Not knowing what love is

Corvidcore34

Learning
I know this sounds stupid but I think I have no concept of what love is at all or how does it feels like. Not only romantic but any kind of love. This came up on a visit to my student counselor who is giving me psychotherapy until I can have a safe way to speak to a T, where she asked me what do I wanted my life to be like relationship-wise or what kind of person I would like to be with, and I honestly couldn't answer at all. I have spent years just thinking I had a crush on every guy-friend I ever had cause I thought that wanting to spend time with them ment a crush, until one of them actually confessed to me and I rejected him, as well as I was 0% jealous in them, I didn't care if they got a partner or started disliking me and I could become completely uninterested in them by the second.

Same thing with friends, I can move on extremely easily if one of them starts disliking me or stops talking to me, and I almost always never try to repair the relationship. Also if I ever feel threatened by any of them I start ignoring them almost instantly. All I feel like is wanting to be with more people so I can have more people to spend time with and not get bullied, or just wanting to make everyone around me be happier, but not anything beyond that.

I also have no sexual attraction at all and am sex repulsed, and until a year ago I honestly couldn't tell you whether someone was attractive or not (later that actually made me think I was a lesbian, because I can find a woman attractive but men look all the same to me, but at the same time, I have never had a crush on any girl, real or not).

I feel like maybe I'm just too broken to love, there are many things that make it so difficult do so, like hating any sort of physical contact, making me wanting to grab hands, kiss or even hug someone imposible for me. Or whenever someone shows interest in me or tells me that they like me I see it as a treat or that they are love-bombing me. I also feel the same when I'm complemented or whenever I receive gifts and things like that. Even when people try to help me or do things for me all I feel is anxiety that they might hurt me or relief that they don't want to hurt me. Love is just weird for me, and maybe it will be like that forever.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
yes, it sounds stupid, but so do a considerable number of our cultural realities. have you seen some of the ways we torture and lie to ourselves in order to be fashionable and/or fit in? i am fine. how are you?

as a child prostitute who moved an average of every 6 months throughout childhood, my perceptions of sex, love and friendship were so convoluted that i had to start with therapeutically guided separations of those concepts. fast forward a few decades and those works are still in progress. i still feel the urges to push people away and isolate when these confusions arise, but mark it as solid progress that i no longer tear my world apart to escape the reminder of just how confused i am.

itsy bitsy baby steps. . .
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
I was blessed. I had a grandfather (the only grandparent I had) that loved me. I modelled much on him.
I also loved my children. I worked on my inner critic by trying to picture my middle son, who was a very sensitive child, at whatever age and tried to imagine if I could speak to him like that - and that is how I sorted out how I should be speaking to myself.
Animals as well. I had very strong positive and nurturing feelings towards animals (still do) and attached to how that felt for me and worked at doing things that helped me feel connected like that to myself.
I loved tennis - so that as well helped me connect to 'love' and how it felt for me.
I hope you are able to connect to how love feels for you. If you aren't quite there yet, can you connect to something you 'strongly like'? Or, can you see a relationship in those surrounding you that you believe is based on love or strong like or respect or mutuality...

Many of us are new at this. Maybe try to aim to label and journal 1 positive connection to someone/something a day. That starts rewiring your brain to look for positive emotional situations - and for me, that snowballed very quickly - because it felt damned good. My life improved exponentially when I started to realize that I actually COULD find and create love in this sometimes crazy, hostile, chaotic place they call earth.

Best of luck in finding your best new life!
 

Bigmess

Learning
I have in my life only had a couple relationships, during both of these (one of which was in my later teens and one in the past couple years) I realized how by contrast how alone and unsafe I really felt all the time. They both didn't really go anywhere in the end but I found that besides those experiences I have never felt real love in my life. I's as if all I known was feigned familial affection and danger. I upon falling in love with someone mutually needed a lot more time to myself because it felt so strange and unfamiliar. I have quitte the sex drive but the concept of love from it was always far removed from it besides those times. Unconditional close friendship and love sort of fall into the same bubble for me. Those are also the times where I ever truely felt any elevated degree of safety. It really goes to show how different normal peoples world and my world is, like that feeling of belonging and safety net so many people feel daily and how it translates to feeling so carefree often. I'm not saying normal people have lives that are all sunshine and rainbows, but I think about the contrast and my mind can't wrap itself around the absence of danger with a presence of love/belonging. I've only gotten small tastes of it throughout my life but I do know it's one of the most powerful things one can feel.
 

