Am I Too Cold For Love?

Lovely young lady looking through glass window

Hi Evan. I am 26 years old, born in the U.S. but my family are Arabic. (The ethnicity disclosure is relevant to my question). I have been in an arranged marriage once but divorced a year later… In my arranged marriage, my husband loved me to death but I divorced him because I felt he wasn’t good enough for me. He loved me but that’s about it. He wasn’t educated, he didn’t have a job, and I realized I would be the bread maker. Before you ask why I married him, I was 17 years old and my father arranged it so… it was out of my hands.

I am currently in a 5 year on/off relationship. In my current relationship the roles have reversed and I am the one that loves him more and invests more. I realize what it’s like to be in a relationship where you love the other more and it SUCKS! I almost wish I could go back to what I had… but my problem now is that I have become so emotionally detached from everyone!

I don’t know why or how but I just feel like I don’t care anymore. My heart is numb, cold. I don’t want love anymore. I’d rather be a loner and happy. I used to be very empathetic but now I’m more like the ice queen. Even when friends tell me things I just am not emotionally there anymore! And I realize this… but I can’t FORCE myself to feel again.

PLEASE HELP!!! What am I supposed to do? Am I too cold to ever genuinely love again? —Amena


Thank you for reaching out. My response to you is going to be short and sweet.

Why, pray tell, would you want to be in a relationship that SUCKS?

First, break up with your on-gain/off-again guy NOW. I don’t need to know any more about the relationship to realize that it’s doomed.

Not only are on-again/off-again relationships more likely to result in divorce, but, according to you, this relationship SUCKS.

Why, pray tell, would you want to be in a relationship that SUCKS?

That’s right. You wouldn’t. You’ve just been so beaten down that you’ve accepted this as normal.

It’s not normal.

In fact, I’d like to share a term called “the normalization of deviance”. The normalization of deviance occurs when something is messed up, but has been messed up for so long that we accept it as normal.

Any kind of verbal or physical abuse is abnormal. That much you know. But you know what else is abnormal? Being UNHAPPILY in love. People stay in miserable relationships for years — even lifetimes — and they accept it as normal. It’s not. Get out.

Once you see what your life will be like without this albatross of a man, you will not spend one second looking back.

This alone will change your entire life and outlook on things. You’re cold because you have a boyfriend who makes you that way. Once he is out of the picture — and I mean OUT of the picture — no calls, texts, emails or Facebook — you will have the weight of the world lifted off your shoulders. It’s called “addition by subtraction”. Once you get rid of the man who is the main source of your negativity, you will instantly start to feel better. You’ll be happier at work. You’ll spend more time with your friends. You’ll finally be free after five years of emotional oppression.

Of course, you’re going to need some time to heal. So get thee to a therapist ASAP so you can work out why you were willing to accept a relationship with a man who was not equally invested in you.

And finally, join FOCUS Coaching, where you can get the support of hundreds of other smart, strong, successful women around the world on your journey to love. It’s not meant to happen tomorrow. But once you see what your life will be like without this albatross of a man, you will not spend one second looking back.

I promise.

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  1. 1

    Amena- At the age of 26 you have had your heart broken (by current b/f) and have already broken a heart (your ex husband). That’s par for the course. I think everyone by their mid 20s or 30s has had their heart broken and done the breaking at least once. You are probably right where you should be in life so I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

  2. 2

    I just got out of a 4.5 year on&off again relationship.   Like you, I was working extremely hard to give this man everything.   
    I know exactly how you feel, because towards the end of it, I couldn’t feel anything anymore.   I stopped feeling completely…. I think it was because I was denying parts of myself.   I couldn’t be with him and have horrible feelings, and so I just stopped feeling.   Easier that way.   No pain, but no joy either. And when I finally broke up with him for the last time (no drama, just hung up the phone), I felt nothing.   Just numb.
    In order to heal, though, you have to start feeling again.   You have to feel the part that “SUCKS”.   You have to feel the anger and the sadness and the shame.   Use those feelings to stay away from him, because you will also feel like you miss him too.   But don’t forget the pain.   Feel that part that SUCKS, because that’s a gift.
    More importantly, find the joy.   You also have to be nice to yourself, take yourself out, and indulge.   Go get a makeover.   Take up a selfish new hobby, i.e. especially the kind where everyone thinks you’re crazy to be doing.   Do little things that make you happy again by yourself and for yourself.   These little feelings of pleasure will empower you to love again, because in loving yourself, you’ll stop being an ice queen and warm up to being the love goddess that you are.   

  3. 3

    I imagine you have numbed yourself out of self preservation in your unbalanced relationship.   Sadly when we do this, it spills over into all parts of our life.
    May I also suggest that perhaps you are disappointed, angry at yourself for staying in this relationship on some level, hence the great disconnect you feel, not only to self but to others.   Relationships with others start first with the relationship with self.
    Evan is right, get rid of this man.   Get some coaching!   It’s your first step to healing!

