November 5, 2018 at 6:37 am #235453
I am 26 year old girl from the Netherlands and currently traveling around taking odd jobs. (happily) Sorry this is a bit of a long story, thank you if you take the time to read!
I come from a chaotic household, my family dynamic was not healthy and my parents split up. My father was not a bad man, but was sometimes aggressive. My sister teased me to no end. I grew up thinking I was a bit ugly, strange and I probably would never find a boyfriend.
I was very depressed in my flat in 2017, not knowing what to do with my life or study.
(I went to art school because that was my passion, it didn’t work out)
I moved to a city where I met some good friends, so I didn’t feel alone, but I had no purpose there. I wasted some good years before this too.
I was in relationships just so I didn’t have to be alone; I knew I didn’t feel anything for them or that there was a future. But I was just happy that someone wanted me, validation. A year from now I broke it off with by ex boyfriend. I was happy again. Then I quit my job and got rid of my apartment before I moved to Italy March this year.
I still didn’t know what I wanted from life, but one thing I wanted is to see places and travel.
I was happy alone. And one day in July I decided to go on a date! He looked cute (dating app) I was bored so why not. The short date was great, we went out for some drinks.
Next week he took me to his city and he showed me all the history, took me to a viewpoint with music, we went to some bars and I ended up sleeping with him. I was excited, the date was AMAZING, he was such a good guy! and our conversations where great. He was so different and oddly interesting.
We continue to see each other for a month, until I had to fly back in August.
I am moving to Italy again January next year for the same job.
I wanted to explore him more and decided to go with him on a holiday in Hungary the week after I got home. He picked me up at midnight from the airport in Italy, drove me to his house where we stayed a while. Then we all drove in a van to Hungary, it was amazing.
We slept together and had great sex. We kissed and held hands. We had so much fun together, our conversations where always interesting and never ending. I felt like he was my best friend and we had a connection. But there was always something nagging at me, I didn’t feel any butterflies.
End of August after this trip, I flew from Hungary to Barcelona to live and work there and said my goodbye to him. I am still there at the moment writing this now. He came to visit me in September and The nagging feeling was still there, because I can see that HE was very much IN love with me.
He is so respectful and loving, everything feels normal and confortable with him. I have no fear or anxiety that he might lie to me or leave me. I can talk about his with everything. Our morals are aligned and we want and love the same things in life. He is smart and kind to strangers, I can see myself grow old with this person. He blends with me so well and he has a good soul.
But I measure myself to him when it comes to the SPARK and I don’t feel as intense as he does. I find him cute and attractive, he smells nice and I have great sex, but it was not like some of the other men I’ve met where I felt the fireworks.
I feel like there is something missing but why? When he arrived the feeling of doubt was strong, I felt like I was leading him on. When he expressed he wanted me to be his girlfriend I felt so bad. I don’t want to lie to him, but I also don’t want to lose him.
The last few days that he was here, I felt like it didn’t bother me anymore and I was SO much happier. I could enjoy us a 100%. I also feel this feeling comes and goes. After he left I was in the clouds, told everybody about him and that I wanted to see him again.
Because about a week ago I stopped missing him intensely and the ‘I cant wait’ feeling is gone, I feel so depressed again. Like I am lying to him. I am destroying myself, crying and I can’t eat.
I booked a trip to Italy yesterday on a whim; I am going to see him in two weeks.
I don’t know what I am going to feel when I am there, but I desperately want to find out. Why am I like this? Should I just break It off? Is it just because of the distance? I don’t want to lose him. Not because I don’t want to be alone and never find love again like all the other times.
Because I feel like have love for this guy, and I’m hoping my feelings will grow. But I need to stop comparing myself to my past relationships where I felt like I was in the clouds, I need to stop comparing myself to his feelings for me. I wish I could let it go! But I can’t. I obsess until I go crazy.
