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How do you NOT become attached when dating?


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Old 8th August 2009, 7:13 AM   #1
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How do you NOT become attached when dating?

How does one date and not become attached? I would seriously and honestly like to know this. To most it may be simple. Maybe I just have a completely different mental makeup, I'm not sure. For some reason this is THE MOST DIFFICULT thing for me to do when dating.

I am asking because I'm so tired of getting hurt. I'm my biggest enemy when it comes to dating. Not only do I pick the wrong guys, but I become attached very very quickly. How do you spend hours talking to someone, go out with them, get to know them and not get attached? How do you not develop feelings for them? How do you look at them as just another interesting person you are getting to know?

I get way too attached to guys who turn out to be not even that interested in me if at all. This could go on for months with me being completely oblivious to all the signs, or maybe rather I just don't want to face those signs. Whatever the case may be, once I figure out the guy isn't interested or learn to face it instead of making exuses, I am left with a broken heart, feeling used and a fear of dating someone else and having it happen all over again.

I recently met a new guy. We have only talked briefly online and it probably wont go any farther than that (he is way out of my league). That fear is still there though of him one day wanting to meet me or possibly date since he only lives ten minutes away. I'm afraid to even agree to meet him because what if it happens again? I let my emotions and feelings get the better of me and I'll be left in the same position again. Perhaps I'm just too sensitive. Maybe I'm a coward for thinking this way.

I'm not one to date multiple people and when I do date someone I tend to give them my all. How do I change this? I'm tired of feeling like this after every failed dating experience. I can't help but think it wouldn't be this bad if I only wouldn't get attached. Why am I so weak and why do I fall for it everytime? Am I the only one out there with this problem? How are you girls/guys able to be more nonchalant about people you are dating? At least until they show signs of wanting to be more serious? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks for reading.
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Old 8th August 2009, 7:53 AM   #2
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I was going to say multi-date ( since it opens you up to more options), but since you're against it, the best thing you can do is prioritize. Put yourself first and learn to say no once in a while.

Don't make them your life, instead, live your life, do the things you love, and if you have time, give them the few minutes that you have free.
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Old 8th August 2009, 12:15 PM   #3
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I think what you experience and fear is the reason why so many girls fall for jerks, and also why so many girls are unwilling to open up completely even when with a nice guy, because they have been hurt in the past.

First of all don't have sex too early on, if you don't have sex with a guy in the first month of meeting him and he loses interest, then to be honest he was only there for the sex.

Having sex too soon is also a bad idea because your body will release several hormones, especially oxytocin which have a pair bonding effect and makes you attached to that person.

Instead of worrying how not to feel attracted to someone, spend time trying to figure out how to judge if someone is actually a nice person or not.

Many people are very bad at judging in this way because attraction clouds their judgement.
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Old 8th August 2009, 12:51 PM   #4
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Perhaps I'm just too sensitive.
Not necessarily. I think your emotional makeup just has a strong empathetic streak. I doubt if you are in small company. Being a guy, I'm not sure what to advise -- while I have this kind of thing going myself, I think the ramifications for men are much more negative than for women. Maybe think of it like symmetry. When a guy is in your life, he is in. Well, make a concerted effort to tell yourself that when a guy is out of your life, he is out.
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Old 8th August 2009, 1:31 PM   #5
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I never use to multiple date. And I had many of the same problems as you Cora. Then I took my lil dating sabbatical, now I'm back in the game, and after doing much thinking, and figuring out what I want.. and what not...
I've got little issues with multiple dating. I never thought it would be for me. But I'm finding it's easier to weed out the bad. Just give it some though
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Old 8th August 2009, 1:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Hkizzle View Post
I think what you experience and fear is the reason why so many girls fall for jerks, and also why so many girls are unwilling to open up completely even when with a nice guy, because they have been hurt in the past.

First of all don't have sex too early on, if you don't have sex with a guy in the first month of meeting him and he loses interest, then to be honest he was only there for the sex.

Having sex too soon is also a bad idea because your body will release several hormones, especially oxytocin which have a pair bonding effect and makes you attached to that person.

Instead of worrying how not to feel attracted to someone, spend time trying to figure out how to judge if someone is actually a nice person or not.

Many people are very bad at judging in this way because attraction clouds their judgement.

