Overcoming Intimacy Issues after a Loss

Matt passed away in November of 2011. After his passing, within 2 years, I gained 30lbs. I was distraught and this was the time that I probably began with a new bought of depression. I hadn’t seriously been depressed in close to 15 years. The last time I had had suicidal thoughts was when Tupac died. Now it was the end of 2011 and I had lost the one man, the only man, I had ever seen as a possible husband.

A few years after his death, I tried to date. But it only surmounted to me getting pleasure for an instant. Sometimes I wouldn’t even let the man I was with finish. I was not equipped to open my heart again. I was fragile. I didn’t want to get close again to anyone. I didn’t want to fall for someone and ever feel the pain of them leaving, whether it be in death or just not wanting to be with me. I felt I couldn’t bare it. I also, somewhat, didn’t want to love another. I only wanted to love Matt until the day I died. Even if he was no longer here.

In 2018, the depression grew into suicidal thoughts. For months I walked through some of my days, inside and out, envisioning how I could hang myself. My son had moved out the year prior. Had graduated from UCLA, had a great job, and moved in with his girlfriend. I had been drifting in and out of accounting jobs and unemployment. I continuously was being taking to court by my son’s father to battle with him on the arrears in the child support he owed me. I had never really dealt with the emotional pain he had conflicted upon me and my son all those years. (He had never been in the picture or had helped financially). I was single and just hated where my life was. I wasn’t grieving as much anymore, but it did come back in waves. I don’t think I had dealt enough over losing Matt and all the other issues that were arising, that it all made my depression get to the point that I was now suicidal. Thankfully, I seeked helped toward the end of 2018 and by January 2019 I was back in therapy. I recovered from the depression and went to Adult Children of Alcoholic meetings for the first time in my life. I continued with my therapy and dove into my intimacy issues. I never really had intimacy issues before. Before Matt, I had not been fully open to a committed relationship, but I was always monogamous. Once I’d like a boy, I liked him and could see no other. But, my childhood kept me away from ever wanting marriage. I had thought and was scarred that I would have a relationship like my parents. It had only been until my late 30s, lots of therapy, lots of reading, and lots of self analyzing, that I knew it didn’t have to be the case with me. I am not the unhealed, volatile person my parents were. And then Matt happened.

As I continued my therapy, I dated. And little by little I got better.

Fist was the guy that I dated and as soon as we were intimate, things were different from the last men I had been with over these last few years. I wasn’t so keen on him I thought at first, but the sex was okay. I let him finish too and I loved finally sleeping next to someone. I liked how he would reach over for me, but as I told my therapist, I loved that feeling, just not from him. I dated him for a few months, but only had sex with him that one time in the beginning. In the end, there were some extreme anxiety issues and lying on his part that I ended that. The next time I was with someone, the sex was again good. I actually liked the bear hugs and touches in the night from him.  Progress! There was just an age issue. He was ten years younger and didn’t have kids yet, but wanted them. I was already in my late 40s. So, I ended that one, too. Both guys were quite upset or maybe pissed off at me that I ended it, but I saw things that either I or they would have problems with down the road.

Then a pandemic hit in March of 2020. Dating during a pandemic was not going to be easy. Dating had always been extremely difficult for me. But, now I had to now maneuver between being single, isolated, not catching a deadly disease, and swimming through a sea of online profiles where some men would take anyone, just not be alone, or some men that had no care in the world over catching COVID-19. I needed to find someone in the in-between. I met one man during the beginning of the riots and protests. I think I just needed an adult to hang out with, take in all that was being blasted over every t.v. channel and possibly see if there could be a connection that could lead into something. I wasn’t into him. He was the kind of guy that seemed good on paper, but we weren’t really compatible and I just wasn’t attracted to him. I went out to dinner with another man, obviously outdoor dining because that’s what you do during a pandemic. It didn’t go beyond that. I’m glad he wanted to see someone closer (he lived over an hour away) because during dinner he’d ask me questions, but would never let me finish answering them.


Then it was August. A few months into this world-wide crisis. I was still isolating by myself. Beach bike paths had opened back up, so I was spending my long weekends bike riding. I was working from home. I had only seen my son once, briefly. I hadn’t seen friends or any other family because we were all being safe. Online dating was going nowhere. I was on Bumble and subscribed, just to see who had swiped right. I couldn’t believe and was amused by all the younger guys that had swiped right. My history of who I’ve ever been involved with consisted of guys that were my age or only guys that were a few years older.

And there he was. Blondie. Some could say, he had a dark blonde or just blonde hair. Beautiful wavy hair. Nice eyes. Sweet lips. Drummer. I love musicians and love music. (And, Matt was a drummer). Cyclist. (I had gone from consistently biking, but not wanting to be a full cyclist for years, to now seeing cycling and cyclists as HOT). I liked the profile, but only thought to myself, at least maybe he could be a fling during these challenging times. Nothing more because he was way too young. A little more than 10 years younger. But, not too young to be my child! I wouldn’t be attracted to someone who looked like a boy. He was definitely a man.

