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I feel like I don't crush on women anymore


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So, I'm a 40 year old guy that's never been married with no kids. I've been in two long term relationships in my life. One ended after about a year and a half because I felt like the person I was in a relationship with was sorta crazy and always angry at me. I got tired of always being in trouble, so I said good by. The other one was about 4 years. We dated for about 6 months in HS, had a brief stint in our 20s and dated for a little over 3 years in our 30s. We broke up because she cheated on me. I did really love her, but the relationship was always toxic, as he was a bit of a head case as well.

 

So here I am at 40 trying to figure out if I'm really the type of person that should even be in a relationship. I feel like dating has become almost impossible. I'm not romantically challenged and have had MANY short term relationships over the years. I honestly couldn't say how many women I've slept with. It's probably close to 50, so it's not like I'm awkward with the opposite sex. I'm not an unattractive guy either. I'm still in great shape for a guy my age and at least average looking. I've always dated decent looking women as well.

 

But something has changed. I feel like I don't really crush on any of the women I meet these days. It's not just women my age that I'm not really physically attracted to either. I'm not into the younger ones as well. It's like I see every woman I meet as being bonkers. I know a few guys will have a chuckle about this, but I really feel like literally every woman I meet is a mental case. It's not just the women I go on dates with either. It's the women I'm related to. All my friend's girlfriends and wives. The women that I work with etc. They can't all be nuts, but It's what I see and experience constantly.

 

I'm a firm believer that if someone thinks everyone else is a problem, then they must be a problem. Surely, all of these women can't be crazy. It has to be that I have some type of issue with the opposite sex because I don't remember thinking every girl I met was a head case when i was younger.

 

What is my deal? Why do I just sorta not like women anymore? Is there really just an insane amount of women with mental health issues, or do I just not understand women anymore?

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I don't remember thinking every girl I met was a head case when i was younger.

 

What is my deal? Why do I just sorta not like women anymore? Is there really just an insane amount of women with mental health issues, or do I just not understand women anymore?

 

My guess is that you've never liked women--you just assumed that you did and your 20-year old sex drive helped you along with that belief. Now that your sex drive is dropping, you are becoming more discerning. Also, you are 40. You now have real perspective, not just the perspective of a 20-something whose past experience consisted of childhood. You have 1 - 2 decades of adult experience under your belt.

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Not everyone is cut out for relationships. It sounds like you like sex but never liked women anyway or played a sour-grapes game. You're the common denominator with all the crazy women, so it's up to you to ponder these questions with a therapist.

Why do I just sorta not like women anymore? Is there really just an insane amount of women with mental health issues
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Perhaps the women you've met lately are crazy! I will confess that I met quite a few myself (and men too) over the years. Scary!

 

Also, you should consider getting your testosterone levels checked because, as I'm sure you know, these levels start declining in men in their 30's. If they are low, that could certainly affect you sex drive and perception of women. I would also suggest that you seek therapy which may help to understand why you feel the way you do.

 

It took me quite a number of years before I met (who I thought) was my soulmate. I was happy with him for the most part but, unfortunately, he was not (long story).

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Can you give examples of the various women you know having mental issues? What are they saying or what is their behavior to make you think this?

 

What's your life like besides having one night stands? Do you have close guy friends? A hobby? A career you love or hate? What feedback have you been given about yourself by others?

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I'm in agreement with the first two posts—namely that you have yet to learn what it is to appreciate women as people.

 

I don't mean that as harsh as it sounds, as in my observation there is a pretty large subset of men and women who are not very appreciative of the opposite sex, for whom "objectification" is a stand-in for "connection." That's not in the obvious sense—seeing a woman only as a body, a man as a provider-stud—but in a more general way: an inability to view a man (or, in your case) a woman as a person, and by extension to view yourself as a full person alongside a woman. There people who exist in this state as you do (single, bed-hopping, half-hating the person sleeping next to them) and people who exist in this state in relationships and marriages.

 

This starts in puberty. Prior to that you're just a kid at recess, hanging with boys and girls, and there is something wildly "evolved" in all that: it is pure, equal, humans being curious and accepting humans. Then come the hormones, and girls and boys (putting this in a heteronormative paradigm for simplicity, but this applies to sex in general) become the mysterious "other." The big mystery? Attraction and desire, a new sensation coursing through you. A few years pass and you're now engaging with these desires, rounding the bases and flying off to the moon emotionally, orgasmically.

