by Dr. Lorin Bradbury
Question: I am a single lady and recently when I was feeling down, I expressed how I was feeling openly on Facebook. Sure enough a guy came to my rescue. It was a very vulnerable moment for me, and his contact somehow made me feel good. And yet I knew he was not the kind of person I should get involved with. He is an alcoholic with a long criminal history. I knew better, but at that moment, even if it didn’t feel right, it met my need. I’ll spare you the details, but I feel like I can’t get rid of this leech. I’m not sure why I am writing you, but maybe you can address this issue and prevent someone else from suffering the loss of dignity I have experienced.
Answer: I feel a sense of empathy toward your situation, but you have given me very few details to work with. However, there are some things that come to mind. I would say to you and anyone reading this column, please don’t share your emotions with the world on Facebook, or any other form of social media.
There are predators out there waiting for the opportunity to appear to be Mr. Nice. They are slick; they are suave; and they are able to worm their way into a vulnerable person’s life. Let me stress again, do not open yourself up to exploitation by sharing your vulnerability on social media.
You probably have many “Friends” on Facebook that you have allowed in just because they sent you friend requests. They are not real friends. And there is great probability that there are individuals among those “Friends” who will exploit a vulnerable situation.
Again, you have not given me much information to work with, but you do give the impression that things went too far too fast, and now you are suffering the consequences of damaged self-esteem and self-worth.
From a purely psychological perspective, when you are depressed is not the time to try to develop a romantic relationship. Make a commitment to yourself that you will not even consider developing a romantic relationship without discussing it with a confidant that can provide you with objective prudent advice.
For the future, set your standards high and stick with them. Determine ahead of time the kind of person you will date. Never violate you values and principles. Make sure you are not in a vulnerable needy position when you consider any kind of new relationship. There is something worse than not having a relationship that could lead to marriage, and that is becoming involved with a man who will not work, has a criminal history, and is a taker, instead of a giver.
Lorin L. Bradbury, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Bethel. For appointments, he can be reached at 543-3266. If you have questions that you would like Dr. Bradbury to answer in the Delta Discovery, please send them to The Delta Discovery, P.O. Box 1028, Bethel, AK 99559, or e-mail them to [email protected]