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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Garyl Offline
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Struggling to feel like I am in a relationship(s) - April 1st 2021, 05:59 PM

My ex broke up with me two years ago this May. During the time I had sporadic sexual partners (COVID kind of put a damper on that), but no relationships. Then in February I met a guy and started dating him. In March I met someone else and started dating them (don't worry; we're all polyamorous and they know about each other).

The thing is, even though I am dating two people, I still feel like I am single. I don't know if it's because in my last relationship we lived together for five years, so I felt more "in a relationship" because I saw her every day, and now I live alone so most of the time I don't see anyone. I don't know if it's because I haven't had a boyfriend in six or seven years, and now I have one and a half (one is officially my boyfriend but the other hasn't called himself that so I am holding off on that label). I just honestly don't know what's causing me to feel this way.

There are complications with my feelings, too. One of them already told me he loves me and I just feel so torn about that. I like both these guys a lot, but I feel like it's going to be REALLY hard to let go of the walls I built around my heart in the last couple of years. When my ex ended things they were REALLY bad; I had a huge breakdown and swore I wouldn't love anyone again. Not because I genuinely don't want to feel love, but because I don't want to feel pain like that again.

Does anyone have insight as to why I may still feel single and how to feel more "in a relationship(s)?" Or any advice as to how to open my heart? I'd appreciate it.


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Stacey Offline
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Re: Struggling to feel like I am in a relationship(s) - April 1st 2021, 11:51 PM

Hi Garyl,
I can relate to your situation. I was in a long-distance relationship for 4 years in my early twenties and I think the long periods of being apart combined with my already very independent mindset made that a unique experience for my first serious relationship. Those long periods of being apart always made it feel like I was living my own life and then every few months when we saw each other that's when it felt like a real relationship and then back to living my own life. This meant that when we broke up and I started trying to date again, I never quite felt like I was in a relationship with the people I'd end up dating, and I admittedly still struggle with this a bit sometimes despite being with my current partner for 3.5 years. Like you mentioned about the living situation, I feel like when I have my own space and I don't live with a partner it's a lot easier for me to fall back into that "single" mindset as soon as they leave. I think this is somewhat normal to a degree but I think maybe you and I are just more aware of that feeling, and due to past experiences in relationships and subsequent breakups maybe even more guarded over this sort of thing.

I think with time, it'll come. I do find myself now feeling more and more like I'm in a couple, making more decisions and stuff as a "we" and not a "me" and this is 3.5 years later.

In terms of them telling you that you that they love you and you feeling torn about that, that's totally understandable given what you mentioned about your previous relationship and I think they will be very supportive of you taking your time to figure out how you feel and what you and your relationships mean to you. Opening up your heart again is really, as cliche as it sounds, about time. It'll come, it may take longer than in previous relationships, but you'll get there. Relationships are so unique to each person so it's hard to give you advice on what to do beyond that, but just be open and try to check in with yourself and be mindful of what feelings come up for you in your relationships.


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Re: Struggling to feel like I am in a relationship(s) - April 2nd 2021, 03:05 PM

Hey Eli,
I've followed your journey for the past few years; while you were with your ex, breaking up with them, the time in between from then to now, and the two people you're currently seeing. I know you have a lot of self-doubt and criticism and, with everything you've gone through, that is perfectly fine.

You were in a relationship with your ex for about five or six years, and you lived in a home with several other people, and the relationship dynamic was poly-based. Now, you're pretty much in the same situation, except you are not living with this people, so I imagine that would feel a little strange.

Just give it time. COVID and being single for two years would throw anyone off, not just you. The feeling of being in a relationship will come back to you eventually. You know where to reach out if you have any more thoughts and feelings on this.

Take care of yourself, Eli!


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