Dating with shinny people

In a 1943 paper called A Theory of Human Motivation, Maslow presented the idea that human desires are a hierarchical pyramid with five levels. The lower level needs must be satisfied before higher-order needs can influence behavior.

The levels are as follows.

  1. Self-actualization – includes morality, creativity, problem-solving, etc.
  2. Esteem – includes confidence, self-esteem, achievement, respect, etc.
  3. Belongingness – includes love, friendship, intimacy, family, etc.
  4. Safety – includes security of the environment, employment, resources, health, property, etc.
  5. Physiological – includes air, food, water, sex, sleep, other factors towards homeostasis, etc.

Most people over 15 struggle to satisfy their needs of belongingness or esteem.
I was struggling to satisfy needs for Safety until I financially succeed as a freelancer. I could not care about belongingness, such as love, intimacy, or friendship, until I was 27. I know that I was not emotional

I could not empathize with most people around me. Some people were even too “shiny” for me to stare at. People who have
a family with loving parents, who look like who have no problems at all in their life, are just too shiny to look at. People who have already satisfied with their belongingness and esteem looked too shiny to me.

I was more attracted to struggling people—people who are pursuing their dream, finding themselves, or looking for intimacy. As a result, two of my ex-girlfriends broke up with me because “I’m not ready” or “I want to focus on myself.”

A friend of mine shared an interesting theory about this, using the words “project” and “capacity.”
Capacity is like a jar, and a project is like water in the jar. For a larger amount of water, you need a bigger jar.
There are priorities in projects. The first project is “self-development” or “protection.” Children are not able to care about others’ feelings like mature adults do. They bully or ignore bullies; they are focused on “project myself,” and they don’t have the surplus capacity for others. They don’t even have enough capacity for themselves.

When you don’t have enough capacity to focus on yourself, you rely on other people, such as parents or a boyfriend/girlfriend, who have more than enough capacity for themselves and leftover capacity for others. We don’t do it intentionally, but we are often attracted to people who have their life together when we don’t.

In order to have a long-term committed relationship, both partners need to have a jar big enough for “project me” and with enough surplus for “project us.”

Although I hardly think I have enough emotional capacity for myself, I look like I have my life together because I am a well-spoken, successful freelancer who travels a lot. My capacity for “career and financial independence” and maybe “esteem” is more than big enough for myself, but my emotional capacity for belongingness is still very small, like a teenage kid.

It seems I am attracted to people with a small jar, but it just does not work in the long-term. If I am right, I should look for a partner who has their life together — the shiny people. But how I can date shiny people when I cannot even look at them?

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