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sweetheart504's avatar

Why do I do this? And how can I fix it?

Asked by sweetheart504 (23points) December 28th, 2012

I was dumped a few months ago and I basically fell apart. The relationship (if you can even call it that lasted a month). Thinking back to when we were breaking up, I became the girl I never wanted to be. I think a part of me wanted to break up with him so I was looking for excuses and when I found one (the fact that he told his friend something I asked him not to), I tried to end it. But instead of saying I wanted to break up I turned it around so that he would want to break up with me. Don’t know how but I did. And when he did, I freaked out and tried to save the relationship by becoming somewhat desperate and saying things like I am insecure that is why I do things like that. Which is true. When he wouldn’t hear of it, I became angry and bitter. So I went from being desperate to angry and bitter. I have no clue what I wanted. I had a chance to get back together with him but my anger stopped me and now I can’t stop reliving it.

After we broke up, I started looking at my dating record and I noticed that is a pattern. When I get together with somebody I am interested and want to be with them but along the way, I look for reasons to end it. When they pull away, then I want them back because I think I made the worst mistake ever. It’s crazy I know.

I talked to a few people about this and they said it is because of my low self esteem and especially my depression. I don’t think I am good enough so I push them away when they try to get in to deep. Another reason is that I see and hear what is happening with couples (divorce, breaking up after long time, girls getting pregnant and being abandoned, abuse) and I worry that will happen to me. My mom is bad for contributing to this. In my recent dating experience, the guy was kind of pushy about sex. Since I am a virgin and wanted to wait until I was ready, this made me uncomfortable. I told him this, especially when we were breaking up. Anyway, when I told my mom that he was being pushy, she told me about this one girl who gave it up to a wrong guy (who at the time thought was right for her) and now regretted it. Then she told me about the times when guys only wanted her for sex, etc. I guess this stayed with me and when I noticed him being pushy, I freaked out. The thing is I don’t know for certain if he was or not. Maybe he was acting normal and I just interpreted it as being pushy. I don’t have any clue anymore what is real or not.

How can I fix this?

P.s. I am 22, never been in a relationship, avoided them, this past relationship was my first, parents are married- they fight but are usually happy with each other, there is a lot of divorce in my family and I don’t really want to talk to a psychologist because I have an idea why I am acting this way, I just want to know how to fix it. Thanks :)

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12 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

You ask “Why do I do this? And then you end with “I have an idea why I am acting this way.”

If you haven’t been able to come up with solutions that enable you to modify your behavior on your own, why not talk to a therapist? S/he can help you, will not hear anything s/he has not heard dozens of times from other clients, and will never be judgmental.

Forget the buzz words;

Low self-esteem

This list describes half the world. You want to sit down with someone who will help you address your unique issues and work on solutions together.

elbanditoroso's avatar

First, I agree with @gailcalled that you’re trying to assign too many labels. Forget about what to call it or any of that psychobabble. Focus on addressing the problem.

You’re half way there, or maybe more. You realize that there is a problem and that it is a pattern. So give yourself credit for being self-aware and pretty sharp, as well.

From my distant vantage point, it has NOTHING to do with esteem or depression or anything like that—a total crock.

I see it is fear of the unknown. You haven’t had a relationship and you don’t have a yardstick to measure against, so you’re fearful of getting into one where you don’t know how or whether it will succeed. You’re fearful of the consequences and as a result you don’t let yourself get into a situation where the consequences might be reached. It’s safe, sure. But it isn’t satisfying.

My advice: next relationship – armed with the knowledge that you have of yourself – consciously make an effort NOT to pull back. Go for it. Take chances. Extend yourself.

Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you might get hurt. Yes, you might be dumped. However – it might be exhilarating and wonderful and satisfying and all of the good things.

To use a sports analogy: You have to play the game in order to win.

Judi's avatar

Some people thrive on drama. It sounds like you are someone like that. I would get counseling. Your issues are to deep to try to solve on a Q and A site.

wundayatta's avatar

Talk to a psychologist. They will help you fix it. There are pscyhologists who only focus on behavior change and really don’t give a damn about why you behave the way you do. Of course, it helps to understand why you do what you do.

