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I have a severe jealousy problem and need to piece myself back together


FrozenMoon
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Hello all,

I don't know how I feel about creating a new thread so recently after my last one; it seems that just after I conquered my negative thoughts about one topic, I'm now dealing with fears about the next. I sense a pattern here and it's really quite unfortunate.

I have always had jealousy issues throughout my past relationships. It's a recurring thing, I'm afraid. I thought I'd outgrown it now, but the past week has sadly shown me otherwise.

My boyfriend of 3 weeks (a very young relationship, I know!) has attended his first week of on-site college after the covid lockdown. He's mentioned on multiple occasions how he previously missed having college friends (due to lessons being online only) and how he really wanted to find a social group. This monday, he got sorted into a group for practicals with two classmates (both girls), and they've been getting along well. Yesterday, he created a WhatsApp group with them, and one of the girls has already suggested hanging out at her place with the three of them. 
When he told me about this, he sounded so happy to finally have a few contacts. I smiled and said it was nice, but my heart sank. This entire week, I've done nothing but hope that these girls wouldn't stick around, but now it seems like they're going to be his primary social circle at least for the weeks to come. I know everyone's just looking for new contacts, I should be happy for him, and my own first friend group also largely consisted of the opposite gender without anything ever happening; on top of this all, he contacts me daily, checks up on me a lot, is clearly into me and I full well realize he has no romantic interest in some classmates he met only four days ago. But no matter how much I try to rationalize, my fear ignores my every attempt, and it hurts.

To give a little background, we got together at the end of the summer vacation, at which point he exclusively had male friends. I was so relieved when I found out. I am in no position to dictate who people can befriend and know for a fact that, yes, throughout a lifetime people will always gain friends of the opposite gender, and in a healthy relationship this shouldn't be perceived as a threat. But I was, quite frankly, happy that there was nothing to provoke my insecurity. Now, thoughts such as "why did it have to be two girls?" "why did they have to get along so well?" and the likes keep spiraling in my mind. I can't seem to stop them.

I know this is my problem. I know it is my perspective that needs to be tackled -- especially when it occurs only three weeks into a relationship! I plan to be the most supportive girlfriend I can be, as I deeply believe he should be able to freely befriend whatever men or women he wishes to. Therefore, I don't plan on bringing this up with him, either. Jealously is a killer. These issues are mine, and therefore mine to deal with. But it is really, really hard.

Every time I look at the clock and realize that he's currently with them, I get so anxious. I haven't been able to sleep well. I'm actually, physically feeling nauseous as a result of the stress. We have many great things planned together next week, but my skies are constantly clouded, and I can't look forward to them the same I could in the past few weeks. I've been doing my best to securely bottle this up and deal with it, but every time I think I'm making progress, I fall right back to where I started. I am 100% overreacting. I don't need outside perspectives to know that this is a severe case of unhealthy, obsessive worrying over something very small and honestly very innocent.

What's scaring me the most is that, until tuesday, I could set my concerns aside whenever I spoke to him, and all would be good again. But since then I've noticed that even while talking to him, I am hurting in the back of my mind. I'm trying to not let it show. But I can't quite experience our interactions the same. I'm afraid this will get in the way of our communication. I see that coming from a mile away.

This is a time bomb and if I don't fix myself soon, it's bound to kill what we have. I don't want this to become another "if only I hadn't". I'm not about to let this harm us. Whatever it takes.

But what can I do? What can I tell myself to put my anxious thinking to rest? Is there any chance it'll just get better with time? I know I am the only one who can solve this. But my heart won't listen to my brain, and I'm at a loss as to how else to change this. I desperately need someone to shake me up.

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See a physician about your symptoms and get evaluated for depression and anxiety. Also get a referral to a qualified therapist for ongoing support.

This is not a campus  issue. This is an issue you are responsible for resolving by taking better care of your mental and physical health.

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50 minutes ago, FrozenMoon said:

Is there any chance it'll just get better with time?

Well yes if you can say to yourself its just his college group and that you have nothing to worry about. However what you have been dealing with here is morbid jealousy that affects not only your mental but also your physical health(with sleep issues and feeling nauseus). Your thoughts are preoccupied with him might being unfaithful and doing something with those girls and you cant function properly. Just because he hangs around few girls with whom he might just be discussing college stuff (I assume since they are paired they are doing some assignment together so they will be doing mostly that) and nothing else. That is indeed extreme issue that you cant resolve on your own. So you will need a good therapist to asses that issue and work with you in overcoming it.

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Yeah, you already know what your insecurities will do 😕 .

is time to look for some prof help... therapy and speak to your dr as well for some help with your anxiety.

