How to Stop Stressing When It Comes to Dating & Relationships post image

How to Stop Stressing When It Comes to Dating & Relationships

In my article on why guys suddenly lose interest, I discussed how caring too much or stressing over your relationship can irreparably damage it. The article sparked an avalanche of e-mails and comments from women who were feeling panicked over the state of their relationship. Most understood the point I was making in the article, but rather than relaxing and just going with the flow, they wanted to know: “How can I fix it if I was stressing too much?” “What should I text him to fix the situation?” “Is it OK if I tell him XYZ?” “Is he gone forever?” “How can I get him back?” OK, full stop. This is exactly the problem Eric and I have been addressing at length, not only on the site, but also in the newsletter and on our Facebook accounts.

But I realized that identifying the problem is only half the battle. The next step is to get to the root of it and figure out how to solve it.

When you eliminate the care (or worry or stress or whatever you want to call it), you are free to really be in the relationship. You can see the other person for who he is and you can give yourself to him freely – no strategy, no game-playing, no manipulation. You won’t feel a need to control anything. You can just be and there is no greater feeling than that.

But how do we do it? How do we stop our minds from spinning into overdrive, sending out waves of unpleasant thoughts and alarm bells?

Read on to find out!

1. Realize stressing gets you nowhere

Stop-stressing-relationships-tipsFirst, you need to realize that getting all wound up over the state of your relationship serves no purpose, ever. It causes problems within the relationship, and more importantly, it takes a huge toll on your sense of self and self-esteem. When you care too much, you inevitably become attached to a certain outcome. You invest mental energy in making sure things go a certain way. And if they don’t, then you suffer on many levels.

I have been guilty of stressing over past relationships. It was always the same pattern. Things started out fun and light, I got excited about the possibilities…and then became scared that my imagined future wouldn’t come to be…and then panic set in. From then on, the relationship was no longer enjoyable. Every interaction and conversation became a test to see exactly where he stood and how he felt.

Anyone who has dated long enough knows exactly what I’m talking about. The problem is our minds trick us into believing there is some sort of payoff to this type of thinking. Like it will somehow lead us to a place of confidence and clarity. It won’t. It will lead you in the opposite direction, rather, and cause you to feel even more uncertain and insecure.

QUIZ: Are You Accidentally Sabotaging Your Relationship?

 2. See a relationship for what it is

Let’s talk about what a relationship is and isn’t. We’ll start with what it isn’t. A relationship isn’t a measure of your worth or worthiness in this world. It is not there to serve you and give you things like happiness and self-esteem. It is not there to make you feel good about life and about yourself. This isn’t to say a relationship can’t do these things, it’s just that these aren’t the elements upon which a healthy relationship is built.

A relationship also isn’t some sort of milestone, a sign that you have “made it,” that you will be OK, that you are now a member of some elite club. It isn’t something you work to acquire. It is not a goal to achieve.

A relationship is an experience to be had and shared. It is about discovering how compatible you are with someone else, and if there is enough chemistry and compatibility to form a lifelong partnership, also known as marriage. The only work you have to do is to make sure you are your best self and get to a place where you can give and receive love. No amount of plotting or analyzing will change whether you and someone else are compatible. You either are or you aren’t. The dating process is more of a discovery process to find out if it’s there.

So you enter into the relationship as your best self and then one of two things happens: it works out, or it doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, you’re OK because you know that it just means you weren’t a matforith that person. It doesn’t mean you’re flawed or damaged or bad or unlovable. It just wasn’t a match. Sometimes you’ll be able to see this, and sometimes the other person will have that clarity. Either way, if it doesn’t work, it’s because it wasn’t the right fit. That’s all!

If you can realize this, really realize it, then there will be absolutely nothing to stress over.

3. Set a freak-out deadline

A lot of us make the mistake of prematurely freaking out over something that really turns out to be absolutely nothing. For example, let’s say you start seeing a new guy and things are going great. You talk regularly, go on fun dates, it seems to be going really well. But then you don’t hear from him for a day or two and immediately hit the panic button.

And then the devastation starts to creep in…followed by the doubts. What did I do wrong? Was it something I said? Something I did? Why do the guys I like always leave me? You feel a sense of dread deep in your gut and you know, you just know, that he’s never coming back.

Meanwhile, in boy land, he’s been really slammed at work and has barely had a minute to come up for air. In his mind, the relationship is going great, he’s happy to have met a great girl like you and he can’t wait to finish this big project so he can see you again. He’s happily going along doing his thing while you are knee-deep in heartbreak mode, mourning the loss of what could have been and trying to figure out where it all went wrong.

And just when the agony is at its peak….he calls! And everything is fine! You’re relieved, but at the same time, you are so in it now. You cling to the relationship even tighter because you remember how miserable it felt when you thought you lost it and you vow not to do anything to screw this up.

MORE: 5 Ways to Ruin a Budding Relationship

I’m not saying the relationship will be doomed after this point, but I can guarantee it will cause a major shift in the dynamic and it will definitely ruin your ability to actually enjoy the relationship anymore.

Rather than reflexively panicking when something seems amiss, set a deadline. For example, if you started seeing a guy and don’t hear from him for a day or two, say, “I will not panic about this right now. If I don’t hear from him by X day at Y time, then I am allowed to be upset about this,” and then just take it out of your mind.

