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Insecurity while dating a girl brings out the worst in me


bbogdanov
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Hi all! I've recently reconnected with a girl I'd had couple of dates with several years ago (things ended nowhere then because of her being just broken up with and still living with her bf at the time). I had a 2-year relationship in the meantime which ended couple of months ago. Initially she seemed surprised to hear from me but after a little bit of texting back and forth we agreed on a date at a restaurant for Sunday evening.

1st date went great. We talked (70-80% of the talking was hers) and laughed a lot. We both seemed to enjoy each other's company and mentioned that we should see each other for a little hike in the mountain sometime soon. I texted her the next evening saying that I'd had a great time and would like to go out with her if she wanted to and if she was as enthusiastic about it as I was. She said she'd enjoyed the date too and we arranged the hiking for Sunday. 

2nd date was good too. The enjoyment was there and a little bit of progress was made - we were now sitting at the mountain restaurant next to each other and there was more physical proximity and contact (touching, bumping, etc.). I was teasing and joking on both dates and was making sure things were progressing in a natural way, it felt easy and satisfying. She texted me soon after we parted ways saying that she'd really enjoyed the date in spite of the bad weather (it was rainy). I said that I'd enjoyed the date too and asked her to arrange another date when she gets to know her week schedule. She got back to me couple of days later saying that she is free Thursday and Friday and we arranged it for the former while chatting a little bit about how her day was going and similar small talk.

Remark: I should mention that we didn't text between dates. Blame all the relationship and dating coaches out there and the famous "phone is for setting dates only, not for getting to know the other person"  as well as me not feeling the need to chat with her in the meantime and wanting to feel the pleasure of the date itself. I was living my life and was not bothered what she was doing when we were not together.

Remark 2: Another thing is that she is a bad texter. Usually she takes hours or even a day to reply back to me which was the case, too, when I first met her several years ago. She is just like that and we have talked about it back then. While I am the opposite and reply to people fast.

Remark 3: She texted me before our first two dates to test the waters because I guess she was not sure if I would show up (as I said I arranged the date and didn't message her anymore). The first time it was an hour before the date with a subtle remark about the rainy weather and the need for umbrella while the second time - a day before the date with an outright question if we were still going to the mountain which I confirmed.

3rd date was in a bar where we sat close to each other and physical contact was increasing. Since the 2nd date I was getting hints that she wanted me to kiss her (or at least I thought she did, she was occasionally looking at my lips) and I did go for it but she turned her head sideways and refused it jokingly. When I took her to her place, we sat in the car for an hour or so. She'd had a cocktail at the bar and it had an effect on her definitely  She was very girly and sweet and didn't want to go home. We eventually made out but on the several occasions that I suggested taking her to my place or me going to hers, she refused. I texted her the next day (Friday) to confirm that I'd enjoyed the date (why wouldn't I? ) and I asked her if we could see each other the same day before she would leave for a week vacation on Saturday but she told me that we should spend the Friday apart from each other and when she gets back in town - we can arrange something. She texted me couple of hours later asking if I'd like to go out with her and I gladly accepted.

4th date took things further. We kissed each other when I went to her place to take her out like we were bf/gf. We went for a late evening walk in the park and we were holding hands while walking, embracing each other, etc. We sat on a bench and she was laying on me, I was caressing and kissing her and both of us were enjoying it. When we arrived in front of her place, we started making out in the car again. This time I got her to agree moving to the back seat where the tension was rising, you know  She still refused having sex with me but I gave her an orgasm by fingering (sorry if I sound rude or inconsiderate explaining it) to which she was very receptive and she was definitely enjoying the time. Basically we spent 2 hours in the car making out and occasionally me giving her a great time while not forgetting non-sexual ways of bonding - hugging, caressing, talking, etc.

Next day she was travelling to her home town for spending a week there and I was again the one to text her. We exchanged some small talk and I told her that I liked her feminine energy and girly behaviour. She suggested that she was an open book then but I replied that I saw her as an intriguing book that I want to read from now on. Later she sent me a picture of the river next to her house saying that she'd arrived there. Next day I sent her a photo of one of the stray dogs I feed and care for (she is a dog lover and a volunteer at the dog shelter here) and we exchanged couple of messages about it.

