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Attraction, crushes, falling in love Empty Attraction, crushes, falling in love

Post by LadyIkaros on Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:07 am

Alright, so I don't know if I'll be able to put this very well, so apologies in advance if I'm rambling or if it sounds like I'm judgemental or think that I'm a very special snowflake; it's not how it's meant.

But I've been wondering about these things - for years, actually - and would like some other people's perspective, if anyone feels like giving it.

Do other people experience attraction all the time? Do you guys fall in love even somewhat regularly? Because the way dating advice is framed, this seems to be the norm. The idea of numbers games and propositioning lots of people - DNL: ask a thousand people of your preferred gender until one says yes - is downright alien to me. Because I couldn't find a thousand people I'd want to say yes. Or a hundred. Or mostly even one.
And no, it's not because he must possess godlike beauty, power and riches, I think a lot of men are perfectly fine. On paper. I just don't... feel it?

I'm not asexual (no offense to those who are, just clarifying) though I'm pretty good at shutting my libido down, and I remember being in love as a teenager, so I dont think I'm aromantical (is that even a thing if you aren't also asexual?), but I've never been in love in my adult life. And I'm in my thirties. And have pretty much resigned myself to a life of solitude, because while I could force myself to do a lot of other things to find a partner - make an effort to look better and to meet more people, actually come on to said people etc. - I can't force myself to feel things I don't. I've been in a couple of relationships with men I liked perfectly well, and I cultivated some affection for them, but never more than that.

And sometimes I wonder, if I'm a freak. But then, other parts of the discourse on dating make me think my emotional pattern is fairly normal. Like the lists of requirements. Not saying it's wrong to have specific things you'd want in a partner, I could sit and write a list right now, but it does sometimes seem like people are more on the task of shopping for a product that would complement their lives than they're actually making any significant emotional connections. Ditto for "silly reasons someone was dumped". When people complain that their target demographic is hideously shallow because they were dumped or rejected over some really superficial, minor thing, I always think that probably the dumper just wasn't feeling it. I mean, if you had feelings for someone, you wouldn't dump them because their shoes were ugly or they pronounced "persimmons" wrong. After all, people who really do have strong feelings for their partner often overlook or put up with an amazing amount of crap.

So are a lot of people in relationships, not because they are in love but simply because they want to be in a relationship, and someone reasonably sympathetic will do for a partner? Or are most people's emotional lives very different from mine? (I don't expect defnitive answers to this; like I said, I'd just like others' perspectives).
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Post by KMR on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:35 am

Your experience sounds a bit similar to mine in some ways, so I will go ahead and share mine, in case you find it helpful.

I was somewhat of a late bloomer when it came to romantic feelings. In middle school and high school, all the girls around me talked about having one crush or another on some guy, yet I had never felt that way about anyone. I didn't have my first crush until I was 19 and in college. But crushes were sold to me as an essential part of the teenage experience (as was dating, but that seemed so many steps removed from where I was that I didn't really worry about it at that point; I was just waiting for that first step of actually feeling SOMETHING), so I often felt like I was very abnormal for never having felt that way. I also worried that it meant I was incapable of ever feeling that way and did not know what that would mean for my future romantic life.

I was in my first ever relationship in college, which lasted for most of my college years. My feelings within that relationship were somewhat complicated; we had a good relationship but were ultimately more compatible as friends. What I felt for him was something like a very deep friendship, but I knew that I wasn't quite feeling what it is that other people would describe as being in love. So even after my first relationship, I still had some doubts about my ability to have stronger romantic feelings for someone in the future.

After college, I started online dating. Because I am very introverted, I took a "quality over quantity" approach to OLD. I had no interest in playing a numbers game and meeting lots of different people, so I only responded to a small percentage of men who messaged me, who seemed especially compatible, and only messaged a handful of men myself. Even with this approach, I found myself having numerous online conversations or dates where the guy seemed perfectly compatible on paper, and I found him physically attractive, but I just never felt any emotional spark. It always confused me, because I never knew whether I should give him a chance and get to know him better to see if something developed or if I wasn't going to feel anything for him anyway, so better to just move on now. I could go through it intellectually in my head and name a number of good qualities the guy had and why we SHOULD be compatible, but emotionally, all my interactions with him would feel completely neutral. I didn't want to date someone I didn't have feelings for, but I thought that not having those feelings might just be normal for me, in which case I wouldn't be able to use it as an excuse to not date someone since then I'd just never date.

