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#412588 - 10/09/12 03:27 PM Dating is complicated :(
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1598
Loc: California
Here are my thoughts when it comes to dating:

Blerg. Mmmrfleflunk. Gleeberflabafup pffishk kokaboobooblblb.

The guy I've been dating this past while has said he wants to slow down, and keep it where we're at now. Casually dating.

This had me all worried that he was pulling away. But on a couple of clarifying conversations, he said he felt like we were trying to "close the deal", or methodically trying to go to the next level of our relationship. He said he felt some timidity in our relationship as well.

I acknowledged some of my timidity. I told him that I realize that my eye contact is poor when it comes to staring into each others eyes. When he looks into my eyes like that, I suddenly feel self conscious, ashamed, and I have to look away. This has happened several times.

I confessed to him after he made his "timid" comment, and told him that I'm not experienced with this, and there is some vulnerability and insecurity there. I have not yet told him it is because I was born with and grew up with crossed eyes. They were a source of constant embarrasment and shame. I have never really liked looking at myself in the mirror because of these crooked/goggly eyes were looking back at me. They felt disconnected from my experience, and to have someone looking into my eyes with that background, makes it so very hard to look back without feeling all the emotional baggage.

So my sponsor says that where we are in our dating relationship is pretty normal. Most people don't have a clue what they're doing from one moment to the next. They make up the rules and guidelines as they go along, and dating is wrought with misunderstanding and fear and terror and insecurity for any and all reasons.

What a mine field.

My sponsor reminded me of this as well - 2 months ago I was saying that I didn't think it was ever going to happen. I would never meet anyone who liked me that I could like back. I'm too different and unique to find anyone who could see me as valuable and wonderful. He said I should be grateful that I've met someone that I consider amazing.

I've also received good council that I should let go of the fear and focus on gratitude for having met such an amazing man. I love who he is, his character. He's an upstanding person and I can see SO MUCH potential for an incredibly rewarding relationship with him.

And here I am struggling with intimacy issues; not being able to stare into his face and his eyes. And I'm at a loss for finding out how to find loverboy nick names to call him. He's already called me several, which I absolutely love. There's more embarrassment there for me as well - calling him a nick name feels weird. I don't understand this one at all. I can understand the eye thing, but feeling weird about a nick name?

How the hell do people find their way through a dating relationship where both parties are both openly honest about their ambivalence about where they are? We've both said to each other that we like each other, and want to get to know each other better, and we've also both said to each other that we have some issues to work through, and we're both unsure how that will play out. How the hell does a relationship get off the ground when these complexities are present and no one knows which way it will turn out?

I realize in saying all this that my level of maturity when it comes to romance is pretty fresh. I'm still a kid. 13? 12? I've never been in love, and have never had an experience like this before. I'm certainly not in love with him, yet, but I can see myself falling madly in love with him if I am able to let go of my fear and anxiety issues. Now, how the hell do I let go of my fear and anxiety issues responsibly, without making the person I'm dating feel obliged?

Argh. Dating is hard.


#412589 - 10/09/12 03:42 PM Re: Dating is complicated :( [Re: Magellan]
Blue1966 Offline

Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
I think the first thing to understand is that because we are survivors, we are not capable of 100% "normal" secure attachment in a relationship. Now relax, that isn't bad, doesn't mean you are not doing well with healing, it simple means your past prevented you from eve gaining the instinct for that kind of attachment.

We can come close as we learn to trust and love our partner but, that takes time and communication. I'm not saying tell him the whole story in vivid detail, no most people don't want or need to hear that. Just a glossed over, facts of the matter. Something like "I know sometimes I seem to have a few issues with intimacy and stuff. That's because I went through some pretty rough things. Give me time, let me know you and, we'll be okay."

You don't let go without making the other guy feel obliged. That's how it works, when you share yourself with someone, they are then partially responsible for the part of you that you gave them. Same fore the bits they give you, that goes both ways.

If you are to accept, trust and love someone on that level, you have to own what is them and much as they must own what is you, good, bad or otherwise. It takes time to get to that point, a long time for some of us.

As for pet names, if they bother you to use, then don't use them. I use very few - Babe, Love, Lover and those rarely. If I'm calling you any of those, I'm all in.