You already understand it, so what you need is a coach to keep you from doing it again. So that’s what I think you should look for.

Hint: you won’t find that here, even though many of us have done similar things.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I am much the same way, I long for the closeness but I have trust issues, so I push away.

I’d say that you should proceed with caution and spend some time getting to know yourself and why you do what you do before getting into another relationship.

And not all guys are pushy about sex, but a lot are, so if you felt he was being pushy at the time, he probably was. Sex means different things to different people, but if you are holding onto your virginity for your own reasons, then stick to it. One of my friends and his wife were both virgins when they got married and it was really quite unusual and a real gift to each other.

You’ll be okay!!

LostInParadise's avatar

22 is fairly young. You are still maturing. Are you a college graduate? Do you have a job? Are you still living at home? You have to get your priorities right. Once you create some stability in your life and develop independence and self-assurance, it will be easier to take risks in developing relationships.

CWOTUS's avatar

May I suggest that you’re asking the wrong question?

Asking “Why do I do <this or that thing, or a list of things>?” only leads to a long list of “things that are wrong with me or with the world”. That question won’t lead to a solution or resolution of problems, only a list of problems (and that list is never-ending, for the world in general – obviously – or for each of us as individuals). Don’t ask that question.

Instead, learn to ask “enabling” questions, questions that lead toward resolution, innovation, success and better targets:

“How can I modify my behavior to… <whatever goal you want to achieve>?”
“How can I be more helpful?”
“How can I help myself?”
“What will it take for me to <start listing the things on your bucket list here>?”

Do you see the difference? I learned this at a business seminar (of all places) over twenty years ago, and while I am nowhere near perfect (and don’t plan or want to attain whatever that means), learning to ask enabling questions has made all the difference in my life.

Learn to ask questions that lead your mind towards the light, as sappy as that sounds. (EDIT: Actually, the “How can I fix it?” question appended to your “topic question” is an enabling question. Keep asking that one.)

marinelife's avatar

What your friends are telling you about your low self-esteem being the reason for your actions is true.

It is not something you can just get over.

See a professional psychologist is the way to go.

hearkat's avatar

Your problems are with yourself, not with relationships. You need to get to a point where you like and love yourself unconditionally in order to give and receive love without fear or expectations. I played those head-games with myself for decades, and have failed relationships and a divorce to prove it.

The fact of the matter is, that you can not control anyone other than yourself, and the only guarantee to any relationship is that it will end. Even if you are fortunate to find an ideal partner, you will die – so at some point in time, you will have to say goodbye to the other. There is no “happily ever after”. Grief happens, and life rarely goes as planned. Therefore, in order to be willing to make that committment and investment of time, energy and emotion, you have to have personal integrity.

I work with many elderly people, and have observed that those who are happy together after 50, 60 and even 70+ years with each other are the ones who are the most genuine. In order to increase the chances of succeeding in a relationship, one must be completely trustworthy and trusting of their partner—naked down to the core of your being. If you aren’t comfortable being that real with yourself, you won’t be capable of sharing it with someone else.

Life is hard, yet we make it harder by trying to be what we are not in order to impress others in one way or another. Figuring out who you really are and then being true to yourself is the path to happiness – whether you are in a relationship or not. Many of us have poor teachers or role models in our lives, and some of us are even abused or neglected as children. There is nothing wrong with consulting a therapist or counselor as a guide to uncover and deal with whatever issues we have holding ourselves back from achieving personal contentment.

Shippy's avatar

@hearkat what hearkat said

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
SABOTEUR's avatar

This sounds uncomfortably familiar.

So much so that I was about to skip this question altogether. I’ve experienced this and analyzed this and explained this so many times that I’m

tired of this.

And that’s the key.

Over and above all the thoughtful, intelligent explanations and suggestions, at the very core


is entertainment.

When this ceases to be entertaining…

…when we lose interest in everything involving that which we desire to be rid of…

…we find we don’t have to do

or fix


It’ll just fall away.

It will have ceased serving a useful purpose.

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