Anna asks: I recently saw an ex and he said he was nervous around me! I asked why and got the you’re gorgeous and it is tough to be around line. So later on in the evening we got to talking and he seriously said he was scared of me. But, he wanted to get it on, which made no sense if he is scared of me.

Anyway I think I could be scary to some people since I am into extreme sports, educated, and tend to do a lot of things on my own. I am not afraid of much, but I don’t do drugs, vegetarian, buddhist, and rarely drink. What is so scary about that???

I also had this said to me by some other guy a couple months ago. I have asked my male friends what they think of it, and they think he is a pussy (sorry, just verbatim). What do you think of the “I am scared of you” line? He does have some problems with manic depression and is also a cop. . . . Hmmmm!! If it is me, I want to know so I can be aware of it.NML says: I have to say that these are very odd comments however, as these men are Mr Unavailable’s, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Sometimes certain types of men find women like you intimidating. You’re independent, have strong interests, and your passions may be unnerving. Your atypical Fallback Girl even if she has interests often shelves them for the guy that she meets.

On the other side of it, sometimes guys say this in a passive aggressive manouver that takes the focus off his poor behaviour and suddenly has you wondering if you have done something wrong.

Do women with other hobbies ask themselves the same thing? Or those with independence?

Manic depression – maybe he is nervous of you but if he’s a cop, I feel sorry for his police department if your personality makes him nervous!

However, what I do suggest if you’re planning introspection is to look at the bigger picture – why are you attracting and attracted to Mr Unavailable’s?

Take this guy – how does your lifestyle and mentality fit with his? He has some pretty big problems to deal with – don’t fall into the trap of believing you’re the solution.

At the end of the day, hobbies, education, and a spiritual lifestyle are not reasons and many women do mistake these as reasons. Instead, if you want to look for answers, look at your relationship patterns and look at your characteristics. I was very independent and thought it scared off men – it does scare off assclowns if that is the genuine reason but in hindsight, sometimes I came across as disinterested, stand offish, and even arrogant. I’m not saying that is you but changing those aspects of your life is not going to make an impact on what these men say, especially if they have nothing to do with it.

I always say – we are the only common denominator so look at what your consistent relationship behaviours are and understand your pattern.

Your thoughts?

My new book How to Lose an Assclown in 90 Days is due out soon but if you want to get ahead on understanding waste of space men, there is also my ebook, Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl. Find out more and download.

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26 Responses to Advice: Do I make men nervous or are these men just assclowns?

  1. Loving Annie says:

    Anna,
    I have dated cops for 15 years – and that is a classic cop line.

    Translated “i’m scared of you” it means “i’m afraid you may make trouble for me after I hurt/use/dump you.”

    Cops are fabulous manipulators (and lightning fast liars) and manage quite easily to make it seem like YOU are at fault somehow and they are NEVER responsible.

    It’s about finding a man who matches what you have to offer, rather than you having so much more than what he has to offer.

    I suspect this guy seems himself as an average working man and has a big ego because of the power of the badge and the gun.
    Your education, independence and lack of addicitions mean you are strong – and he probably prefers someone weaker where he is always in control and calling the shots.

    Maybe he ought to be scared of his own lack of ability to step up to the plate and be the man you’re worthy of. And he probably is – and knows it, but he’ll never admit that to you.

  2. Sarah S. says:

    Well said, Annie.

  3. Loving Annie says:

    Sarah : Thank you :)

    Also Anna, you’ll probably hear “you’re dangerous” and some variation of… “I really like you bit I can’t (fill in the blank) YET…” and a bunch of other remarks that SOUND promising but in reality say nothing at all.

    Cops are good at delivering nothing while appearing interested, keeping you on the string. Charm is how they do their job well – when they aren’t hooking and booking someone.

    And no, thanks to NML I don’t date them anymore :)

  4. Carm says:

    I second what Loving Annie says about cops. Also, I am very wary of firemen and military guys. These traditional “male” jobs with power, cops especially, tend to attract guys with ego problems and narcissistic tendencies. Also, the culture of the working environment of these traditionally male jobs tend to applaud looking down on women.

  5. Liz says:

    I am in the military and have heard this line (especially from civilian men) on several occasions. I have found that these men generally are insecure flakes who are intimidated because they realize they can’t control you.

