Attachment/How to let go


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This topic contains 23 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Lucy 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #735699 Reply

    Lucy

    I follow this forum quite closely and get a ton of advice on dating and learn from other people’s situations. But I have one major problem that is starting to become significant to me and I need help. I know you are mostly a bunch of experienced ladies but some of you seem to understand psychology and I do hope I can get some insight at least.

    So whenever I met a guy who is my type which is rare I get super attached. Even after I know it’s done I can’t let it go. I anything crazy or chase them if I know they are not interested but I literally just cannot stop thinking about a man I felt any attraction to until I meet another one, which could easily be another 6 months to a year.

    And guess what? All of these guys are ‘unavailable’ in some way or another. Typical I know. In the past I have been so focused on how to get him interested again but I fully realise now that this is not the problem and I need to find a way to detach from men who are clearly not interested and present a number of red flags. I can’t even block or delete a man I know I never want to hear from again because maybe just Incase he will be in contact again and all will be ok.

    I know some of you find this easy and will probably tell me to just let go or etc but if it was that easy to me I wouldn’t be so frustrated with myself.

    I know this is quite pathetic so I don’t need any critism but if anyone has been through the same patterns and can offer any advice on letting go I would be so grateful.

    #735700 Reply

    Lucy

    ^^I don’t do anything crazy^^

    #735710 Reply

    Louise

    Hi Lucy,

    It sounds a bit like you might be emotionally unavailable yourself, or have some unresolved childhood attachment issues. My mum has a personality disorder and was very cold to me as a child and I’m totally attracted to guys who don’t give a damn about me, hahaha.

    Over the years I’ve had a few longstanding crushes on guys, which is probably what’s happening to you here – and a lot of the time it’s the fantasy, not the specific man, that you’re clinging onto.

    I’d suggest that if it doesn’t make you anxious, doesn’t make you behave in a weird way with the guys themselves, it’s not the end of the world – but recognise it for what it is (pining for a relationship and love, not THAT GUY), and perhaps go get a bit of therapy to see why you’re only attracted to unavailable guys in the first place.

    #735719 Reply

    lala

    Lucy I have been where you are and it is really hard to move on from someone you love. I found what helped me was taking my focus off of that person and turning it Inward. Every time I started to think of that person I would try to redirect my thoughts to me… what can I do for myself to help me feel better. Sometimes it was just reading a book or listening to a podcast to keep my mind busy. I would spend time with friends, text my friends and cousin about silly stuff, immerse myself in work, workout while listening to a podcast. Mark plans for a trip so you have something to look forward to. Basically keep my mind super busy so as to not obsess over him.

    It’s hard and you have some days when it doesn’t work so you have to allow some tim to remember and grieve but don’t allow yourself to get stuck. Don’t give him the emotional real estate in your mind because he didn’t earn it and doesn’t own it. Consume yourself with thoughts of you and how you can make yourself happy.

    #735727 Reply

    Lane

    They call it “Limerence” and unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a cure other than like you said finding someone else to take their space. May want to look into seeing a counselor who specializes in this type of affliction or one with addictions if there isn’t one near you because it does sound like its become an ‘addiction’ based on the fact you’ve gone through it many times. They may at least offer you tips and tools to help when you start feeling it so it doesn’t escalate to the point you’ve experienced? All I got.

    #735728 Reply

    Anon

    I’m going through the exact same thing. I wasn’t always like this though. When I was younger and dating a ton and also receiving copious amounts of attention from guys, I didn’t place so much value on any one of them. However, having just come out of a 10 year marriage, my attachment to almost every guy I come into contact with is almost embarrassing. I don’t necessarily act on any of these feelings but man the lingering thoughts are there. I’m feeling pretty frustrated myself but hope it will get back to normal at some point again.

    #735729 Reply

    alia

    It is indeed as Lane said an addiction or an attachment disorder. Addiction treatment is the most optimal here, try Codependents Annonymous if there is a meeting in your area. See a counselor that specializes in addiction. I’ve been in this type of counseling and I wish I never stopped, it’s a lifetime maintenance project If you know what I mean.

