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Fear of intimacy with someone else after a break up

(19 Posts)
charlotterosea Mon 29-Dec-14 15:01:52

I have been single for about 7 months now and have recently pushed myself back onto the dating scene. I was with my ex for 3 years and I really fell for him. When we broke up, it was a shock because he basically left me for someone else without giving me any reason or explanation, just gradually cut contact so it took a long time for me to get over it.

I didn't want any rebound relationship and tried to work on myself. I saw it as a healing period. I recently met a new man through OD who seems nice (we met up for a drink yesterday) but I left feeling quite unsettled and odd, even though he seemed really nice.

I've come to the conclusion that I seem to get anxious over situations that could lead to intimacy. I was never like this before the breakup but I find the thought of being intimate with someone new really scary. After the date, I also kept replaying relationship milestones I shared with my ex - our first kiss, the first time we slept together, moments like that. It's crazy because he hurt me so much and I haven't spoken to him in months but I miss the familiarity and little things about him. He moved on to someone new straight away but I'm finding it so hard.

The new man has asked to meet again for dinner this week and I want to go but I'm weirdly anxious about the whole thing. I'm worried that he might try and kiss me and I'm dreading it because of this strange fear that's developed. I don't want to mess up a relationship that could be good with someone who seems genuine sad

I'm trying to make sense of this - is it normal? Have you ever experienced fear of being intimate with someone else, when you were in the process of healing after a break up?

Chaseface Mon 29-Dec-14 15:07:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlotterosea Mon 29-Dec-14 18:39:45

Thanks. It's so hard. It's almost like I can't feel anything. It's different from my past relationship because with my ex, I really liked him from the first time I saw him. I can't seem to feel like that about anyone I've met while dating.

SoleSource Mon 29-Dec-14 19:25:14

Maybe you fear being left abruptly again. Or it could be that after three tears you know what type of character traits you prefer in a guy and you're actually afraid of your new found assertiveness that is bubbling away within but you block it.

Herald Mon 29-Dec-14 19:31:37

I was exactly the same after my now ex wife and myself split, I thought I would ever be intimate with anyone again but in time when it happened it seemed so natural and just happened... Just take your time and if you are happy with the other person it will happen ����

elsabelle Mon 29-Dec-14 19:47:00

I totally understand this. Ex Fiance left me 4 months ago - devastated beyond belief. I have been on 1 date, got on well, had a little kiss at the end and then i went home and cried for 2 days solid. Even thinking about anything sexual just makes me cry as i associate those feeling with ExF.

I think don't force it OP, listen to your instincts, you'll know if its right or not. Maybe 7 months is not enough time? I know you prob feel you want to be moving on, i know i do - especially as ExF is with someone else, but some of us probably do take a good while to be ready.

olderguy Mon 29-Dec-14 20:39:47

I'm the same after I caught my dp having an affair, I like chatting to people but as soon as the conversation moves into more intimate territory I get cold feet and just want to run away, I wish I had real life people to talk to about it but being a man people wouldn't understand sad

skyeskyeskye Mon 29-Dec-14 21:43:37

OP, I had a relationship earlier this year after two years on my own following ten years with XH.

I was terrified of even kissing him, but it was ok. The though of having sex with someone new was really scary but it just happened. The first time wasn't great but it got better

Don't stress about it, when you meet the right person, it will all be ok smile

Whitershadeofpale Mon 29-Dec-14 23:00:52

This could have been me writing a few weeks ago. I almost forced myself to go with things, I was invited over to my new bf's place for dinner and was absolutely terrified at the thought or being intimate but actually when the time came, I wasn't scared at all and it was great grin

SandInMySandwiches Mon 29-Dec-14 23:36:14

I feel exactly like this. I don't want to be with anyone ever again. On one hand, I really miss intimacy and someone there on my side but on the other I won't trust and the thought of touching anyone else sickens me. I make sure all males stay in the friends category. Its been around a year now. I'm probably messed up for good, sadly.

Whitershadeofpale Mon 29-Dec-14 23:44:28

That's how I felt in the 5 years since I was with my ex sand and we probably didn't have sex for 18 months before we split up. It isn't always forever.

weeoclock Tue 30-Dec-14 01:42:11

Well it seems like this is not an unusual problem. A few weeks ago I was in same place as you OP and really was worried about kissing the guy I recently started dating. My previous 10+ year relationship ended suddenly when DH walked out, we were still DTD but had not kissed properly in years. So I was quite worried about even that tbh.
With new bloke we eventually had a proper kiss on our 4th date!
More stuff has happened in last couple of meet ups but I now feel completely relaxed and comfortable with new bloke.
I think the key is to do what feels right by you and to not feel pressured by social norms or obvs by the other person to do what does not feel right. Anyone worth their salt will wait until you feel comfortable.

minklundy Tue 30-Dec-14 01:52:26

Also you may kiss him and you may not like and you k ow what that is ok too .
The worst that will have happened is you had a bit of a crap snog. But it might, just might be lovely.

First guy i met after lt rs that I kissed felt wrong. Decided not to see him again. It wasn't a massive deal for either of us.

--damn i now have a kiss is just a kiss stuck in my head''

GinAndSonic Tue 30-Dec-14 05:30:43

Im so glad I read this! Im talking to some nice guys on OD but I keep freaking out when they ask to meet for coffee. I thought it was because im still living with exP and was worried about wether it was too soon blah blah, (6 weeks since we split) but turns out he has no such concerns and has met someone else. Im just going to go for it. Theres a POF event near me soon, i might just go.

Blahdeblah111 Tue 30-Dec-14 21:03:18

Really glad I found this too, ExF moved on straight away (after 6 years together!!), I have been on one date and liked him and he is keen to meet again but I am anxious at the thought of any intimacy etc... So glad I am normal!

charlotterosea Tue 30-Dec-14 21:10:49

It's given me some comfort to know I'm not the only one. The new man I'm talking to seems very eager and it's freaking me out a bit (not his fault, more about me and my feelings.) I haven't texted him today and feel guilty because he was really hinting last night that he wanted me to.

I wish i didn't associate intimate feelings with my ex because he's certainly had no problems moving on!

Undertone Tue 30-Dec-14 21:19:47

Hmm. Traumatic breakup here and have been single for over two years because anything intimate just feels yuck. I am hoping to get counselling when I've saved up a bit.

KindleKind Tue 30-Dec-14 22:40:56

I feel the same. My last relationship finished 6 months ago and the thought of being with anyone else makes me feel sick to my stomach.
I really want intimacy again, but I have no idea how I'll ever get to that point.

minklundy Wed 31-Dec-14 00:05:33

I think some of the problem is 'the thought of intimacy'.
Try not to be think about it too much.
Do what feels right.

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