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Ask Dr. Norman Brown Your Own Question

Dr. Norman Brown
Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 924
Experience:  Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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I have pushed the one away by telling him I love him and

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I have pushed "the one" away by telling him I love him and then texting him way too much. How can I bring him back? Can I recover from my mistakes? I thought I didn't want a serious relationship with him from the first time I met him and I went out with him on a date thinking it would never go anywhere. He pushed me into sleeping with him that same night and something exploded inside me and I have been head over heels for him since. How can I turn this around and make him chase me the way he did before my mistake of sleeping with him on the first date and then falling hopelessly in love with him and worse telling him I am!!!!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 3 years ago.

nphbrown :

Your suffering is certainly intense, and your loyalty is real. It's not quite clear to me how much in-person contact you have had with him since that first night. I imagine I'm not the first person, expert or not, to suggest that giving in to his pressure for sex on the first night can be in effect the "kiss of death" for many relationships with young and even middle aged (30s & 40s) men. For that pressure itself could come from his unacknowledged anxiety about being 'good enough' to be accepted into intimacy by you (this charitable interpretation assumes he's very sensitive to rejection after 1 date) OR, more likely from his unstated agenda of 'test-driving' every woman he goes out with, because 1. he has no intention of any prolonged relationship beyond a roll in the hay, or 2. he's auditioning each woman in search of his own 'ideal' and sex is essential to that idealized image he's searching for--and both of these agendas can be active at the same time.

nphbrown :

So how many times have you seen him physically since that first night? How frequently? and for what activities? For his behavior after the first date would give you a lot of clues to what he really wants. AND INTERNET CONTACT IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR IN-PERSON CONTACT, BECAUSE YOU CAN WRITE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO AN IMAGINARY PARTNER ONLINE WITHOUT EVER HAVING TO INTERNALLY COMMIT TO LOYALTY WITH THAT PERSON.

Customer:

I tried to add more info in another window but I'm not sure you received it because I don't see it here.

nphbrown :

Apparently it didn't work. Try again, as I'm watching.

Customer:

We saw each other fairly often but it was only a sexual encounter from that point on. We never had another date and he only saw me to have sex with me. There was no other interaction other than sex. I know that sounds awful and I regret it greatly now because even that is all but completely gone.

Customer:

I am 40 years old and this may be hard to believe but before this man I had never had an orgasm

Customer:

I pretty much hated sex because I always felt it was a waste of time for me as only the man would enjoy himself and I wouldn't benefit at all.

Customer:

He changed this for me. He doesn't believe me but I have told him repeatedly that he gave me my first orgasm

Customer:

I had orgasms by myself but no man has ever been able to do this for me and I was already set to never meet a man that would.

nphbrown :

OK. I understand how painful this is for you.

nphbrown :

Unfortunately, sexual ability is a skill that can be learned, and this guy learned it. But if he was patient and kind to you in this way, why doesn't he care about you beyond sex?

Customer:

What I was curious about today is I had spoken to him on the phone about a week ago and tried to persuade him into have another date with me. A clean slate start over date my treat so I could show him the real me. He believes me to be a sex crazy whore or something and that I only want him for that. Which is the farthest from the truth

nphbrown :

I don't mean for you to start doubting yourself because of that questionmark. It's not a real question, but a statement: His actions show that he cares about excellent sex, but not the real person he's spending that intimate time with.

Customer:

I unfortunately became ill and had to cancel out "date" before he even told me if he would go or not.

Customer:

I'm sorry I am writing without paying attention to what you have written.

nphbrown :

Your guy's belief that you're a crazy sex whore, could very well be a projection--namely that he's a "sex whore" so he assumes that you are too.

Customer:

That could be because he thinks that I am lying about things that I would never lie about

Customer:

and then he tells me he lied to me about things just because he wanted to keep having sex with me

nphbrown :

Since he apparently is willing to continue internet contact with you, I suggest you ask him why he wants to keep talking to you if he doesn't want to do anything with you besides have sex.

Customer:

the part about the date to start fresh since I canceled I had sent him a text just asking him out of curiosity if he would except my offer and go out with me and he said "probably not" I haven't answered back because it seems that everything I do is wrong. This just happened about an hour ago and I don't know if i should answer or not

Customer:

and this is in texts by phone

Customer:

he has said before that he doesn't think we should talk anymore so I don't for awhile but then he teases me by saying how he wants me again

Customer:

and I get swept up in a fantasy of maybe he really cares for me.

nphbrown :

Your last communication (3:14) shows me that he does indeed project his own way of being onto you: he thinks you're lying, and then admits that he has been lying. I can see also how you might come to think that he really does, or eventually will want a more complete relationship with you, but for now he's unwilling to go any further than (I presume late-night) sex encounters. Why would this man be more afraid of normal wholeperson relationship with you than of sex?

