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I'm Still Attracted to 16-18 Year Olds [23 M] How Do I Get Out of This??

HomeForumsRelationshipsI'm Still Attracted to 16-18 Year Olds [23 M] How Do I Get Out of This??

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  • #100939
    Trevor
    Participant

    Essentially the last time I dated was at the end of High School. It was intensely involved and lasted 2.5 years (most of the duration of High School). At that age I was really into girls and fell in love with the girl, but she did not want to commit and left because she didn’t take it seriously.

    I see complete love as a triangle – you need all three points for a romantic partnership to feel right and intense – passion/sexual energy/physical affection, emotional closeness/intimacy/companionship, and finally commitment.

    I felt really depressed for a long while and then figured I would start being attracted to girls/women again just like before… Except the problem is that I found that my interactions with women in college were a little different. They weren’t acting cute and giggly anymore, excited about relationships, fun, silly, easy to talk to, innocent/sweet, full of energy. They were now jaded, difficult to talk to, would ghost me in text conversations, too busy with schoolwork or absorbed in work, not putting any effort in to conversations or appearance, only interested in hookups or not interested sexually at all, critics, thinking they are “too mature” to have fun and so forth.
    So I really tried forcing myself to be attracted to women my age, but I found it really difficult for me to attach myself. Like I couldn’t fantasize about them or feel excited at all about them. I just sort of felt blah. I thought my sex drive was just completely dead until recently I realized that… I still like 16-18 year olds!!

    I think my liking has lagged a lot and I’m getting older each year! If I don’t fix this soon I will definitely never have a romantic relationship. I want to start liking women/girls my age but it hasn’t been successful. I know that there is that addage of love comes from within and all that, but I really know that having a family and all that is really important to me.

    I notice I feel kind of turned off to women who have “played games” and only when they are older decided to start settling down or taking things seriously. It’s almost as if I see my ex girlfriend (who I have had plenty of time to no longer be interested in) in these kinds of women, and when they dismiss it like it’s no big deal I feel kind of like they are dismissing me in a way if that makes sense. It’s really complicated but I feel like if girls like that weren’t taking things seriously when they were younger they are the exact kind of girl that destroyed me emotionally.
    So how can I get out of this?

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Trevor.
    #100940
    Trevor
    Participant

    In addition to this I am scared because I feel like people will think I’m perverted or hate me – including any future person I do end up in a relationship – for mentioning this. I’ve tried talking about this with my parents but they think I’m being selfish or creepy or just tell me that I shouldn’t want a relationship and should just be happy being by myself.

    I understand that happiness comes from within, but a part of me feels really dismissed and hurt and like my dreams that have been important to me are misunderstood and I don’t know how to handle it – just let go of them or hold on to faith? And how to proceed?

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Trevor.
    #100946
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Trevor:

    I don’t think you are selfish or creepy for being attracted to teenage girls while you are 23. I don’t think anyone is creepy for anything at all that they feel. It is certain behaviors, not feelings, but behaviors that are creepy.

    It is understandable you are attracted to teenage girls because your very last relationship was with a teenage girl while you yourself was a teenager. This relationship you had for 2.5 years was very intense for you, as you pointed out. You were very attached to your then girlfriend and depressed when the relationship was over. You were also very hurt that the Commitment aspect of the triangular way you view relationships wasn’t there on her part.

    You are still hurting about her lack of commitment to you. so when you see (older) girls who are now serious but weren’t serious when they were younger, that triggers that hurt in you.

    Your ex girlfriend, your very last girlfriend, was extremely meaningful in your life and left an intense imprint in your brain. And you didn’t have a relationship after high school. This is why you are on one hand still attracted to teenage girls and on the other hand, you are still hurting.

    It all makes sense; nothing creepy, weird, or anything like that.

