Think I have hot guy amnesia

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spottedowl
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Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

Preface by saying memory is fine, and already taking this to professional counseling. Sorry for posting so much but all the journaling brings back weird stuff sometimes.

I’m in college now and know how to deal with love for guys. In high school I did not know how to deal with it in a healthy way.
Enter the feelings hole. It’s where everyone puts emotions they do not want to deal with temporarily. Like you got a new puppy, feeling really happy but need to take an exam so you sorta postpone feeling happy until after the test. But in high school (not now) falling in love was VERY BAD BECAUSE OF CONSEQUENCES. So when I put the love in the feelings hole to focus on school for a bit-I never took it out. And that lead to issues because...well see the name changed texts I just sent my cousins.


Ok-I ask this 100 percent serious question. It is not scary but kinda freaky. Remember how I told you about Bob-the guy at school who I loved. I would forget him. And I’m not talking between middle and high school or a long time between meetings or something like that. I’m not talking hazy you are so hot memories. 100 percent serious we would have a convo at 8 AM and I would COMPLETELY FORGET IT by 12 PM. Like what convo, we never had it. Or even who is he. This guy who meant so much to me was so hot-I think I repressed the memories. Like amnesia or something. And it only happened with really hot guys. How do I deal with this?

And now I am remembering all these memories. Again not scary, fun and reminds me of good stuff. But freaky because well how the hell did I forgot this (what those guys meant to me) Like I hid it under a black screen or something. Because I was that afraid of sex and finding a guy that hot

And it’s not like I only met Bob once or twice. We met every week. AND I FORGOT HIM an hour after I saw him and talked to him.

I forgot whole major events in my life like getting bullied my junior year. You know who took care of me after? My guy friends. I FORGOT ALL ABOUT THEM THE MOMENT THEY LEFT ME for that day.

So many guys thought this:

They had a whole phone convo like this is freaky she literally forgets us cause we are too sexy and so we cannot help her. 100 percent serious

Or they thought I had literal brain damage. Which was not true. One guy-best friend 14 years-removed the possibility of a romantic relationship with me, the girl who forgets about him completely. I blocked that memory too first day freshman year college, (last one ever blocked thank God). So I didn’t even realize the state of our relationship and I actually wanted to get together with him. I even wrote about him here-actually wrote about all of them here-see my friendship post. And we are still close but they kinda don’t see me that way anymore after high school because throughout high school I forgot them because they were sexy.

And now I actually think they are sexy for real not ever forgetting but need to deal with how much I did forget. Heck how much of my life I did forget, because it was going on while I was in love.

The summary: I liked guys, forgot them cause I was scared to like them so much. Now I am mature enough in love to acknowledge how much they meant. And that hurts because it’s literally uncovering some memory that I didn’t even remember existed. That means so much. And I didn’t forget just them. I forgot myself too. A whole part of my personality was expressed thru love and relationships. By not acknowledging my love in high school I turned my back on:

-the guy
-my own feelings
-me being myself
-so many awesome memories
-whatever else was going on in my life while the guy in question was in the background-music, movies, hobbies, school etc etc

And now I feel my feelings, and I forgot these guys. These guys that were such awesome people. And I don’t know how to feel that I got those memories back. I’m so happy but also really sad. I’m okay but a little freaked out that this could even happen.
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Siân »

Hi spottedowl,

This sounds like a lot to be figuring out! Is it a recent realisation for you, or has something made you think about it more recently?

I'm glad you have a therapist to talk to, and that you've been able to share with us here. It sounds like you're feeling a lot of stuff - okay, happy, sad, freaked out - would you like to talk to us about it a bit more? Do you have particular questions about how to navigate this here and now?
spottedowl
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

I've been trying to work my way out of family/school issues and thought it would be a good idea to revisit old friends from high school, (because to be honest, college sucked for lots of reasons and I wanted people that understood me from when I was little) This has been a fantastic idea 98% of the time :D Me and my girl friends are so close.

Except when it comes to my guy friends-who are also caring, and I don't even want to date them just hang out as friends. But we are so close we have that type of relationship that's hanging on the border of romantic and platonic 99% of the time for some of them. And that's all I've ever wanted. But now 4 of them never want to talk/see/hear from me again and I'm confused/hurt/angry/just plain sad. Cause I want to eat pizza but they don't even answer the door. After 7-14 years growing up in each other's backyards, same schools etc.

Hurts so much to lose 4 guys at once, and all last night. At the same time via text message. I feel like they dumped me. I want to fix our friendships (especially cause I'm going through a tough time right now and want hugs from these guys) but I don't know how or even if I can. And if I can't fix it I've just lost 4 very close childhood friends. Guys too, who are harder to make and stay platonic friends with than girls at least for me, because of the sexual attraction.

