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Is this relationship a lost cause? I don't want to give up.


falls_fp

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I have a lot to say about the current situation I am in so I will start off with the back story of my situation. I am a 15 year old boy who has started at a brand new high school and have never been in a relationship before and have never shared mutual feelings with a girl either (I went to a very small school so I did not have very many options). The only other person I knew going to my high school was a girl that used to go to my small school but then left in 6th grade to attend a bigger school. Now she is back at my current high school. I have always had a moderate friendship with this girl for the time that she went to my old school and when she left I wasn't really even friends with her: just somebody that I knew existed but never really talked to.

It was comforting having someone I knew also going to a high school that I thought I was going to be all alone at. So we began talking to each other over the summer pretty frequently and knew that we would be close friends going into the school year. Then about 2-3 months we ended sharing mutual feelings for one another and about a week after that, on halloween, I ended up asking her out and I was in one of the happiest states I have ever been in my life. For the first couple of weeks we were dating there was a rocket of amazing feelings and excitement.

We would always have the best facetime calls every night and they only seemed to get better and longer as we did it more and more often. During the first two months of dating we had only found the time to hang out over the weekends once or twice but we were still able to see each other at school every day and talk on the phone which was good. Right before christmas break we hit some very major milestones. We began saying I love you to each other, we exchanged our christmas gifts, and we had our first kiss! I genuinely felt like I was in love with her. It blew my mind at how undoubtedly happy she made me.

When christmas break started, we would have initially made plans to hang out a ton over the break but due to complications with our both of our parents being heavily strict on social distancing we would not be able to hang out. As christmas break progressed we had very many late night phone calls and very romantic conversations with each other and I began missing her a lot. Although it all seemed to go downhill on the night of new years day. I had started to suffer from relationship anxiety. And it wasn't the typical kind of anxiety where you constantly worry about what they think of you, but it was about what I thought of her. Thoughts would peer into my head saying things like I didn't love her and that you should break up with her. I had already known that as a relationship progresses there becomes a peak of emotions and feelings and that it transitions into the phase of being comfortable with each other and respect one another.

In this transitional phase I know that it could be normal for some people to have doubts about their relationship. Unfortunately for me I have a very bad habit of overthinking things and being hard to convince. Every single little negative thought would terrify me. Over the past week I feel like I am slowly losing feelings for her. We thought we would be able to see each other again when school started back but due to her mom testing positive for covid she will be unable to attend school for another week. I could somewhat consider that we are in a long distance relationship because of our inability to see each other for the past 3 weeks and counting. So my situation does not help me at all.

The lack of physical contact has really weakened my feelings and love for her almost to the point where I didn't feel like those emotions existed. I have talked to her about it and she was totally calm about it and promised that she would never stop loving me and that we would get through this together. I had become fairly well at separating these negative anxious thoughts away from my true thoughts; although, it is very mentally draining and exhausting. Every day it becomes harder to find out what I like about her. Every day the feelings of wanting to break up with her feel more and more real. I have had several breakdowns over the past few days and even one in front of her. At times I feel like taking the easy way out and just ending the relationship but when the thought rolls to my mind I become critically depressed and I can't bear to break her sweet little heart. I try to put myself in the place of her breaking up with me and it is hard to tell whether I would feel relieved or devastated.

The past few facetime calls I have had with her have been far from enjoyable. The conversation itself was fine but it was like I couldn't speak to her or even look at her without reminding myself of how I've been feeling lately and trying to constantly force those thoughts out of my head. And even last night when she said she had to go, I somewhat felt relieved that I did not have to talk anymore. When I realized that sudden thought came into my mind I became so devastated and disappointed in myself that I could ever feel that way towards my significant other. The only way I have been able to comfort myself is to think of the reward that will come by pushing through this state of unhappiness. Another comforting factor to this problem is thinking about how much better I will feel when I see her again and be able to regularly come into physical contact with her. But I am also terrified of seeing her again because I am worried that I won't feel any romantic connection the next time I cuddle with her or kiss her. I have done much research online to find the solution of my problem, but what I am going through is not very relatable to other people unfortunately. Believe me: I know I made it sound like I want to end my relationship with her, but if I do not know how to fix this then this anxiety will occur in every relationship beyond this.

This girl once meant the world to me and all of those intentions seemed to just flicker off. She has always been sweet and kind to me and I have no evidence of my intention to break up with her. Breaking up with her is the absolute LAST thing I want to do. I know that deep deep down I still have a dying love for this girl but have no way to bring it out. It seems like my mind is doing everything to numb my happiness. If anyone whether you are knowledgeable in dating advice, or you are just a random onlooker, I ask of you for any advice to bring back my lost love.  