But from time to time, I would meet a guy where I would feel that spark and a stronger connection. I probably couldn't tell you what it is on paper that differentiated those guys from the ones I had dates with but ultimately felt nothing for. It's that strange and elusive concept called "chemistry" that those who have felt it can attest to but never really define or explain.

I am 28 now, and I would say I have felt that feeling of romantic attraction ("I like you as more than just a friend and would be interested in dating you") about 5-6 times in my life and have actually been in love 1-2 times (I still have a hard time really pinning this feeling down and being able to concretely say that yes, what I'm feeling is love). Not insignificant numbers, but probably quite a bit lower than most people my age when it comes to feelings of romantic attraction.

So the conclusion I have come to is that I am in fact capable of having romantic feelings and being in love, it just happens infrequently. Understanding and coming to terms with this (and I only did so very recently) makes it easier for me to be honest and decisive about when I'm not feeling it and to be able to revel in those feelings on the rare occasions that I do have them.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:50 am

LadyIkaros wrote:Do other people experience attraction all the time? Do you guys fall in love even somewhat regularly? Because the way dating advice is framed, this seems to be the norm. The idea of numbers games and propositioning lots of people - DNL: ask a thousand people of your preferred gender until one says yes - is downright alien to me. Because I couldn't find a thousand people I'd want to say yes. Or a hundred. Or mostly even one.
And no, it's not because he must possess godlike beauty, power and riches, I think a lot of men are perfectly fine. On paper. I just don't... feel it?

I think the idea is that you don't necessarily know enough about any of those thousand people to have an opinion until you've been on a date or two; just because you asked first doesn't mean you can't be the one to end it later. This was actually one of my arguments in favor of the "cold approach" a while back: if I know too much about a person and still don't "feel it", I irrationally conclude I never will, and that puts me off asking them; if I know enough about a person that I already "feel it" before I ask, and then they say no, I just feel even shittier about myself; if I just don't know anything about them, though, ...well, okay, eventually a long enough sequence of rejections from The Faceless Mass actually ends up being worse since it starts to feel instead like nobody in the world has even a passing interest, but on an individual basis you can't take it too personally if you get a "no" from somebody you didn't feel any attachment to in the first place.

But yeah, I think it's actually pretty normal to feel nothing at all in the early stages, because love at first sight is rare, if it even happens. "And if I may conjecture a further objection, / Love has nothing to do with destined perfection— / The connection is strengthened; the affection / Simply grows over time...."

Dash of salt, of course, because as always my understanding of these things comes a lot more from book-learnin' than personal experience.

Well, as far as personal experience goes, at one point there were two people I simultaneously had romantic interest in, but I think in total there have been four people I ever felt that way about—which seems like I'm keeping to about the same pace as KMR (I'm currently 24).
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Post by LadyIkaros on Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:41 pm

Hi KMR.
Thanks for your story; it does make me feel like less of an emotionally stunted anomaly, and more like this is simply a spectrum like a lot of other things.


KMR wrote: I didn't want to date someone I didn't have feelings for, but I thought that not having those feelings might just be normal for me, in which case I wouldn't be able to use it as an excuse to not date someone since then I'd just never date.

But...but... isn't never dating a pretty solid response to never feeling it? I'm not trying to tell you that you shouldn't date, mind, I just think that this is more of a reason than an excuse. ("Excuse" being when you lie to yourself about the real reasons for your choices).


KMR wrote: I am 28 now, and I would say I have felt that feeling of romantic attraction ("I like you as more than just a friend and would be interested in dating you") about 5-6 times in my life and have actually been in love 1-2 times (I still have a hard time really pinning this feeling down and being able to concretely say that yes, what I'm feeling is love). Not insignificant numbers, but probably quite a bit lower than most people my age when it comes to feelings of romantic attraction.

