I seem to suffer from relationship anxiety

103 posts in this topic

Posted

I think you should explain to your current girlfriend everything you have written above.

At worst, she will not understand you, but on the other hand, she might well understand how insecure you feel about relationships in general, and also understand that if you are a bit OTT, then it isn´t meant to be!

We have all felt insecure in a relationship at some time or another, but the most important thing is to be able to communicate with each other - maybe the two of you could set up some kind of signal for her to give if you are making her feel uncomfortable by your affections, without her having to blatantly come out and say "stop that!" in front of your friends?

As for the cost of therapy, I guess ti sort of depends upon what sort of health insurance you have, but generally, I think that if this is causing you to feel depressed and unable to cope with life, then it surely has to be covered by your insurance, oder?

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Posted

If you have health insurance you should be able to get yourself to some kind of therapy. This is your life you're talking about, not new rims for a car. Where there's a will, there's a way. Therapy might sound scary, but your emotional health is worth it.

It makes sense to go now, before you get caught in a downward spiral of sabotaging relationships --> hating yourself for it --> sabotaging relationships --> you get the picture. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We're only going to tell you things you already know, but if you think the deeper issue lies in your abusive childhood then you'd best be served by a professional to help you work through that.

Alternatively, you could try approaching your mother and asking her what sort of state she herself was in at the time, that prevented her from protecting you better, see if she can't explain why she wasn't willing or able to see that you were suffering. It'll be a hard conversation but I notice you do not once mention your mother as a potential source of "blame". She won't like to hear it either, but who knows, maybe she has been waiting for years for you to broach the subject. Or she may have had no idea that any of it was going on at all. Perhaps getting to have your mother all to yourself for a bit as an adult will help you through your fear of abandonment.

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Posted

Thanks for the replies, I think maybe I explained the demonstrative thing wrong- it's in public that she has a problem with it, in private she likes the affection, I just feel more insecure in public I guess when we're with other people, which feels odd when I think about it as I have no problem making friends normally.

I did explain all of this to her and she said it was good that I could understand how strange the whole thing is, even if she did also say she was a bit weirded out by it, but the signal thing sounds like a good idea. I also don't think it's necessarily making me depressed, just more confused and annoyed with myself.

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Posted

Perhaps I am being dense, but why don't you try reducing the amount of public affection you're giving her for a few days, and see how it makes you feel? e.g. "In the next half hour I am going to kiss my girlfriend two times instead of ten" (or something).

I agree with the earlier posters that it's important to find a girlfriend who's a good match emotionally, and it's good not to get too paranoid over small things, but on the other hand, successful relationships are about compromise. What if you two are perfect for each other apart from the one issue of amount of affection shown in public, and could fix this with some negotiation? I would also find it suffocating if a boy gave me too much attention in public. Mind you, I also feel suffocated at the sight of other couples being excessively affectionate, so maybe I need therapy too :P

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Posted

But how he is is bad, he reckons. There are a lot of men who would LOVE me for being a bossy bitch but that doesn't make it a positive trait if I don't believe it to be. Sure, I could embrace my inner bossy bitch and settle for a man who likes being treated like shit but I've decided I prefer a man with some self-respect. And as the OP appears to think this is an issue

I find it hard to control my buried feelings that it's all going to go wrong eventually and the only way to stop it is to try and show the other person how much I really like them the whole time.

it seems safe to say that he doesn't find this an ideal state of affairs either. It doesn't sound like a happy-go-lucky guy with just so much love to give and no one to give it to. He wants to work through his issue, not find someone who will deal with it. Insecurity isn't something that goes away magically once you find somebody who will tolerate it or even enable it. This kind of insecurity in particular, while it's only budding now, if left unchecked, could turn into issues of possessiveness and jealousy further down the line. From my own experience with insecurity and fear of abandonment: no matter how many times someone tells you they love you and want you you will not believe it until something inside *you* has clicked. It's not an issue that can be "fixed" from the outside, it's an unpleasant thought pattern that only makes itself worse until the person themselves decides to change it. For me the first steps were catalyzed by my husband, who, after patiently dealing with my crap for at least two years, got very patiently fed up and told me he could no longer deal with being tested all the time. And then I had work to do. Not the exact same issue but not entirely dissimilar either. I feel like I know where the OP is coming from, to an extent.

Rest assured, I wouldn't read this much into it either if the OP didn't seem quite convinced that it was an issue. The least we can do is make an effort to take his concern for himself seriously.

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Posted

I LIKE that point, Gwaptiva..analyse the RIGHT things!!! Really good point!

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Posted

I think the OP knows where he goes wrong in his relationships so maybe he can work from that. I would take it slow when in a new relationship, and ask the gf if she likes PDA's or not and take it from there.

Speaking from experience, sometimes it does get too much when around certain people like my parents or workmates for instance when I might think ok, cool it buddy :) So yea talk about boundaries when and where is appropriate to be all touchy feely and when not. In the end it what makes you both happy.

Be yourself and hold back a bit initially till you know your new gf and then slowly let her know what you are like. Hell you're just being loving!!

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Posted

am Team john q!

if the OP had a partner who adored his public affection this would be a total non-issue.

PDAing is definitely not a negative trait.

this is just a basic incompatibility, in a mere TWO of his relationships.

self diagnosis is not always accurate, this is over-analysis in my opinion. if he is happy with current beau then the simple solution is to be aware she does dig him but the PDA is not something she is into, and it is nothing to do with him. can imagine she was indeed rather weirded out when give the whole historical explanation as to why the OP does like PDA. and also what his ex thought of it.

ditch current beau and find a lass who likes PDAing or else learn to accept this beau is not into it.

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