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Loss of Interest for My Girlfriend

I have always regarded myself a different person in a way that I do not pursue shallow qualities in girls I am attracted to. However, I have noticed a pattern in my romantic relationships that just keeps on repeating. Right now I have a girlfriend, I had so much wanted to get together with, but after we did get together, after just a couple of days, I suddenly started being repulsed by some of her physical attributes. Basically, everything I could not care less about before we started dating, suddenly became repulsive. This feeling of repulsion comes and goes, sometimes I feel really happy, that I am finally in a mature relationship, but then comes this feeling and I am not sure what I am supposed to do with that. It seems that every time when we engage in some kind of erotic activity, whether it is passionate kissing or something more intense ( we have not yet slept together ) I forget about those things I find repulsive. But out there when we are just hangi
ng out, or learning together, just casually kissing, or especially when I am alone, these thoughts come back, and I become unsure, whether I should stay together with her or not. I do not want to have an intercourse with her, only to abandon her few days after. I just don’t want to hurt her or any other girl anymore, as I have done in the past. I think I have only fallen madly in love once, when I was around 13-14 years old and since that time, I have always blamed this one girl for dumping me. I think that I have developed some kind of defense mechanism, which prevents me from getting more attached to people I get attracted to at first. I would appreciate any kind of advice. Thanks in advance. (From Austria)

 I admire your insights on this and your courage to express it. I think you are exactly right. The repulsion is a hedge against abandonment. The betrayal from early on at 13-14 leaves you wanting the connection and intimacy — but ready to bail on her if things start going south. It is typically a defensive strategy to protect oneself from abandonment. But whatever protects also inhibits. This is what is happening, causing the ambivalence.

I would encourage you to engage in some brief individual therapy to confirm, understand, and heal this type of response.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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