Musings about One-itis (leading into a comment on the value of persistence)

Be forewarned, this is a little bit of a rant.

Yes, I am a little frustrated right now with one of my girlfriends. Actually, it could be any number of girls that I know, so I’ll write this up as a composite anonymous scenario. Here goes:

Girl gets into exclusive but not permanently committed relationship with guy. Girl stops going out and meeting new guys. Girl has it in her mind that she can’t be truly happy until she is married with children, and decides she must marry THIS guy. Meanwhile, Guy drags his feet about committing to her. As time goes on, each time I see her, she seems increasingly unhappy. Yet she still won’t go out and meet other guys (not even socially). She has to be with this ONE guy, even though she’s not happy with him and always upset with him. She has convinced herself that WHEN they get married, all the unhappiness will magically be fixed. Girl and Guy become increasingly resentful of each other. Negative feelings build and build. Girl finally gives Guy an ultimatum: marry her or else. Guy bails on the relationship altogether. Girl is miserable and spends weeks or months crying before finally starting the whole cycle all over again with a new guy.

This one-itis, scarcity mindset drives me insane. All a girl needs to ask herself is one question: am I happy right now? Not … will I be happy in the future IF this guy commits to me? Am I happy right now, and if not, what can I do RIGHT NOW to fix that problem? (And the answer may very well be breaking up with the guy and getting herself out there to meet people!)

I was that girl once. But not anymore. The scarcity mindset baffles me because in my life now, I find myself on a regular basis being the only girl among entire groups of sexy men … many of whom would be fun to explore with on a deeper level. This happened at Burning Man, it happened in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, it happens skiing at Squaw Valley, and most recently it happened on Friday night.

On Friday night, I went out with a guy who has been in my life for three or four years. I’ll call him Mr. Big Guy (in honor of Mr. Big from Sex and the City and also because he happens to be 6’4″ and 240 pounds ;-). We went out to Le Colonial for drinks and then to a strip club. And as happens a lot to me lately, it ended up being me and about 10 guys (cuz we had Mr. Big Guy’s group and then we ran into a couple more guys I knew at the club). How can women say there aren’t enough men? There are amazing sexy men everywhere!

And now this is how we meander into commentary on the value of persistence in dating. So Mr. Big Guy and I have been solidly in the friend zone most of the time we’ve known each other. We have tons of interests in common, our spiritual bent and skiing among them, and have kept in touch regularly. Over the past six months, he has been an amazing friend to me. He follows the blog, he watches out for me, and he has been steadily persistent with me.

Anyway, kind of out of nowhere on Friday night … I suddenly felt a LOT of chemistry between us. He felt the shift too. Attraction is such a funny thing. It literally came out of nowhere. But to me it shows the value of persistence. Sinn and I were talking about this the other day too. Persistence shows sincerity. It builds a deeper connection over time. And it requires solid inner game to be steadily persistent, because it means a guy is accepting the girl wherever she is at, not taking things personally, and not letting it affect his course of action. When a man who is centered consistently communicates his desire for me over time in a detached-from-the-outcome kind of way, I often find it irresistibly sexy.


Ok next post will probably be another one on Mark Manson How Not to Attract Women. Btw, a couple of you guessed correctly who he is … to me it seems so obvious ;-)

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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  1. Wait a minute! You are talking about a girl that hasn’t an abundance mentality and after that you talk about a guy that’s been your “friend” for 6 months and you are glad he was persistent with you. If I’m not wrong you have a double standard, for the girl is really bad that she doesn’t have an abundance mentality but for the guy is ok to be persistent for 6 MONTHS! Well, just if he was gaming other girls during the 6 months and you are REALLY SPECIAL FOR HIM. Otherwise there’s a double standard between the 2 articles you wrote. Anyway, this behavior about being PLAYING HARD TO GET changes when the woman gets older, women in their 30s and 40s act like a man without game, kinda desperate and they even hit on men, BUT when a woman is HOT and in her mid twentys she knows she’s plenty of options and like to play with her power. I wouldn’t be STUDYING PUA if I wouldn’t like to have options myself and not being focusing my energy in just ONE girl like the AFC does. I’m a man and I’m trying to be as objective as I can. Thanks.

  2. Thank you. It pleases me that you feel happy.

    Somehow, the winking emoticon I was thinking of typing now just doesn’t vibe it right, but maybe I’ll include one anyway.

    I liked your post on love vs. fear based interactions … I might have a thought to add to that … it’s still in the cast-iron pot, simmering.

    I understand your desire to avoid labels. Narcissistic can be a harsh word. I thought about substituting “egocentric” and found it had almost the same tang. In convo with my best collaborators we throw it around enough, we had to abbreviate it to “nars” haha! It may be a worthwhile pursuit to avoid the label and elaborate a moment. When we as people find ourselves in a stage of development where one tends to have a center of gravity to one’s persona that mainly sees things from one’s own perspective, is concerned for what one can get or hasn’t gotten for oneself, or when one finds oneself in a state like that, even for a few moments … knowing that overall it’s a stage that has been grown out of … that is what I would describe as egocentric. That, as opposed to seeing events from both our perspective and the other’s … how ‘we’ see things, being concerned with what we have given and received. When the main concern is “I” … moving to when the main concern is “we.” Maybe even eventually moving to when the main concern is “all.” If it has a negative tang to it, I would just add that it’s something that we all include and also transcend, just a place we all have occupied, as we grow. Um, hopefully.