 

Now, the problem: I am totally insecure. I am outcome dependent and constantly analyzing things. I wonder where I stand with her. Getting this far with her seems to make me more and more needy and attached. Her hardly initiating contact while being great on dates seems inconsistent to me which puzzles me even more. The time between dates is a nightmare for me. I am looking for securing things which will make me feel calm and successful. I don't want to ruin this chance. I've put all my eggs in this basket. I want things to happen now.

All of the above things are awful. I aknowledge them, I see them as a turn off. Yet I can't manage coping with these emotions. What do I do? Any help is appreciated!

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1 hour ago, smackie9 said:

 Slow your roll. Let her set the pace. You will reap the rewards later.

 

Can you be more specific please? To slow down texting or arranging dates? How do I let the woman set the pace? Be passive and wait for her to contact me and then ask her out? Thanks!

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Deep breathes... sounds to me like she is interested.  You two have a good pace going.

Is normal that life continues.  So, do your own thing, as she is doing at her end.

Do not lose yourself in this 'relationship'... Things should progress as it seems like they are & that's good.

So... just slow down.  Take it as it comes & whenever possible.  Do not be at her constantly. (She is away on vacay, leave her to it).

As long as your communication continues- from both ends and this move along as it is, sounds fine.

But... do live your own life as well in this. 

Edited by SooSad33
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Slow down and keep things consistent. Let her come to you and text you the next day. I'm usually a next day texter also but I also text at the same time each day. lol so people know when they're going to hear from me. I think you're placing too much importance on phone messaging. It doesn't matter anyway. As long as you pace yourselves things will unfold naturally. There are always dating jitters and nervousness getting to know someone you truly like and get along well with. It's exciting and nervewrecking at the same time. 

Can you not read the energy and just see whether she's interested in being more intimate that way on your dates? You don't have to take on the burden of moving things forward exclusively. Enjoy yourselves and deep breaths.

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7 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

Slow down and keep things consistent.

As long as you pace yourselves things will unfold naturally.

Can you not read the energy and just see whether she's interested in being more intimate that way on your dates? You don't have to take on the burden of moving things forward exclusively. Enjoy yourselves and deep breaths.

This^^^^^

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Thanks! So you all suggest slowing down as the most important thing? I liked the pace of the first two dates (once a week) but the next two dates made me invest much more emotionally because of the mutual interest and all the sweet physical things between us… That left me insecure and with a needy mindset, like I really didn’t want to lose this opportunity. Although, the more days go by without hearing from her, the more I get used to it and the less I care. Like I accept the defeat and try to be passive.

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There is nothing wrong with showing interest.  Obviously she is into you!  

Personally, I find it refreshing when a guy I like is really into me because no one needs to play games and you can enjoy the unfolding of the relationship.  If you start to show less interest, she may think you are gaming her. If you gently want to tone things down, go ahead, but not too much. 

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Do you really think she is into me? I have shown enough interest up until now but the communication between dates makes me withdraw. I feel like I am embarassing myself and banging my head against the wall. She seems not very warm or sweet towards me when texting (or at least what I consider to be warm or sweet), I feel like there's just a friendly vibe. Like she does not want to open up or something like that. So I feel like I am at a battlefield and have to fight for her. I am constantly doubting myself because of insecurity, low self-esteem, etc. I need some validation. I don't intend playing games but I don't want to be the only one chasing so I will wait for her to contact me. I really want some reciprocation and mutual interest.

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18 minutes ago, bbogdanov said:

I am constantly doubting myself because of insecurity, low self-esteem, etc.

Well, that's something you can be working on. Read articles and books on improving yourself in those areas.

I believe you were the one to ask her on the first four dates, so at this point, I'd wait for her to make some effort to give her that opportunity. It's a good way to gauge someone's interest, and each person should regularly make effort so it isn't one-sided. Give her those chances.

You know she's lacking in the texting dept., so don't expect that from her. If it's a must-have for you, date someone else. 

Don't project to the future. She's not the only woman in the world, so if it doesn't work out, or you two are not finding a happy rhythm for each of you, you will survive. Think of being in the present and enjoying her company for that moment. Make sure you engage in other activities like spending time with guy friends and hobbies you do without her to be a well-balance person. Take care.

