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Unbalanced feelings and defensive arguements


Nixee

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So I've been seeing a really great guy for about 3 months or so... maybe a little more, and he has apparently begun to fall pretty hard for me. He has recently even gone as far as to say he thinks he is "falling in love" with me.

 

This would all sound fine and good... except I'm not ready for such intensity. My feelings don't move that fast...pretty much ever, with most any guy I've dated. Pushing people away and being cautious and timid is my M.O., and since I've been hurt by love in the past, it hasn't gotten easier on me.

 

This guy is great. He treats me great overall, we have fun together, and we seem to be very compatible. But what I don't feel overwhelming me is that butterflies feeling... that "spark".. and I know that people always have mixed feelings about the "spark", but I do feel it is very, very important. It is attraction on the most base level... it is the thing that keeps you somehow, almost inexplicably glued to someone....it is the seed that leads to romantic love. And no, it isn't the same as infatuation... that isn't what I'm talking about. I've felt it before. I was with someone 7 years and the spark I felt there never faded. The initial crazy high died down to a comfortable spot... but the spark was always there.

 

I don't expect the spark to happen right away (it didn't even happen right away with my ex), but ... I'm trying to deepen my feelings to his level.

I DO really like him. And to me it feels like communication is the key.

 

Looking back on my past relationships, the only way I've been able to love was when I got close enough to someone to truly communicate well enough - to have them care and understand me on a deep enough level.

Right now.... I feel like he and I are hitting a wall. A wall that I'm trying over and over to break through yet not quite making it.

 

When I talk to him about this - about my feelings, my fears, and my needs... his first instinct often seems to be to get defensive. He takes it as though I am attacking him - telling him that he has done something wrong, or how he needs to change/what he needs to do in order to be with me. He gets distressed - waffling back and forth between "I just want to be with you!" to "this makes me feel hurt and I don't know how much longer I can feel hurt or like I will never make you happy!"

 

After calming him down, I tell him that I DO still want to see him, but once again I try to explain that I feel it is just deeper connection/communication I think I am missing sometimes. He can accept things... even agree to try harder... but I have little faith that it will last.

 

Right now things are calm, but I even fear that later tonight I will get texts from him freaking out, telling me that he doesn't think he will ever make me happy.

 

I don't know what to do.

 

Things were great at the start of this relationship, short though its been. Our feelings are just unbalanced and now our communication is completely out of whack... I try to talk calmly to him as much as possible, but I don't know what else I can do. I'm the fiercely independent type who does not fall in love easy. He seems to be the more clingy type, and he has fallen hard and fast.

 

I'd love the chance for things to continue... calmly, without pressure. He will say he can do it, but I have little faith.

 

Is there anything I can say/do to help him in such an unbalanced situation, or is this just hopeless and doomed? I don't want to fight with him anymore (we shouldn't be at 3 months), and I don't want to hurt him. I'm afraid sometimes of coming off cold to him since I'm the less smitten one.

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If I were advising him I would have to say "this woman clearly isn't into you. Your best bet is to call it off and find someone who is"

 

If he did call it off under those circumstances - how would that make you feel?

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It isn't surprising that you aren't feeling that 'spark' - because the guy isn't actually connecting with you!

 

You don't say what his relationship history is, but it might be worth your while finding out. It's just that people who genuinely are long-term material stick with people who are on the same wavelength, and don't try to force the issue with someone who's being a bit cautious. Relationships work out best when both parties have the same needs for togetherness/separateness, but I'm wondering if there's another agenda on his part.

 

Not all 'nice' people really are nice; some of them have just developed a covert way of operating dishonestly in relationships. Although you admit to being cautious and timid, the fact that you have been open about your fears, wants and needs suggests that you actually are emotionally available. You may be cautious, but you're not afraid to share all the stuff about who you are. You are wise to see how the relationship progresses, and let it deepen.

 

The fact that he cannot accept this, and is trying to manipulate you with the "this makes me feel hurt and I don't know how much longer I can feel hurt or like I will never make you happy!" stuff sounds huge alarm bells for me. For a start, it sounds very needy and is making you responsible for his feelings (you aren't - he is!) and there's a subtext of 'You'd better do as I say, and feel the way I want you to feel - or I'm outta here!'