  4. 4

    Maria #2,   What you said:   “You have to feel the part that “SUCKS”.   You have to feel the anger and the sadness and the shame.   Use those feelings to stay away from him, because you will also feel like you miss him too.   But don’t forget the pain.   Feel that part that SUCKS, because that’s a gift.”
    It’s so TRUE.   I’m going through this same thing right now.   I’ve tried to bury it in another relationship, and when that didn’t work, I ignored that it was  happening.   Finally, now that I’ve stopped feeling almost entirely, I’ve given up on him.   The pain IS a gift, and a reminder that if it was great, you wouldn’t feel like this!   Ugh.   Also, this time should be about YOU.   The advice about the selfish new hobby where everyone thinks your crazy is true too.   Sometimes, shutting out all the other extraneous noise and doing what  YOU want for a change is the only way to go.   Especially in this instance when you’re trying to feel passionate about something again.   If you can find passion and enthusiasm in something else you’ve buried for too long, then that’s a good start.

  5. 5

    I agree with Evan.   You sometimes have to be to the point of feeling so disempowered to realize that there is a place within yourself that empowerment exists, you awaken to it after you go through pain and turmoil of the false beliefs that you are stuck in a life of unhappiness.  
    The first step is probably the hardest, because you are so comfortable and conditioned with being uncomfortable, but when you make that first step the foors will open up for you, it is waiting for you to make that choice.

  6. 6

    Though my circumstances weren’t exactly the same, I feel like I could’ve written this letter. Unrequited love is draining, exhausting and toxic.   Let it go, embrace the short term pain and take baby steps.

  7. 7

    You know what really SUCKS?   Waking up in 5 years realizing you’ve given your most eligible, ‘likely to meet a mate and start a family’ years to the wrong person.   GET OUT NOW while you’re still young.   You can do it!!! Best of luck to you.

    1. 7.1

      Precisely. Squandering these precious years is probably one of the biggest  regrets women look back on. Learn from others who have  already made this mistake. You only get one shot at this important time of life.  

  8. 8
    Girl in the Midwest

    I’ve always wondered if it’s better to be the one who loves more or the one who is loved more in a relationship…   I’ve talked with my mom, friends of both sexes, and significant others about this.   I’m not talking about the case where one person loves the other but the other feels absolutely nothing back, I’m just talking about a noticeable but not overwhelming difference in the “amount” of love between two people, if that makes sense.
    The reason I ask is because I had been in both situations.   When I loved the guy more, I felt like there was always this hunger, and that I was putting a lot in without getting a lot in return.   In his case, he was loving me with the most of his abilities, he just wasn’t a very emotional person.   He was even “colder” with his family members and friends.   It was the way he was wired and it wasn’t like he could have loved me more, but didn’t.   But the upside is that I felt like anything I did with him was the best thing ever and I had never felt so alive.   Anything with him was fun and I felt like the luckiest girl ever to have such an awesome guy.   I thought about him when we weren’t together, and he didn’t do that (though again, he didn’t do that for anyone).   He’s not mean or cruel, it’s just that he’s pretty independent.   He’s very responsible, cautious, and reliable.   He’s also very logical and not very emotional.   I broke up with him because I felt like I was settling if I didn’t get all the love that I wanted.
    Right now I’m dating a guy who says he’s so lucky to have me.   He loves me way more than I love him.   We’ve been together for 6 months and I am working on appreciating him and hoping that I fall in love, or at least fall in love enough to want to marry him.   I feel secure, he does so many nice things for me, but I feel dead inside sometimes, especially after the previous bf whom I was crazy about.   I’m not very attracted to him, though he is a good person and is very caring.   It sounds corny but it’s almost like I’m being stifled, like I have wings but I can’t spread them.   In the beginning I felt completely indifferent towards him, but dated him because I thought I should try something different if what I’ve been doing hasn’t worked.   Now I feel some affinity for him, but I don’t have strong emotions one way or the other.   And sometimes he hints that he wants more affection and I feel like it’s sort of a chore.  
    So now I’m wondering if I made a mistake when I broke up with the earlier guy.   I’ve heard from people that loving someone is very tiring.   You always mind what they do, and you might have to compromise more.   But I’ve also been told that getting the one you love makes life so much more colorful.   I also wonder if there is a gender difference — since men are often the initiators, maybe it’s better for men to love more and pursue the woman than the other way around.   Of course I wish to find a relationship where it’s pretty equal, but I think that’s pretty rare.   One person always loves the other more, the question is by how much.  

    1. 8.1

      I don’t have words to make you feel better, but I am in the same situation. At least, you can   know that you’re not alone.

    2. 8.2

      I am in a similar situation. The guy I am in a relationship with right now loves me a lot more than I love him. It’s been 1 and 1/2   years since we started dating. In the initial months I didnt feel for him at all, I didnt find him physically attractive or intellectually stimulating. I decided to continue dating him because he is a stable human being with a job and he is very kind and caring.
      He had mentioned in the beginning of the relationship itself that he found me physically very attractive. To me sex with him always feels like a chore and I cannot wait for it to be over, and he often asks for sex and suggests things we can do in bed. When we talk I find that he doesnt have an opinion on anything or doesnt know what I am talking about.
      In these 1 1/2 years I have certainly begun to like him more, but I still wonder if we are compatible as a couple. There is absolutely nothing in common between us except that we both desire to be in a stable relationship. I am physically not into him and intellectually he bores me. He has no interests or hobbies, he is somewhat clingy. I love to play sports, go to the gym and I am very independent. He doesnt play sports, doesnt go to gym.