You need to feel okay about things.. not cause issue's, when maybe is totally unnecessary.

And it may be best to remain single for a good while, so you can work on all of this.  last thing you need at this time is more stress.  You can't give what you don't have....

Edited by SooSad33
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I can understand where you're coming from framed that way but I also think the extreme fear and nauseousness is alarming to your physical/mental health. I would seek professional help to try to figure out the root of where that jealousy originates. Has anyone cheated on you before? Has a parent left the family due to cheating?

Something to also keep in mind is that you both are only dating as it's so early. It's a time to get to know one another and observe one another on whether you're compatible in the long run. Get rid of all that weight and guilt feeling like you should feel one way or another. I think you can acknowledge your personal issues with jealousy but also keep an eye out and stay even about observing whether this person is the right person for you as you find out more about each other.

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5 hours ago, FrozenMoon said:

But what can I do? What can I tell myself to put my anxious thinking to rest? Is there any chance it'll just get better with time? I know I am the only one who can solve this. But my heart won't listen to my brain, and I'm at a loss as to how else to change this. I desperately need someone to shake me up.

As other posters have said. Do seek professional help for the overwhelming anxiety. You can't do this alone. 

I endorse what Kwothe has said.

3 hours ago, Kwothe28 said:

That is indeed extreme issue that you cant resolve on your own. So you will need a good therapist to asses that issue and work with you in overcoming it.

 

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OP,

It is worth noting that you have an advantage here. You know that something isn't right, so you are in a prime position to work on and fix the issue.

I agree with the others who mentioned that you should see a therapist and physician for help with those ruminations and distressing physiological symptoms.

I guess my only other add is that the worst thing that happens -- let's say your jealous feelings really are indicative of a true threat to the relationship -- is that he leaves you. It has been only three weeks of dating. That would be disappointing and bruise your ego, perhaps, but the world usually does not end as a result of those kinds of happenings. So, that in mind...what is at the root of this, what are you so afraid of?

I hope this helps. 

Edited by Pleasedonot5
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On 9/10/2021 at 1:48 PM, Rose Mosse said:

Has anyone cheated on you before? Has a parent left the family due to cheating?

Good and important questions.

When you know that your jealousy is unprovoked and is being raised internally rather than by suspicious behaviors of another, then you get an 'A+' in self-awareness, and you're already ahead by leaps and bounds in terms of a therapeutic process.

However, as you've noticed, awareness alone is not a cure.

So why not hire an expert who is trained in this stuff to work with you?

People have no problem hiring a plumber to fix pipes or a tax specialist to handle their money, and yet they'll allow a single less tangible problem to wreck the quality of their whole lives.

New dating is a volatile and unpredictable and vulnerable time under the best of conditions. Why set yourself up to suffer real damage over a guy who you don't even know well enough to trust yet? I mean, if this guy were to bail for some other stupid reason, you'd assign one of these females as the reason regardless--and how would this help you to navigate your next relationship?

I'd rather begin my process of recovery now, and then whatever happens with this guy will be stuff you'll be able to view through the right lens rather than through a microscope you've focused like a laser beam onto stuff that may not even be accurate.

Head high, and write more if it helps.

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  • 6 months later...

First of all, thank you all for your replies. I've carefully read them all at the time, and I've taken a lot of what's been said here with me, to help me fight through this. I felt so incredibly miserable at the time that I couldn't find the strength or effort to write more, but now that I've finally somewhat found my footing, I feel that it is time to get back to this.

A brief update, to start with: him and me are still together, and going strong. We're almost 7 months into the relationship now, still heads over heels in love, and the future is looking bright. Although he does still occasionally meet the two girls in question, he doesn't see both of them on a daily basis currently, simply because he has gone a couple of courses without them. Never have I mentioned anything negatively about them (nor the jealousy I experienced): I've always expressed happiness for him finally being able to meet some people, and showed healthy interest whenever he mentioned them, like I would if he mentioned any of his male friends: no more, no less.
Today, he expressed again the wish to make more friends at university. My brain screamed at me, knowing this means he's likely to meet more girls in the years to come, and my immediate internal reaction was fear. My outwards reaction, however, were encouraging words, and today for the first time, I dared to offer him some genuine advice on how to meet people that I've used to form my own friend groups back in the day. I love him, want him to live his best life and know that being supportive is the only right thing to do. Even though it left me absolutely terrified and anxious again.

