Having trouble opening up :-/

HEY so I'm writing on here, because I'm not really sure where else to turn. I've had a really difficult upbringing.. dragged through divorces and psycho step dads, and moved all over the country, not really staying in one place for long at all. My Mom is mentally ill as well, and I haven't spoken to either of my parents in some time. I won't go over every traumatizing detail of my childhood but somehow I turned out to be a really good guy. I don't have any out of control vices, I don't mistreat people, I do charity work from time to time and I have a great job where I've managed to get promoted to a position where all of my colleagues have twenty years seniority on me. I read, I exercise, I travel, etc but I also spend the majority of my time alone. I'm a good looking guy, and I get attention from girls, but I don't know how to react so I act aloof. It's not that I was all that different when I was younger, it's just that my circumstances were so difficult that I had to move out when I was 16 and couldn't even finish high school. I ended up saving some money, and paying for a few classes - effectively working my way into a degree program at a state school.. but I'm two years in and taking a break to travel this fall so that's not complete yet.

So I know this is kind of a tough one, but given all this stuff I listed - would you girls be terrified to find this stuff out after dating me? I've gone out with a couple of girls this year, but they both said I wouldn't open up and it just didn't work out. I've been able to talk to some people in the past about everything, but I really just want to have a relationship where we can just enjoy what's going on now. Ugh I'm in serious trouble if I don't figure this out soon. Any advice is more than welcome


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Most Helpful Girl

  • First of all, kudos for making the best of your situation and not living a troubled life, like many would who were raised in conditions similar to yours. I have a friend that grew up with a drug addict mom and a dad for a drunk, he pretty much raised his 3 younger brothers. The 3 brothers have been in and out of jail, trouble all the time, which you would expect because of 'where they came from'. The oldest though, has made a really decent life for himself, has a good job and a nice house, married his high school sweetheart and they have two beautiful little girls. So really, I look up to a man like you more than I would look up to one who lived a more typical life for a middle class person. You have beaten the odds and there is absolutely no reason to feel ashamed or embarrassed of where you came from. Taking the risk of having your heart broken is hard, and every time someone hurts you, the barricade protecting your heart gets bigger and stronger. After you have so many layers built up, it's very hard to get all the way back in. You're really going to have to put yourself out there, love is risk, for everyone.

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What Girls Said 8

  • It's not terrifying, no. What you need to understand and probably address is how all that childhood crap has affected you today. Everyone develops defense mechanisms, patterns of behavior, faults, etc that allowed us to cope while going through all of that. But unfortunately, we carry those things into our adulthood where they don't serve us as well or at all anymore. The only thing you can do is really focus on taking a good, HONEST look in the mirror at who you really are and what you do.

    As far as dating you, I'd say the ones who have their own traumatic history will be able to understand where you're coming from the best. And the most mature of those will look past it and see the inner good person that you are.

    Opening up will probably take some practice for you. If you find a gal who's truly interested IN YOU, then she'll start asking questions because she'll care enough to be curious. And then it's just a matter of answering her questions as honestly as you can. But I wouldn't do it early in the relationship. Wait a few months before disclosing childhood crap.

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  • In my opinion, people will handle your problems by the example you set. If you're not a total mess and can discuss your past rationally, I would have to think a rational person would understand that it's been dealt with and is no longer an issue.

    I don't have a problem opening up about my childhood and when people see that I don't have a problem, they don't either. in my opinion, if they still have problems with my past - then they have issues that have nothing to do with me.

    I think that opening up to someone that you love or may love is a gift. A sin of trust and women would not only embrace that but feel privileged that you can share such a vital part of you with them.

    Good luck.

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  • you will need to open up at some time. but most people who have been through what you have are afraid to open bcs they don't want to get hurt. what I suggest, is that you find a really compassionate and caring girl. Not just a pretty girl, or a nice girl, but a warm and kind girl who is acquainted with some misfortune or pain. Sounds wierd, but it is possible, and I recommend it.

    When you go on dates, do not focus on impressing the girl or starting a relationship. Instead ask her introspective questions about life. Take her around children and see whether children like her. If they do, and she's good with them that's a good indicator. Second, you will want to see how she behaves with little boys. a girl that is good with little boys is a winner. Ask her what scares her most? What makes her cry? don't ask these questions all at once, just throw them out at a good time when you are both alone and comfortable. Tell her something and see if she can keep a secret. If she can that is a plus.

    Everyone get's banged up in this life, so you want to find someone who is OK admitting that. You want to find someone you can trust.

    Personally, I would not mind dating a guy like you, if over time with him I could see that he would not repeat the mistakes of his parents.

    Good luck, my friend. You will find a kind soul yet!

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  • I'm going to be honest with you, my heart was breaking the entire time I read that. I had many of the same issues as a child and it is very understandable that you'd want to let all of that go, and live in the now. To me, it does't matter what happened, because its made you who you are today.

    I would be more than happy to be with someone in your place, it wouldn't terrify me, and I wouldn't doubt the relationship after I found out those things. Because after I knew them, you would still be the same as before.

    I wish you well in your future, and I hope you can find someone who you truly enjoy :)

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  • Communication is key in a relationship. Have you thought about trying counseling? It sounds like you have your life kind of figured out you're just having some troubling sharing it with someone. Trusting the person you are dating is a choice you should feel comfortable making, maybe they just weren't the right girls. Keep trying you'll find someone.

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  • it wouldn't freak me out personaly I think it would be OK to tell someone if you took it slow. if you find a good girl it won't bother her. and if you have or get a best girl friend that would be the best place to start. open up to a girl without the risk of rejection or a breakup. just relax your not the onlyone with a sucky childhood people will understand.

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  • How can you be in the now if you're holding onto the past? You need to talk about it even if you don't want to. Girls are naturally compassionate and understanding so let go of your fears and talk to someone. Just because you choose not to talk about something doesn't mean girls don't pick up on it. You're asking a girl to trust you enough to be in a relationship but you don't trust her enough to let her in? Girls will only try for so long before they realize the person they're emotionally invested in, isn't emotionally invested in them.

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  • I just asked a similar question, and I too have trouble opening up. Sucks. So no I wouldn't be terrified to find this stuff out.

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What Guys Said 1

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