Immediate Attachment

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

My problem is that when I find a girl with any of the same interests as myself and start talking to them I immediately get attached and feel almost in love with the person both emotionally and sexually. This has happened many many times and can be kick started from one simple conversation. It is very troubling meeting someone once or twice and having the feeling of deep personal heartbreak when I cannot engage in a romantic relationship with the person. I have had a few relationships off of this feeling but have to repress it constantly during the first few months. Just ending a two-year relationship I had forgotten about the issue until recent months when it returned and continues to happen. The slightest hint of interest from a nice girl makes me want to do anything and everything for them and I have constant thought of them.
I say I have a feeling of heartbreak because getting dumped from a two-year relationship didn’t feel nearly as bad as every miniature heartbreak I have over every potential match. My parents are divorced but have been there for my whole life with little fighting in the divorce. I have had an average amount of romantic relationships for my age and in no way feel outcast, bullied, ignored, etc. I would describe my life as fairly normal, which is why I’m having such a hard time understanding why I have such an instant and deep attachment issue. Any help would be appreciated.

A: When we have been hurt there is also hope. My guess is that the pain you felt from the breakup is fueling hope for a new relationship. This is natural, and the fact that you feel this pull to be with someone is natural. Yet I can hear how difficult of a situation it has created.

One way to begin dealing with this is to practice brief conversations with women that are designed for you to have a beginning, middle and end. In other words, initiate a conversation with a woman while you are online for coffee or groceries and practice your endings: “It was nice talking to you;” “Enjoy the rest of your day;” etc.

When you learn to ski, the first thing they teach you is how to slow down and stop. When you learn to ride a bike they teach you how to brake. You need to practice brief encounters so that every one doesn’t get you too involved.

Wishing you patience and peace,

Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Mar 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). Immediate Attachment. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/03/14/immediate-attachment/