Recently, I ultimately left my verbally abusive/ cheating boyfriend. It took me longer than it should have to get the fortitude to break up with him, but when I eventually did it I felt a huge relief … And to set the icing on the cake, almost immediately after that I met a really nice guy who has clearly shown that he wants to pursue me and has hopes for matrimony. I’ve told him I am not ready to dive into anything serious right away, as I need to mend from my last relationship’s trauma, and I also want to feel okay being on my own. Still, we’ve gone out casually a couple of times, and although I’ve told him I need to go slow, I definitely get the impression he’s already planning our wedding and future. In spite of his not at all being my physical kind, I’ve been attracted to him because of his kindness, clear purposes, life objectives, etc … Until today. On our fourth date( we went to church together ), I suddenly came to the realization that I feel perfectly no attraction to him whatsoever. I’ve read some of your posts about attraction and understand that it is something that some people can either got to get, and some people can’t, but I’m not sure why I suddenly feel such a drastic change overnight. Since I just left an abusive relationship, I’m confused about my feelings; is the problem my inability to find a nice guy attractive, do I feel suffocated by his intensity, or do I simply not feel a romantic connection? I am starting to see a therapist to work through my experience with my ex, but wonder what I should do about this really nice guy … Is it worth giving him a chance and considering if my feelings change? Should I just tell him I don’t feel it for him, after all? Thanks for your help!
Since I’m not a psychologist, Katie, I’m largely going to stay in my lane and tell you what I’ve noticed as a dating coach for fifteen years. It may or may not square with what a psychologist trained in abusive relationships may tell you, so take it with a grain of salt.
“Is the problem my inability to find a nice guy attractive, do I feel suffocated by his intensity, or do I simply not feel a romantic connect? ”
Yes, yes, and yes.
Without getting too deep into attachment theory, as a victim of abuse, you may associate love with bad behaviour. Where other women may find a verbally abusive/ cheating man unappealing, you may have felt that this is just what relationships are all about. You fall in love. You’re wildly attracted to someone. He treats you like shit. You stick it out because that’s how relationships are, or because you don’t know if you can do better, or because you’re afraid to be alone, or because you somehow suspect this is all you deserve. Abuse does a real number on men and what you’re left with is a sort of PTSD when it comes to men and relationships.
Where other women may find a verbally abusive/ cheating man unappealing, you may have felt that this is just what relationships are all about.
You’re so used to being attracted to a man who exhibited cruel, unpredictable behaviour that when you finally meet someone who treats you with consistency and kindness, it’s confusing.
Imagine learning that everything you believed about love was incorrect; that’s the state you’re in right now. You’re going to need to rewire yourself to be attracted to men of high character and it will not happen overnight. Your therapist should be valuable in this endeavor.
That said, your other questions are perfectly fair and should not be discounted. Which is to say that EVERYONE get to turn when someone’s feelings seem disproportionately intense, but especially a woman with your background. If you’re used to being treated poorly, being put up on a pedestal by a total stranger is going to be more jarring than it might be for someone else.
Factor in the distinct potential that you objectively have no romantic connect, which isn’t anybody’s fault, but a biological reality, and I hope you can see the value of letting yourself off the hook on this one.
This guy may be doing everything right, but just like your evil ex wasn’t the last human on ground, I can promise you, there’ll be other nice guys who come along where attraction won’t be an issue.
I can promise you, there’ll be other nice guys who come along where attraction won’t be an issue.
Long story short- there’s a lot going on in your head right now, but you should not have to talk yourself into being attracted to someone just because he’s nice.
Never ever ever.
Keep appearing until you find both.
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