This is VERY good advice. Being more selective in who you date is a great place to start. I think your problem is not becoming attached but attaching yourself to the wrong guy. The right guy doesn't mind at all and will get attached right along with you. That was the case for me when I met and decided to pursue my (now) fiance. I decided against my normal MO and chose to ask out one of the good guys.
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Old 8th August 2009, 2:15 PM   #7
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I too have over-attachment issues with men. I've found that in general it is in fact my thoughts that are my own worst enemy. I begin to "try guys on" in fantasy-land in my head instead of taking them for face value for who they are in real life. All it takes is a few nice dates and a few passionate kisses and my thoughts zoom so far ahead that I am actually envisioning an alter and wedding vows. Craziness, I know. The one thing that REALLY helps me avoid this altered sense of who this person really is, is conciously refocusing my thoughts. Its not easy, especially when your brain releases those "feel-good" chemicals every time you think of them. But when I'm feeling lonely and start drifting off into la-la fantasy land I pick another guy to envision, someone harmless, someone I have no attachment to whatsoever. It makes me sound like a bit of a nut job admitting this, but refocusing has really helped me. And I like the other peoples suggestions of keeping yourself the number one priority and also, if you have attachment issues, waiting on sex is extremely important.
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Old 8th August 2009, 3:32 PM   #8
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I too have over-attachment issues with men. I've found that in general it is in fact my thoughts that are my own worst enemy. I begin to "try guys on" in fantasy-land in my head instead of taking them for face value for who they are in real life. All it takes is a few nice dates and a few passionate kisses and my thoughts zoom so far ahead that I am actually envisioning an alter and wedding vows. Craziness, I know. The one thing that REALLY helps me avoid this altered sense of who this person really is, is conciously refocusing my thoughts. Its not easy, especially when your brain releases those "feel-good" chemicals every time you think of them. But when I'm feeling lonely and start drifting off into la-la fantasy land I pick another guy to envision, someone harmless, someone I have no attachment to whatsoever. It makes me sound like a bit of a nut job admitting this, but refocusing has really helped me. And I like the other peoples suggestions of keeping yourself the number one priority and also, if you have attachment issues, waiting on sex is extremely important.

THAT!!! That right there is EXACTLY what I go through. I couldn't have said it better myself. I have a few good dates and then BAM I fall head over heels for the guy while the guy is either still trying to figure out if he even wants to see me again or isn't really interested in me at all! In my mind I build us up to being soo much more and then when things go sour I think how the hell can he do this? After everything we have been through and how wonderful I think we fit with each other. But...I can't seem to realize that that isn't reality at the time. It's just my own thoughts running away with me. I'm just so happy that I'm not the only person who does this!! I will have to try picturing someone else like you do when my mind goes into overdrive again. Thanks for the tip!

Everyone gave lots of great advice! Thank you so much. I especially like the putting myself first and not having sex too soon! That is one mistake I hope to NEVER make again because it's torture!! Sex just complicates my already over attachment issues and when things go bad I just end up feeling pathetic and used and bascially like CRAP! Dreamer, I will also consider your multi dating advice. I'm not sure I could handle that, but maybe it's worth a try when I'm ready.

Thanks again everyone. This is something I've been fighting with for a long time! I am constantly making guys I date a priority when they only consider me an option.
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Old 8th August 2009, 3:56 PM   #9
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As an FYI, guys do this too. We call it pedestaling someone.

LovieDove gave great advice. Even if you have to yell at yourself to "STOP!" thinking about la-la land. After a while, you sort of train your brain to try to stay in reality.

It's tough to try to put yourself first if you are like this. It makes you feel like such a selfish jackass to think of yourself first. But in reality, you are not. You are far from it.
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Old 8th August 2009, 4:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hkizzle View Post
I think what you experience and fear is the reason why so many girls fall for jerks, and also why so many girls are unwilling to open up completely even when with a nice guy, because they have been hurt in the past.

First of all don't have sex too early on, if you don't have sex with a guy in the first month of meeting him and he loses interest, then to be honest he was only there for the sex.

Having sex too soon is also a bad idea because your body will release several hormones, especially oxytocin which have a pair bonding effect and makes you attached to that person.

