Emotional Detachment

Nancy B. (@rockernatnat) 9 years, 6 months ago

At 27, I have found myself determined to emotionally detach myself from anyone I have physical contact with on what would normally be considered an “intimate” level. My definition of intimate actions is a massage, cuddling, holding hands, etc. However, the general definition of intimate actions by most accounts is hugging, kissing and sex of any genre. For a typical female, sex with anyone is considered an act of giving oneself to another. I have found for the times I have given a part of me to someone else, it was emotional. And those times ended shitty. My logic dictates to resolve the issue of things ending shitty, stop giving myself to someone emotionally. So I have. And things have worked out wonderfully for the most part.

I’m not a typical, generic female in that I can understand sound reason and logic, although most of the time I throw sound reason out the window when it involves my own safety and sanity. I also turn my emotions off if I would rather not get involved but instead offer enlightened assistance since I am not biased. At one point, I was susceptible to panic attacks that would leave me emotionally out of control as I grew up not knowing how to say no or back away from a situation. As an adult, I am still susceptible to them, but I now know how to wrangle the attacks. As I said previously, things have worked out to near perfection sine I have abstained from emotional entanglements with any of my partners. The one draw back I have is loneliness. I find at the end of the day, when all is said and done, I am left to lay down by myself and hopefully fall asleep at some point over the next 4 hours because it’s already 2AM and I have work at 11AM and I need some amount of sleep to be functional.

I write all of this with intentions of hoping that I am not the only one that has found emotional detachment the best option, minus the loneliness. Any advice for learning to manage emotional detachment and eventually manage a healthy relationship with a partner? Any advice on learning to deal or embrace the loneliness? I feel slightly unhinged at the moment as I write this since I have never opened up to anyone, much less a vast amount of people, on this subject that is so personal. I have never been one to talk about me with my friends. I only live to help them become better people, all the while I suffer because I choose not to discuss me. Yet, in this moment, I feel like I am in the right venue for a logical response from an elite group of thinkers that embrace more than surface truths.

May 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm
Mike (6) (@bigmike) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@rockernatnat, I feel almost exactly the same way, down to the insomnia. Like all things, the loneliness gets easier with time. I’m not sure it is really a fulfilling way to live though.

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Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

Isolation from people’s feelings and just not caring about absolutely everyone that comes your way is completely normal. Real emotional detachment is helpful if you are, at first, too emotional and cannot let go of a past relationship or you are just afraid to trust someone on this level that you obviously sometimes need. I, personally, fucking hate too sensitive exaggerating pussies. :D

The feeling of loneliness is definitely a sign that you are, in fact, emotional and normal human being. I don’t know if you could find a perfect relationship with someone who wouldn’t need you much emotionally as you would do(???). The least I can do is advise you to start meditating and just prevent your own emotions to let you down. Too much emotional detachment is lifeless. This may help you somehow. Check it out. http://www.mkprojects.com/fa_emotions.html

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Mike Wuest (510) (@mikeyw829) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

Don’t think you are detaching from your emotions. it sounds like you are suppressing them for fear that they won’t be returned or reciprocated. There’s a big difference between the two. Doesn’t that make life kind of dull? I know it’s hard, but it’s good to be vulnerable and not give a fuck if someone loves you back. Doesn’t just happen instantly you just gotta start opening up to people and really feel what you feel.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

It sounds like the reacher/settler phenomena, one will give in as the other holds ground or retreats, and it is the one who gives themselves over emotionally that is hit hard. I know of this phenomena yet I find it nearly impossible to avoid, one becomes clingy as the other is stand offish, repeled by the smothering. If there is a balance, it is incredibly hard to maintain and would suggest both are a measure detatched, kind of like an open marriage, and that sounds less romantic and more “friendzone” with benefits. Can’t help you, other than tell you that, because I am a rookie in relationships, I’m an island.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

But I can say that friendzone with benefits may sound bad, or sleazy, but as you get older you just want a companion, someone to laugh with and enjoy what you can with, and you both know the score, both have been on both sides of the reacher/settler relationship and know the pain and discomfort. It does not mean romance is dead, but it is found in other places. Rather than flowers and such gestures, it becomes communicative with physical fun rather than emotional expression in sexual intimacy and being joined at the hip the rest of the time.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

Instead of tuning into each other and thinking on the same wave length, which isn’t a bad thing some times, you both become the natural individuals that you are, going of on tangents with your own personalities, and you fascinate each other more not knowing what to expect from a conversation with each other.

