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Author Topic: Trying to date again  (Read 326 times)
HopelessBroken
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« on: August 26, 2019, 07:30:51 PM »

I was broken up with out of nowhere exactly four months ago (when I inforced a boundary). This was our ninth break up in 3.5 years. Found out he went back to his “crazy” ex before me whom he spoke horribly of and according to him never loved. (Sure). I went NC and he’s blocked everywhere possible. That was the last and final time I will let myself be treated poorly.  It’s been the most painful experience trying to detach.

Last month I was asked out by a very nice man.  He’s truely a nice, honest, stable person. He has a good job, owns a home, honest, caring, good family, good friends etc.  He is very sweet to me and after five dates he’s told me he’s extremely interested.

Here’s the thing. I compare EVERYTHING he does to my expwbpd. Everything. When I kissed my ex, I felt it in my entire body. I texted and spoke on the phone all day with my ex and I loved every minute. I could watch my ex clean out the dishwasher and I was extatic.  His hands felt amazing. Everything we did was a new adventure.

New guy?  BLA. I’m bored by just about everything.

Is this the way my life will be now? Will no one measure up? How do you have a relationship with a normal, stable person after a relationship with so much passion? When I come home from our dates the feeling I have is complete sadness. It’s really hard to keep pushing forward.

And then I think that he’s having this passionate love affair with his ex while I sit here unable to move on.

Have any of you experienced this?

If it matters, I’m currently doing weekly EMDR for the PTSD I was diagnosed with due to the abuse. I’m also doing talk therapy surrounding my childhood and relationships. All around working on myself so that this doesn’t happen again.

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I Am Redeemed
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« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2019, 11:19:34 PM »

It may be too soon for you to think about dating again. Undergoing EMDR and trauma-focused therapy is intense, as is working through your childhood issues. It's emotionally draining to do this kind of work on yourself and trying to date someone while doing this might be too early. You may want to wait a little while longer. It takes a while to process trauma and your emotional state may fluctuate for a while. I have done some EMDR and I found that I needed time to regroup in between sessions because all sorts of emotions and things came up even after the session had ended. Also, PTSD can come with feelings of sadness and a lack of enjoyment in certain activities, particularly social activities. That could be affecting your dating experience.

Is your motivation for dating primarily related to the fact that your ex is already in another r/s? Just because he has chosen to recycle a previous relationship does not mean that his life is great now. You can move on by going through the stages of detachment. Moving on does not have to be mean dating someone else. It's generally better to unpack the baggage from the past so that it does not carry over into the next relationship. And it's okay to realize that you don't have the chemistry with this new guy that you did with your ex. Emotionally intense r/s like these do have a lot of passion which is one reason they are so intense and addictive. That doesn't mean the r/s was healthy, and it doesn't mean that you won't experience a passionate connection with someone else in the future. This new guy may just not be the one for you, or you may not be fully detached from the last r/s, or both.
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2019, 07:30:23 AM »

Excerpt
I compare EVERYTHING he does to my expwbpd. Everything. When I kissed my ex, I felt it in my entire body. I texted and spoke on the phone all day with my ex and I loved every minute. I could watch my ex clean out the dishwasher and I was extatic.  His hands felt amazing. Everything we did was a new adventure.

all this means you havent completely detached. thats okay.

part of the conflict is that you see your ex both as someone no one can hold up to, as well as something you very much dont want to happen again.

so when youre meeting new people this manifests about how they neither hold up to your ex, and checking for signs that they arent like him. you cant attach to someone else with that going on.

reconciling this within yourself is a big part of detaching. there were lots of things i did not like about my ex...some of it just annoying quirks, some of it deal breaker kinda stuff, some in between. at the same time, there were lots of things i loved about my ex, things that id very much want to find in a future partner. but im not looking for or avoiding my ex. that relationship ended, we didnt work out.

another aspect of it is that sometimes, what we gravitated toward the most in our old relationships wasnt necessarily the healthiest thing. examining our model of an ideal relationship, and switching to a healthier model takes some work. for example, passion in a relationship is great...it can take some doing, but there are plenty of passionate relationships available to us out there. the question is what passion means to each of us. i had a passionate relationship with my ex...one that wasnt healthy. i have a passionate relationship with my best friend; its very different.

lastly...theres a lot of "boring" out there in the dating world. we wont connect with everyone.
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LoveOnTheRocks
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2019, 08:32:48 AM »