I want to see the world, and preferably with this human. I don’t know what to do.November 5, 2018 at 7:15 am #235487
You do sound very conflicted. However there are some key points about the type of romantic relationships that we tend to seek (and make mistakes on). I’m no expert, but what I have learned along my journey is that we always think that there should be intense fireworks and sparks all the time when we meet someone and in the following weeks and months. But the reality is, is that this excitement is always going to eventually fade when normal day to day life sets in. This is when a lot of people give up on a person, because they think they’re “just not that into” them anymore as the spark has gone or dimmed. What you are left with, is actually the real life work of having to put in the effort of developing real intimacy and connection. And that is where real true love blossoms.
I think you need to decide what you actually want. Is it the chase and excitement, which in my mind, is not sustainable on a deeper emotional level? Or is it to stay and maintain and more importantly GROW your bond and connection with this man who you say you don’t want to lose (for the right reasons this time).
It may be your old fear patterns triggering you and making you want to return to being on your own with no responsibility. You said that you need to stop comparing how you feel with this man to how you felt with others. Look at your previous relationships, you felt that spark…..but you’re no longer with any of those people now. So your comparison isn’t really logical. Every person you meet should be treated as a new opportunity and new doorway, not a comparison with your old partners whereby it didn’t work.
From your description of this man, he is willing to give you his time, energy, love and effort and most of all commitment. If you need time to think about it, then be honest with him and tell him that you will get back on him on this. Consider what it is that you want. Do you really want a serious relationship? Do your values align with his? How do you both deal with conflict and disagreements? Take a look at the whole picture and maybe even do bullet points for and against progressing with this relationship. Seeing it down on paper can really make things clear. From what you said, the reasons for being with this man do sound like the right reasons, but it is your past and fears that may be triggering your indecision.November 5, 2018 at 8:33 am #235519
Hey! Thank you for reading and your insight. It might be my past yes.
Ive only had fireworks with guys that where short ‘things’ like a few weeks or dates, or it was one sided (coming from me)
And I have had longer serious relationships that lasted years I was really extremely unhappy with (not in love, no fireworks) They did not match with me but anything was better than being alone and depressed. I had aversion towards them, didn’t agree with their views or lifestyles.
This feels like neither of that, I feel like I care deeply about him, but there is no spark (or very little) So I’m scared that I am going to let myself and him down again by staying like the other long relationships I’ve had where I had the same issue. But he is the most caring person I’ve met and we are so alike. Even though we only met in June, I want the best for him.
I am alone right now we live in different countries, so the fear of being alone this cannot be it. I want to talk about this with him desperately, but I don’t think he knows how I feel at all and I don’t want to hurt him. I guess I just have no idea how to hold this conversation with him, because I don’t know the solution. 🙁
November 5, 2018 at 8:42 am #235525
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Alisa.
You wrote: “I need to stop comparing myself to my past relationships where I felt like I was in the clouds”.
About those earlier relationships you wrote: “I knew I didn’t feel anything for them or that there was a future. But I was just happy that someone wanted me”-
I don’t understand: if you “didn’t feel anything for them” when did you feel in the clouds?
I ask because I want to understand better and communicate with you further.
* I posted this before reading your second post, will be back.
November 5, 2018 at 9:05 am #235529
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
Thank you for reading. Sorry, now that I read it it does sound confusing.
I’ve been together for a long time with people because I was lonely, but I had no spark with them and it haunted me. I also had nothing in common with these men and I knew from the beginning it would have no future (nor did I feel like I wanted that with them) It was wrong of me and selfish, hurting both parties. It was because I felt like I was doomed to be alone, and if someone liked me I reached out my hand to them.
I’ve had butterflies and incredible attraction before, so I know what it feels like. However this was only one sided (from me) and it never went further than longing or a few dates.
I guess I just want both, I’ve been seeking it for years. But its not like I don’t like the way he looks. I like his face and hair and the way he smells and to cuddle. But I notice that the way he looks at me is fueled by so much more attraction and fireworks. Therefore I feel like it’s unfair to him I don’t have the same attraction and I am haunted again by guilt. I feel almost envious of him!