I've tried looking for therapy, but unfortunately, the waiting lists are extremely long and I don't have the money to comfortably afford it, either. I've been getting better, though: for the past two months, for the first time again since the start of our relationship, I have experienced some genuinely carefree days. Even though they're inconsistent, they're little breathers, and evidence that yes -- I can overcome this. Additionally, a lot of thinking and reflecting has led me to the following conclusions:

I believe my fear stems from:

  • The intrinsic belief that men and women cannot just be friends, if they truly click and see each other 1 on 1 for prolonged periods of time every day -- as may happen in college. (If anyone has any examples of this belief being untrue, I would please, please ask you to share them: I'm trying very hard to rewire my brain in this regard!)
  • Stories I've heard from close friends, about long term relationships that fell apart when one partner fell in love with someone new. I know this sometimes just happens. It makes me feel out of control, like I'm rolling a dice with every new course he attends, and if it just so happens to land on a 1, I lose him. This, I think, is the main source of my anxiety.
  • The fact that he's meeting many new people on a monthly basis, while I am not. I am currently working on a thesis project, which is very solitary work. This makes me feel vulnerable.
  • (To answer Rose's question: No, I have not been cheated on before. I do, however, have several people in my social surroundings to who it has happened.)

And all of this is further amplified by the fact that:

  • I am insecure about how I measure up to some other wonderful women.
  • I do, indeed, worry obsessively. I have a past of doing this. I'm very much someone who feels the need to always be on top of things that appear to be going wrong, and when things are outside of my control -- for instance, because the future simply cannot be predicted -- I stress out about it.

As you've all said before, awareness alone doesn't solve the issue. My boyfriend is, of course, very happy with every social interaction he has at university, so he talks very openly and enthusiastically about everyone he meets, including females. As a result, when I'm alone, I've had bouts of anxiety. Nights crying myself to sleep. Streaks of nightmares. But fortunately, they're decreasing in frequency, and I am slowly getting in a state of mind where I am more comfortable with him being out there meeting others. We've had fantastic days. A nice vacation trip together. And beautiful ideas already for our 1 year anniversary. And in the meantime, I'm focusing on being the best friend and girlfriend I can be to him.

I realize that my mental state is still far from healthy -- but I also realize that if I don't fight through this now, I'll just end up carrying this over to my next relationship. Therefore, I'm still trying to tackle it the best I can. I feel that I've come a long way, but still have a very long road to go as well: time and experience will have to teach me that female friendships don't always have to be a threat.

With regards to the first two sources of fear that I mentioned: my brain, unfortunately, only has evidence to confirm that these are things to be afraid of. If anyone has any stories to prove the opposite, I'd be very grateful if you could share them!
I hope this has provided some additional insights, and any further advice is very, very welcome: as the battle is improving, but definitely not over yet.

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11 minutes ago, FrozenMoon said:

I've tried looking for therapy, but unfortunately, the waiting lists are extremely long and I don't have the money to comfortably afford it, either.

Go to a physician for an evaluation of your physical  and mental health. Discuss the anxiety, obsessions, poor self worth and other signs of depression.

Ask for a referral to a qualified therapist. 

You are walking on eggs most of the time with a few good days. That's not about him or his social life. This is about your untreated physical and/or mental health issues.

 Get a part-time job. Join some clubs and groups. Volunteer. Take some classes and courses. Make some friends. 

You're convincing yourself you're not severely envious of nd upset by whatever his social life is. You're being fake and insincere. That's not a real relationship. That's you desperately hanging onto an imaginary security blanket.

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If you're working on a thesis you are enrolled in college. Go to the college health center and tell them you're suffering from anxiety, generalized fear, isolation and depression. They should be able to provide you with a referral to a counselor, which is covered in your college tuition.

Stifling your fear is not dealing with your fear. It's actually quite the opposite.

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You've listed some eye-opening points such as not feeling insecure about how you measure up to other women and believing that men and women can't be friends. I have the mentality that if another woman attracts the person I'm with, then have at it. We were never meant to be in the first place. I won't lift a finger to stop my partner from being with someone else and will also gladly end the relationship permanently if I sense that his mind or heart is elsewhere. I don't need proof either.

Your relationship is still very new at seven months. Do you feel these insecurities will fade in time as you observe your boyfriend more or see how he handles friendships in general? 

 

Edited by Rose Mosse
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5 hours ago, FrozenMoon said:

Stories I've heard from close friends, about long term relationships that fell apart when one partner fell in love with someone new. I know this sometimes just happens. It makes me feel out of control, like I'm rolling a dice with every new course he attends, and if it just so happens to land on a 1, I lose him. This, I think, is the main source of my anxiety.

