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Intense feelings/emotions

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by mangotree, Oct 22, 2016.

  1. mangotree

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    I was lying in bed looking at my partner this morning with a lot of thoughts running through my head.
    We love each other deeply, but the ways we express our love is very different.
    He is the kind of person who wears his heart on his sleeve, is very expressive physically and in his facial expressions, he loves to cuddle and be close to me, I can tell that he has strong and intense lustful feelings for me, almost to the the extent reminiscent of someone who is "clingy".
    As for myself, in general (not just in our relationship / romantically), I don't experience or express intense feelings or emotions about anything any more. I used to though.
    I show my love in other ways.

    I've experienced VERY strong and intense and clingy feelings toward other guys in the past, and during the course of my current relationship, I've wondered if that might be a sign that I wasn't truely in love with him, but my thoughts this morning provided a bit of clarity:

    EVERY TIME in the past, when I've had strong and intense feelings and emotions (not just in a romantic sense), they have driven me a bit crazy, completely losing my logical mind, causing me to push people away, scare people away and often actually frighten people. Almost like I became those feelings instead of just feeling them. Sort of like the incredible hulk but with every emotion other than anger. I had no control over any of my usual mental functions and thoughts when I was in those states, it was so absorbing.
    For most of my life - especially during teens and early 20's - it happened quite easily, impulsively and fairly frequently.

    For that reason, I believe, over the years, I've gradually boxed up all intense (and therefore dangerous to my wellbeing) things in me and locked them away. As a result, I think that subconscious act has turned me into a mildly emotional - but ultimately happier - robot.

    So, I guess I'm wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar during their lives.
    If anyone has succeeded in keeping conscious access to their intense feelings/emotions without losing their minds (and how?).
    Or any other comments from the outside looking in.
     
    #1 mangotree, Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  2. robclem21

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    I understand where you are coming from and I have found myself in a similar situation before, wondering if my lack of emotional response at the time indicates that I care less about my boyfriend (whoever it was at the time), or if the way I express myself is simply maturing. I have laid in bed with similar thoughts and here is what I have come up with.

    I think that my expression of emotion, both past and present is very dependent on my partner. If my partner is over expressive, affectionate, and emotional, I tend to back off, tone down, and become level-headed about how I express myself. When my partner has been calm, level-headed, and independent, I find myself playing the emotional role. Now here is where I usually lose myself. I am not sure if this is simply a way for me to balance a relationship (cause god knows that a relationship with two, clingy, emotional people is a disaster waiting to happen), or if it has to do with my need for attention. I think its the latter.

    When I am getting a lot of affection, I feel loved, I feel paid attention to, and I can physically and emotionally process that love. When someone expects me to feel loved in the absence of those gestures, as confident as I am, it can be a challenge. When that attention is lacking, I find myself becoming the more affectionate one to seek out what I need to feel. This has made me realize that one way or another, that type of attention is important to me. I don't have a problem with either situation. In fact, I think both can work quite well given the correct circumstances. However, I think realizing that I can function both ways has helped me learn to manage my affection when that is the role I'm playing.

    To respond to your question, keeping my intense emotion 100% in check has been possible for me when I'm getting what I need, but if I'm not, I can tell you it would be nearly impossible. Because I know I'm capable of it though, Ive been able to adapt without going overboard.
     
    #2 robclem21, Oct 22, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  3. mangotree

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    Wow, thanks for that!:eusa_clap
    You're right, I think that's the other piece of the puzzle in terms of emotions and feelings in relationships and love. Balance. And finding someone that you can balance with, looks to be crucially important in long lasting relationships.
     
  4. PatrickUK

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    I think balance is essential in a relationship and usually it requires effort from both parties to achieve that balance, but it's also important to give yourself a break and avoid thought patterns that leave you with some internal feeling of being damaged or flawed, because self doubt can be self fulfilling in a relationship. If you're not careful, you can end up projecting your doubts onto your partner.

    To avoid abstract thinking and in order to fully understand our present feelings, we often need to trace back and unpick the past. Doing so is scary, because it means opening the box and turfing everything out, and as we get to the bottom of the box we get closer to the early years of our lives. Was there a painful experience in childhood, or some unmet need from that time that conditioned us to become clingy as an adult? Is the clinginess learned behaviour from parents or relatives? More often than not, the answer is yes. These are open questions that don't require an answer here, but are worthy of consideration and further exploration.

    If your behaviour has changed, is it because you have addressed the fundamental issues and moved on, or is it because you are suppressing things? Addressing is good, suppressing is bad.

    All of these issues can be addressed within a relationship, if both parties are fully committed to it. In actual fact, it can be very healthy and empowering to go through the process together and it can bring a new strength and depth to a relationship.
     
  5. mangotree

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    Thanks Patrick.

    In terms of addressing vs suppressing.
    I'm sure there are a few issues and events in my past that I can't remember, I've only addressed the major and most memorable ones.
    Most of the time when I think about my past and childhood, it doesn't feel like it was me that was experiencing it... It's more like I'm reading someone else's biography.
    I don't know if I'm suppressing anything or not. Is learning the consequences of being too emotional over a lifetime and mostly choosing not to feel them, a form of suppression?
     
  6. PatrickUK

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    A kind of onlooker? Have you ever thought about why that might be?

    It depends. If you think you have addressed and fully understood the underlying reasons for the excessive emotion and you are adapting your behaviour/s from a place of self awareness, it's probably okay, but is that what's happening? It's not the impression I'm getting. I think you are responding in that most human of ways, by avoiding things that have negative consequences -- keeping the lid on the box. To that extent you probably are suppressing, but what do you think?

    More questions than answers, I know, but I hope they are helpful and don't appear judgemental. Definitely not my intention.
     
  7. resu

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    I think "true" or "perfect" love is a myth because humans are imperfect beings who are always going to have little fears and obsessions that cloud their thinking. Though, there are couples who clearly showthey have figured out how to neither be distant nor clingy: comfortable with each other. It almost seems like such thoughts come from both internal thoughts of self-worth/attractiveness and external assumptions about a partner's motivations/attraction.

    In your case, I think you are showing greater experience and maturity by recognizing when your affection turns to obsession. If you can withold quick judgments, that may be a way of reducing anxiety.. Have you considered talking to a counselor? This may be more a general challenge than just romantic relationships.