Have you noticed that dogs and cats adopted from shelters into good, loving homes are often very affectionate with their new owners? Many animals adopted from the pound have been neglected or abused. If they haven’t been abused beyond repair, when they get around kind, loving folks they respond similarly.
I’ve seen this in humans as well. Often people become single after years of abuse or neglect from their exes. I’ve heard stories of people living in celibacy while married — sometimes for many years. Men have shared that their ex didn’t touch, hug or kiss them for a long time.
So when they are treated nicely and thoughtfully, if they haven’t been psychologically damaged beyond repair, they often respond with great affection. I’ve had men say to me, “You’re so nice” when I was just being myself.
I’ve also had men misinterpret eye contact and smiling because they haven’t received that from a woman in so long. And some can read an innocent hug or touch as if it means much more than intended.
Early on a man told me that I was so responsive to touch it was like a cat arching her back for more. I wasn’t physically abused or neglected in my marriage. But I was neglected in a sense in that he said he didn’t think about me if I wasn’t in the room. So when a man shows he thinks about me when I’m not with him, I am drawn to him.
Have you been emotionally, psychologically or physically neglected in past relationships? If so, how does that show up now? Are you standoffish and aloof, or very responsive to kindness and affection? Have you dated someone who had been neglected? If so, how did you show your fondness without him interpreting more into your actions than you intended?
Got a dating-after-40 topic you want Dating Goddess to address? Send your issue to Goddess@DatingGoddess.com.