Complete avoidance of romantic relationship

B

barcellona

Hi there.

I am a 30 year old woman with CPTSD. After spending much of my teens and early 20s in hospitals or rehabs, I've gotten to a point where I can manage my experiences/trauma well enough that I have a relatively stable and "good" life, aside from romantic relationships. I've never had one, although I had a couple longer-term flirtations (both with men with trauma/mental illness backgrounds as well). I have intense anxiety around men who I feel may be interested in me, especially if I feel some interest in them as well. I am fine with men who are in relationships, or with whom there are only platonic feelings/vibes. When I've tried online dating, I haven't had problems talking (messaging) with a guy, until he asks me out at which point I have such strong anxiety that I often block them. I spent most of my life in various forms of talk therapy (CBT/DBT, MBT, etc.) and never was able to address this, and I'm not sure what to do because I desperately want a relationship. I was extremely alone in my life as a kid, and while I have great friends (mostly women, but some men), I do want a partner, and I really need to find a way to address this block in my life.

Any suggestions or similar experience, I'm really open to hearing!

Also, I think it's worth mentioning that I strongly believe this is more of an issue of anxiety regarding emotional vulnerability with men rather than physical intimacy. I have a long history of eating disorders (recovery is also relatively stable), and I do know that body-anxiety is an issue for me when considering physical intimacy...but still, I think if I was able to start a secure relationship I could overcome this.
 

balazovavik

New Here
Hi, I have similar problem. I am 24 yo now and being the best I ever was, but still having problem with relationtips, not just romantic ones.

I had just one real boyfriend and I broke up with him after I slept with him and few weeks after that he told me he loves me. It was too much for me at the time. Since than I date with someone for a few weeks and then brake up with them before (... don´t really know before what :D). But I hate when they tell me they like me or when they touch me. Because of that I end any relationship pretty soon before it can actually begin. There´s no problem with flirting. I feel like I have a lot of expierences in that area but nothing more..

I used to have a lot of problems with ED too, but I´m stable last year.

I think my problem is with the core belief that almost no relationship can last for a long time, so why would I even try. :D But I want kids, so have to do something with that. I talk about that with my therapist but she´s a psychoanalysis therapist and she doesn´t give me any hints and I have find out for myself. Would also apreciate some tips.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Hi @balazovavik - welcome.
I think my problem is with the core belief that almost no relationship can last for a long time, so why would I even try. :D But I want kids, so have to do something with that. I talk about that with my therapist but she´s a psychoanalysis therapist and she doesn´t give me any hints and I have find out for myself. Would also apreciate some tips.
Sometimes it's helpful to consider these things in the context of your originating trauma. Do you mind my asking what led to your PTSD?
 

balazovavik

New Here
Hi @balazovavik - welcome.

Sometimes it's helpful to consider these things in the context of your originating trauma. Do you mind my asking what led to your PTSD?
Hi Joey, thanks. :)

My mother has schizophrenia and she was taking care of me ´till the age of six. She was having a lot of mood swings at the time and was physically abusing me, sometimes wasn´t even able to take care of herself.

So I get that I have problems with people and social life. But can´t figure out why I hate people touching me or being near me. It doesn´t make sense, because I am able to make friends and enjoy their company. With romantic relationships it´s different, I take every opportunity to sabotage it.
 

Givrali

MyPTSD Pro
29 yo women bi but only looking for women because stronger aversion to men. Never actually in couple just met two people once. Cptsd but no eating disorder. Sexual abused as a child and as a teenager by a older brother.

I'm also autistic so it's even more complicated....

I unfriend a guy because I was sure he was having feelings for me and I couldn't deal with that.

I don't have any advice because I still didn't find how to process romantic relationships in these conditions
 

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Nowadays there’s this huuuuuge spectrum of sexual orientations so there’s some kind of category for how you identify. I don’t know what it is. Maybe aromantic or something like that? I don’t even know if it’s an orientation or an identity or something else.

What I’m getting at is that if you can define what your preferences are and communicate them to potential partners, you’re more likely to find someone who either is looking for something similar or is totally fine respecting your boundaries because your common interests are worth sticking around for.

A friend of mine has a long-term relationship with someone who is like a partner but they don’t have sex and rarely hug because she doesn’t want to and he’s fine with that. She calls him her best friend. They don’t live together but they talk throughout the day and go on trips together and have dinner etc.

I hate when they tell me they like me or when they touch me.
This would be helpful for them to know up front. If they like you they will respect that.

I just went to a birthday party where the person whose birthday it was doesn’t like the birthday song and she asked everyone to please not sing it—problem solved. Her dad just spoke the words very rapidly which respected her but kept it light.

My T has never told me she loves me because that’s her boundary (rightly so 😅) but I know she does because of her actions.
think my problem is with the core belief that almost no relationship can last for a long time,
This seems like a good place to start chipping away at your avoidance if you want to.
 
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