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Got bad 'relationship anxiety' and don't know what to do
13

easylikeasundaymorning · 05/08/2022 21:11

I've been seeing a guy for about 4 months and I can’t stop overthinking things.
It’s the only area of my life as well that I do overthink as with most things I’m pretty laid back and don’t sweat the small stuff.

We went on a date together off after chatting for a couple of days on one of the dating apps, I wasn’t even really in the mood but thought I’d get my step count up and it was absolutely amazing a proper lightning bolt moment, the day after he messaged to say he was coming off all the dating apps and I said I’d do the same. Since then we’ve seen each other on average twice a week (when neither of us have our children) usually staying over and call each other boyfriend/girlfriend.

I think some of my problem is that he’s not very ‘wordy’ so he never says what/how he is feeling which is probably more the norm for a man but he doesn’t do sweet messages at all - in fact the nicest message I’ve probably ever got off him was after our first date!

However, a couple of my previous bad relationships (including my marriage) were all about the long gushing texts when in reality it was all bullshit so I’m trying to judge him on actions rather than words.

These actions include buying me a sun lounger to go alongside his for his garden, buying us some matching fancy glasses of a particular drink we both like, he’s recently cleared out a drawer and offered for me to leave things there. He’s cooked for me, bought me flowers, picked up bits that I’ve complimented on, leaves the door open to his house for me to go in if i get there earlier than he does and has introduced me to family and friends. He’s told me I can call him at anytime and texts me every day on and off with a good morning/night text.

Reading that back it all sounds lovely but I just can’t help worrying that he’s going to hurt me, leave, break my heart. I know you can’t live life like that and I know I’d ultimately get over it and move on I’m just scared I suppose. My ex h had an affair and obviously it has haunted me in some way. I congratulated myself for not being paranoid when I got in my first serious relationship after my marriage but in hindsight I didn’t feel as deeply about him as I do this man plus as bad as it may sound my previous boyfriend didn’t do anything apart from go to work or see his mum so I was never worried.

I’m terrified he will cheat when he goes out with friends which isn’t even very often and that is also ridiculous because I enjoy going out with friends and don’t cheat plus my exh hated going out but had an affair through work. I know if someone will cheat they just will I just feel like a massive cliche about being terrified of opening my heart again to someone.

Has anyone been through similar? I’ve done a bit of Googling and it does say relationship anxiety is normal I just don’t know how much and does it fade over time?
Being on Mumsnet can help so much but it has also given rise to me being on the constant look out for red flag behaviour and ‘trusting my gut’. But I think my gut feelings have been thrown out of kilter and am all at sea.

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Blushingm · 06/08/2022 11:17

@crispsndip maybe? Or that you've been let down before so you're more likely to think it's going to happen again?

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crispsndip · 06/08/2022 11:05

I'm constantly on edge that he's going to decide it's not working for him, I think he's way out of my league. He's messages every day but if they aren't frequent I start thinking I've done something wrong or he's changed his mind.......I should be enjoying myself not worrying but I can't help it!

I can really identify with this. Just the idea that he might suddenly decide it isn't what he wants. It's frightening. I wonder how much is just that it gets harder to be vulnerable as you get older.

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Blushingm · 06/08/2022 10:42

I could have written this except for the introducing to friends/family. His friends are also the ex wife's friends too so I can understand why he hasn't as it's still early days, and his only family (apart for his kids) is his very elderly dad. His main best friend knows all about me though - he's coming to visit in a few weeks as he lives the other side of the country

He's given me the code to get in his apartments block, leaves his door open for me, we go out so he's not afraid of people seeing us together, I often collect him from work.

I'm constantly on edge that he's going to decide it's not working for him, I think he's way out of my league. He's messages every day but if they aren't frequent I start thinking I've done something wrong or he's changed his mind.......I should be enjoying myself not worrying but I can't help it!

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goldfinchonthelawn · 05/08/2022 23:20

Sorry - the other posts didn't load - I see you are already considering CBT. it helped me with a specific anxiety and now even though it's improved massively, when it starts to creep back I know how to handle it.