 

It's very fun. It's also very limited, if you don't find a way to pair it back with appreciating the humanity of the "object" of attraction—combing that pre-pubescent acceptance and curiosity with a post-pubescent lust. So what you're describing? In ways it's being 40—smart, evolved, evolving, experienced—but with a view of women that is still based on the high school parking lot. The nuts and bolts of the title: you are withdrawing from the "crush" and wondering what's wrong with you.

 

I'd flip it. I'd say what's "wrong" is that you are growing up, reluctantly. I'd say what you are getting a taste of—sour right now, but it could lead to sweetness—is something "right" in you, if not yet accessed. You want more than the crush, but you don't have the language for what it is—not words, but feelings. Something more enriching that you crave but have no context for, since your romantic habits are primitive.

 

Once upon a time, see, "crazy" was totally acceptable to you if it came with "nudity," as was validated by the human male compass better known as an erection. Imagine that HS-20s-30s relationship did a good number on cementing that wiring, as something that should have probably began and ended under the bleachers ended just yesterday in the scheme of things: a post-pubescent paradigm standing in for a more adult one. That's the thing you keep trying to recreate—it's your model—but at 40 it is a poor model, outdated, a rocket refusing liftoff.

 

What to do? I say work on building a new model. Rather than figuring out how to go backwards, go forwards. Think of your male friendships over the years, how nuanced they are. Some great dudes, some duds. Women are just that: people, and not all of them, even the most scorching to the eye, are going to boil the blood. That's okay. But to find the ones that boil the blood you've got to tap into some more layers of yourself. This can be adventure, leading to fireworks that feel like high school but ignite in a new context.

 

My few cents, to spend how you see fit.

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You mention that you were cheated on in your last long term relationship. THAT can do quite a number on your psyche and lots of people end up have major issues with trust and kind of seeing everything negatively about the opposite sex after that kind of betrayal. It's actually a normal response to trauma. It doesn't matter if years have passed since then, what matters is that you don't seem to have really dealt with it. It's colored your world view and your view of women in particular.

 

You are right though, that when you feel like all women around you are crazy, the problem is really you. The other factor to consider is that the two long term relationship were both toxic. Something drew you to that and now you seem to have an aversion to that that's gone over board where you see drama where none exists. Time to take a good look internally and do some cleaning up and if don't be shy about getting some professional help with that. Easier to win when you have a coach, not so easy to self train.

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Also, you should consider getting your testosterone levels checked because, as I'm sure you know, these levels start declining in men in their 30's. If they are low, that could certainly affect you sex drive and perception of women.

 

Everything is good in that area, and I have a thriving sex life. My sex drive is about the same as it's always been. Like I said, I'm in really great shape for a guy my age. My issue is being completely emotionally unavailable to to women I date. It's not so much that I don't like them, its more that I don't find anything interesting abut them other than sex. This is sorta new for me, as I feel like I used to get that "spark" when a new love interest entered the picture.

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How to you feel about men OP? Is this a gender bias or a bias against humans in general?

 

Also... are you certain you are purely heterosexual?

 

I enjoy spending time with other men far more than I do with women. I wouldn't say that I view women as inferior or anything, but unless their is sexual chemistry I generally don't interact with women much unless placed into a situation where I have to. Like I said in my last post. I feel like I don't find women interesting most of the time. I do find some women interesting, but they're more often than not either taken or not the type of women you could be in a LTR with.

 

I'm 100% heterosexual. I only have sexual interest in women. If I were gay, I would just be gay.

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Can you give examples of the various women you know having mental issues? What are they saying or what is their behavior to make you think this?

 

What's your life like besides having one night stands? Do you have close guy friends? A hobby? A career you love or hate? What feedback have you been given about yourself by others?

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of behavior with the ones that I've dated. The inability to "keep it together." LOTS of crying, LOTS of jealousy, and the constant need for attention and approval. A few of them would become absolute train wrecks for a few days each month. My last GF was so bad with it that I had to track her cycle and block those days off as days that I needed to walk on egg shells and not plan anything.

