I see a pattern in the men posting here. All are midlife, and all have not wanted the divorce. So heartbreak and disappointment have hardened things for you all.
I didn't want the divorce at first. She started it, recanted but I was too far gone and finished it.
He suggested there is a difference between being guarded and emotionally unattached.
It's a matter of degree.
He also says marriage is not off the table
Then he is destined to making the same mistakes over and over again despite the commonly accepted definition of insanity.
Are you just guarded with your feelings still willing to go there with the right person or do you think you are forever emotionally detached from feeling love again?
We're together 5 years. Second longest relationship of my life, second only to my 18 year failed marriage. She says I used to be emotionally detached but I've made great strides. I think I'm still emotionally detached and I haven't made great strides and don't really intend to change all that much and I tell her that all the time to which she just smiles and gives a knowing smile and a nod for whatever that's worth. I'll probably hold my emotional cards close to my vest until they seal my casket. Too little to gain, too much to lose.
Does time with the person change it from guarded to free to feel or it is only the person themselves? Do you not care whether you feel in love again? What is the most important goal of having a relationship with someone if you dont have in love feelings for them?
Time together always helps to some degree. How much change depends on the person and their capabilities and willingness to be vulnerable. Do I care how much further in love or how open I get? No, not really although again my GF would probably disagree and say I really am not in touch with myself.
My goals in a relationship are to have a close female friend with whom I can be close but not too close and share my thoughts fears and feelings (to some extent) and do to all sorts of fun activities with and have sex with, who I can care for and who can care for me, while maintaining a safe emotional distance so if things go south I can bail without too much collateral damage.