My friend is a professional, she’s also looking for that special guy, she’s not afraid to ask them on dates, and then she mopes around when they say she’s taking it too fast by leaning in for a kiss or they shirk off further dates by saying they’re busy (they can’t be more busy than her, she’s a medical resident). But when she’s talking about all this, I can’t get past the fact that she goes on these dates with facial hair! It’s not like she hasn’t heard of hair removal techniques, her parents are from India, where hair removal is more a part of life than here. There are other things she takes care of, like grooming her eyebrows or highlighting her hair, but she’ll let the other stuff grow.

She also smacks her lips very audibly when she’s eating with others and the makeup she wears is always badly blended and a shade or two too light. It just pains me when she talks about a failed date and can’t put a finger on what went wrong. She’s a close friend, but I don’t know how to talk to her about this because I don’t know if she’s trying to make a statement with that look or what. I’m also worried about how she’s treated on her job because of it.

Does anyone have any advice? In another time and place, finishing school would be the answer, but I don’t even know if those exist anymore, and I don’t think she’d be very open to it, anyways.

I’m working out my own Adult Child (ACOA) stuff which it sounds like your friend may be battling as well. Just google those words if you are interested in learning more. The following is my own conjecture and my own experience.

When I look at my own behavior I have a tendency towards the idea that essentially, my actions, people’s actions betray a truth and their words are usually only a half-truth.

If she is going out looking ugly and eating with no manners, then that is specific behavior and it is telling the truth of her unconsciously motivated actions. So what is the agenda for that? Why would someone’s unconscious mind make them act gross, look ugly while looking for a special guy?

Because the truth is part of her wants to be alone. The pressure is too much. Part of her may be desperate for a partner but another part is desperate to be alone and to not be looking and not worrying about the rejection and the fear.

A lot of people (me) straddle the line, behaviorally, between abandonment and inundation - one moment scared to be alone and then the next, desperate for aloneness and space. Add that to fear of rejection and a child will create a complex psychological construct where they are constantly undermining their own wants (lover/partner) by doing whatever they can (facial hair, manners, isolating, over drinking, being gross…) to keep it away.

My unconscious behavior to keep me alone was just getting real drunk and getting in loveless friendship type drinking relationships. After I quit drinking my strategy was to isolate and be mean to people.

It’s a battle everyday for me to be social, try to date and be interested in a relationship. I could see where someone would be gross, maybe fart or even eat too much, drink too much as a strategy to stay alone.

All of this is opinion. I hope something here helps someone. The Adult Child phenomena is the next big step for us as humans.