So for some of us, the scarcity menality is actually a pretty accurate perception? Wink
I'm pretty sure that if I did fall in love with someone, I'd develop oneitis of some proportion. I don't mean I'd stalk them or make a social nuisance of myself, I'm way too reticent for that, but I'd definitely be hung up on them.
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Post by LadyIkaros on Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:55 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:

I think the idea is that you don't necessarily know enough about any of those thousand people to have an opinion until you've been on a date or two; just because you asked first doesn't mean you can't be the one to end it later.


But yeah, I think it's actually pretty normal to feel nothing at all in the early stages, because love at first sight is rare, if it even happens. "And if I may conjecture a further objection, / Love has nothing to do with destined perfection— / The connection is strengthened; the affection / Simply grows over time...."

But if you really feel nothing at all, how on earth do you decide which one of a thousand people you're going to invest your time in?
Also, I don't really live in a dating culture. OLD has become a thing here, but outside of that context you don't go around asking people out for coffee, especially not people you barely know. So I'm not talking about not crushing on people within five minutes of meeting them; I don't crush on them after knowing them for a while, either. And even inside relationships it didn't "simply grow". Points for Tim Minchin, though Grin
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Post by Enail on Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:08 pm

I think I'm a little like you, LadyIkaros. I've always thought of myself as very picky, because I crush on very few people, even if I think they're attractive - it took me a long time to realize I was gay, b/c I just assumed I was into guys but really picky and not very inclined to emotional dramatics (and figured "well, of course I think girls are hot, that's just obvious, who wouldn't" Laughing) and it took me a while to meet anyone who I was into enough to be like "wait, no, this is a crush!"

It didn't seem that strange to me because I'm also fairly picky about who I like as a friend, or even who I think is attractive in a non crush-provoking way. And I always figured I'd rather be single than be with someone who I didn't have really strong feelings about.
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Post by Robjection on Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:11 pm

LadyIkaros wrote:and I remember being in love as a teenager, so I dont think I'm aromantical (is that even a thing if you aren't also asexual?)
It is possible. Sexual attraction and romantic attraction tend to go hand in hand but it is possible to experience sexual attraction without romantic attraction and vice versa.

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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:21 pm

To answer your question, I get that "ooo, I like her" feeling pretty frequently upon meeting new people. Its also rather fleeting. If she doesn't reciprocate, we turn out not to be a good match, she's already in a relationship or whatever it'll fade on its own pretty quickly. Actual love, real "I am willing to struggle to make this work and build a life together" is a lot more rare. I'd say most people I date fit your description of having some affection for. Anything more than that takes time to develop.

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Post by KMR on Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:45 pm

LadyIkaros wrote:

KMR wrote: I didn't want to date someone I didn't have feelings for, but I thought that not having those feelings might just be normal for me, in which case I wouldn't be able to use it as an excuse to not date someone since then I'd just never date.

But...but... isn't never dating a pretty solid response to never feeling it? I'm not trying to tell you that you shouldn't date, mind, I just think that this is more of a reason than an excuse. ("Excuse" being when you lie to yourself about the real reasons for your choices).

Yes, not dating is definitely an option for those who decide they're just not interested. But I knew that I wanted a partner and that I wanted to feel romantic feelings for that person, so I definitely wasn't uninterested in dating. I just didn't know how to switch those feelings on (or find someone who flipped that switch in me) and was frustrated by the fact that it wasn't happening with men who, supposedly, were good matches for me.

