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Feeling lost and so uncertain.

(21 Posts)
Quatrefoil Tue 17-Nov-15 00:15:09

I am in a new relationship. Been seeing BF for 3 months. We are both over 40. It is my first relationship since leaving XH over a year ago. I was with XH since being a teenager so the concept of dating and starting relationships as a 'proper' adult is totally new to me.

At the start, BF was very attentive, intense, passionate, and didn't hold back telling me and showing me how much he was falling for me. I was surprised at how quickly it became serious but I was also bowled over by him and my feelings were just as intense.

Being inexperienced, I let him set the pace of things as I really was clueless about how these things are usually done. Within a few weeks we were spending 3 evenings a week together minimum, staying overnight usually. We've had a weekend away together, I have met most of his friends and family and it is seemingly pretty full on. I am happy about this. I like him a lot and I can see a future with him. He is genuine and lovely.

But. I don't know if it's down to my lack of self esteem or if his feelings are cooling off, but I think things have changed. At the beginning our texts were often explicit with desire. I sometimes attempt to start a text exchange like that again but he doesn't really seem to do that any more.

It feels to me like he is becoming a little colder and more distant. Not just in his texting style but sometimes when we are together too or when we talk on the phone. He isn't trying to spend less time with me, he is doing all the right things, its just that he feels less connected than he was. It feels like he is less into me than he was. I am sure he is telling me less how into me he is.

It's probably just me and my fucked up self esteem.

But I can't even talk to him about it. I feel paralysed by the need to be the perfect girlfriend. I don't want to ask questions that make me seem paranoid or demanding. When he spends time at my house (which is the majority of the time we spend together) I worry constantly about whether he is bored, what he thinks of me / my house / my books etc. and I feel constantly on edge whilst trying to hide it. I know I shouldn't feel like this. I actually do feel much more relaxed around him when I get to spend time at his house. But logistically it's easier if he comes to me.

Sex is becoming a little less frequent already. He seems to enjoy it, as do I, but he has stopped trying to make me orgasm after some early attempts didn't quite hit the mark and I said I felt under too much pressure to perform. I do occasionally orgasm with him but only if I do it myself, and often if it's midweek and he is tired, there isn't enough time for even that to happen because, fun as it is, it's all over in ten minutes.

I want the early days back again. The ones when we walked arm in arm everywhere, stopping in the street often just to kiss. When we would spend an hour or more over sex. When the text messages were often explicit. When he left me in no doubt that I was everything he wanted. When he thought I was interesting to talk to.

I realise that the early hedonism of new relationships can't last forever but does it really start to fade by 3 months?

And how do I get over my crippling silence and tell him what I really want and how I really feel?

whodhavethoughtit Tue 17-Nov-15 00:22:56

I don't think you are ready for a relationship. Your self esteem is in tatters and you seem to think any behaviour from him is ok. I think he is cooling off now the initial bit has passed. I also think he is no way near as perfect as you had at first hoped. This should be the honeymoon period, not a time of sex with no orgasms and you suffering shitloads of angst.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 17-Nov-15 06:48:22

Your relationship with this man has actually followed a pretty old pattern.

Over investment on his part and early love bombing; lots of sex and explicit texts; he cools off because he's got you hooked and you're left wondering what changed...

At this point, if your self esteem were healthy, you'd think, "I'm not having none of that flakey shit" and walk away. As it's not, you're still there. He knows what he's doing. Do you think someone who had genuinely fallen for you would risk you walking away by becoming mso ambivalent and selfish? Do you think if he had fallen in love with you he'd want you to feel like this?

Yours is a post that's been typed out by hundreds of women and it always means the same thing.

Don't stay with him to he point that it destroys you.

Phoenix69 Tue 17-Nov-15 07:11:28

You have to find a way to talk to him. If he thinks you are demanding because you are expressing your worries even if they are unfounded then he isn't worth the bother.

Best done face to face and it does require courage. Or write a card/letter and pour out your feelings and when you meet give it to him to read then in front of you.

I have always said how I feel in my relationships and most of the time and any concerns I had were mirrored by my other half. everyone has insecurities some hide them better but they all cause problems in relationships unless they are aired. Trust me.

