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Old 08-03-2019, 10:38 AM
 
44 posts, read 27,332 times
Reputation: 124

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My girlfriend of six years pulled away in the U-Haul one year ago today. It's an image that still hurts my heart when I visualize it. I cannot imagine how awful it would've been had we been married, the feelings of loss and failure only compounded by divorce and lawyers.

We loved each other a lot, but our vices (chain smoking, drinking, her sloth) started getting the better of us. We had a lot of fun together, but it was literally killing me. It didn't help that she had way too much idle time, since she was newly unemployed in a very competitive field, so we began to languish together. I had friends from work I wanted to socialize with; she would never want to come along. I wanted to take walks with her in our neighborhood; she wanted to stay home. Her self worth began to deteriorate. She was obviously depressed, and since there were no jobs available for her in our smallish town, the situation began to feel hopeless. She watched TV endlessly. (She has a PhD, btw, in a specialized field.)

The first five months away from her and in my new life were brutal for me. I got on meds and started therapy. We had parted amicably, so in some sense it all felt inconclusive and open-ended. At times I had wished we had parted on bad terms, hateful of one another and desperate for a new relationship.

In an effort to move forward, I tried online dating in January, and I've been on about 18 dates since then, several of those repeats with the same woman. I've met some wonderful and attractive ladies who were interested in me, but I could never muster up any reciprocal interest. Not once have I wanted to text them back, or spend an afternoon doing some activity she had elaborately planned for us. Worse yet, I never once felt my libido kicking in during any of those dates. I can put on a smile and make good conversation, but I feel my personality decaying into a shell of its former self. I've even lost interest in friends. My vitality is draining away.

Is this abnormal? What can I expect a year from now? I desperately need some perspective.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:46 AM
 
Location: In a place beyond human comprehension
7,725 posts, read 4,944,555 times
Reputation: 12735
You can't force feelings or attraction. It's either there or it's not. The reason why, exists in the concept itself. It's just not there. Whether you have some other mental blocks going on, that's something you need to figure out. But you honestly sound depressed and should address that.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:52 AM
 
664 posts, read 504,634 times
Reputation: 742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auraliea View Post
But you honestly sound depressed and should address that.
^^ This!

Look for help, now!
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:01 AM
 
3,808 posts, read 3,031,650 times
Reputation: 7665
What does your therapist say about this?
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh
22,696 posts, read 24,289,693 times
Reputation: 49370
You tried to start dating again way too soon--six months out of a long-term relationship that left you emotionally damaged. You're not in a good place to be present and available to any new woman.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:09 AM
 
Location: a primitive state
9,909 posts, read 20,233,799 times
Reputation: 12481
You know, some brain meds can also make you feel dead inside. It’s almost as oppressive as the depression they are meant to treat.

You’ve spent the last year going through the proper motions to move on from your last relationship and you’ve gotten good responses from the women you’re dating. There are two things going on: emotionally you haven’t healed yet and the meds, if you’re still taking them, are reducing both your libido and enthusiasm.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Have you talked to your doctor about changing your prescription? There are some that can boost your mood and restore your drive.

If you’re otherwise healthy, add weight training and cardio to your treatment plan. Building muscle increases your testosterone level, or so I’ve been told...haha. The cardio will clear out the mental cobwebs and allow you to burn away some of your anger and remorse. Maybe you need to get out in nature and yell at some rocks or go on a fast.

And quit drinking/smoking for a bit. You need your health for the long haul.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:24 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
79,144 posts, read 71,197,645 times
Reputation: 77279
OP, it's way too soon for you to be dating. You need to work on processing your grief and loss with your therapist. Do you feel you're making progress in therapy? Maybe consider finding a therapist who specializes in grief work. That should really get you moving toward healing. A good grief therapist will have you do "homework" exercises to work out your grief, and move that blocked energy out of your system. Do an internet search, and read the websites of the practitioners who come up, than call the ones that sound promising, and ask questions.

P.S. You know the therapy has worked, when you no longer need the meds, and you have a bounce in your step.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
11,898 posts, read 26,921,851 times
Reputation: 4605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boddicker View Post
My girlfriend of six years pulled away in the U-Haul one year ago today. It's an image that still hurts my heart when I visualize it. I cannot imagine how awful it would've been had we been married, the feelings of loss and failure only compounded by divorce and lawyers.

We loved each other a lot, but our vices (chain smoking, drinking, her sloth) started getting the better of us. We had a lot of fun together, but it was literally killing me. It didn't help that she had way too much idle time, since she was newly unemployed in a very competitive field, so we began to languish together. I had friends from work I wanted to socialize with; she would never want to come along. I wanted to take walks with her in our neighborhood; she wanted to stay home. Her self worth began to deteriorate. She was obviously depressed, and since there were no jobs available for her in our smallish town, the situation began to feel hopeless. She watched TV endlessly. (She has a PhD, btw, in a specialized field.)

The first five months away from her and in my new life were brutal for me. I got on meds and started therapy. We had parted amicably, so in some sense it all felt inconclusive and open-ended. At times I had wished we had parted on bad terms, hateful of one another and desperate for a new relationship.

In an effort to move forward, I tried online dating in January, and I've been on about 18 dates since then, several of those repeats with the same woman. I've met some wonderful and attractive ladies who were interested in me, but I could never muster up any reciprocal interest. Not once have I wanted to text them back, or spend an afternoon doing some activity she had elaborately planned for us. Worse yet, I never once felt my libido kicking in during any of those dates. I can put on a smile and make good conversation, but I feel my personality decaying into a shell of its former self. I've even lost interest in friends. My vitality is draining away.

Is this abnormal? What can I expect a year from now? I desperately need some perspective.
Maybe you just aren't ready? It sounds like you still aren't over your ex. I know you want to move on but you first have to get over your ex and work on yourself. Give yourself time to grieve. Are you depressed? Are you still in therapy? What does your therapist say?
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:51 AM
 
44 posts, read 27,332 times
Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by CapsChick View Post
What does your therapist say about this?
She was good to talk to, and offered some CBT techniques like avoiding negative thoughts. I quit her in May because I moved to a new neighborhood and it was getting expensive. I saw her for 7 months.
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Old 08-03-2019, 11:53 AM
 
44 posts, read 27,332 times
Reputation: 124
Quote:
Originally Posted by fleetiebelle View Post
You tried to start dating again way too soon--six months out of a long-term relationship that left you emotionally damaged. You're not in a good place to be present and available to any new woman.
I think you are right, but I was always hearing that a new relationship would help me get over the previous one.
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