Let me try to clarify what I meant in the sentence you quoted above. There, I'm using the term "dating" to refer to that early stage when you're going out with someone and trying to decide if you like them enough to keep seeing them and progress things into a relationship. And I was entertaining the possibility that I might be a really slow-burn kind of person; maybe I would never be able to have romantic feelings for someone on date one or two or three, but I could still develop those feelings much further down the road. If that were the case, it would be counterproductive for me to keep rejecting guys for "not feeling it" so early during the dating process, because maybe I was just incapable of feeling something until I knew the person a lot better. Maybe I needed to be using different criteria for compatibility than my emotions, because my emotions weren't going to help me out there. But without knowing whether I was the slow-burn type or not, it was really hard to make the decision of "Do I go on date #2 or 3 with this guy who seems nice, but I'm feeling really neutral toward, or do I just conclude now that it probably isn't going to happen and save us both the time and trouble?" But now that I know I actually CAN have romantic feelings for someone during the dating stage, it's become a lot easier for me to make that decision.
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Post by nearly_takuan on Tue Dec 16, 2014 2:59 pm

LadyIkaros wrote:But if you really feel nothing at all, how on earth do you decide which one of a thousand people you're going to invest your time in?

The...one who says yes. Which so far isn't any, but, well. Nerdboy. Which leads me to this:

LadyIkaros wrote:So for some of us, the scarcity menality is actually a pretty accurate perception? Wink
I'm pretty sure that if I did fall in love with someone, I'd develop oneitis of some proportion. I don't mean I'd stalk them or make a social nuisance of myself, I'm way too reticent for that, but I'd definitely be hung up on them.

Because, yep, much as I consciously don't want to, I suspect there would be some part of me that develops the following mindset:

Jaco Van Dormael wrote:Nemo Nobody: Dad, I'm getting married.
Dad: Oh! And who's the lucky lady?
Nemo: No, it's not that. I'm going to marry the first girl who dances with me tonight.

I intend to fight it, but that's Square One. To get there, you have to leave Square Zero.

LadyIkaros wrote:Also, I don't really live in a dating culture. OLD has become a thing here, but outside of that context you don't go around asking people out for coffee, especially not people you barely know. So I'm not talking about not crushing on people within five minutes of meeting them; I don't crush on them after knowing them for a while, either. And even inside relationships it didn't "simply grow". Points for Tim Minchin, though Grin

Are there places where that "dating culture" is a common thing?

Ah well, only so much I can say from just book-learnin'. Wink

Oh, I'd repeat all of this though:

KMR wrote:Yes, not dating is definitely an option for those who decide they're just not interested. But I knew that I wanted a partner and that I wanted to feel romantic feelings for that person, so I definitely wasn't uninterested in dating. I just didn't know how to switch those feelings on (or find someone who flipped that switch in me) and was frustrated by the fact that it wasn't happening with men who, supposedly, were good matches for me.

Let me try to clarify what I meant in the sentence you quoted above. There, I'm using the term "dating" to refer to that early stage when you're going out with someone and trying to decide if you like them enough to keep seeing them and progress things into a relationship. And I was entertaining the possibility that I might be a really slow-burn kind of person; maybe I would never be able to have romantic feelings for someone on date one or two or three, but I could still develop those feelings much further down the road. If that were the case, it would be counterproductive for me to keep rejecting guys for "not feeling it" so early during the dating process, because maybe I was just incapable of feeling something until I knew the person a lot better. Maybe I needed to be using different criteria for compatibility than my emotions, because my emotions weren't going to help me out there. But without knowing whether I was the slow-burn type or not, it was really hard to make the decision of "Do I go on date #2 or 3 with this guy who seems nice, but I'm feeling really neutral toward, or do I just conclude now that it probably isn't going to happen and save us both the time and trouble?"
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Post by Autumnflame on Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:17 pm

I experience attraction all the time, usually something as simple as "that person's super-cute, I like looking at them," sometimes up to as much as "this person's rad based on their conversation/actions, wow, they're actually a cool person!"

Romantic feelings, though? Those are much rarer. For me, my relationships (of any sort) tend to be made up of at least one of three components: friend feelings, sexual feelings, and romantic feelings. The first two happen at variable but mostly equivalent rates (not usually the same people, but sometimes they overlap), and the third happens with maybe 2-3% of the people I go out with (estimated as "well, I end up going on a second date with about 1 out of every 5 people I go on a date with, and end up actually developing deeper feelings for one out of every 7-10 of those").  And they don't necessarily have to be coexistent with the others. I can't say I've ever had romantic feelings without friend feelings, but I've had them without sexual feelings.

