I have always regarded myself a different person in a way that I do not pursue shallow qualities in girls I am attracted to. However, I have noticed a pattern in my romantic relationships that just keeps on repeating. Right now I have a girlfriend, I had so much wanted to get together with, but after we did get together, after just a couple of days, I suddenly started being repulsed by some of her physical attributes. Basically, everything I could not care less about before we started dating, suddenly became repulsive. This feeling of repulsion comes and goes, sometimes I feel really happy, that I am finally in a mature relationship, but then comes this feeling and I am not sure what I am supposed to do with that. It seems that every time when we engage in some kind of erotic activity, whether it is passionate kissing or something more intense ( we have not yet slept together ) I forget about those things I find repulsive. But out there when we are just hangi ng out, or learning together, just casually kissing, or especially when I am alone, these thoughts come back, and I become unsure, whether I should stay together with her or not. I do not want to have an intercourse with her, only to abandon her few days after. I just don’t want to hurt her or any other girl anymore, as I have done in the past. I think I have only fallen madly in love once, when I was around 13-14 years old and since that time, I have always blamed this one girl for dumping me. I think that I have developed some kind of defense mechanism, which prevents me from getting more attached to people I get attracted to at first. I would appreciate any kind of advice. Thanks in advance. (From Austria)
I admire your insights on this and your courage to express it. I think you are exactly right. The repulsion is a hedge against abandonment. The betrayal from early on at 13-14 leaves you wanting the connection and intimacy — but ready to bail on her if things start going south. It is typically a defensive strategy to protect oneself from abandonment. But whatever protects also inhibits. This is what is happening, causing the ambivalence.
I would encourage you to engage in some brief individual therapy to confirm, understand, and heal this type of response.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Loss of Interest for My Girlfriend. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 25, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/06/14/loss-of-interest-for-my-girlfriend/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.