PDA

View Full Version : I think he means more to me than I mean to him


pantherr
05-02-2012, 07:32 PM
I recognize that right now I'm much more stressed out than normal because of final exams coming up and my job being demanding...but I gotta get this out because even if I am being overly sensitive, I can't help it.

After we had been dating for six months, I told my bf that I loved him. He had a weird reaction: basically he got upset, then said that there is still a lot about him that I don't know. He told me that I should think about it more. He did eventually say that he loves me back - but then right after that said that he'd been in love three times before me, and looking back he wasn't really in love with them, and he thinks that's probably how I feel about him right now. Which was invalidating, first of all, and it made me really sad. I guess because he's just not letting me feel how I feel, or something, idk. So I thought about it like he said and of course I still love him. You don't just think your way in or out of love. Big fat duh.

What's scary to me is the idea that I just don't mean to him as much as he means to me...I know I'm not a mind-reader, and he's never said anything that would actually put this idea in my head. But first of all, there is an age difference (he's twenty-eight and I'm twenty-one), and with that is a difference in experience...I technically lost my virginity with him, I've never had a serious relationship before this and I've def never said I love you to anyone before. Actually I was terrified of trust/relationships before him. But now that I do trust and love him I'm even more terrified of it. Obviously he's had several gf's, a few serious ones that he did love apparently...especially his first gf, who he's talked about before a few times. It didn't used to bother me, but now it kind of feels like I can't compare in terms of how much he loved her. I know I'm just as smart, pretty, ambitious, etc. My problem isn't that. But they were each other's first loves, and he's my first love, and I'm not his.

Like last night he slept over, and I know he's also stressed out about going back to school and his job. But it seemed like he didn't even really want to be around me, he certainly wasn't interested in having sex, and during the day he just said he wanted to get some work done, then left abruptly with "I have to be alone for a little while, you know how I get."

And true, we both like our alone time. It just seemed kind of mean. He said it when I was sitting on his lap, too, so it felt like a stinging rejection. It's not the first time he hasn't wanted to be physical (which is fine! I guess I have a higher sex drive than he does, plus he was really stressed out and tired). But what the frik, I just feel like all of this is making me feel like I'm trying to take steps to get closer to him and he's taking steps away from me at the same time.

I just don't know what to do..we haven't said I love you since two months ago. I haven't brought it up because I'm scared as balls, and I put myself in such a vulnerable place the first time and it didn't go exactly as planned. I just don't know what to say (if I should say anything) about all of this, but it's bothering me so I feel that I should talk to him about it, but I just don't know how.

Maybe I need a glass or two of wine before he comes over next time.

Just kidding....kind of...

sflathinker
05-02-2012, 08:07 PM
I remember being so upset that my first love had already been in love and had a lot of firsts with his first girlfriend. I hated that for me it was so intense and it seemed that for him it was not a big deal. Until I fell i love a second time and realized that it was just as intense with the second guy as it was the first. Then there was the third guy and it made me question how strong my feelings for other two were, because seriously...love is pretty sacred and how many loves can you really have?? Now here I am, in my mid thirties and each new serious boyfriend I love even more than the last....why..because I know myself more and I have the ability to love more based on the experiences I have had. He is right in a way and it's not meant to invalidate. He shouldn't have told you what experience has taught him because it's kinda ruining the beauty of falling in love for the first time. He may be your last love or maybe just your first. Either way, enjoy it. This is your journey. His feelings for you are solid and his past has nothing to do with it. Don't let his first love diminish your first love. We all want and need a beautiful first love. Just because you aren't his doesn't mean anything anymore. If you feel that this relationship isn't what you need or he tells you that his feelings are as strong as they should be for you at this stage, then you'll have to think about that, but he hasn't. Falling in love feels like you are supposed to keep getting closer, but sometimes, you are just supposed to exist. However, it's possible he isn't in love, this is where you have to decide when you are ready to talk to him about where hes at emotionally with the relationship and you in his heart...not his head.

someday you'll be telling some girl the story of your life and she won't really understand but hopefully, she have some faith that it'll all turn out ok. Because it always does.

pantherr
05-02-2012, 11:30 PM
sf...thank you for your beautiful reply. It gave me a lot to think about. I am feeling very emotional about all this, I think I'm just a little bit overwhelmed and scared right now, so I really appreciate hearing from you. Your response made me tear up a little bit - and it's so complicated I hope you don't mind if I ask you some questions? :touched

I guess I am feeling an intensity that maybe he doesn't feel - possibly because he's already been in love, or because I'm not his first love? I don't know the explanation and to be honest, the WHY doesn't matter so much to me. Just the fact that I feel this way and he might not...hurts. I don't want to love him so much so soon. It just happened that way I guess. When we first started dating, I didn't even want any emotional attachment. He pulled me in. It just doesn't seem fair.