With this man however I do have a connection, I feel like I could have an amazing future with him. I want to be content with what I have and feel, but It seems like I can’t for some reason. I don’t want to hurt him, because I feel like he deserves the world.
November 5, 2018 at 9:12 am #235537
- This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Alisa.
You wrote: “I’ve only had fireworks with guys that were short ‘things’ like a few weeks or dates, or it was one sided (coming from me)”. Regarding long term relationships, you were “really extremely unhappy with (not in love, no fireworks)”-
I think that you have a very bad experience with long term relationships, starting not with your own first long term relationship, but with your parents’. You experienced their relationship as a witness, you were there and their relationship brought you anxiety and bad feelings.
This is why you may be feeling badly in your current good relationship with a loving man. Not because there is anything wrong with it but because you have such bad memories from your parents’ marriage and your own long term relationships.
If you can separate the two- your memories and the reality of this current relationship, you will be okay. Does that make sense to you?
anitaNovember 5, 2018 at 9:32 am #235545
thank you for your insight and time to write to me. If i am honest, I find it very difficult to relate to even though there is a chance you might be very right. I just never talked about the split up, or lack of feelings for my other relationships.
I was very lonely and I had two 3 year relationships with guys I felt no attraction for, no fireworks, no chemistry.
I fear I am doing the same with this guy for some reason. Maybe I feel like I should have stopped at the first few dates, because I told myself I would never go with a guy again that I did not feel butterflies or the ‘in love’ feeling for.
But it was so much fun to be with him (genuine) and I grew onto him. The uneasy feeling of not having enough sparks follows me around. He clearly has it for me. I wish I could see it separate from his feelings, or my past feelings for other men. Separate it and treat it as something new like you both mentioned.
I don’t see him as just a friend, it is something more. But we are on totally different levels, is this okay? Should I talk to him about this? Should I give it a deadline and see how I feel further down the line to avoid hurting ourselves? These questions pop up in my mind.
Thank you so muchNovember 5, 2018 at 9:55 am #235551
I don’t think those sparks or butterfly feelings are so important. They are definitely temporary in every relationship that starts with those feelings. After all, even his sparks for you will be gone soon enough!
What matters is that you value him and that he values you, that the two of you treat each other empathetically and respectfully. It is important to not be repulsed in any way by your partner, at least not regularly (every once in a while it happens, bad breath and such), but butterflies?
Butterflies die quickly, it is in their nature to not last long.
anitaNovember 5, 2018 at 1:25 pm #235589
You say you are on two totally different levels, but then in an earlier post today you wrote that you have a connection and could have an amazing future with him. See how confusing this sounds?
I think you need to delve into your parents relationship dynamics first, ask yourself what you may have picked up along the way of what a relationship “should” look/feel and present like. Then delve into your previous relationships (all of them, long and short) and see if you can notice any patterns of behaviour / habits. You said you felt no attraction towards the men in your 3 year relationships, so this one is different to them in any case, because you are attracted to him as a person. You also mentioned that you do have love for him. Do you feel that any of your previous relationships were loving and healthy? If not, this is the first one that you may have. So of course, this calm and almost ‘too good to be true’ but not quite ‘exciting or dramatic enough’ feeling is going to make you feel off balance.
Like anita also said, the butterflies and sparks do not last in any relationship. These feelings are the initial brain chemistry and endorphins that are released when we feel excitement at something/someone new. It’s more infatuation. However this is always temporary and shouldn’t be used as the main marker when we are looking for a long term commitment. It’s impossible for this to last because true intimacy and love needs something deeper than this. This is what I mentioned about the stage at which a lot of people fail at the hurdle, because they give up on a potentially great partnership. It’s about feeling cared for and feeling safe. It’s the attraction phase that shifts and moves into a level of mutual respect, care, trust and love.
