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Worried about DS3

(9 Posts)
moggiek Fri 09-May-14 21:53:54

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? DS3 had his first GF when he was 21 (all of mine have been quite late starters). Nice girl, but got herself into quite a few scrapes caused by drink/weed consumption during the months they were together. She was a bit unreliable, wouldn't call or turn up when expected, and he got REALLY stressed out by it all, obsessing about something happening to her. In the end, it got a bit stalker-ish TBH, he realised it was seriously unhealthy, and ended the relationship, although I think he really loved her.
That was four years ago. He got his life back on track - job, flat, doing well. BUT, he's absolutely terrified of relationships. He was here last night, panic stricken, almost to the point of panic attack, because he's had a second date with a girl. This has happened three or four times in the last few years - he asks someone out, they have a few dates, he starts to worry about the relationship and get stressed that history will repeat, so he finishes it. By his own admission, he's ended things with some lovely girls he was very lucky to go out with! He doesn't seem to be holding a candle for his first GF, they've had no contact since they parted.
I'd bet my bottom dollar that he'll have finished with this latest girl by the middle of the week. He's 25, and a really nice bloke. I just worry that he's not going to get over this .
Does anyone have any experience of anything like this?

Lweji Fri 09-May-14 21:57:37

No, but it seems to be affecting his life. Perhaps some counselling?

Does he really like any of these girls, though?

AlfAlf Fri 09-May-14 22:02:26

I suspect I've been completely baffled by dated a few men a bit like him.
It's good that he sounds able to discuss it with you. I strongly recommend he tries counselling.

moggiek Fri 09-May-14 22:04:07

I think so, yes. He just seems to get so stressed at the possibility of getting involved and being let down. We've told him that it's the same chance everyone takes with every relationship, and he says that he knows that, but just can't do it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-May-14 08:17:40

I think his problems stem from huge insecurity, low confidence and the result is acute fear of rejection. It's significant that he started relatively late into adult relationships and also that his first serious GF was - to coin a phrase - a complete head-fuck. He hasn't had, by the sound of it, the useful corner-knocking-off experiences of teen romance but went straight from 'nothing' to 'emotional abuse' in a single bound.

If I was his friend I'd be telling him to forget dating for at least a year and instead work on rebuilding his confidence and really getting to like himself again. He should focus on personal growth, making friends (all genders) and feeling properly comfortable in his skin. I don't know what his lifestyle or job involves but I'd also suggest that he sets himself a few challenges and risks a few failures. Coping with failure, like coping with rejection, is an important and strengthening experience.

moggiek Sat 10-May-14 12:51:46

Thank you, Cogito, for your always wise words. He really fell off the cliff at the end of his truly toxic first relationship, and I think would have been classed as clinically depressed for a while. My feeling is that it's a fear of being back in that place that is frightening him.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 10-May-14 13:20:55

And that would be a reasonable fear, let's be honest. Most of us get dumped a few times in the early days, get our hearts broken and the thing we learn from it (hopefully) is 'nothing bad happens'... 'life goes on'. He's experienced what sounds very much like emotional abuse and that is a very different kettle of fish that - evidenced by contributors to this board - can leave someone very damaged and very hesitant about new relationships for a long, long time. For women victims of abusive relationship there is at least some kind of support network, public sympathy and things like the Freedom Programme. Male victims are less likely to come forward and ask for help. You mention depression. Has he or would he see a doctor about any of this?

moggiek Sat 10-May-14 15:38:03

At the time, he did see the GP and took Fluoxetine for a short while. Since then, he's made great strides. Achieved qualifications in his chosen field, and secured a full time job. While he was at college a few years ago, he struck up a great friendship with a lovely girl. They truly were the best of friends - until the day that she told him that she had feelings for him. We never saw her again.

moggiek Sat 10-May-14 15:41:09

Didn't mean to post so soon! After the friendship ended, he was crippled with guilt for months because he'd hurt her, and was worried that he'd given her the wrong impression.

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