We chose to have dinner at his place. He lived in downtown L.A. in one of those high rises that had great views of the mountains and westside. He sent me pics of the sunset as we text. I googled him just to make sure he was who he said he was. I went over. We talked and talked. I went over many times out on his balcony to take pictures. The first time I told him how, why, I was walking slowly because I was scarred of heights. He jokingly grabbed my arms like to nudge me closer to the edge. But it was just enough not to scare me and enough for him to touch me and grab me back. I like it. We ordered in. He had gone earlier to grab wine. While he had been trying to pick it up, he had texted me what kind I liked. He had gotten three different bottles because he wasn’t sure which I would like. We ate, talked for hours. It flowed so easily. He even mentioned how easy it was to talk to me and be around me. As it was getting late and I was getting ready to leave, he kissed me. That was it. I was in. It went better than I had expected it to. I liked his profile, but couldn’t imagine that I would like him like this. Like really like him. I hadn’t felt like this since Matt had passed. The next few days we texted. But, then it went sideways when one time he hadn’t text me back, not just immediately, but almost a whole day without texting me back. I text him that he could at least say he wasn’t interested instead of what I thought, he had ghosted me. He was confused. Said he was out of town. And, then I didn’t hear anything for over a month. I can’t remember how we got back in touch. Maybe it was because I was searching again for a website designer. The night we spent together, he had mentioned that he also did websites, among other things. I told him that I had needed someone to redesign mine. As he redesigned my website, he started flirting again. We continued flirting over the phone and I asked him to come over many times. By November he had caught Covid-19. At least he thought it was Covid. I was getting tired of his calls and texts and me asking to come over that in December after another wanting to see me implying text, I said no more. I was fed up. I felt like I was begging. If he wanted to see me, he’d see me. He seemed upset. He had reminded me of all that he was going through the last few months (a lot of family issues), then he was sick, and all the stress he was under. Those were his last words to me then and that it sucks that he missed his chance. But that he would stop. Stop continuing this virtual flirting that I felt never went anywhere. He even apologized if he had made me upset.

We could be professional adults. We continued with my web design. Mostly through email and phone calls. When we spoke it was like speaking to a friend. Someone I had know for years. But, that is how it had always felt like with him. Even the first night we met. In the back of my head, or truly my heart, there was still an ache of wanting to see what could be.

When I like someone, I like someone. Not that madly in love kinda stuff. I just like what I like and when I like someone, I like someone. I don’t find it all the time. I’m very picky. But when I like someone, I want them around and want to nestled under them. And, I really like him. I was attracted to him. I liked everything I knew about him. I loved how we were together. It had taken me years to get here, but here I was. Recovered from my intimacy issues. Wanting him in my life, even though I agreed to him that we can keep it causal. He didn’t want a full blown relationship. I wanted anything I could get. Hoping that he’d eventually want a relationship with me. Even if it was for a few years.

relationshipsBut in the end, it didn’t work out. We had started talking again, flirting in the beginning of February. I had take a hiatus from online dating, but was back on. I sat back and thought of all the exposure I might be facing if I met someone for coffee, dinner, or a bike ride. What if I expose myself and the conversation sucks, what if the kissing sucks, what if the sex sucks. I opted to reach out to him. I made the first move by asking him if he was still single. He was. We texted over a week and then he finally came over. It was like six months had not passed. It was still like we had known each other forever. He left in the morning and I went on my bike ride. For more than two weeks there were some text messages. Then, I felt disengagement. I was again tired of chasing. Begging as I had put it the last time he was over. He said that he kinda liked it. I didn’t. I wanted to be wanted.

It’s okay that it ended. Yes, I am a little hurt and sad about it. I wish it could have been something more or that it lasted longer. And, he was so much more to me than what I said to a girlfriend recently. He was the first man in 9 years that I hoped, deep down, to have a relationship with. He was the first man that I no longer had intimacy problems with. He was the first man in a long time that I saw I could be compatible with and have a good, loving relationship with. When I think back on the brief time we spent, I will only think of it in the nicest of ways because it showed me my growth and healing and of the type of person I want in my life.


#readyforlove #findinglove #readyforarelationship

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I'm passionate about kindness and learning from past mistakes. I'm a photographer, writer, author, survivor, ACoA, and single mom.

2 thoughts on “Overcoming Intimacy Issues after a Loss

  1. Not being rude, and hope that I am not out of line here, but he sounds like he got off on making you beg, the control freak kind of thing. While he may be a great guy, what you wrote here, and on your last one regarding your Birthday (happy birthday belated), from experience with these kind of people, you are so much better off without him. Someone will (has if by Magic) turn up in your life, someone you are not expecting, and it will feel right, because it will be the right time for you both. You do deserve so much more than you have had, and now with the vaccine rollout in the US, things may start to at least start to return to normal for you over there.

    Liked by 1 person

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