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She roughhouses with them on the field like a tomboy by day and surrounds herself with them like Christmas tree lights at night? You know—the tease? It seemed to make him so untouchable, so immune to self-doubt or fear. That same brazen confidence came easily to me. Growing up in the middle of seven brothers provided a girl like me with quite an array of unlikely skills—an intimate knowledge of sporting rules, a stomach hardened against the grisly gore of war movies, expertise on how to punch someone with the men amount of force yet maximal pain aim for the bony flesh between two musclesand so on.

In college, I would pickup games of soccer with all-male crews and hold my own on the defensive line. I knew very well how to make guys laugh—a skill I employed to my own advantage. I exploited their fear of hurting me; female aggression, when properly executed, can be so unexpected that it throws off their game completely.

I also delighted in showing off my body. I would do handless backbends to pick up shots of water with my teeth and other virtuoso moves to riotous applause on the dance floor. It was never about sex—but I certainly might have fooled more than one guy in the audience. Truth was, I had trouble being who to anyone. My persona was a front—but inside I was desperately lonely. I would twinkle my eyes and share with them knowing, mirthful smiles—but I never showed them the real me.

As author M. For all my mirth, I had nothing to show for it—no deep friendship, no emotional outlet. Worse, I was actually hurting people. As if that were all they were worth to me.

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Seeing their crestfallen faces, watching them react with pain and frustration to my charade, made me feel downright awful about myself. The guilt gnawed at me; the price of my notoriety became way too high. Some tested me and grew irritated by my endless wit, and the few who became emotionally invested in me would live to regret it. The guys whose opinions and judgments I valued most were always in the second category—those who were unimpressed with the facade of desirability.

After all, what is so great about a woman who emotionally exploits other guys to gratify her seemingly insatiable vanity and conceit? I learned the hard way that men who are most worth impressing are smart enough to be unequivocally turned off by such narcissism. For me, the emptiness of such an existence became so painful that I finally came clean, acknowledged my yearning for true intimacy, and behaved accordingly.

Starting my junior year at a new school meant that my loneliness would be as daunting as ever—but it also gave me the chance to start fresh. I was initially terrified: Friends would require my time, energy, attention to their needs—holding myself able to them! However, the path has proven itself over the years; the rewards that have poured into my life as a result of this decision have made me happier than I ever thought possible.

In comparison to this, I now find the fleeting highs of my former attention-seeking behavior—and the fiction it was based on—thoroughly repellent. The irony of my big bad college persona is that she was so small-minded. If I possess any real merits as a person, she caricatured them into nonsense. Pouring out my heart to a close girlfriend feels like medicinal relief after spending so much of my life surrounded by guys. I used to think I was so strong—an authority on the playbook of magnetizing human attention. But the rewards were so paltry and unsatisfying, and I inflicted so much pain in the process.

I now play a very different game. If I am strong, let my greatest strength be in loving and serving others. I can take real pride in this: Not only does love make everyone a little happier, but giving it away also requires way more mettle than hoarding it at the expense of others.

Then, I will have the pleasure of having actually won something worthwhile. Trying one new thing helped my whole life feel more purposeful. My experience persuaded me that marriage is the only context in which sex can truly be between equals. Turns out, I was contributing more negativity than I thought. Home Culture. There are way more valuable things than the fleeting attention of others. That was me.

The Rewards of True Intimacy For me, the emptiness of such an existence became so painful that I finally came clean, acknowledged my yearning for true intimacy, and behaved accordingly. Photo Credit: Evgenia Kohan. By Annette Nilsson. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website.

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Event « Prev ghetto dating sites ». The Psychology Behind Attention Seeking Behavior in Adults She roughhouses with them on the field like a tomboy by day and surrounds herself with them like Christmas tree lights at night? Site Information The Rewards of True Intimacy My experience persuaded me that marriage is the only context in which sex can truly be between equals. By Sarah Ridenour. By Madeleine Coyne. By Erica T. By Jennifer Joyner.

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Seeking grown women

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Online dating leaves middle-aged women in 'single wilderness'