This also works if you’re in a more established relationship. Let’s say you don’t see your boyfriend as often as you’d like. Maybe you’d like to go on dates more regularly or see him a few times during the week. Tell yourself that you will be fine with things for the time being, and if nothing changes in two weeks, then you can be upset about it and deal with it. Or let’s say you’re in a serious relationship and there has been talk of getting engaged but he hasn’t popped the question yet. Instead of getting angry about it, just give yourself a deadline. If he doesn’t propose in the next month, then I will be upset and I will deal with it. Until then, I’m going to enjoy the relationship and not let this bother me.

This little exercise will help you train your mind to stay calm and avoid spinning into a frenzy. It will help you gain control over your thoughts and your mood, and this will be of major benefit to you and your relationship. And the funny thing is, whatever problem you wanted to get really upset about right away usually resolves itself before the deadline you set! I’m telling you, it really works.

4.  Be present

The biggest problem with stressing over your relationship is it takes you out of the relationship and brings you to a much more disturbing place. When you get stressed and anxious, you’re no longer interacting with the person sitting in front of you, you’re interacting with the thoughts in your mind. You fixate on an imagined future and worry about how and if you’ll get there with him. Stop doing this!

Instead, just be present. Be right here, right now. When you go on a date with a guy, whether it’s the first or the fiftieth, all you should be thinking about is enjoying your time with him and building a connection. If you’re in the early stages of dating, the only thing to decide is whether you want to go on another date with this person (and save that consideration for after the date). Don’t size him up and look for signs that he’s the one and this is it. Don’t scan him to determine how he feels and if he likes you. Just enjoy it for what it is and let the process unfold organically. No stress!

When you worry about where this is going and if there’s a future, you blind yourself to what’s in front of you and hinder your chances of forming a real connection. You can’t connect with someone who isn’t there with you in that present moment. Most people don’t see other people, they only see their concerns of the moment and they clutter their minds trying to figure out how he feels, what he’s thinking, and so forth. The concern and worry and doubt feels like it’s serving a purpose, but it’s not! It’s actually taking you further away from where you want to be. A relationship is what’s in front of you, that’s it!

 5. Stop attaching to what things mean

As women, we have all been programmed to see having a relationship as some sign that we’ve made it, that we’re worthy. Being single is seen as something to be pitied, and being in a relationship is something to covet. As a result, a lot of us measure our worth by our relationship status. If a guy leaves, that means you’re unworthy, you weren’t good enough to have this thing that you’ve been told you need in order to be enough. It’s hard to undo years of faulty programming that’s been so firmly ingrained into our DNA, but it isn’t impossible.

MORE: 5 Biggest Misconceptions About Love

Remember, only you can determine your own worth. It won’t come in a bottle or from a man or by splurging on the latest trends. You set the standard for how valuable you are. You do this by living a rich, fulfilling life filled with things you love. You do things that make you happy, you work on improving yourself, you develop your talents, you take care of yourself, you do things that tap into your essence and allow you to express your true self. This is how self-esteem is built. If you wrap up your identity in what men think of you, or what your relationship status is, you will never ever feel satisfied.

In any relationship, you can’t become attached to the outcome. Instead, you need to have faith in yourself and trust that no matter what happens, you will be OK and you can handle whatever life throws at you.

6. Stop wanting

Wanting a relationship to be something other than what it is never pans out well. Instead, practice accepting the situation for what it is and enjoying it. The fact is, the people who are most successful with relationships are people who have fun with relationships. It doesn’t feel like work; it’s not a struggle.

Wanting in general causes problems. When you want, you immediately focus on a lack, you feel a void within yourself and you think a relationship will fill it. It won’t.

I’m not saying it’s bad to want a relationship or get married; most of us want these things. But you have to take the focus off the wanting (which turns into needing) and put it on the experiencing. Focus on enjoying each moment of your life instead of questioning where it will lead.

If you want a future, a part of your mind gets activated and plots and plans and thinks of ways things could go wrong. It creates a frantic mindset where you’re trying to account for and circumvent all the potential pitfalls. It may seem innocent, like you’re just excited about the possibilities, but when your mind starts to go into overdrive and you begin to overly invest in this fantasy future, you heighten the stakes and the dynamic of the relationship suddenly shifts.

When you want something from the other person, you’re missing out on the relationship with them. You are in your head and while you might not be conscious of it, you are in agenda mode. When you’re not trying to get something, you won’t strategize, won’t chase, and won’t force it to work. You will instead be able to just enjoy the relationship and take it for what it is from one moment to the next.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, the best strategy (for relationships and life in general) is always to focus on appreciating what you have rather than dwelling on what you want.

I hope this article inspired you to stop stressing for good so you can have the love you want. But it takes more than that to have a lasting relationship. At some point, a guy will ask himself: Is this the woman I want to commit myself to? The answer will determine everything. Do you know how a man decides a woman is “girlfriend material” as opposed to “fling material”? Do you know what inspires a man to want to commit? If not, you need to read this article next: The #1 Things Men Desire in a Woman

Here is another issue almost every woman will face: He starts to withdraw and seems to be losing interest. He doesn’t text back, he is less attentive, and something is just off. He seems like he’s pulling away and you might lose him completely— do you know what to do about it? If not, read this right now If He’s Pulling Away, Do This...

Got another tip to add to stop stressing? Share it in comments!