Here's what went down with a little feelings intro way back when as best I can explain it and maybe someone can tell me if this is fixable? All feelings were/are requited to some degree.

1st guy- 10 years: Bob and his friends. Let's be honest Bob was always good looking. His 3 other friends were too, though I mainly knew and had feelings for Bob. They were good boys with good manners but came from the wrong side of the tracks and were always judged. I fell so hard for them. Our relationship was never really that platonic, but romantic with a good amount of sexual tension as we grew up. Only problem? The sexual tension started to scare me a bit because I felt it too, but didn't want to date because of 99 other things.

2nd and 3rd guys-14 years: Edward and Jacob. Epic slow burn and love triangle. Purely platonic in the beginning. Then more sexual and romantic feelings every year after 8th grade (for both of them, still cannot decide who I want more :lol: ). But I still didn't want to date them, so just enjoying their company as friends.

4th guy-7 years Peter. This guy was like a firework. Platonic from the start until 3 years ago when he helped me with some mean students at school. After that? Warm and fuzzy romantic feelings for months and years with a small serving of sexual tension. And you see the pattern, don't want to date.

So in the end all these guys are just friends. We haven't kissed, haven't even held hands all that much. But we hung out in mixed boy/girl friend groups for our whole lives.

Enter THE EVENT
A guy bullies me in school for 3 months straight. Every day, multiple times a day. No normal bulling this guy verbally abuses me, separates me from friends, school, hobbies, life. I felt like dirt and it was just incredibly bad.

They helped me through it. But because I was unused to personal attention from guys, I suddenly found them extremely good looking. Since I wanted to stay friends, I needed to make them not sexy. So I thought of them as they were when we little kids. This caused me to “forget” the sexy moments.

Fast forward 4 years. Everyone but Bob hates me for “manipulating” them because I refused to choose one guy as the hot one.

And the more I think about it-Bob is the only one I really care about. He never criticized me and taught me a whole bunch of things. But he moved away and isn’t answering calls or texts. I would give my wisdom teeth for 5 min with him. I don’t need him here I want him here. He has had my back since middle school through college. I met his parents, he met mine. My mom hates him but I love him. He changed my life several times over. My life without him wouldn’t be the same. And now I feel like crying because I might not see him again.

What the heck do I do? Go after Bob because I just realized he’s the really really important one here? Fix everything at much cost/time?
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi spottedowl,

The first step I'd actually suggest is to spend some time thinking about what kinds of relationships, if any, you'd like to have with these guys individually. They were important to you in the past, but are they people you'd still like to know? If so, how do you want those relationships to look? How much time and effort do you want to put into trying to repair or cultivate them?

Too, I might be missing this in your initial post, so I apologize if you're repeating yourself, but did they all decide to stop contact with you after conversing with each other? And what reasons did they give for stopping contact?
spottedowl
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

So this is part of a long and kinda complicated story filled with all of my friends from high school. Nothing really out of the ordinary happened, but everything happened because it was just a time in my life that was important just like college is still important.

But the one sentence answer is all of those guys are my ex boyfriends. Some are still friends, and part of my close friend group. Some graduated and I never saw them again. Some entered into actual relationships with me which were good healthy relationships and they were nice. But then we broke up and both cried a bit and then moved on with our lives. I've had relationships with guys throughout college all good ones.

I'm also really interested in a bunch of other things other than boys, duh. One of those is school and I want to be a doctor so the classes are hard but very interesting.

Sometimes I feel like books from school and boys from school cannot exist in my brain at the same time. Couple that with years and years of relationship, sex, dating myths from my mom and other family, cultural norms and my own desires for what I want from relationships (they start out as good friends usually and so catching feelings is kinda awkward. Add in actually good advice about boys from my family, cause they support ignoring the feelings but not paying attention to them.

The party line I've heard since age 8 is basically "do what you want but don't kiss them otherwise you'll end up pregnant out of wedlock and your life will be over" The last part is a lie. We have family who prove its a lie while also carrying shame and guilt from other family who took 20 years to forgive them for the "mistake" of wanting sex or liking boys or wanting to be close with boys who are not related to them (in any way, even literally just friends).

The whole shame thing is messed up. I know its messed up but I've been raised in it and its my family who I love so much and they love me and yet...people say stuff. And sometimes its just saying stuff. But sometimes they actually believe what they are saying.

The end result of this is I do what I want. I've never kissed a guy or had sex. I've never wanted to or felt ready when I did want to. But I have had super duper close emotional romantic relationships with a bunch of boys. SO many good boys.

Obviously don't want to forget about any of these relationships.

But I find myself doing it anyway.