I don’t think you should talk to him about this until you have looked and examined within yourself. Get clear in yourself as to what relationship habits/patterns you have been acting out until now and why. And also what you have been taught or what you perceive a healthy relationship is “supposed” to look like and feel like. You may be surprised at what answers come up. When I finally looked within myself after years of emotionally unavailable men and constant disappointments, I saw that my whole idea of relationships were completely skewed! Ask yourself what you think of yourself too. Who are you when you are single and in a relationship. Who do you want to be and what are your values, needs and desires. (this doesn’t include feeling butterflies by the way – that’s superficial stuff. I mean what you TRULY desire deep within).November 12, 2018 at 5:31 am #236485
How are you?
anitaDecember 2, 2018 at 7:22 am #267389December 2, 2018 at 7:22 am #267391
Hey Anita and rebirthandrestart,
Sorry It took me a while to write my reply! Thank you for commenting again. I do think my expectations of a relationship and what I should feel can be wrong. I just always saw this relationship thing as something that I could never obtain because I was not good enough or beautiful enough, and I rarely felt in love with anyone anyway. If I did feel infatuated with someone I was too insecure to reach out. But I was always focused on that feeling, like its the only thing.
I also thought about my old relationships. They where long and we argued a lot. The guys had no future plans, hobbies or aspirations. I felt stuck with them, but I didn’t want to be alone. I felt more like a parent to them trying to fix them (getting a job, school, housing) than anything. I sometimes, back then, I felt like maybe if I was in love with them also, it would work. Which is totally ridiculous, because It would have just blinded me from these red flags and bad personalities. They honestly felt like a project, I put effort and time in them and eventually I felt cheated because it would always end in an explosion of me getting tired and/or him falling out of love. I was also always their first love.
I understand butterflies are not so important, maybe its just something I always expected that needed to be there 100%. Maybe I built this expectation in my mind over the years. I am thinking about seeing a therapist just to figure out what I might have picked up from my past that is still bothering me and keeping me from being happy with him.
I just got home from seeing him for a week, we had a lot of fun and I tried not to overthink too much when I was with him. But in the back of my mind I just cant kick the feeling. People tell me to trust my gut.
The little voice in my head says i’m not in love and I am leading him on. I should feel more excited than I do. When he expresses his giddyness and butterflies to me it feels even worse. I have such a good thing right? I cat understand why I’m not more happy and sure like him. Why dont I feel more nervous and EXCITEMENT to see him? He told me he missed me so much it made him a bit depressed, that made me feel a lot of guilt.
On the other hand I have never had a relationship like this before. We treat each other with respect, want the same things from life and the future. There is little to no arguing or irritations. And I like being intimate with him. Our values, needs and desires seem to be aligned. It feels calm and normal to be with him.
I also feel like i can talk to him about anything. I could not help but to speak my mind about all of this with him a little bit, he didn’t mind, was very respectful and told me that he cared more about my actions than the way I feel about him on romantic levels. And that I should not overthink everything so much. (I wish I could haha)
I’m afraid if I follow my gut I am going to throw a good relationship away. In two weeks hes coming to my country to meet my friends and family and i’m excited for that. I want to build a better connection with him, but the distance makes it difficult too.
I think maybe I would be more at ease if we lived closer to each other, not so much time to ponder and examine how I feel. Its really an obsession. There is also now a chance, that I might not be moving to him in my next job. I might be moving somewhere else in Europe for 8 months. This will make it nearly impossible for us to see each other because of our work and the fact that he is studying. He told me he wants to make it work and well find a way, I am just not as sure as he is because I feel like he is a bit infatuated with me and it just makes the feeling of wanting to be close stronger?
I am not trying to overthink it and I am focusing on his visit to me in two weeks, which Im really looking forward to!December 2, 2018 at 8:34 am #267405
After reading and re-reading some of your earlier posts I think that the reason you don’t feel the butterflies is because you are afraid. You experienced aggression as a child, your father’s, so you are probably afraid of relationships, fear keeping the butterflies away.