    I mention it because I think we CAN expect someone else to ”carry you up the staircase.” However, it is not wise to expect that without doing what inspires that. If a woman is giving that kind of value, then I most certainly think she can expect it. Or, at the very least, request it. If she is an empowered woman that is coming from a “me” place, it’s unlikely that she will realize that his not-willing-to-comply-ness is in direct correlation to what she has been offering to him that’s valuable to him. Frequently she will be concerned with what she isn’t getting from him. If she has outgrown being in a “me” stage of development but is not empowered, she may realize that his willingness or desire for that marriage is correlated with how much she inspires him to it, but she may not feel empowered enough, or may not know how to, step into that power of happiness or pleasure and give from there.

    If that can be an example of what I mean, I hope it takes some of the insult out of the word.

    Of course, there could be other things going on. I mean, maybe the base of compassion has been obscured. Maybe it was there, and then got covered over, leading to less giving, which leads to less inspiration on his part. Maybe he did something. Small things. A cascade begins. Maybe she no longer soothes him when he has been at war. Maybe he no longer penetrates into her closed moodiness. Who starts the chain of withdrawals from the “emotional bank account” – as it were – pales in comparison to the sensation of watching our ability to give to each other crippled by an unwillingness or inability to step into the roles that fulfill each other.

    “Probably the best gift these two people could give each other would be to attend an NVC class together.” I agree.

    “And the best way a woman can inspire a man is to find her own happiness and be strongly grounded in it … If there are problems in a relationship, the only place to address them is here and now.” I agree. I think I read somewhere that statisticians have determined (isn’t THAT weird?) that long-term relationships in general need a ratio of about 7 positive interactions to 1 negative interaction to maintain stability. In the here and now, it’s all about THIS interaction. When it’s said and done, on one level, it’s all about the interactions.

    Trying to secure marriage on a foundation of more negative interactions than positive ones … sounds like something doomed for the isle of great suffering.

    What do we do for each other?


  3. Hi Erika! I’m the person who offered the update on my NVC connection experience.

    Yes! My experience of “not the words, but being a presence of compassion and empathy for another” gave me the benefit of seeing clearly that I want to be compassionate, have actually always been compassionate and have lost touch with that at times because I’ve often reverted to a defense mode, which mimics a “narcissistic behavioral pattern”…

    I sometimes refer to this as the loss of innocence… or the loss of the natural state of love for others due to an over developed need to protect myself.

    Why? Because as a “culturally approved model of what a sexually desirable female looks and acts like”, I have had constant pressure by way of the agenda/intention and sometimes culturally hyped expectation for sex or expectation or demand for sex in exchange for company, love, companionship or even basic support needed in times of crisis.

    I don’t want to say that as a female, I don’t feel waves of sexual desire arise on my end… that would not be accurate… and maybe I can say more to that later…

    It’s just that the foundation of trust is too valuable to the quality of sharing deep connection. And it does take two to tango!

    If I’ve brought some need for healing/understanding of those agenda like exposures into partnership with someone I may have only spent 2 – 6 weeks getting to know and then expect him to be able to navigate the intricate security systems and anti trust devices I’ve had to come up with to keep overt sexual attention at bay… well, it hasn’t worked so great so far.

    I realize that really knowing someone over time and knowing them, knowing how sincere they are, how they handle challenges in their life, what means something to them, their real attitudes about life, that their friendship is for real seems like the only medicine to ensure that love comes first, trust comes first, relationship comes first… and it seems like the respectful way to engage with any man, one or more, who will become lovers. It isn’t just for my protection… it’s MUTUALLY out of respect for a man’s investment in his own dreams of serving his purpose, experiencing love and fulfillment that I realize developing depth over time as friends is the way to go…

    The tough part of being friends with GREAT GUYS WHO ARE ALSO SUPER SEXY is to remain open to the love while the longing for marriage tries to take control! Wish me luck in taking this one on!
    Thank you Erika!

  4. I like the Darker Layout. It’s easier on the eyes. =)

  5. Michael,

    Welcome back to the blog, I’m very happy you are here :-) So … I try to stay away from labels like narcissist, but I agree with the heart of what you are saying, which is … we can’t expect someone else to “carry us up the staircase.”

    We walk hand in hand with someone, or we walk alone. And the best way a woman can inspire a man is to find her own happiness and be strongly grounded in it. From that place, she can connect much more deeply with him.

    The main issue is this focus on some elusive “future” happiness. If there are problems in a relationship, the only place to address them is here and now. Marriage doesn’t magically make anything better, it often makes things worse because people feel trapped or stagnant.