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Don't be too hard on yourself, OP. 

First loves are intense, for many reasons. This is often because we feel things we have never felt before, and don't have any frame of reference for how to navigate those feelings. I can assure you that what you're feeling now is normal when things start to fizzle out. I think your anxiety and guilt and plaguing you to an unhealthy degree, but this is what happens when we date. Sometimes our feelings are strong and consistent, and sometimes they're not - especially at your young age. 

You're only 15. Don't force yourself to be with someone that you have lost interest in. I know you don't want to hurt her, but it would not be better to continue a relationship with her when you don't genuinely want to. I promise you that you will both move past it, and you will both likely have a few more boyfriends and girlfriends in the years ahead. You sound like a nice guy with a big heart, and while she will be sad, she will eventually be okay again. You will too. 

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4 hours ago, falls_fp said:

I had started to suffer from relationship anxiety. And it wasn't the typical kind of anxiety where you constantly worry about what they think of you, but it was about what I thought of her. Thoughts would peer into my head saying things like I didn't love her and that you should break up with her.

4 hours ago, falls_fp said:

Over the past week I feel like I am slowly losing feelings for her.

The respectful thing to do--for both of you--is break up with her. If you stay in a relationship for the sake of the other person, it will cause you to resent that person. Eventually, it will poison the relationship. Best to leave now, and make a clean break.

5 hours ago, falls_fp said:

I can't bear to break her sweet little heart.

You sound like a nice guy, and she may be sad for a while. But I'm sure she will get over it. 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, falls_fp said:

I do not know how to fix this then this anxiety will occur in every relationship beyond this.

Actually, what you are feeling is not uncommon at all. Sometimes people have intrusive thoughts like the ones you describe, and it means nothing. But when you actually have trouble figuring out what you like about someone, and when start to feel relief about getting off the phone them, you have to pay attention to your feelings.

This is an excerpt from another thread on this board about intrusive thoughts:

On 12/1/2020 at 7:15 PM, Cynder said:

I struggle with obsessive/intrusive thoughts. My thoughts are usually relationship-centric. Z and I were stuck here for ten days feeling miserable. She has been really down too and spends most days in her PJs. This is a woman who will put on a dress and high heels and do her hair and makeup for no reason at all other than that she just likes to be pretty. And since she got sick she is pretty much living in her PJs and bathrobe. She has some issues with depression and OCD too. So naturally, with us both recovering from being sick, and with us both being a little down right now, we aren't feeling that passionate toward each other. The rational part of my mind says this is completely normal and that will come back when everything gets back to normal. The OCD Demon in my head says, "But wait! What if what you thought was love was really lust and you've been lying to her and lying to yourself this whole time you horrible worthless piece of Sh-!" Then I start thinking about what if things go sour like they did in my last relationship. What if she starts to hate me like everyone else does? What if one day I realize I don't love her anymore? What if she dies? What if I die and she can't handle the grief? It just sets off this whole domino effect of just one negative thought after another and then I can't get those thoughts out of my head. Then I start arguing with myself like how do I know I really love her? How do I know I'm not lying t her?

 

 

 

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What happen to your feelings is perfectly normal for your age. Gosh when I was 15, guys would be lucky to get two weeks with me... You will learn over time the difference between infatuation and true love. Infatuation is intense/passionate/crazy but it fizzles out as fast as it starts. This is what growing up and developing mentally is all about.....living through these experiences and learning from them. In a couple of years, the way you look at relationships with be totally different. There will be highs, and definitely lows that cannot be avoided. She will have her experience too, and learn that this won't be her last relationship, that she will have more Bfs in her future. She will heal, and move on just like all of us did. That's just life.

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Are you comparing what you feel now to what you used to feel? The reason I ask is because I think you're disappointing and stressing yourself out doing mental comparisons whether consciously or subconsciously. Why all these mental and emotional gymnastics?

I agree with the previous comments about letting go respectfully if you don't feel any more interest in the relationship. That is the kindest thing to do. Yet it seems like you're going around in circles with the same judgment about yourself and how you should feel towards someone. This is not uncommon in first relationships when things are uncertain, we've never felt all these emotions before, there are so many intense feelings to make sense of and none of them feel familiar or as if we know what to do with them at the right time. A lot of emotions appear scary, unfamiliar and as if they're all wrong because they're overwhelming and unfamiliar. 

