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How to stop overthinking as a pushing new man away, any tips?

(18 Posts)
arwen Sat 13-Jun-09 09:03:42

I am a single mum, have been on my own for about 4 years. Have not really met anyone other than one date 2 yrs ago. have met a lovely bloke who is considerably younger than me (11 yrs) but we get on really well. I am wrecking my chances with him in a big way because although I am confident in many ways i am always doubting he actually wants to spend time with me, frequently feel like I am a charity case for him etc. He said last night that we have had the same conversation at least 3 times but I'm not even aware I am doing it. I am going to stop drinking at least for a bit as alcohol doean't help but if it's not already too late (and I suspect it might be) how do I stop myself obsessing about what he's thinking and making assumptions that don't even exsist. Last night it got to the point where neither of us felt we could speak as we would be saying the wrong thing :-(
I will be really sad if it's over before it got going but even if it is I need to sort this out as I see a pattern that will happen again. So, any tips on stopping obsessing over things you have no control over and making assumptions/reading things into texts and convo's that aren't even there? Would appreciate any advice
many thanks

BionicleBill Sat 13-Jun-09 09:06:58

What kind of texts...I mean what are you reading things into? You might be overthinking or you might just have good instincts iyswim.

arwen Sat 13-Jun-09 09:19:42

Don't encourage me! It surely makes sense that if he says he will meet me and does he wants to be there, or else why would he bother? but i need constant reasurrance that he likes me and he is ,rightly so, bored with it already. I can't seem to stop reading doubt into everything he says and does and it's driving him away and me barmy :-( I just don't have the headspace to spare

skidoodle Sat 13-Jun-09 09:34:48

Tell us why this guy is lucky to have you.

It's early days, so instead of concentrating on keeping him, you should be focusing on whether you want to keep him.

Is he a decent, honest man?
Would you trust him around your children?
Is he kind to people he could get away with being rude to?
Is he fun?
Do you feel comfortable in yourself and appreciated for who you are around him?

Basically your time is precious. Is he worth spending time with away from your other interests?

BionicleBill Sat 13-Jun-09 09:37:06

Sorry Arwen. I do know what you mean, I am in a similar position to you and think you are brave to go into a relationship full stop, as I am far too scared!! smile

I'm not sure what to suggest but perhaps you need to do some exploration of your reasons for feeling so insecure...I often find writing it all down can help me untangle what's going on in my head. I hope you can find a way to enjoy your new relationship xx

howtotellmum Sat 13-Jun-09 09:50:29

You have a complete lack of self-esteem, and seem caught up in a self-destruct pattern.

Where does this come from?

If you are constantly questioning why anyone would want to spend time with you- and keep telling them this- it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy!

There are loads of books around on improving your self-esteem and confidence, so maybe reading a few of those would help?

arwen Sat 13-Jun-09 10:02:20

Thanks all , I think a self fulfilling prophecy is exactly what it is becoming. I felt so brave when I gave him my number and never expected him to call and was so chuffed when he did, but since we have actually started meeting I spend my whole time doubting him. I am sure it is because he is 25 and gorgeous and a really nice person. I know there is no long term future in the relationship because he is moving away in a few months but I would have liked to have seen more of him again before he goes. He is worth spending time with but the time we have is so limited it feels as if too much is invested in it. I need to get my head around this or it will continue with the next person I meet. I'm sure it's because my exh left me and meeting someone else requires trust I don't have, I need to put myself on the line to meet people but don't have the confidence that they will actually like me depsite all evidence to the contrary. Will try some self help books I think. Anyone got any other practical tips?

arwen Sat 13-Jun-09 10:09:49

He texted me to say it was nice to see me last night so I texted him to say sorry for being a fuckwit and suggesting we go to the cinema next week, however now I can't stop thinking it's the last thing he will want to do or to get a text suggesting as I know he doesn't want me planning things whereas I have a need to know I shouldn't have sent it
aargh !

skidoodle Sat 13-Jun-09 10:11:11

Don't put yourself on the line. Put him on the line. If things don't work out or you don't get along well it doesn't mean you failed, just that this wasn't a good match.

This is a short term thing for fun, so try to put it in that place in your mind: it's not worth worrying about. If it continues to cause you stress then just finish it.

Try to remember that you are in control of this process. The only thing out of your control is whether he will continue wanting to see you. There is no point in worrying about that as it's not up to you. Concentrate on your side of the bargain - is he making you feel good?

arwen Sat 13-Jun-09 10:18:02

Actually no, but I don't think thats him, i think it's me worrying and imposing my thoughts on him so being unable to relax and ebjoy his company. I suspect he will walk away at this point and if he doesn't I should but I don't want this to keep happening. I can't even make normal conversation with him at the moment

howtotellmum Sat 13-Jun-09 10:41:50

I am really puzzled now- this relationship is only short -term, so why are you obsessing over him like this? You didn't say at first that he was moving away.