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Nancy B. (7) (@rockernatnat) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@bigmike I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one with the situation but I am sorry to hear that you’re plagued with the same symptoms as I.
@beyond Thank you for the link and your words. For me, it’s a combination of being too emotional and fearing to trust someone again as I’ve been let down every time prior. I have emotions towards my friends and the people closest to me, but struggle letting myself feel anything for anyone on a potential intimate level.
@mikeyw829 A very bold approach and I like it. Fuck it is harder to do than say sometimes.
@trek79 Your input is very valuable sir. I am currently in a Friends With Benefits relationship with a gentlemen that understands the agreement. We both have no expectations of each other on any other level other than physical. This situation is actually what got me wondering about my emotional detachment. And I also watched Diary of a Nymphomaniac. I do like the idea of eventually finding someone that will always fascinate me with unexpected conversations.

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Ray Butler (1,423)M (@trek79) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@rockernatnat, I suppose eventually you inevidably become familiar with your partners code, the way they see the world, and you can predict their reactions and responses to any given circumstances. But that is not what I mean by fascinating each other in conversation. I mostly mean in sense of humour and imagination. You have fixed aspects of personality and you have variables, the entertainment comes from the variables, the arguement comes from the fixed.

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Th-0m (43) (@0negative) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@RockerNatNat I like this a lot. For me, I don’t become attached to anything. I still LOVE, and FEEL, but never attached. I view every interaction with the people I care about as single experiences. Meaning, I know one day, they may not be in my life for whatever. I still open up to my friends, spend time with my family, and ever so occasionally have romantic relationships, but I NEVER become attached. Why? Because attachment by it’s very nature procreates an idea that is simply futile. Letting go is a natural part of life, we simply embrace it. Everything leaves our life at some point in time, Computers, Teddy Bears, our favorite t-shirt, food, shoes, moments, and people. Just enjoy things while you have them.

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Nancy B. (7) (@rockernatnat) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@0negative, I honestly think I can totally agree with your outlook- “Just enjoy things while you have them.” It truly makes sense. Pointless to avoid the inevitable losses we will endure, but rather live in the moment with what we do have.

I do eventually want to develop an emotional relationship with someone to marry them but until then, I’m at a loss for what to do with this void I feel. I made a list of things I think are intimate:
-Holding Hands
-Massage
-Cuddling
-Sex under the covers
-Morning sex
Sharing Dessert

Notice kissing and typical sex aren’t on there? Makes me think there is something wrong with me but I’m pretty sure I got the formula for fun without string attached. Thoughts?

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The_truth_is_ (91) (@sirensetmefree) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

I have a different problem that brings about the same end feeling, but in different ways. I just can’t become emotionally attached to anyone. It is very difficult for me to just care about others. For the past 5 years I’ve been dating a girl that I’ve know since middle school. A few months ago we moved in together. She’s got many of the same tastes that I do, from board games to music to what’s the appropriate way of raising children to what makes good sex. We’re even totally okay with her finding a girlfriend to have around the apartment (because she likes girls, too) as long as we both agree on her. She’s extremely picky and for some strange reason she picked me over other guys who have many more things going for them.

And at the end of the day, when we go to bed, I feel lonely. Why? Because I just can’t care that much. I feel alone. I feel like the person next to me is the best I can do and the closest thing I can find to happiness and perfection, and still, I can’t get attached. I know I’ll be more sad if something bad happens to her than I would be if it happened to others. But I still wouldn’t feel much. I’m completely detached, I can’t feel a thing, and even with someone next to me, I feel lonely. I feel like I have no one just because I can’t get attached to anyone, so I have no one to hold on to.

