View Full Version : Discouraged

01-31-2012, 02:59 PM
I have posted about this but need to elaborate a bit. Some of you know that I am in a relationship with a "love-shy man." . This man has what is called "love-shy" characteristics, was neglected emotionally as a child/not validated and has not spent much time with women. The issues are surfacing physically. He is completely fearful of any kind of touch. The first time we held hands he was literally shaking and trembling. It has taken us time to build up to hugging and occasionally holding hands. I am constantly asking him if it's ok if we hold hands and he is ok now with holding hands in church. I can see walls coming down. When I think we are making progress, it's like we go backwards. He does not like to take initiative. He thinks that it will be way longer than a month until he even is ok with a simple kiss. Please understand that I do not want anything to go beyond kissing, but it's just completely frustrating.

Last night he said that when we hold hands he feels that his body is restricted and that his body feels weighed down. We are going to discuss this tonight. I have never dated anyone like him-- he is amazing and holds all the doors, values and respects me, I feel adored and cherished by him. But at the same time, I have never dated anyone like him--- it feels abnormal having to continually ask him if it's ok to hold hands, not have him ever initiate or squeeze my hand back and telling him that I will be patient truly humbling. He has begged me to be patient with his slow desires that he is not used to having a woman in his life. He doesn't think his body is feeling what it should be feeling. He is totally worth the wait and I will be patient as long as it takes. My mentor told me that I am wired to want to feel close to him and that's the point of my frustration. Don't get me wrong-- I am totally thankful for a man who is godly and humble and doesn't pressure me. But it's still really discouraging at times. I wonder if he was molested when he was younger.

I am discouraged and sad for both of us. I told him I would be ok not touching in any way for a while. Maybe it's too early anyway. But that is going to be really tough. I am not sure how to deal with this and I want to be sensitive to his needs; accept him exactly where he is. When he gets so overwhelmed by fear I remember what it was like to be so scared to eat and do some of those early steps in recovery and inpatient treatment. I feel almost selfish wanting to just hold his hand, like maybe I am not patient enough. My mentor said I am being patient and kind, but how long can I continue living like this? I don't know.

Any thoughts?

01-31-2012, 03:33 PM
Is he in counseling or has he ever considered counseling?

I was a little confused reading your post, because you contradicted yourself a few times, like when you said:

it's just completely frustrating

I told him I would be ok not touching in any way for a while.

He is totally worth the wait and I will be patient as long as it takes

but how long can I continue living like this? I don't know.

I don't know how long you have been seeing him, but IMO, you have to accept how he is right NOW, assuming he will never change. If you can't accept him the way he is right now, then you are not doing yourself or him any favors. It isn't fair to stay with someone and just hope that they will change and turn into someone you will eventually want to be with.

01-31-2012, 03:47 PM

Even though this affects you, this is his issue to work through. You can't do the work for him. Has had had any therapy over this?

Serena for Serenity
01-31-2012, 09:27 PM
Sorry to hear you are in a difficult situation. I agree with Bellydancer, you can't work on his issues for him and you need to accept him as he is right now. Also, I don't want to offend you in any way but are you absolutely sure it is just 'love-shy' and that he is not gay (and he may not even know it/be able to admit it)? I only ask because I actually was involved briefly with a guy who loved to be a gentleman, was sweet, but recoiled anytime we actually did anything and told me that he had thoughts that he might be gay. It did not work out and he too had a lot of his own issues to work on, and it was not fair to either of us to be with each other. I hope your situation is not like that and again, sorry if that is way off base. :ummm. I hope things get better and that you can take care of you, for you deserve to be with someone who fulfills you in every way that you want and need.

