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Old 09-01-2016, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question for the partners who have moved on?


I've been in a relationship with my current partner for about six months. If you're not familiar with my story, prior to my current relationship, I was in a volatile long-term relationship with my heroin addicted ex-boyfriend. It took me years to finally leave, but I mustered up the courage and strength and have since been exponentially happier, healthier, peaceful.

I've been thinking lately, after all of the chaos, ups + downs, drama, passion, etc. of my prior relationship, my current one feels very "even keeled." I care deeply for my new partner. He is the most respectful, kind, understanding, intelligent man I've ever been with. It's a privilege to be with him. Sometimes, however, I get into the mind frame of: "will I ever love J (current BF) as much as I loved my ex?"

I'll preface this by saying, I know that the love I shared with my ex was turmoil and unhealthy. It was a mutual obsession with one another. It was toxic and inconsistent. I lost myself and was so entirely wrapped up in loving/wanting to save/be with him that we just continued to hurt one another irreparably. It was good when it was good (infrequent) and horrible/heart wrenching when it was bad (very frequent.) I loved him tremendously. In hindsight, I loved him more than I loved myself.

Leaving him broke my heart, it was really hard to even consider dating at first, but J is such a wonderful addition to my life. I feel very lucky.

But it doesn't "feel the same" as the love I had for my ex. Does this make sense to anyone? Can anyone relate? Am I just inevitably never going to feel that way again? Have I been hurt so tremendously that "my walls" are preventing me from fully loving J?

Thoughts? Comments? Thank you for letting me share.
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Old 09-01-2016, 12:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In hindsight of posting this, I suppose I may not receive many responses. I would think for some people, they don't frequent the forums as often as they would/did when they were in the situations currently. Hoping to get some feedback, regardless if you've been in similar situation or not. Thanks so much.
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Old 09-01-2016, 01:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I understand what you are asking. Before marrying my RAH, I was in a relationship that lasted roughly 3 1/2 years. I felt like he just "got" me. He knew me better than anyone else ever had. Problem is, that didn't mean we had a healthy relationship. I left him because he had zero motivation to make a better life for himself. None. Those feelings will fade and eventually you will see more truths.

FYI - it wasn't until years later while attending Al-Anon that I realized he was an alcoholic. You would have thought that 2 DUI's (prior to our relationship) would have helped me see that sooner!! Obviously my picker is broke.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Jaeger. I spoke to my sponsor about it, she said "imagine being consistently exposed to constant movement and activity and roller coaster of activity and feeling unstable....to finally having stability and feeling just eerie about it. It's hard to get used to. It's similar to PTSD. You're used to the chaos."

Something for me to definitely think about.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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hopepraylove....yours is a hard questions to answer......
Personally, I have known a lot of men who were kind, intelligent, respectful and understanding. But, that doesn't mean that they would, necessarily, "ring my bell".
I happen to come from the very small school of opinion that says that for our Western definition of a LOVE relationship...we do need so me level of male-female sexual tension....especially, in the initial attraction phase. The phase where there is a cascade of attraction and bonding hormones that can give us that wonderful feeling and are definitely on a sexual (male/female) basis...as opposed to a purely platonic, and intellectual basis.
It is biology.
Now...after that initial, on top of the world feeling that the attraction phase consists of (from meeting to about a year or more)...which allows for the more permanent bonding to occur--leading to a more co ntent and peaceful connection and love that is based o n actions, mutual experiences, respect (the really solid stuff).....
I do think that "chemistry" has an important place in a male/female relationship.....
Maybe, it is that you are not ready for a permanent commitment, right now....
Maybe, it is that neither of these guys are the right match for you...?

I certainly couldn't condone "settling" for someone just because their print out looked good.....
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not sure where you saw the word settling in my write-up. I am by no means "settling" for my current relationship.

I am very happy, satisfied, fulfilled, excited, and attracted to my partner. I am simply wondering if I will ever feel the same way twice. This is a different kind of love. It is a strong chemistry, but more importantly, I feel supported, safe, and respected.

In retrospect, and thinking deeper into my original post, I realize that no two relationships are ever the same. How can I expect the feelings, or love to be the same?
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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But it doesn't "feel the same" as the love I had for my ex. Does this make sense to anyone? Can anyone relate? Am I just inevitably never going to feel that way again? Have I been hurt so tremendously that "my walls" are preventing me from fully loving J?
So the relationship with my AXGF was fueled by a lot of really good sex and just as many bad arguments.

The relationship I currently have with my girlfriend is fueled by deep mutual respect, compassion, understanding, a shared set of values, a healthy amount of lust, and open communication. And mind you, I write this as a 47 year old man.