It happened to my grandma too, since she grew up with a large family as the only girl surrounded by 3 brothers and like 4 cousins and longtime family friends. She married my grandpa who has 5 male cousins. She has 2 sons, my dad and uncle. She basically ran in a pack of boys all her life and loved it. I have done that too, and I love it. The difference is at least some of those guys were her family (so more socially accepted). My big Indian family full of boys and girls who are related to me is in India. I live in the US. My pack of boys? They are my friends. This is okay and fine, but feelings are more complicated sometimes.

When grandma started having romantic thoughts about her brother's best friend who was not related to her? When she wanted to have sex with the cute guy who sat behind her in chemistry? All the relationships were blocked by a combo of her own feelings, shame, and super strict parents. Only her girl cousins and girl friends helped her realize she didn't have to put a black wall up around her relationships and feelings to feel whole. She was okay, it was normal and fine. And she took it to heart and is happy.

For me life is great. Except when all the shame comes for me and school is rough for one semester and no Indian girl friends are available to tell me they understand its okay I'm fine this is normal. Some girls make fun of me for not "doing enough with the guys" And so I make myself forget.

The black wall comes down around the beautiful sexy perfectly imperfect boys. The loving boys, the cute boys, the I act like I'm so bad but really I'm not boys. The logical boys, the smart boys the watch me kick a football 10 yards boys. All the boys I've ever cared deeply for, all the girlfriends I was with in a big mixed group with them, all those moments of MY OWN LIFE that I didn't necessarily want to share the details of with my parents or anyone (didn't matter, doing nothing, just talking, know it is dumb in general but not dumb to me because it is my own life).

All those moments are hidden behind black walls. Connected to books, movies, TV shows cause that's the only way I can connect. And sometimes that's all you want, is a hot celeb to remind you of a guy you saw once or twice. But when a hot celeb takes the place of a 14 year friendship that became something more that's still a friendship, well its not enough. You need memories of the real thing. Sometimes they come back 2 weeks before finals (the whole relationship, tears and all the love in between, you fail your finals and get incompletes because the boys are back in town and you love it but are so ashamed against your will (to be ashamed to like boys).

There are 4 ex's I forgot about. Whole semesters worth of fun times I blocked out. Hard times made better by boys that I blocked out. I know it all now, but I'm going to counseling so I don't forget. Which made me remember a whole semester of counseling where I found solutions to all my existing problems, and my ex who was the boy sitting next to me in the waiting room in the office.

So in conclusion I'm wonderful :D :lol: I really am, cause I uncovered all the parts of myself that are warm and fuzzy and fun. And so many wonderful boys too, to remember. But how do I get over the shame? Cause I want to keep my memories. And my independence from my parents, who can remove the shame but at the cost of embarrassing personal details about my romantic life I don't want to give them.
spottedowl
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

So all my guy friends who are angry at me? All ex boyfriends 95% close close friends, some moved on in life, a few engaged now (happy for them),some concerned and broke off relationship because I was forgetting them.

And I actually was forgetting them with a black wall. As soon as platonic/random dude/acquaintance became romantic/sexy/no clue but I like it, and they were actual guys in my actual life and not celebs in books movies and TV. Black wall time.

I think partly because of shame, because I can be friends but nothing more. Ever. Not even close friends. And I like blurring that line. The boys like(d) it too.

So how do I stop the forgetting?
spottedowl
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

To answer your question directly, as I think I have but not sure:

All of these high school guys conversed and stopped contact. There were other guys in college who either conversed or did not but they stopped contact.

All the reasons boiling to down to: I forgot them. This makes them feel sad/confused/hurt/angry/guilty/scared/ashamed, cause they thought I wanted to: call them my boyfriend/go on our 500th unofficial but first official date/kiss them/buy them stuff/have sex/share personal info/just hang out in a big group together for all time.

And me on the other side going: I forgot you. This makes me feel the same way as you because I wanted all the same things but also I forgot that card game/phone call/conversation/could have solved some of my problems/wanted to talk/wanted to spend time/liked you/really liked you/loved you/wanted a hug/wanted sex/forgot what my girl friends were doing at the card game/at the pool/forgot the books you gave me/that movie we all watched/forgot the advice/forgot the conflict/forgot apologizing after/forgot the lessons you taught me/forgot 6 boys at a lunch table who meant the world/forgot you and in forgetting you forgot a piece of myself.

Its not about them anymore. I think I know the difference between wanting to forget a boy after breaking up and actually forgetting them. I'm doing the second one and I don't want to.
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Urna »

Hello spottedowl,

Thank you for sharing your vulnerable moments with us. I understand the heartbreak that comes with being stonewalled by people with whom you once shared such deep and dynamic relationships, and it sucks that their stonewalling isn't really blameworthy--they were stonewalled by you first, even though you weren't 100% in control of that process, given the caution with which your family taught you to view romantic relationships. As an Indian girl raised with similar anti-romance messaging from all quarters, I relate to your upbringing, and I can appreciate how complicated it must have been to balance that with your love for boys in your life. The fact that your coping strategy wrt that was straight-up blocking memories out makes sense, honestly: it's a lot to reconcile. As our other members have said in this thread, I'm glad that you're working on this in therapy.

