Rebound brain

Relationships are hard, and leaving them is worse. Every time I leave a relationship, i bounce right back into one. I develop feeling for people super fast, but they eventually fade. Then, I feel bad because I don’t want to waste my partner’s time being in a relationship with someone that doesn’t want to be in it. It’s a constant pattern, and I feel really bad. Ironically, I’ve been going through a bit of a dry spell recently, which has given me time to reflect, but also has given me time to be anxious. I just want to know what I can do to prevent this cycle from continuing once I start dating again.

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Many years ago, when my 45-year-old son was 4, there was a book about attention deficit disorder (although in those days they may have called it something else more pejorative). The name of the book . . . “No Easy Answers”. I do not remember any specifics . . . but I do recall that the underlying message was, there is no one answer to any issue; not the same answers for different people; and that nothing happens in a vacuum . . . difficult issues challenge us all.

Please do not take what I’ve said as discouragement. Despite the title of that book that, I am pretty sure I haven’t told you anything that you already did not know.

I will not presume to propose solutions for your reoccurring problem.

I am merely trying to say that there are no easy answers, that it is a matter of discovering the right answers . . . for you, and that you need MUCHO SUPPORT along the way. That is why we are here. That is why we care. That is why we can (metaphorically) . . . buddy up with you as you look for answers.

So try not to get discouraged, be diligent in your search for what can be the right answers for you . . . and keep in touch my friend!

Barry
:sunglasses:

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Find someone as interested in growth as you are. My husband is a writer and we play D&D together and we play games, our favorite to play together right now is 7 Days to Die.

There’s always something new to talk about, always someone else to be. :smiley:

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Perhaps what is happening is that you hyperfocus but for a short period of time. Once the novelty wears off you get bored and stop investing in the relationship. As @Mabd says, you have to always have something new!

A few years back I went to the 70 year marriage anniversary celebration of a couple (my parents’ age). Even in their nineties they hadn’t run out of things to talk about as well as they could be happy just being together, not saying a word. Not just your spouse, not just people, every living being can be infinitely interesting if only we pay enough attention and interact with them!

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therapy

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@Jstorm this doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with you or your relationships. Sometimes it helps to get an object perspective. (Or, maybe there is something that you need help from a therapist with, whether you know it or not. Regardless, we all need a little help sometimes.)

As @Brooklyn was getting at, it’s complicated, it’s never a simple answer. That’s why people feel blindsided when a relationship they feel is stable will suddenly fall apart. (I’m speaking from recent experience.) But the lesson here is:

  • Don’t expect a simple or easy answer.
  • Relationships are complicated, because people are complicated. What’s right for one couple won’t necessarily work for another (and may not always by right for that first couple).
  • Change happens. It’s a fact of life! Feelings change, situations change, relationship dynamics change. Expect things to change

@Mabd and @khagen are correct, and for two reasons:

  1. Couples who have similar interests (and share similar core values) and who do those things together will naturally be closer.
  2. People who stay curious about their significant other will naturally be drawn towards their loved one. (This is one of the prominent research findings of Dr. John Gottman, founder of the Gottman Institute. He is regarded as the preeminent authority on marriage and relationship research. His one big takeaway from over 40 years of research, and his one sentence advice to couples: “Stay curious about each other.”)

Here’s a couple of more truths for you:

  • First: Attraction is what brings people together!
  • Second: Relationship is what keeps people together.
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hey :slight_smile: i guess it is important that you are not too harsh with yourself. i think its admirable that you can even reflect on that topic. i know a lot of people that would just keep on going without givin it a second thought. sounds to me like you wanna improve. whenever u are not happy with the way you go about certain aspects of your life then the “status quo” is never a sustainable solution. so congratulations for being able to reflect at all :slight_smile:
the question i had in my mind when i read your post:
what does he/she gets out of the relationship that is missing without it?
a sense security? touch? a sense of “being needed”? less lonelyness?..etc
if you find out and wanna talk about it hit me up :wink:

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Love is always one of the most complicated topics to discuss. That’s because it’s experienced differently for each person in each relationship at each point in time.

There are a lot of similarities and commonalities of experience and understanding of love, so we CAN talk about it. But my experience will differ from your experience, which will differ from every other person’s experience with love.