The idea that you can love each one more than the next because you know yourself better is really lovely, though. I took his comment a bit differently than you did - "how I felt about them in retrospect" (ie possibly not being in love) "is probably how you feel about me." I guess what's upsetting is not only that he is making assumptions about how I feel, and using them to evade telling me how HE feels. Which is the big mystery to me, after all, and that's why I'm upset.

I really think I need to just ask him. I can't keep overanalyzing all of this. It's exhausting.

And as for whether we should be together - the idea of not being together is painful. I have had dreams that he's stopped caring about me. And I know he does care, but I don't fully believe it yet.

sflathinker
05-03-2012, 05:28 PM
Of course the idea of not being together is painful, you're in love with him. My first love was intense, the feelings assaulted me. And I felt insanely jealous that he had a love before me. It made it feel less genuine to me. He didn't mean to say you aren't in love with him. And there's no way for anyone to know how strong your love is, not even you because you can't compare it to anything else. That's what so awesome about a first love. I hope that he is your only love. But loving someone means you have to be honest with them and communicate your fears. It means being vulnerable and accepting that feeling. You are right, maybe he is evading telling you. Time for that discussion. No matter what, I promise you, everything always turns out ok, no matter how many times you fall in love.

pantherr
05-03-2012, 11:40 PM
Of course the idea of not being together is painful, you're in love with him.
Thank you. To hear someone else say that is a relief (maybe because it is validating in a way I haven't gotten from anyone yet). Yeah, that is what happens when you fall in love. Phew.

It made it feel less genuine to me.
Exactly...like it is so real for me, but maybe it is not that real for him. I never imagined myself to get jealous, but that's probably because I never let myself get so attached or so vulnerable. I am jealous that he loved her and she loved him, and the idea that he loved her more than he loves me or could love me is basically unbearable. I'm drawing this comparison with absolutely no evidence other than how I feel. Maybe that isn't fair either, or logical, but I can't help it..

He didn't mean to say you aren't in love with him.
Maybe not, but that's what he did end up saying or at least suggesting. In context of the rest of the conversation (him telling me that I should 'think about it more') I also got the feeling that he didn't WANT me to love him.
He also said he has intimacy issues because he's gotten his heart broken badly before. Which I can't understand or relate to, because that's never happened to me.

Loving someone means you have to be honest with them and communicate your fears. It means being vulnerable and accepting that feeling. You are right, maybe he is evading telling you.
....
literally terrifying. But I owe it to him and to myself to be honest and have this conversation even though it is painful and scary for me.

I also have been thinking more and more lately that it might be time for me to tell him a little about the ED...he knows I have good friends who have EDs as well, and his sister does and it's so draining on him. The thing I HATE most about this disease, the thing I can get angry about, is how it can change relationships for the worse. I don't want to be a burden to him, I don't want him to worry about me, or about what I eat or don't eat (behavior wise, I'm very much in recovery). I don't want him to think less of me, to think I'm less strong than I am...ah. This is exactly why I but barriers up and don't get close to people. I can't talk about this, I am so scared to show any vulnerability.

sflathinker
05-04-2012, 06:14 AM
I have more experience than you, so this might seem condescending and it's not meant that way, because I remember falling in love for the first time. However, until you are totally vulnerable and open with someone, you can't love them completely. And for some people it happens early and for others much later in life. Telling him everything is scary and might scare him, but that's the only way to get to the next level. And trust me...there are more levels to what you are feeling. He has a choice and deserves to make that choice because you deserve a man who is willing and able to love you who doesn't have baggage. This is something we all learn, mostly because we all have our heart broken and it makes us better at loving and being loved. But if we hold onto that heartbreak (not the person but the pain) then we do close ourselves up. My first love had just come off a major heartbreak and looking back it did change things for me and for that relationship. And I'm sure the next guy I dated I was so open and loving. The cycle continues until you are willing and able to love with an open heart, which is what are trying to do.

pantherr
05-09-2012, 04:59 PM
Hi sflathinker, sorry for my super late reply! I am finishing up final exams so I've been super busy. I did read what you wrote a few days ago and have been thinking about it. Here's where I am at now:

My boyfriend stayed over at my place for a couple nights in a row. I'm glad we got to spend some time together, because I think it helped me realize a couple of things.