 

With that said, I find the women that I've dated more tolerable than the majority of my friends GFs and wives. Most of those women are just complete ball-busting rain clouds. I think a lot of why I'm so apprehensive about relationships might be that the majority of people I know that are in a LTR aren't happy. I've really paid attention to it as of late. I'll go to a BBQ or something and just watch the majority of these women constantly walking around irritated, annoyed, and acting passive aggressively. I'll think to myself "who on Earth would put up with that." Then I'll see one of these guys that does every day. I know that it's because they love these women. That chemical reaction that causes whatever that feelng is allows these guys to deal with constant nagging, tension, and fighting. Half of them barely even get laid anymore as well.

 

I feel like observing this type of stuff for what it is, makes me resistant to the idea of being with someone long term. That's another thing. I'm REALLY happy. I just feel like I shouldn't be. I feel like maybe I'm missing something, and when this party comes to an end, I'm not going to be happy. I'm afraid of being completely alone I guess.

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If you are just using women and sex for a high, why not get to a doctor and get evaluated for underlying issues. You may be in "great shape", but you're no kid and other issues could be at play. Often declining ways to achieve this "spark" or high will bring even someone with your issues to a doctor.

I don't find anything interesting abut them other than sex. This is sorta new for me, as I feel like I used to get that "spark" when a new love interest entered the picture.
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You mention that you were cheated on in your last long term relationship. THAT can do quite a number on your psyche and lots of people end up have major issues with trust and kind of seeing everything negatively about the opposite sex after that kind of betrayal. It's actually a normal response to trauma. It doesn't matter if years have passed since then, what matters is that you don't seem to have really dealt with it. It's colored your world view and your view of women in particular.

 

You are right though, that when you feel like all women around you are crazy, the problem is really you. The other factor to consider is that the two long term relationship were both toxic. Something drew you to that and now you seem to have an aversion to that that's gone over board where you see drama where none exists. Time to take a good look internally and do some cleaning up and if don't be shy about getting some professional help with that. Easier to win when you have a coach, not so easy to self train.

 

Honestly, I've tried counseling before, and I didn't really get anything from it. Maybe the counselors that I've seen just weren't good for me. It was like they had no clue whatsoever about how a guy like myself operates. It seemed like the counselors I've seen had lives that were so much different than mine that they really couldn't relate. I've gotten far more out of talking to my brother or just talking to people anonymously on forums like this if I'm being honest.

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why not get to a doctor and get evaluated for underlying issues. You may be in "great shape", but you're no kid and other issues could be at play. Often declining ways to achieve this "spark" or high will bring even someone with your issues to a doctor.

 

I actually though about that a while back.

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Honestly, I've tried counseling before, and I didn't really get anything from it. Maybe the counselors that I've seen just weren't good for me. It was like they had no clue whatsoever about how a guy like myself operates. It seemed like the counselors I've seen had lives that were so much different than mine that they really couldn't relate. I've gotten far more out of talking to my brother or just talking to people anonymously on forums like this if I'm being honest.

 

Well yes, the thing with counselors is that you have to find someone whose approach actually works for you. That may take more than a few tries.

 

That said, it's not their job to relate to you and your lifestyle, it's their job to help you get your head screwed on straight. There is also a very good possibility that you were simply resistant to that and demanding that they understand you rather than you understanding that you have issues. On that note, the more you post, the more it becomes obvious that you have deeply rooted emotional problems and have never actually connected with women.

 

Lust and the hormonal rush from that is not connection. Plus you are getting up there, so yeah, your body will slow or stop reacting like a teenager. The fact that you can only relate to women on a sexual level or not at all.....very telling of issues. You literally do not see half the population as human beings, just things you get to f..k. Now that your hormones don't rage like that used to due to age, your disconnect is becoming painfully obvious....but it's always been there. You have issues and only a professional can solve that if you are actually willing to start accepting different points of view instead of seeking validation for the way you are. You have to be willing to rewire your brain and that is hard work because what's right won't feel right for a long time and will be hard to process.

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I think a lot of why I'm so apprehensive about relationships might be that the majority of people I know that are in a LTR aren't happy.

 

This caught my eye.

 

So, I would agree with the above sentence. In my observation—I'm your age, though I've thought this most of my cognizant life—the majority of people in relationships are not happy. Except let's take it one step further. Best I can tell, the majority of people on the planet are not happy, either. Some of them are in relationships, some aren't. Some are men, some are women.

