Attachment Issues and NoFap?

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by TheBestJ, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. TheBestJ

    TheBestJ Fapstronaut

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    Hi Everyone,

    I really need some insight here.

    I recently saw my girlfriend of just over a year for a long weekend. We are both studying abroad in different countries but are occasionally able to travel together. Five weeks after leaving home we actually decided to take a break from our relationship. This was her idea and I was absolutely heartbroken when she brought it up. Her reasoning was that I was smothering her and that she wants to make the most of her experience abroad. I understand it and think this break will be good for us, but I am still really struggling. When she admitted that she felt like she was being smothered I was not surprised. I feel that I'm a very emotional person and I have a history of getting very attached to the girls I date (even if an exclusive relationship never actually happens). For the last 3-4 months of our relationship we have made plans to move in together and get married after we graduate next year. In my head that future was a fact, not a possibility, and we always agreed that it was going to happen (she was even the first of us to bring it up and I was so happy when she did). Now after being away for 7ish weeks I think that she is starting to realize that a commitment like that at such a young age is not realistic. This is my first serious relationship, I am only 21 years old, and I am so incredibly afraid of losing her. At this point (about 3 weeks into our break), I am really really struggling to think that I will ever be able to move on if our relationship doesn't make it through this.

    Do any of you feel like you have similar attachment issues in relationships? If so, do you think it has anything to do with bad PMO habits, or is it just my personality? Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

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    Hey there. First of all, I just want to thank you for sharing your story. I hope it feels better to have some of that off your chest. I don't know if I have any great insight to offer, but your story shared a lot of parallels with my own college experience and the loss of my first love, so maybe I'll just share that and share how the healing process happened.

    Not currently, but I did when I was at the stage of life that you're in.

    When I was a junior in high school, I started dating a girl. We fell deeply in love. I had dated other girls before her, but nothing that was too serious. This felt different than all of those other times. This was the first time I was really in love with someone. I became very attached. By the end of high school, I was pretty certain we were going to stay together for a long time. She decided she was going to go to college in the city next to ours. I was so attached to our relationship that I didn't even apply to other colleges. We both got in, and we decided to keep our relationship going. At that point, I felt even more attached. I thought that she and I were going to eventually move in together, get married, all that good stuff (though we never made explicit plans to do so).

    Then, as if out of nowhere, things started changing. Quickly. She seemed less and less interested in me. She was focused on all the new people she was meeting in school (both men and women), she was heavily focused on her schoolwork and her future career. Meanwhile, I was focused on her. My grades? Not going so well. My other relationships in life and my own social development in college? Not good. I was isolated from other people, and I really just wanted to be with her.

    Then, life hit me over the head like a cheetah pouncing from the bushes. She dumped me, and it felt like everything fell apart. My whole world shattered. It felt like my life was falling apart. My PMO habits became even worse, I started hanging out with some bad people and started doing lots of drugs. My grades completely slipped and it felt like I was going to have to drop out.

    Eventually, things got so bad that I overdosed on some uppers at a drug house. One of my friends (perhaps the only true friend I had in that group of drug addicts) rushed into the bathroom where I was dying on the floor and performed CPR on me as he called 911. He saved my life that night. When I finally came to, I realized how many people were worried sick about me. My family, all of my closest friends from high school, and even the girl who shattered my heart into a million pieces was worried. I realized that I had to turn my whole life around and get my shit together. I invested the entirety of who I was into someone else, and I was so attached to her that everything came crashing down around me when she let me go. That's not strength. That's not love. That's just reckless.

    So, how did I turn things around? I started with myself. First things first, I stopped doing drugs and stopped hanging out with people who were just trying to get me to do drugs with them. Then, I thought seriously about what I wanted to do with my life and I switched majors to something that was more aligned with my own interests. Finally, I got a job, and a really important one. I was a camp counselor that summer. I loved it, and I feel that it bettered me as a whole person. I was a lot stronger and more well-rounded when I returned from all of that, and it felt like I had been given a second chance. Years have passed since then, and I'm so much happier with who I am as a person. I've been porn-free for almost a year, I'm about to start my own business, and I'm in a healthy, loving relationship with someone who helps me grow.

    Of course, there's a part of me that still loves that girl from high school. There always will be. However, the thing is, I realized that I wasn't being the best person for her. I had no future when I was with her. Sure, I wanted to move in with her and maybe get married, but that fantasy picture was leaving out so many details. I didn't have any friends, my grades sucked, I wasn't working, I was addicted to porn, and I was getting into drugs. I had no future, and I think she could see that there was no future with me. Holding on to my relationship with her might have been possible if I really put in the effort (we even got back together once before we *really* broke it off), but eventually I let her go because I loved her. I loved her and I wanted her to be with someone who she actually had a future with.

    So that's my story of how I lost the woman I loved more than anyone else and how I healed and moved on. It was a bumpy ride, but I wouldn't trade it for anything, and I'm much happier with who I am today even though she's not a part of my life anymore.

    I don't think that your PMO habits are causing you to be more attached to your girlfriend. However, I think that your habits are intermingled into the whole picture. If you read through my story above, you'll notice that I wasn't exactly being the best partner to my girlfriend. I wasn't being the sort of guy that she deserved to have a future with. PMO was part of that picture.

    I don't think that you should quit PMO because it will make you less attached in your own relationships. I think that you should quit PMO because it will make you a better person. It will make you a better version of yourself. I think your girlfriend deserves that, but, more importantly, I think you deserve that.

    If you're feeling incredibly attached to this relationship, my advice is to focus on yourself as an individual. Maybe taking a break from one another is an opportunity for you to do that. Just because you're in a relationship doesn't mean you stop being an individual, so take a good long look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself who you really are. Are you living up to your own standards? If not, I think that's more important than this relationship.

    Love isn't the same thing as being attached to someone. Love isn't about being in the security that you will one day move in together and get married and grow old together. Love is about sharing yourself with someone else, and about being the sort of person you're proud to share with that person. Love is also about knowing when to let go. As cheesy as that might sound, letting her go may be the most loving thing you can do for her right now. I know it was the right thing to do in my own story.

    Hope that helps!
     
  3. hope4healing

    hope4healing Fapstronaut

    Very well said, @Ridley. Fantastic story and great advice.
     
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  4. TheBestJ

    TheBestJ Fapstronaut

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    Wow. I cannot thank you enough for putting in the time to share that story and your advice. Each day is getting better for me. I'm slowly starting to remember the person who she initially fell for. He was motivated, ambitious, confident, and very passionate all at the same time. Right now I cannot say that I am that person, and I think that momentarily I do need to give her space so she can grow and so I can figure out who I really am. Your response means so much more than you could imagine. Thank you.
     
    hope4healing likes this.
  5. Ridley

    Ridley Fapstronaut

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    It's not just space that will help her grow. It will help you grow as well. Life is full of transformative experiences like this one. If you lean into it, and you don't try to fight things or hold onto the status quo, you will emerge a stronger person.

    I'm glad it helped! Good luck, and welcome to the community :)
     
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