A Deep Rooted Fear of Being Used

sleeveheart

New Here
As a single mom, I used dating apps because there really was no other way for me to meet people. All told, I was on and off it for about 15 years. I had one relationship lasting 6 months, another 1 year, and now my boyfriend (I think he's the real deal) for 3 years. Often, it was horrifying and crushing to be dating with cptsd. I was deeply in need of healing and love, but there were so many experiences of being re-wounded, betrayed and disappointed. I actually think my distrust for people deepened over the years because of online dating which is why I went for long, long periods not dating.

The ones who hurt me the most were the "players". They learn techniques to figure out what "women want", draw us in, but only for the purposes of using us. Seriously, I think there are even online cultures where "players" share tips. The last one I encountered was so practiced that he really had me going. Took me out to nice places, texted me every morning to greet me, "mirrored" my likes and preferences, etc., etc. In the past, behaviors like that made me feel loved, attended to, and fed my emotional needs. But my experience and intuition told me that he was doing all that to use me for sex, narcissistic attention, and would eventually discard me, so I cut things off with him after a few weeks. I think that even if I was a good catch, they would still do the same things.

Interestingly, I truly believe that the "players" I encountered, at least some of them, really was interested in me and did feel some level of infatuation and love. I had one man actually shed a tear because of how much he loved me he said (he was drunk), but was super pissed that I remembered he did that and told me I'd better never mention it again. But maybe due to their own wounds, they cannot truly open up their heart to experience full-on love. They have to remain on the superficial level, manipulate and control emotions, so they don't ever have to feel the hurt that they themselves inflict on others.

I think some of the feelings you have for this man is real, and perhaps vice versa. But personally, I would run away from this guy as fast as my legs could carry me based on his behaviors.

Thank you so much for responding.

I think I needed a few days away from this person to really process, and I think it was better that we ended as friends.

Every breakup is hard, for folks like us, even the ones that weren't full on relationships. It made me feel better to know that there's someone else out there that's like me. I think it's true when they say that survivors of trauma often love the hardest, because they know what it's like to have been there, and would never want anyone to feel the same.

I hope that your current relationship is providing you all the love and support that you need. Thanks again.
 

TruthSeeker

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For me, your theme for your problem is about getting and maintaining respect in your relationship. So, if you are looking for a guy who respects you, listens to you, follows your boundaries because he cares, and is keenly attuned to your feelings.......ask yourself has he walked his talk? Is he the kind of guy that has honor and integrity? Does he display respect?

What do you expect out of an adult male? Does he always listen and respond appropriately? Does he come from a dysfunctional background? If so, what dynamics are at play? Do you want to have any dysfunctional relationships with men where you end up apologizing for their behavior......or where things are "excessive" like drinking and self porn? Are these the kind of behaviors you are looking for in a man, for the long run if the relationship were to go on for years? Does the relationship feel safe and trusting? If you let this man in your home, would it create a personal problem with you?

Consider taking a piece of paper and writing down the qualities of a guy who would feel safe, caring, and pleasant to be around. What kind of person would he be ideally? What kinds of things would you two have in common? What kind of things are an absolutly intolerable......where he wouldn't be considered worthy to be around you? What kind of boundaries would you have with all men you date. Then reassess your relationship and determine whether he makes the grade. My assumption that you posted to get feedback, that you aren't feeling comfy with him. It is much easier to have a relationship when you set clear boundaries, stick to them, have consequences for them, but with the best intentions of the relationship grow into a friendship.......and not let sex enter into the picture in the first year or so. There are all kinds of things you can do in a relationship without anyone taking their clothes oing ff.....so how could a non-sexual friendship look? If you've cultivated a friendship based on mutual interests......things you both enjoy doing, that's great.....and it is the interests and the enjoyment in sharing these things that brings you together......Do you have respect for yourself? Do you have higher expectations of yourself than you've had in the past?

So, these are just some questions to ponder......................
 

TruthSeeker

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It makes sense to me that a guy who had a profile on a dating site is looking for a relationship with sexual intimacy.

It makes perfect sense to me that someone you've met on the internet, you want to meet in a public place a few times before inviting him into your home, or considering sexual intimacy (that's plain common sense, right?).

So, neither of you have particularly unusual expectations. They are in conflict with each other, in terms of timeframes. And you're only a month in, so there's a good chance that this isn't "the one".

But, it doesn't read like there's anything disastrous happening in terms of your ability to navigate this relationship. You're interested in a relationship, but have common sense personal safety concerns, and have a slower pace than he has. That's just differences of expectations and wants, not a disaster.

So, cut yourself a break maybe. He's not being weird or creepy by being interested in sexual intimacy. You're doing the very common-sense thing of wanting to meet this internet stranger in public and getting to know him before you'll take it further.

If you're looking for a rock solid, intimate, long term relationship? This is a bit of a win, yeah? You met someone, you both had very healthy wants, but they were in conflict. No harm, no foul. Neither of you have done anything wrong, it just isn't working.

I definitely (definitely) wouldn't compromise on the "we have to meet in public a few times" requirement. With internet dating? To me, that's a safety MUST, that I absolutely wouldn't compromise on.
@Sideways So, I say a guy starting himself while talking to me
"So it would be a bit looney to demand that faith in yourself with the experience of backing it up."

You're absolutely right.

It's true. The fear of falling, it doesn't feel good. I think I fight myself every step of the way when I take little risks. I mean, it is the cPTSD trying to protect me from getting hurt. I just have to keep going. Fall, get up. Fall better, get up better, every time.

Thank you for writing all of this. I refrained from replying right away because I wanted to process the things you took the time to write.

I think if you are looking for someone who is respectful, responsible, and reliable.....then if you ask him not to do phone sex (or not to scratch his itch whilst talking to you)......and he comes back with "lets just be friends" then I'd just look at this experience as your training wheels for getting back in the dating game..... I happen to believe relationships need to be founded on respect, some kind of mutual interests other than the sack.......and trust. His response "to just be friends" was his way of saying you weren't meeting his needs and you said his phone sex behavior wasn't meeting yours. This experience gives you an opportunity to think about -what is it you want in a relationship right now. I don't know what box you checked for relationship type....but maybe consider checking the relationship box...."friend" and not long-term commitment next time.....maybe some really nice guy is waiting out there and would prefer to start out as friends sharing similar interests than just the bed.
 

PreciousChild

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you so much for responding.

I think I needed a few days away from this person to really process, and I think it was better that we ended as friends.

Every breakup is hard, for folks like us, even the ones that weren't full on relationships. It made me feel better to know that there's someone else out there that's like me. I think it's true when they say that survivors of trauma often love the hardest, because they know what it's like to have been there, and would never want anyone to feel the same.

I hope that your current relationship is providing you all the love and support that you need. Thanks again.
Thanks @sleeveheart. I just wanted to mention too that my current bf wooed me for two months before I was ready to be intimate. He admitted that he would have waited longer if he had to. Someone who sees something in you will stick around. My MO is if you don't want to wait, there's the door. But I am not a victim of CSA, so it may be easier for me to stick with my comfort zone around sex than for some here.
 
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