This is How to Stop Stressing Over Your Relationship:

  1. Realize that stressing is a waste of time and gets you nowhere.
  2. See the relationship for what it is.
  3. Set a freak out deadline, and stay calm until then.
  4. Be present in the relationship.
  5. Stop attaching to what things mean
  6. Stop wanting
Sad teen girl using cellphone while sitting on sofa at home, writing message, typing contact, reading posts in social network. Upset young woman procrastinates or bored, playing with mobile phone

Written by Sabrina Alexis

I’m Sabrina Alexis, the co-founder, and co-editor of A New Mode. I love writing relatable, insightful articles that help people understand relationship dynamics and how to get the love they want. I have a degree in psychology and have spent the last 10 years interviewing countless men and reading and studying as much as I can to better understand human psychology and how men operate. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Instagram.

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This is so on-point! I went on one date with a guy last week, he seems to like me (asked me on a second date) but I am spiraling nonetheless! Anxious attachment styles have such a hard time with this. It makes me wonder- is the guy simply not a match as it’s causing me to feel insecure, or am I overthinking it? Sometimes I honestly feel it can be either/or. Doing a second date because of the intense physical chemistry, but there’s a chance there may be a compatibility issue. Lord help me how do I even survive in this word getting so stressed when just dating. Haha

Reply September 14, 2022, 8:37 pm


Thank you for addressing anxieties and fears I’ve faced far too long! Your explanation was made simple. Condensing it into 6 steps so we can easily remember is brilliant! Thank you! Finally I will be able to learn to enjoy my relationships!

Reply February 25, 2020, 9:34 am


You really broke it down to the point that everyone could understand as well as see what you mean. And you’re right, it’s to bad that so many are addicted to drama! It takes a strong mind to be in control, and control is power, the best of the best. I start with respect for me, myself. I’ve also learned to keep my mouth shut know matter what my mind is doing, this way I don’t make an ass of myself for all to see. Sound stupid but my mind doesn’t control my day, I do. This is my way, what is easiest and works for me. I don’t know if it right or wrong.

Reply July 4, 2019, 7:00 am


I really enjoyed this article. It has helped me in many ways. Thank you.

Reply November 4, 2017, 10:53 pm


I really like how you mentioned that it’s ingrained into our psyche that women need a relationship to be worthy. Or be married…or have kids. It wasn’t until I realized that I deserve a man who I WANT and they really have to prove to me that they are worthy of ME, that my dating game has shifted. I used to be so insecure about who I was, and now when I catch myself stressing about him, or my worthiness, I can stop it.

Reply July 30, 2017, 1:25 pm


“I have never done this before ….. I’m 22 and my boyfriend is 38 I first got with him when I was 21 we have a beautiful 8 month old little girl and I have known him now over a year I met him Jan 18 of 2016 and we have been through a lot my problem is I hurt him beyond words can say and he had left me back September 19 of 2016 and he came back April 3 of 2017 he left because I was talking to my ex and telling him stuff that I had no right saying I don’t blame my boyfriend for leaving me or what all that has happened because in my point I deserved everything I got I put him through hell for 6 months before I messed everything up he treated me like a queen anything I asked for or even said about wanting he would get it and just about give it to me on a sliver platter he didn’t deserve none of what I did to him were trying to make things work between us but I don’t know much els to say or do to have him trust me again and make him see I won’t mess up again he is my life he is my world he is my everything I really don’t want to lose him I love him way to much to let him go

Reply June 16, 2017, 5:34 am


Absolutely a great post. I love your honesty. You said some things that i really needed to hear. Thank you!

Reply December 31, 2016, 8:42 am


As if you’re reading my mind…I have made some mistakes though, thereby stressing myself…but considering my self-esteem at its highest…Thanks, love.

Reply December 12, 2016, 3:27 pm


I’m pretty happy with myself, I don’t need anyone :)

Reply December 7, 2016, 11:37 am


What a great article!! I agreed on lots of points.
Thank you!!!

Reply September 11, 2016, 12:47 pm


I loved this article! I am a woman in her late 20s, I have lots of great things going, I am in shape, I have a great career, love giving back and being friendly. I feel pretty fulfilled but would to find a life partner. I have been on the single market for a while and have been on countless dates. Luckily, I have had a lot of success in terms of men being interested, the problem was I never clicked with any of them for various reasons. This year, I have been trying to open up my mind a bit more and have given chances to two guys who had there life in order but with whom I felt something was missing. Well, it totally failed with the first one, I had to let him go! I am kind of dating the second one right now and although we are very compatible in theory, I don’t feel happy with him. When we text we click but when I am in his presence I am not excited, I don’t find him funny and I am not that attracted to him. It’s like I am forcing myself to feel something but I wonder if all I am doing is avoiding feeling lonely. I like having someone to share moments with I suppose. When you meet a good match, shouldn’t you feel happy? feel more feelings?

To fall in love, I normally feel good around the person and am proud to be with/around them. Is it reasonable for me to expect this?

I feel like I know the answer but would appreciate any feedback :)

Reply August 12, 2016, 1:17 pm


Dnt worry.. u r on right track ! I hv had similar goings on like u and am in my late 20s too! Just tht i am still searching for a stable job. Yet i am happy single ..though kind of “dated” many guys. But i am happy. Ultimately the right person for u .. is going to catch tht vibe of ur happiness only to fall in love with u. So dnt worry ☺

Reply January 2, 2017, 9:01 am

Late to the party

I know it’s been years since this was written but I just felt compelled to say thank you Sabrina for writing this! The way you describe the shift in dynamics that happens when I start stressing over a guy is spot on. This article is really meaningful to me and I hope a starting point for having healthier, happier relationships and stronger self esteem. Thanks!