It's a step forward that you accept that your exes aren't wrong to refuse to be on talking terms with you, after all the hurt you unwittingly caused them. You're also slowly uncovering the good memories that involve them, and this time, you're going to be making an effort to honour them. So you're slowly getting better at balancing your own feelings and desires with what your upbringing has conditioned you to feel, and that's really impressive! But I would like to reiterate Sam's question from earlier in this thread: what kinds of relationships, if any, you'd like to have with these guys individually? They were important to you in the past, but are they people you'd still like to know? If so, how do you want those relationships to look? How much time and effort do you want to put into trying to repair or cultivate them?

Why Sam's questions are crucial is because your previous posts use a lot of memory talk--you say you want to remember these amazing boys, and all that they did for you to help you through difficult times, and the fun you had together, etc. I understand that this stems from the guilt that having forgotten them caused. But is remembering (and maybe some kind of closure with these exes) all you want? Or do you want to repair/cultivate those relationships again? If the latter is the case, what would you want the rebuilt relationships to look like?
<3333
spottedowl
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

What I want is closure with all but one guy. Because see, I’m already over them. The issue isn’t them. It’s the positive impact they had on me (telling me I could do whatever I wanted with whoever and not have to tell anyone if I didn’t want to), that I really could not handle because of parents and pressure causing me to block out the very memories that give me closure, and remind me of what I learned.

So we keep the memories and so we have closure. Easier said than done but that’s the answer.

The one guy I actually want a relationship with, is my best friend since 2nd grade. We have 10000’s of memories and I really really want more. I don’t care what happened in the past. I don’t care if he has a girlfriend now cause he’s just my best friend for 14 years now and counting.

He was my best friend.
We told each other everything.
I really really miss hanging out and calling him and catching up and doing friend things.
Just friends no romance.
I stonewalled him through the problems above to try to protect our friendship.
I couldn’t admit to him why I did it.
I couldn’t admit I kinda hate my mom and aunt.
I was scared he would not understand.
He’s always understood, or had a kind word.
I kinda hate myself for not apologizing sooner.
I don’t need him, but I really really really x1000 want him back.
We have each other backs. Anytime he snaps his fingers I’m there by his side.
I still feel like the above.
I would be able to snap my fingers and he would be there.
I want it to be like that again.
I want to call him through all this.
I want my best friend back.
And my mom and aunt’s ideas in my head took him from me.
I really really need to apologize. Even if he hates me forever I need to do it for me.
How do I say I’m sorry I want my friend back? I would never hurt him
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Mo »

If you have a way to contact this friend, I think sending an apology would be a good idea! When making an apology, it can help to keep things as simple as possible. What I'd include in the apology would be naming the specific thing you did that was hurtful, saying you're sorry for it, and maybe mentioning how you'd do things differently in the future if given the chance.
It can be tempting to add in a bunch of details that explain why you did what you did, but I think a simple apology is often received the best. Even if you don't mean it to be read that way, sometimes including those reasons why will come off as making excuses for your behavior.

It's fine to say that you miss him and would like to rekindle the friendship, but what I'd suggest is that you give him the space to read and absorb the apology and make the first move to get in touch with you after that, if he wants to.
Good luck! I hope it goes well, or at least brings you some closure.
spottedowl
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

Kinda a rant
So since I last posted, I failed my college semester because the relationship memories were too weird and distracted me. I also had memories of all the paranoia and confusion that made me go to therapy for the first time cause the school counselor wasn't enough, 4 years ago. Was there another guy there? Um yeah. And the therapist got it wrong cause they questioned me for 2 hours (but felt like much longer), on whether my parents were actually gaslighting/messed me up in regards to boys, or if it was just cultural differences that I took too seriously. Ended up being cultural differences and got to walk out of there, but it was kinda scary.

That guy in therapy later was the guy that propositioned me for sex with lots of dirty words lol. I said no, because I wanted to, but still couldn’t shake the voice of my aunt saying not till you’re 25 in my brain. The third guy? Longtime friend who jumped in my car after hearing about the amnesia that I spoke about at my high school. Drove him home, turned out to have an abusive stepdad. Wanted to run away from home but I convinced him not to, was very worried for his safety though. Loved him anyway.
Lots of other close friends I forgot.

Present day:
Still going to a counselor now (different one) with my parents.

