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Long lasting fixation


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Hello all,

I'm wondering if anyone can help me with a question. I have a therapist who I think is very good but I don't feel like their response with a particular issue is really what I'm looking for. I'm hoping someone can point me in a different direction.

Basically, I'm a very shy introverted person and I struggle making relationships, both sexual and social. Some time ago when I was on vacation there was another person there that I was very sexually attracted to. I didn't speak to them but they noticed me and I found out they felt the same way about me... This made me extremely happy, perhaps more happy than I'd ever felt.

So, my plan was to go and speak to this person and take things from there. I didn't know what I was going to say to them but one day I got up and started walking to where I knew they would be. I got about half way there and I became quite overwhelmed with fear. I had doubts in my ability to take it further and I couldn't go ahead with it, I just turned around and went back. I planned to go back at a later time but I didn't and very quickly the vacation ended and I had to leave.

I've never spoken to that person once but I've thought about them a lot. In fact, it's been seven whole years and I still have dreams (and urges) about going back to that spot to try and find them. I know the whole thing is illogical, it's a problem in my mind and the other person won't feel the same way so I know acting on my urge isn't the solution.

I've spoken to my therapist about this and she says that my feelings are the result of not having enough relationships in my life which has somehow manifested into a fixation on one person and the idea that that person would make me happy. The suggested solution is to build more relationships with other people and this problem would probably disappear.

The thing is, in the seven years since that time I *have* had sexual relationships, I *have* had a social life but I feel like constantly at the back of my mind this person has been there. More relationships and contacts haven't solved the problem, at least not on a long term basis. Perhaps I feel like the people I have had relationships with don't compare to this person?

So I feel like I'm not getting the bigger picture. Why exactly do I have a fixation on this person after so long? Why did it develop in the first place? What is the cause of it (ie. something in my childhood) and are there other examples of it that I could read up on?

Can anyone point me in the right direction of what I'm experiencing?


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Guest GingerSnap

It sounds to me like you are using this fantasy person in order to avoid a real relationship. What do you think? I'm not really sure how you found out they felt the same way about you when you never even spoke to them. I truly can't see how you can be doing anything with this other than using it to avoid a real relationship, can you? So, are you maybe very young? I would tell you to let it go but there really wasn't anything there to begin with - relationships are built over time and you can't love someone and have a relationship with them that is real if you never had contact with them. If you continue to live in a fantasy, life will pass you by.

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Thanks for the reply, that is quite helpful.

I did brush over how I knew the person was interested in me. We communicated through eye contact, I initiated it to show I was interested in him and he did the same in reply. I know it sounds silly and you might still think nothing existed at all but if I went into very precise detail about what happened I'm sure you would agree there was "something" there. But in reality the "something" was probably insignificant. I think he knew I was interested in him and he inviting me to talk to him to see if we were compatible.

Your idea of using it to avoid relationships is something I hadn't considered before. Thinking about that and about myself, that does make a lot of sense.

Edited by goldenduck
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Guest GingerSnap

I can actually understand where you come from somewhat. Sometimes when things aren't going so well, I think of this guy in college 35 years ago, and I think "What if" and have a lovely fantasy about how different and wonderful my life might have been and how some how fate went wrong. But, the reality is that was long ago, far away and unless they invent a time machine to go back into time I have to make the best of what I got or look on to something else that is attainable in order to have a real chance at being happy - but the fantasy, I understand that, just use it sparingly. You'll be OK when you find someone special and I think it will be better than the fantasy when you make a real, heart-felt connection. My best - good thoughts your way.;)

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Guest ASchwartz

Hello Goldenduck,

I am inclined to agree that this "relationship" from 7 years ago turned into a fantasy that you have used to prevent yourself from becoming involved with a real person. The fact that you have had sexual relationships during the past 7 years does not mean that they had any real depth or meaning.

This has become an obsession or repeated thought. Obsessions serve a purpose and the purpose is to be a barrier against something else and for you that something else is connecting with a real man and on a deep and permanent basis.

What do you think?


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I think you are correct. I would say I have a 'history' of avoiding social contact such as job interviews and social events, I'll usually think of a reason why I shouldn't do something and that holds me back. But I think I'm subconsciously holding myself back from the possibility of emotional pain such as criticism or rejection.

So, it makes sense that if I'm scared of social relationships, romantic ones are going to be even more scary and a fantasy allows me to avoid them.

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  • 7 months later...

Sorry to bump an old thread but I'd like to say thanks to the people that replied as I feel like the advice has made a real difference. The idea of the person I mentioned in the OP as being a fantasy in order to avoid a relationship wasn't something I'd considered before. A quick Google search brought me to something called Avoidant Personality Disorder where fantasy and avoidance are common symptoms. I haven't been diagnosed but as I read more about it I see more things about myself.

Having an idea of why I feel the way I do has helped me control it and put me in a direction of finding more about myself and hopefully further improvement.

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