Men like women who are confident and relaxed.

Maybe instead of always wanting things planned, youshould have simply said "sorry" and left the next move to him. but what's done is done- you can't take that back. If he doesn't want to go , he will tell you.

What are you so scared of? This is not long term anyway, so why can't you just enjoy it for what it is?

Why not make a list of 10 good point about yourself and pin them up where you can see them? then start telling yourself every day that you are a GREAT personand fun to be with- eventually, you will believe it.

Also, try switching off your thoughts about him all day long- it sounds as if this is taking up too much time in your head- when you start thinking, find something else to do- housework, or phone a friend, or play with your DC.

arwen Sat 13-Jun-09 10:50:07

Thanks for practical tips, it is such a huge deal for me, well out of proportion and I am aware of that, I attracted him in the first place because I had nothing to lose so was relaxed but almost immeadiately he showed interest my self confidence evaporated and I am terrified of driving hm away which is exactly what I have done! It's doing my head in :-) maybe I need to start a good book. I think being on my own I just have too much thinking time. Will try and boost my self confidence though as it has been a shock for me as to how easily I slipped nto wanting his approval when in every other area of life I am strong, confident and positive.

Notsotired Sat 13-Jun-09 10:57:35

Perhaps you should see the NM as a friend for a while and do things that friends would do, like going to the cinema, to the park (fun park), out for a meal...etc. By going out as friends, there are no expectations on either side.

By going out as friends, you get to see how the NM interacts with other people and you get to gain confidence in him and the things he says because the experience is also history.

Has the relationship you and he have moved on to something sexual? If yes, moving the relationship to "friends" is going to feel like a step back. On the other hand, if you don't slow something down, you aren't going to have a relationship at all.

It sounds like you want the NM to stay, which is good but if the "want" is to strong, then it's like strangulation of a relationship. Perhaps move to accepting things, rather than expecting things. "if it happens, then it does, if it doesn't then it doesn't". Accepting is accepting not necessarily questioning.

RumourOfAHurricane Sat 13-Jun-09 11:27:45

Message withdrawn

BionicleBill Sat 13-Jun-09 11:39:30

Arwen, dear (you sound lovely, not trying to patronise!)

If he is planning to move away, you are probably going into protective mode and pushing him away almost deliberately so it's YOUR fault when he goes, and you can pretend that you have some control over it which is far less scary than having him actually leave off his own bat.

I think I'd seriously consider stoppin ghte relationship now, as you know he is going soon and it sounds as though that is really hard for you to deal with on some level.

Sorry it isn't looking like a long term thning, he does sound nice - but give yourself a break - it's understandable to put some walls up in whatever way if you know someone is going to disappear soon. Your behaviour is a way of preventing yourself getting in too deep.

Take care x

saintmaybe Sat 13-Jun-09 11:47:05

Two thoughts;

What would it mean if he wasn't that into you, and was pretending to like you (why???) when he didn't really? Would it say something bad about you, mean that you were lacking in some way, or that he was a fuckwit?

And, as a separate issue, every time you question it/ him, you're effectively rejecting what he's offering you; in effect saying it isn't good enough. That won't feel good to him, you're right.

So - and this is meant as a useful way for you to look at it, not a criticism; I know how debilitating lack of confidence can be, - who are you to be deciding that he's either a fuckwit, or inadequate? If you don't think that, then take him at face value, and enjoy his company, for as long as it works for both of you.

arwen Sat 13-Jun-09 18:16:34

Thank you all so much, some very good points there that O take on board. If he comes back for more, which is doubtful I will concentrate on not pushing my thoughts onto him. I think half the trouble is I think I am having a normal conversation and he is hearing something else. Am quite unsure as to what to actually say if I get an opportunity in that we've talked about books and films and growing up and stuff like that. maybe we don't have as much to say to each other as i thought ?

arwen Sun 14-Jun-09 07:09:56

Well would you believe it he is in touch! Am surprised but pleased and accepting I need to see this for what it is. He is not my knight in shining armour he is just a nice bloke with lots of his own plans and it is pointless waiting around for him.If I do see him again I'll not drink and focus on keping the negativity away. seeing him as a friend is a very good idea and who knows we may continue to be friends. Will also work on my slef esteem so it is not a cycle. I really appreciate all your help. I know mumsnet gets a bad rap sometimes for shooting people down but you have offered support and advice so I for one am a fan :-)
Many many thanks

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