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Am I a broken person?

(12 Posts)
Pantana90 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:40:03

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 a few 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. This was three years ago now.

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. I did like some of them, but I nothing too serious. 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 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 battled 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. I used to think about what my life was like, and how the two women in my life were gone so quickly. It was a lot to take in and get my head around and to this day, I still kind of can't believe 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 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 18 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. At one point, I spent the night with another girl while casually dating her 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. I never saw anyone else after this.

We've been in an official relationship now for just over a year and I do love her and we've decided to move in together. However, what I felt as "love" in the past, that feeling, has never came back to me. It's just not the same and it worries me. It's like I feel indifferent to some extent and I am broken. It's almost like, in my head, if we broke up, I wouldn't be devastated. I've been through it all before, so I know I can handle it - and surely that's not a good outlook?

I've been feeling great with her for a long time now, it's just since yesterday when my dad asked me did I think I'll marry her and I genuinely didn't know the answer. I want to say yes 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 all this to her, and again, she is very understanding and wants to be there for me. I felt a bit of pressure because I know she wants to be with me forever. I'm very honest with her and tell her anything. The best way I can explain is that I'm 'up and down' - there are times I feel like I'm very happy and comfortable with her and could see a very long-term future, then when someone like dad asks me all this big questions, it puts different thought in my head and I panic. If I ended it, my life would be so much worse because she's an angel. Before I used to go out with women solely based on looks - with this girl - I look past the outer part and love the inside. I love her the person rather than the looks (even though I find her beautiful).

Am I damaged? Am I a bad person? Does my past in any way explain my actions and am I overthinking it? 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.

bluebell34567 Mon 06-Nov-17 21:46:19

maybe you are still recovering. I don't think you are broken.
I think she is good for you and it is good that you are honest with her.

Ohyesiam Mon 06-Nov-17 22:01:12

Our hearts get bruised, it happens to every single one of us. And you're right, nothing hurts like the first.
You need to take the risk and be vulnerable with her. A relationship counselor one had me doing what she called Heart to Heart with my partner.

Its very simple, you set a time for 2 or 3 minutes, sit facing each other on the floor, and simply look into each other's eyes.
For me it was quite profound, really opened our hearts to each other, and had a good effect on the relationship.
There probably a much longer description on line somewhere, but that's all there is to it really. It had much more effect than all the talking we did, and using our heads to sort things out. It got to the heart of the matter.

Movablefeast Mon 06-Nov-17 22:15:47

Grief takes a long time and has different stages.

Love however is to a certain extent a choice. When you feel times of panic or indifference instead of withdrawing try and stay calm and perform a caring and loving action. Actions speak louder than words.

Being vulnerable is scary but to have a truly deep and real relationship we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Take it one step at a time and keep being open with and talking to your partner.

MiniTheMinx Tue 07-Nov-17 07:00:24

There is an issue with idealism here, you idealised your mother. It's completely normal part of healthy development. Your first gf was in addition to your idealised love for your mother. What the problem is, is that you never went through the subconscious rejection of your mother as your object of love.

Which brings us to the present. Your relationship with your first gf would have in all likelihood have broken down because of your unresolved unconscious attachment to mother as object of love. (Look up Freud) . So, that first relationship needs to be parked, it's not worth dwelling on that.

Now, you have been forced to go through a process that most go through in childhood. A process that for you is incomplete because death has parted you, not your natural unconscious rejection of mother. In short, you can't form a proper sexual love relationship because no one becomes the new "object of your desire" even consciously you might compare women to your mother.

You would find psychotherapy very helpful. It's expensive and time consuming, but will probably be the best money you've ever spent.

Pantana90 Tue 07-Nov-17 13:55:48

Thanks MiniTheMinx. I'm not sure I follow entirely. I need to park the relationship with my first gf - I assure you I have. It was over three years ago now and we have zero contact. I've very much moved on.

But what do you mean an 'idealised' love? Why do I feel great about my current gf for ages then when I'm questioned on 'forever' questions that I start to question myself?

MiniTheMinx Tue 07-Nov-17 17:17:31

Exactly that, the relationship with the first gf is not the cause of your current situation. On the face of it, it seems that being ditched hurt so much that you are unwilling to commit again, or that the first gf was so fab, you loved her so much that you will never love anyone like her. I think the issue is more likely unresolved idealisation of your mum. But you gave lots of background about the ex gf so you think it's significant. I am inclined to think it's less relevant than you think.

Pantana90 Tue 07-Nov-17 17:45:02

Ok, if it is less relevant than I suggest in the original post - what do you mean by idealising my mum? Most guys do idealise their mum, and I will always love and miss her. I don't think there's another out of the ordinary with that.

Pantana90 Tue 07-Nov-17 17:45:36

Anything* out of the ordinary

MiniTheMinx Tue 07-Nov-17 18:35:48

You say that "she is still with me" and if you read back through you original post you tell us rather a lot more about your mum. Plus you describe yourself as a "mummy's boy" regarding her death you were devestated, but you use the word "hurt" to describe your break up with the ex.

Boys usually distance from the mother, have you heard the term ' cutting the apron strings" they start to identify more with the father. If you read Freud it's referred to as the Oedipus complex, but theory aside in growing up boys tend to look to a male role model, as they do so they start to see the mother not as object of desire, but just as mother. The idealisation of the small boy is lost as he starts to realise that his masculinity is reinforced through his relationship to a male role model. He looks outwards to find a woman to be his new object of desire. Of course some people find this uncomfortable, but it's totally unconscious. It's part of our subconscious.

I think you need to properly grieve for your mum. But I also think psychotherapy might help you to move forward.

Can I ask something, how was your relationship with your father when you were growing up?

Pantana90 Tue 07-Nov-17 19:06:33

No, I was very devastated when my ex broke up with me. The shock really got to me. I did not see it coming, at all.
I have a great dad, and he is a good man, but growing up I honestly always 'liked' my mum more. He's been a lot more vulnerable since mum died, as opposed to when I was growing up.

stirling Tue 07-Nov-17 19:07:48

I think you're putting pressure on yourself - the more you 'try' to want something, the less likely you are to succeed.
I'd advise that you simply relax and enjoy your relationship. Ignore any subtle hints and make a list of the reasons why your first relationship could not have worked - that should help you to stop idealising it.

I once had a relationship that was right for me but I couldn't move on past a particular old relationship. I loved him but not insanely. It wasn't until he left that I realised just how much I loved him and it soon wiped out any lingering feelings I had for past ex.

Good luck

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