Speaking of parents, tried to tell them about my first relationship because that's the one (of three) I've blocked out the most. Uh, told my parents I'd contact him (because I was literally trying to remember how it ended so I could find closure), but of course my dad took it as I just want to contact my old high school "flame"?

(Which let's be honest I cannot even put a label on it cause we were friends first for 8 years before getting set up by the teachers at my high school who were trying to get me to realize that it was okay to like boys. The problem was we didn't like each other that way. But y'know he was hot, so I fell in love with a guy I was told I would marry by a teacher who thought we were high school sweethearts. If it sounds crazy that's cause it kinda was.)

But dad didn't know any of this, I was still having too much trouble remembering details I had shoved under the black wall or just plain normally forgotten. So of course he did that thing where he embarrassed me with his picture in the yearbook and told me memories were just memories.

UH YEAH DAD-IF I COULD'VE REMEMBERED HIM AND THE 2 or 3 after him, WE WOULDN'T be having this convo now.

And of course my mom doesn't know what she said or did. From everything from my first date to the last guy I loved.

That guy I apologized to? Turns out I already apologized 4 years ago. I just pushed it behind that black wall again.

I’m talking with my female cousin in India cause she’s one of few people I can trust to Just Listen not do anything.

So I have lots of closure and they will all be there if I need to talk, you know on social media.

And it’s been 4 years so a part of me is okay. But remembering all this it still feels like yesterday, and these were kinda stronger relationships that won’t ever really leave.

So my questions (also for the therapist but want a general/second opinion)

How do I talk about this to future boyfriends/boys if I want to? So far only a few have understood the three above.

How do I approach this conversation with my parents? Cause the problem isn’t the boys or even what I did with them, it’s that their daughter has stories they didn’t know.

How do I myself start the process of moving on from remembering these memories? Cause the boys are over me now, again closure. But I need to close my memories without actually blocking them out?

And how do I do all this while still maintaining school, and other life goals?

Of all these I think the parent convo is most important. I tell my parents everything (or used to) and this is something I’d like to explain in full. But given how they reacted to the first story, Dad embarrassing me, Mom wondering what she said, both not understanding the amnesia/black wall stuff, I don’t know how they’ll react.

Also feel like I have to get over 3 relationships at once now kinda? So I feel like eating a whole pint of ice cream, cry into my souvenirs. I remembered the music playlists they made, the book recommendations they gave, the movies that remind me of them. Part of me never wants to stop this memory flood (and writing them down seems to help). But I have to put it on pause to live my normal life, without pushing it back, and nobody who’s living with me understands how strange/hard that is.
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi SpottedOwl,

Oof, I'm sorry that dealing with all these lost and the returned memories is disrupting so much for you. I actually want to the question of moving on or getting closure from these memories when you're dealing with what feels like three major break ups all at once. This may sound like an odd recommendation, but what if you set aside designated time in your day or week that was basically reminiscing/grieving time? That way you're still able to sort through these memories and cope with them the way you would a more conventional break up without either blocking them out or letting them hijack the other things you need to do.

As far as talking about this with your parents, that's where I'd make use of the fact that you're seeing a family therapist. If nothing else, they can act as a mediator during that conversation. You can also reach out to them and explain what happened last time and why it's important to you that your parents actually hear and try to understand what you're really saying to them. Too, are you still seeing a therapist for individual sessions? Or are you only seeing one with your parents?

When it comes to bringing this up with guys in the future, I think the specifics are likely to vary based on both the guy and where you are in your own journey around understanding how those memory blocks happened and how to stop them from doing so. But it's likely that being up front about how this is a thing you sometimes struggle with will help you feel like you're being honest and help the other person feel like they're informed about a thing that could potentially happen in their relationship with you?
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

I agree with the grieving time could probably make time once a week, and should clarify that I am seeing a counselor with my parents-but split time, so about 50 min with me and final 10-15 min with my parents. The 4 year old relationships coming back aren’t the main concern for my parents, they were one reason I have academic troubles but there are others (mom’s cancer and COVID worldwide trouble among them).

The relationships are a top 5 concern for me, because I just got into a really emotionally happy healthy space last semester, and boys were good looking. Not trying to throw a pity party here but that healthy space was kinda ruined by these relationship memories coming back.

I also agree with telling my future boyfriends about the amnesia.

I wonder if I should clarify for myself what future relationships might look like for me? 4 years I had no sex ed beyond high school sex ed (which was pretty good, but no emotional content, which I needed).