Reply June 30, 2016, 11:32 pm

Tetyana Nawrocki

#1. If someone “exaggerates the truth” it’s called lying. People are lying always for their personal benefits. Unfortunately it’s always at the cost of another person. So, if man “trying to win woman over by lying to her about his feelings/intentions he is an individual of low ethical values and completely lacks integrity. His actions would compromise her self-esteem, quality of life, and seriously affect future relationships. If he is not a complete idiot…he knows it WELL. Lying is always a choice and conscious action.
Guys, don’t deceive yourself that it’s in your “genes”. It’s in your pans and it’s a weakness which separates real men from phony ones.
Girls: if he likes you he would want spent every spare minute with you…Just like you would! It’s that simple. You can’t make someone love you if they don’t…sorry. It’s hard truth, but better than all these sweet lies you have heard here. Yes, he maybe cares for you in some way, but that’s not enough! He is not in love with you. Otherwise, he would be all over you and you would want to back off.
Now, I wouldn’t try making someone fall in love using “techniques”. It won’t work for a long run. Rather accept things as they are. You will have to make a choice: is it what you really want?
From someone who has been married for over decade…without solid background of honesty, absolute trust, good character, and deep emotional connection, you will just create much bigger problems than you have right now.

#2. If I found Channel dress which retails for $2000 on sale for $20 I would be ecstatic, happy…and grateful. I would treat this dress at its true value, regardless of my luck. It’s just a common sense. If one doesn’t take best care of Channel dress it would be ruined. That’s it…gone. Not walk away to another owner… as you said above, but ruined. Man who found amazing woman, but treat her like a pile of garbage has to be retarded…Is that a real case?
The truth is this type of men doesn’t see any value in amazing woman. Their eyes not developed enough to see real…art.
Please, guys don’t take and ruin someone else’s “Channel dress” just because it has a high retail value. You probably can’t appreciate its unique one of a kind texture and design. In other words, if one likes bright sparkling textures of polyester, get your sticky hands from Channel! It looks dull and boring for you anyways.
Also, if you are a pig, don’t roam around and dig out God’s finest flowers. Take responsibility for all your actions, and STOP blaming on “genetic predisposition”!

Reply June 6, 2016, 5:50 pm


Wow this article is amazing!
really spot on! exactly what I am experiencing and feeling, so helpful
although I realise that applying these good advices in my life is not gonna be easy but I will do it. looking forward to reading more of your articles for some guidance
thank you so very much

Reply May 11, 2016, 9:22 am


Wow this article is amazing!
really spot on! exactly what I am experiencing and feeling, so helpful
although I realise that applying these good in my life advices is not gonna be easy but I will do it looking forward to reading more of your articles for some guidance
thank you so very much

Reply May 11, 2016, 9:19 am


This article I think is the best article I have ever read on this subject. I know there are loads out there, but this really resonated with me. A guy I was seeing just broke it off with me and I’m pretty devastated, even though it was barely anything. He was fantastic, kind, considerate and showed me how much he cared. Then I felt a shift that was definitely there, but I reacted to it by freaking out, rather than just continuing with my life and building on myself, he was all I could think about. Literally within 2 days I had totally changed my view of the relationship and instead of enjoying it, I was reading into every little text, sign, what his voice sounded like when he called me. I’m not saying this is the reason we broke up, but it’s the effect it had on me, and I shouldn’t let anyone have that effect on me, ever. We both got into it too fast, and something changed for him but something also changed for me, I’m sad as I really liked him as a person, but I can’t let this end of something destroy all the work I had done before I met him. Thanks for a great article.

Reply April 21, 2016, 1:13 pm


LOL…..OMG that is so me. I thought I found my one, then started obsessing over us getting to the relationship status. I would stress when it took too long for him to reply. Well earlier on, he told me he didn’t want to me in a relationship. SHOCKED MY WORLD. I thought we were on the same page. He wanted to date other people and instead of me accepting it for what it was, and I’m so embarrassed to admit how I handled the situation, I started sending these long text book messages about our connection and how I thought it was going to lead to something special, and how I didn’t believe that he would want to see other people and me too. I totally forgot that I loved spending time with this man, I was so caught up with him not playing me and him eventually stringing me along and choosing another woman at the end. 8 months have gone by (6 of them was long distance) and the disrespect from him towards me has gotten more and more bold and apparent. I tell myself, this guy isn’t respecting me because I haven’t been respecting or being true to myself. I set absolutely no standards for this man and he was allowed to do anything he wanted. I just wanted to show him how easy I was to be with…..WRONG ANSWER……LOL….And I see it now. This article and so many others that I’ve recently ran across has shown me all my setbacks. I now know why I’m single……I have taken a different approach. The guy I’ve been so OVER THE MOON OVER is seeing someone else, so I have truly backed off of him. I haven’t spoken to him since our last incident of disrespect and I feel ok. I don’t have that nervous feeling in my stomach. I have really said, if he wants me, he’ll choose me…but when he comes back, there has to be some boundaries and standards, but I’m not looking for or hoping for it. I’m just preparing for whenever I meet someone new……I HARDLY DOUBT HE’LL BE BACK, BECAUSE I’VE BEEN OVERLY DRAMATIC GIVING HIM THE ABSOLUTE BUSINESS, sometimes I was within my rights (disrespect can never be tolerated)….but I have to accept that. I’ve been getting this all wrong and it’s amazing how on point this article is. I know how to move forward now, and am looking forward to just having fun living my life. Thanks so much Eric and Sabrina for your astounding insight. I look forward to coming across more of your articles. They’ve helped me so much so far. Please keep them coming!!!!.

