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Why are Men Afraid of Healthy Women?

Why are Men Afraid of Healthy Women?

Yes, the title may be slightly misleading in that not all men are afraid of healthy (as in emotionally healthy) women but there is a significant portion who are.

Why would men then be afraid specifically of healthy women?

I recently asked the following question to a successful male client who was frustrated with his pattern of meaningless sexual encounters with women he did not truly care for (and they in turn did not care for him).

Therapist (Me):  What would it feel like for you to approach an attractive, healthy, successful woman of your age?

The client looks up at me with eyes of bewilderment and terror.  Almost like I had addressed my question to the wrong guy.

Client:  No, who, me?  No, she’s out of my league.  I’m not good enough for someone like her.


Healthy Women as the Power to Expose Men

It is not healthy women that men fear but rather the power they bestow on healthy women to see them for who they believe themselves to be. Many men feel themselves to be inadequate, unworthy, lacking and intuit that healthy women will be able to expose them for who they believe themselves to be.

When men fear healthy women, they are doing so in an attempt to protect themselves.  It is safer to avoid (out of fear) a healthy women than it is to expose the truth of who they believe themselves to be.

  • Fear in men of healthy women is ultimately a fear of intimacy.
  • Fear in men of intimacy is ultimately a fear of vulnerability.
  • Fear in men of vulnerability is ultimately a fear of being found out to be inadequate, unworthy, lacking, powerless & fundamentally unlovable.

Healthy Women as a Barrier for Men

In response to experiencing healthy women as a barrier (something one can not attain because one does not feel worth it) men then generally engage in negative coping behaviors. If you are a man and find yourself essentially afraid of strong, healthy women, then you will most likely find yourself experiencing one, some or all of the following negative patterns of behavior.


Troubled Masculinity

Once a man struggles to move towards healthy women he creates in him a negative cycle and spiral. There is something fundamentally emasculating about going after women one does not want. That behavior then reinforces the man’s negative beliefs, and they go deeper into believing that they are fundamentally lacking which makes it even harder to pursue a healthy, attractive women.

The Solution: It’s not an Intellect Thing

Yes, that’s me. I find myself always going after the type of women I don’t want and avoid the healthy attractive women. Ok, what do I do to fix this?

Men in therapy generally love using their intellect to solve a personal problem like they’re trying to use Excel to solve a data problem.  However, changing core beliefs about oneself must take place at an emotional level. The intellect can not change a core belief but rather only provide some awareness that a negative core belief exists. One must first come to terms with their emotions and learn to become more comfortable with them. Yes, this often involves re-visiting emotional hurts that took place long ago. Next, they must take steps to challenge the negative core beliefs in a visceral way. With time, effort and practice negative core beliefs lose their power and men feel a freedom to move towards whatever it is they truly desire; including but not limited to healthy, attractive and successful women.

It’s tough work, but the alternative is way more painful.

Contact Info.

  • Owner & Therapist:  Eric Pierni, MA (OACCPP – #5041-G)
  • Tel. 647-677-8281
  • Email:  eric@mentherapytoronto.com
  • Social Media:  @mentherapyTO | @EricPierni | facebook.com/mentherapyTO/
  • Website:  mentherapytoronto.com
  • Online Booking:  Book an Appointment
  • Location:  1600 – 2300 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M4P 1E4

Eric Pierni, MA is a therapist and founder of Men Therapy Toronto | Counselling Services for Men specializing in therapy and psychotherapy for men in Toronto, Ontario (GTA).  Offices are located in the midtown (Yonge & Eglinton) area of Toronto.

January 23, 2017

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