Oh Mickey, What a Pity…

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Dear Dharma,

I have recently come out of a 10 year relationship, and while it ended amicably it was my fault. We hadn’t been happy, properly happy, in a long time and I hadn’t felt passion or desire for my partner in even longer.

We’d occasionally fall out about it, resolve to do better, then not do better, etc. We were just too comfortable and conditioned to change things. At the end we saw a relationship counsellor together – mostly inspired by infidelity on my part. I did say it was my fault…

While I can claim the infidelity was a symptom of our failing relationship and not the reason it failed, I can’t claim any defence for my behaviour. Call it hormones or pheromones or two messed up people making really bad decisions together, I don’t know.

The trouble is, now I am so confused. I was never sure if my lack of sexual desire for my partner was just me, or us – and even the misjudged but passionate affair hasn’t convinced me I am not fundamentally broken.

And really, look at me. I’m pushing 40, I’m not anyone’s first choice, or likely second, and I’m worried that in the unlikely event I will date someone new and not feel that passion still. That this person I had my affair with was some kind of anomaly, or it wouldn’t have lasted anyway.

So on top of being worried that I will never be loved or desired again, I’m worried that if someone even does want to date me I won’t want to sleep with them. Or that the one you want and the one who wants you are never the same person.

Am I beyond help, Dharma?

Mickey

Dear Mickey,

My oh my, talk about borrowing problems that don’t even exist yet.

A friend of mine recently said something like, “I’ve had a lot of problems in life.  Some of them even came true.”  Sorry, friend, if that wasn’t an exact quote, but I took the meaning of that great statement to be that you had spent a lot of energy worrying and stressing over things that hadn’t even materialized.    But because they could happen, they might happen, you put the time and effort in to be ready, just in case.

And that’s what I’m seeing here, Mickey.  You’re worried no one will love or desire you ever again.  You’re worried that even if they do, this person who hasn’t even walked through your door yet, you’re worried you won’t be attracted to them.  Neither of these things has even happened, and already you’re defeated.

Sentences like “in the unlikely event I will date” and “I’m not anyone’s first choice, or likely second”… You’ve heard of self-fulfilling prophecy, yes?  As in, energy flows where thoughts go.

And right now, your thoughts are in the crapper, my dear Mickey.  And Dharma’s a big believer in what you think about you bring about.

Look, 10 years is a long time to be in a mediocre relationship.  It may have ended amicably (which is surprising when an infidelity occurs, yet I’ll take your word for it), but it seems to have left you questioning a lot of things.

And until you are able to turn your thoughts around and figure some things out, I’d stay out of the dating arena – I can all but guarantee not much good will happen should you dabble there right now.

The good news is that you are not beyond help.  I honestly think that seeing a good counsellor will help you immensely.

However, it really depends on how badly you want to be happy.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you want to be alone and confused, I think you are just putting too much energy into projecting that scenario.

But you can’t expect to change nothing and end up with a changed situation.  If you take this way of thinking and behaving into your next relationship and do nothing any differently, you must know where that will go.

If you can see value in that line of thinking, and believe it to be true, then I’m hoping the next thing you do is google search for a counsellor in your area.

Sending strong and positive thoughts your way…

Dharma

 

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