It's probably your anxious attachment style that's smothering her until she needs to escape.
once she's gone for a while, she feels relieved, romanticizes history, hopes you've stopped being a clinger and gets back together with you, only you do it again.
Your needy interrogation about "what she likes about you" gave me flashbacks to an awful first date I had, where the dude moved his chair to pin me in to question me for 15 increasingly uncomfortable minutes after I declined a second date.
Why don't you want to date me? Why don't you find me attractive? What changed between swiping me and now? Explain it, describe it?
Oh I dunno mate, being cornered and aggressively questioned is incredibly unattractive in itself? My survival instincts actually kicked in and I sat there frozen until he stopped.
You should break up, let her breathe, and read Attached before attempting another relationship. And find other external and internal methods for validation. Relying on a sexual partner to do all of that is exhausting and makes sex a burdensome chore. Then they withdraw. Then you pursue. etc.
23 M fresh out of college, did something very similar and am in a similar situation, except I’ve decided that getting her back isn’t my goal. At this point I have too much respect for her and myself to go down the selfish path of trying to get her back. I’d start exploring the idea of getting better for you and you alone and a better woman will come along one day, or not, and that’s what I’m learning to be okay with.
I’d HIGHLY recommend this book it is a very easy read(grammatically speaking) that hits very very hard. This is an amazing way to baseline where you’re at and figure out what needs to be worked on, chances are there’s plenty stuff you’re unaware of.
On top of that, some standard ways to jolt your body to support your mental progress: exercise, eat clean, meditate, sleep more, drink less, etc. if you’re not doing this any mental progress you attempt to make will be much more difficult. There’s some amazing correlations behind changing your bodily habits and the positive changes in thoughts and emotions.
Don’t go crazy, though. Lift for an hour 3-4 times a week, do some free YouTube yoga on your rest days, and get good sleep. If your job allows it, start implementing a sleep schedule to help manage your time. All these little things have a way of building up and impeding the progress we really care about, make the effort to “automate” a lot of those fundamental processes and you’ll put yourself in the best position to effectively make emotional and mental progress through meditation or whatever other therapy you seek out.
Good luck, feel free to PM me about more stuff I’m in a similar boat as you
Edit: also this book is another essential for being emotionally mature. Understanding Attachment Theory will make your dating life much more manageable
I've been through lots of relationships and no I do not wonder why I wasn't enough... I have a pretty good idea of why each and every one ended.
Incompatible lifestyles is pretty common.
Love is real though. It's science. You don't necessarily need a lot of self control. The desire to be loyal to the on you love can be pretty overpowering.
Great stuff. thanks for puting this all together. I know it took a while to get this all out on here. Keep up the good work.
We are going through a similar series here in our local group. This idea of vetting a woman can be tricky stuff.
One of the things that we teach is to learn about attachment styles. Attachment styles are crucial because some personality types can go undetected during even the longest of dating periods.
For example, a covert narcissist is skilled at hiding and obfuscating and has in fact built their whole life around covert behaviors and gas-lighting manipulative behaviors. These types of behaviors are never talked about or trained, etc.
They can ruin relationships of all types...especially marriages.
A nice intro book into Attachment Styles is Amir Levine's book:
Anyway, keep up the great work in helping guys learn how to better vet women.
You should read this book if that comment was helpful to you.
I'm seeing a weird pattern here
> We weren't initially super attracted to one another at first
But then you wanted sex for ... I'm thinking possession? Don't want anyone else to have him? Lock him down for some reason? Wanted him to like you? He's good on paper? He's safe and protective? He's safe to experiment your autonomy and control with? What exactly were the feelings around that moment?
And then again later after he'd been with someone else.
You don't find him attractive on his own merits, so something unhealthy is kicking in, such as mate guarding, to make you "want" him. But you don't "desire" him, or desire sex for yourself, or desire sex as a mutually pleasurable, bonding/connecting/intimate experience.
Have you read Attached
> Please help me find my sex drive again!
It'll be with someone you find sexually attractive, ouch :(
Read this book:
She clearly has an anxious attachment style. If you are avoidant (you don’t really get into any of your issues here) then it’s a recipe for disaster.
When I read the book it was an instant lightbulb moment and realized all the root causes of the issues in my past relationships and has helped my current one.
I wonder how much of this is NRE and how much might also be an anxious attachment style? Are you familiar with attachment theory in adult relationships? The book Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment is excellent and speaks to many of these issues.