02-06-2012, 11:46 AM
Since the last post much has happened. He broke off the "girlfriend-boyfriend" status of the relationship and we have both decided to just concentrate on building a close friendship. We both agree that there is still something there, but that we probably should have started off as friends and let it develop. His ideal body type is someone who is smaller than I. I had a very difficult time hearing that.
But now things are in perspective. He is not gay; I did ask. What he revealed to me (apparently i am the first person he has ever told) is that he has a porn addiction, which puts pretty much everything in perspective. He has never really dated much, has never kissed, still a virgin and his reference for an ideal body type is that small, woman that he sees in porn.

Although he has not engaged in watching porn for a few months he cannot get the images out of his mind; so in a way he is still engaging in the porn. I am glad that he felt comfortable enough to tell me.

I am afraid that because he is extremely inexperienced, has a fear of intimacy (probably made worse by the porn addiction), does have a porn addiction and his reference to women is what he sees in porn that I can not live up to that standard.

Any ideas on how I can help him with this?

I fear I am battling something much, much more powerful than I want to admit.

02-06-2012, 11:56 AM
Again, my answer would be that there's not much you can do. These are his things to work through, not yours. This is much the same way that an outsider cannot do ED recovery for us. They can be there to listen to us, etc., but other than that there's little that can be done.

In this case, there might also be less that you can do because he might not feel comfortable discussing his porn addiction with someone who might turn out to be an intimate partner in the long run. I had an ex who I discovered had a porn addiction around the time of our break up. It explained a lot, but there wasn't much that I could do about it. It was something that he had to want to change and he didn't seem to want to.

You should be there as a friend if that's truly what you want, but not count on anything more romance wise. He might get past this, or he might never get past this. You shouldn't sacrifice your own chance at happiness for that. Keep looking.

Something else that has crossed my mind is: Is it possible that he's just not that interested and the love-shy thing or the porn thing is part of a ruse to get out of owning up to that? That he's just not that nice of a guy? The thing about him saying you're not his ideal body type gets me. Everyone has their own tastes and aesthetic preferences, but common decency dictates that a person doesn't just state that they find you unattractive. This was a new relationship, and he was also thinking about taking a job transfer. It sounds to me like you had more invested in this than he did, so that's why it kind of raised a redflag to me.

02-06-2012, 02:44 PM
Before my bf met me he had a thing for eastern European leggy blondes. I am under five foot, red hair and dark eyes. His porn selection was nothing that looked like me. He showed me a picture of the girl he downloaded claiming he liked the porn because she looks like me (i dont have an issue with porn, infact I find masturbation a healthy release myself and if my imagination wasn't vivid, is probably use porn). Nonetheless...he's crazy about me, my looks, my body, etc. He is my type, but I've dated and fallen in love with other types. So your friend may have issues, but I'd keep him in the friend zone permanently and not look to change his feelings for you. Why put energy into fixing something that isn't broken? Be a friend and look for someone who wants more and is ready.

02-06-2012, 04:38 PM
I really have to echo BD: everyone has their preferences, but telling someone that they aren't your ideal body type is outrageously rude. You are never going to be able to get that out of your mind. You're always going to wonder if he's just tolerating your body when you should feel that he is attracted to you and enjoying you as you are.

02-07-2012, 03:17 PM
Bottom line that I am facing is this. First of all I asked him what body type he wants in a women; he did not just come out and say it. So I feel that it's on me for asking, even though he said it. And he has apologized for saying it. Secondly I imagine what it would be like if I was smaller and could present myself as acceptable to him.

I do feel sad.

02-07-2012, 03:30 PM
I know it sucks but I still think its crap. Little boys have an ideal in their head, real men know that ideal woman might be physically "beautiful" but she isn't perfect, probably isn't the right type of girl for him, and, truth is....we've all fallen in love with people who didn't fit our molds..physically, culturally, etc. Love isn't shallow...lust is. So whether you asked the question and got the truth, he isn't ready to be a man. Because if he is so focused on a type then he will likely get taken advantage of or do anything to have that woman. That's not love...thats stupidity.

