Last year my parents got divorced, it came as a huge shock, and no one in the family saw it coming. Since then I have not been able to date (I’m 22.) I get asked out pretty often — but just have no interest. Do you think that my parent’s divorce has made me not interested in men — am I doomed to have no feelings?
Am I doomed to be feelingless?
I’m very sorry to hear about your parent’s divorce. That’s a huge trauma to weather, no matter how old or young you are when you experience it. The one thing I hope is that it made both of your parents happier.
I’m surprised to hear you say you’re feelingless. If anything, I’d think you’d be feeling too much right now. Divorce is a lot to process for everyone involved. If you haven’t already, you should definitely speak to a therapist. The greatest safety net of your existence was just ripped to shreds (sorry to be so blunt, but it’s true) and without question, that has a serious psychological effect. It’s a loss that needs to be mourned, cried over, screamed about and thoroughly dealt with if you want to have healthy relationships in the future, both with your folks and any new mates.
Our parents set the model for how we deal with significant others as we get older. Knowing that your mom and dad, the people who teach you wrong from right and up from down, couldn’t make their marriage work can very easily lead you to believe that you might not be successful either, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can learn from their mistakes and set your own course as long as you’re willing to put in the hard emotional work.
One of my best friends’ parents got divorced the week after he went off for his freshman year of college. They told him they’d stayed together in order to give him the best, most stable childhood possible, but now that he was out of the house, they didn’t think they could continue to live that way. Instead of offering him picture perfect memories, they played out what he considers to be a lifelong charade that he still resents. Today, after dating the same girl for nine years, he won’t propose to her because he feels that the institution of marriage is a sham.
He didn’t see a therapist after his parent’s split.
I have no doubt that you’re terrified of repeating your mother and father’s mistakes, but you are your own person and you can choose your destiny when it comes to finding healthy, enduring love.