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Am I unable to feel love?

Posted: Mon Jun 21, 2021 4:07 pm
by wildhare
I'm 43. I've come all this way. And I really need the universe to cut me a break. Finally I've found a healthy person to share my life with, and now I wonder if perhaps all the difficulty and pain of poor mental and emotional health means that I just can't feel love.

I've suffered with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. I've experienced OCD, bulemia, being unable to hold on to a job or a relationship, and some endlessly dark places. I've worked hard to get to a better place. I invested in a good therapist (though she is now retired) and I try to keep open minded and aware about how my tricky head can influence. I'm proud of where I have got to, especailly over the last 7 years. I've had some very long stints of being depressed in my life, but currently think I have had my head above water now for a year or so - which feels like a record. I have to stay vigilent, it sneeks up. And one thing that welcomes in the fog more than anything else is close relationships. Especially romantic ones.

Last autumn I finally felt like trying dating again after a long and deliberate time on my own. I met a lovely person online (not my ideal way to meet someone), and while I was reluctant to get into anything serious, it was clear he improved my life. And me for him too. I've never been with someone so straightforward, and relaxed and free of drama. He balances me out and seems unflumoxed by my anxieties.

However from the start he has had very very strong feelings for me. And, while I have become much closer, I have not reciprocated that. He is very understanding of how I am and how I like to maintain my independence and have fears as a result of unhealthy stuff in the past. But it kills me each time I hear him gush or see his passion for me, that I don't feel that back. For his sake and for mine.

I'm very aware that my avoidant attachement style, and my fear of engulfment keep me from letting go. I'm really trying to call these things out, and I've talked to him about it. But what if I am never able to have deep feelings, for him or anyone? Or, of course, what if I will just never feel that way for him specifically. I don't want to give up on something/someone that brings so much to my life and makes me feel loved and secure and cared for, but if turns out this isn't just my complicated brain and is just the cold hard fact that I don't have those deep feelings for him, then it's wrong to keep going right??

It's different when you are a bit older. I've grown up. I know what I need and what's important. And let's be honest, it's not that easy to find someone you want to be around, who you share ideals and goals with. But it doesn't matter how much you 'know', how much 'head' you use, where is the heart? I've never been free with my heart. I struggle to find or feel things for other people too. I know I love my sisters, but don't often feeeeel it. For years I worried I was a narc like my mother, but I have a huge amount of empathy for others, and I feel strongly about the natural world, and animals. It's people I struggle with. So with that in mind, I wonder if i just keep havng faith and being with this person as if everything is ok, and eventually the ice will melt.

Thank you for listening. I'm so scared of returning to a bad place again as a result of not being able to feel. Ironically maybe that is why I can't feel. I'm too afraid to. I've been through so much, I just want to be free.

Sending out love to all those suffering. And I mean it. It's safe to give others love from here xxx

Re: Am I unable to feel love?

Posted: Wed Jun 23, 2021 7:11 pm
by epitaph
Hi wildhare,

Welcome to the forum.
Wishing you lasting happiness.

Take care