 

Point being? I don't view all that negatively, just factually, just as I view it as fact that a lot of people are happy: men, women, solo travelers, partnered up explorers. Facts are awesome, as they teach us things. They can teach us who we want to be, and who we don't. I, for instance, am someone who wants to be in relationships more than I don't. That's a fact, as is the fact that I'd like to be in one that isn't miserable. So I just try to figure out what that looks like for me, and do it. It is a forever process that often involves multiple people and many years. It is, you could say, being alive, rather than resting the full spectrum of what being alive can mean.

 

Per more of the specifics, at the risk of repeating myself: you don't seem to see women as human beings. I'm saying that outside of "men are pigs," though of course it's related. What I mean is that what you are fixated on in terms of a "spark" is very close to what a man feels when entering a strip club as opposed to listening to someone express themselves, and reveal their humanity to you.

 

In romantic connection there is a little bit of both, of course, but base it on either of those extremes and you are experiencing the narrowest shade of connection imaginable: one spicy, one mild. But that's just hot sauce, not the meal. Between the lines here I think you're very hungry for the meal, though you have trouble defining what that looks like because your appetite has taken some real hits.

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Well yes, the thing with counselors is that you have to find someone whose approach actually works for you. That may take more than a few tries.

 

That said, it's not their job to relate to you and your lifestyle, it's their job to help you get your head screwed on straight. There is also a very good possibility that you were simply resistant to that and demanding that they understand you rather than you understanding that you have issues. On that note, the more you post, the more it becomes obvious that you have deeply rooted emotional problems and have never actually connected with women.

 

Lust and the hormonal rush from that is not connection. Plus you are getting up there, so yeah, your body will slow or stop reacting like a teenager. The fact that you can only relate to women on a sexual level or not at all.....very telling of issues. You literally do not see half the population as human beings, just things you get to f..k. Now that your hormones don't rage like that used to due to age, your disconnect is becoming painfully obvious....but it's always been there. You have issues and only a professional can solve that if you are actually willing to start accepting different points of view instead of seeking validation for the way you are. You have to be willing to rewire your brain and that is hard work because what's right won't feel right for a long time and will be hard to process.

 

I disagree with your perspective on counseling. I think a counselor has to have some way to relate a bit to their clients. I think the same can be said for a medical doctor.

 

Anyways, I agree with you on my need for validation. Statistically speaking, there's nothing abnormal about my dating life. There are millions of people like me in this country that are embracing a similar life style. With that said, I feel like it's not right. I feel like this isn't normal, and so here I am asking complete strangers why I'm not what I perceive as being normal. Maybe I've been conditioned to believe that I'm supposed to love women? My logical side tells me daily that monogamy isn't a natural thing for a lot of us, but I'm having trouble believing it because I think that maybe I don't want to believe it. I have the same issue with religion. All evidence tells me that I'll be nothing but worm food when I'm gone. My consciousnesses will simply no longer exist, but I don't want to believe that, so I resist it with the validation of others telling me that's not the case.

 

 

Also, I'll get flamed for saying this, but I don't think most guys relate to women or find them interesting outside of sex and love from my experience. I think they connect with them sexually or they connect with them romantically, and that's what makes it interesting. Take away the romance or sex, and the vast majority of men will not seek out female companionship the way that females often seek male companionship. Obviously that's a blanket statement, but the vast majority of male female friendships only take place because the male is either sexually or romantically interested in said female. There's gobs of research to back this up. My issue is that I can only seen to connect with women sexually anymore. I have lost that ability to connect with a woman romantically for whatever reason.

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I'll get flamed for saying this, but I don't think most guys relate to women or find them interesting outside of sex and love from my experience. I think they connect with them sexually or they connect with them romantically, and that's what makes it interesting. Take away the romance or sex, and the vast majority of men will not seek out female companionship the way that females often seek male companionship. Obviously that's a blanket statement, but the vast majority of male female friendships only take place because the male is either sexually or romantically interested in said female. There's gobs of research to back this up. My issue is that I can only seen to connect with women sexually anymore. I have lost that ability to connect with a woman romantically for whatever reason.

 

No flaming. You're searching for something, and that takes guts. No, that's not a gold star, but just saying...