  6. Hmm, mine said, real early on (red flag I should have taken literally) “You’re too much woman for me, I’m not man enough for you.” I’m not an extreme sports gal nor is he cop or military, but those are words that should have been taken literally, now that I know how literal men are.
    I mean, I can say something for the sake of discussion, and I might change my opinion or stance over time or in the face of evidence to the otherwise, or according to my developing feelings towards a person, but men do not seem to change and grow very much, at least not *while they are in a relationship.* They seem to only grow and change for a brief period of emotional openness as in *after* an emotional trauma like a breakup.

  7. Caroline says:

    Hi all

    less then 2 years ago i was on this site trying to get over MM, thanks to this site I have managed to pull through , at the end I have decided to step back and work on my issues and patterns , so I left the big city and moved to a littte village where I own a little house by the sea . I have been living here for six months every thing was great and is still fairly so far, thinking that I have managed to control my insecurity and the feel to be needed until a month ago , when an aquaintce asked me to join her on the beach where I met this men who never made an impression on me but later my friend called and said that this man wants to meet me, I refused at first saying he was too young but nevertheless out of boardom I suppose I did meet him he was athletic beautifull and 42 years old am 52 and I do not look my age athletic sophisticated and nice looking BY the way this is the opinion of other people as well HAHA) he is a policeman I never saw him on duty the first meeting was not that great from the first moment he asked how old I was I thought he was primitive .( I did lie about my age though telling him I was 47)
    I was damn sure I did not want anything to do with this person as there is nothing in common between us I come from a privilege educated back ground was married with a high profile figure with 2 grown up children who live away from home never worked as i was that trophy wife and a mother. I somehow I did get involved we became inseperable . this man seems always pissed off intolerant does know how to listen in fact incapable of listnening and hearing anyone talking ,the minute I open my mouth he accuses me of being a chatter box does not know what communication between people is ( mind you I am a very quite person ) he has been living in my house for the last 4 weeks I was shopping cooking washing for him he was using my beautifull car providing him with sex and never seem to be greatful this man does not converse with me at all does not contribute in anything. I always sit and wonder what the hell I am doing with such creature the more he does this to me the more I do things to see a reaction I suppose I can only discribe this man as a brut uncivilised .
    Today am writing to say am so angry at myself I know I should not accomodate such a person I am aware that am humiliating myself ,from the outside i seem very in control and poised woman who knows what she wants as a matter of fact all i know is I do not want to behave in such a way I can`t seem to stop ,myself knowing that is unacceptable behaviour I feel ashamed even with my previous relationhip I was doing so, giving so much to get this aknowledgement I am living a nightmare I know I am my worst enemie as I allow assholes to take advantage of me ,is it control am looking for? is it fullfillement? is what ? I honestley cant figure myself out the only thing i know is I am mad at me I can`t seem to be able to get out from my sh..t hole. the last 6 months I thought I have found myself and am over my nasty patterns .please help

  8. Supernova1973 says:

    Dump his a** Caroline, you are aware of it so now take action. What a jerk, but really you have to suck it up here. I know it is hard but he is using you and you cannot let that happen, otherwise you will kick yourself…. BE STRONG!!

  9. FinallyOverIt says:

    Caroline, I am also in your age range and I’m wondering if you are settling for this obviously unfulfilling relationship because you are not in your 20’s anymore, and let’s face it, when you get to be our age, you can’t help but wonder if you will find someone before you are in a wheel chair and too old to enjoy it! :) So, that being said, do you think maybe that is partly what’s keeping you in this relationship? Also, my ex-EUM was very good looking, and much younger than me. If I am to be completely honest, that totally attracted me to him, and to this day I still think he is a beautiful man. Sometimes we are so drawn to their physical selves, we don’t focus on how horrible they are as a person. Especially if we are feeling insecure and have low self-esteem and think “well this is it, I better settle for this because I might not have another chance to find someone better.” Just something to think about…..take care.

  10. Francesca says:

    Hi all

    I’ve also recently had my ex say to me “I find I’m nervous around you because you are so strong.. I felt scared in case I upset you”
    I do need to consider whether some part of me came across as too arrogant – but I also think this justifies our breakup as there can’t be a healthy relationship when one person is scared of the other.

    Caroline, your honesty with yourself is really impressive – Can you maybe try telling yourself “OK I made a bad choice on this occasion… but I don’t have to repeat that choice in future and I don’t have to be stuck with it.”. I find that kind of statement helpful for me,
    best wishes.