Let go of all the "supposed to feels" or "break her little heart". You're putting too much pressure on yourself to behave, think and feel a certain way that it's killing all the good vibes that naturally come from two people who enjoy being with each other. I think you hit the nail on the head with anxiety. 

Is school stress also playing a role? How are you doing in your classes? You're moving into your senior years at highschool and it's bound to get a bit more intense before you both start prepping for uni or college. Take things in stride! Talk to a counsellor or speak with a trusted adult about your anxious thoughts if you feel you need to speak with someone. Maybe a relationship is not the best thing right now for you, aside from your partner. I always like to try to see different angles to save a relationship but it doesn't mean your mental or emotional health should suffer either. I'd get to the root of that anxiety if possible.

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Ok... I will try to keep this as simple as possible.  I'm female and I'm over twice your age, but I know exactly what you are going through.  I am clinically diagnosed with OCD and Major Depressive Disorder.  I AM NOT trying to diagnose anyone here, but these kinds of thoughts fall under the OCD umbrella for most people.  

I've dealt with this exactly same think (Intrusive thoughts, overthinking, etc) in every relationship I've been in, and I"m not trying to scare you, but it's gotten worse the older I've gotten.   But, because it's gotten worse it's forced me to learn ways of coping, etc.  Coping all the time is exhausting though and it's for that reason that after my last relationship ended I didn't even want another one.  My last relationship was pretty toxic.  But it was more not wanting to deal with all the anxiety and mental health issues a relationship causes than the fear of another toxic relationship.  Then... I met someone absolutely amazing.  And over time I decided that I can't let my OCD win.  

What you said about lack of physical contact, etc... my girlfriend and I bot had Covid at the same time the week of Thanksgiving.  I was off work all week and we had all these plans.  Then we didn't get to do any of those things and had to stay 6 feet apart all week.  (I got my test results a lot sooner than she did, so for most of the week we didn't know for sure if she had it or not, so we had to keep our distance from each other.)  And even though she is awesome and I do truly love her, I started having the same kinds of thoughts you're describing. 

Over time I've developed some really good ways of dealing with this stuff.  I will list some of them here. 

Meditation-I was about your age when I started meditating on a regular basis.  It really does help.

Meds-  I've been on a mild serotonin-dopamine reuptake inhibitor for about two years.  It doesn't necessarily make the thoughts go away, but I'm generally in a better mood so they are easier to shake off when I have them. 

Mindfulness- Basically be in the moment you are in.  Look around you, focus on what your body is doing, concentrate just on that moment in time and not anything else. 

Mental Distraction- I use this one at work a lot.  My job can be mind numbing at times, so when I'm at work is the main time the thoughts get out of hand.  If I'm starting to go off the rails at work, I start doing things like reciting song lyrics in my head.  I also have a list of really funny things that I think about when trying to distract myself.  Or sometimes I play the alphabet game with stuff like bands.  Like, Ok, I'm going to think of every band I can that starts with A, and then B, and so on.  Another thing I do is I think of a movie I really like, and then pretend like someone who doesn't care about spoilers just asked me to explain the whole lot to them.  So I will start explaining the whole lot of this movie in my head like I'm telling it to a friend or something.  

I don't know if there's a name for this but it's something I do.  I basically created a place in my mind for all those thoughts.  I imagined it as a black metal box.  And sometimes I think Ok... I will let myself think about this stuff for 5 minutes or whatever... and then I'm putting them all away in the box and locking up the box for the day. 

I know some of this stuff might sound crazy, but I've had a lot of time to come up with ways to help myself.  And I've had a lot of therapy where someone else taught me ways to help myself. 

Also remember, your mind isn't the same a your heart. 

I hope this helps.  Feel free to ask me any questions you want.  Good luck. 

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The big question I'd ask myself before starting a mind spin is, "Why am I pressuring myself to figure this out right NOW?"

Consider finding a therapist who can diagnose you and offer options for treating your anxiety and racing thoughts.

Meanwhile, I'd consider my reasons for imposing such urgency on myself to come up with answers to questions that don't require answers at this time. I'd prevent myself from acting on anything to avoid regrets later, and I'd find ways to calm myself with something that requires a focus.

Anxiety is the mind's need to problem solve. So when we don't have something productive to focus on or a legitimate problem to solve, the mind INVENTS it's own problems to spin about.

So why not consider some goals for yourself and break those down into manageable steps? Then you can focus on resolving those steps instead of ruminating about something that doesn't require your attention at this time.

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