I have been dating a guy who always has to be touching me, even when we are sitting watching TV. The few times we were intimate I’m there physically but not emotionally. I don’t know why I can’t be touchy like he is.
My last relationship was really bad and abusive.
How do I get past this and be all in with this relationship?
The obvious answer is that you have different love languages — but I suspect it’s more than that.
What you’re describing sounds like it could be dissociation — “I’m there physically but not emotionally.”
Dissociation is a response that some people have when they’ve felt helpless or powerless for extended periods of time.
Let me break that down:
When we feel threatened, our body goes into one of three survival response styles:
Fight, flight or freeze. Dissociation is an extreme version of the freeze response. It’s the body’s way of tolerating extreme distress. — like a circuit breaker in the nervous system cuts off power to save us from physical or emotional pain, leaving us unable to connect to ourselves emotionally.
When someone’s body has been dissociating as a way of protecting itself, it sometimes dissociates even if you’re not under threat.
You mentioned your last relationship was abusive. If you haven’t been in trauma therapy, I highly suggest you consider it. I know it can sound overwhelming, but if you go to a therapist who specializes in this kind of work, it doesn’t have to take forever and the healing can impact every area of your life — just like the trauma did.
Email me and I’ll help you find someone.
Sexual Orientation: Straight