  11. Caroline says:

    Hi Ladies,
    I am sitting here feeling so miserable crying my eyes out so alone reading your answers to give me courage and hope .
    You are right FinallyOverit this is exactly how I feel not because he is special he is far away from it ,it is my fear of this chapter of my life when you hit 50`s scary …

    I checked his mobile this morning I found few messages from girl friends when I confronted him he said he has a social life that he does not want to stop , I do not want to go through the humiliation and agony of jalousy I need peace, I had it before he entered my life ,I was determined then that I will give no one my peace, again i have betrayed myself .
    Francessca
    I Know I should act now the more I leave it the more my self esteem will go down the drain as I start to feel powerless and a victim nasty ,nasty feeling I need to take control ,What can I say to him to to tell him it is over and at the same time make him feel bad ?

  12. nysharon says:

    Wow — is all I have to say to you Caroline. Your life is not over silly. I am 51 and having the time of my life dating since I simply posted my picture online with not much else. There are tons of great nice guys out there. Funny too, that I just ended a relationship with a MM who is a Cop. :) I work in the field myself, and it IS about control. They find your weakness and attack it. You start to view yourself through their distorted feedback. There is also a sense of entitlement that comes in this work. My guy felt that he could continue to string me along and not leave his wife. When I misbehaved or dated others, he made a scene in public because he knew I would look like the bad girl, and his wife would never kick him out. Geesse, kick his ass out. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  13. nysharon says:

    And another thing. On the orginal topic, anyone who is scared of you……is not worthy of you.

  14. nysharon says:

    And another thing :-)
    Eleanor Roosevelt said “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

  15. Brad K. says:

    Caroline, life isn’t over at fifty. Heck, I already made it to 56! Sorry, not that funny, I know.

    Two plus two is supposed to equal four. You are supposed to enjoy meeting his needs. It seems you are doing pretty well at meeting his needs – but you aren’t enjoying it. You are adding two plus one, and keep trying to make it come out to four. You left something out of your equation – you.

    When we date, we have an obligation to ourselves, our families, and our prospective partners – to have fun. We have to enjoy ourselves or we are cheating ourselves, lying to our prospective partner, and put everyone at risk. We waste time, effort, money, and wear and tear on our emotions – and we distract ourselves from finding who we are, from living.

    And make no mistake, you are on a date. Your EUM-cop-whatever is a perpetual dater – he has no concept of what it means to be in a family, and no notion to change his social role as a dater. He is dating. He is sharing a bed and a house with you, and still considers other women part of his ‘social life’, He is dating.

    Deep down, you believe that men flit about, sow wild oats with unsuitable women, then settle down to a family. You fear and believe it is you that hasn’t yet made him feel he has found love, a home, a life-mate. In reality, this myth of ‘typical’ guy behavior is wrong, illogical, and harmful. Any guy that gets good at finding bed partners has a life-skill of finding bed partners – and will never abandon that skill at finding (new) bed partners, whether he (or she) marries or stumbles into a long term relationship. It doesn’t happen.

    Caroline, it seems you need more women friends to balance your life – married women content in their marriage. Please consider carefully about seeing someone that doesn’t have impeccable character – honest, respectful, honorable, trusted. You want someone that has good emotional bonds to family and friends.

    I have to wonder about this friend that told you the cop wanted to see you – do you respect the people she hangs out with (except for you of course!)? Is your friend a good judge of character?

    But you really have to send this guy on his way. For one thing, life is too short to be wasting it on a dater – his presence keeps you from meeting someone that might be a suitable mate-prospect, and keeps you from being available. Dealing with his crap (just how many women *do* you want to be sleeping with, second hand?) is causing you hurt, his presence is deepening a bond you feel toward him (not that he likely feels anything more than being on a second date) – that you will have to grieve over when he goes. Letting him drag things on causes more pain and waste of time, with nothing good accomplished.

    And you need to consider why you let this bum hang about, why you let someone else decide what you would do, why you put his wishes before your needs – why, at the beginning of a relationship, you endeavored to meet his needs when his actions don’t show respect for you. No relationship is perfect, and as time goes by we make our sacrifices and small compromises when there is need. But at the beginning, before you are satisfied that he is reasonable, responsible, respectable, honorable – and fun (for you!) to interact with, a true joy to be around – problems are *warning flags*, not obligations.

    Blessed be.

