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NOTE: This will be a long post, so please bear with me.

I'm 18, F, INTP and I have troubles with emotions. Not that I don't have any, but it's hard for me to recognise them until it's too late, especially when it comes to potential love interests. I find it hard to know when I am 'in love' with someone or if it is just me, having strong feelings for them. I realized that it's because I try not to address my feelings even when I notice that it's there.

"I always felt too vulnerable and feared attention, judgement, and hurt. The easiest most effective response? I consciously decided to not give a shit, and binged in my self-indulgence, loving myself whilst being respectful to those who expressed love to me, but not reciprocating. Simply pedaling what I knew they wanted from me to make them happy." From a fellow INTP on quora.

This is the best way to describe the reason why I act the way I do. In addition, due to childhood traumas and shitty relationships from the past, I decided that I never want to get too attached to people because I hate it when they make me feel so helpless, and it really pains me once they leave. Thus, the detachment in my part.

But recently, I met this guy (25M). He was very open and honest with me, he was like this huge ball of innocence in a body of a grown man. And it felt too good to be true. He shared his self to me, but I was so filtered out with him because I was afraid that if I became as honest as he is, I would get attached, and I swore to myself to never be that kind of person. Despite being filtered with him, I kept going back to his place. And at the time I was doing all these, I never thought much of it. But now, I'm realizing that the reason I kept going back was because I liked spending my time with him. I never truly shared myself to him, and yet I still caught feelings. What more if I did?

Point of this is, when we were together in bed, laying down, he brought up the topic of 'us.' He asked if I was seeing other men, and I asked if he is seeing other women. He said that there is a girl he's been talking to, but he wants to focus on what we have. And me, blocking any emotions, I abruptly said that 'we should end our thing. whatever this is.' He told me that I should give it some more time. The next day came by, I was still being hard on myself. I was trying to rationalize things, and I was thinking to myself that it's better to end whatever we have because experience has taught me that allowing my emotions to gain control has very disastrous results. As I was waiting for my ride, he told me, why was I rushing to leave. I shrugged it off because I was feeling so many emotions, and now I regret keeping mum about it. Then, he started to act distant, and I took it as a sign that I am no longer welcome anymore. So, I left his place the moment my ride came. (A friend told me that he must've acted like that because he was hurt by my decision. But in my mind, he acted like that to me because there's really no point of being nice to me anymore.)

This event triggered something in me. While I was on my way home, everything finally dawned on me, and it was like I was overflowing with feelings. Everything that I've repressed just came crashing down on me. I thought to myself 'why did I end things with this guy? All the signs were there, and I was too blind to see it. He even asked me out on a date, but because I fear sharing myself, I never gave him a clear answer.'

Hours after I left his place, I called him. I told him that I wasn't honest with how I was feeling because I feared rejection and relationships. I also said sorry for only having the courage to tell him these things now over the phone, and not when I was still with him. I asked him if he wanted to date, but he said that we aren't on the same page, and it's been a month since he tried to ask me out. I asked him if I missed my chance with him, and he told me that I should think more about it. I said, I wanted to hear his answer, and he told me that he'll let me know. Honestly, I was taken aback when he said it's been a month. I guess, I didn't realize how much I enjoyed spending my time with him because of my own fears to face my true feelings. It's true, you only realize what you have until it's gone. Now, I'm beating myself up for being so guarded with my heart, when all this time, I actually liked him a lot.

My question is, should I reach him out again? It's been two days. I'm trying to give him time because I'm still hoping when he said, he'll let me know. If he never reach out, I'll take it as a sign that I should move on. Or should I reach out for the second time? It's just sad that I have to realize all of these only when it's too late. Why am I such a baby with emotions? This urge to run away from what and who I love is a sort of sadism I no longer pretend to understand. I'm taking this situation as a lesson. And that, maybe it's time for me to open up my heart again. I wish it was with him, but I'm not sure if there's much hope left for me.

I'm sorry if this was such a long post. I needed to vent out and I also wanted to hear your insights. Should I reach him out, and ask him if he's thought about it? Or should I wait until he is ready? I'm not used to feeling this much emotions, but instead of blocking them, I'm allowing myself to feel everything, and it's all too painful. I wished I was more in tune with my emotions when I had the chance.
 

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This is totally normal. That inferior is a b*tch. Let it ride. If you do reach out, don't just keep dumping Fe. It's good that you were honest. If he can't deal with you as you are: 18, just at the very, very beginning of your long journey of growth, and having the issues that you have at this moment, then he isn't right for you. It sounds like with the age difference, that's a particularly pronounced risk, I think.

It never feels this way, but there will be many more in the future. If this opportunity for connection escapes, more will come. Learn what you can from this and try to figure out what that means for you. How can you better recognize your feelings and still prevent yourself from feeling so exposed you feel the need to detach? That's the question in my mind. And answering it takes years and pain and growth and struggle. At least it has for me...
 
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You’re going through the temporary heartbreak phase.

I had a friend who was 18, and they were very immature in relationships. The more they learned about relationships, the less anxiety and overthinking they had in connection to the factor. Relationship anxiety, reduces with familiarity. (Not sure what experiment to cite here, but from experience and a logical standpoint, it seems about right)

They believed someone was a good match, but truth is, if they’re flaky, we can see that they are not a good match.

Try to either get more familiar, or let bygones be bygones.

Know if this match doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean anything about you. There could be a better match out there somewhere.

What makes a good match? Sometimes, it’s personality, but other times, it could be other factors, influencing their behaviour.

Either way, people don’t stay committed for a reason.

I was trying to rationalize things
That’s where things go wrong. Don’t excessively rationalize emotional or interpersonal things. Sometimes, we call it overthinking, or anxiety on the other hand. Time to be more objective with such thoughts, like asking and answer the question , “what would happen if x or y, were true?’

‘what could it do about that after this is true?’, ‘then what could I do, after that is proven to be true?’, etc


My question is, should I reach him out again?
What would happen if you did? What would happen after that? What are the events which are most likely to happen? How could someone else (in your position) prepare for them optimally?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Sovereign the age gap was also one of the factors as to why I kept myself guarded. Eventually, however, I decided not to care much about it and give it a try, but I only realised it when we ended things. On the other hand, thank you for reminding me that I am still very young and there are still a lot of people I could have this kind of connection with. Perhaps, even better. I'm also trying to be more patient with myself as I confront these issues in me that I would probably never deal with had this situation never happened. In a way, this was a blessing in disguise because even though it's difficult for me to look back and see the root cause of my issues, it has helped my growth a lot already. I would be lying if I said this didn't make me cry like a baby though. Anyway, thank you for this thoughtful response!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@xraydav
That’s where things go wrong. Don’t excessively rationalize emotional or interpersonal things. Sometimes, we call it overthinking, or anxiety on the other hand. Time to be more objective with such thoughts, like asking and answer the question , “what would happen if x or y, were true?’
I'm only realizing this now, and it's something I am slowly trying to work on. This is something I will keep in mind now when it comes to making decisions where emotions and feelings are involved. This framework somehow reminds me of coding a program, but it is definitely helpful. Thank you for this! I'm still contemplating what my next course of action would be, but for now, I'm dedicating it to self improvement and familiarising myself with my own emotions as I was a major flight risk then.
 

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Start meditating. Overtime this helps you to 1. recognize your emotions 2. find the source of what is driving that emotion and 3. rationally decide how to act on that emotion.Its like a supper power.
 
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