At 29, I think I've been in love twice, maybe three times (if you count my teenage infatuation, which certainly felt intense enough), and was fond enough of a few others that it might have developed into more. But it's a slow process. It usually starts out with the sexual attraction, which can develop pretty quickly into a "hey, this person's pretty cool" proto-friend attraction (which tends to intensify the sexual attraction). The romantic attraction usually doesn't happen until at least a month or two later, and that's just the first inklings starting, not developing - if it happens at all. Many's the time that it's never gone beyond friend + sex, and the sexual attraction can fluctuate wildly. I've had a few FWBs that started out great, and then the hormones just vanished.


LadyIkaros wrote:
But if you really feel nothing at all, how on earth do you decide which one of a thousand people you're going to invest your time in?
Also, I don't really live in a dating culture. OLD has become a thing here, but outside of that context you don't go around asking people out for coffee, especially not people you barely know. So I'm not talking about not crushing on people within five minutes of meeting them; I don't crush on them after knowing them for a while, either. And even inside relationships it didn't "simply grow". Points for Tim Minchin, though Grin

Actually telling who you want to end up spending time with? I take it on a moment-to-moment basis. It's usually a good sign if I want to see someone again, and a more telling sign if I actively look forward to seeing them again instead of just being pleased if it happens. It's also usually fairly easy to tell if I'm more excited to see one person than another, at which point it's probably time to pick and choose with whom I spend my time. Over time it adds up or peters off, but it's rarely a smooth thing; I've definitely had moments of "hm, this is nice but isn't going anywhere" that ended up being aberrations in the overall trend of interactions with that person.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:53 pm

You said that much better than I could. I could refine it slightly but that's 90% accurate to my social/love life.

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Post by UristMcBunny on Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:53 pm

I do experience attraction a lot. I find it very easy to find people attractive once I get to know them, and it's normal for me to have some small, fleeting, attraction to most decent people I meet - even if I'm not physically into them at first glance, I tend to reinterpret them as more attractive once I get to know them. I'm... very sexual, I think. Romantic feelings take a LOT longer to develop in me, although I feel them very intensely when they do kick in. So far, actual romantic attraction has happened a grand total of one time for me, and that was only after the mister and me had been together for almost 2 years.

But there's a very clear and apparent difference for me between Person I am Attracted To and Person I Want to Do Sex Things With. I'd say the vast majority of the time, I'm completely disinterested in following through on any feelings of attraction. It's just a gentle, low-level feeling of Yum that passes quickly.

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Post by Caffeinated on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:14 pm

I guess you'd say I'm on the far other end of the spectrum. Starting in elementary school I was completely boy-crazy. I always had a crush on someone in my class, or several someones. That tendency didn't fade as I got older.

I find men in general extremely attractive, typically sizing up every man I meet in terms of at least a fleeting thought of 'I wonder what he'd be like' (this mostly pertains to men within about two decades of my own age, younger than that and they're kids, older than that and it's more hit or miss).

When I was single, it was always very easy to feel sexual attraction to men I dated, and sometimes the romantic attraction would be there and sometimes not so much. I've had countless crushes, and I'd say I've been in love, really in love, with five people.

Dating tended, for me, to be a process that started with a feeling of 'Yes why not see how this goes', and then weed out the possibilities that didn't work with a whole lot of little things that could give me a feeling of 'Nope not this one'. I could latch on easily and quickly and let go easily and quickly as well.

I don't think there's a right way or a wrong way to be, but I suspect being like me makes dating a lot easier.
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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Tue Dec 16, 2014 8:20 pm

I think your feelings are normal, LadyIkaros. I think the whole reason we go on dates is to find someone who helps us feel something.

I do know for myself I get in trouble when I put emphasis on "How I Feel About Things" at the expense of whether or not those feelings are accurate, meaningful, or useful.

Like Caffeinated, I am attracted early and often to my preferred gender. I often have one or more crushes on the go. I also get a thrill from the process of getting to know someone new emotionally and sexually--it's like unwrapping a new present. I want to rush and I want to savour it at the same time.