    #735730 Reply

    Anon

    I just did a bit of research about limerence. This is definitely what we have. The book Love and Limerence by Tennov was recommended. I’m going to give it a try.

    #735745 Reply

    Donna

    I am so glad you wrote this. I am the exact same way. I sought counseling and thought I was depressed but I keep chasing men. I want the ones who don’t seem to want me back. Always have. They are always nice but don’t pursue me. I just think they don’t want to hurt my feelings. I call, I text. I get a little attention and tell myself I was just having anxiety and we are still okay. I am losing my current one of three and half years and so heart broke I never want to date again. I just bought the books on Amazon about Limerence. I never heard of it before but that might be the answer. I keep saying why does everyone else have love except me. What’s wrong with me? I am introverted and don’t want to go out and meet people so that doesn’t help either. I am scared that they are all cheating. I can’t concentrate at work and drive everyone away from me because I ooze sadness.

    #735759 Reply

    Lucy

    Thank you so much for sharing these thoughts and your own experiences. Anon your words resonated the most with me, I feel exactly the same.

    I have had counselling on and off over the years, I have never really found anyone suitable to me. I recently started taking a low dose of antidepressants for both depression and anxiety, they seem to be working but I think I may need a higher dose because I still feel very anxious.

    When I meet a guy I really like I get on a high and then when things don’t work out it’s a huge trigger for me and I go back to my dark place blaming myself and wondering what it was that I did wrong, why didn’t he want me?

    I am sincerely trying to work on myself and building my self esteem and taken so many breaks from dating over the past 5 years since my last relationship but every time I try again it’s the same old story. Attracting and picking the wrong guys then getting attached. I’m 34 now and I really would like to find a life partner and have children etc but I feel so hopeless after so many ‘bad experiences’ which essentially I know I am the root cause of.

    I started reading/working on a programme ‘Taming Your Outer Child’ which I hope is going to help even a little with the child abandonment issues and I’m going to look into some books on Limerance, thank you for the recommendations.

    I hope I don’t sound like a cry baby, I just wish I could be the cool and confident woman who can attract the right and available man!

    #735760 Reply

    Lucy

    Donna I seemed to have missed your post. I can also relate to everything you wrote. I try to be upbeat, open and approachable with people in general not just men but I think that underlying sadness doesn’t fool anyone and although I am a genuinely a nice person people are just not drawn to me.

    #735810 Reply

    Better off single

    The only way I found to cope with Limerence is breaking up with them.

    You fantasize about being with them, the fantastic future you’ll have, happily ever after and all that. That’s what keeps the attachment.

    What if you played it out as a toxic relationship? Who wants to stay in a toxic relationship? What if you focused on all the things that bothered you about them? (like never actually pursuing you) The rose colored glasses come off and you want to walk away from it.

    #735811 Reply

    Better off single

    I am a genuinely a nice person people are just not drawn to me.

    It’s not necessarily a bad thing Lucy. The right ones will stick around.

    #735821 Reply

    Lucy

    Thank you better off single.

    I have started to do exactly that, for the latest one that I can’t detach from I have listed all of the red flags (there are many) and reasons why I would not want to be with him. I am trying to focus on that rather than the expectations I had in the beginning. But there is still that niggling what if in the back of mind even though I know we are not a great match and he’s no good! I can’t even bring myself to block his number because I know that’s it then all ties would be cut.

    #735822 Reply

    Emma

    There are very few people to whom everyone is “drawn” to. Most people who have a lot of people around them have it because of their job (managers, doctors, salespeople, etc), who have a large extended family, 3 kids (other moms and their families interact), those in a large city who were born and stayed there, they have a lot of buddies from their day care. Event managers and wedding planners, photographers, personal trainer, etc LOL

    There are some very active and outgoing people who make efforts to keep other people around. They are also naturally extraverted and focus on other people more, remember events from their lives, etc. They are very kind and simple in a good way. They are very rare. The genuine ones are.