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I try to work on it. I've read many books and I've talked to a councelor in the past. I think there is an improvement but still I get carried away in such moments...

Esentially I was the one pushing for the first four dates (see my explanation in the first post). Gauging someone's interest is what I guess I want to do in order not to burn myself or feel like I am the only one pushing things forward. Another reason is me being cautious and not risking too much.

I know she is a bad texter and she admits it but I guess it won't be like that if she is in a relationship, no? I mean - when you have a significant one you text him/her from time to time. I can't imagine being in a relationship while the other person keeps me in the dark between dates (if we are not living together). If so - I guess it is a must-have for me, I need some validation.

I can't say that I am projecting the future much but I really look forward to things progressing and I don't want to lose this opportunity. I like her and I want to get to know her. I will survive if things go south, of course, but that doesn't help me be less needy and frightened :D I am living my life like I've been doing it always and I meet with my friends every day but I am still sometimes occupied with thoughts about her.

 

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Good advice here.  I think feeling insecure is normal.  Just don't burden her with it.  It's not her problem.  I'm a huge fan of fake it till you make it -act reasonably secure (not arrogant or overly confident!) and show her with your actions that you are living your life and enjoying her company while making sure you have appropriate boundaries (meaning you're not going to accept flakiness or unreliability). 

Let her do most of the reaching out to you after the vacation - you can send her a quick text "hope you had a great time, look forward to seeing you soon, let me know what your schedule is like when you have a chance and we'll plan something!"  Avoid talking to yourself in fancy psychological terms.  Get down to basics.  Practice 4-7-8 breathing (Weil method, google it), and I like the old school book A Fine Romance and if you want to get fancier Alain de Boton has written marvelous books on relationships.

Four dates is nothing and remember it seems like she was willing to act at least inconsistently with her committment to her ex when you dated back then.

One of the reasons I was even more focused on my future husband was because the guy I'd started dating -we'd gone out about 4 times, was subjecting me to his insecurity and neediness early on. Ick.  He promised to stop and that he was getting help.  He did  For about two weeks.  Then resumed  Wow I was done and he was a really good person and handsome and smart.  That was 16 years ago. 

Now he's been dating someone he is crazy about for about 9 months.  He is 57 never married, apparently always wanted to be. I've been in touch with him via Facebook and this is the first serious relationshp he's had as far as I can tell -he was serious with someone about a year before we dated.  If i were his close friend now I'd tell him to stop with the over the top FAcebook posts about his new girlfriend.  She seems lovely but it's wayyy over the top.  Maybe she likes it- I wouldn't know -but it reminds me a bit about how overwhelming he was back then (plus subjecting me to his neediness and "jealousy" and inappropriate comments - not just the over-complimenting -that was  a minor issue and we were not on social media).

So - yes fake it til you make it - the "just be yourself" is hogwash when being this insecure and needy is not "yourself" and if being yourself means subjecting her to your neediness she won't get to know the real you.  It's self-absorbed/selfish to subject someone else to it.  And get down to basics- not the word salad of psychology. You're not in the medical field right? Do the breathing, do extra cardio when you're feeling insecure, etc.  I have my mantras and rituals I do to deal with pesky emotions -find yours.  It's worth the work and effort I promise.

Sounds like she likes you by the way!

 

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7 minutes ago, bbogdanov said:

I know she is a bad texter and she admits it but I guess it won't be like that if she is in a relationship, no? I mean - when you have a significant one you text him/her from time to time. I can't imagine being in a relationship while the other person keeps me in the dark between dates (if we are not living together). If so - I guess it is a must-have for me, I need some validation.

I didn't have a cell phone when I dated -got one because I was in my third trimester.  In 2009.  A flip phone.  Still didn't text.  I think texting is important in a long term relationship for keeping informed of plans.  I don't think typing to each other is necessary or that it brings you closer.  I think it can breed boredom and not the "intrigue" in a new relationship.  I actually do have very close friendships with people where we mostly text -because we can't get on the phone given parenting typically, work, the pandemic, virtual school, sigh.  But in dating the best way I got to know guys was seeing them in person and secondarily phone calls -once we were steadily and regularly dating we typically spoke once a day and when email became a thing we'd email too but again not incessantly.  My future husband and I spoke about 30 minutes at night when we were dating and when we couldn't see each other. 