Relationships to 16/17 year old me (straight girl)
“I want a boyfriend but...”
-then I’ll have to kiss him and do all that emotional “in love” mushy stuff (holding hands, going bowling, movies etc.)
-looking at the above-I don’t really care all that much about kissing right now (not that much in general and not that much to give up being single, go through a breakup)
-I actually like being single and looking at 30 hot guys in school every day without being “tied down” to one or another
-there‘s no reason I cannot just go to the movies with my big group of girl and guy friends if I wanted to
-friends who get in relationships get their love ridiculed by parents, friends. Don’t wanna go through that. Want a more long term relationship “more adult” and willing to wait for it
AND
-Mom says too young and immature to get into relationship, breakups hurt really bad etc.

So...who cares about boyfriends? Just have guy friends. Hooray! Everyone wins!

BUT
-accidentally caught love feelings for 3 guy friends I’ve known for 8 years
-never any physical intimacy or conventional markers of a relationship (still looked like friends on the outside, not even exclusive)
-fell in love and went through 3 breakups, cause they were long term relationships (friendships) that turned into love
-hard for the world to understand the above
-don’t want to and cannot properly explain to parents
-just hard to classify relationship
Haha oops ;)

22 year old me
-I’m a college student now. Yay independence (no more “Mom says”)! :lol:
-same as above but take out 95% of the shame (breakups actually are not THAT bad, don’t have to kiss anyone if I don’t want to)
-still physically want kisses and sex (not asexual), but not right now
-still want to maintain friendships with guys

BUT
-the above might still lead to relationships like the 3 I had, which I am totally ok with
-kinda want a “conventional boyfriend” so our relationship is accepted in society generally and by my parents
-and y’know I kinda wanna to kiss a guy

I feel like I have experienced mature relationships (high school sweethearts without kissing is the best description I can think of), but no experience in the physical side of things.

How do I figure out what I want?
spottedowl
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

Just to clarify-those 3 relationships were one after the other.
My main problem was not my strict mom or cultural expectations-I kinda saw through those.
My main issue was I could not mentally accept that I was basically dating my friends and/or found my guy friends very sexy and hot. The line after 8 years of friendship was so blurry and I landed on the romantic side with 3 guys one after another. But I loved being single-so many friends in high school were asking if I could
-kiss them once in the bus lot
-dance with them
-walk down the hallway hand in hand
-announce I liked them, and was proud of it
The reason being if I had done any of those things it would have helped me realize I had the same feelings as any teenage girl and could date, it was okay, I wasn’t a bad person. It didn’t work-instead I got the type of friends in love relationship it’s hard to explain to the world, cause we never kissed.
And I’m FINALLY accepting all of it :lol:
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Sam W »

I think you're actually already in the process of figuring out what you want, which is awesome! Something I'd actually recommend is to check out this article: Supermodel: Creating & Nurturing Your Own Best Relationship Models. When you go through that, what things jump out at you, either as things you really want or things you know just aren't for you?
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

Don’t need a response here:

So I’ve read the article and here’s my viewpoint...for now (also just remembered I did this back in freshman year of college) :lol:

“I don’t really care about race, diet, different interests, etc. I don’t even care about porn use. (I feel like my family traditions are way to strict in this regard). I would really like to spend time in person with the guy (or at very least long phone calls) at least 3-4 times a week. All my past relationships were at high school or college so we saw each other regularly: eating lunch in same group, same clubs/activities, same classes, or at least same path to class etc. So though we never really hung out after classes, we still had a lot of time together over a long period of several years. Speaking of several years in a big group, I feel like I need a year or three to warm up to the idea of being romantically involved with a guy. But at that point of romance I want monogamy-before that, honestly anything goes, I’m not their girlfriend. I am totally okay with close friends-boys, girls, whoever is fine as long as he isn’t kissing them, teasing is okay, flirting (teasing romantically) isn’t. I wouldn’t like it, but I’ll even give a “free pass” to one instance of sex with another person (everyone makes mistakes)-but he shouldn’t do it again or we break up. Also I feel like I need very clear boundaries, like I stated before if I didn’t say I’m your girlfriend explicitly we are not exclusive and you can do what you want. Time alone needs to happen every single day at least an hour or two, even friendship with me doesn’t work otherwise (introverted). I would prefer to put the relationship first but this isn’t happening with school/work so we need to work around my/his/our schedules.”

Think that was it. I have a lifetime to learn my specific preferences anyway. :lol:
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

Kindly requesting a response: :)

So I’m reminiscing for like 2 hours a day-which is a good amount of time to go through the memories and still do normal life things like prepare for school, hang out with family etc.

But it’s another question for the therapist I guess it’s that I’m mourning forgotten memories? It’s not even about the boys anymore. I guess the way the memories came back it kinda made me relive the being friends for 8 years falling in love, breakup, dealing with feelings related to being told “too young for love”, relationship 2 with another guy friend, having said friend ask me if I wanted sex, relationship 3 with a friend from a broken home (happy ending thank goodness).