Quatrefoil Tue 17-Nov-15 10:08:02

Do you think someone who had genuinely fallen for you would risk you walking away by becoming mso ambivalent and selfish?

I don't think he knows he is being ambivalent. I think he assumes I understand how deep his commitment to me is and doesn't see the need to keep saying it. He still makes a lot of effort, expense and time just to spend a few hours with me mid-week. He is kind and considerate and quiet. He brings small gifts sometimes - nice coffee beans or something like that. It's the quiet part that I really struggle with. I worry during the silences that he is bored by me. And he rarely says how he feels about me any more.

The selfish part - I think you mean the sex. I blame myself for this situation because early on he worked hard at giving me orgasms but I really struggled and felt under too much pressure to have one. I also think the contraceptive pill I am taking is causing loss of clitoral sensation. I told him all this and in effect, he heard "stop trying to make me orgasm because I can't do it". I think the fact that I can give myself an orgasm but he hasn't really given me one himself (I think he has just once) has probably dented his confidence too. But crucially, we haven't really talked about this at all, since a few weeks in.

Do you think if he had fallen in love with you he'd want you to feel like this?

He doesn't know how I feel. I'm very good at hiding it. I think if he knew how I felt he would be appalled and wouldn't want me to feel like that at all. Which is partly why I pretend I'm fine. I suspect that all my difficulties are down to me, my poor self esteem and internal struggles. That the 'problems' are either my imagination (his cooling off) or my fault (orgasms). And that if I tell him all this, he will see how fucked up I am, how needy and difficult, and he really will go off me.

whodhavethoughtit Tue 17-Nov-15 10:28:08

And the above post just goes to show why you should be single and work on yourself for a while.

Blaming yourself for his inadequacies, well - that just demonstrates quite clearly how you shouldn't be with him. And you are terrified to speak to him in case he leaves. Well anyone else would be dumping him. Why are you clinging on?

ALaughAMinute Tue 17-Nov-15 10:54:58

Don't makes excuses for him. If he's not making an effort in bed and has cooled off after such a short time, you should be seriously thinking of getting rid of him.

Asteria36 Tue 17-Nov-15 11:08:39

What they said!
If you are really wanting a litmus test, tell him how you feel. That should give you all the answers that you need.
Gifts and effort to see you are not anything to go by. One of the most generous boyfriends I ever had showered me with gifts and romantic gestures to ease the guilt he had for being very involved with TWO single parents and their children! I'm not saying that your BF is playing away, but what I do believe is that you should concentrate on how he makes you feel rather than what he gives you.
If his attitude doesn't match his gestures then you should really think about extracting yourself before you get dragged down.

Threefishys Tue 17-Nov-15 11:18:09

I disagree with the above posters. I think he has relaxed into a relationship with you and feels comfortable enough to be quiet around you - that's the goal its not a bad thing?! If you need over effusive attentiveness then yes, its about your self esteem. To me he seems decent and 'normal'. You are equal adults in this and it should feel comforting to have a level of intimacy that means you can relax and just be yourselves together. He seems relaxed, you are not, its your issue to address. Fervent texting is all very well for teenagers but it's generally fairly vapid. Would you rather he sit with you after bringing you a little gift and spend time with you or be away from you frantically sexting?? Come on OP, you have him,he likes you. Don't arse it up. As for the sex thing...it's three months you have plenty of time to develop intimacy on a level where you can learn and grow together physically - call this a false start and stop fretting.

springydaffs Tue 17-Nov-15 18:39:32

It's like this after only 3 months?

It just doesn't sound at all good tbh. The grand passion ( hmm ) and now he can't even be bothered to get you off.

Your disease is the biggest indicator this (actually, he) isn't right. I don't think it's down your self esteem.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Tue 17-Nov-15 19:05:03

As for the sex thing...it's three months you have plenty of time to develop intimacy on a level where you can learn and grow together physically

That's the thing though, isn't it? They're not building an intimacy. He's stopped making an effort and is happy with what he gets out of their midweek 10 minute quickies.

It's your life and up to you. I kbow I've put up with a lot of crap and made allsorts of excuses. Not anymore though.

