The Yomiuri Shimbun Dear Troubleshooter:
I’m a female company worker in my 40s. I’m single. I can’t get out of a miserable relationship with a man.
Last year, I hit it off with a man my age I met at a hobbyist group. He said to me: “I love you. Will you go steady with me?”
I was elated and started dating him. I’m ugly and inconspicuous, so I had never dated a man until that time.
After a while, he told me he was dating another woman, too. He also told me how charming she was and what they did on their dates. When I got angry, he said such things to me as: “Accept it, if you want to date me,” and “You can’t live without me.” He also told me he went with the woman to a sightseeing spot where he had said he wanted to go with me.
Even if I stop contacting him, he contacts me after a while. He is kind to me when we meet. But he again starts speaking fondly of the other woman, which makes me very sad. It repeats over and over. It seems he enjoys wounding me.
I’m aware I should break up with him. But I’m also very grateful to him as he is the only man who has said to me, “I love you,” although I’m not charming at all.
Nevertheless, I want to get out of the situation of being toyed with by him.
G, Kanagawa Prefecture
Dear Ms. G:
It seems your problem stems from your negative views about yourself, such as “I’m ugly and inconspicuous” and “No other man will love me since I’m not charming at all.”
A person is attracted to somebody who has similar traits to their own. So I suppose your partner is not confident in himself, just like you. He probably wants to have a sense of superiority that he is great by telling you something that makes him feel big, wounding you with boasts and making you jealous.
You’ve lived on your own while having a job, so you can be spiritually independent, too. Women can’t always find a good partner only because they are beautiful and showy. And not all men are a poor judge of women.
If women are excessively self-deprecating and label themselves as no good, they don’t look attractive. So, if you make efforts to find not only your bad points, but also your good points, even a small one, and improve on them, you can obtain new charms.
I suggest you try to find your charming points rather than wasting your precious time on a relationship with this worthless man.
Junko Umihara, psychiatrist