    So what I am trying to say is this: if you do not have a flock of fans following you around in real life, nothing is wrong with you. You are one of 95% (or more) of the population LOL Especially if you are un-married and don’t come from a large family, or if your family lives far away.

    Hope this gives you some comfort to reflect upon LOL

    In terms of getting fixated on men, and taking medication for it. I do not think it is a good idea. Especially if you are planning on getting pregnant. Read on up side effects and on the addictive nature of those pills.

    The problem with therapy is similar to weight loss programs. Therapy helps you go through things but it cannot do it for you. Likewise, weight loss programs help you, but it will have to be YOU not to over-indulge and exercise.

    Likewise, any kind of imbalance, therapy and such could help, but YOU need to do the work.

    I believe that such things stem from deeper existential issues. You need to have meaning in your life. Something you believe in, something to which you can contribute and feel like your life has a purpose. For most people it is raising kids. But what I you don’t have kids? Then your life feels empty and you feel worthless on a deeper level, so you cling on to men as they provide both the source of excitement and potential to resolve your existential crisis of being worthless.

    If you do not do meaningful things, you’d continue to “fill in the gaps of emptiness” with men, alcohol, antidepressants, food, shopping, netflix etc.

    #735827 Reply

    redcurleysue

    The biggest problem is your focus and beliefs. Take the life focus off men. Believe you are great all the time. We are and attract what we believe….change beliefs and you change. Dare to speak good into your life.

    #735830 Reply

    Lucy

    Emma I was born and raised in London, UK I still live in the city, have a big family, lots of friends (mainly old friends I rarely make new friends) and a good career that requires quite a bit of travel meaning I am meeting new people constantly. So what you say is quite opposite to my life. But I am just a relatively shy and reserved person, an introvert I guess. And the anxiety doesn’t help.

    I am not taking pills because I am fixated on men. I have quite a troubled past, probably more than I care to admit. I had a tough upbringing and I’ve been in very bad as well as violent relationships with men. The thing is that I have tried not to dwell on it too much and tried to be strong, creating my own paths in life. I went and got an education without any support, found my own way and I am now super independent and actually have a life now that as a child I could only imagine. I have perhaps tried to bury my head in the sand at times rather than dealing with core issues and that’s why I am at where I am now. The ‘fixation’ on men is just a small part of what’s going on it’s not what I need the meds for but having bad experiences with men or being rejected is tough for me to deal with.

    I notice I am pretty much answering my own question here and that I have to deal with other stuff before I worry about dating but I have to admit that given my age and not being in a relationship of any sort for the past 5 years is making me panic.

    #735832 Reply

    Lucy

    I love that advice redcurlysue I am a big believer in the law of attraction and that what you put out into the universe you get back but that’s just what I am struggling with at the moment. That’s why I am also attracting emotionally unavailable and messed up men. They are literally a mirror image of myself!

    #735985 Reply

    Wanda

    I have the same problem. My mother was schizophrenic in and out of hospitals. I had basically no relationship with her at all. My father was very cold and gave her no affection/caring. This didn’t help her situation. Over the years I was put on foster homes while my so called father was out chasing women around. When I finally went to live with him he was pathetic. All he did was throw hissy fits over dishes left in the sink or other petty complaints. A complete waste of time as a father.

    This affected my future relationships drastically, especially with men. I choose the aloof and unavailability ones. Married men flock to me and I take the bait because they shower me with compliments & attention in the beginning. At the same time they dont get too close or impose on much of my private time. I dont have to make much effort either like I would to attract a single man. The married men stick around and are easier to get.

    I went to CODA groups over the years but it didn’t help. I still have problems with boundaries. Counseling hasn’t done much either. I go back to the same patterns.

    Better luck to you. I have resigned myself to breadcrumbs as nothing will change.