    3. 8.3

      Welcome to the new age.   I’ve talked with several men and they tell me that they all start out hoping to marry the most beautiful, most perfect Playboy Playmate of the year type, but at some point, they learn that it is not in the cards for them.   Over time, their mind adjusts and they learn to appreciate the women that are receptive to their approaches.   But what are the odds that this will happen for them if they are able to have some relationships and sexual encounters with extremely beautiful women?
      Imagine there is a guy you are interested, but he is dating a very beautiful woman.   He seems over the moon for her.   You can see it in his eyes, and he is forever talking about her.   But you see what is really going on.   You see that she is clearly not into him.   She is just using him for stability and companionship, or maybe even his money, but she is clearly not into him.   So you don’t see why he can’t see that you would be better for him.   You might even lose a little respect for him because he can be so infatuated with somebody who doesn’t return his affection.   And yet we will do the very same thing he will do to have the best guy we can.   Our biological imperative tells us to get the best guy we can.   Some go the cuckolding route, which I think is evil.   In other words, you marry Mr. Stability, but then go in search of sex with Mr. Exciting, and may in fact let him do the impregnating.   The hope of course is that Mr. Stability will think he is the father and raise the child.
      @Girl in the Midwest, I assure you that one of two things is going on with the first guy.   First, he was not that into you.   Hard to admit, and easy to look for an excuse such as that he is not very emotional with anyone.   But he would be emotional with a woman who made him feel like the way he made you feel.   Maybe it was his aloofness that made you feel so strongly toward him.   Look at the PUA community.   They teach that.
      The other possibility, the one more likely in this case, is that he is not capable of feeling emotion because he has a bit of the MGTOW thing going on inside.   The idea that if he allows anyone to get close, he loses the control, the power over both his life and the relationship.   So he keeps everybody at a distance.   Now, inside, you see a ray of hope at this thought.   If you can just crack the ice, he will love you just as much as you live him.   No, because it is likely that he chose you because it was easy to keep his emotions under control with you.   You do not inspire his emotions.   If the ice were cracked, and he decided to allow that to be his new norm, he would be just as likely, maybe a lot more likely to drop you and go after a woman that really does inspire him.   I think you made the right choice leaving him.   In the end, his indifference would have killed the love you had for him.   Deep down you know this is true, which is why you left.
      I feel that you, xtina, and rohit have one of two things going on.   It is possible that you have been able to have relationships with men out of your league.   Oh how I know that the idea of that does sting.   Yet when I can humble myself, I realize that this was true of my past also, and it was very hard to get over.   How can you be happy living in Mayberry when you lived in Paris?   You never will if inside, you still long for Paris.   You first have to find a way to fall in love with Mayberry.   Kind of like in the move Doc Hollywood.   Michael J Fox chose the little town over Hollywood mostly because of his love for a woman, but the love for her also opened his eyes to the superficiality of Hollywood.   No matter how famous he became there, the day after he died, he would be forgotten.   In the small town, he would be remembered for many decades, and would deeply touch the lives of those who he came in contact with.  
      I think you have to try to find somebody who is not above you, so that he will love you and see you as special, but also not so far below you that you can still be inspired by him.   But first, explore you feelings.   Are you unable to love Mayberry because you compare it to Paris and are uninspired because it is not Paris?   Maybe you should first learn to love Mayberry for what it has to offer.   Learn to love the things that it has to offer that Paris does not.

  9. 9

    @Girl in the Midwest – in my experience loving someone should not be tiring or a chore.   You should uplift and feed each others energy.   If you are with the right person, you should not even have to ask these questions and measure who should love whom more.   It should just be natural and easy, without any score keeping.   The fact that you worry about issues like these suggest that maybe neither guy is right for you, though I would hope you would give the current guy a chance.

  10. 10

    While this will not be a popular source of info among the blog participants here, Focus on the Family’s programs the past two days confirms a great deal of what EMK says.   Interestingly enough, I’d say that God, sexual purity, and compromising on faith are about the only 3 points where there is disagreement.

  11. 11
    Britney Rosso

    Spot on advice Evan.   I know what Amena is talking about and the dilemma she faces between the pros and cons of breaking off from an overpowering love versus wanting to be happy and on your own.   Many people I know who have experienced similar feelings are often stuck in purgatory not knowing which direction to head in.   I thinks Evan’s advice is what I would also advise.   Unless you believe in living forever then I’m afraid life’s just too plain short to be always cold and unhappy.

  12. 12

    I was in a 5 year on/off relationship that started at 18 and ended at 23. like you, I loved him more. It was an unbearable roller coaster. I recall toward the end telling a friend that I felt as though I had ice running through my veins. I eventually walked away and my heart slowly opened up again. it will happen, but you have to walk away and don’t look back.

  13. 13

    “Addition by subtraction” …wise words..   I’m starting NOW.   Thank you for sharing Amena and thank you Evan for yet again sending hard, but timely advice.

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