Instead of worrying how not to feel attracted to someone, spend time trying to figure out how to judge if someone is actually a nice person or not.

Many people are very bad at judging in this way because attraction clouds their judgement.
I think this nails it right on the head. I get 'attached' every bit as much as you do and I really don't think it's something that I could prevent at will... I'm just fortunate because the player-types typically aren't interested in me, and even if they are I can usually spot one quite easily.
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Old 8th August 2009, 4:33 PM   #11
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Just take it slow.

When you meet somebody new have your limits. Keep your phone conversations a little shorter than you normally would. Let him do most of the calling. Try to keep dating at once per week, and just stay busy with your family and friends during the rest of the week, for at least the first couple months or so. Trust me, if you just take it slow and easy it will allow you to develop feelings at a rate that is more comfortable for you. Also, this way you will see if your feelings are reciprocated.
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Old 8th August 2009, 4:55 PM   #12
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It sounds to me like the first thing you need to do is work on your confidence. Read a book on self-esteem, do some exercises to get you focusing on the good things about yourself, get in shape or do whatever you need to do to feel better about yourself.

Next, start developing your own life, completely outside of dating and romance. Hobbies, friends, social life, your career, your health, your own interests. The better you and your life are all on their own, the less you will feel you need to take whatever comes along and lean on a guy to make you happy, and the more you can simply enjoy men's company, which is what it's all about.

I recommend you read Why Men Marry Bitches. The title is misleading -- it doesn't teach you to be a bitch; it shows you how to have your own full life independent of your romantic relationship.
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Old 9th August 2009, 3:46 AM   #13
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No, Cora - you're totally NOT alone in this one. I can totally relate to both you and LovieDove.
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Old 9th August 2009, 4:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Cora View Post
How does one date and not become attached? I would seriously and honestly like to know this. To most it may be simple. Maybe I just have a completely different mental makeup, I'm not sure. For some reason this is THE MOST DIFFICULT thing for me to do when dating.

I am asking because I'm so tired of getting hurt. I'm my biggest enemy when it comes to dating. Not only do I pick the wrong guys, but I become attached very very quickly. How do you spend hours talking to someone, go out with them, get to know them and not get attached? How do you not develop feelings for them? How do you look at them as just another interesting person you are getting to know?

I get way too attached to guys who turn out to be not even that interested in me if at all. This could go on for months with me being completely oblivious to all the signs, or maybe rather I just don't want to face those signs. Whatever the case may be, once I figure out the guy isn't interested or learn to face it instead of making exuses, I am left with a broken heart, feeling used and a fear of dating someone else and having it happen all over again.

I recently met a new guy. We have only talked briefly online and it probably wont go any farther than that (he is way out of my league). That fear is still there though of him one day wanting to meet me or possibly date since he only lives ten minutes away. I'm afraid to even agree to meet him because what if it happens again? I let my emotions and feelings get the better of me and I'll be left in the same position again. Perhaps I'm just too sensitive. Maybe I'm a coward for thinking this way.

I'm not one to date multiple people and when I do date someone I tend to give them my all. How do I change this? I'm tired of feeling like this after every failed dating experience. I can't help but think it wouldn't be this bad if I only wouldn't get attached. Why am I so weak and why do I fall for it everytime? Am I the only one out there with this problem? How are you girls/guys able to be more nonchalant about people you are dating? At least until they show signs of wanting to be more serious? Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks for reading.
I think what struck me most about your post, was the title. "How do I date without getting attatched." The more I read your post, the more sad I became. You are one of those people that gives others value. You don't see people as dispensable pawns you can use to gain benefit to yourself. When you care about someone, you genuinely care. Something that this world could use a hell of a lot more of quite frankly. Yet, here you are asking for advice on how to stop that wonderful ability?

I understand you are tired of facing rejection or hurt from wrong guy after wrong guy, but sweetheart closing yourself off and looking at people in that same meaningless atitude some have isn't the answer.

First, you need to figure out why these are the wrong guys for you. So I'm going to ask you; you said you always choose the wrong guys, what does that mean? Give me some examples of common denominator traits that the guys you choose have in common. Tell me some things about them that makes them bad for you.
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Old 9th August 2009, 5:52 AM   #15
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self esteem and like someone said pedestaling- you think the person is ideal and much more better than you when they really aren't.
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