 

I bolded that last sentence because I read it and thought: Have you ever experienced a healthy romantic connection, or, in a younger version of yourself, did you conflate a jagged and consuming sexual connection as being a romantic one?

 

In other words, what I think you're frustrated by is that something that used to feel like "more" now feels like "less." This is living. It changes our perception—slowly, constantly. Then we have to adapt to what we've come to see.

 

When I was 27 I got into a volatile, highly dysfunctional relationship where we made a lot of mushroom clouds—good ones in the bedroom, destructive ones outside of it. In separate laborites we were two good people, layered and interesting; in the same laboratory we were Nagasaki. Three years of my life story right there. Messed with me a bit, because the sexual awakening component was real and beautiful—I kind of came into my body during those years, as a man. It was intense—and meaningful.

 

But today? All that would be enough to sate me for maybe 48 hours, as I've lived, grown, changed shape, and had enough orgasms to not feel I need to chew glass (or become glass) to get more. But I also knew that whole thing was kind of wrong the whole time, because I got "lucky" before, with my first forays of romance (high school and early adulthood) genuine, non-toxic loves, so I was kind of starving myself emotionally to come into myself sexually. Have you done something similar? I wonder.

 

I don't agree with your take on "most guys." I don't think any subset of humans can be reduced like that. It is arrogant, in the end, as in 40 years you've interacted with only a few people on the planet. If that's your own worldview—fine. If it's one you want to challenge—even better. But to project your own view on "all guys" is as reductive as any statement about "all gals"—self-serving in that confirms a mental thesis and self-conception, and there is comfort in that, but not other-serving in that it reduces other humans (men and women in this case) into stick figures.

 

More importantly, it may no longer even be serving you, which seems the real conundrum. Lord knows I've reckoned with a lot of once sensible seeming habits (personally, romantically, sexually) that in time proved to be senseless. It's a worthy adventure.

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No flaming. You're searching for something, and that takes guts. No, that's not a gold star, but just saying...

 

I bolded that last sentence because I read it and thought: Have you ever experienced a healthy romantic connection, or, in a younger version of yourself, did you conflate a jagged and consuming sexual connection as being a romantic one?

 

In other words, what I think you're frustrated by is that something that used to feel like "more" now feels like "less." This is living. It changes our perception—slowly, constantly. Then we have to adapt to what we've come to see.

 

When I was 27 I got into a volatile, highly dysfunctional relationship where we made a lot of mushroom clouds—good ones in the bedroom, destructive ones outside of it. In separate laborites we were two good people, layered and interesting; in the same laboratory we were Nagasaki. Three years of my life story right there. Messed with me a bit, because the sexual awakening component was real and beautiful—I kind of came into my body during those years, as a man. It was intense—and meaningful.

 

But today? All that would be enough to sate me for maybe 48 hours, as I've lived, grown, changed shape, and had enough orgasms to not feel I need to chew glass (or become glass) to get more. But I also knew that whole thing was kind of wrong the whole time, because I got "lucky" before, with my first forays of romance (high school and early adulthood) genuine, non-toxic loves, so I was kind of starving myself emotionally to come into myself sexually. Have you done something similar? I wonder.

 

I don't agree with your take on "most guys." I don't think any subset of humans can be reduced like that. It is arrogant, in the end, as in 40 years you've interacted with only a few people on the planet. If that's your own worldview—fine. If it's one you want to challenge—even better. But to project your own view on "all guys" is as reductive as any statement about "all gals"—self-serving in that confirms a mental thesis and self-conception, and there is comfort in that, but not other-serving in that it reduces other humans (men and women in this case) into stick figures.

 

More importantly, it may no longer even be serving you, which seems the real conundrum. Lord knows I've reckoned with a lot of once sensible seeming habits (personally, romantically, sexually) that in time proved to be senseless. It's a worthy adventure.

 

 

I lot of people absolutely despise the term "most" because it comes of as "all" to them. Unfortunately for me, I majored in decision science/Statistics in college, and spent many years working in marketing departments. I tend to view a lot of things as quantitative data, which often comes off as speaking in absolutes to people that lack my education and career background. The problem with the term "most" is that it's a subjective term that's often used in the place of "majority." I myself am guilty of this at times as you can see.

