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I feel like a broken person. Am I?

(20 Posts)
Pantana90 Tue 27-Sep-16 13:32:49

Hey everyone, I have been going through a bit of a tough time lately. Let me explain.
I'm a 27-year-old guy and two years ago, I was in a four-year relationship with a girl who I loved very much. One night, completely out of the blue she broke up with me. Our relationship was still great but she felt she didn't want to be with me forever. We were each other's "first" for everything. I was crushed and had that "broken heart" feeling in my chest literally for months.

I didn't handle things very well in the immediate aftermath. I went on dating sites like Tinder and just escaped by having quick flings with numerous women. It didn't exactly make me feel better but it kept me busy. I had zero intention of getting into a relationship with any of these women and I will admit that I used some of them just for sex. A few I did quite like, but I don't know how serious I was. Some would seem to really like me but I would always find some flaw or excuse to end things.

It was more about boosting my ego a bit and I definitely enjoyed "the chase" but once I done the deed, it was as if my interest vanished. I know, this makes me a total prick and despite the heartbreak there was no excuse to treat people like that. So I took a break from any kind of dating.

Eight months after I got dumped, my mother (who had battle cancer for 13 years) passed away. She was only in her late 40s and is even to this day the most important woman in my life. To say this devastated me and the entire family would be an understatement. The two women in my life who I loved were gone in the space of months, changing my life completely. Even thinking about how my life was just over two years ago really hurts me and I miss it.

I was surprised how well I handled my mum's death. She was the bravest and strongest person who never complained so I followed her example and stayed strong. Every single day since she passed I have asked her to give me her strength to help me. And (for me) it has worked so I know she is still with me and will never truly leave me. I was a big mummy's boy. She did everything for me and I would always go to her with my problems.

Anyway, after taking more time out I decided to go back to the dating scene last summer and was straight back into the flings. It was as if I was looking for my idea of a perfect woman who I'm extremely attracted to and also like. I kept finding that none of these women were fitting my idea. It's my fault because I was predominantly thinking with my penis.

Around 6 months ago I met a woman on an online dating site and we talked for a while. She made it clear that she wanted to keep things as a casual, sexual relationship and I was cool with this. And it was just that for about a month. However, I started to notice that she would start becoming a bit more invested in me and started to really like me. I was still in total single mode and had no plans for anything for serious. It was as if she completely did a U-turn on what she originally said.

I went along with things and she made it clear she really wanted to be with me. I said I wasn't ready and she was fine with this but we would still see each other and as I got to know her more, I began to realise that she is an absolutely wonderful person. The best I've met since I got dumped easily. At one point, I spent the night with another girl about a few months ago and even though I wasn't in a relationship, I felt very guilty about what I had done. This made me realise that I really care about her. I told her what I done and she seemed to understand and since then I have not dated anyone else.

She has told me she loves me and sometimes I feel like I want to say it back but I can't bring myself to do it. This is why: what I felt as "love" in the past, that feeling, has never came back to me. I can't feel the way I did and can't commit. It's like I feel indifferent to some extent and I am broken. I know if I end things with her I will regret it and just go back to the old ways of one-night stands (which I do still find tempting) but surely that isn't healthy?

We have only been in an "official" relationship for two months and there are times when I feel happy. Then I get days where I beat myself up for not feeling as strongly as she does for me. I want to but it's as if something isn't "there" inside me. I don't think it's her - I would feel this way anyway about everyone probably. I feel like I would always create a way to escape.

I've explained this to her, and again, she is very understanding and wants to be there for me. I felt a bit of pressure because what she originally stated is not what has happened and I didn't see this coming. Am I damaged? Am I a bad person? Does my past in any way explain my actions? Please offer any help and viewpoints. I want to love again and feel close to it, but it's as if it's just out of reach.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 27-Sep-16 13:38:32

How as your dad as a role model?
You are hurt and still suffering.
You had a lot to handle in a short space of time.
Can you look into some counselling for yourself?
It's the best way to understand what is going on and finding a solution.

pocketsaviour Tue 27-Sep-16 13:50:09

Welcome to adulthood. You'll find as you move through life that your romantic relationships feel less and less intense. However, you may find better sexual connections and better actual team work.

Pantana90 Tue 27-Sep-16 14:11:16

My dad more or less had a breakdown after mum died. He has a "no BS" attitude towards these kind of things and I don't like talking to him about it.

springydaffs Tue 27-Sep-16 14:20:57

You're grieving - and will be for some time. Grief can make us feel dead inside. Even if it was just one loss, but it's two huge losses.

So give yourself a break and some space. There's no contract to say you should love someone bcs they love you. Your girlfriend has changed her mind - which we're all allowed to do - but you don't have to feel obligated.