Again, in my opinion, that is a pathological jealousy. If you were a guy, you would be like one of those guys that wont let their gfs/wifes get out of the house out of fear they wont talk to another guy. You cant live your life like that. And you cant treat other side like that. He is allowed to go to faculty course. Without you wondering if he would talk to some girl.

You can try what Wiseman said. Maybe it takes your mind off stuff. Maybe you dont have enough stuff on your own to distract you so you worry about stuff like this. I havent saw that you mentioned your faculty or job or some other stuff other then planning activities with him. But again, those kind of issues do require professional help. Its not healthy for you to experience stuff like sleep depravation and nausea. Even if its not all the time now.

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6 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

This is about your untreated physical and/or mental health issues.

 Get a part-time job. Join some clubs and groups. Volunteer. Take some classes and courses. Make some friends.

It absolutely is about my untreated issues, 100%. Those girls he befriended were not the problem; my mental reaction to them was. And I know that so long as I do not fix myself, I will have a very similar -- if not the exact same -- reaction the next time he befriends a new female.
My logical side knows this, and yet I have a hard time convincing myself there's no actual threat. My whole body responds as though there is. I reassure myself "they're just college friends", but something deep inside me truly, wholly and unshakably believes that it's only a matter of time until it goes wrong. It is this persistent belief, this toxic subconscious mindset that is eating away at me.
It feels like I'm staring a hungry tiger in the face and trying to tell myself that it won't attack me, and that I'm safe. I know it's true, but it's really hard to fully believe.

I've actually been working on applying for a part-time job to fill up my time a bit more, and I'm starting on one at the beginning of April. I'm really hoping this'll help me get back into society a bit more, as well as provide me with some much needed distraction.

 

5 hours ago, Seraphim said:

Where in your life did you feel out of control of your life ? 

There are a few times when I've felt out of control that come to mind, apart from the ongoing situation.

For one, it happened when the pandemic started, and life as I knew it got shut down entirely. It happened when I was working on a university project that -- due to external data problems -- ended up standing still entirely for half a year, and I couldn't proceed my studies without it. It also happened when my mother encountered health problems a couple of years back, and I was unable to visit often.

All of these examples concerned people, events, or otherwise things that I care about deeply. They also all had a significant impact on my future. And for all three of them, I had absolutely no idea -- and perhaps more importantly, no security -- about what the outcome of the situation would be.
If an outcome like that deeply matters to me, there is nothing that I want more than to ensure that everything goes right. But unfortunately, in those kinds of situations, I can't.

My unease in feeling out of control seems to stem from the fact that I can't sit still -- I'm always desperately seeking for ways to improve the chances of a "good" outcome, while sometimes, these simply put do not exist. In those situations, I'll exhaust myself and stress myself out, trying to look for something, anything that I can do, while all I can truly do is wait. Invest time and emotion into something of which I, in all reality, do not know if it's going to pay off at all.
I've always lived the philosophy that hard work yields results, and it scares me to think that some things "just happen or don't" because of external factors I cannot change. It makes me feel so vulnerable.

Of course, this is merely my own assessment. A professional might be able to evaluate my patterns more objectively.

 

5 hours ago, boltnrun said:

Go to the college health center and tell them you're suffering from anxiety, generalized fear, isolation and depression. They should be able to provide you with a referral to a counselor, which is covered in your college tuition.

I actually briefly looked into this before. They offer short-term counseling only, and current waiting lists for long-term help take up about half a year, according to one of my friends. At the time, that discouraged me.
I won't be around campus for much longer now, as I'm wrapping up my studies in three to four months, but I'll schedule a take-in meeting regardless and see if they can refer me to someone nearby. It's a good tip, thank you.

 

4 hours ago, Rose Mosse said:

Do you feel these insecurities will fade in time as you observe your boyfriend more or see how he handles friendships in general?

I think the answer is a partial yes, and a partial no. My boyfriend is a naturally very introverted person, and before the events mentioned in my initial post, the only other female he'd ever befriended in his life ended up being his previous girlfriend. He's never had any platonic female friends. Therefore, I had no point of reference at all regarding how he'd handle female friendships going into this situation. I was terrified that perhaps he'd fall for any female he had a decent click with. It truly was a jump into the deep end.

Those months he spent alongside those two girls without anything happening have at least shown me that this fear was unjustified. My doom-thinking brain still doesn't believe in fully platonic male-female friendships, and loves coming up with terrible what-ifs, but at least now I have a reference point to counteract my unreasonably negative thoughts with.