Again emphasizing typing is more about you being needy and needing reassurance/to check in, not about actually getting to know each other.  IMHO from a middle aged cell-phone hater for many years (yes I got a smart phone in 2015, yes I love it now).

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How do you know someone is interested in you? Simple. She says YES to the dates and shows up and spends time with you. It is really that simple.

As for contact between the dates, again keep it simple. If you have something to say or share, do it. Keep communication steady rather than full on or full off. Accept that she is not chatty via text and no, it is not going to change later on either. When it comes to communication style, what you see is what you get.

So rather than hyper fixating on whether she likes you or not, maybe you need ask yourself if this is actually working for you or not? Is her communication style and perhaps a colder personality really a match for you or maybe not? If she was a more naturally effusive person, would that be better for you and lead to less anxiety?

The point of dating isn't to guess what she is thinking or to manipulate a woman into being with you, but rather for YOU to observe and see IF this woman is the right match or not and proceed accordingly.

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

Good advice here.  I think feeling insecure is normal.  Just don't burden her with it.  It's not her problem.  I'm a huge fan of fake it till you make it -act reasonably secure (not arrogant or overly confident!) and show her with your actions that you are living your life and enjoying her company while making sure you have appropriate boundaries (meaning you're not going to accept flakiness or unreliability). 

Let her do most of the reaching out to you after the vacation - you can send her a quick text "hope you had a great time, look forward to seeing you soon, let me know what your schedule is like when you have a chance and we'll plan something!"  Avoid talking to yourself in fancy psychological terms.  Get down to basics.  Practice 4-7-8 breathing (Weil method, google it), and I like the old school book A Fine Romance and if you want to get fancier Alain de Boton has written marvelous books on relationships.

Four dates is nothing and remember it seems like she was willing to act at least inconsistently with her committment to her ex when you dated back then.

One of the reasons I was even more focused on my future husband was because the guy I'd started dating -we'd gone out about 4 times, was subjecting me to his insecurity and neediness early on. Ick.  He promised to stop and that he was getting help.  He did  For about two weeks.  Then resumed  Wow I was done and he was a really good person and handsome and smart.  That was 16 years ago. 

Now he's been dating someone he is crazy about for about 9 months.  He is 57 never married, apparently always wanted to be. I've been in touch with him via Facebook and this is the first serious relationshp he's had as far as I can tell -he was serious with someone about a year before we dated.  If i were his close friend now I'd tell him to stop with the over the top FAcebook posts about his new girlfriend.  She seems lovely but it's wayyy over the top.  Maybe she likes it- I wouldn't know -but it reminds me a bit about how overwhelming he was back then (plus subjecting me to his neediness and "jealousy" and inappropriate comments - not just the over-complimenting -that was  a minor issue and we were not on social media).

So - yes fake it til you make it - the "just be yourself" is hogwash when being this insecure and needy is not "yourself" and if being yourself means subjecting her to your neediness she won't get to know the real you.  It's self-absorbed/selfish to subject someone else to it.  And get down to basics- not the word salad of psychology. You're not in the medical field right? Do the breathing, do extra cardio when you're feeling insecure, etc.  I have my mantras and rituals I do to deal with pesky emotions -find yours.  It's worth the work and effort I promise.

Sounds like she likes you by the way!

 

I guess feeling insecure is normal to some degree but I may be a bit over the top :D Of course I won’t burden her with it, I am coping with it myself (at least I try to) and I hope to not explode while keeping it inside me. Although I act very confident, cocky, funny, teasing, etc. while on dates and I guess she likes it (it is not some game, I just enjoy myself and it is natural for me). 
I intend to not text her and wait her reaching out after the vacation, I don’t feel good messaging at this moment. What do you mean by those “fancy psychological terms”?

When we dated back then (only two dates) she was broken up with, her bf had left her so she didn’t have a commitment to that relationship. She just wasn’t ready for a new one because she was not over it.

I do hope that she likes me :D

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3 hours ago, bbogdanov said:

I try to work on it. I've read many books and I've talked to a councelor in the past. I think there is an improvement but still I get carried away in such moments...