Don’t get me wrong I’m doing good 8-)
But at the same time all the emotional feelings? I mean I even miss the breakup which was quite ugly with lots of crying and heartache. I even miss the “fake breakup” that was the cover so my parents would support me through it.

When does it stop hurting? Everything those 6 boys were even a little bit involved in hurts. The happiest memories hurt cause I forgot them :cry:

Oh and I just broke down crying when I saw Heather’s “Dear you” post about never being too young/old to fall in love. Reminded me of when my mentor/advisor math teacher sent me the article shortly after talking about it with me. It’s how I discovered this website, even if I didn’t start actively reading until years afterward.
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Sam W »

The tough thing about grief, including grief around things like lost relationships, is that it doesn't happen on a predictable timeline. And it tends to be gradual, like you'll look back suddenly and realize that you're feeling considerably better than when this all first came back to you. In fact, I'd say just in our time talking here, you've noticeably progressed to a new space in your grief around this. Does all that make sense?

(I do love that "Dear You" post, and I'm so glad your advisor sent it to you and introduced us to you!)
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

Third paragraph is the question-thanks!

That does make sense about the grief. I suppose if someone invented something that could cure a broken heart then life might be easier for everyone. :lol:

It’s a process going through the emotions but I am feeling a whole lot better about everything now, more accepting of the fact that I forgot them. Also accepting that the things that remind me of them can now just be those thing if I want to. The connection is looser which makes the emotions much easier to deal with.

But...nothing makes me feel sexy anymore? It’s not depression because life is great right now aside from this problem-fixed the college issues, and have relaxation time.

Even when I view the 100% guaranteed to get me feeling like a sex goddess fanfic nothing in my brain gets excited. It’s not even an orgasm issue, and I’m definitely in the mood to read the fanfic so it’s not that. Not bored either-got plenty of other stuff to do if I wanted.

So like I want to feel sexy, using stuff that usually makes me feel sexy, body is even kinda on board with that plan-nipples get firmer, wet vagina etc. But my brain is just not getting the message. Thinking maybe I should try to relax even more?

How do I bring the sexy back?
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Siân »

If someone found a way to cure a broken heart they would be very rich indeed! But I actually think that all of those emotions have something to tell us - about what's important to us, what we care about, things like that.

I'm glad you're feeling better and that life is good in general. When you say nothing makes you feel sexy, do you mean like mentally/emotionally turned on? Because honestly, it's not at all unusual or worrying for your sexual interest to vary - horny as hell one week, completely disinterested next month. It will come back!

If you want to consciously engage with that part of yourself a bit more though, I wonder what it would be like if you focused on pleasure more broadly for a bit? Like, some things (your fave fan fic for example) might give you sexual pleasure, but others might give you other kinds of pleasure - dancing, your favourite food, a warm bath, whatever feels good to you in your body. What might paying attention to other kinds of pleasure look like for you?
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

Questions in final 2 paragraphs

I agree that the heartbreak and messy emotions have value that’s true :)

Yes-I meant emotionally turned on, and I actually did try to focus on pleasure more generally, taking beginner swing dance lessons and bubble baths, and exploring my favorite perfumes.

It worked-feeling better :mrgreen:

I have current girl friendship drama.

4 years ago:
-I break up with a boy
-Teachers and mentors try to protect me from pain of "nobody understanding" by telling me we would get in trouble with the law due to a nonexistent age gap
-actual age gap was 2 years: freshman dates junior no big deal, no abuse
-sometimes I mistake the age gap for 3 years
-teachers take advantage of confusion and treat it 8 year age gap where we had sex (LIES) ... to protect me?! :evil:
-More LIES.. police will come after him and he will go to jail
-I freak out and get paranoid, go to therapy to realize the teacher was WRONG (teacher eventually apologized)
-girl friend at college wants to comfort me
-She asks lots of questions about relationship (feels like interrogation every day) and is concerned about abuse
-I clear up the confusion but also feel shamed and angry so we argue trust broke
-we both part ways

4 years pass
-life happens (COVID, other family health issues)
-She regains my trust and helps me through everything, we have a friendship again
-She's in all my classes and we sit together

3 months ago
-The memories come back piece by piece, I am very confused and anxious
-I don't remember any of the above other than teacher: "your boyfriend will go to jail" and the girl interrogating me about abuse
-school stress + memory stress + having this girl in class sitting by me = more paranoia
-paranoid me makes up CRAZY UNTRUE story about girl sending cops after me or ex boyfriend
-I tell the school and get sent to a counselor after
-She is told to stay away from me

Today
-not anxious and not paranoid
-first week of class, I gotta sit in all my classes with this girl who used to be my best friend

I blamed her for something she didn’t even do and now I feel bad. I don’t know if I even want to fix it but how do I make things feel less weird in classes?

