only an emotional affair in the context of the person already being in a relationship and it being destructive to their sense of self or how they show up in the relationship. A crush is a form of escape; an infatuation that covers up an unmet need or unresolved issue in the existing relationship. A crush is ‘safe’ because we get to feel good from the fantasising without having to make good on it. Obsessing about the person can also be a big distraction from having to take action on more pressing situations.
***Your darker feelings and thoughts about you are in some ways being projected onto people and into situations around you. Rather than holding up your hand to being self-critical and addressing the root causes behind that, it is easier to look at and even judge others because these people are evidence for the case against changing. You are already enough but until you decide that, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says. Why do you want to be ‘right’ about being inferior?
These are judgements that are being used to protect you from experiencing an old pain again and from having to put you out there again–you’re criticising you and others as a way of avoiding a bigger imagined future pain.
***Even if you found a guy who only ever interacts with men, that will not change the internal conversation that you’re having with you. You will feel temporarily in control but the fear will still remain which means you will find new ways to reinforce old beliefs. As a result, your so-called boundary is actually a wall because you’re unable to distinguish between different situations and trust you.
***No one can tell you what your comfort levels are but common sense dictates that if you have strong beliefs about the objectification of women and what you are and are not cool with sexually, that you don’t go out with somebody who has entirely different sexual values. That is yourboundary to uphold. Do not concern you with what other people are doing; concern yourself with living up to your own standards in a relationship and that includes not objectifying you or other women. Mend your relationship with you. Address whatever is behind your criticism of your body and your femininity.
***Particularly for women, it’s vital that we recognise that it is not our job to take a man (or woman for that matter) with a boatload of problems or entirely different sexual values, and make him/her forsake all others so that we can feel worthy. If this is the intent we set out with where we are competing with other women for a ‘tiny pot’, not only does our scarcity mindset blow smoke up people’s bottoms but it ensures that any relationship we’re in is dead in the water before it can go anywhere.
***Take the time to see a therapist where you can look at what’s behind your pain so that you can let go by gaining perspective and forgiving your younger self for who you think that she’s failed to be.