Esentially I was the one pushing for the first four dates (see my explanation in the first post). Gauging someone's interest is what I guess I want to do in order not to burn myself or feel like I am the only one pushing things forward. Another reason is me being cautious and not risking too much.

I know she is a bad texter and she admits it but I guess it won't be like that if she is in a relationship, no? I mean - when you have a significant one you text him/her from time to time. I can't imagine being in a relationship while the other person keeps me in the dark between dates (if we are not living together). If so - I guess it is a must-have for me, I need some validation.

I can't say that I am projecting the future much but I really look forward to things progressing and I don't want to lose this opportunity. I like her and I want to get to know her. I will survive if things go south, of course, but that doesn't help me be less needy and frightened :D I am living my life like I've been doing it always and I meet with my friends every day but I am still sometimes occupied with thoughts about her.

You're making it too difficult and complicated. I understand you like her but don't let this consume you. Without her your life is just as full. If she doesn't like you, so what? This frees you up to find someone who's head over heels in love with you eventually.

Enjoy the dates in person. Both of you should have lives outside of wanting to meet someone on the same level.

I would change the way you think of her texting because it's automatically interpreting her method of communication as negative ie "bad". You're then less interested in the person and more interested in the attention you receive. People pick up on this and may draw away from you.

If you find that you are the one who is no longer interested in her style or the way she rolls, be free to walk away and drop this. You don't have to keep trying with someone who doesn't meet your similar likes/dislikes or methods of communication. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I didn't have a cell phone when I dated -got one because I was in my third trimester.  In 2009.  A flip phone.  Still didn't text.  I think texting is important in a long term relationship for keeping informed of plans.  I don't think typing to each other is necessary or that it brings you closer.  I think it can breed boredom and not the "intrigue" in a new relationship.  I actually do have very close friendships with people where we mostly text -because we can't get on the phone given parenting typically, work, the pandemic, virtual school, sigh.  But in dating the best way I got to know guys was seeing them in person and secondarily phone calls -once we were steadily and regularly dating we typically spoke once a day and when email became a thing we'd email too but again not incessantly.  My future husband and I spoke about 30 minutes at night when we were dating and when we couldn't see each other. 

Again emphasizing typing is more about you being needy and needing reassurance/to check in, not about actually getting to know each other.  IMHO from a middle aged cell-phone hater for many years (yes I got a smart phone in 2015, yes I love it now).

The last paragraph is spot on! That’s what it’s all about. I said the same thing about my texting preference (or calling for that purpose) - I need some validation and reassurance between dates, to know where I stand, to feel wanted, etc. Texting sometimes helps me to get to know a person but it’s not the main goal for me.

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9 minutes ago, bbogdanov said:

The last paragraph is spot on! That’s what it’s all about. I said the same thing about my texting preference (or calling for that purpose) - I need some validation and reassurance between dates, to know where I stand, to feel wanted, etc. Texting sometimes helps me to get to know a person but it’s not the main goal for me.

I'd stop the habit of texting for reassurance.  Especially with her since she's not a big texter.

The phrase "outcome dependent" threw me a little -you mean you are a person who wants the outcome of another date with someone you want to date -right? Aren't we all like that?

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36 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

How do you know someone is interested in you? Simple. She says YES to the dates and shows up and spends time with you. It is really that simple.

As for contact between the dates, again keep it simple. If you have something to say or share, do it. Keep communication steady rather than full on or full off. Accept that she is not chatty via text and no, it is not going to change later on either. When it comes to communication style, what you see is what you get.

So rather than hyper fixating on whether she likes you or not, maybe you need ask yourself if this is actually working for you or not? Is her communication style and perhaps a colder personality really a match for you or maybe not? If she was a more naturally effusive person, would that be better for you and lead to less anxiety?

The point of dating isn't to guess what she is thinking or to manipulate a woman into being with you, but rather for YOU to observe and see IF this woman is the right match or not and proceed accordingly.

You’re totally right about knowing if somebody likes you. She does say yes to the dates and spends time with me. But between dates I am getting crazy :D 

If she was a more naturally effusive person and intitiated contact it would be better for me and I wouldn’t be anxious. It was like that with my ex gf and we were both satisfied.