 

It is ironic that very needy people are actually emotionally unavailable - they are more concerned with themselves, and getting their own needs met, than in connecting meaningfully with a partner. In the worst case scenario, they can turn emotionally or physically abusive as their partner fails to fill a void which was nothing to do with the partner in the first place. He's being nice at the moment, but the heavy emotional stuff isn't likely to go away.

 

I personally would run like the wind from a guy like this, but that's the voice of experience speaking. Only you can decide whether the bad bits are worth it for the good bits - but there's no way he's going to change his behaviour or be prepared to listen to you when it's something he doesn't want to hear.

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If I were advising him I would have to say "this woman clearly isn't into you. Your best bet is to call it off and find someone who is"

 

If he did call it off under those circumstances - how would that make you feel?

 

sigh....

 

it would make me feel hurt, honestly.

 

I'm not lying when I say I like him. I don't love him yet, but I do like him.

 

I have been through some pretty intense hurt in my past, and I feel as though I continue to go through it even currently with my family. Getting close to people and loving now.... it is hard for me. Simply being "into" someone very quickly ... well it doesn't happen so easy for me, or so fast.

 

When I was younger I and hadn't had as much happen to me I used to just know much quicker, but now... eh.. not so easy.

 

I've dated a number of men over the past year or so.... I didn't like any of them as much as I like this guy. He really feels like he has potential. The fact that I don't feel an incredible overwhelming spark for him and don't feel as head over heels as he does feels like my problem more than his. I can't help but feel like with a little time, communication and patience... things may grow for me.

 

But at the same time... I can't really disagree with your would-be advice to him. I hate that I'm putting him through this. I just guess I feel the need to point out that it isn't so cut and dry for me as "not into him"... I do like him, and losing him would hurt.

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Wow.... I gotta say this wasn't at all the kind of response I was expecting ...

 

Yet parts of it really really hit home as to how I feel when we were arguing about this. My intention has been to try and tell him that I want to communicate and connect with him on a deeper level.

When he gets worked up or defensive, he comes off a bit needy at times, and yes... I have almost felt emotionally blackmailed. Not that he has intended to. For him I'm sure it has come out heat-of-the-moment... but it is as though he can't watch what he is saying.

 

And yes, it does sometimes feel as though he is more concerned with his needs... even with the connecting. When I feel the need and desire for him to understand me on a deeper level, often I feel we are talking about him again, or joking.... or back to the discussion of whether he can ever make me happy or if I'll just leave him. It is exhausting to deal with this when I feel like we should just be enjoying getting to know each other. It feels like things suddenly jumped the gun because of how hard he fell.

 

I've had my moments of wanting to run... but I can't tell if that is just me and my push away behavior, or the frustrating discussions we've had.

Right now he's said he wants to calm down and take things slower with me. He says he wants to do whatever I need. I don't know what to think. I guess I am going to let him prove it. And I hope hope hope my feelings can change if he can follow his words with action.

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Has it ever occurred to you that you are not feeling a spark because it is being extinguished by the previous hurt you have experienced?

 

And that the reason you would feel hurt if he left you is because at some level you know that there really is a spark underneath all that?

 

And that he really has no more need to prove anything to you than you do to both him and yourself?

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Has it ever occurred to you that you are not feeling a spark because it is being extinguished by the previous hurt you have experienced?

 

And that the reason you would feel hurt if he left you is because at some level you know that there really is a spark underneath all that?

 

And that he really has no more need to prove anything to you than you do to both him and yourself?

 

In a nutshell.... to all three questions... yes.

 

I guess that is why I keep asking him to be so patient with me, and why we are having this little tug-o-war conflict.

 

He really is a good guy, and so he wants to be patient. Yet his feelings are strong, so it is hard for him.

 

I'm not a fool... I know that my past hurt is the cause of a fair amount of my issues with moving forward, and being able to feel things openly.

 

So one answer for me is... work on my issues.. counseling, etc.. that is fine and good. But my worry is being able to communicate this effectively with him so that he doesn't give up... and I guess so that I don't.

 

I've basically killed about 3-4 relationships in a row immediately prior to this one because I self-sabotage, and even though I think I can feel something at the start, I kill the feeling off fast. I just feel different about him. I feel like he may be worth it.

 

So yeah.... maybe there is a spark.... buried under layers of old hurt and fear and the urge to run at every bad sign.

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