    Probably the best gift these two people could give each other would be to attend an NVC class together. It might not heal their relationship, but they’d be sure to find some understanding and compassion for each other, and it would definitely help them in future relationships.

    @ McSmokey, thanks for chiming in! Connection Guy’s identity will soon be revealed, but two blog readers already guessed correctly (in the comments section).

  6. @ Anonymous (the last one before this comment) — I am so thrilled to hear about your NVC experience. A few things worth noting are the fact that (1) you are saying a lot of it is non-verbal, which is part of what I try to teach on this blog; and (2) it sounds like it has given you much more clarity such that you have more “choice” when it comes to being sexual or not. These are two of the HUGE values of everything I talk about on this blog.

    Firstly, the realization that compassion is a state of being. It’s not something you say to get someone to do something. It’s something you become (or rather that you uncover because the truth is that it’s our natural state of being), and it has a positive impact on everyone around you.

    Secondly, that when it comes to relationships and seduction, the more clarity we have about our own emotions and motivations, the more power we have in our relationships because we have moved to a place of conscious choosing. We are no longer automatons reacting reflexively to things other people do. And this is when relationships really become fun!!

    Please keep me posted about how it’s going for you. This just really makes me happy hearing your experience feeling more present and alive. Yay! :-)

  7. Hi Erika!

    I had a very powerful experience following your NVC guidelines about connecting with another person last night. Rather than trying to fix what seemed to be wrong, offer advise, etc to the the other person, or stay in the details of the conversation, I simply kept opening up to my greater empathy for what he was sharing (without words!) and he kept opening up more! It was kind of scary because I realized how powerful the attraction and intimacy was when I allowed that to be the case! I believe Marshall Rosenberg was poly (but isn’t anymore) and I can see why! True connection is the most powerful signal EVER! and can certainly be considered an essential ingredient to a love based seduction …

    Connection doesn’t mean an *automatic* romp in the hay, though :) I like that my awareness is growing of what the force of attraction is and how I can navigate it from my greater sense of what’s best for me and for the other person.

    I checked in and simply felt that having a delicious healing conversation was my intention. I was able to stay connected and observe and experience all the attraction and sweetness, aliveness of being present and available. I’m excited to see where this will lead he and I as individuals sharing a powerful connection! I’m also excited to see what might happen as I open to connection and stay totally present to any sexual chemistry while checking in with my true intention for the outcome, for my life, for the “other”… I’m hoping new realms of deeply connected relationships will blossom and I’ll feel totally available and safe and full and powerful in a non sexual relationship with the guy as I would if I had the “security” of the sexual relationship… as you can see, I’m uncrossing a few wires… wish me luck! :)

  8. who is connection guy?? couldnt find any clue ><

  9. Erika, I would like to know what you think about this: reading your article above, in addition to a one-itis issue, don’t you also feel that this is an narcissism and empowerment issue? She decides it must be THIS guy … and yet, when the chips are down, she is waiting for him to carry her up the staircase and unhappy that he doesn’t. And yet, she is not inspiring him to carry her up the staircase, either. She’s inspiring him NOT to.

    Who does she want to be remembered as being? Ophelia? Or Cleopatra?

    Does she want to be happy by going out to find a different one, or by unleashing her energies and inspiring and magnetizing him with them?

  10. Totally true, being either partner in a situation when a block has appeared that is taking away from the connection and dragging the partnership down is a drag… and probably one of the main reasons divorce and cheating on your partner is skyrocketing right now… One interesting thing I remember you said about NVC is that when a conflict arises, the whole group owns the conflict and I’ve seen evidence of that more and more… you really can’t blame one person or the other because, tensions arise from out of nowhere, seemingly… or we are handling a concern going on in another friendship that becomes entangled in the relationship… blaming only deepens the crisis… to find ways to replenish yourself, let go of whatever has surfaced (schema is one word for in cognitive behavioral work) and when snags come along is the only successful way I’ve seen people handling the brain freeze or whatever freeze it is that comes up and compresses both people in a relationship… where it’s hard to tell who started it and so on… getting back to love and good relationship is the (hopefully the only) intention… (unless someone has a trauma arise and the partnership becomes totally challenged to be solid and stay with it in a way that allows for resolution and hopefully, not more trauma)… so inner game would naturally follow around that, right? No shortage of love out there, no shortage of people looking for, open to and available for sexual connection, no shortage of goodwill out there, no shortage of supportive resources for making a shift, no shortage of fun things to do, no shortage of hot guys or hot girls… no shortage of ways to personally experience Oneness… so, then it becomes about personal intention setting and understanding the value of your choices in the bigger picture… and understanding that your choices are more than for you as a solo act… and understanding which things you choose will also only further compress the situation… or overwhelm the situation… and which things allow that ahhhhhh! all good now… there’s A LOT to choose from to lead one to deeper levels of ahhhhhh! on the longer term scale (neural pathway creation)…

  11. Erika, you are already the best thing going in the community, and one of the most interesting thinkers in it.

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