You’re a single girl dating and you have a general idea of the type of men you are meeting, but a new version has recently popped up. This new version knows the language. He tells you about moments where he was gaslit. He tells you how he had to call out a friend for being toxic. He tells you about the time he put into work on himself. You think GREAT! You’ve dated too many men who had the emotional intelligence of a rock. So, you take a deep breath because that part of the battle is already done. You don’t have to teach, you don’t have to dig, you can simply focus on enjoying this person. Mr. Self-Help and Mr. Therapy is the latest iteration of strategies men use to gain your trust.
You go on dates with Mr. Self-Help/Mr. Therapy, he tells you about his day and outlines every emotional dynamic at work. You are super impressed by his ability to drill down to the crux of the problem and figure out a solution. You date a few more months and you realize that the conversation is often guided and you don’t quite know anything about him. When you pry, when you dig deep, when you highlight uncomfortable truths you notice he wiggles and weave the questions. You didn’t recognize it at first because you weren’t really paying attention. You were paying attention to the vital things you could tell your girls like his job, height, salary, education, and basic family information. However, you weren’t paying attention to the details, or else you’d notice that he left a lot out.
Mr. Therapy/Mr. Self-Help isn’t a bad guy, in the ways that other men are. He doesn’t ignore you, he gives you attention. He tells you he likes you. He may even ask you to be his girlfriend, but his real character starts to slowly show. Whenever there is a pressing issue, something that bothers you, something that made you think hmmm this doesn’t make sense he distracts you or turns the language of mental health against you. He’s warped finding out more about his life into prying. You aren’t wanting to bond, you are demanding. You aren’t asking questions, you are being toxic. You aren’t pointing out a dislike, you are being hypercritical. You aren’t asking him to do better, you are being a hypocrite. You are pushing to get close to him while he is evading questions and using mental health language to do so.
Mr. Therapy/Mr. Self-Help is dangerous. He makes you feel comfortable but uses your laxness to control the direction of the relationship. If he doesn’t use it to control the relationship, he uses it to make himself seem more appealing to have access/sex to women. Mr. Therapy or Mr. Self-Help sells himself. He uses therapy key words and watches you perk up. He says things we all want to hear. He may not believe them, but he knows you do. I mean look at how you squealed when he mentioned “doing the work”. Look how easy he gained access to you by saying “I did the work.”
Mr. Therapy has quiet subtle red flags that you should be aware of.
He tries to control the direction or pace of the relationship.
He asks for you to compromise, while actually never compromising anything.
He escapes questioning by using keywords the mental health community uses.
He’s a “good man” and all his partner decided to randomly turn away from him.
Mr. Therapy isn’t the worst kind of man you can meet, he kind of has a conscience, but he is very dangerous. He can use the language against you. He can make you feel toxic for doing ordinary things. He can control the direction of the relationship by labeling everything he doesn’t want or like as unhealthy. He can ask for vulnerability and connection while doing the opposite. So, be aware.