Dear Dr. Love,I am a man in my early twenties who is financially sucessful, with an IQ of 150, handsome and over six feet, athletic, musical, well versed in literature, and artistic. I cherish the successful relationships I have with friends both at and outside of work. I have always been perceived by others as the ‘guy who has it all’. Well, not quite.I’ve had a string of unsuccessful relationships with women that has left me pondering the truth about ‘lucky in career, unlucky in love’. I must admit, however, that I hold high expectations of people; I’m a go-doer and go-getter, and I expect people to put in the same effort as I do. That works out fine in the workplace, but not in relationships.The general complaint I have received from women is that I am pushy, that I expect things to be done and problems to be fixed quickly. In turn, they feel ‘inadequate’ and under pressure to meet my standards, as they put it. Though I never criticize a loved one, I get frustrated by problems that occur repeatedly.When we communicate, women say that I seem to be always ‘right’ simply because I’m better at presenting my rationality in a coherent manner. Despite my assuring them that I want to understand their feelings and thoughts, they give up on trying to talk.A lot of women I meet seem to have low self esteem. Who has the problem here? They like my confidence, but eventually they feel that we’re just on two different levels and hence incompatible. I’m drawn to very feminine qualities. Is it practical to expect a feminine woman who is also confident? Should I act less confident in a relationship?Sincerely,doomed-to-be-single
Women are telling you that they feel pressured to meet your standards of perfection, and because of this, they end up feeling inadequate.I want you to know that the women you date are not the only ones who feel pressured for perfection. I think you’ve got the bug as well.Your sentence, ‘I’m better at presenting my rationality in a coherent manner\ \ tips me off to the fact that you are the one who feels pressured to meet standards of perfection. I suspect that you grew up with a father (or mother) that was very demanding of you. And, they infected you with the belief that if you could only do better, then they would approve of and accept you.But, I don’t think you ever received a sense of true acceptance, and so you keep trying to be Mr. Perfect, hoping to finally feel loved. Listen to how you describe yourself. You sound perfect: handsome, high I.Q., well-read, wealthy… Do you really feel so perfect on the inside?When somebody tries to convince himself and others how perfect he is, this operation often conceals a hidden sense of inadequacy.So, here’s what I think is going on. You grew up with parent(s) that rode you and drove standards of perfection down your throat. You tried to be perfect, but, since that’s impossible, you ended up feeling inadquate, and tried that much harder to be better and win their recognition. Then, you grew up and extended your quest for perfection into the work realm, where you succeeded. But, in the personal realm, these attempts to be perfect are backfiring bigtime. The women you date are all telling you the same thing: Your behavior makes them feel inadequate and they want to run from you.What are you doing to make them feel inadequate? You are extending to them the same standards which I think were rammed down your throat by your parents. (These are the very same standards you continue to ram down your own throat.) And, when you lay these expectations on the women you date, low and behold they feel inadequate. You are coming across as impatient, intolerant, and needing to be right. No wonder they run.So, where do you go from here? This isn’t about games. Choosing more confident women, or forcing yourself to’act’ in a way that isn’t real for you.Instead of memorizing behavioral tricks, which, I assure you won’t solve the problem, I suggest that you become aware of the voice that drives you in your own head. Put a name on it. And, then talk to it by saying, ‘Hi mom, hi dad…expecting me to be perfect again.’By identifying the voice in your head that drives you to perfection, you will eventually learn to be in control of that voice, at which point, you will be able to decide whether you want to allow that voice to speak or not.Your relationships will only work with women when you can: become aware of whose voice drives you from within; and develop the ability to choose whether the voice will lay the perfection trip on your girl or no. Once you have mastered this process to the point that your girlfriend feels accepted by you, imperfections and all, you will finally receive the love you need.Remember, behind your perfectionism is an unmet yearning to be loved and accepted. And, when you can accept your girlfriends, imperfections and all, they will finally stick around and accept you.Since you are so brilliant, you will have the ability and discipline to perform this growth exercise and perfect it until you are in charge of your behavior on all levels.This is a hard process. It takes time, but, unlike behavioral quick fixes, this observation process will actually heal this problem and provide a long-term solution for you.Since you are intelligent and driven, you have all the attributes required to perform my observation technique, and see it through to the finish line.You sound like a wonderful guy and, once you heal this little glitch, you are going to have girls swarming you.Promise to let me know how you do.