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Thread: She's suffering from early relationship anxiety, am I dealing with it correctly?

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Agree with the general consensus here.

    My personal sense is that you can gauge a few things about someone during these early days: how ready they are for the risk of romance, how compatible you two are in how you approach that risk. What I'd be seeing, in your shoes, is someone who is quite fragile emotionally and, consciously or not, wants that fragility to be a main source of bonding. That would worry me. Since in these early stages the stakes could not be lower—we're talking about two adults who have spent 10 days together—I'd wonder what kind of behavior I'd be seeing once there are actual stakes at play.

    I would focus, now, on "playing" this by just being exactly who you want to be in a relationship. Is constant reassurance something you enjoy, find value in, get excited about? If so, go into that gear, with a rough understanding that this is you building a foundation with someone. If that's not you, be confident in yourself, and continue to be curious about her. You've been clear in your feelings, clear in your compassion for her nerves. Wonderful! If that's not enough for her to exhale after this jittery moment, I'd probably be quick to say something along the lines of what Andrina suggested: if you're not confident in being able to continue with me, let me know sooner than later.

    That is a display of respect for her, for yourself, and for reality. That is the sort of vulnerability that can be expansive and shared, rather than corrosive to sincere connectivity.

    I admit that's kind of theoretical advice. I encountered versions of this when I was dating, and it was always, for me, a signal to find an exit or, in retrospect, the moment the rocket ship veered away from the clouds and started its descent. I have enormous reserves of patience and compassion, having been through many fires in my own life, but since I don't walk around with those fires at my feet I want to walk next to someone who has put theirs own out. I find that attractive, compelling. Once the stakes get higher—once there is love, talks of moving in, of starting a family, whatever—I understand how this edginess can surface, since we're all humans with pasts, with fears that can be stirred as we swim out into deep waters. But if those fears are this potent when you're still at the shore, I just don't know how to be joined in the depths. That's just me, of course.

    All of which is probably fancy talk for: be honest with yourself. As she vocalizes these fears to you, are you finding yourself more excited about this connection or more wary? Just as you are new to her, she is new to you. You are both revealing more of yourselves to each other every day, so just be honest about what you're seeing, and how it affects your own equilibrium rather than getting too caught up in hers.
    That is all really good advice and certainly given me food for thought, it certainly is early in our dating for these kind of moments. I shall see how she is after that jittery moment and go from there, I hope it was just that because I very much enjoy her company and what we have had so far.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    Most people reach a stage in the dating phase after some shared physical intimacy and feel vulnerable. I agree with the wait and see approach for now. She does sound unusually fragile though. Do you know when her last relationship ended? What has she done for herself since that time? Is she a serial monogamist?

    As you spend more time together, focus more on building your emotional connection with each other and reaffirm your feelings for each other if they are mutual. You shouldn't be her therapist so don't keep asking her if she is okay or checking in with her. Make the time you spend together meaningful.
    I agree with this. Being vulnerable and risking your heart causes a good number of people to feel anxious.
    Be predisposed to anxiety and that's just how she is wired to respond. Doesn't mean anything is wrong with her or the relationship.
    Just be patient, continue what you are doing and take it one day at a time. An anxious repsonse is nothing new for her. She'll work it out on her own (I have an anxiety disorder)
    Last edited by reinventmyself; 11-16-2020 at 01:23 PM.

  3. #13
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    Originally Posted by reinventmyself
    I agree with this. Being vulnerable and risking your heart causes a good number of people to feel anxious.
    Be predisposed to anxiety and that's just how she is wired to respond. Doesn't mean anything is wrong with her or the relationship.
    Just be patient, continue what you are doing and take it one day at a time. An anxious repsonse is nothing new for her. She'll work it out on her own (a have an anxiety disorder)
    I agree and for me personally I'd be put off by what I would see as oversharing and inappropriate sharing - you don't know her that long and you are not her therapist. A one off is fine - I'd proceed with some caution.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Have the exclusivity talk to allay her fears. Let her know you're "going somewhere". Slow down just a bit and let things sort of evolve. It sounds like she likes to talk about her feelings a lot, do what you're doing and just listen, etc.
    Originally Posted by MrMan1983
    it feels strange/scary for her because she doesn't want to feel that way and it's making her feel really anxious, also that she's feeling terrified of letting another human into her life and that she feels she has been too open with her feelings. Basically she doesn't see it as a good thing feeling that way, I tried to explain it must mean we really enjoy each others company and that I missed her too.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Reinvent's post inspires me. I admire people who are able to say what their limits are or if they are predisposed to something such as anxiety because I wish I had that type of openness in my previous relationship. I thought there might already be the exclusive talk but if there hasn't been one it might help especially if you are both new to relationships. Great point, Wiseman.

    Both of you are just at the start of something possibly quite beautiful. I'd take everything with a grain of salt and really hang on to that communication that you have with each other. Trust that and trust in each other. If other things come up or this becomes quite frequent maybe the kinder thing to do is to be honest with her that you don't feel equipped or fully able to understand her anxiety. I'd enjoy this in the moment and appreciate that communication. She may be very aware that she has moments and you can acknowledge yours too.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    Most people experience anxiety to one degree or another.
    Some of us are on the higher end. I kinda take issue with words like emotional instability and similar.

    It remains to be seen if she has any issues that makes her unsuitable. Her sharing her vulnerability, especially in the context of what shared is normal.

    Your question is what do you on your end? Just be you and if things are meant to be it will work itself out.

    Just momentary jitters is all I read.

  8. #17
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    I agree with bluecastle,

    I feel like before you get into a serious relationship with anyone you need to have your emotional stability checked. I know you will have good and bad days. As someone with high anxiety I know I’ll be more anxious then most. I just also know whoever I date won’t be my therapist nor would I want them to be. I’ll need to make sure I’m emotionally ready. I get relationships happen by incident and not when we are fully ready at times. I just think you should ask this girl if she’s even ready to be in a relationship.

    It’s not fair for you to carry all this on your back. It will start to outweigh you.

  9. #18
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    Thank you everyone, really appreciated your feedback and will take it all on board moving forward. The next day she messaged me apologising for the wobble and seemed in good spirits again. Will see how it all goes!

  10. #19
    Platinum Member indea08's Avatar
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    Tell her,

    “You can’t let the fear of losing keep you from playing the game.”

  11. #20
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrMan1983
    Thank you everyone, really appreciated your feedback and will take it all on board moving forward. The next day she messaged me apologising for the wobble and seemed in good spirits again. Will see how it all goes!
    Good to hear. Let it go then and enjoy your time with each other.

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