    #736379 Reply

    Lucy

    Wanda I am sorry to hear your story :-( But I don’t think you should give up. I hear your words so clearly. My paternal father was phisically abusive towards my mother as well as absent from most of my life and my mother then favoured her new boyfriend over us kids. It’s not hard to see the issues here. But I am committed now to opening up about these experiences and changing my mindset which I hope will in turn change the way I date. I’m not expecting a miricle but I can only try, and I refuse to accept breadcrumbs no matter how attached I am to a man.

    About limerance; I looked into it and I don’t believe that this is actually what I am experiencing. For a number of reasons but mainly in that I don’t act out crazy and I don’t believe I am in love with said men. Limerance kinda sounds like ‘imprinting’ from the Twighlight movies!

    #736381 Reply

    Another anon

    What you’re going through is completely normal. When women get to a certain age, their choices narrow drastically. But for men it’s the exact opposite. For men in their twenties, they are getting rejected left right and centre for the stupidest of reasons and women have all the choice. Once a woman gets to 32+, she finds that there are hardly any men left that are right for her. Men around this age start rejecting women for the most spurious of reasons – whilst women are desperate for a man who’s thin, has a job, isn’t hideously deformed, incredibly stupid, violent or self centred. Men are rejecting women because they have a few extra pounds, don’t have the right job, live more than five kilometres away, etc, etc. It’s maddening. Of course you’re going to get attached to a man who is kind to you that ticks your boxes. Some of them are kind, some of them aren’t so kind. In any case, you’ll either get desperate and settle for someone that isn’t 100% right for you just to start a family or just learn to accept that this is reality now.

    #736385 Reply

    Dani

    Lucy,

    I can understand what you are going through. I think these thoughts plague everyone to some degree, whether they are a constant or intermittent.
    It can be a challenge to believe in yourself when there is a loop of past experiences playing in your mind… especially when things happen and the reaction is to play those recodings double time.

    You had mentioned believing in getting back what you put out. It isn’t the easiest thing to do but at least think about it’s your belief in yourself that makes you atrractive… not just attractive meaning looks, attractive as in others being drawn to you.

    Getting that belief in yourself is the hard part. Just think though that all your qualities exist just the same, whether with someone or not. Although it is nice and feels like proof to have someone validate you, your qualities don’t depend on being with someone or holding onto the idea of someone in order for them to have a place to exist.

    Have you ever looked into Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR)? It is generally used to treat PTSD but is also used to treat various past traumas along with addictions, mood, and anxiety disorders.
    How EMDR works exactly is still theory but it is thought that using movements guided by a therapist such as darting your eyes side to side or tapping your hands or feet while envisioning traumatic events of your past will cause bilateral stimulation in your brain. This is thought to sort of trick your brain into releasing that memory for processing and associating it with more adaptive information.

    It is reported to have a good success rate and can typically be completed in 8-10 sessions as compared to other types of therapy that may take years.

    Just thought you may want to look into this as an option if it interests you.

    On a personal note – a friend did this treatment after a particularly distressing breakup she just couldn’t get over on her own and said it helped tremendously.

    #736572 Reply

    Lucy

    Another Anon, you’re so right and I think this is getting worse with the the ‘tinder generation’ I actually read an article about this is in the newspaper this week that dating apps are creating anxiety and depression in women in their 30’s!

    I am finding that men my age want to date women around the age of 24-28 and with dating apps they have a lot more options to choose from. And gengerally the decent men of my age are not actually using them anyway. I hate dating apps myself but I have used them from time to time only to find my self esteem taking a beating. I won’t be using them anymore. But hopefully there is someone out there who is right for me!!

    #736573 Reply

    Lucy

    Hi Dani that sounds really interesting, I will look into that and see if it’s available in my area.

    “Although it is nice and feels like proof to have someone validate you, your qualities don’t depend on being with someone or holding onto the idea of someone in order for them to have a place to exist.” -I need to remember this x

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