Feeling wanted but unneeded

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
differentkin
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Feeling wanted but unneeded

Unread postby differentkin » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:23 pm

I've been dating my boyfriend for about a month now, but it feels much longer because of quarantine. Let's call him Aaron. I'm someone who needs a lot of attention, reassurance, and in general I have a lot of mental issues I go to him with. Both of us are polyam, and Aaron has been dating his boyfriend for three years, so whenever he has an issue he goes to his boyfriend. This, among other things, leads me to feel wanted but unneeded.

At the beginning of our relationship, he seemed much more involved than he is now. He used to text me good morning everyday and check in with me throughout the day, but he stopped a week or so ago because he's been waking up later. Even though I addressed this with him, and that I feel better when he does that, he hasn't said good morning to me since the day I told him how I felt about that. I don't subscribe to the idea that people are replaceable, no matter how similar they are (ex: Amber & House to Wilson,) and I don't think other people think that way either. But I feel disposable, or like a stuffed animal somebody really loves until they've decided they've outgrown it. I know Aaron enjoys talking to me. I know he feels love for me, and in moments where I need validation or attention, he gives it to me and isn't bothered by it. But I feel like I shouldn't have to be having a mental breakdown everyday for him to really, like actually talk to me.

He does tell me things. He's pretty sure he has DID, but his therapist brushed it off almost immediately. He's had an eating disorder in the past. But I never know if he's having a current issue because he always goes to his boyfriend about it. While he wants to date me, and he enjoys it, I feel like I'm more of a casual than serious relationship to him. Which is strange, since he said he doesn't do casual relationships because he falls too hard. I'm not useful to him.

I have ADHD and experience rejection sensitive dysphoria pretty hard, so maybe I'm just being whiney. I'm also in the middle of one of my bimonthly mental breakdowns where I am extremely narcissistic for about a week before diving into a deep depression and I'm in the second half of that. I don't know. The idea that people could get over me if I left is really distressing, so it's probably just a me issue.

Karyn
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Re: Feeling wanted but unneeded

Unread postby Karyn » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:41 pm

Hi differentkin. I'm sorry you're having such a rough time.

A couple of things stood out to me about your post. The first is that - although quarantine might make it feel like much longer - a month really is a pretty short time period, and when people are still getting to know each other. From where I'm sitting, a lot of what you've said indicates that this is just a new relationship in its beginning stages, when everyone is still developing a sense of trust that will lead to sharing more down the line. Even if it develops into a serious relationship later, the really early part of a relationship (sometimes the first several months!) can feel more casual just because it takes time for a sense of trust to develop to share things and start to lean on each other more as a source of support. Everyone opens up at their own pace, and feels comfortable sharing different parts of their lives at a different speed, so it might just be that his speed is a bit slower than yours. Kind of related to that, the first little bit of time after we start dating someone is when we do a lot of figuring out about compatibility, whether or not our needs and wants match up well. If you've talked to him about wanting to check in with each other more frequently, and that hasn't changed things, then that might be one indication that this relationship isn't the best fit for you at this particular time.

The other thing that I'm wondering about is that you mentioned that you're someone who needs a lot of attention and reassurance. Is Aaron the only person you feel like you're able to go to for that? What's your social circle like outside of this relationship? Are you able to reach out to friends or family for support as well? I'm also wondering if you've ever been able to access any professional support from a therapist or counsellor. As someone with ADHD myself I'm familiar with the ways it can affect how we interact with others, how we interpret their actions, and how it can affect relationships, and sometimes it can be really useful to have some experienced professional support to learn to navigate that, when it's possible.
"Where there is power, there is resistance." -Michel Foucault


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