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Relationship anxiety - a real thing?


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I've recently ended a 2.5 year relationship with a wonderful girl who was very confused about her feelings for me throughout our relationship. Every situation is unique but I think it's fair to say her difficulty revolved around the 'I love you, but I'm not in love with you' scenario, which seems to be very common. We went through cycles of her declaring love and wanting to commit and then her freaking out at the level of commitment she asked for. The last few months, when this happened, I would call things off, saying that although I was good on paper, she clearly didn't feel enough for me and was settling just to be in a relationship. She would counter saying she has 'relationship anxiety', which I need to be patient with and try to work with her to get through. Each time I conceded and tried to move forward, this fear would overwhelm her and she would again say and do things to push me away in the worst way.


This idea of relationship anxiety is something I'm still not sure of. My ex got this from Sheryl Paul's website (link removed and she was completely convinced about it. I read through many of the blog entries and comments and read many (mostly) women who were very similar to my girlfriend - cared for their partners but didn't feel that spark and felt fear whenever commitment was on the cards.


I think Dr Paul is doing a great deal of damage in pushing women to stick to relationships with half-hearted feelings in the name of being mature and focusing only on what she thinks is important in a partner - stability, reliability etc. The blog is full of positive yay-I-am-fighting-my-fear comments which initially impressed me. Then I tried to post a comment, asking about the potential pitfalls of staying with someone who was Mr good-enough. The comment was rejected and I realised she picks the comments that make it seem like her work is helping. Despite this, one thing comes through clearly when you read enough of these comments: The same women are 'overcoming' their fear month after month, year after year...essentially in a constant state of fear and so, dependent on Dr Paul's services (which don't come cheap)


What do you all think? Is relationship anxiety a real thing or just a smokescreen hiding the real problem of lack of feelings?

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