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Dolly (14) (@dollywicks) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

If you’re forcing it upon yourself to steer clear from intimacy it might make you feel even more lonely than you already do, but personally I tend to live without physical intimacy and find it benefits my mental halth and social relationships alot. I’d say try it and see how you feel, personally I don’t really fiond myself feeling lonely at all, I actually value everyone I associate wth a lot more ( it may or may not be as a result of this, I often attribute it to that but I very well could be wrong) and have much more rewarding relationships, even if aquaintenships with people. As far as advice on how to deal with your lifestyle change I’d say the best I’m able to give is just to focus on yourself, take advantage of your choice to give yourself alone time and be in a relationship with yourself for a while, help yourself grow and you’ll sooner or later have a much more clear idea of what you want, and you’ll probably be much more capable of maintaining a healthy & happy relationship. I wish you the best of luck with this!!

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Th-0m (43) (@0negative) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@rockernatnat, nothing wrong with you, you just don’t fit the mold. No one has to fit the mold.

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Nancy B. (7) (@rockernatnat) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

thank you to all for your thoughts and views. i have truly considered everything that has been stated here. these are the most valuable responses i have ever gotton on this subject. I can say that just within the past few days, since i’ve been reading a lot on here and meditating on what really struck me, i have felt much less lonely and abnormal. i feel refreshed as a human.

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DaJetPlane (994)M (@lytning91) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@rockernatnat, 2 Legit.

It’s just so cool to be more involved with people. I basically can come into any one of these topics and unload a lot of personal strife, thoughts, emotions, or whatever else without any regrets. There are only a handful of people in my inner circle that get this same regard.

Good discussion, cool person, awesome life

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Mark (11) (@mrkdoob) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

It’s good that you are open about it. What I can say from a clear concious point of view is that the ability to view things/interactions objectively is a good thing.

I think there are 2 sides of it though. One is not caring and the other is understanding. I recommend the understanding part. This is a way where you can reach a state of inner peace where loneliness does not excist (hard to maintain though, but worth it).

I can also see that you have bad experiences and are worried about the future. I will not explain that it’s no good, but I do recommend in trying understand everything and stay curious. Once you have reached the state of peace, you will live in the present without effort.

I also do not recommend your physical relationship YET, because it’s best to find peace first.

This post is for everyone who feels the same way (can’t reply with the same awnser multiple times :P)

Peace

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daveb (119) (@daveb) 9 years, 6 months ago ago

@rockernatnat, holding hands, cuddling, and sharing dessert are the kinds of things that my wife and I feel keep our marriage happy. sex is great when it happens but it’s the little things that really count. as far as a happy relationship that isn’t co-dependent, I travel for work and she has family over in the czech republic. so we spend quite a bit of time apart. we really enjoy that time, we don’t call every day or anything. she’s been gone almost three weeks and we’ve skyped twice. if we had to spend every single day together that would get pretty tedius. this way, we’re constantly bringing in new stories, experiences, ideas . . . we’re still growing as two individuals.

what @trek79 said – Rather than flowers and such gestures, it becomes communicative with physical fun rather than emotional expression in sexual intimacy and being joined at the hip the rest of the time – is fucking genius and can (should) apply to long-term relationships.

and this too: you both become the natural individuals that you are, going of on tangents with your own personalities, and you fascinate each other more not knowing what to expect from a conversation with each other.

Ray you say you’re a rookie but it sounds like you’ve got it figured out.

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Nancy B. (7) (@rockernatnat) 9 years, 5 months ago ago

@daveb and @trek79, your words are inspirational to me right now. i have never felt so positive to my core. I have come to peace with being emotionally single but still find myself feeling sad sometimes, even just for a brief moment, for feeling lonely because i’ve emotionally detached myself so much. it’s going to take a lot of work for me emotionally but i can’t wait to find that exciting feeling and share it with someone else.

thinking about what i want right this very moment, i would find it completely ideal for me to move in with one of my best guy friends whom I also sleep with. As my best friend, i would have feelings for him on that level. But as just the guy i sleep with, i would have no emotional attachment. Oh but how would we be if we all got to live in our ideal worlds?

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Anonymous (2,654) (@) 9 years, 5 months ago ago

@rockernatnat, your problem isn’t about relationships at all. It’s about your decision to be detached. Everyone has it. It is simple. I recommend you to watch this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFUDuH4y9rk

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Nancy B. (7) (@rockernatnat) 9 years, 5 months ago ago

@beyond, Thank you for sharing that with me. I remember seeing that trailer not too long ago but wasn’t lucid enough to make a connection with it on a deeper level. I’ll be searching for it now as i’m sure it’s one i need to own.

