Thank you, Niki Marinis! Your response is why I am such a fan of yours. You have a directness and clarity that I never seem to quite achieve.
It is the manipulation, dishonesty, and, well, sleaziness that I am calling out. Not fear or insecurity or simple cluelessness.
This dude was the perfect example of someone who said one thing (i.e., was looking for something special, complimentary of my personality and our chemistry) while failing to accommodate my boundaries and needs in ANY way. He wouldn’t even consider it!
Additionally, up until recently I have not been able to assert my own needs in romantic relationships in a healthy way. I have been inspired by my own therapy plus the words of you and Shani Silver very specifically. That combination has brought about some new-found courage to be better about communicating my needs. This has been incredibly difficult work for me and I know others struggle with it as much if not more than me. Sharing this story has been a powerful validation for me and if it helps even one person, then I am pleased and humbled.
(Sidebar: I am one of the most self-confident people you will meet in every other aspect of my life. It’s a weird reality. Nonetheless, I struggle with insecurities in romantic relationships and have been determined to improve that.)