    Did you attend psychotherapy to process this very meaningful relationship you had? Processing your feelings of that relationship ending can be very helpful to you.

    anita

    #100957
    Trevor
    Participant

    Yes I tried therapy but it didn’t really work nor did doctors – it just feels sort of weird paying someone to talk to you, and I would get advice like avoid thinking about it or it’s okay to have casual sex. It was hard for me because I always saw sex as a beautiful thing intertwined with love – people are not just disposable

    #100959
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Trevor:

    Unfortunately most therapists are not competent. I didn’t come across a competent, caring, hard working therapist until I was 50 years old!

    Reading your last post about how you see sex as a beautiful things intertwined with love makes me think how indeed attached you were to your high school girlfriend. Did you pay attention to what I wrote to you, about how your attraction to teenage girls, like any other feeling you have at any time, is not a weird thing, is not disapprovable?

    We can’t help how we feel, it is automatic. We are responsible for your behavior, not for our feelings.

    anita

    #100962
    Trevor
    Participant

    I guess so. I don’t like talking to therapists much. Sometimes I feel like they aren’t real people or are reading something from a medical textbook script to make money. Some of the worst advice I got from them

    #100964
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Trevor:

    Will it help you to share about that relationship you had with your high school girlfriend? Obviously it was very intense and most meaningful in your life. Maybe if you share, and I read and show you that I understand (if I do, you will tell me…), maybe that will help you process some of these feelings?

    Will be back to the computer in a few hours.

    anita

    #100965
    Trevor
    Participant

    I think that it useful in a way (I guess if you mean it and really do understand!). Of course it would be good to add in personal experience or suggestions too (though maybe that isn’t the buddhist philosophy). Maybe that’s what the therapist was trying to do… I don’t know it’s so confusing sometimes…

    I really cared about her and walked her home in the rain and ran to the park with her after school. It was….magical. I really don’t know how else to describe it. Every little thing triggered an intense positive feeling. Just smelling her house and walking down her street were almost spiritual.

    Maybe if I give girls my age a chance they won’t end up being the apathetic super “mature” people I’m thinking they are? And then maybe I can transition past this stage

    #100966
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Trevor:

    I will do my best to understand, and the way to make sure I understand is to ask you: did I understand correctly? Then you tell me what I understood correctly and what I did not. This is what communication is about.

    You wrote just that one three line paragraph about your relationship with her and I am preparing for my daily walk. Can you write more? Will be back in more than two hours.

    anita

    #100968
    Trevor
    Participant

    That is very thoughtful for you to be doing this!

    Yeah I met her in High School and she approached me and really flattered me. I was kind of shy and she was a really pretty girl – and really unique. She had a lot of emotional issues though… I think maybe that’s what fueled the emotional intensity of the relationship. She was also very sexual but I did not want to get too involved in that way until after marriage. I tried to love in a sacrificial way because I thought that love was supposed to be unconditional, which I believe helped it last as long as it did, but ultimately she left me because she felt I was “boring” or maybe she wanted more sex/experience or because I was going to college. She had a lot of energy and I really liked that!

    I really did care so much and we texted almost all the time. I wish I could go back and prevent myself from dating her because then I wouldn’t have gotten so depressed… And I would probably be dating someone my own age right now!

    #100988
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Trevor:

    I need to get away from the computer. I will write to you in ten hours or so, Wed morning, my time. Be well-
    anita

    #101016
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Trevor:

    This is my understanding and please read it calmly, maybe more than once, maybe take a break after first reading and come back to it later. I am suggesting this because I want your feedback, your evaluation of what I write, so to let me know if I am understanding you correctly, partly correctly and where I am wrong (I will be developing my understanding as I type):

    I think the jaded, mature like, apathetic college girls remind you of your mother perhaps, your main female caretaker, that is. This is why you are not sexually attracted to them.

    If you grew up with your mother and father being married, I think that there was something very wrong with that marriage and that affected you deeply, to see the lack of love, commitment. Maybe your father was rejected often by your mother, put down, treated as a disposable person.

    Or maybe this is how your mother treated you?

    These are guesses. Someone in your childhood was treated like a disposable person (your words), someone was jaded and apathetic. Somehow you grew up not loved.