At the same time, I have 'fallen in love' with very few people. Even when I'm IN a relationship I often find myself wondering, "Is this what am I'm supposed to feel like? I something wrong with me? Is something wrong with them? Maybe I should be with someone else."

And when I was learning to date but still feeling shy, I noticed lots of times when I wouldn't 'feel' like going out or asking a person out because "I wasn't feeling it"

What I've found helpful to have something to measure those feelings (or in some cases lack of feelings) against whether its a value, a personal commitment, or a picture in my mind of the sort of life I want. I've also been surprised at the ways feelings will change over time, so having that baseline often will keep me either from doing something rash or keep me patient and staying the course.

One of the benefits of dating/being in relationships has been getting to compare my emotional reactions to an actual situation.

Of course, if you aren't enjoying meeting people or don't find dating for its own sake to be fun, it's okay to have other priorities. You might even be in the majority--it's just those in the same boat as you aren't as visible on dating forums.

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Post by Guest on Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:09 pm

Hm. Another topic very close to home. I feel very similar to you, LadyIkaros. I could have written this very thread, but I can confidently state that I never even had crushes in high school. I had zero patience for anyone, never mind swooning over them.

I think, even though it's almost 100% unintentional, there's a lot of peer pressure involved in making myself (and I'd assume others that feel the same way) feel like I'm supposed to find someone because that's just What You Do. I have two close friends, both men. One is frustratingly desperate for a relationship (and has never had one) and the other has been in two disastrous ones (one abusive, one that just didn't seem to go as well as he'd hoped) and now basically fools around and can meet women no worries.

Me? I feel lost between the two. One shouldn't compare themselves to others as a metric for success (or 'normality', for that matter) but I just don't have that drive to go out and actively meet someone and they do. Yet I do kind of want to all at the same time? I mean, I see women everyday who I think 'Wow, she's stunning' but it doesn't really mean I want to do anything else but acknowledge in my own head that she looks nice and that's it. When it comes to women I actually talk to, it's similar but about their non-physical traits. There's only one I can say I do have a crush on, but I don't know what to do about it so I'm just doing nothing. I don't think it's romantic so much as we have incredibly similar interests, which I've never had with a woman before. It's probably just infatuation.

All in all, I don't like the numbers game side of things either. It feels like advice from more sociable people being gifted to the less sociable, which isn't bad. It's simply not something that works well with me at all. It's too foreign. Maybe I'll end up alone because I don't go through with it, but I'd rather be alone because I made a conscious choice that takes it into account rather than shotgun my way through people and still end up alone. It's a waste of time I could be spending on my career or interests instead.

Wow, that sounds bloody cold.

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Post by waxingjaney on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:17 pm

LadyIkaros wrote:So are a lot of people in relationships, not because they are in love but simply because they want to be in a relationship...

Pretty much this. Most people just stagger into the first warm lump they can find, then wonder why they spend so much time being miserable.
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Attraction, crushes, falling in love Empty Re: Attraction, crushes, falling in love

Post by nonA on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:57 pm

So for some of us, the scarcity menality is actually a pretty accurate perception?
I'm pretty sure that if I did fall in love with someone, I'd develop oneitis of some proportion. I don't mean I'd stalk them or make a social nuisance of myself, I'm way too reticent for that, but I'd definitely be hung up on them.

But...but... isn't never dating a pretty solid response to never feeling it? I'm not trying to tell you that you shouldn't date, mind, I just think that this is more of a reason than an excuse. ("Excuse" being when you lie to yourself about the real reasons for your choices).

I guess to me, one of the big reasons to date is as a reminder that there are other people out there. Even if one is especially knock-your-socks-off, it's easier to not feel that this is your one chance at True Love if you had dinner with someone who was still kinda fun to hang out with a couple of weeks ago.

The other big advantage is that it reminds you there are other people out there who find you attractive. The idea of losing someone awesome is painful. The idea of losing one of the few people who might tolerate you is devastating. Avoiding dating in general makes it easier to fall into the second mode of thinking.

