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Going out with a decent bloke but unable to feel 'in love'

(22 Posts)
Jumente Wed 01-Jul-09 11:54:45

For the first time in ages I have a nice boyfriend. The trouble is I am so unable to trust anyone, that I'm constantly questioning his motives, cannot abandon myself to loving him properly, although I have known him for years and years.

In short I am terrified.

Yes this is far preferable to dating some twonk whom I know will probably let me down - that underlying promise allowed me to just get on with it, whereas this time it is REAL and if we get deeper into something there will be actual stuff and an actual human being to deal with. I'm really scared.

I can't tell if it is just me being extremely anxious, or if I just don't really want to go out with him - or anyone - he seems full on in love but I am failing to enjoy it. I like seeing him with my children and he is great with them, they adore him, and he adores me...I should be grateful...but I am in a state.

Last night we ended up kissing but I felt so shaken and upset that I asked him to leave. He came back this morning, we took the kids to school together...I'm just hating it though, I feel embarrassed, and can't figure out what I feel. I wonder if I would ever enjoy seeing any guy who is committed and kind.

Help please if you can understand this muddled post! I will be back on later xx

cheekysealion Wed 01-Jul-09 19:49:31

really dont know what to say.. maybe you are worried about feeling in love because you are so worried about gettitng hurt so it is easier to hold something back?


Jumente Wed 01-Jul-09 20:55:27

Thankyou, that's kind of it - I think I just have no idea what is acceptable behaviour and what is something to worry about. For instance, he is very close to my elder son and wants to take him out on their own, just for little walks and so on - and although he doesn't live near us he often sends ds stuff in the post.

Today he was here, he came down yesterday for a quick visit - and he asked me to take a photo of him with ds, before he left. I didn't, well I managed to avoid it as ds refused to! But I felt really odd about it. I couldn't understand why he would want a picture of ds and him together...he hadn't even been to see us for months and months, until about April when he came to stay with his mum and saw us at the same time.

I've known him about 20 years but never 'dated'...lately he says he wants to help me bring up the children, and he keeps saying he loves me, but I just feel swept along with it - I obviously like him but don't feel passionate and that part of me switches off when he is getting close, ie kissing me etc. I want to run away.

My problem is working out how much of that is my fear and how much might be somehow justified? Or whether I'll just feel like that about anyone who is likely to make a commitment to me, as that means I'd have to be committed too iyswim.

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Wed 01-Jul-09 20:59:11

Message withdrawn

melmog Wed 01-Jul-09 21:08:29

If you felt like that after kissing, I think maybe he's good friend material but nothing else?

I may be naive but I don't think you should have to talk yourself into being with someone.

It's either there or it isn't.

Trust your gut instinct.


Jumente Wed 01-Jul-09 21:19:43

Yes it's me Reality wink sorry, sometimes I just need to be someone else!

Maybe you're right. He's been wanting to do it for years, he's said it again and again then just gone and done something else when I've said I'm not ready, or such...maybe it's me...

OTOH I don't want to have to talk myself into snogging the guy. I've been madly, madly physically in love before (and mentally) but it was only with a bloke who wasn't committed to me. Then I had children and that kind of thing wasn't worth pursuing any more. Here I am being offered commitment but it's making me feel a bit sick tbh.

I do get that at the start of any relationship but I usually don;t mind the kissing bit this's not that he isn't good at it. I just don't trust his motives. I keep thinking he is going to turn into an axe murderer, or something, or is too interested in my son.

Oh it's just too weirdy and difficult. I wish he would un-visit immediately. He's going later tomorrow but wants to come back once a month.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 02-Jul-09 00:13:27

Erm, maybe he's not that nice a guy. Maybe he's spotted a woman who's a bit vulnerable and decided that he can put in a certain amount of effort at being Mr Nice and sooner or later close the deal on a lifetime's domestic, emotional and sexual servicing?
Or maybe he is a nice guy, but for whatever reason you are not actually sexually attracted to him. If you find kissing him distasteful, then you would really be much better off if you kept him as a friend rather than trying to force yourself to want sex with him.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 02-Jul-09 09:22:14


Where did all this come from initially?. Your childhood?. What did your parents teach you about relationships?. Were your parents emotionally unavailable to you or did Dad walk out of your lives?. Of course you don't have to respond to any of the above but you owe it to your own self to work out exactly why you feel this way. There are always reasons as to why. I would put money on it that this is deeply rooted.

Life is full of risks; you have to take a risk here.

I would actually suggest counselling for your own self to deal with your trust issues otherwise this will keep cropping up. You need to unlearn the patterns that damaging past relationships with men have taught you. If you don't you may well go onto repeat all the past relationship errors and go after emotionally unavailable men with commitment issues.

