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To think that if you have to 'play it cool', you have relationship problems?

(98 Posts)
Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 16:47:10

My DP is currently living and working in Shanghai. I am moving out there in August. We talk and WhatsApp whenever we can but it's obviously difficult sometimes being apart, especially since I suffer from mild anxiety.

Anyway, today I was talking to my mum about how every so often (probably once a month or so) I start to panic that either DP or I will get killed by a bus or something before we have a chance to be together again. I explained that whenever this happens, I talk to or text DP and he calms me down and reassures me.

Mum's reaction was 'you are going to scare that poor man off! You need to play it cool!'

I thought this was very odd. Surely this is not the case in a loving relationship? Or AIBU? Do you think game-playing has a place? For me, it's something that indicates a relationship which has issues- what do you all think?

Bellwether Wed 18-Feb-15 16:52:24

By 'playing it cool' she means 'be normal and have normal conversations', like not telling him you're worried about one of you dying. That's just weird. It is very odd to have multiple conversations fearing your or the other's death.

Lifesalemon Wed 18-Feb-15 16:56:22

I think the same as what bell said.
I would be put off by the wierd conversations.

TheListingAttic Wed 18-Feb-15 16:58:27

Hmm. In general I'd agree with you, although in the context of the example you offer I'd say it very much depends on the circumstances. I'd expect a committed, long-term partner to be supportive of mild anxiety issues - but I think that routinely phoning a earlier-stage 'boyfriend'/'girlfriend' might quite reasonably scare them off committing further!

More generally, I'd say that having to 'play' anything a certain way rather than be up-front and open is a sign that one or both of you doesn't really fit happily in to that relationship.

Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 16:59:00

'Put off' in what way? Surely if your partner is anxious about something, you want to reassure them? As I said, I have a mild anxiety disorder and DP knows this.

Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 17:00:19

This is a committed long term relationship, yes. As in, we are planning to get married and have children.

skylark2 Wed 18-Feb-15 17:03:20

"Do you think game-playing has a place"

No, I don't - but I think all this ringing up and texting because your DP has to be the one to calm you down, from the other side of the world, is the game-playing.

Loving relationships are between equals, and this all smacks of you making sure he keeps getting reminded that you're dependent on him.

FarFromAnyRoad Wed 18-Feb-15 17:04:29

I think that no matter how much I loved you - if I was working on the other side of the world and probably under a lot of pressure workwise - and you kept on and on about one of us dying I'd be inclined to run a thousand miles in the other direction. How long have you been together?

WaitingForMe Wed 18-Feb-15 17:05:50

I suspect your mum is trying to suggest that rather than use him as an emotional crutch, you keep a healthy balance of communication with him.

If you have an anxiety problem then seek qualified help.

ImperialBlether Wed 18-Feb-15 17:07:15

Why can't you send him a text at the time saying, "Hi, hope you're having a good day." His reply will assure you he's alive.

Or you could take very practical steps and make sure that his boss and anyone living with him has your phone number. If you haven't heard from them, he's still alive.

Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 17:07:58

Hmmm. You may have a point but I don't think it's frequent enough to be a massive problem. We speak and text all the time- it's just occasionally that I get anxious. Most of the time I'm fine.

Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 17:10:18

Ha! I think I maybe haven't expressed myself clearly. When I text him about this, it is always to say 'oh dear, I'm being a twat again. Having anxiety. Sorry to be silly xx' I don't text him going 'argh DP have you fallen under a bus?'

U2TheEdge Wed 18-Feb-15 17:24:01

With my husband there was no game playing. If we wanted to talk to one another we would just call.

I never played any kind of games because we were both into it each other and it just worked.

So in general I completely agree with you. I hate it when people advise others to play it cool etc. I just wanted to be me and if the person didn't like that then they weren't the one for me. I would never not call someone because I am worried that I look too eager and if that scares them off they aren't the one for me.

I have anxiety and at the start of my relationship with my husband I would have probably called him if I was really anxious as well. You call him once a month with these fears? That does not sound like a lot to me and if you can't talk to the person you are planning to spend the rest of you life with when you are anxious what is the point? If you were doing it daily then yeah, that may be a problem, but once a month? YANBU. It is not at all weird to talk to your partner when you are anxious about death. If it is then I must be super weird as I have health anxiety and often tell my husband how I am worrying about dying and because he loves me he wants me to share my fears with him occasionally. Mentioning you are anxious during a conversation is not an abnormal conversation hmm

cingolimama Wed 18-Feb-15 17:24:22

Sorry Secret, but I have to ask you - do you think this is attractive behaviour? If you have anxiety issues, then I second what another poster said and seek some professional help. Or talk to a friend, or your mother, or do something other than text DP for reassurance.

