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Old 18th October 2011, 7:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScienceGal View Post
I've had several other men ask me out, and I knew that they were not a match for me, so I declined. I am not desperate to fill a void, but I do want to find a stable relationship.
Yes--I did the same. I turned down numerous men who asked me out and I thought I was being really picky, and in some sense I was. I kept it casual at first, etc. etc.

But ultimately--here's the thing. I was deep inside the situation and I couldn't see from the outside at the time that I was rebounding. I thought I was being completely logical and looking at all the red flags and making a good long-term choice for myself. I also said to myself that three months was a reasonable length of time to wait after the end of what was only a five-month relationship.

But after our first few dates, I wrote a lot of journal entries exactly, almost word-for-word, like this:

Quote:
Since the split with my ex 4 months ago I haven't "felt" anything. I seem incapable of caring. I still find joy and humor in things, but I do not find as much saddness...perhaps because I am carrying a sort of saddness inside me all the time. I don't know. What I do know is that in terms of building a deeper connection with another man, it's just not there. I have nothing to give other than my time and company. I'm not sure if this is a just a phase or if I am a different person now. It feels really strange. I hope to return to a wiser version of the way I was before (loving, a romantic, optimistic).
and when I go back and look at them, I want to shake my then-29 year old self for dating again when I was feeling that way, and say "Moontiger, what were you thinking?!?!?!" It's easy to say (and to believe) that one is going to keep it casual, FWB, whatever. But that is how attachment happens, and (especially if you are feeling down) you get sucked into what may not be a good relationship.

From my experience, the feelings you describe are to me, an indicator of that Aikido-style imbalance. I think it's not that you have to have forgotten the ex (that could take years) but I think it's better to be past the immediate grief.

The feelings you describe are likely not how you will feel six months, or a year, post-breakup.

In my experience, it's important to start a relationship off on the right foot; it sets the tone for how you will treat each other in the future. And (IMO) the beginning of a good relationship does not feel like what you are describing. The problems that exist in the beginning (and a lack of feeling is a big problem) just get worse.

Anyway you may be quite different from me; just my $0.02 from my own experience.

After a breakup, even if you aren't trying to fill an emotional void, sometimes there is a logical pull to date someone else immediately--you feel like you wasted all this time on the person, and you want to rush and find someone new and something stable so you can not waste any more of your life. The problem is that if you pick the wrong person, you end up wasting far more time than if you had just waited. It's a lesson I've learned the hard way.

But then, I've also met quite a few people who met their spouse within days or weeks of being dumped, so that is why I take my own words with a grain of salt.

Last edited by moontiger; 18th October 2011 at 7:31 PM..
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Old 19th October 2011, 8:13 AM   #17
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It's definitely a tough situation. I wish someone had the answers for me.

I went out last night and saw my ex. Unlike the last 2 times, I was ok. I didnt feel nervous, or sad, and I did not go home and cry and jump on LS to post about it. I talked to a lot of people, and actually, two people sitting with him came over to say hello to me. I felt really good. I am not saying that I am completely healed from the pain of the breakup, but I am getting better. For the first time I was glad that I wasn't with him, that I wasn't sitting next to him and secluding myself to that small circle of people. I felt like my own person, I felt strong. And did the fact that I have someone new help me? Probably. I have never truly "moved on" from someone until I've found someone new. I am not trying to flaunt the new guy either, its
nothing superficial. I enjoy being around him and I simply want to see if there is potential.

I plan to be 100% honest with the new guy when I see him this weekend. He might decide not to see me anymore, and I'll accept that. In a way, that would take the decision making out of my hands. I just can't walk away from him...walking away from anything is not my strong suit.

I went to several therapy sessions after the break from my ex. In regards to me wanting that connection to another person (why I can't move on until I find someone new), she said there is a term for that. Its not bad, it just takes decision-making awareness. I think I'll make another appointment to discuss that in depth and dating/learning to identify if what I am doing is a good choice/healthy. Sometimes I think I will always be ruled by my emotions, a behavior that prevents me from being logical. I am also a master at bargaining and lying to myself. I've stopped journaling, but I need to start again.

Thank you so much moontiger, your words really do help. I can't believe how much we have in common!
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Last edited by ScienceGal; 19th October 2011 at 8:23 AM..
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Old 19th October 2011, 9:11 AM   #18
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there are no right and wrong answers. just the situation at hand and what you make of it .

it sounds like you have the right idea with the new guy, though. that's really all anyone can ask for, honesty that gives them the right to make their own choice.

i would say that you felt strong and 'like your own person' because that sounds like what you're doing, treating him like you would expect to be treated, making the right decisions, and living with the consequences whatever they may be.

which, coming from a man, is so rare in women that i don't think you'll be alone for very long.
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Old 25th October 2011, 11:09 AM   #19
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Thought I would give an update...

Although we have still not discussed our relationship status, I did bring up some things to the guy I am dating.

He made the comment that he always intiates kissing. That spurred a conversation and I explained to him that I do not mean to be cold at times, but that I have "felt nothing" since my last relationship. I told him I have a great time with him and that I wish I would have met him before when I was a much happier and trusting person. He not only comforted me by saying that 4 months is not very long in terms of recovery, but he said he's been where I am. He completely understands. He asked me questions about how this has affected me and told me about what he's been through.

We talked for several hours about a lot of things. I've never had such open and honest communication in my life. Some things were personal, some light and funny. There was no topic off limit. He is a GREAT communicator. If he is thinking of something or wants clarification on something that has been done/said he will bring it up. And he's smart, responsible, and seems very caring.

Point is, my cards are on the table now. He knows exactly how I feel, including how I am still affected by my ex and that I have a hard time getting out into certain social situations where he might be. I've done the hard part, so we'll see how things continue now.

I feel pretty great today. I can't explain how nice it was to see qualities in a man that I thought I'd never experience.
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Old 25th October 2011, 11:31 AM   #20
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Point is, my cards are on the table now. He knows exactly how I feel, including how I am still affected by my ex and that I have a hard time getting out into certain social situations where he might be. I've done the hard part, so we'll see how things continue now.

I feel pretty great today. I can't explain how nice it was to see qualities in a man that I thought I'd never experience.
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i would say that you felt strong and 'like your own person' because that sounds like what you're doing, treating him like you would expect to be treated, making the right decisions, and living with the consequences whatever they may be.

which, coming from a man, is so rare in women that i don't think you'll be alone for very long.
man, i hate being right...

but here's the catch. as you say, your cards are on the table. it sounds like he is ok with the situation for now. but there's always a time limit. he won't wait around forever and you won't be happy for very long if you feel like you're stringing him along.

so keep the cards on the table, keep talking to each other, keep 'no topic off limits'. the standard dating rules no longer apply. if you distance yourself any further from him, he will know why. so the communication level has to stay high.

Last edited by thatone; 25th October 2011 at 11:33 AM..
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