    Looking forward to your thoughtful evaluation and feedback.

    anita

    #101026
    AikiBen
    Participant

    Hi Trevor,

    Although certain therapies do look at parent-child relationships as a way to explain current feelings etc, I´m not sure it is useful at all to spend too much time thinking about it. Even if you do come up with a rational explanation for your feelings, it won´t actually change anything. All the real answers are in yourself, that´s what I´ve found, and it can take years to find those answers, but if you don´t start looking then you won´t find them. I can tell you it´s more than worth it to look, you just have to be patient and persistent.

    I think many men can probably relate to you to some degree. Younger Women tend to be more fun and carefree which is very attractive. But, don´t be saddened, there are more mature women who still carry that youthful zest, they are just rarer. The thing is these younger women would likely not really satisfy you once you really got to know them because of the maturity gap, i.e. lacking substance maybe.

    The other thing I´ve noticed in myself and others is that our first proper romantic experience can leave in it´s wake a whole load of attachment. You may find that you are drawn to a woman who looks similar (body/face/race/age). At some level you have it in your system that this sort of woman would satisfy you. It´s nothing to be guilty at all about. It´s perfectly natural to develop strong attachment in this area. I´m afraid that most people (e.g. parents) don´t understand themselves well enough and the nature of the mind to empathise or give good advice.

    The only way from my experience to free yourself from this sort of thing is to go after what you want. Go and date a woman a few years younger than you, there´s nothing wrong with that. Once you get it you´ll realise it´s no big deal. In fact, your desire for a relationship will not even be satisfied by having a relationship. That´s the way of all external desires. You desire it, then get it, then realise you´re still not really satisfied. Then you desire the next thing. But until you come to really know that, you have to keep chasing the desires, it´s not enough to just believe this though. The way to free yourself from any desire is to see that it will not actually satisfy you, but you have to see it very clearly indeed/have experienced it, you can´t pretend. Desire is an incredible illusion that promises satisfaction, but it´s a false promise.

    All the best,

    Ben.

    #101077
    Nicole Harrison
    Participant

    I don’t see this as being about teenage girls or women your own age. It seems that your lacking a balance between living in the present and the past. The past often looks better or worse to us than it did originally. I think being in your twenties and somehow idealizing your teens and that of others can be pretty common.

    The thing is your ex girlfriend was just one girl. She does not represent all teenaged girls or twenty something women. I think this issue has a lot to do with getting over a first love/heartbreak. I’m not sure everyone gets over that person but attaching yourself to teenaged girls in your twenties. Don’t be that guy. It will just lead to you having even more stuff to worry about down the road.

    You can’t redo your youth by seeking out someone living theirs. Find a hobby, coworker or classmate who’s an adult female and learn to just relate women as people who you could see as friend. You have to see if your mind can be programmed to see twenty something women in a different light.

    Good Luck

    #101134
    Trevor
    Participant

    Thank you all for your thoughtful responses! I don’t think the girls I interact with remind me of my mother, well, I guess in some ways. Like I see mom seems to be annoyed at dad a lot and sort of criticizes him a lot, and I see a lot of married people are kind of just sort of like friends and not romantic partners in some ways. I think I had a great relationship with my parents, but this experience with my ex girlfriend and my interactions with girls have sort of led me to feel like they will see me as disposable.

    I know it’s not true. I know I have to give them a chance. I know they are just stressed out and probably don’t have the same energy because of expectations… They would probably want to be more fun or creative if they had the chance!

    I understand that Buddhists have a concept of freeing yourself from desire and reaching a sort of “emptiness” but I never understood that, maybe you could shed some light on it? To me, it seems like to feel good or pleasure you must exist, and if you exist, you have a purpose, and that with a purpose you must desire to do something. To me emptiness and pleasure/feeling good and clear and at peace are not the same (in one I am empty, in the other I am full). In Buddhism is this “emptiness” then actually what I am thinking by “full?”

    Or maybe it means you can feel happy/good/pleasure/peace/clarity by just existing itself? Emptying yourself of anxiety and expectations?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 17 total)

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