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Thread: Struggle to find attraction

  1. #21
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    Originally Posted by James1982
    This is where I canít work myself out... yes itís all online... and this is the issue... they are attractive but I start chatting and then Iíll just get put off by something or I donít know it lacks a spark and I donít know why. Like for example Iím talking to a really nice girl at the moment (over the past two-four weeks) whatsapp, video, voice calls... sheís attractive, into the same things... yet now I donít think of her and want to say get intimate. Could it be Iím not over my ex perhaps? Iím not sure as I feel Iíve been like this my whole life hence all my friends are settled and have children and Iím
    Coming up to 40 single and frustrated
    I don't think it's wise to evaluate any sort of chemistry from a romantic perspective before meeting in person and unwise to type and talk this much before meeting especially since you find yourself so easily feeling turned off by what a near stranger says or does. You're getting in your own way and expecting a "spark" where you want to have sex with the person even before meeting in person. It's an easy way out for you - then you don't risk getting vulnerable with anyone.

  2. #22
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    I wonder if you did meet and get into a relationship with a woman you were extremely attracted to and then fell in love and then she put on a few pounds or cut her hair short would you dump her?

    There is a lot to explore for you and talking to a therapist is a great place to start.

    Have you ever been in love? I mean deeply in love.

    Lost[/QUOTE]


    No I definitely would not dump her... so my ex she had something happen to her which I wonít go into, yet it didnít put me off. I stood by her and helped and supported her through it. I never changed how I felt about her or her physical looks etc

  3. #23
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    My dear friend who died young of cancer over 10 years ago did online dating sites for a couple of years-met her husband that way -her go to line was "if you sneeze the wrong way it's all over" (meaning no next date) -about the "picky" guys she met. She was very cute and an awesome person - not model looks or anything - and her husband who stood by her side and married her even though she'd been diagnosed with terminal cancer - loved her to pieces the entire time no matter what she looked like. You can imagine what all that chemo and steroids and sickness does to one's looks and body.
    I'm glad you stood by your ex's side -my sense is your issue now is you're coming up with excuses to decline to meet women and you also want arm candy as some form of validation.

  4. #24
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    Iíd like to do therapy but donít know where to start. What would I even search for? What are of expertise would they need to have? Relationship coach? Attachment? I donít know where to start

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by James1982
    Despite all that she did to me, Iím such a fool if she came back again I know id probably give in again
    To my eyes this is your problem.

    So long as this womanówho you know you don't work with, don't feel good with, can't be in a sustainable romance withóremains "the one" in your eyes it's just going to be very hard, if not impossible, to connect with someone else, since you're not only holding onto one person but further conditioning yourself to seek "good" feelings in "bad" places. You're basically indulging in self-hatred and labeling it love, to put it frankly.

    Makes sense, then, that you'd put so much emphasis on attraction, on the "spark," since what you're looking forówhat you're a bit desperate foróis something that burns your on/off ex out of your brain and heart. You want a new fire that's hot enough to extinguish this fireóan approach, of course, that only keeps stoking that first fire, along with the coals of self-loathing, since it makes you feel "shallow" while trying to swim out toward to deep end.

    Where therapyónot a coach, but a good old fashioned therapistócan help with this? It could help you understand the mental-emotional mechanics here, so they become less mysterious. Think of a car. For most of us, they are simple things: you get in, turn a key, and go. But when you turn the key and they don't go? They become about the most complex things in the world, mysterious and frustrating!

    This is why we have mechanics: it's not mysterious to them, or frustrating. It's a shoddy piston, a broken fuel pump, whatever. Not frustrating, but fixable. A therapist is kind of like a mechanic that teaches you how to work on your own engine. Once you demystify all this, without needing dating or another woman to do that work, you'll free up more space for new, more sincere, connections.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Indulge me some more riffing, if you will...

    So, here's a thought experiment. Imagine, without getting too loopy or cinematic, the rough outlines of the woman you see yourself with. Yeah, she's hot, lights up all those synapses: boils the blood, gets the insides of the cheeks quivering, all that. She's also kind, compassionate, curious, passionate about some of the same things you are, along with all sorts of things that are fully hers. She's got her sh*t together, carries herself with grace, goes about the business of living her life in a way that commands respect. And so on and so forth.

    Okay, now ask yourself this: If the above woman was a friend of yours, who you cared deeply for, would you set her up with you, as you exist right now, in the world and in your skin? Would you point her to James1982 confident that he could respect and cherish her, deliver what she needs? Would you believe James1982 to be worthy of her and all her awesomeness?

    I'll leave it there for a moment, curious to hear your response.

  8. #27
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    You remind me of a guy I almost met many years ago through a dating site. We had a great first conversation. He called me again to make a plan. He owned an art gallery in our major city. He called me at work. I had to keep things low key while on the phone at work but thought the call was just to confirm a plan to meet in person. Within a minute or so he said I sounded "different". I explained I was at work and typically couldn't do longer personal calls -he repeated that I sounded "different", ended the call, and we never met.