Hi Hopelessbroken:  My bpdx was abusive, so when I got out of the relationship, I had a lot more to process than some.  I used to shake uncontrollably when I was alone with men...so I had to stop dating and do me for a while.  During that while of doing me, I developed so many interests that when I did finally meet my now husband of almost 20 years....most of what you speak of (comparing, because my BPDx was intense too....physically.....and my husband was not)...wasn't so fresh for me. It was there, but I reminded myself that if I wasn't having the high points, neither would I have all the lows that came with the x, either.
I love, love, love the stability of a man who isn't dr. jeckyl today and mr. hyde tomorrow.  I finally healed and settled down and recovered and started living. 
This was my experience. 
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2019, 10:12:14 AM »

I have been dating again, and I have ended up meeting a woman who seems to check all the boxes.  She is intelligent, she is a medical doctor, and so she isn't looking to be financially supported. She seems to be very kind. She is also beautiful, active, and healthy.  I feel like I should be falling hard for her.  She seems to be falling hard for me.  She keeps telling me my touch is electric, and she is blown away by me.  I feel like something is keeping me from being able to trust. Something is keeping me feeling numb. 

Her openness and the level of trust she is giving early on keep sending off alarms in my head.  I keep feeling like its the love bombing, when it might just be a really great woman falling for me.

She has a former husband who she says has NPD, and is abusive.  Part of me is scared because my bpd ex always claimed her ex was abusive. I'm really struggling to not view her through this lens.
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2019, 11:00:50 AM »

Hey HB, I suggest you share with your new friend that you're still getting over your Ex and need more time before getting involved in a new r/s.  I think it helps to put your cards on the table.  It's normal to need time to detach from your prior r/s.  After separating from my Ex, I came around to the view that I would rather have OK sex with a kind person than great sex with a persecutor.  The price was too high, for me.

Hang in there,

LuckyJim
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HopelessBroken
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« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2019, 10:30:11 PM »

I have been going back and forth in my head between the thoughts of........am I not detached yet /or scared and is this guy boring. I just don’t know and I don’t know how much time to give it. I did tell him at date four that I really needed to go slow as I was in a bad relationship that did some damage. That’s as much as I said.

I don’t feel that I have to be in a relationship because he is, but I sure am felt angry that once again he went immediately to someone else, while I struggle.

I want to detach. I just don’t know how.
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LoveOnTheRocks
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2019, 06:55:22 AM »

I don’t feel that I have to be in a relationship because he is, but I sure am felt angry that once again he went immediately to someone else, while I struggle.

My DD20 did this over the past 5 years or so (she's young, but the pattern is the same).  She could not sit still and just be...recover from what happened....which is the healthy thing to do....she had to go, in days, back to the other one....(like you said in an earlier post, the one "she hated"...the one your ex "hated" while with you). 

If thinking objectively about the proper way to get closure and heal from a failed relationship, this isn't it!!!
I know my daughter is not happy with the one she "came back to."  He is still controlling, (badly so), and abusive and a narcissistic person.  I am so happy that she is not seeing herself with him long term, but devastated that she is with him now...because he is AWFUL for her.  It's not my choice...what my daughter does....but it's all too common with the person with BPD....and it's extremely unhealthy. She can't look at stuff on her own...has to have someone by her side to process with....and that doesn't make for a healthy, autonomous person.

Dont worry about what he's doing.  Whomever this woman was to him the last time, she is to him now.  ...but it's not about him. It's about you and honestly....healthy attracts healthy (and the opposite is true, also). 
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2019, 11:21:42 AM »

Hey HB,

I suggest you start by being authentic.  Everyone heals at his/her own pace.  There's no need to jump into a new r/s before you're ready, particularly if it is just to spite your Ex.  It's OK that you find the new guy boring; it sounds like a lack of chemistry.  Suggest you wait until you honestly feel attracted to someone.  In the meantime, I doubt your Ex is having such a great time with his old flame.  After all, he still has BPD, right?  Nine breakups in 3.5 years doesn't make for a healthy r/s and moving on sounds like the right thing for you.  It's normal that you miss the physical part of your r/s, yet other aspects of the r/s were presumably unhealthy for you.  Be kind to yourself.  You've been through an ordeal and it takes time to heal.

I suggest you listen to your gut feelings and get back to being yourself again.

LJ
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2019, 05:01:17 PM »

Hi,

Just because this new guy is a nice, honest, stable person doesn't mean he's the right one. There might be a nice, honest, stable person out there who also makes you feel passionate. On the other hand, sometimes passion develops over time. Sometimes it grows out of an emotional connection.  You can keep dating him without rushing things and meet some other men too. It's OK to take your time.
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HopelessBroken
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2019, 09:18:16 PM »

I know. Everything all of you said is really good feedback for me.  I worry about pushing away a really good person. At the same time I worry about a lifetime of never having that passionate relationship feeling. I’m feeling really sad and a bit hopeless. Actually a lot hopeless.
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2019, 01:14:54 AM »

I know. Everything all of you said is really good feedback for me.  I worry about pushing away a really good person. At the same time I worry about a lifetime of never having that passionate relationship feeling. I’m feeling really sad and a bit hopeless. Actually a lot hopeless.

