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Matthew Said:How can I begin to understand my development as a man?
We Answered:Hey E R,
I can very much relate to what you've written. I may not have the life experience to give advice as sufficiently “wise” as you are requesting, since I’m a 20 year-old Psychology major who is also going through some of these issues – but I hope that this response can still help you in some way.
It does appear that you have many great things happening in your life. You’re very close to your family, passionate, intellectual, very intelligent, talented, expressive, resilient, and you know how to assert yourself. Know in advance that many of the males younger than you who are in intimate relationships with girls do not demonstrate as much mental strength as it appears that you possess.
I could just give you the cliché encouragement of “the right girl will come at the right time”, but you’ve mentioned that you’re not looking for this status-quo, no-time-limit sort of response. Instead I can try some other approaches.
If we look at this lack of success in finding intimacy as a problem, then I can use the information to provide you with some questions that may help you reach a solution. First, how high are your standards for women? Do you try to engage with any woman that gifts you with a smile? Or is it possible that your standards for choosing a woman are as high as those you place for your own achievement and mental growth? If you are too selective, it will reduce the number of females that you’ll consider to be viable life partners (and you may be unintentionally cutting from your sights some of the women who are also searching for intimacy). The expectations and biases that you hold directly affect which women you choose to approach and interact with (even if you are extremely assertive).
As a close female friend of mine mentioned recently, men generally appear more attractive when we carry and present ourselves well. This refers to not only the way that we talk or walk, but extends to how we dress, the people we socialize with, and how fit we appear. From some of the statements you’ve made, it seems that you likely dress and socialize well. If you put as much energy into weight-training, cardio, and eating a healthy diet as you do with your passions, then it would be hard for me to imagine why a girl would not be attracted to you (it would seem that you have the entire package).
You’ve mentioned that you would like to remain your own person, continue to be independent, and that you currently live supreme without a girl. If you truly are this satisfied with life, then I do feel that it might be a little reckless to throw of this amazing balance you have simply to fulfill your curiosities about intimacy. If things are going well right now, you might not want to shift this balance until after you reach some more academic and career success. On the other hand, as one that studies the human mind, I’m aware that one rarely ever reaches a state of full contentment and that intimacy with another person has very positive life outcomes. So if you do find a woman that you feel much chemistry and compatibility with, it may be wise to pursue intimacy.
Even though you are sexually frustrated, it’s important not to rush into a sexual relationship. Sexual intimacy does not equal mental intimacy. If you do have sex with a woman that you are primarily attracted to sexually (but not mentally), and if she has a child, you could lose out on the chance of ever becoming mentally and emotionally intimate with another before the age of 40. Trust me, I know that waiting may be painful, but it’s worth it if it leads you to an amazing life partner in the long run.
I’m not sure exactly what advice will solve this problem, as most problems in life only partially disappear given the solutions that humans create. But I can say that you are on the right track developmentally, and if you can delay your sexual gratification until just the right time, the quality of your life should outshine that of most other men.
Good luck! May your personal wisdom on these matters continue to grow with time.