Corvidcore34

Learning
yes, it sounds stupid, but so do a considerable number of our cultural realities. have you seen some of the ways we torture and lie to ourselves in order to be fashionable and/or fit in? i am fine. how are you?
As someone who feel like they have to be 100% presentable, covered up and clean or else feels extremely disgusting I relate to this a lot. It sounds like something so stupid if you think about it well but some things just get wired on our brain and some don't, it's a very weird reality
as a child prostitute who moved an average of every 6 months throughout childhood, my perceptions of sex, love and friendship were so convoluted that i had to start with therapeutically guided separations of those concepts. fast forward a few decades and those works are still in progress. i still feel the urges to push people away and isolate when these confusions arise, but mark it as solid progress that i no longer tear my world apart to escape the reminder of just how confused i am.

itsy bitsy baby steps. . .
I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but I'm glad you are making progress :) Thank you for sharing this with me, I think I really needed to hear this, I will try to work on baby steps too

Maybe try to aim to label and journal 1 positive connection to someone/something a day. That starts rewiring your brain to look for positive emotional situations - and for me, that snowballed very quickly - because it felt damned good. My life improved exponentially when I started to realize that I actually COULD find and create love in this sometimes crazy, hostile
This sounds fun actually. I used to have a gratitude journal when I was having really rough times during the pandemic and it really helped me a lot to motivate me to survive it. I've always love diaries.

It really goes to show how different normal peoples world and my world is, like that feeling of belonging and safety net so many people feel daily and how it translates to feeling so carefree often. I'm not saying normal people have lives that are all sunshine and rainbows, but I think about the contrast and my mind can't wrap itself around the absence of danger with a presence of love/belonging. I've only gotten small tastes of it throughout my life but I do know it's one of the most powerful things one can feel.
I feel you. For me security has always been a privilege that I should enjoy while it lasts because it will end soon, and it always does. Whether it is stable relationships, good self steem, mental and physical health or even being safe that I'm not gonna get hurt or killed tonight, it has always seem to come in small periods of being teased what "safe" feels like, where I just fear when it is going to end or even wanting it to end so everyone can stop acting like everything is gonna be fine. I really hope we can feel love and feelings of belonging someday.
 

Peter567777

New Here
I was blessed. I had a grandfather (the only grandparent I had) that loved me. I modelled much on him.
I also loved my children. I worked on my inner critic by trying to picture my middle son, who was a very sensitive child, at whatever age and tried to imagine if I could speak to him like that - and that is how I sorted out how I should be speaking to myself.
Animals as well. I had very strong positive and nurturing feelings towards animals (still do) and attached to how that felt for me and worked at doing things that helped me feel connected like that to myself.
I loved tennis - so that as well helped me connect to 'love' and how it felt for me.
I hope you are able to connect to how love feels for you. If you aren't quite there yet, can you connect to something you 'strongly like'? Or, can you see a relationship in those surrounding you that you believe is based on love or strong like or respect or mutuality...

Many of us are new at this. Maybe try to aim to label and journal 1 positive connection to someone/something a day. That starts rewiring your brain to look for positive emotional situations - and for me, that snowballed very quickly - because it felt damned good. My life improved exponentially when I started to realize that I actually COULD find and create love in this sometimes crazy, hostile, chaotic place they call earth.

Best of luck in finding your best new life!
I have in my life only had a couple relationships, during both of these (one of which was in my later teens and one in the past couple years) I realized how by contrast how alone and unsafe I really felt all the time. They both didn't really go anywhere in the end but I found that besides those experiences I have never felt real love in my life. I's as if all I known was feigned familial affection and danger. I upon falling in love with someone mutually needed a lot more time to myself because it felt so strange and unfamiliar. I have quitte the sex drive but the concept of love from it was always far removed from it besides those times. Unconditional close friendship and love sort of fall into the same bubble for me. Those are also the times where I ever truely felt any elevated degree of safety. It really goes to show how different normal peoples world and my world is, like that feeling of belonging and safety net so many people feel daily and how it translates to feeling so carefree often. I'm not saying normal people have lives that are all sunshine and rainbows, but I think about the contrast and my mind can't wrap itself around the absence of danger with a presence of love/belonging. I've only gotten small tastes of it throughout my life but I do know it's one of the most powerful things one can feel.
I had a similar problem, I was dating a girl but I didn't feel the love I needed from her. I did not feel the girl's true love for me. Therefore, having survived this period in my life, I may soon venture into a new relationship.
 

Weemie

MyPTSD Pro
I consider myself aromantic and polyamorous. Platonic love is the highest level of love I know how to give., and I can give that level of love to multiple people. There are of course divergences in partnerships and individual relationships and the like. I'm not asexual but my sexuality is almost-that, but it isn't. A "you know it when you know it" kind of thing. How you interact with love and relationships is deeply personal. There's no right or wrong way to go about it.
 
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