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I'm broken, and I dont know how to fix me. :'(


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I am an emotional wreak.

After being in a emotionally toxic relationship for 3 years, I can no longer fully express love to someone else.


I used to be a hopeless romantic. Random simple gifts, love letters, and all the other things that some guys are too embarrased to mention to their friends. What ended up happening was none of that had an effect. Even though I was "the best boyfriend she ever had", she both never showed any REAL affection towards me, and didn't appreciate what i did for her. I'm not a doormat, its not as if i do things for women expecting nothing back. At the same time, I wanted to have them do things for me not in reaction to what i've done for them, but because they feel the same way about me.


I know I'm a complete idiot for staying in that relationship for as long as i did. 9 months out of it, I think I'm back to normal, and "myself" again. But the problems I have dont come out unless I am with this woman I met online a few months ago. It seriously felt like whoever runs #########. com reached in the back of my head, found things I've always wanted, and produced a perfect companion for me.


My problem is, like i said before, I cant fully open myself up to her. She confronted me about this yesterday, and I finally told her how I feel. But since I'm still so screwed up from before, they are just words. There isnt much action to go with me saying "I am falling in love with you."

Around everyone else I know, Im okay. I'm socialable, corney, outspoken. But around her, I clam up as if im back in 8th grade. Its not always like that, but more often than not, there's not much communication coming from me. She told me what she's looking for in a guy, and I hear a voice screaming in me head saying "HOLY (Premptive MOD EDIT)! SHE IS DESCRIBING YOU!! YOU DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS" But fact is, I haven't for a long time. Or more acurately put, i second guess myself to a point where i end up not doing the things I would do to/for someone who actually deserves the affection I am capable of giving. Now, she doesn't know whether she wants to see me anymore, since I'm effectively emotionally unavailable.


If there's anyone there who's been through this, or has some advice/insight, please help me.

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You are still guarded, and perhaps rightly so........


You mentioned being the "hopeless romantic", doing all the things you thought you were to do to make a girl be happy and to "swoon", alas.....that seems to be counterproductive in these modern times.


I still can't "open-up" and so what??!!?? I'm protecting myself as you are.


I was married 20 years then unceremoniously "dumped" in July of 2007.

I was always doing stupid loving things....blah,blah, blah. It meant nothing.


I date now, but I am distant.


I act as if I own the world and I guard myself carefully, maybe too much.

I allow glimpses of the "romantic me", but I never over-expose that part of me. It comes out sparingly as I have seen now that if you make yourself too available and seem too smitten, it works against you. Now I act "as-if" it really doesn't matter if they stay with me or not and it seems to work for me.


I'm keepin my guard up baybay.....



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You have a point, I suppose. But in this case, she is effectively telling me that she wants someone who is like who i was before i was dating my EX. Hell, i want to be who i was before i was dating my EX. I accept the risk of being heartbroken. I get one life, and I'm not going to spend it wondering what if I pursued anything, women aside. In general, I agree that i have to be careful not to move to fast, or end up being taken advantage of. But i'd like to be with someone who lets me be exactly who I am, without holding anything back.

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You sound very much like someone I know and love


He's had a rough past, stressful life, difficult romantic relationships, and that culminated in a 2 year romantic relationship that frustrated and seemed to drain him of any hope or desire to actually BE in a relationship where he is truly FULLY giving of himself in a romantic sense. He just doesn't feel like it is possible, and so he closes himself off.


And yet he is obviously frustrated by it, as you are.


So how to deal?


You recognize this, and you have a great girl.... and that seems to be a starting point.


Is it going to take losing her to shake you up enough to realize that sometimes the rewards are worth the risk?


I know very well what it is like to be the one making most of the effort and getting nothing in return, like you describe from your former relationship. But it sounds like the girl you have now is offering reciprocity, yet part of you is still so numb from your past you can't snap into action and realize that she is NOT your ex-girlfriend... and love needs to be a two way street.


You don't need to morph right into the perfect boyfriend you used to be... showering her with gifts, letters and being mr. super-available... I doubt she'd expect that. Try taking little steps to show her you've heard what she's said, and that you do want to bounce back from your painful past. If she is as perfect for you as you say, I'm betting she'll want to be patient and work with you.

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I would say the same you are protecting yourself and thats natural after what you've been through. It takes time and a lot of effort to do this. Hell some of us are still trying.


Like suggested before try starting slowly with little things and build from there, you might find that making that little extra effort to do something romantic for her will make you feel better about it all & start to open up. But the good thing is your aware of it and you want to do something about it. First step is knowing about it and admitting it to yourself.

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