My priorities have changed in the years since my AXGF and I broke up. Neither my girlfriend nor myself would waste each other's time if we didn't believe we were built for the long haul. There's no drama with us. I have her back, and she has mine. Is it the same kind of reckless, passionate love I experienced in my twenties? F**k no, and that's because in my twenties, I didn't full appreciate what love really meant. I do now, and I've never been so content with another woman as I have with my girlfriend. Are we passionate about each other? Do we desire each other? Absolutely. But what's important is the foundation we've built, and that's what's going to support us going forward.

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you Zoso, I appreciate your response. Wishing you & your girlfriend a lifetime of happiness
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Old 09-01-2016, 03:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hopepraylove....you didn't write the word"settle"...I did.....
At the time of that writing...I didn't have the info. that you just posted...and I didn't realize how over the moon you are about him!!

What I was doing, was explaining my "school of thought" on attraction....so, I was talking in GENERAL.....b ecause it is true that some people settle for less that they would l ike....because they think that they are "supposed" to....
Maybe, it was the term "even keeled" that threw me o ff track....
Perhaps, because of that word, I (stupidly) presumed too much...

But, hey...you say that you are "happy, satisfied, fulfilled, excited, attracted,supported, safe and respected"....how in the world could anyone ask for more than that..lol...?

I apologize for getting off on the wrong trac, and wrote too much....I confess, that, sometimes, I do that....(I think I would do well to remember that "less is more")

In other news...I have never been in two love relationships that felt exactly the same.....
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I was always attracted to the "bad boys" from my very first boyfriend. I'm from a dysfunctional family and never got the love that I longed for. I repeated the behavior by being with dysfunctional, like me, men, and people who were naturally unavailable emotionally to love me...it was what I was used to "familiar." I thought I "loved" them but what I was really feeling was "longing." I felt nothing for the nice available guys, found them boring and passed them over. Always longing for something out of reach and the feeling of excitement and danger. I felt alive! I read about this years ago in a book called Smart Women, Foolish Choices. The difference between love and longing. The book was about me. I also passed on healthy men because I didn't think I deserved them. Besides, they would probably leave me. You may be feeling love but not what your used to because he's healthy, it's healthy. That's wonderful! I believe this love will deepen and grow into all you hope it to be.
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Old 09-01-2016, 04:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by oldsoul112249 View Post
I was always attracted to the "bad boys" from my very first boyfriend. I'm from a dysfunctional family and never got the love that I longed for. I repeated the behavior by being with dysfunctional, like me, men, and people who were naturally unavailable emotionally to love me...it was what I was used to "familiar." I thought I "loved" them but what I was really feeling was "longing." I felt nothing for the nice available guys, found them boring and passed them over. Always longing for something out of reach and the feeling of excitement and danger. I felt alive! I read about this years ago in a book called Smart Women, Foolish Choices. The difference between love and longing. The book was about me. I also passed on healthy men because I didn't think I deserved them. Besides, they would probably leave me. You may be feeling love but not what your used to because he's healthy, it's healthy. That's wonderful! I believe this love will deepen and grow into all you hope it to be.
Everything you wrote deeply resonates with me. Sometimes I feel like I don't "deserve" the love and respect that J gives me. It's an insecurity/lack of self-worth thing. (I don't feel like this all the time, but yes, sometimes.) I'll look into the book you are recommending, it sounds like something I'd find useful. Thank you for the kind words. XX
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Old 09-27-2016, 01:46 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Hey HopePrayLove!

I am in day one of the break up. So raw. But past relationships as said by another poster, have been an attraction to bad boys. The personality and humor I guess draws me in.

However this time around, if and when I meet a nice guy, I won't feel undeserving, but at the moment I do feel like I won't find another that will be like my current ex. So I get you.

But if I look deep into it, and pass over that feeling like you have of "him getting me", and no one can ever do that again....I think my present ex was just so unpresent in life that any little thing I did for him was huge for him. So that in turn made me feel huge. Ya know? Like he knew all my buttons, good and bad, and knew when and how to use them ...but that was part of the control and manipulation I believe. Because the good never lasted unless I relented and consequently gave a piece of me to have peace. So him getting me was not necessisarily a good thing it was his method to get his way.

Someone can "get you" by having consistency...bring flowers just because, not because he messed up. And do that type of behavior over and over.

But I do worry that I won't find someone as fun, in spite of the bad times, we did have fun and laugh and just play footsies or just laugh at the way I drive. I don't want all seriousness, and no fun.

At this point, coming out of a bad bad relationship , I personally will be over analyzing every action...is there an hidden agenda ? Did he mess up? Does he want something? Or is he too goody goody ?

I think all loves are different and the love depends on the match. An ex way back was everything to me, he was a bad boy, ended up marrying one of the cheats, and they are happy and successful like 18 years now. They had different dynamics and different timing too.
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