Customer:

even though I know it is in my best interest to not let him persuade me into having sex with him not having any contact with him is a much larger fear being that I have never ever in my entire life had these feelings before.

Customer:

I don't know. I have many wonderful qualities to offer including loyalty, kindness, affectionate, fun to be with, and I have been told I am very attractive both inside and out.

Customer:

Plus I have a great sense of humor and I am very adventurous and out going, plus I am an excellent cook. And I am intelligent.

nphbrown :

Yes, it's absolutely normal for you to feel so much for him. You have been a 'virgin' in a way you were not aware of, and suddenly you've become a new woman that you didn't know before.

Customer:

at this point I feel I am about to lose him forever. I know he was attracted to me strongly in the beginning and he even told me that if I acted less like I liked him he would like me more. And I said so you want me to lie to you and he said yes

Customer:

And yes being a "virgin" for so long now that I found someone that is able to touch me this way I fear I will never find anyone even close to him again. I'm not about to wait another 40 years

nphbrown :

But it's not uncommon at all for a younger woman or man to be awakened to the glorious world of deeper-wider feelings than ever before. Because our hearts can be buds that are going to burst into bloom at the first good opportunity they get. But it doesn't guarantee that the partner who unwittingly turns that genetic growth mechanism on has any of the right motives. Now I can turn to your "lie to me" question.

Customer:

a few more facts on the matter... He is not very attractive and I thought for sure he was not my "type" if there is such a thing. I wasn't attracted to him on first meeting. He was attracted to me. I can still him asking everyone in the room who I was the moment I walked through the door.

Customer:

I can still hear him asking everyone in the room <---- sorry for the typo

nphbrown :

My wife of 25+ years now used to tell her girlfriends at the Marin Municipal Water District where she worked to never have sex on the first night. When we got off to a very good start--because we had overall life goals in common: To practice psychotherapy for the benefit of other people and possibly for a larger society, she told me that she wanted to wait 3 months before we consummated our relationship (even tho we were both experienced). She only waited 3 weeks, but honoring the sacredness of that act has been highly beneficial for our relationship since then.

Customer:

Thank you for all of your advice so far. This is very much worth it to me because this has been going on since November and I feel I am making things worse the more I try but I am scared to death of losing him forever.

nphbrown :

So if he's not very attractive, where did you two meet? Could he be (justifiably) afraid that you'll end up dismissing him for being unattractive compared to you? Research shows that it is normal for couples to be roughly the same "level" of attractiveness by the time they actually get married--unless the man is wealthy and powerful and the woman can be a trophy-wife.

Customer:

Yes I know that sex on the first date was a huge mistake and it is not like me at all. I was actually angry that he had pressured me into it. He of course now says he didn't

Customer:

I only finally agreed because i liked his kissing and I thought I would never see him again since i had made up my mind from our first meeting that I didn't like him and I would never be in a serious relationship with him.

Customer:

About the unattractive thing

Customer:

that could be a huge part of it. at least that's what I thought for a long while

Customer:

I also being honest and an idiot about these things told him that I didn't find him attractive at first but that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what I feel for him now goes way beyond that

Customer:

I now find him to be extremely attractive and sexy and I suppose he thinks I'm lying

Customer:

He has admitted to me that he is self destructive and I know he is an alcoholic. Almost all of our encounters he was drunk

Customer:

ok now I'm sure you are starting to say I'm wasting my time wanting to be with someone that has low self esteem and wont even go out in public with a very beautiful intelligent woman that has sincere feelings for him

Customer:

I'm not trying to fix him. Everyone has problems. I have feelings that are beyond comprehensible and I fear I'll never find anything like this love again.

Customer:

I just want to know what I can do to turn this back or into a regular healthy relationship.

Customer:

The thing that is the most frustrating is that if the tables were turned and I was a man asking a woman that showed an attraction in the beginning to me for just one more date to make sure we were absolutely not meant to be together the woman would feel almost obligated to give the man a second date. Am I right?