Serena for Serenity
02-07-2012, 04:26 PM
I too agree with BD that it is a redflag, this guy and his issues. I know you want to stay friends and seem to think that you can help him, but that is up to him to work on and decide, and you don't need to take on his problems-it is not your responsibility. I think even though you asked what type of body type he would prefer that it is still crass of him to answer and you deserve to be around people who don't just value someone based on their size. Isn't that what recovery is about!! Discovering that we are more than our physical bodies and that being thin isn't the way to find happiness? I would have some self respect and cut off ties with this guy before he unloads some more of his issues on you and makes you feel like less of a wonderful person. You deserve better. Leave him be with his porn and "ideal" woman who doesn't exist.

02-07-2012, 08:51 PM
I just want to thank each of you for your posts. Everything you said really makes alot of sense. I think I may be settling. And I am worth more than that and need to move forward.

I am humbled. Thank you. :hairy:hairy

02-07-2012, 08:57 PM
How exactly do I let him go? We have plans Thursday and Sunday. I see him at church. Do I just ignore his call/texts... not quite sure how to go about this. Any thoughts?

02-07-2012, 10:31 PM
Not making plans with him (or cancelling plans you have made) is a good way to start letting go. It's one thing to run into him at church, it's another to deliberately make plans to see him. It's not really possible to establish distance while maintaining a connection. I've known people who have had successful friendships with their exes, but they've needed to give that some time to work--they need to establish themselves separately from their relationship, if that makes sense.

I think it's best to make a clean break in these things. If it were me, I would say something like "I need some space right now, so I'd appreciate it if you stopped calling/texting me for a while. I will let you know when I feel ready to reconnect."

Also, keep in mind that you don't HAVE to remain friends with this person. You don't owe him your friendship just because you dated. You can move on. If you do run into him at church, I would remain cordial, but that doesn't mean that you have to hang out.

02-08-2012, 10:05 AM
I am really having a struggle processing this. A man can't help what kind of body type he is attracted to, right? I mean, I can't fault him if he is not attracted to me physically. I mean you can't force yourself to be attracted to someone physically. I mean shouldn't there be communication and honesty about things? He was being honest about what body type he likes. I would want him to be ok with me being honest. You can't make anyone be attracted to you.

The issue that hurts (and he has apologized for) is that he did make that comment.

I don't know, you can't make anyone be attracted to you. And there is nothing wrong with him being attracted to a smaller woman.

I know I just feel conflicted about this.

02-08-2012, 10:21 AM
No, you can't make anyone be attracted to you. That's why you need to move on.

This guy sounds like he is severely lacking in interpersonal skills, though, in many of the posts you've written about him. I know this is hard because you really liked him, but it doesn't sound like he's any prize. You can't change yourself to fit what he likes and you shouldn't have to. Find a person who doesn't make you wonder if you measure up.

02-08-2012, 11:07 AM
I dated a great guy for a few months years ago. But I didn't feel a spark. I wasn't very attracted to him and I struggled because he was funny, generous and kind. But I needed more because I am a someone who craves a very physical relationship and I didn't connect with him on a sexual level. I felt like crap about it, but when I ended it, I didn't want to damage his self esteem. like BD says I certainly didn't make it about him nor did I leave a door open. I would have liked to remain friends, esp since once of my best friends is his coworker and close friend but he explained that he could not be my friend and move on. I applaud him for being mature and smart about it. We are both friendly when we see each other and chat about our lives and catch up but he knows he cant settle for friendship. As much as he is a nice guy, and probably a great catch, he just wasn't the guy who made my heart flutter.

02-08-2012, 11:11 AM
i agree with bellydancer - you need to break contact with this man for your own good.

It can be hard to accept that someone isn't who we thought they were. It is hard to realise that they will never be what we wanted them to have been. No amount of thinking or debating will change the facts about this man.

You deserve a man who will worship the ground you walk on and recognise how fabulous YOU are. Somewhere out there, i'm sure is a man who will be blown away with your looks, your body, your personality, everything.