Obviously, stay kind and respectful, as always with everyone, but you're not obligated to follow in her footsteps. Enjoy the relationship for now. Noone knows what's in the future.

category12 Tue 27-Sep-16 14:22:41

You could do some therapy or counselling to deal with your bereavement.

I feel that this relationship isn't fair on the woman involved unless you start actually dealing with things yourself, rather than placing your problems on her shoulders as 'this is how I am' and 'I am worried I am a bad person'. Do something about these issues yourself, if you want to be a good person.

Pantana90 Tue 27-Sep-16 15:58:00

Thanks, guys. Does anyone else have any thoughts?

6demandingchildren Tue 27-Sep-16 16:11:11

Totally loving how you are telling your partner how you are feeling.
Wish all men would do that (especially my husband lol)
No words of advice just enjoy life and follow your heart (not penis)

Happybunny19 Tue 27-Sep-16 16:31:24

You really need to get bereavement councilling and address the loss of your mum and girlfriend. The dead feeling you describe I think stems from these losses and is most likely nothing to do with your feelings for this new girl. You've been fabulously open and honest with her so far, so why don't you get the councilling you need and just continue seeing her without making any big statements. I think it's fine to have fun and just enjoy her company, that way in time you can see how your feelings develop. As long as she's happy to carry on seeing you on these terms of course. You sound like you're putting too much pressure on yourself.

Pantana90 Tue 27-Sep-16 18:27:53

Thanks, is there also a reason why I have a "grass is greener" mentality?

I think I'm still stuck in the past a bit and yearn for the life I once had - hence why I can't get any real satisfaction in a new relationship. sad

WingsofNylon Tue 27-Sep-16 18:46:09

So you find you are a greener grass person in other areas of life too? Like work, social events, purchases? Some people are just that way inclined. If not then a second the idea of therapy.
Also could you take the time to outline what she adds to your life? Maybe date your attention away for the pressure you feel?

Pantana90 Tue 27-Sep-16 18:51:05

I can tell that her love and care for me is 100% genuine and that I mean a lot to her. She's kind-hearted and really goes out of her way to look after me. She listens to me, we can talk things out and wants to do stuff I like to do (travelling, drives, sport etc).

RedMapleLeaf Tue 27-Sep-16 18:53:14

Do you think that there may be an element of idealising some people from your past?

Pantana90 Tue 27-Sep-16 18:55:14

My mum and ex? Yes, I thought the world of them.

Shriek Tue 27-Sep-16 19:44:51

You sound to not be over either of these significant womenin your life previously. I think its quite usual to be finding almost a perfect 'replacement' in future relationships but of course thats not fair or real to either yourself ofor any new relationship. At least youu are bing honest about these relationships but to be fair to your current one she needs to know that you are not available for her which makes the relationships very skewed and unhealthy for you both. Far better to tackle your own grief youself without involving others until you have progressed to be more open to a new and differentvrelationship

Pantana90 Tue 27-Sep-16 21:08:29

I suppose one of my main flaws is that I fear counselling could make me over-think and complicate stuff even more. I have been feeling good for a long time, it's just recently that I have these thoughts. Maybe it's just a bad phase, but I should probably tackle them more deeply.

Can someone be broken? I want to love again.

georgethecat Tue 27-Sep-16 21:32:44

It just seems that you need to heal yourself and learn to enjoy your life. Other people can't fix you, only you can.
Maybe focus on other stuff for a while - go try some new stuff, build yourself up. Canoeing, horse riding, climb a mountain whatever.
Maybe you are desperately trying to fill the hole left by these two significant people in your life.
Try and love yourself first, then others will follow

Shriek Tue 27-Sep-16 23:54:31

You might feel broken right now. Perhaps numb emotionslly and unable to commit right now but doesnt mean you wont move through this phase if you give yourself that space and time to heal

MoominKitten Wed 28-Sep-16 04:33:10

I think you need to deal with the pain of being rejected by your first girlfriend.

The serial dating/green is greener thing is a sign that you are so scared of rejection that you are pre-emptively rejecting anyone who even tries to get close.

You reject them before they get close enough to reject you, as it gives an illusion of control.

What's really good is that you have enough insight to see how empty and hollow this pattern of behavior is. You see you have the chance for something real with someone good and you don't want to mess it up.

Sounds like the desire not to live a hollow life and wanting to gain the ability to connect properly with your new partner will provide you with the emotional incentive to face the pain of that past rejection and deal with it.

Short spell of counseling could work for that, or even just some reading round the subject and writing down how you feel.

springydaffs Wed 28-Sep-16 11:22:17

A counsellor will go at your pace. Ime counselling clarifies confusion; also gives me space in an unpressured environment to work out how I'm really feeling about things . Ie it clarifies, not confuses even more.

Btw imo life isn't a relentlessly straight line, we go through sticky and confusing times sometimes. But it passes, always passes. (Plus the sticky times make you a better person.)

Shit happens to everyone, it can't be avoided.

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