Reply April 19, 2016, 2:58 pm


This was a enlightened article. Thanks for the person who wrote it.
I think I met the man of my dreams but now worry is setting in because I been hurt and my heart has been broken before. He said not to compare him and I told him I wouldn’ t and would give him the benefit of the doubt. I fear I have said too much and revealed to much too early on and now he wants more and more and I want to give him that but am scared because its happening all so fast. I don’t want to screw things up with him and I feel like I might if I continue to feel this way. I just want him to feel as strongly as I do about him. I feel like he really is the one so am going watch my words and what I do for now on because I never want to lose him.
I agree that happiness doesn’t come from relationships but it sure adds to it. I love having my own thing going on and I dont mind if he does the same.
I just hope distance and us working won’t screw this up. I hope he hold on to me and believes am worth waiting for. I say way more then he does but that is just my personality. It seems he likes having more experiences less talk so that’s really good.

Reply March 12, 2016, 6:08 pm


This article has really inspired me…answered all my questions …..thank u so much had a horrible breakup …waited to heal for a month or so now in have moved on n my new friend is acting weird because I didn’t answer my phone …I’m just going relax live my life n b happy …thank u again I have better understanding on things now….

Reply January 24, 2016, 8:31 am


Brilliant article… Superb… Really it inspired me to stay calm… N i wont bother much now… And just live in present without stressing much :) thank you… :)

Reply January 11, 2016, 9:59 am


Brilliant article like your writing about me thanks love it, will mark this for future reading when feeling stressed, thanks :)

Reply January 7, 2016, 10:03 am


What a wonderful article! Great advice sounds like it makes perfect sense…seems easy enough but really takes a concentrated effort but at some point you just realize somethings gotta give and this is a perfect starting point! I love this. I’ve learned so much since discovering you guys about 2-3weeks ago and I must say I have been taking heed to your advice especially about controlling my emotions and just so many other little pointers I’ve read…I’m in a tricky situation with a guy I really care about; seems mutual in most aspects but then smh too much to write but the bottom line up front is I’ve backed off /”chilled out” thanks to you guys and I sense him moving closer to me – he’s been saying/doing things -really just seeing a side of him I knew was there but only got a glimpse of in the very beginning but due to my over emotional ways (I HAD – past tense) I believe I sabotaged the potential we had or I pushed him away -kinda but anyway he’s responding to me in ways I’ve been wishing to see for awhile it’s truly amazing…!! Thanks so much!!!

Reply December 25, 2015, 11:33 pm


Amen, amen, amen, sister!! Thank you SO MUCH for setting us gals straight. I’m 52, single (always have been) and STILL get that heart-wrenching, does-he-like-me-or-not, what-did-I-do-wrong-cuz-he’s-not-responding feelings whenever I date I new guy. I met a wonderful guy just two months ago and I’ve been obsessing about him ever since. You’d think I’d be old enough to know better by now! But I’m stopping this nonsense emotional crap TODAY, because you’re absolutely right — stressing about him just doesn’t do anyone any good, especially for US! Thank you for reminding us to just CHILL and calm down, take a deep breath, and quit the obsessing. Sometimes us gals need a slap up side the head to shake us up and get our minds uncluttered from our emotions! (*shaking head vigorously* *deep breath* ok, I’m good now.)

Reply November 7, 2015, 10:23 am


Thank you for sharing really valuable lesson and learn. I wish I realize fhis myself when I was younger. This is the best article about relationship I’ve encounter. Very empowering and profoundly strike a cord to self love. And being better person.

Reply August 9, 2015, 12:59 am


LOL.. I am a guy and I am facing similar problems now. can someone help. m 22years old nd I really want to be with this girl.. first everything went amazing. she said she too feels about me. but from few months I have been in insecurity mode. that negative things. assumptions n all. everything u mentioned in this article. now she says she have faded intrest and feelings about me. don’t know what to do. just want to save it before it is out of my hands. and before she says she hasn’t have any of feelings for me. :(

Reply July 29, 2015, 5:51 am


This was very helpful to me, as I read more of your article. I recently met a guy a mth ago , and of course at the beginning was great! While he was local. Now he went back to his hometown for work , school I miss him so much. And he told me he likes me, and could see me in his future. And every since he told me that , I have butterflies in my stomach just of the thought we could be together. But the thing that breaks my heart is were 6 hours apart . No way to connect other than text, phone conversations .. Thinking to myself we may not make it because no time to grow. :( Please Help. Ps. Should I worry, thinking eventually he may lose interest . Really like him a lot. As if love at first sight.

Reply July 9, 2015, 7:53 pm


I’m trying to figure out how a guy is feeling about me. We went to high school together and have reconnected since then. We went on a date and had a great time. We ended up sleeping together and I stayed the night over at his apartment. We have been texting each day since then. A few days later I went over to his place again and we watched a movie on the couch. He has told me thru text and in person that he could date me and does like me. When I went over to watch a movie, he invited me to a wedding he is in. I didn’t know how to respond to that so I just smiled and said thanks. He also told several of his friends that he likes me and wants to keep seeing me. I am just trying to get a gauge as to how he is feeling. I could see something with him. Am I being crazy? I don’t want to push him away. How do I move forward?

Reply June 15, 2015, 2:29 pm


Something that I realised a little while ago, before my twelve year relationship ended, was that we treat our significant others very differently to the way we treat our friends. If my best friend wanted to play a song I hated, or was eating loudly, or ate all the chocolate, I never, ever would yell at her or cause an argument. But in the case of my relationship, an argument would develop – and this is with a person who I was in love with! So I guess it is the same advice as not panicking when a guy doesn’t text or call back – I would never hold a grudge against my friends for similar behaviour so it would apply to the men I am dating, also.