I don't mean to be a bitch here. In fact I'm sympathetic to this, as for a long time my DH had a very dangerous job, and I had do deal with the attendant anxiety. But I felt it was my problem to cope with - it actually wasn't his task to reassure me - he had enough on his plate. Instead I vented to a friend - or distracted myself with a film and some mild alcohol. Whenever he returned from the field he thanked me for "holding it together" which allowed him to focus on his work.

cingolimama Wed 18-Feb-15 17:26:40

And BTW, I wouldn't call this "playing it cool", which is a behaviour that is manipulative and dishonest. This I might call "not letting your neurotic self get out too often".

U2TheEdge Wed 18-Feb-15 17:27:03

Loving relationships are between equals, and this all smacks of you making sure he keeps getting reminded that you're dependent on him.

What? a phone call around once a month where she mentions her anxieties means the op is making sure he remembers that she is dependent on him?

That's a strange way to see it.

It is just communicating your anxieties with the person who you are meant to be able to open up to. Once a month this happens; not daily.

Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 17:27:52

Do I think this is attractive behaviour? hmm no, not particularly. Does everyone in a long term relationship always take good care to behave in an 'attractive' way? Surely you should just be yourself, no? Presumably your DP would find that attractive, as they are in love with you?

Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 17:29:24

Thank you U2- I too am slightly taken aback by some of these responses!

U2TheEdge Wed 18-Feb-15 17:30:51

Sorry Secret, but I have to ask you - do you think this is attractive behaviour? If you have anxiety issues, then I second what another poster said and seek some professional help. Or talk to a friend, or your mother, or do something other than text DP for reassurance.

AIBU is a strange place sometimes.

I don't give two fucks if my husbands thinks my anxiety in not attractive behaviour hmm he loves me, and reassuring me when I need it is just what people do in relationships. Of course seeking constant reassurance would be a problem.

She is planning to move in with him and marry him.

I seek professional help but I still talk to my husband about it. Again, she said this happens once a month roughly. If he finds it unattractive for her to talk about her anxiety once a month then he would be a complete arsehole.

Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 17:31:27

May I also add that I would never text or call DP with these issues at a time which would cause him stress. So I wouldn't do it while he was at work, for example.

velvetspoon Wed 18-Feb-15 17:33:04

I think some people are being a little unfair to the OP.

I don't know how long she and her DP have been together...I'm in a fairly new relationship (9-10 months) with someone who makes me happier than I ever thought possible, and who feels similarly. I'm also a bit of a worrier generally...I have had occasional thoughts before now of 'what if something awful happens to one of us' because I feel almost too happy now, iyswim? And in the past life has pissed on my chips several times just when everything's been going well. I did say to my bf about my worries, and turned out he'd thought of something similar around me having an accident etc. Reassured me that I wasn't being completely silly...and we now tell each other not to worry smile

U2TheEdge Wed 18-Feb-15 17:33:41

Don't worry Secret people are odd here sometimes.

I would think that any relationship where one can't talk to their partner about their anxieties once a month are in seriously crappy relationship.

OP if you can talk to your partner about your anxieties and he is happy for you to do so then that is all that matters. I would not be planning a life with someone who I couldn't do that with.

grumpasaur Wed 18-Feb-15 17:35:16

Gosh some people are harsh!!!!

I also have anxiety and, when it is bad, will ring my husband up as he knows what to do and say to calm me down. Of course this one negative aspect of my personality is balanced out by many other positive aspects. Luckily my husband loves all of me, even the unattractive bits!

Good lord not all parts of ourself are attractive all of the time. I know my husband truly loves me because he loves the unattractive bits too.

I also talk to friends and manage a lot of it internally and with professional help. But he is my husband ffs and wants to help me- just like I want to help him- when he can!

Secretlifeofme Wed 18-Feb-15 17:37:20

Thank you velvet. DP and I have been together six months, but have reconnected after previously being together for a year and having to split up due to logistical issues which are now resolved. We are both completely certain that this is it for both of us.

velvetspoon Wed 18-Feb-15 17:38:01

Just to add I completely agree with U2s point about if you love someone you should be a le to share your worries / they would want to hear them. I know my bf would always want me to be open and honest with him about anything that was troubling me, for whatever reason, and not to feel I couldn't or shouldn't tell him what I was thinking or feeling because of playing it cool. Bollocks to that. The best relationships imho are all about being honest with each other.

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