 

With that said, I would double down that the the statements I've made in this thread would be factual in regards to men in my age group living in western societies if anonymous surveying were to be done. I would bet the farm on it, but who really knows?

 

Yes, I would say that I have experienced healthy romantic relationships, but not in the long term. Unlike you, the "majority" of women that I've connected with romantically have been bad in bed. I stayed in the two longest of those relationships longer than I should have because I was in love, not because of sex. When things were good, they were great, but both of these women were so up and down that I only got a taste of what I considered to be a "healthy" relationship with either of them. Both of them also had low sex drives and had never had an orgasm with any man or even by themselves. For whatever reason, it always seems like the women that are lights out in the sack are also women that I can't connect with in any other way or are simply bad news for other reasons.

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So much good stuff to untangle here.

 

Double down away; I don't even totally disagree with some of what you're sketching. Still, I think the art of being a person is different to the art of studying statistics about people. Or maybe my personal fetish is seeing if I can be an exception to certain rules, for better or worse. I pay some mortgages doing something that everyone said was a "crazy" way to try to make a living, and I approach love and human connection, with men and women, from much the same angle: crazy stuff that is so totally doable, wildly sane and critical to nourishment.

 

A healthy relationship is different than a relationship in which you get a "taste" of a healthy relationship. That's actually the opposite. My Nagasaki number up top? We didn't just shoot each other up with emotional machine guns and then patch each other up in the bedroom. We spooned through rom-coms, talked about life, met families, sat around in sweats, traveled Europe and Russia, laughed about inside jokes while eating mac-n-cheese, helped each other with our careers, and so on. A lot of it was sweet. Just sweetness during a war, not during peace.

 

Healthy is just...healthy. It can look a zillion ways, from the white picket fence to multiple partners, but it's about respect and shared values. To get there you kind of have to stop the objectifying—of the whole thing. Of you, of her. Of men, of women. I can "objectify" the current political climate of the USA, for instance, but along with that I live in the USA, a much more rich and nuanced experience than however I feel about what's what on the op-ed pages. Make sense?

 

I'm not taking to you here from a podium, mind you. Same human trenches. I'm 40, never married, no kid. I've got stories, and in the swamp of myself have gone to battle with my head and heart, a lot. I've looked in the mirror and seen a mature dude, and a mess of a dude, often on the same day. Never had a negative view of people, though: not women, not men. Can't explain why, as I've been torqued pretty hard by both sexes, especially by one who is 50 percent responsible for my existence. So it goes...

 

Anyhow, I think some of this can be simplified. Let's sketch you out as a statistic: you're a dude who has had some hot sex and some tepid loves and who, at the dawn of middle age, isn't quite where you thought you'd be. You're feeling a little hollow, a little shallow, or at least frustrated by how things that once felt deep now feel shallow. You are, in all that, in great human company. I say lean into it, to find the depths.

 

Is what you want monogamy? Is it poly? Is it cursory? Is it nameless hi-jinx in back alleys? There are no wrong answers, but you have to come up with answers you respect and have faith that there are other people, of the opposite sex, who won't throw a pie in your face—or get, you know, all cray-cray dramatic—when you tell them who you are and what you want. You said at the beginning that the common denominator here must be you, as it always is, and perhaps the problem is that you don't know what you want with nearly the same certainty you have about knowing what is impossible between men and women.

 

And if there is overlap between those two things? Well, that's a recipe for becoming another statistic.

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You seem endlessly negative and tremendously insecure ( I don't mean this in a rude way). People are just people at the end of the day. We all play different roles, some play multiple roles. Others prefer minimal roles and are living and thriving in their own method of being.

 

You did mention your influences(friends etc) around you being negative. Are you absorbing that energy? I'd be careful of the company you keep if you feel that it's draining you or starting to affect your outlook on life and people and your own future. You are not superhuman. None of us are. Acknowledge your limitations and start being a bit more smart with the way you use your resources and how you manage your company.

 

I also feel like something in you is lacking and there's a very lonely void. You're trying to bridge that and you're struggling to find company even though you've given up on it. To be very frank with you I think your filters are broken. If you don't know how to filter bad influences or negative influences or individuals and situations that don't benefit you, you will never really be happy. It comes from first acknowledging your limitations and what you can and cannot stand for. Learn to filter a bit better.

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