Carolyn: I have been seeing someone very nice and we have a lot of fun together, but when it comes to intimacy, we are always fighting. He is not very loving, is not affectionate (will hold my hand on occasion, and say I look nice, and we will sit next to each other to watch a movie). He does not share any emotions, and if I ask for a feeling, he freaks out and says no questions.
He has never been married and takes care of his mother but she takes care of him, cooking, cleaning, etc. Its always his way in the food we eat, what we do, etc. Its always about what makes him happy.
I was married many years; I know how to compromise. I lived in an unhappy, uncaring marriage. I am very affectionate and have the attitude we only live once and want to enjoy what two people can share, love and companionship. He thinks its wrong to act like teenagers. He has said we are not in a relationship, Im not a girlfriend, and he hates when I call. He will not socialize with my family.
AM I AN IDIOT?
IQ, no doubt pretty high. EQ (shifts awkwardly in seat).
You apparently have a soft spot for people who treat you like an idiot.
Given that you are a self-described affectionate person, and that the only two significant, romantic attachments you describe here are with men who are stingy with their affection and thats being too kind Im going with: No, time wont make a difference.
Not because this guy will remain the same (he will), but because you will remain the same: guided by some force to choose cold men only to bemoan their lack of warmth.
Perfectly smart people do stuff like this all the time that is, when they are driven by needs they dont recognize or understand. We all think were making rational choices Exhibit A: your very nice and we have a lot of fun together but a lurking emotional need can drive the rational into rationalizing, and undercut whats actually good for us, if it doesnt come from a healthy place.
From your tone, it seems you didnt know how to compromise in your cold and unhappy marriage so much as you knew how to deny yourself. Whered you learn that?
This is why therapy exists: to help us recognize, explain and pre-empt our self-defeating behavior.
You dont need it to break up with this guy, necessarily, since Im hoping you can just repeat We are not in a relationship, Im not a girlfriend, and HE HATES WHEN I CALL (exasperation added) as a mantra when your courage wanes.
I expect youll need it, though, to dig out why youre actively making choices that deny you the very thing you say you want out of this, your only shot at life.
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