Whenever I see women I’m attracted to, I often get in my head. Like, I start to think about how I could talk to her, but often, there’s some reason I shouldn’t, like she’s talking to someone else. And that gets me in my head to the point that even if something happens to make talking to her more ideal, I’m too in my head to talk to her.
The dominant cultural narrative seems to be “Just because she doesn’t say no, doesn’t mean she doesn’t mean it, because women are socialized to not say no, and because they don’t know how you’ll react to their rejection. Also, your intentions don’t matter, if she feels uncomfortable, it’s all your fault, and you are in the wrong, so you can’t determine specific actions that are wrong, it just depends on how she feels about it. Also, because you as a man have never lived in a woman’s shoes for a lifetime, you will never truly understand what it’s like, so the approach must also take into account this thing you can’t understand. Despite all of this, men are STILL expected to initiate and escalate.” When people talk about men being creepy or women being bombarded with approaches, there seems to be zero distinction between irritating and harmful given. And all of that scares me so much.
So, what do I do? I know women want to date and have sex, but all of this just puts me so much into my head.