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goldfinchonthelawn · 05/08/2022 23:19

Wow your paragraph describing his actions read like how DH was when we first met and he was/is a real keeper. He sounds lovely and thoughtful. I don't agree with a PP that he's trying too hard. It sounds to me like he is happy with you and shows love in a different way from you. There's a book about the different languages of love: words, actions, gifts etc. if yours is words and his is actions or gifts then you might have be more aware of how each other show love.

Could you do some CBT work on the anxiety?

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B1rd · 05/08/2022 23:09

He's rushing you. I guess that's what is making you twitchy.
He came off dating apps far too soon.
He doesn't send the messages that you desire.
Have you ever actually sat on the sun lounger or drank from the glass?
He's trying far too hard and that would make me twitchy too. He's trying to hard. He's not going with the flow.

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easylikeasundaymorning · 05/08/2022 23:06

@DaisyDooxox think you could be on to something there. Yes the unpredictability can be unnerving and because he's on a rolling shift pattern we don't do set nights. Which in some ways keeps it exciting and different but probably adds a bit to the anxiousness of it all.

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easylikeasundaymorning · 05/08/2022 22:18

Thank-you so much for the replies - it truly helps to get advice and also feel like I'm not the only person that feels this way!

I would absolutely do some CBT if that would help - I had a few weeks of counselling after separating from xh and I had a fabulous counsellor. Would cbt be from someone totally different or do counsellors do that as well you think?

And I can totally see how this would be a self fulfilling prophecy, when he's gone on a night out I don't message unless he messages me as I want him to enjoy his night and not feel like I'm checking up on him.

I honestly don't know how to talk about this stuff or even if I would without coming across as totally insecure, paranoid and needy. I do have good friends in real life but most of them are long term married and just have no idea about the current dating world. They always just shake their head at me and say mainly unhelpful things like 'oh god I could never do dating again I'd just stay single forever if I ever got divorced.'

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ThinkingaboutLangClegosaurus · 05/08/2022 22:03

PetalParty · 05/08/2022 21:37

You want to be careful about self fulfilling prophesies. I would recommend CBT to help you focus your mind on positive outcomes.

Try to live in and enjoy the moment, life’s more fun that way! Why be sad when you could be having a rollicking good time.
Plan your next adventures together, that will put a smile on your face.

Are you interested in marriage eventually with this man?

You want to be careful about self fulfilling prophesies. I would recommend CBT to help you focus your mind on positive outcomes. Try to live in and enjoy the moment

I agree about self fulfilling prophesies -- worrying this much about something going wrong can end up making something go wrong. And I've found CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) very helpful for letting go of useless worries and living in the moment. Very much worth a try, OP.

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DaisyDooxox · 05/08/2022 21:55

I could have written this myself. Exactly the same situation minus the children.

I constantly feel on edge when he doesn’t text back. Yet he’s introduced me to friends and family, cleared out a drawer, given me a key and I have my own toothbrush!

It really is insane.

Do you think possibly some of this anxiety stems from having to go back to square one with someone? E.g. not living together and ‘dating’ again. I must say, after living with my ex for three years and always being together, I struggle in this new relationship as things are more unpredictable.

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crispsndip · 05/08/2022 21:54

Hi there, just bookmarking because I do this too

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PetalParty · 05/08/2022 21:37

You want to be careful about self fulfilling prophesies. I would recommend CBT to help you focus your mind on positive outcomes.

Try to live in and enjoy the moment, life’s more fun that way! Why be sad when you could be having a rollicking good time.
Plan your next adventures together, that will put a smile on your face.

Are you interested in marriage eventually with this man?

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YoSofi · 05/08/2022 21:29

Have you spoken to him about how you’re feeling?

He does sound really lovely, and he clearly thinks a lot of you! Have you considered speaking to a professional about how you’re feeling? It’s no wonder you feel anxious given your history but that doesn’t mean this man will hurt you too x

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