Reply May 12, 2015, 12:08 am

A Soft Answer

Thank you, Sabrina. Finding myself falling into stress mode intend of falling into love, your words couldn’t have arrived at a more opportune time. Ironically, the man I’ve been involved with for almost two years, and seeing for 6 months, has spoken the same words you write. And I have lived my life, and counseled others, to live in the moment, “Be Here now.”, worry is like rocking in a rocking chair – lots of expended energy, going nowhere… yadda yadda yadda As seemingly perfect for me as he appears, I’m losing interest in him. Stressing about what that means, or what isn’t working, or what I can do to fix it, will simply serve to distort the memories of delightful romantic times we have shared, and hinder the plutonic friendship that could continue. The romantic connection will naturally dissipate as my responses to him pale. Again, thank you. Even level-headed women (like me!) can lose perspective when disappointment hovers over your feelings..

Reply March 22, 2015, 11:17 am


I know my worrying and insecurities are causing some problems, but he has cheated on me before and its hard to get that trust back. I am really trying hard. Any suggestions?

Reply February 25, 2015, 7:10 pm


i am 100 percent convinced and agreed with all the points and advices Sabrina, but i am a bit confused… whenever i read any of your article, the first thing which come to my mind is that, i am already that kind of girl…and i am always been a confident and happy girl…but 1 year later, i had been in a relationship with a guy… and he was actually not happy wid me and we end our relationship because he need me to be a girl who could not imagine her life without him, who can-not spend a single day without talking to him, and if he behaved rudely to me and after an argument stopped talking to me, than the main thing which hurts him was that i used to be quite alright during that particular period of time… even he dislikes that i enjoy my life fully with my girls’ friends and i am a kind of person with whom anybody can spend a quality because of my jolly nature…so all the things which you tell me seems to be opposite in this case…why he used to expect such kind of things from me then, if man really feels good to be with a confident girl who is perfectly alright without them too??? although i am happy that i ended that relationship at the right time, and enjoying my life now, and since past to months i am in a relationship with another man who really loves me for who i am (all the qualities because of which my ex left me)…

Reply February 16, 2015, 2:32 pm


Well, this is very good advice as usual. But what all “you people” relationship advice givers don’t ever take into account, is many people who “stress” on things do so because they are genetically programmed through unfortunate genetic mutations to have more adrenalin in their system. There are a few different genes that cause this, and even if the right foods and supplements are taken and exercise and meditation is done, and acupuncture, and aura cleansing etc etc etc, these people will still “stress” on things more than people who don’t have mutations that keep extra stress hormones floating around in their synapse just waiting to ruin their day with constant hyper vigilant “stress” thinking.

You are right, stress thinking, causes stress acting and it does push people away, and a lot of the time for people like me who have these effed up mutated stress genes, we pretend we are calm and act like you say, and it does work, but it is very hard to keep up, and so basically we are effed in the relationship arena unless we are lucky enough to be able to treat our anxiety disorder and also meet someone who is sensitive to it and accepting of it. Most of us do not get that lucky as most guys are not the nurturers in the relationship.

So I guess, if we didn’t screw around outside of relationships, those of us genetically mutated anxiety ridden women would never get to reproduce which would be a good thing, since then, people with out unfortunate neurotransmitter imbalances would cease to exist.

Unfortunately, guys will usually screw us overly horny women (stress hormones also make you a horndog so you are more likely to eff on the first date) and then just kick us to the curb, which will then cause environmental stress to the physiologically inherited stress we already have and the stress cascade will just fall into an evil escalating cycle of more and more stress until we just kill ourselves or mercifully die of a stress related disease like heart disease, stroke, alcoholism, complications from diabetes, or drug addiction, etc.

Also, as like attracts like, genetically anxiety ridden women tend to be drawn to genetically anxiety ridden men. Unfortunately how this plays out, is that the anxiety ridden woman is needy in relationships, and the anxiety ridden man is relationship avoidant. So they are a perfect match, she constantly chasing and he constantly running, but when she pulls away, he runs to her, but runs away as soon as she lets down her guard. And a normal guy is usually not gonna be attracted to an anxiety ridden woman even if she hides it well because of the chemistry, like attracts like thing, unless that woman is totally hot.

There really seems to be no solution to this other than preventing people with bad mutated nutty, relationship needy, relationship avoidant genes from procreating. All that’s waiting for these people is a life of anxiety and pain. I know, I am living it right now and I can honestly say that it would have been much better for me had I never lived at all and probably much better for everyone else too.

I am 51 and borderline autistic w/ anxiety disorders and have never had a decent long term relationship my whole life. As a younger woman, I was very pretty, but never even got asked out, probably because I was very shy and so I would pick the men, and my picker is off because of the mental issues and it has always been bad pain.

The only times I have been relatively happy is when I stayed out of relationships and just concentrated on my interests, yet I have also always been very lonely, and the things on this website do work, but if you pick the wrong guy and then get addicted to him and he won’t commit to anything more than a friend’s with benefits situation and you can’t leave because of your own genetically mediated OCD/addiction issues, you are truly effed.

Unrequited love is a special branch of hell for those unfortunate enough to be in that situation. Love addiction is a very bad, very real thing and people who “friendzone” people, rather than just cutting things off so as not to hurt the person who wants them, are callous.