You may be, and that's ok. This might be the time to pause and  introspect and determine what you want.
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HopelessBroken
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2019, 09:11:30 PM »

I wanted to thank all of you for taking the time to give me your perspective and feedback. Like OR said, I’m not detached. I agree completely.  Like LJ expressed, I should be authentic. So, that’s what I did,  I was authentic with him and I broke it off last night.  I expressed that I tried to date too soon, I am still emotionally attached to someone who hurt me and I need to end things and work on myself.  He was very nice about it but he broke down crying. I feel like a terrible person. 

I also hate that my exwbpd has this much of a hold on me.  I received an email from him two weeks ago which I deleted. He is now constantly on my mind again.  I can’t go back. This is so tough. 
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Lucky Jim
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« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2019, 09:52:40 AM »

Hey HB, Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time.  I wonder whether you experienced any sense of relief after your b/u?  You mentioned that you feel like a terrible person, which I assume means you feel guilty about ending things.

There is a saying that I learned in one of the detaching lessons (see above):  don't let this person rent out space in your head.  I like this saying because it suggests that we have more control over detaching than we might think.  You're in charge of who you allow to take up space in your thoughts.

That you are struggling also suggests to me that it might be helpful to dig deeper, to understand why you got involved with a pwBPD in the first place.  Hint: usually it has something to do with one's FOO or other childhood trauma.  Does this ring a bell?

Keep us posted and keep being authentic!

LJ


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HopelessBroken
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2019, 09:20:16 PM »

LJ, yes! I absolutely do feel a lot of relief. The pressure I was feeling both that I put on myself to figure out what I was feeling and the pressure this new guy put on me is now gone. I do feel badly. I have such a difficult time hurting anyone. I put the feelings of others above my own. ( I am currently reading Codependant No More, which clearly I needed to do a long time ago).

My current therapist who I’m doing EMDR with connected my father, who died of cancer when I was 17, with why I got into this relationship with an individual with a personality disorder. My father was diagnosed bi-polar in his twenties. I didn’t know until he was going through chemo and couldn’t be on his meds. Mom then disclosed this to me. Thanks mom. I grew up with this very intelligent, passionate, loving man who was impulsive then ragefull then loving. Angry then loving. It was up and down. Mom never addressed this with me.  We didn’t talk about it and I believed it was normal.  Despite his behavior I knew my dad loved me with all his heart.

The impulsiveness of my exwbpd seemed normal. Anger and extreme passion seemed normal. I still believed he loved me with all his heart (I know now he didn’t).  But I understand why a lot of what he did wasn’t a red flag to me. The connections between this have been happening in EMDR. I’m hoping I can heal.

I WISH it was as easy to quit renting any space to this individual. All full. No room.  Smiling (click to insert in post)

I find he’s on my mind more now than ever. I’ve been so close to reaching out. It’s a daily struggle not to.
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2019, 10:35:07 PM »

Excerpt
I’m hoping I can heal.

i think a lot of us have made connections back to childhood. it makes sense, the relationships between our caretakers are our earliest blueprints of what relationships look like.

i hope that youll do some work on the Parent/Sibling/In-law board (you dont have to have a parent with BPD). the folks there really get it, and we have a member who often says "all roads lead to PSI".

Excerpt
I’ve been so close to reaching out. It’s a daily struggle not to.

you dont want to do this out of anxiety/to alleviate anxiety.

would it help to talk here about what you would want to say?
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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2019, 10:44:08 AM »

Excerpt
I grew up with this very intelligent, passionate, loving man who was impulsive then ragefull then loving. Angry then loving. It was up and down. Mom never addressed this with me.  We didn’t talk about it and I believed it was normal.  Despite his behavior I knew my dad loved me with all his heart.

Hey HB, Nice work taking the pressure off yourself.  You can always reconnect with this guy at a later date if you decide it is something you want to pursue.

You nailed it by making the connection with your father.  After you have a chance to work through your childhood issues with help from your T, I predict future relationships will go better and be healthier.

Yes, extreme anger and rage seemed normal to me because I grew up with a mother who could blow her top without warning.  Others would have run for the hills, yet I stayed in my marriage and took the abuse.  I lost myself in the process, which was not fun.

Concerning obsessive thinking about your Ex, I suggest you allow the thoughts and then gently shift your focus to something more positive.  You have more control over your thoughts than you might think.  Sometimes it helps to say "cancel" or "delete."

Keep up the good work!

LJ
 

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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
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