Also-Mom wants a South Asian boy, but I like all races and places because you can’t help who looks handsome. This sometimes shortcuts into hating my culture cause of all my family’s rules? Which sucks cause I know that it’s just my family and not all of India that’s strange. Plus I can’t even hate my parents cause my mom was 13 when all the lies were told to her by our extended family. Ugh-how do I deal with culture hate I don’t even want?
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Carly »

hey spottedowl -- I think there are definitely things you can do to make it less weird in class, but I think it's important to remember that it might not make it go away completely. The first thing I suggest is letting the teachers in your shared classes know that you would not like, if its possible, to be assigned to sit near each other or work with each other. I think it's okay to just say its a personal reason, and I don't think you need to go into detail. Letting them know will also likely prevent situations in class that may become awkward. Do you think your teachers would respond well to you?

I also think something that could be worth thinking about is actually talking with her about how you feel. You said you don't even know if you want to fix it, and I think it's possible to not want to fix it but also "clear the air" so you aren't as distracted around her. Would you ever consider that?

I'm also sorry to hear that you're struggling so much with your culture as well. For many, this can be an ongoing struggle. I think something you can do right now is define yourself the best you can within the confinement of your family's rules and your culture. What is important to you that may be not approved by those other forces?
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by spottedowl »

I should have specified that my teachers already know-they promised to keep us in separate groups, and not to seat us next to one another. They even said they wouldn’t refer to her by name when talking with me about my issues-which helped.

I understand the awkwardness almost certainly won’t go away, not after the semi public way I broke down. I want to clear the air-I just don’t know how to explain what I did without bringing up the amnesia? I mean, I was confused because memories were coming back but I don’t think she’ll understand-the last 2 times I tried to explain she took it as those boys abusing me, which is totally not what happened.

I guess I could explain it as:

“I just recovered from the stress of family cancer and the COVID pandemic and was thinking of dating, but then remembered how you questioned me during my last relationship. I didn’t want that to happen again, so I was kinda afraid to talk with you and got paranoid.”

But would that work because I sent her the details of that 4 year ago relationship (kinda confusing for her maybe?) I’m thinking simple is best. How do I do it?

As for the whole cultural struggle-it helps me to remember that my parents and family never have intentionally barred me from anything. They are just a bit overprotective and informed by their relationship history (my dad by growing up with almost no cultural expectations around relationships and my mom going up with several, including her sister’s teen mom experience.)

For my part I’ve been very emotionally sensitive to people’s needs since I was little. Culturally viewed as a good thing and it’s great most of the time, but I tend to put my own wants/feelings last. Especially in regards to dating as I constantly feel I have to juggle my grandma’s and both parents views of a relationship when really all that matters is that I am happy in that relationship.

My family wants this for me too. It’s just weird because they and I don’t really know how often I’ve been putting their wants first and kinda resenting myself for “needing to follow their views” when really it’s just me refusing to stop the emotional juggling and realize that everything will be just fine if I don’t live up to the standard-in fact there never was a standard.

So basically-I’ve created a standard based on parents views and it makes everyone happy, now afraid to break from the standard because of illogical fear that everyone will be upset or angry. And also for the valid concern that I have never kissed anyone or had sex and I’m a month away from 23-relationships are kinda hard and scary when you bring physical stuff into them.

I feel like I know absolutely nothing about how real sex works, like how do you lose yourself in the moment if you are constantly worried about presenting yourself correctly/being logical/avoiding being someone’s victim? Like how do I even know what I want physically? (I think the real answer to this question is down to try almost anything once as long as boundaries clearly communicated), but I cannot shake the totally strange feeing that this viewpoint makes me look “easy” like a girl with no morals.

It will probably help me to push the boundaries in other ways first, like academically with applying for volunteer positions and internships that interest me and doing my own research into these things. School has always been a safe exploration point (any college major was always supported) so it’s a good place to gain confidence pushing boundaries.
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Re: Think I have hot guy amnesia

Unread post by Sam W »

I think you're right that the simpler you can make that request and explanation, the better! And I think using places that feel safe, like school, to get yourself comfortable with trying things a little outside your comfort zone is an excellent plan.

To your question about sex, I think a big part of the answer is finding a partner who you trust and feel comfortable with. When that happens, it's much easier to let go and enjoy yourself because you're with someone who you know is safe and who doesn't need you to act the "right" way during sex. And as far as learning what your like goes, you're right that experimentation--both during masturbation and with a partner--is one of the best ways to learn. You're right that there are some people who are still very weird about women being willing to try lots of different sexual things, but the person who's the right sexual partner for you will be someone who is very cool with that idea. Does that all make sense?
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