Do you think you can be too damaged for relationships?

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2012
Do you think you can be too damaged for relationships?
19
Fri, 04-06-2012 - 10:23pm

I fell in love with someone once. I was fourteen, he was eighteen. And gay. It didn't work out. When I was in college, I had a years-long non-sexual but definitely non-platonic relationship with a professor 30 years older than me.

And that's the whole history of my dating/love/sex/romantic life. If you can even call it that.

I've never been the type to go looking for a partner. Not because I was above such things, but because I have such difficulty trusting people that I knew the only sort of person I could ever consider dating, let alone sleeping with, would be someone I already knew and respected.

I'm not ashamed to be a virgin at 30, and I also don't think there's any shame in being single. But I used to think that no one was ever interested enough to flirt at me, and that I had never really met anyone I'd consider flirting with. Only, in the last few months, I've started realizing that I was just REALLY BAD at noticing when people were flirting with me, and also that, every time I felt a flutter of interest in someone, I just ignored it, because I assumed they couldn't be interested in me.

I know why I'm like this. Long, boring story involving abuse and trauma in childhood. I never really learned to see myself as someone that anyone could possibly want to love.

I used to think this part of me just didn't exist, or was dormant or something. But now that I've started noticing that I actually am ALIVE in that particular way, I worry that once someone gets to know me they're going to decide I'm too much work, because who wants to have to prove constantly (or for however long it takes) that they're not just faking caring about you?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999

I think if you were abused in childhood & have not had any real relationships by the time you are 30, if you have not had therapy, you should make that appt. ASAP.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-16-2001
Trusting people is difficult for me, too, mostly because a lot of the people I've trusted have proven unworthy of it. Still, I desperately want to trust everyone I meet. I usually can to a point, and then I become cautious. And once someone betrays me, that's it. I can't trust them again.

I think part of it is just listening to your gut. If it tells you someone can't be trusted, they probably can't. But some people just give you a feeling right away that they are a good person. Learn to trust yourself and those gut feelings first and it will help. Don't let anyone talk you out of trusting your gut either. That will move you backwards!
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2012
I agree wholeheartedly with musiclover on this one..
i think if you never learned to trust as a child then you might need some sort of help tuning your trust system.. even tho as shywon says, you need to trust yourself and your gut, if you have no baseline then you have nowhere to start

I honestly believe that this is something you can learn, but baby steps
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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-2012
I don't disagree with either of you, but...I HAVE been to therapy. And done meds. And I'm way better off now than I used to be. I just...hoped to sort of do both things at once, you know--work on trusting people WHILE trying to be in relationships with them.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-2006

Sometimes it's necessary to see a different therapist if you are not experiencing the change in your life you'd like to see. I urge you to seek more counseling--this is a big issue. I personally have sought out several therapists in my life (I'm 57 now). It was very helpful to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2012
congratulations..
but i was thinking of speaking to someone specifically regarding the trust stuff and general relationships with people rather than the childhood stuff.. shrug i dunno

of course you can pursue relationships and heal as part of that process, but i think you'd have to be more careful in the selection of potential partners.. gawd it only takes one idiot to throw my own perception of balance...

even just starting with friendships and fun dating helps.. just practising the give and take and earning of trust.. don't berate your lack of trust either, it isn't an automatic thing.. it does have to be earned
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Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999

Have you ever considered exploring these questions with a therapist?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008

Hi;

I think CFK has a very valid point..

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Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010

There are degrees of trust.

dragowoman

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
brittany82 wrote:

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