I'm not really sure how to word what I want to say other than my current state of inner conflict revolves around intimate relationships. I'll start off by saying that I have only had one girlfriend and that was back in 8th grade and I royally screwed that up. I am a virgin and proud of it and am not really looking for a sexual relationship. Whenever coworkers or new buddies I meet find out that I am a virgin they always try to hook me up with someone or invite me to a big party. I always happily decline those invitations.
The biggest thing I've looked for is just someone to become emotionally attached to. Learning from my first and only declared relationship, I become emotionally attached very quickly even if our physical and memorable relations are lacking. When she left me I was emotionally distraught. I know I'm scared of this happening again and have been unable to find someone to share this sentiment, or simply does not want to engage in a relationship at the level I am looking for.
When I joined the furry fandom it surprised me when I found an abundance of people who want to cuddle with you for no other reason than to cuddle. Even now I still get embarrassed at the act but it is a really great feeling to have someone there as comfort. Often I fall asleep at night with an imagined person sleeping beside me with their back pressed against mine. It is comforting, but painful when I remember that I have no one to actually fill that space.
To feed my fear of not finding someone, I had to watch my mother (whom I still live with for college) suffer for a long time after my parents were divorced. She has admitted recently that one of her greatest fears was to be alone. I seem to have inherited this fear and at night it becomes paralyzing. I am truly terrified of not finding someone to love.
I have tried to find relationships and those individuals either rejected me or I realized they would not put forth the effort of a relationship. I become really depressed about these things, but only when I lay down to sleep. I keep my mind free of these thoughts with work and college so I have limited my time to become depressed. I am good at finding other things to occupy my mind, but doing this for the last few years has worn on my emotional stability.
The only person in my life that knows even half of my emotional state is my mother. She only found out when I broke down about a year ago when I realized that the closest and biggest chance I had of someone actually loving me vanished. I have no one else I trust enough to reveal my inner troubles.
I simply don't know how to cope with this emotionally anymore. How can I cope?
I am sorry if my subject was unsteady, my writing skills aren't what I would like them to be.
Thank you for listening,
Yote (age 20)
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Six years is a long time to allow yourself to be traumatized by an 8th-grade breakup. And while it’s great to assert your commitment to remain a virgin until you find someone you love and it is also great to want a deep, emotional relationship, most people in the 14-20 year range are not ready for such seriousness. By putting up walls after the 8th grade and by setting up such high standards and, basically, searching only for a lifetime mate, you have effectively lost a period of your lifetime when most people are simply living, having fun, and getting to learn the ropes of socializing with other people and the ins and outs of relationships. Those teen years are, shall we say, a “training period” to get you prepared for the real relationships that are more likely to come in one’s 20s and 30s or beyond.
The first thing you need to do, Yote, is own up to the fact that the real reason you are alone right now is because of you. You’re too frightened to open up your heart and take a risk, too picky to give anyone a chance at a relationship, too afraid of the past and that you’ll be like your mother, and too emotionally needy to attract anyone you might have a chance with. I’m not trying to be critical here, but let’s face it, you already know this to be true: “I have tried to find relationships and those individuals either rejected me or I realized they would not put forth the effort of a relationship.” That sentence in itself shows that you are being too demanding (stop putting so much emotional burden on teenagers) and easily offended or hurt.
Your comment about furries who want to cuddle is interesting. You like to cuddle but are unable to relax and just enjoy the cuddles without dragging it down with a huge question: “How can someone cuddle me without making a huge lifetime commitment to me?” If you approach all your relationships like that, you’re going to do nothing but scare people away your entire life.
RELAX, Yote! That’s what you seriously need to do. Most people go through several relationships before finding one that fits. You had one bad experience and promptly closed the door because you were afraid of getting hurt (or screwing up) again. BUT, if you never leave yourself open to failure, you will also never find success!
As I’ve said often in this column, the one thing that holds people back the most in this life is fear. Until you break free of the control that fear has over you, you will never get what you want in life. To stop sabotaging yourself, try these strategies:
Too many people struggle to find a relationship because they are focused on what that will do for them (or what they think it will do). But that’s not how you find love.
Love, also, cannot be possessed, nor can it be earned. Love is not about “oh, I’m a good person because I’m a virgin” or “you should want me because I’m not all about sex.” Those are statements of pride, not love.
You know what love is? Love is when all you care about is how you can make the OTHER person happy. Love is when that other person is in your thoughts all the time. Love is when the mere thought of that person brings a smile to your face. Even when that other person is not there to cuddle you and you are sleeping alone that night, they are there in your heart.
Love is not a selfish act about your needs and wants. That is why you can’t find love. You’re focused on yourself. Love is a giving, not a selfish thing. Not once in your letter did I read that you wanted someone in your life to give yourself to. It was all about fear and need and doubt.
Ironically, the more you give of your heart, the more it will be filled.
Wishing You Love,
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