#412605 - 10/09/12 05:07 PM * [Re: Magellan]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline

Registered: 03/26/12
Posts: 2217

Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/29/13 04:28 PM)

#412611 - 10/09/12 06:24 PM Re: Dating is complicated :( [Re: Magellan]
Lancer Offline

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
Actually D I kinda LIKE it when you're in this state:
"Blerg. Mmmrfleflunk. Gleeberflabafup pffishk kokaboobooblblb."

You're certainly entertaining. A good quality.

You've been prodding my own memories of my most successful relationship years ago. My 6-foot-large boyfriend with a brain the size of a planet had a way of calling me Bitch that was nothing like that expressed in today's venacular. It was gentle, warm, loving...if you can believe that. But there 'tis.

Nicknames just kinda come along. He became a My Very Large which he'd chime in he was My HUGE Boyfriend.

Enjoy the ride!

#412618 - 10/09/12 07:21 PM Re: Dating is complicated :( [Re: Magellan]
Magellan Offline

Registered: 01/01/11
Posts: 1598
Loc: California
Thanks you guys.

Just had thoughts moments ago that maybe he was actually dumping me, but he was trying to spare my feelings by saying he was still interested in me even as he is pulling back a bit. Why do I think these things?

I am so filled with doubt and feelings of worthlessness that I have this compulsion to keep thinking the worst, and distrusting what he's chosen to tell me. He says he's interested in continuing dating, but he wants to keep things casual.

I can't believe what the abuse has done to me. The good people in Alanon are encouraging me to act on faith, with love in my heart, and to stay focused on gratitude and being thankful that he's in my life. He doesn't know how wonderful he is, and I want to show him.

I'm working like hell to stay in this place of gratitude, or trying to preoccupy myself with other things. But these compulsive thoughts don't stop.

#412628 - 10/09/12 08:39 PM Re: Dating is complicated :( [Re: Magellan]
Blue1966 Offline

Registered: 10/08/12
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
I don't know that they ever do stop entirely. Now we can and do learn to keep our focus where it should be more often than not but, I don't think we ever loos e that caution and those presumptuous red flags entirely.

The key for me is to talk about those things with my partner or prospective partner, not the abuse because, let;s face it, most that haven't been there only want a glossed over quick "I was abused as a child." But just the red flags that might not need to be there, and my concerns with where the relationship is going.

Now if he is a survivor too, then he might have a hard time discussing those very things, or expressing them clearly, hence what you are seeing from him. We end to take one of two approaches, share too much or share nothing at all and just shift into neutral when we are uneasy, figuring that out and, getting the communication going is a big help.

#412667 - 10/10/12 05:29 AM Re: Dating is complicated :( [Re: Magellan]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4284
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
D -

a few of your observations really struck chords with me.

the gazing into one another's eyes thing is hard for me, too. i think it has to do with shame. i have never been able to look steadily at another person while talking to them. i have to glance away or look down or change my focus in some way. it is just too anxiety-making to look continuously at them. i can do it when they are the ones talking - but not if i am or if no one is talking. so it may not be just the crossed eyes history you are dealing with.

the nick-name hesitancy is so surprising to me - i didn't know that anyone else had that problem. i simply can't do it. in fact i seldom call anyone else by a nickname unless that is the only name i have ever known for them. i never make up one - even for the closest people. and i have always felt uncomfortable with being called by anything other than my full given first name. maybe part of it is because some of the nicknames oi was called were far from complimentary! and i think part of it is a shaky sense of self - that is threatened by any other name than that which i know to be my own. i have only allowed my one full brother to call me by a nickname that i found acceptable - and no one else can use that name. i think i avoid nicknames for others because it suggests a level of closeness or intimacy or familiarity that i never felt i had achieved or deserved.

and the insecurity in a relationship - i'm afraid to say - goes with the territory. i've been married for more than 35 years - and am still fearful of rejection and abandonment - not because of any reasons that my wife has given me, but because of my own issues. she constantly reassures me that she is not going anywhere without me - but i have problems with trust.

here's a quote from Oscar Wilde that may be apropos: "It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty."

Best wishes!
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3


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