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Long distance relationship, feeling paranoid

(17 Posts)
Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 14:38:08

My DP and I are currently thousands of miles apart. He works in Shanghai and I am in London. We survived from August to December on texting, whatsapping and phone calls. Then we had a blissful three weeks together before he went back last Sunday. The next time we see each other will be at the beginning of April for ten days, then I am going out to live there with him in August.

My problem is that despite texting and talking to him this week, I am experiencing constant feelings of anxiety that he will go off me and that he doesn't love me as much as he says he does. These feelings seem to occur no matter how much we communicate. In fact I was only speaking to him half an hour ago and I am already feeling really weepy and anxious.

This didn't seem to happen before Christmas and I can't understand why it's happening now. It's causing me a lot of stress. Does anyone have any tips on how I can stop this? Please someone, tell me to get a grip!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Jan-15 14:41:36

How long have you been partners? What's stopping you joining him sooner? Does he know how insecure you feel?

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 14:44:46

Our story is a bit complex. We were together for a year ten years ago. We then split up (due to circumstance rather than lack of feeling) and reconnected this summer via the internet when he was already in Shanghai. I am a teacher and feel I need to see out the year before joining him. And yes, I have told him how I feel and he tries to reassure me but when he's not actually on the phone I still feel so anxious sad

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 15:02:01

And now I'm paranoid because no one is replying (thank you cogito)

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 11-Jan-15 15:10:00

Then you're going to have to work out if your insecurity is purely self-generated out of low self esteem or if it's because you have misgivings about the relationship itself or him in particular. Were the barriers last time more on your side or his? Apart from the 1 year you spent together 10 years ago how long have you spent physically together since reconnecting? Who initiated the contact after all this time? Old flames and long distance relationships can be highly emotive and romantic - not always the best conditions for good judgement. Emigrating to be with someone is a mammoth step. If you're having doubts that would be normal.

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 15:14:47

The barriers last time were on both our sides- it was a mutual agreement to split as we were too far away from each other (yes, it's a recurring theme!) We have only spent three weeks physically together since reconnecting but it didn't at all feel like a whirlwind- in fact several different people commented on how comfortable we seemed together, as though we had been married for years. I have no doubts at all about him from my point of view- all my insecurity is about him and how he feels. This despite him telling me constantly how lovely I am, how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. I'm being an idiot, aren't i?

dinkerton Sun 11-Jan-15 15:25:42

So you will have spent 3 weeks + 10 days physically together before you up sticks and move to Shanghai? Could you not even just go there during the summer to spend a longer time together (assume you get a reasonable holiday as a teacher) without jacking your whole life in so soon? What will you do in Shanghai - presumably he has a life there, job, friends etc. You will just have him.

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 15:49:25

I will have a job there- I am interviewing at the moment. I know it's a big step but I feel very sure about it. As a teacher I always have formed good relationships with colleagues, so I'm sure this will still be the case. I have already taught in China before and I loved it and made lots of friends, despite not knowing anyone when I got there. We are also going to be returning to the UK every Christmas for three weeks together to see our families and friends, and I am going to come back each summer for a couple of weeks as well. So I'm not at all worried about leaving my life behind. It feels like an exciting time- it's just my anxiety getting in the way.

ImperialBlether Sun 11-Jan-15 15:52:08

Do you HAVE to see the year out? Can't you look at it from a job-seeker's point of view - he/she needs your job! You would be doing them a huge favour if you went out there asap.

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 15:55:32

Hmm. It's difficult as a teacher. It's easier for the school and the students if you leave in the summer. I have considered resigning at Easter, but there's quite a lot to organise and if I went out there so soon it might be hard to find a job- teaching jobs are advertised pretty far in advance, so I'm interviewing currently for a job starting in August.

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 16:47:44

Any more advice on managing my feelings please? Thank you to those who have already posted smile

Twinklestein Sun 11-Jan-15 16:59:45

Is it really just about the present circumstance? Are you sure this anxiety is just about whether he loves you enough not to go off you before you arrive, but also after?

Three weeks is not long to have spent together, and what other people make of your relationship in terms of commenting that you seem relaxed and like you'd been together ages is not the same as actually being together for ages.

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 17:04:29

Yes twinkle I am sure- it's hard to explain but we feel as though we are meant to be together forever. We have discussed marriage and babies. I know we will be happy once we're actually together- it just feels as though it's a long time until we can be.

Chocolategirl7 Sun 11-Jan-15 17:05:27

Managing your thoughts and feelings is a tough one. I recently read The Happiness Trap which talks about uncoupling your thoughts and feelings. I may not have understood correctly but it seems to work for me.

So whenever I have a thought like that I acknowledge that I'm having it. Then I say to myself ' I notice I'm having that thought again'. Then, ' I notice I'm having that thought the way I do when I feel <insert emotion> ie insecure.

Somehow it takes it away from the feeling and becomes less emotional allowing me to actually look at the evidence in the cold light of day.

Not explaining very well but I would recommend the book if your emotions and thoughts are making you miserable.

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 17:12:46

Thank you chocolategirl- that sounds interesting and I'll have a look at the book on amazon flowers

CheersMedea Sun 11-Jan-15 18:00:34

And now I'm paranoid because no one is replying (thank you cogito)

The above post strongly suggests that you are of an anxious personality type. Being "paranoid" about no strangers replying to your thread is high level anxiety!

I suspect that even when you are out there with him you will have the same feelings of anxiety. If you feel secure in your relationship, you feel secure whether the person is in the room with you or 100 miles away.

This despite him telling me constantly how lovely I am, how beautiful I am and how much he loves me. I'm being an idiot, aren't i?

Not necessarily. What someone says is utterly unimportant; words are cheap. It's no skin of anyone's nose to toss out a few words that someone is beautiful. The world is full of cheating players for whom words like this flow like cheap wine. What is more important is how someone treats you. If he is treating you well, and you genuinely have no basis to doubt him, it's far more likely the issue is your own anxiety and not the LDR.

It may be a self-esteem issue or may just be you are anxiety prone. I'd look for books/counselling to manage anxiety.

Secretlifeofme Sun 11-Jan-15 18:37:30

He does treat me extremely well, yes. I'm only referring to words because that is what we have at the moment, but he is an excellent partner. He is very caring and loving, thoughtful and makes me feel so happy, relaxed and adored. I think you're right that I have an anxious personality type, but when I'm with him I'm not at all anxious.

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