  9. #28
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Indulge me some more riffing, if you will...

    So, here's a thought experiment. Imagine, without getting too loopy or cinematic, the rough outlines of the woman you see yourself with. Yeah, she's hot, lights up all those synapses: boils the blood, gets the insides of the cheeks quivering, all that. She's also kind, compassionate, curious, passionate about some of the same things you are, along with all sorts of things that are fully hers. She's got her sh*t together, carries herself with grace, goes about the business of living her life in a way that commands respect. And so on and so forth.

    Okay, now ask yourself this: If the above woman was a friend of yours, who you cared deeply for, would you set her up with you, as you exist right now, in the world and in your skin? Would you point her to James1982 confident that he could respect and cherish her, deliver what she needs? Would you believe James1982 to be worthy of her and all her awesomeness?

    I'll leave it there for a moment, curious to hear your response.


    I would as I know he is thoughtful, kind, caring but at the moment, no I wouldnít because I think heís still hung up on his ex...

    You offer some great advice thank you

    In a previous relationship I do feel I was Ďsettlingí we were good to hang out with yet things were missing for example she was as keen on going on holidays - in three years we never had one!!!

    We finished and I met my current ex a month or two down the line. Instantly i was hooked and knew this is what I had been waiting for... she is attractive but not you know 10/10 I donít want to give the impression I am looking for this model miss universe type - Iím not! Just someone I find attractive looks wise yet makes me want to pick up the phone and reply to her message straight away etc
    I find i can just take it or leave it with others - pre and post this break up.

    She treated me bad like took drugs, guys messaging her, didnít respect or support me, and some other deep stuff...
    Yet every day 10 months at most she would just disappear on me... Iíd message her and she would not be interested in meeting to talk things thru, just told me we donít get on we always argue etc etc (arguing true but most people do) it felt like an excuse to get out... after a few days of messaging her I would just stop and go no contact and then wouldnít ever hear from her again... until I happen to bump in to her (around 4 months down the line each time) and then she would message me.

    The last time she actually turned up at my place 4 months later of NC begging me back

    I guess I kind of liked the chase for once... when I gave in a few months later Iím back to NC again constant thoughts of who she is with etc itís not healthy but I canít switch off

    Maybe I just need to get help, donít talk to other women because itís not fair. And try to get my head right

  10. #29
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sounds like a plan, or a start to one. I mean, you just went and diagnosed it yourself. You would not introduce a great woman to yourself right now, so expecting to connect with oneówell, no. You need to get the hooks out first, get the head on straight, the heart cleared of some corrosion.

    I'm about your age, turned 40 in the fall. It honestly took me until just a few years ago to be able to see what I wanted from romantic partnershipólike, being able to write down the essentials in a short list, which, for the record, included weapons-grade sparks. Most importantly, it took me to just about 40 to believe I was deserving of that whole list, in the vacuum of myself. Had to become someone I'd introduce a wonderful woman I cared about to, without reservations. Had to fall in love with some parts of myself I hated, I guess you could say, so I could be fully open to being loved, and loving.

    Fortunate cookie stuff, I know. But genuinely sweet stuffólike, well, cookies.

    From the little you've offered above? I'd say you've had two relationships, back to back, that epitomize the shortcoming of "settling." They are different sides to the same coin, no? Neither ever really offered enough of what you want and need, but you rationalized it: in the former with the head, in the latter with body.

    Is what it is. Not a crime, not a personal failing, but just life being lived, experience planting the seeds of lessons. You strike me, right now, as being half-serious about watering those seeds (getting help, letting go of this woman, etc.) and half wanting to avoid that irrigation work (recognizing you'd jump right back in etc.). Well, to that I say it's time to go all in on the former, with more diligence than you have in the past. Forty is a great time in life, to stretch this metaphor right to its saccharine breaking point, to get serious about that mode gardening.

  11. #30
    Platinum Member lostandhurt's Avatar
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    So you have basically admitted it is you, not the women you meet. You mentally sabotage them before really getting to know them. There are a lot of people of both sexes doing the same thing. They say they want to meet someone and have a relationship but they never get past the chatting phase because they seem to always find something that is wrong. If you look hard enough you can find fault with anyone. Less chatting and meeting sooner is probably a good idea. That way you get to know the real them in person.

    Who hasn't compared a new interest to an ex? I think everything you mentioned happens all the time to people but in your case it seems to have gone on a really long time.

    Where to start with therapy? Does your work provide any short term outside counseling like part of a well being program? Do you attend church? Does your insurance cover mental health?

    Your first step is with your doctor. Surprisingly enough they can steer you towards a therapist. Give the office a call and see if your doctor can call you back when they get a chance.

    This is all totally fixable. Perhaps getting out some of the baggage that got you here will help. 20 years is a long time...

    Lost

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