I know you stress that if things are not working out, to move on, but some of us are in situations where every time we try to move on, the object of our affection, steps up their game and calls us repeatedly and won’t let us get away, until they have us right back where they want us. And we are delusional and clinging to the hope that they will finally fall for us and finally love us and so any show of attention/ affection at all keeps us coming back and years of our lives are wasted in yearning for someone

For those of you out there, change your phone number and get away from guys like these. Do not let yourself get to be my age 51 (because believe me, the world is not kind in its estimation of older women and their value) and be trying to find a guy. The world thinks you are less than, combined with the fact that many more men of the same age have kicked off than women and so the odds are even worse.

No matter how much I try, I have never been able to not want a relationship. I have lots of interests and I travel and play sports and do all sorts of things, but it seems if the universe has conspired against me to prevent me from having a boyfriend/significant other.

I met one guy in my 20’s who was great and who liked me too and we probably would have been married. We ran together and shared many things in common, but he went off on a camping trip and fell off a cliff and died.

I met another guy in my late 30’s who I liked and he liked me, but he had an extremely large penis that gave me so much pain to even let him in me even halfway, so I had to just move on from that because that just could not work out.

So I think all this advice is great and it will totally help women who have picked guys who are sitting on the fence of things, but if you get in a relationship with a totally broken guy, the only thing you can do is change your phone number and move on and then because you are broken too, you will just hook up with another one of them and if you actually meet a nice guy, he will die or have too big of a penis or some such.

That is why its best to be asexual and stick to your hobbies. It is lonely, but alot less painful. It is low level constant pain of loneliness as opposed to high level all consuming obsession and stress where you can’t even get on with your life.

Please Sabrina and Eric continue to stress how important it is to move on from guys that give you stress the first minute they start doing it. Because at least then women can move on quickly and have a better chance of finding that nice guy who really loves her and they can have a wonderful relationship until he falls off a waterfall cliff while camping and either dies from the fall into the pool below or is knocked unconscious and drowns in it.

Wuh, wuh, wuh :) (at least I have and appreciation for the dark humor that pervades everyday life)

Reply February 13, 2015, 7:48 pm


Hello, I was wondering where I can post a question or forum, I’d like advice on something.

Really enjoy reading the post on this site

Reply November 27, 2014, 10:05 am

Aj Tooke

I am following your advice and just enjoying my life without stressing about what should or could happen with a guy I’m seeing. I’ve been applying the tips you have given. And things are going great! Just going with the flow. THANK YOU :D

Reply November 18, 2014, 12:39 pm


Thanks for this great article!!! I need to learn to just let go of wanting and needing a relationship…I’m 39 and no long term relationship has really occurred…I’m definitely doing everything wrong…thanks again

Reply November 18, 2014, 12:25 pm

E Smith

Excellent article–spot on advice. I needed to “hear” this!

Reply November 14, 2014, 1:33 pm

Mel Bella

Great blog. All makes sense

Reply November 5, 2014, 4:26 pm

Aj Tooke

I look forward to my ANM emails everyday. They truly help me stay focused on how to go about this whole dating deal. I really believe that you really read the advice, let it absorb and then apply it, it really works. Absolutely no confusion or complaints! :D

Reply October 21, 2014, 3:01 pm


This artical was written for me! Thank You Sabrina! “<3" :) xx

Reply October 10, 2014, 8:48 am


i have been dating my boyfriend for 3 years now. long story short he was on two deployments and recently got done with his service. we were always perfect he seemed to put so much effort into our relationship and once he got done with his service he moved about 30 minutes away from me and he has and had no job. so i would be the one driving up as much to see him. i started noticing that he was pulling away. if we would go a week without seeing each other it was fine for him. he never bothered asking when we were seeing each other. and just the other day ( which has been a few months since he was done with his service) i called him out on not trying anymore and i felt like i couldn’t go on with how things were going. and he finally lets me know that he has felt confused for the last few months and he has been trying to figure it out. he loves me but he feels like we are just friends. i am very confused and heartbroken. i thought this guy was the guy i was going to have a future with. we decided to take a few days without talking, don’t really think this is gonna help much as i am going crazy. i don’t know if loosing his job is the root cause of this problem or what. he says he feels as if i deserve better and i am the perfect girl but he’s just confused. he doesn’t want to loose me since i am his best friend. idk, I’m going crazy. i was just really hoping for some advice!

Reply October 8, 2014, 6:47 pm


Elizabeth, What you need to do it to have respect for yourself and let him go. If he is the one he will come back. It’s not your problem it’s his. Do you really want to be with someone who isn’t sure? Trust me. I have been there done that. I know this is going to sound weird but I am older and have a young daughter who went through something similar to your situation. I read this stuff to help her and give her advice. As soon as her last boyfriend started getting weird on her she stopped being attached and told him that that she wanted more and they remained friends. …and I must say there was a little game playing…She remained friends with him started dating other people and shared with him on how much fun she was having and he came running back with his tail between his legs. She took him back and it worked for another year and ultimately she broke it off with him because he had character flaws that were deal breakers. It’s imperative that you detach yourself from caring so much if you really want this guy. My daughter was so attached that she couldn’t see the forest for the trees. She’s now in another relationship and she’s much happier and never thought it could happen.. Hope this is helpful.

Reply October 25, 2014, 9:32 am


kind of an unfair analogy. romantic relationships aren’t necessary for survival, like food and a roof over your head. a relationship isn’t a job interview process, unless you’re a hooker. trying too hard is a turn off in any realm, romantic or platonic. so yeah, just be confident in yourself and connect with people, unless you just have a crap, negative personality.