This relationship of yours actually sounds quite alien to you - you are likely used to losers and bad boys who are exactly as described. I think you're petrified and you perhaps do not deep down feel you "deserve" someone like this seemingly nice man. Your self esteem needs to be rebuilt as well - it seems to have taken a real pounding.

You have to fully love your own self before you can fully love another. Love your own self for a change.

Jumente Thu 02-Jul-09 16:22:45

Thankyou both...Solid...possibly. I don't know if he's nice, really, or not. I don't feel I know what it means. Not quickly enough to make a sensible judgment, anyway.

Attila - thankyou. Well, yes it probably is all from way back. I've had some therapy, would welcome more, but am waiting.

In the meantime - my parents are still together, my father is devoted to my mother, she kind of likes him but can't feel it...however they cling to each other out of fear and dependancy I think, to an extent. It's still quite a happy marriage and they're both good people, honest, trustworthy - which I grew up taking for granted.

It's too complex to go into in one post, but your last sentence was met within my head by the answer: 'Love myself? I can't do that, I'm rubbish' which I guess tells us something.

The bloke went this morning. We said goodbye in town, but just before that we'd seen my mum and all had a quick chat.

As she walked away to go shopping, he stood and called, 'Nice to see you Mrs jumente' with such a sly, smug expression on his face. And we turned to walk back down the street, and he said 'Hmmm, nice legs your mother's got' with a creepy little giggle.

I kind of went 'Bleurgh' inside. I mean, hmmhmmhmm and a bit more hmm

He wanted to know if he should book tickets to come again in a few weeks. I told him to give me a few days to think about it. It's going to be a no.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 02-Jul-09 18:14:51


I don't know you from Adam but you are patently not rubbish!.

BACP have a list of counsellors and they won't charge you the earth either. It may be worth looking into their services. NHS can take an age.

Would second your thoughts re "no" to this man, he sounds like a real creep and yet another loser.

I would not think your parents' marriage if it is indeed based on fear and dependency is not actually a very happy one at all. What we learn about relationships we primarily learn from our parents - what did they teach you?. Its something that needs to be further discussed with a counsellor.

I also think the last thing you actually need at the moment is a relationship. You need to fully love your own self first, work on your trust issues and unlearn the damaging patterns that you've picked up along the way.

Jumente Thu 02-Jul-09 18:35:00

Darn, just wrote a really long post but the computer ate it!

Thankyou Attila, that's really helpful. I am glad you concur on the no.

I'm really glad that we got as far as trying a sort of semi-relationship, just for a couple of days. There were other things but all the time I was thinking about how determined he was, how devoted, and how grateful I ought to be, I wasn't able to put my finger on them. Now I know beyond doubt (well very nearly) that it won't happen and that I can't let someone like that take me to pieces again.

Last time, it took me months to believe my instincts and by that time I was preggers. This time it took me two days and I haven't even slept with him (ha)

He had an uncanny way of making personal remarks that were probably designed to make me feel 'unique' but also that nobody else would love me, not the way he does, iyswim...strange things he said that made me go 'Oh..hmm how weird, thanks for that' and then question whether I was overreacting.

I'm going to write him a letter explaining that I can't be his girlfriend, as he put it, but I am not sure whether to include any detailed explanation for this. I am already afraid of his reaction.

I've felt less and less in need of a relationship over the last year, maybe, and don't intend to give that strength up. Thankyou for the suggestion about counselling - i will investigate it, I hadn't thought about it, and would be prepared to pay.

with thanks x

HolyGuacamole Thu 02-Jul-09 18:58:10

Oh I thought he sounded 'ok' till he made the comment about your mothers legs hmm

Maybe you just don't fancy him, maybe you see that he is a nice guy and that on that basis you should fancy him but it doesn't work like that. He could be the most lovely guy on the planet but if the sparks not there, well, it's just not there.

If you truly fancy someone, trust or no trust, it is hard to resist that person if they give you signals that they fancy you too - hence why so many women fall for the tossers? I think you're just not really into him in that way.

Jumente Thu 02-Jul-09 19:36:41

Thankyou...yes, that's it - I think I ought to be able to love him, or at least build a life with him. But it isn't just me.

I've written a fairly kind, balanced letter explaining that while I like his friendship I don't want to be his girlfriend. I hope he is Ok with it. I was unspecific but said a full critique was available on request wink

I feel better for knowing what to do, and that we tried it and it made me so uncomfortable. He is always that way with people's mothers, grandmothers's weird and freaky. I think he thinks it'll impress them but my mum just said she wasn't sure if he was 'a bit thick maybe?' grin

Ho hum
I can get back to normal life now.
Thanks for all your input. It did help a lot.

