Psycho-Babble Relationships Thread 793473

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Incapable of Love? (part 2)

Posted by Loveless_Larry on November 5, 2007, at 18:33:03

This really isn't part 2 of anything. I just searched on this same subject line and got a hit, but I donít think her issues are the same as mine, so I started my own thread.

So hereís my question: are there some people (possibly me) who donít get as attached to people as others? Iíve been in a handful of relationships but Iím not sure Iíve ever really been in love. At least not the kind of love you see/hear/read about in movies/music/books. Itís like I enjoy being around her and feel very warmly toward her, and of course am attracted to her with an very active sexual relationship, but thatís about as deep as it goes for me. She doesn't occupy my thoughts and when sheís not around I donít miss her. Itís been the same story in most of my relationships: we are together for a number of months, or in a couple cases a year or more, and I keep expecting for my feelings to grow and to fall in love (because I'm attracted to her and really like her, and theyíve all been great girlsÖ okay, except maybe one or two) but I never end up feeling what I would describe as romantic love. For example, Iíll go to a wedding and hear them do their vows and toasts and get all sappy about the first time they met or the first time they realized that theyíre the one, yada, yada, yadaÖ and I always end up thinking to myself, ďNope, never been there. Not even close. My girlfriend must not be her.Ē

You know, I notice about people that there are some who jump into things, hobbies or interests or beliefs, with both feet and thatís all they want to do or talk about or spend their time on. Then there are others like me who enjoy dabbling in several things but never go nuts for any one. Is it the same for mates? Some people fall in love easily and deeply and others donít at all? I have this one ex-girlfriend (my first and longest, actually) who Iíve kept in touch with and talked to about relationships over the years and it sounds like she falls in love with any guy sheís with. So whatís wrong with me?

The part thatís hard is that even if the answer is that I canít fall in love, I think I want to end up with someone and have kids. (Or maybe thatís just what I think I want because thatís just how I always thought I would end up because of societal and family expectations and stuff. AnywayÖ) I have a girlfriend now and weíve been going out for a little over a year and sheís very sweet but I have the same issue with her. So the question becomes is this as deep as it gets for me and I should settle with her, tell her I love her (in ďmy wayĒ, though I wouldnít say that), and start building a life? Would that even be fair to her? Or have I just not met the right woman yet? Iíd like to think itís the latter, because I hope I can experience all the great things Iíve heard about love that I never have. Itís not like Iíve dated every type of woman out there or anything. Iíve probably dated between 20 and 30 women, and had what youíd call a relationship (a couple months or more) with about 7.

So hereís a little background about me: Iím in my early 30ís and have always been single. I was a late bloomer romantically, and actually socially in general. I was never able to approach girls in high school or college because I was very inhibited. I didnít go to parties or have much fun at all in college for the same reason. I luckily fell into a relationship with a similar type of person in college and we dated for several years. At the time I thought I was in love but in retrospect I think it was the novelty and rush of my first relationship and of course all the contact and hormones and sex that because of my slow start I wasnít sure I would ever get to experience. But even then with her I donít think I ever thought of us as getting married or anything. I always thought weíd date for a while and that would be it, and thatís what happened. After we broke up I still had pretty low self confidence and no skills for talking to women at all. I went through a two year or so period of self improvement that helped me build my confidence to the point that I finally knew I was a good catch so I didnít feel embarrassed to talk to women I was interested in. Actually that first relationship and the period after changed me a lot, at least on the surface. Mostly it was about getting over inhibitions and seeing how stupid it was to worry so much about what other people think that it keeps you from doing anything.

So I finally started dating. I had a few relationships in my twenties but none longer than about 6 months. All followed about the same pattern. We dated and had a good time together but eventually I realized that this isnít going anywhere deep for me and I better let her go because it was becoming one sided and not fair to her, so I broke up with her.

Let me just say that I am not someone who need to be in a relationship all the time. I donít panic when a relationship ends. Actually I enjoy it for a while. Iím fine on my own, and even when Iím in a relationship I tend to need a lot of time on my own to keep me sane. (Thatís actually been an issue in more than one relationship, although never caused the end of one.) Sometime I wonder if the older I get the more difficult itís becoming because I have been single for so long itís going to be very hard to part with my complete independence. Just one more issue, I guess.

It probably means something I tend to be pretty ďSeinfeldianĒ with women (and actually with most things). I pick out their flaws, even seemly minor or unimportant ones, and fixate on them. That certainly hasnít helped.

I have had thoughts that maybe I just wasnít letting relationships go long enough for me to see past flaws and fall in love and in part thatís probably why I am where I am today with my current girlfriend. Also though I think thereís a good chunk of selfishness in there, in that I have really enjoyed the companionship and the courting and having someone to have fun with. And of course, the sex. I feel very bad because of that, because I know that the longer I let it go the more sheís going to be hurt if and when I finally tell her, ďSorry, I donít love you. Guess we should break up.Ē Sheís a very sweet girl and itís going to be very hard to hurt her like that.

So anyway, if youíve made it this far I appreciate you taking the time. Any insights you have would be appreciated. Along with them, though, Iíd be curious to know if youíre someone with some actual training in this area or if itís just the advice of someone with some years and experiences under their belt. Of course, that has plenty of value too. Iím at the point where I should really be making a decision with this girl. Actually I was probably there months ago, but whatís done is done. I have been telling myself that I should break up with her this weekend and working up the courage, but itís going to very hard. I think sheís going to be very surprised because Iím good at acting like everything is great. I hate for her to feel insecure about me but at the same time I know that just digs my hole deeper. Ugh.

So thatís it. Should I give up looking for the type of love I heard about and stay with this girl? Or should I keep at it, leaving broken hearts in my wake and risking the possibility that Iíll end up alone?



Re: Incapable of Love? (part 2)

Posted by rskontos on November 9, 2007, at 18:50:32

In reply to Incapable of Love? (part 2), posted by Loveless_Larry on November 5, 2007, at 18:33:03

Loveless Larry, Do you think you can't love because you don't trust people to open up to them? Do you only get to know them on a superficial level or on an intimate level. Because sex can be just that or it can be intimate. It sounds to me that you are talking mainly about casual dating and not about really getting close to a person. So my question to you is what do you think is holding you back from getting close. Is it a past experience? I think you have really thought about this and would really like answers and I hope the questions I pose help you with the questions you are seeking? good luck rk


Re: Incapable of Love? (part 2) Ľ Loveless_Larry

Posted by clipper40 on November 13, 2007, at 3:46:13

In reply to Incapable of Love? (part 2), posted by Loveless_Larry on November 5, 2007, at 18:33:03

Looking for flaws in your partner and fixating on them is usually a sign of commitment phobia. On the one hand there's a part of you that wants the commitment (the marriage and the kids) but there may be a bigger part of you that is scared and puts up a wall. You may keep a certain amount of detachment in relationships to protect yourself.

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