Threefishys Tue 17-Nov-15 19:11:41

It's all about talking basically isn't it.

gatewalker Tue 17-Nov-15 19:43:27

OP, there's a lot of focus on your partner, but what I'm interested in is your inability to speak openly, your insecurity and fear to the point of inaction, and your inability to take ownership of your orgasm in bed and ask for what you want, take the time, and not feel you're being a burden. This is all down to you, no matter whether your partner is being reasonable or unreasonable.

Until you're able to work on your self-esteem, to state your needs and how you're feeling honestly and unconditionally, then no partner will be able to continue to be what you're looking for - because you aren't either.

I don't mean to be harsh, but focus on yourself first. The rest follows - including better relationship choices.

thefourgp Tue 17-Nov-15 20:05:53

I once seen a film when I was younger where the psychologist said 'there is no such thing as a hard decision, it's just hard to follow through on something you know is the right decision but you don't want to do it.' There's times in my life where I've struggled to make a decision and it's usually when I know I should do something that I don't want to do. I think this is the position you're in OP. You know that long term it's not in your best interest to get back together with your ex-husband but it's comfortable and familiar and you want your child to come from a home with two parents (don't we all). The person you're with should bring out the best in you and your confidence should increase from being with someone who adores you. I'm sorry but from the personal bashing you're giving yourself above that doesn't sound the case. If you get back together, then realise it's a mistake, you'll feel even more guilty for putting your child through a separation twice. You might even stay in an unhappy relationship for that reason and your child will grow up seeing how unhappy you are. Trust your instincts. You separated for good reason. You were content after separating. This new relationship may not be the guy for you long term but that doesn't mean your ex-husband is either. And please don't be so harsh on yourself. You sound like a kind and considerate person. X flowers

Quatrefoil Tue 17-Nov-15 20:07:46

I don't think he can't be bothered to 'get me off'. I think he has lost confidence in his ability to do so, which I am partly to blame for. The trouble is, we are not talking about it and I just don't know how to start.

thefourgp Tue 17-Nov-15 20:08:18

Ignore above. Posted on wrong thread. Ffs. Lol. X

Quatrefoil Tue 17-Nov-15 20:09:32

I really appreciate everyone's contributions by the way - even those who are saying I should dump him! I am more inclined to agree with those who say I need to find a way to talk to him.

springydaffs Tue 17-Nov-15 20:17:47

It's how quickly it got off the ground that is alarming imo.

mum2mum99 Tue 17-Nov-15 21:02:35

I just think you need work on your self esteem and things will fall into place . Feeling the way you are you make an easy target for abuse. You'd probably think it is your fault. And he is already showing a complaisant attitude. Counselling could help and self help book. Was your previous relationship and abusive one?

lavenderhoney Tue 17-Nov-15 21:22:07

There's lots if self analysis and over thinking going on for such an early relationship! Do you go out anymore or do you stay in?

Being quiet sometimes is fine, it's about now people start to get comfy and rearrange themselves in relationships. It's all gone vary fast, which would be fine but you're not happy. It has to be slow- you've both galloped into an almost long term relationship status when actually you've only just started dating. Are you seeing friends too? On your own? Are you relying on him to build your confidence and self esteem? This is fraught with danger and risk if so.

I read something recently " women think clearly before sex in a relationship, men after" I think it means the chase is over and now you are getting to know each other.

And he will notice you're a bit flustered and uncomfortable, unless he thinks that's normal for you. You don't know each other that well. Take it back a bit, go to the cinema, dating, building memories and getting out and about together.

And sex- you need to relax with sex, maybe it's going to take time to get to know each other like that, too. Let him drive the texting.

Smorgasboard Tue 17-Nov-15 22:27:56

The ones that burn the brightest and quickest can often fade fast too. Cast a critical eye over anything that seemingly moves too fast at the beginning. It's not cynical to do so, just sensible to avoid future heartache.
Not all intense relationships burn out, but holding back a bit gives time to consider if they are worth your efforts in the long run. I suspect this chap would have already left you, if you hadn't matched his pace, that would have told you a lot. The worthwhile ones stick around and enjoy taking the time to get to know the whole person before leaping in because it's not just your passionate side they cherish.
Shallow people who get carried away purely by excitement are quick to scarper when the new excitement becomes too familiar, unfortunately, you may have encountered a man like this.

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