SolidGoldBrass Thu 02-Jul-09 21:57:21

Oh FFS this man is sounding worse by the minute. Look, lovey, have you got to the point where you think a 'nice' man is one who doesn't hit you/rob you/do you up the arse without asking? Because a NICE man is far more than that. A nice man makes you feel happy and relaxed in his company, appreciates you for who you are, does his share round the house, isn't mean with money, makes an effort to get on with your friends, holds down a job (unless there are good valid reasons for not having one at the moment) - all these things are sort of the minimum for a good friend. If you are thinking of taking a nice man as a sexual partner or couplehood partner then you need to seriously fancy him as well.
This chap you have at the moment is either a cocklodger-in-waiting or another sort of abuser (he won;t hit you but he will busily gaslight you into devoted service).
You don;t have to have a partner to be happy, or to prove that you are a grown-up. If people around you think you ought to have a partner, that's because they are dumb insecure herd animals and can safely be ignored.
Bin this creep. He's not worth a minute more of your time.

Jumente Fri 03-Jul-09 14:45:15

Thankyou make a lot of sense. I sent the letter this morning, finally I can stop wondering if he 'might be' suitable. It's a relief.

I've been to see a different friend today - I was feeling vulnerable, and sad about something and though he isn't my boyfriend, he was just perfect - listened, held me when I cried, spent time just listening. I realised when I have friends like him (and others) I just don't need a partner.

I'd love my children to have a 'Dad', that galls a bit at times - but me, I'm Ok and I feel quite loved enough really. It's a good place to be smile

SolidGoldBrass Fri 03-Jul-09 17:40:39

Look, if this bloke had been a perfectly nice man who you simply didn't fancy, it would still have been wrong (and unfair on both of you) to try to make yourself 'in love' with him, but as it is, he's a manipulative creep and you can do a lot better.

Jumente Fri 03-Jul-09 20:05:56

So SGB how do you do it - i mean if you want a bloke, but you don't trust your own judgment and want to break the pattern - apart from going out with someone you trust but don't fancy, how would you do it?

SolidGoldBrass Fri 03-Jul-09 20:40:45

TBH in your situation I would honestly advise forgetting all about blokes for the moment. Because, frankly, right now your judgement is fucked - between whatever abuse you have suffered in the past and whatever deep-rooted ideas you have that you aren't complete without A Man (and therefore any old numpty who does't shit on the carpet or stab you in the face will do), you are really not in a good position to be making sensible choices. Start valuing yourself as a person, working out who you are and what you want. there is soooooo much more to life in general than being someone's wife/girlfriend.
Once you get some self-esteem and some happy stuff going on in your life, your judgement will start to improve - look, it's better than it was in that you've binned Mr Creepy Loser on you own initiative, before he started helping himself to your bank card or sticking his cock in your ear when you were asleep.

nkf Fri 03-Jul-09 20:56:43

I think you don't fancy him. That's all there is to it. Don't get involved with him. Be polite but say it's not for you. You don't have to love the first man who isn't horrible.

Jumente Sat 04-Jul-09 07:52:09

Thankyou, that all makes a great deal of sense and LOL at sticking his cock, etc etc

Before he came up here he was hinting vociferously about how much the train was going to cost, - i mean several times he mentioned it - and once before he told me one of his other girl friends paid for him to visit her, which made me go hmm a bit. So I ignored the hints and just said 'Oh dear, well don't come then until you can afford it - I've got no money, you've got no money, it isn't urgent.

And then of course he did come and got his mum to pay him back for his ticket. Somehow I don't like that.

I've generally been getting very contented about things, lately - it's only really the thought of the children having someone else, especially ds1 who is quite a handful and wants a dad (or so he says) - someone who likes all of us would be good. But they have got a lot to live up to - I really am quite picky, it's just adjusting the pickyness iyswim, so I don't filter out the nice ones, and don't settle for someone I can't fancy.

inthemistsoftime Sat 04-Jul-09 08:48:43

hi jumente, sgb and others on here are talking a lot of sense.
I have been online dating for a while and felt similar to you when I found a nice guy, trying to convince myself that I should just settle for that.

I gave myself a talking to and decided that I was a better person by myself, rather than trying to be something I am not for someone else. iyswim grin

I learned to love myself {sounds corney I know} and now enjoy my life with my dcs. I have now met a fab man, off the internet, who likes me for who I am and not what he wants me to be, and I fancy the pants off him!

Don't settle for second best, we are all worth more

Jumente Sat 04-Jul-09 13:26:19

Oh that is lovely. smile and v encouraging!

I started to think, hang on, what if I committed myself to this guy, married him even, and then someone I liked more in that way came along...I'd be really stuck, and letting all of us down. I guess I had kind of given up on anyone I fancied actually a) fancying me back, and b) being a good person too.

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