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Attraction, crushes, falling in love Empty Re: Attraction, crushes, falling in love

Post by Barretts_Salt on Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:06 pm

waxingjaney wrote:
LadyIkaros wrote:So are a lot of people in relationships, not because they are in love but simply because they want to be in a relationship...

Pretty much this. Most people just stagger into the first warm lump they can find, then wonder why they spend so much time being miserable.

And allow me to add complementary neuroses to the occasional basis-for-ostensibly-romantic relationships list:)
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Attraction, crushes, falling in love Empty Re: Attraction, crushes, falling in love

Post by AstralDazzle on Sun Dec 21, 2014 9:45 pm

For most of my life I was on the constantly crushing end of the spectrum.  More often unreciprocated than not and with too many drama-laden sagas told to my friends, but eventually I did date a fair amount.  As I got into my 20s, usually intense infatuations happened only after I had several conversations with someone.  I've had a noticeable sex drive since puberty, which peaked throughout my 30s, so the 30s infatuations were extra-intense.

Love is more difficult to describe.  My "first love" was definitely more infatuation, I was "in love" with a boyfriend in college.  I loved my two long-term 30s boyfriends, but the NRE passed really quickly, and as the incompatibilities increased over time, I came to mostly care about them in a general sort of way rather than want to share my body, mind, and soul with them as a romantic partner.

Since a handful of crushes/infatuations on guys who each turned out to be disturbing in their own ways, I basically stopped dating until I could recover and answer WTF?  I have had a handful of crushes/attractions since then but they were all on people in my new "do not date" categories; 2 of them were/are (I live far away from them now but have occasional contact) fond, flirty friends who I do think are very decent guys overall.  I haven't had a new crush in almost two years.  Other things that have changed in the meantime: as I've gotten to know my body and researched it's quirks, I've put myself on a targeted supplement/vitamin plan, I went on the mini-pill, and I have set strict boundaries with my severely dysfunctional family.  Overall, my anxiety in general is quite reduced and I'm much more nonchalant about dating/sex/romance; I hardly notice it's lacking in my life.

I have started OLD (or, rather, I've put myself online and have exchanged some messages with a handful of guys; only one "in person date" after several months).  But I mostly feel like I'm going through the motions.  I figure it's better to do it when I don't really care, so I don't end up on a roller-coaster again.  When I do occasionally see or get a message from someone who is attractive to me, my relatively slumbering libido does seem to perk up a bit, but it's been a while since I've experienced anything at all intense.  I'm thinking this is a generally a good thing, since the overwhelming crushfeelings and pantsfeelings cared nothing for whether a guy would be a decent human, let alone short-term or long-term partner, and it can be difficult to do the hard work of getting to know someone well enough to determine whether they are more decent or more disturbing when the dopamine and nerve-endings are in overdrive!

I'm sure there are some valid critiques of her theory and research, but Helen Fisher's approach to how our brain chemistry impacts our ways of becoming attracted to people does make sense to me based on my own experience and the different styles people in this thread are describing!

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Post by Guest on Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:26 am

I crush sometimes maybe too easy. I'll be honest, I lust after people a lot. Would that be part of my problems?

I dunno, I don't get it.

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Attraction, crushes, falling in love Empty Re: Attraction, crushes, falling in love

Post by The Wisp on Mon Dec 22, 2014 4:31 am

I had one middle-school crush, one high school crush (who I admired from afar for all four years, it was pretty intense, in an anxiety producing way). Since then, I've noticed that the few crushes I've had have only been on women I know are unavailable. I think I subconsciously sabotage any feelings for ladies I could see myself actually dating. I'm okay with that, as it makes life much less stressful when I'm still not sure I'm in a place where I'm comfortable approaching a real-life woman.
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Attraction, crushes, falling in love Empty Re: Attraction, crushes, falling in love

Post by LadyIkaros on Sun Jan 04, 2015 11:58 am

Hi. Didn't mean to start a topic and disappear, but I suddenly got busy and then I got travelling for the Holidays, so I just wanted to say that I appreciate all replies.
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