The last paragraph conveys some wisdom! You’re right but I get caught in the process of dating and totally forget that I must assess the woman if she’s the right for me. I go with the flow of emotions and derail…

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27 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

You're making it too difficult and complicated. I understand you like her but don't let this consume you. Without her your life is just as full. If she doesn't like you, so what? This frees you up to find someone who's head over heels in love with you eventually.

Enjoy the dates in person. Both of you should have lives outside of wanting to meet someone on the same level.

I would change the way you think of her texting because it's automatically interpreting her method of communication as negative ie "bad". You're then less interested in the person and more interested in the attention you receive. People pick up on this and may draw away from you.

If you find that you are the one who is no longer interested in her style or the way she rolls, be free to walk away and drop this. You don't have to keep trying with someone who doesn't meet your similar likes/dislikes or methods of communication. 

 

 

I have a tendency to make things difficult, especially when dating :D Not letting this consume me is easier said than done but I will try to. Most of the time I feel OK, if I have to be honest, those moments of desperation are not so protracted. “Head over heels” - that’s what I want, I guess (and every normal person, I think?) but I forget this the moment I feel someone I like is pulling away…

I do enjoy the dates and I have a life outside of dating but the latter doesn’t help much when bad thoughts come to my mind.

Her method of communication is not bad per se, I just find myself anxious and puzzled with it so I try to find a way to cope with it. If not - I have to walk away like you said. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to have such talk with her about that?

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29 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

I'd stop the habit of texting for reassurance.  Especially with her since she's not a big texter.

The phrase "outcome dependent" threw me a little -you mean you are a person who wants the outcome of another date with someone you want to date -right? Aren't we all like that?

By that phrase I meant that I catch myself being too invested in the outcome of the dating with this girl (or any other girl I like for that purpose). Instead of dating freely and without expecting anything (just to enjoy myself) I am stressing over every step and somehow put the horse before the cart.

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9 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

What would you do if cell phones didn't exist? Serious question.

Honestly, I don’t know. Never thought about that. That points me to the negatives of the new technologies maybe…

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15 minutes ago, bbogdanov said:

I have a tendency to make things difficult, especially when dating :D Not letting this consume me is easier said than done but I will try to. Most of the time I feel OK, if I have to be honest, those moments of desperation are not so protracted. “Head over heels” - that’s what I want, I guess (and every normal person, I think?) but I forget this the moment I feel someone I like is pulling away…

I do enjoy the dates and I have a life outside of dating but the latter doesn’t help much when bad thoughts come to my mind.

Her method of communication is not bad per se, I just find myself anxious and puzzled with it so I try to find a way to cope with it. If not - I have to walk away like you said. I don’t know if it’s appropriate to have such talk with her about that?

They way I'm reading this, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that you're wanting to get to the destination already without all the preamble of dating or the inbetween wondering whether someone is decisively into you and in a relationship with you.

How would you feel if I told you that there are no guarantees in relationships either and the preconceived destination or "outcome" is a misnomer or a delusion or false sense of security? If she says she's very much into you and is showing you plenty of confirmation, yet next month she stops talking to you or wanting to meet you, what was all the affirmation prior supposed to mean?

How comfortable are you working through rough spots in a relationship or disagreeing on matters? Would you be willing to walk away from a mutually un-satisfying relationship or one that may be one-sided, foregoing that "outcome" you prized for so long?

My point is people change regardless of what kind of outcome you're looking for or communication style so take your time and don't look for or push someone into wanting to be with you so quickly. You can do everything right and it still doesn't work out so leave room for that. Focus less on the outcome and more on the situation as it is and the person with you. If you're not happy with her then don't be afraid to date someone else. 

For your situation I think it's too early to tell but if the vibes just aren't there don't cling to the "opportunity" or "outcome" that may not be realistic or even enjoyable to you. If you're not having fun, the whole point is lost too.

 

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20 minutes ago, bbogdanov said:

Honestly, I don’t know. Never thought about that. That points me to the negatives of the new technologies maybe…

Or the negatives of relying on said technology to gauge someone's interest in you, or to predict an "outcome".

Someone could be an extreme texter but not be into you at all. 

Think about what you'd prefer. A light texter who is sincerely interested in dating and getting to know you better IN PERSON? Or a frequent texter who is less interested?

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