(on mobile, sorry if things are scrambled /spelling)
Something that really helped me realize a bad cycle of relationships was a book called Attached.
It's about the different adult attachment styles. I bet you, your coworker you didn't feel the spark with is the secure type. You're maybe the anxious type or avoidant. Your ex absolutely is avoidant by the sounds of it.
One of the things I remember in that book was often the spark as you know it isn't there because the mess of a potential relationship between the avoidant and anxious type that you're used too that you think of as a spark isn't there. Whem reading through your description of you and your ex and you mentioning no spark with your new interest I immediately thought of the attachment styles.
I might not have remembered it the best but this reminds me of your relationship. I might suggest taking a look into it further to see if it helps clear your thoughts on how unhealthy this all sounds.
It's incredibly cruel of him to play these games, especially with your daughter. I hope you find the strength to cut him out of your live.
Wiki link with a bit more info about the attachment types: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attachment_in_adults
The book I mentioned : https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1585429139
It sounds like you have an Anxious-Preoccupied attachment style, which is why you probably get jealous more easily than the average person. If it gets to a point where he is spending more time with her than with you, I'd probably be concerned, but it doesn't sound like that is happening.
It also sounds like you're focusing a lot on Laurel and her intentions, but ultimately the issue is between you and your boyfriend - and comes down to how much you trust him. Because if he's a trustworthy and loyal guy, it wouldn't matter even if she tried to seduce him (which sounds extremely unlikely anyway). A trustworthy guy will do the right thing regardless.
I'd recommend checking out 'Attached' by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller , as well as 'Insecure in Love' by Leslie Becker-Phelps .
I found this book helpful: Love Me, Don't Leave Me: Overcoming Fear of Abandonment and Building Lasting, Loving Relationships
Another one specifically about jealousy is 'The Jealousy Cure' by Robert Leahy.
This article is also a good starting point: How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationship
Yeah even though I fell into "nice girl" territory I was never the aggressive kind either. I also read your other comments and noticed you wrote the following:
>I really want to believe it but it's so hard when all of my life experience to this point makes me feel like I'm never enough.
It sounds like you need to work on shifting this belief, because it's easy for it to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's a common belief and very understandable, but can make it difficult to find and form healthy relationships. So many of us feel like we have to be needed, because we can't truly be wanted for who we are.
I've found EFT tapping can be a great tool for working through problematic core beliefs like that, and it's great that at least you're aware of it. You may also want to do some reading about attachment theory as it sounds like you could be going after people who are emotionally unavailable without realising.
Two books in particular that helped me a lot with dating were 'Deeper Dating' by Ken Page and 'Attached' by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller . (Unfortunately 'Attached' doesn't discuss the Fearful-Avoidant style in depth but it's still quite useful.)
Anxiously attached psychologist here
Please read Attached if you haven’t already
I think it is an evolved response. According to attached, this is just an activated attachment system.
On Human Nature
[Pair-Bonding, Romantic Love, and Evolution](http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1745691614561683
Handbook to Attachment Theory
The Fantasy Bond
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind - and Keep - Love https://toptalkedbooks.com/amzn/1585429139
Actually I think he does want to see your instagram, he wants to be a part of your life and be included in your family. He probably daydreams about it but it torn about how he feels and admonishes himself "dont be silly, keep it cool man".
He was probably in heaven when you were nurturing after sex, it's a vulnerable time when both Secure and Anxious people enjoy closeness and intimacy. "Acting like a tool" was his protest behaviour, he wanted more, and firmer words of commitment, but doesn't know how to ask, doesn't know he's Anxious, and he's thinking it's counterintuitive to admit he's "clingy".
Here's the quick version of the book
But if you like this guy, can understand why he's behaving this way and can kinda put up with it, or help him use better language when he's feeling insecure, I highly recommend the book Attached it was a great read.
How Your Attachment Style Impacts Your Relationship
Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship
Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind - and Keep - Love
I'd recommend reading Attached . I just picked up this book and it explains so much about myself and dating patterns.
Take a look into the different forms of attachment theory. After going through a recent breakup, I did some reading and found that my ex was classically avoidant, while I was classically anxious. Made me feel a LOT better about what happened, and also gave me something that I can work on to better myself and hopefully avoid the situation in the future.
Here's a link or two, though I'm sure you can find others:
Also, a book that was recommended to me:
Hope this helps you as much (or more) than it helped me.