Customer:

Before you tell me that this is hopeless and I am just wasting my time and energy on someone that doesn't deserve me. Can you give me anything that I can do before I give up completely?

Customer:

I believe what you said about him thinking I might "dismiss" him for being not as attractive compared to me. And I know I made that worse. But attractiveness has never meant anything to me. I actually chose all my partners including my ex husband based on their not being very attractive because I was so terrified of being cheated on.

Customer:

I was afraid that if my partner was too attractive women would try and tempt him away and being the way men are they would foolishly follow the temptress.

Customer:

But I have seen pictures of his ex and she is attractive. He told me that she cheated on him but after he recently told me how he was lying about being depressed when we first met just so that I would go out with him makes me wonder if anything he told me was true.

Customer:

Do you think that he would lie about being depressed just to get me to have sex with him?

Customer:

Are you still there?

Customer:

I think I lost you somewhere. Or maybe you figure I am hopeless and gave up.

nphbrown :

Then my first supposition that he was very anxious about being acceptable to you was accurate. I had a housemate in 1976 that was a model, 6ft tall blonde. The first man that found her moved into her bedroom with her. He told me he always had to have sex on the first night, or he wouldn't want a second date. He was a photographer, and highly sensitive, unbeknownst to him.

nphbrown :

I'm sorry, I was fielding a call by a JustAnswer staff person. I reviewed enough of what you just wrote to see "alcoholic" always drunk. When you commit to a relationship with a person YOU GET THE WHOLE PERSON, like it or not. DON'T COMMIT TO AN ALCOHOLIC OR BINGE-DRINKER.

nphbrown :

With that said, it's likely that his low self-esteem and drinking are reciprocally reinforcing, but you can't lift him out of this hole where he's been for (how long?) because you're pretty and smart and eager to be loyal. You need to realize that you now have discovered how you can have better sexual experience than ever before, and you can easily teach that to your next lover, if you can stand to be assertive after a few sexual encounters. And you can insist that sex must wait for a month (arbitrary) because that'll chase away anybody who doesn't want a committed relationship.

Customer:

In regards XXXXX XXXXX first of your last two paragraphs -----> Perhaps. I don't know what to do. I am not a super model but I used to model before I became an actress (which I gave up to become a graphic designer). I have never had this problem before in my life. I have always been pursued and have never even dated much because I was able to pick and choose from a large number of prospects.

nphbrown :

It's also quite common that some pretty women are also highly sensitive, so they're shy and they don't trust themselves in early relationship. Your experience with your exhusband could also cast a huge shadow over how you approach and deal with potential relationships now.

Customer:

So no matter how long I wait nothing will ever change and make this man want me on a level more than just sex?

nphbrown :

I'm sorry again,but I have to go to get my wife some needed medicine. I can't say NEVER about that. But I can say NEVER choose to build a relationship with a guy who has a drinking problem unless you have the same drinking problem and want his bad company. I have to go, but I'm willing to answer more questions later--I can't say how much later, tho, at least 2-3 hours, unfortunately.

Customer:

Ok thank you so much. I hope your wife feels better

Customer:

You have been very kind. I will give you excellent feedback.

nphbrown :

And please remember, the uniqueness of your new sexual experience is no guarantee of anything ongoing with the person who happened to turn the key the right way to unlock some more of your potential. The seer Teiresias (in Oedipus the King) told questioners that women got MUCH more pleasure in sex than men--and he is right--but in our century many women have had to find their way back to the orgasmic capacity that has been natural but apparently not necessary, since a child can be conceived without orgasm.

nphbrown :

Just be thankful that you now know what you want and can achieve during sex, so you can be more discriminating in who you choose. But I'd advise you to think about the future you want with a man, if you do want a real partnership. Then you can develop a "checklist" of what could be necessary for your ongoing satisfaction, life goals, lifestyle, religious attitudes, values, alcohol & drug use, empathy,, etc.

nphbrown :

If you'd like to explore such a checklist, I can help. I've assigned students to write a relationship history, and using that you can figure out what you liked and didn't like, why you stayed with one person and not with another, etc. I will have a website of my own by next week, and I can also sent you some of the directions for how to proceed from here. Some conversation can also help a lot. I got married the first time at 42, so it's never too late to find what you need to make this life as rich as it can be. Bon voyage.

Dr. Norman Brown, Marriage Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 924
Experience: Family Therapist & teacher 35+ yrs; PhD research in couples
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