How can I not love
People who cannot love
Nicky and boyfriend Jake broke up about five months ago after a year-long relationship. Throughout the relationship, she wasn't sure if that was what Jake really wanted, as he looked kind of cold. When she asked him about it, he would get calm and irritable and say that he was happy and that everything was fine.
Nicky couldn't get rid of the feeling that something was wrong. Jake was in constant touch with his ex-girlfriend. When she brought up the subject, he said that even though he took care of her, he could not feel any passion or emotion as his heart was broken.
In hindsight, Nicky should have had the guts to walk away, but she really wanted to try to make things work.
Nicky and Jake were on separate vacations over the summer and didn't see each other for two months. When Nicky returned, Jake was standing with his hands in his pockets and not hugging her. She confronted him with his emotional / physical reluctance. He replied that he did not love her and that he would never love her, but that she was everything he had ever wanted in a woman. He asked her not to go. After a few months in a dysfunctional relationship, Nicky eventually broke up with her boyfriend and asked him not to contact her.
The situation Nicky is in is one of the worst situations a person can find himself in. Getting rejected can be hard enough, but getting silently rejected day in and day out can really reach you. It can break anyone's confidence you might have built over the years.
Nicky's ex, Jake, appears to be suffering from an extreme kind of anxious avoidance. He most likely wasNotLies to her: it is very likely that he cannot love. People who have been physically or emotionally abused or neglected by a caregiver early in childhood or by partners in unhealthy relationships later often develop some kind of protective shield that prevents them from loving other people on a conscious level. These people are not naturally evil. You are simply telling the truth: you cannot love.
Why should Jake stay with Nicky as long as he did? Why would Jake ask her, even ask her not to go? One reason may be that even when people cannot love, they need intimacy. They don't consciously feel that they need it. But they do. All people do. When they end up in a relationship, they implicitly know that they are fulfilling some of their needs for intimacy. They also know that because of their behavior, it will be difficult to start a new relationship.
There's another reason people who can't love want their lover to stay. Although they are not bad people, deep down they struggle with an implicit form of resentment. You don't feel it. But below the level of conscious awareness, they feel unloved, worthless, and angry. Some of them hate women because the one woman in their life (their primary caregiver) who should be there for them has abandoned, abused, or neglected her.
Most people in a relationship who realize they don't love their partner will either (i) break things off or (ii) stay, but won't tell the other person that they don't love them. When you think about it, it's quite unusual to stay in a relationship and then voluntarily give up the information that you don't love your partner. When a partner acts in this strange way, it is likely giving them some form of satisfaction. You can compare people who cannot love to people who are obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The compulsion (e.g., compulsive washing) gives the OCD person some sort of relief. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder may not be able to explain why. They may not even be able to see the relief they are feeling as some kind of satisfaction.
People like Nicky's ex Jake who feel the need to tell their partner that they don't love them sometimes express this lack of loving emotions without actually being in touch with their emotions. You feel numb. They are so used to feeling numb that it can feel good to feel "something" when they say hurtful things. What they say may not reflect what is going on inside them. Jake said Nicky had everything he wanted in a woman. Maybe he was telling her the truth.
Jake said he broke his heart, but I doubt this actually happened recently (the heartbreaking part). He probably used the broken hearted story as an excuse. It's quite normal for people who have difficulty getting close to others to keep in touch with someone they've been in touch with even remotely, which may explain why they stayed in touch with the ex-girlfriend . Jake will likely try to keep in touch with Nicky at some point as well. If I were her, I wouldn't fall for it. I would keep my distance
Jake probably can't give anyone what they want in a relationship. Nicky shouldn't waste her life hoping it gets better. Things can only get better when Jake gets extensive therapy with a professional therapist who specializes in appendix disorders. But Nicky shouldn't wait for him to improve. People who are in a relationship with someone who cannot love should realize that this has nothing to do with them. You deserve better. There are so many people out there who, unlike Nicky's ex, are not emotionally numb. Whatever happens, Nicky is best not to take Jake back. Instead of obsessing over her ex, she should go out and socialize. Only then does she have the chance to find someone who can love her the way she deserves.
Facebook image: Roman Kosolapov / Shutterstock
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