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Anonymous (202) (@) 9 years, 5 months ago ago

Non-identification

Let this become your key – next time when anger comes, just watch it. Don´t say, “I am angry.” Say, “Anger is there and I am watching it.” And see the difference! The difference is vast. Suddenly you are out of the grip of anger. If you can say, “I am just a watcher, I am not anger,” you are out of the grip. When sadness comes, just sit by the side and look at it and say, “I am the watcher, I am not sadness,” and see the difference. Immediately you have cut the very root of sadness. It is no more nourished. It will die of starvation. We feed these emotions by being identified with them.

If religiousness can be reduced to one single thing, it is non-identification.

Osho

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Carina (99) (@misssunbeam) 9 years, 5 months ago ago

@rockernatnat, Heck yes Diaries of a Nymphomaniac! No movie has ever moved me quite like that.

I can relate very well to your situation, thank you for posting, as I’m finding the responses insightful myself. I have tried in the past year to have friends with benefits relationships, but it always ended when the guys (tried it twice since the end of my last relationship) thought it would be better if I was their girlfriend. So I’m laying low and doing what Dolly advised for now, though I’m getting a bit ancy :) I have to say it’s good for me though, to be single (with a slip here and there, oops!), I have learned a lot about myself, and what/how/when I want etc. It’s also given me time to focus on being happy, practise focusing my day to day attention in the here and now. I’ve been doing what @tigerturban said there too, watching my emotions and detaching myself from them, and dang I have been having the best couple weeks since I got serious about self-observation!

I was SO lonely at the beginning (I also moved) but it’s eased off. I’m still having sexual cravings which are not always easy to control, but I’m doing alright :)

Glad to see your post and the replies, thanks for sharing!

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idiocyinbubbles (7) (@idiocyinbubbles) 9 years, 5 months ago ago

if you continually attract relationships that end shitty, it is because of a conscious (or subconscious) belief that you have. science has proven our thoughts create our reality and our thoughts have a measurable vibration. if you can change your belief that you deserve shitty relationships (most likely a subconscious belief), then eventually you’ll start attracting really awesome ones. i would suggest using EFT on the psychological reversal and then going from there. i know guys are single minded and logical, and girls’ brains are all over the place… but just “emotionally detaching” from guys when a beautiful, loving relationship is a very real possibility would be a travesty to your own heart. do the energy healing.

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Nancy B. (7) (@rockernatnat) 9 years, 5 months ago ago

Wow! I am overwhelmed with positive emotions just reading your responses. Thank you for giving of your time to voice your thoughts and knowledge. I appreciate you and the value of your time.

@tigerturban thank you for your break down of emotional observation. I’m trying. Thats a start.

@misssunbeam I’m very excited to know that my post and the responses to my posts have effected you positively as you feel what i feel. That movie could be my 2nd favorite next to Garden State, which I watch all the time. I’m trying the emotional observation method suggested by @tigerturban as well, but making slow progress but progress nonetheless. I look forward to possibly hearing back from you and your progress occassionally if you don’t mind sharing on here. I plan to continue to develop on here. It’s the most self improvement progress I’ve had in my 27 years of living. The sexual cravings are super hard to deal with for me. I find it harder and harder to say no and possibly may have developed a small sex addiction with my current FWB, but I’m working on it, kinda.

@idiocyinbubbles I struggle with the thought of missing an opportunity for that real relationship which is why i do induldge myself in an emotional relationship about 1 every 3 or 4 frends with benefits. I definitely see the value in energy healing rather than wasting my time fighting it. I’ll be sure to put forth some effort there and see what happens.

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idiocyinbubbles (7) (@idiocyinbubbles) 9 years, 5 months ago ago

i hope you do. EFT is basically like instant healing. it’s miraculous. people get over traumatizing experiences that they’ve been dealing with for yeeears in days or minutes that even years of therapy couldn’t touch. just sayin. it’s really powerful. if you’re caught in a thought cycle, break it and you’ll attract new experiences. thoughts create reality!

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