  16. Caroline says:

    Gosh nysharon I hope the same things will happen to me I sort of gave up even I was a very optimistic character all my life ,I do not know what is happening to me in this field. I always manage to diguise my vunerability the minute I step out of my house .
    my crude cop appologised to me and pretended he did not realised the how bad he was he was behaving because he is not used to live with anyone and at the same time he is taking this strong course of antibiotic that the doctor has prescibed to him and his team as a prevention because they got in touch with an infected criminal who has tb, he said those pills makes him aggressive and ill .
    so I took him back knowing that he will never change .
    BRAD , since almost two years ago I have been reading your posts on the MM blog always admired your wisdom and analyses today you have answered me back to open my blind eyes about my certain facts and my bad habits which I found very difficult to get rid of .
    after my involvement with MM I have taken steps back by leaving my invironment to work out on my issues and patterns I thought I have recovered until that day when I met my cop I went back to my old behaviour the minute I was confronted with a EUM thinking hey am strong now I can handle it now ,no way I will let him mess me up like my ex husband and my MM did before, it seems to me I sound like an alcohol addict , maybe I am ,knowing that I have a red flag flying before my eyes in my house and dont want to do anything about it until the sh…t hit the fan. I am quite aware of the danger I feel maybe I could live some time of intimicy to feel I am alive and not on the margin waiting for the unwaitable mind you i am quite active during th day I go to the gym daily I have two great dogs not so many friends because am new in this village .
    So Brad your words make sense BUT how can I manage to apply it on me deep down I feel my age factor is my biggest issue I am so so scared again Brad thanks for your wisdom .

  17. Liz says:

    Hi Caroline – I am fast approaching 50 myself and have been divorced for 14 years now. At times, I have worried that I will end up alone when one dating relationship or another has not worked out. Unfortunately, a lot of those dating relationships over the past decade haved been with EUM – AKA “assclowns.”

    I finally became fed up, recognized my bad dating patterns and took a time out. It has taken a while, but I had to come to a place where I became comfortable with me and the idea that I might not finally have a man to share in the golden years. I came to question why it is necesssary to have a man to feel happy or fulfilled in life. I realized that it is not necessary. There are plenty of other great ways to give and receive and find fulfillment in life. In my case, I find it through my friends, family, work, hobbies, and studies.

    If a good man comes along – great! If that does not happen, that’s okay too. But, I’m not going to waste time and energy on a jackass who really does not care about me and creates a lot of negative drama. To me, life is far worse with an EUM, than it is alone and doing good things with my time and energy.

    Perhaps it is time to take a break again and reflect on what will make you truly happy…..

    And yes, you are correct – his excuses for his bad behavior are just that – excuses. Antibiotics do have side affects, but aggression is not one of them….

    Be Good to Yourself Caroline! :)

    Liz

  18. Kat says:

    I’m scared of you? What utter BS this is. Real men don’t say these things to women. Men like this, I just cock my head to the side and tell ask them what the hell is wrong with you and what are you talking about. If that makes me arrogant so be it. I was a hard ass in my 20s and got soft in my 30s and fell into some very unfortunate experiences, finding this site has helped me remember who I am and find myself, now approaching my 40s I know I can take care of myself and I can be alone if need be, so no jerk can get in because there is no place for them to fit in. I am completely comfortable telling those sorry assclowns who mistake me for a weak woman to take a hike. I have found a great guy to be with, but he knows I won’t put up with any crazy behaviors. I knows he is lucky to be with me and I act like he is. But it doesn’t work if you don’t really believe it inside.

  19. nysharon says:

    Liz– I did the same thing. hetoxed, dating hiatus, whatever. I am in such a good place now that dating is fun and just the icing on the cake.
    Hang in there Caroline but keep a journal.

  20. Mel says:

    I’m so glad I read this post. I’ve just ended it with my EUM. After weeks of different reasons why I couldn’t go to visit him (he lives in north England, I live South) he came up with: I’m scared of you.
    I said what crap is this – if you’re scared of me we shouldn’t be together, and he retracted it, but I had been wondering what on earth he meant. He was so much bigger and stronger than me but I found myself wondering if I came across as somebody likely to be violent (I would never be violent) because I can be forceful in speech.
    It made me a bit paranoid.

  21. finallyseenthelight says:

    Mel…my ex-EUM used to say to me that I scare him and what he was referring to meant his fear of commitment…that I was going to have expectations of him being a responsible, caring, loving partner…did you consider that he might have meant “his fears” not scared in the sense of you will do bodily harm to him.

    Caroline – I relate to you with the aging factor. I’m 46, have been divorced 2x in my early twenties and then been in relationships mostly with EUMs since. Last 2 relationships – MM for 4yrs. and my latest ex-EUM for over 2 years. The age factor kept me in it…besides that I literally “crazy about him.” He was physically a beautiful, sexy man and that passion and chemistry kept me in it. What I wasn’t considering, and you should…is that you are worrying about your age now…the longer you stay in this unhealthy relationship the older you will be when you get out…time doesn’t stand still…you know deep down in your gut that he’s not right for you and you are believing his BS…antibiotic meds for TB do not make someone act differently…he’s just giving you excuses for his poor behavior and not meeting your needs, because he knows he can get away with it.