Because of the commonalities, social scientists, neurologists and biologists have been able to study love and relationships. I’ve learned a little about what this research says, and so I can share some of it here.

Because of the uniqueness of each person’s experience, even the best research doesn’t apply to all people in the same way.


I’ll base this on the “Triangular theory of love” developed by Robert Sternberg. It’s a good starting point.

440px-Triangular_Theory_of_Love.svg

This model proposes that different types of love are made up of one or more of three components: Passion, Intimacy, and Commitment.
(Note 1: in this model, “intimacy” is more about two people’s openness to each other, while “sexual intimacy” might fall mostly or completely into the “passion” component.)
(Note 2: the Triangular Theory model is applicable to romantic love, but also to familial love of parent-child or sibling relationships, friendships, etc.)

Sticking with romantic relationships, my own understanding (not from the research, but from my own observations and from listening to the observations of others, both average person and relationship experts) is the following. (I may be wrong. I’m not an expert on this, and I’m most certainly not an expert on YOU.)

  1. Liking: stable romantic relationships often grow out of friendships. High Intimacy, Low Passion & Commitment.

  2. Infatuation: many relationships begin solely on attraction. High Passion, Low Intimacy & Commitment. (This is where the stereotype of “love at first sight” comes from.)

  3. “Empty” Love: I don’t know how common this is, but I think I felt it before. If I have, I would say that it’s definitely not “empty”, but rather is full of a desire for passion and intimacy. High Commitment, Low Passion and Intimacy.

  4. Romantic Love: This very exciting form of love can grow very fast, but can also fade quickly, too. High Passion and Intimacy, Low Commitment. (One or both partners can be drawn away when either Passion or Intimacy fades. Relationship can be improved by both partners becoming Committed to the other.)

  5. Companionate Love: This is where many marriages that stay together wind up in time. (One or both partners can become vulnerable to an affair, of Commitment fades. Relationship can be improved by building Passion together.)

  6. Fatuous Love: I’ve only heard of this in fiction, like renaissance courtesan characters, so I have nothing to go on.

  7. Consummate Love: This is the ideal, in which all three components (Passion, Intimacy, Commitment) are high.

  • I experienced this for part of my 20-year marriage, but not enough by far.
  • I’ve witnessed this in my parents (off and on, but more frequently over the years).
  • My grandparents apparently lived in this ideal love a long time (it would have been embarrassing if they weren’t so cute…it was embarrassing to a couple of my aunts when they were students at the high school their dad taught at, and he showed up with hickeys on his neck…he and grandma were in their 50’s at the time, so that was when I was a baby), but I got to witness this in them all the way until my grandma passed away of cancer. It was beautiful!
  • This is the ideal type of love that most people want.

Love requires: work (effort), patience, dedication, listening to understand, accepting each other nonjudgmentally, willingness for self-sacrifice, genuine ongoing curiosity in each other, willingness to change.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day,” and neither is a relationship.

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sorry for the late response, had a rough few days. But about your question, I think the biggest thing I get from a relationship is touch and security. My life was pretty unstable growing up, and my parents would fight a lot. It kinda messed me up, but I found comfort in touch. Cuddling with my stuffed animals, my cat sleeping on me, even just weighted blankets would calm me down. When I’m not in a relationship, I really don’t have anyone to tell me I’ll be ok. Like I have friends, but friends will only do so much, ya know?

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sry for being so upfront (guess communication via a forum is tough otherwise :))
in my experience a relationship works best when you dont NEED it.
a partner that relies on you to actually “survive” can hardly become an equal.
also its hard to imagine that anyone could VOLUTARILY choose a partner when just BEING WITH ANYONE feels like a necessity. so for me (im always open for corrections if i dont understand it properly) it seems like you found out a really important truth for yourself. you are unintentionally looking for a person that fullfills ur needs. not a partner. so for you to find yourself in an adequate relationship in the future, espeically one that YOU choose and not your circumstances and your suffering, you need to find a way to feel safe with just you. finding trust in yourself is not easy i know :slight_smile: its really great to have friends, family and partners to make us feel save and comfort us but its just as important that we can do that on our own.

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There’s no need to apologize, I very much appreciate when people are upfront. Thank you, honestly. This is exactly what I needed. Feeling safe with myself is something I need to work on, and this is what I needed to get me started. Thank you so much.

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