Dating with anxiety


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This topic contains 5 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Mia 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #800994 Reply

    Mia

    Hello everyone. Looking for some insight here. I’m a handful of years post-divorce and finally ready to date again. I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my adult life. It’s both a blessing and a curse as it can be a good motivator to get things done at work and home on a crazy tight and busy schedule but I’m realizing it’s definitely not helping my dating/love life. I won’t go through all of the details/trials and tribulations here but essentially I keep self sabotaging every relationship that has any modicum of potential because I dwell on everything and convince myself that the guy isn’t interested and either act like an anxious idiot (to the point where he becomes uninterested) or I end it because I’m convinced he’s going to. I recently started on meds (and may end up exploring counseling too quite honestly) and they’re helping but I still don’t really know how to date. Most recently, I met a guy online who is really cool. We have a lot in common, same age, same custody schedule, conversation flows well all the time. We’ve only been out twice. After the first date I left feeling like there was chemistry and potential. The next day I panicked and unfriended him on social media. He texted me asking why I did that and saying he was surprised and I did what I always do and came up with an excuse to end it. I almost immediately regretted that decision and after a week I fell on the sword, reached out to him and apologized. I told him about my anxiety and explained it was a knee jerk reaction. He was very understanding about it. We spent the next week or so texting and eventually he asked me out for date two. We went out this past weekend and again had a great time. During our date he asked me if I liked him or if I was just stringing him along for something to do. I told him I like him. He told me he liked me too. I should have peace of mind now but again – a day and a half after our date – I feel the anxiety creeping in again. We texted a bit yesterday and today and it was fine. But I can’t help but panic about whether he likes me and plans on seeing me again or if he has some ulterior motive. Does anyone else have this issue? Is this a normal response to a new “relationship?” Or is this my anxiety yet again needing a check? Anyone with experience with this Id love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

    #801013 Reply

    Peggy

    Hi Mia…I understand how stressful this must be. I actually do not think you are ready to date. You need to have some therapy and find ways to handle your anxiety and develop self confidence.Your response is not normal..it goes way past first date jitters. You also need to be happy,secure and pursue hobbies,skills, sports etc. ( if you do not already) so that you have a full and interesting life with or without a boyfriend. You are staking too much on these guys. Get help. Good luck!

    #801024 Reply

    Liz Lemon

    I agree with Peggy, it does not sound to me like you should be dating right now. I think counseling is a great idea as well as getting stabilized on meds, if necessary.

    It’s one thing to have jitters about getting back out into dating but what you describe isn’t healthy, and it’s not at all a normal response. You need to be in a good headspace about dating in order to do it successfully. It’s normal to have some anxiety or butterflies when dating, yes, but what you’re describing (anxiety about whether a man you’ve had 2 dates with has an “ulterior motive”), sounds crippling. The man you’re seeing sounds very kind and patient, but it’s not fair to him to blow so hot and cold.

    And Peggy is right that you need to be secure and happy in yourself when dating so you don’t put a lot of pressure on a man to fulfill you or make you happy. You describe what you have with this man as a new “relationship” but 2 dates is not a relationship; you’re just getting to know the person. So it might be that you’re putting too much pressure on yourself too early on, to find a “relationship”, maybe? Just think of it as getting to know a man and enjoying his company during the first month or two of dating. Don’t overthink it. Easier said than done I know…you sound very self aware so I hope you do seek out some therapy, I think it will help!

    #801025 Reply

    Mia

    Thank you ladies so much for taking the time to read and let me know your thoughts. I know I have a lot of work to do on myself before I’m able to give fully to someone else and this guy really is a good egg – I don’t want to screw with his emotions at all. I’m not sure why I put SO much weight on being in a relationship/finding the right person. I hit a landmark bday this year and I honestly think that is adding to the angst. For a variety of reasons I know I need to seek some help. It’s due time. Dating is just such a strange thing. It requires vulnerability and letting go of your ego a good bit. These are things I’ve never been so great about – due to anxiety and also just because I’ve never been good at such things. I’m hopeful that I can put my emotions in check enough to just take things one day at a time with this current guy though because he really is a good man. As they say tho, timing is everything. So we shall see. Thank you both again.

    #801483 Reply

    mama

    My best friend deals with extreme anxiety and also is in the dating scene. Much of what you’re doing, she does it as well.

    She is in therapy now and I can see it helping her. She’s picking better men to date, and working through techniques she’s learned in therapy to keep it together and not obsess over every detail or do much of the things you mentioned. She says it’s really hard work. But it’s helping, so it’s worth it.

    Good luck my dear!

    #801493 Reply

    Mia

    Thank you so much, Mama. Your comment gives me hope and I definitely seek comfort in knowing I’m not alone in this (not that I like knowing your friend is dealing with this same strife.) I actually reached out to a few potential therapists today and have made an appointment for the week after next (I’m on vacation next week – thank goodness – just headed down to my mom’s beach house as I was supposed to be traveling but decided not to.) In any event, I really appreciate you taking the time to read and respond. Take care!

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