First: he talked a lot about his worries about life in general. Going back to school, getting a job, possibly moving, money, etc. Which are big, scary issues, and I can't one-hundred percent understand because I am quite a bit younger than he is and I'm still in school being supported by my parents. Of course, now that I'm approaching college graduation, I am thinking about grad school and careers and what I want to do with my life. But I still feel like I have time to figure all that out, and he feels like he doesn't. I can tell it is really taking a toll on him. So I just try to reassure him that everything will be ok, people change carriers in their forties (my mom did), and he's in a transitionary period right now so of course it's scary, etc. Just that I believe in him. He apologized to me for "making you take so much of my shit the past couple of weeks." Which I appreciate. Not that I'm 'taking shit,' but now I know that the way he's behaving isn't because of US, it's because he's trying to sort all this out for himself and it's hard.

Phew. He also apologized to me for not being very intimate physically lately...and I told him I know he's stressed and not to worry about it. I felt a little better; again, it's not because he's less attracted to me or something, it's just because he's preoccupied.

He has a choice and deserves to make that choice because you deserve a man who is willing and able to love you who doesn't have baggage.

Hm...I see what you are saying. I will tell him eventually. But right now I can't. Well, I CAN, I just don't want to. I want to be honest with him, and maybe I'll never feel comfortable telling him (it's just an uncomfortable topic by nature) but I'll have to do it anyway. For now, I just want to get through final exams and I want him to get through this rough patch. Maybe that's just another excuse. I don't know.

The last thing is that there were so many moments over the weekend where I just wanted to tell him that I love him. When he was leaving I told him that I liked having him around, and he basically said "I don't know why, I don't like being around me." Which is so sad. I didn't even really know what to say. I wanted to say that I love him for him, as he is, with his neurosis and his weird sleeping pattern and his need to wear socks to bed and all of that. And I like having him around because he makes me happy, and I like sleeping next to him, and going on walks together, etc.

Why is it so hard for me to admit all of that stuff out loud...fear of rejection, much?

sflathinker
05-09-2012, 07:48 PM
Of course you fear rejection. And when you do tell him, he will likely feel alot of emotions as well. Imagine someone you love, who tells you that they love you and have never felt that way. This is a huge secret and keeping a secret like this can be seen as a betrayal if you let it go on too long. There is never a right time to tell someone you have an eating disorder but good relationships are those with trust, respect and honesty. This is the easiest life will be for you. I know you cant know that to be true yet, but it is.

lexy*
05-12-2012, 10:14 AM
First loves are just so special!!!!

I remember my first love, and it was so special and natural to fall in love together for the first time. At the time, I really did believe that he was my one, true love. However, we broke up and I have loved again--various times.

Your boyfriend speaks from experience. However, at the same time, I feel like you deserve to fall in love naturally. If I were in your situation, I would find it helpful if the two of you stuck to talking about how you feel in the present towards each other. I can see why you find it hurtful that he said that he wasn't sure if he was really in love or if it was like the past times.

L

pantherr
05-15-2012, 07:02 PM
Hi both...thanks again for your replies. Things have been a lot better between us - he was definitely in a bit of a 'funk' a couple of weeks ago. It's amazing how one person's mood can make you really question everything...he's dealt with some of the things that were making him stressed out and as a result I can tell he's feeling a lot better. I should try not to take things so personally; the world doesn't revolve around me, and even though we are together, there are times when people need to deal with their own stuff.

As for telling him about the ED...I don't want to keep it a secret from him. I am doing so much better now than I was a year ago, in every regard, but there are definitely times when I still struggle. There are still episodes of behaviors (ie emotional overeating or restricting). When I do tell him, I know I'll be very tempted to omit that...can you share how you told your significant other? I have so many fears about being that vulnerable, which I know is common, but it honestly feels paralyzing.