    We’ve all been down that road…we are here for you!
    Good luck.

  22. Texas Girl says:

    My assclown broke up with me about two months ago. He is not a cop….but he invited me to “hang out” as he wants me “to be in his life”. bla bla bla (I have since said: Disappear, please)

    But I am reminded how he acted when we went out one time after we broke up. He acted so bizarre and more closed off than usual. I, of course acted like it wasn’t happening, and chattered through the date. But finally, I asked, “Whats wrong?” He initiated the date. He blurts out, “I am nervous! I don’t know – you make me nervous!” (He said it a little too loud and abruptly)

    I was completely perplexed. We had been shagging and dating for nearly a year. Vacations together, etc. Nervous? As a good Fallback Girl – I took this as a sign of his “still loving me” and how beautiful, succesful, etc. I am. But now reading this – I realize – it is not unique. It is not something that just “he felt towards me”. It is just another “thing” between a Mr. Unavailable and a Fallback Girl – and I don’t care what it is about anymore. Too much energy to solve a puzzle that was missing pieces right out of the box.

  23. christine says:

    I am also educated, independent, into extreme sports, and I know that the fact that I have many male friends tend to intimidate some men.

    Guess this was what attracted my ex-EUM(or whatever he is) in the first place, but after a few weeks of dating he started his control- thing. Subtle at first, then more direct – criticizing my clothes (What’s wrong with a white, decent summer dress on a Casual Friday?)
    and explaining how “picky” he was when it came to women. I didn’t take the bait and ignored it and that really bothered him, I could tell he didn’t know how to behave around me.

    When he realized that i would not respond to his stupid game playing he would say things like “I’m afraid of you”. Which makes perfectly sense: he can’t control me, and that means I am a potential threath to his self esteem and illusions.
    He’s unable to have an equal, balanced relationship, period.

    (Turned out he had a long-term girlfriend on the side, but that’s another story… or not.)

  24. gina says:

    NML you are right a man who says that “I am scared of you” is unavailable! He obviously has his own “issues” considering he is a cop dealing with depression. I agree that the woman who posted this should look at why she is attracting these types of men. Obviously a secure, confident man wouldn’t be intimidated; perhaps even if she found a man who shared her interests… the important thing is when she is told this by a man is knowing what to do with the feedback which is: discard the invaluable information… and man who is unavailable for her. Any man who says he is scared; is just someone who doesn’t know enough about you in the first place because he is not geniunely interested; doesn’t have the capacity for a relationship, etc… etc… and as for people putting labels on cops, military, firefighters it’s wrong… judge people individually…

  25. ph2072 says:

    Thanks for clarifying the “I’m scared” garbage, which I kinda figured was bulls–t. I’ll keep this in mind if I ever hear this told to me in the future.

  26. Res Judicata says:

    With all of the other enlightening threads, I missed this one until now. Before meeting me, my XEUM said he was “scared of me”. Since we met on an online site, he knew that I was an independent, professional, higher-education level woman with many interests and activities. Once he met me, he seemed to feel very comfortable. On the last night I saw him, he wanted to “see me more”, and listed all of the ways we would do that — concerts, movies, etc. Due to the press of other personal matters, he had not seen me in awhile, and told me how much he missed me. After that, he basically jettisoned me from his life. After sorting this out for the last three months, I have determined that: (1) he was scared of being with someone like me — self-sufficient — since he had been married to a stay-at-home wife by whom he had three kids. I was not like any other female he had met; let alone, had dated or had married; (2) in the end, he was scared of his depth of feelings for me, as he had just left a long-term marriage and could not commit to another long-term relationship as he was still sorting out the residue of the first one. Maybe he was afraid that I would suck the life out of him, or something! I miss him, and wish him well, but have tried to move on. I met someone else about a week ago who seems very promising and, more importantly, emotionally available. I guess the point of all of this is to learn, early on the red flags: much sizzle, then huge fizzle; rush to get to the sex part; lack of commitment on simple things like showing up for a date or concert; putting you tenth on a list of five important things; etc. It sucks — but I am trying to categorize it as an important life lesson, and am trying to move on. I sympathize with all caught up with similar EUMs – they are such a waste of energy with their emotional vampirism.

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Stop believing that you did something to make them unavailable or that their inadequacies are down to your inadequacies - it is not about you; they are unavailable!
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