Reply October 7, 2014, 11:47 am

really trully

It would be comedy, if it was not a tragedy, like some theatrical plays. Ancient Greeks and medieval The Commedia dell’Arte spectaculars would love your plays.
As satirical your comment is, and mocking up Sabrina’s & Eric’s advises is obvious, it absolutely true compartment you do. So why eat fine food, when you can enjoy the garbage, it still a food, right?! Enjoy the moment.

Reply October 6, 2014, 11:07 am


Sabrina, I feel like you wrote this for me. I was dating a man for about 3 months and the first month was pure heaven and everything I always dreamed a relationship could be. It started to go downhill when he started stressing about “concerns” he had with me but wasn’t sure if they were because of his ex hurting him or because they were legitimate. I tried harder to be this great woman for him, was a bit needy, and he backed away more. Things started to get better then as I took a step back and I thought we could really make this work. BOTH of us were so concerned with where this was going and if we were going to make it forever or not and then all the time we did spend together turned into constant conversation about why he was distant and why he was scared and why I felt like I wasn’t a priority. Then I ended things because I didn’t hear from him for two days. :( My heart is broken. We each saw qualities in one another we always wanted in someone, had great chemistry, shared so many interests and dreams and yet this stupid stress on both of our ends ruined everything. I know he’s hurt I broke up with him (and over a text since I was so upset he went MIA for two days) and since then I asked if he would be okay speaking with me in person and no response. I wish I could go back and stop stressing so much… I really miss him.

Reply October 3, 2014, 2:05 pm


I felt like I was reading the kind of week I’ve had!! It is so hard to not do this! The worst thing is he warned me that he was having a weird week lol!! And I still went into panick mode lol!! Geez….it’s all good now at least I think it is lol!!

Reply October 3, 2014, 10:54 am


I just love ur articles … They are always to the core. They are very helpful and true . Thanks for sharing it .

Reply October 3, 2014, 2:08 am


Hello Sabrina (and Eric), I just wanted to drop a note to say a big thank you for sharing all the articles and experiences. I have had so much problems with my past relationships and couldn’t understand why until i chanced upon ANM. Reading through the articles did not only made me realised the root cause of my relationship woes, they also brought enlightenment on my self development. Thanks you so much and I hope you guys will continue to share and help people to become better and more fulfilling within themselves. ^^

Reply October 2, 2014, 11:59 pm


Along the same lines of setting a freak-out deadline, whenever I feel anxious or impatient if I haven’t heard from someone, I move on to focusing on things that I need to accomplish to distract myself. Hope that’s helpful!

Reply October 2, 2014, 11:42 pm

Dee Dee

Articles like this are helpful in a way but I’m also in a big disagreement. In my experoence, when I get very looney in a relationship it’s because I know deep down that something doesn’t feel right or sensing that he’s sleeping with another woman or lying to me. A woman’s body is super sensitive. It’s
not just all in the mind

Reply October 2, 2014, 6:57 pm


You know, there is the deductive and the inductive logic, aka reasoning.
As it was in my school/university textbook, as I remember 20+ later, that we all born with some sense of logic, or as you Americans saying, guts feeling, but the science or Laws of Logic, it what give the ultimate answer.
It is a really great article, Sabrina. Though as the other girl phrased ” there is no tips”, or as as what everyone want to know what are those valid premises to have a true conclusion.And all you need only two of them, those premises. So what are they? How to apply it to relationship existance?
“A deductive argument is valid if it has a form that would make it impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion false, or if the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises”.
Well, will not to go to Sophists philosophy, when you can have both premises as false to have a true conclusion

Reply October 2, 2014, 6:34 pm


Thanks Sabrina really great article, just love your work guys, worth so much to have the opportunity to learn your skills and advice on relationships on this very valued website, thanks for all your insights and thanks for sharing your knowledge with us! :)

Reply October 2, 2014, 5:47 pm


Thanks for all of your advice. It really does put everything into perspective. I used to over analyze myself too much when guys wouldn’t contact me right away. And then I stopped sorting about it and they would always call me back. Now that I don’t stress about it and don’t call the guy, he usually is the one asking me if I’m ok and calling me stranger. I stopped cashing guys, now they chase me lol. Because I am more happy being alone and having “me” time, I realize that I do not need to be in a relationship that will only bring me stress. If my current relationship will works out, then awesome! And if it doesn’t well too bad. The guy is still there contacting me because I am not bringing stress when we are together, it’s all about enjoying our company and not worry about the future =)

Reply October 2, 2014, 5:26 pm


GREAT article! It’s a difficult thing to admit but I think we all struggle with this from time to time… thank you for sharing this! I love the work you guys do on this website, it’s comforting to know that we’re not alone in these types of thoughts and there really is a way we can help ourselves grow :) great job

Reply October 2, 2014, 5:17 pm


This was extremely helpful! Its so clear to me now that being present and enjoying my relationship is better than focusing on what could be. Thanks!

Reply October 2, 2014, 5:10 pm


sabrina, I LOVE this article. it has true meaning of what makes relationships fail nowadays and at the same time help us become who we want to be. It has so much truth in it and helps me realize what I can do to help myself plus it makes total sense! Thank you

Reply October 2, 2014, 5:05 pm


But just like the other article are there any tips on if a guy pulls away bc we made all those mistakes and is not initiating contact. How long should we wait to each out? And should we? And if exdo how do we say we are sorry? Or what Shoukd we say? Please. I really need some guidance here. THANK YOU

Reply October 2, 2014, 1:46 pm

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