As much as I dread the thought of him ending up following, let's say, an entire semester with only one of these girls as his lab partner, I also truly believe that if it happened, and if nothing bad came of it, I'd come out of that situation significantly stronger. I need my beliefs disproven. And in that regard, seeing him platonically handle female friendships, I do believe, is of big support -- even if it scares me.

The partial no, however, comes from the fact that part of my fear is grounded in stories I've heard from others. Stories about relationships that lasted years, which were secure, happy, healthy and stable, and still got torn to shreds because one of the partners just so happened to run into someone new they had an incredible chemistry with.
I'm not afraid that my boyfriend will knowingly cheat on me, because I trust him as a person. What I'm afraid of is that, outside of his control, he'll just happen to develop feelings for someone because lady luck decided it was time for him to run into his perfect match. We control our actions, but not our feelings, and this could happen to anyone. It might as well entirely be random chance.

That part of my fears is the most intense, the most persistent, and will presumably be the hardest to get rid of. Even typing it, I feel it hits very close to home.

 

53 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

If you were a guy, you would be like one of those guys that wont let their gfs/wifes get out of the house out of fear they wont talk to another guy. You cant live your life like that. And you cant treat other side like that. He is allowed to go to faculty course. Without you wondering if he would talk to some girl.

I wholeheartedly agree with this. It's no way to live. It's exactly why, so far, I've fought this battle by myself -- with the occasional help of some close friends and my parents -- without limiting him in any way shape or form. He deserves to be free to talk with whoever he wants. He's a living, breathing human being. I don't want to take anything away from him.

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I think it would be highly worthwhile for talk therapy for ruminating. Nothing in life is a guarantee. I suffer from anxiety as well. I get it . But we can only control ourselves , not other people, world events etc. I think we have all been thrown for a loop the last couple years and many of us are going to need therapy to get passed it . I lost my father,my father-in-law and my step dad of 30 years in the past year and a half and my business is struggling right now. I am always stressed. I totally get it. But you know a worthwhile man no amount of women will get him to cheat or leave . 

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I'm sorry to hear that you're still struggling with anxiety.

I noticed something in your first post in this thread:

On 9/10/2021 at 9:14 AM, FrozenMoon said:

I full well realize he has no romantic interest in some classmates he met only four days ago.

The fact is, he could have had romantic interest in people that he met four days prior. It's not a crazy concept. Romantic interest can be instantaneous. You'd only been together for three weeks, so you didn't know him very well. You had some uncertainty, and you should have had some uncertainty about this. At the beginning of a relationship is when you should be evaluating these things, or at least taking note of them.

It's true that your level of anxiety was disproportionate to the circumstances. But your first reaction was to challenge your own concern because you didn't want to feel jealous. Do you know that when you disregard your own feelings, you actually make your anxiety worse?

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8 hours ago, FrozenMoon said:

It absolutely is about my untreated issues, 100%. Those girls he befriended were not the problem; my mental reaction to them was. And I know that so long as I do not fix myself, I will have a very similar -- if not the exact same -- reaction the next time he befriends a new female.
My logical side knows this, and yet I have a hard time convincing myself there's no actual threat. My whole body responds as though there is. I reassure myself "they're just college friends", but something deep inside me truly, wholly and unshakably believes that it's only a matter of time until it goes wrong. It is this persistent belief, this toxic subconscious mindset that is eating away at me.
It feels like I'm staring a hungry tiger in the face and trying to tell myself that it won't attack me, and that I'm safe. I know it's true, but it's really hard to fully believe.

I've actually been working on applying for a part-time job to fill up my time a bit more, and I'm starting on one at the beginning of April. I'm really hoping this'll help me get back into society a bit more, as well as provide me with some much needed distraction.

 

There are a few times when I've felt out of control that come to mind, apart from the ongoing situation.

For one, it happened when the pandemic started, and life as I knew it got shut down entirely. It happened when I was working on a university project that -- due to external data problems -- ended up standing still entirely for half a year, and I couldn't proceed my studies without it. It also happened when my mother encountered health problems a couple of years back, and I was unable to visit often.

All of these examples concerned people, events, or otherwise things that I care about deeply. They also all had a significant impact on my future. And for all three of them, I had absolutely no idea -- and perhaps more importantly, no security -- about what the outcome of the situation would be.
If an outcome like that deeply matters to me, there is nothing that I want more than to ensure that everything goes right. But unfortunately, in those kinds of situations, I can't.

My unease in feeling out of control seems to stem from the fact that I can't sit still -- I'm always desperately seeking for ways to improve the chances of a "good" outcome, while sometimes, these simply put do not exist. In those situations, I'll exhaust myself and stress myself out, trying to look for something, anything that I can do, while all I can truly do is wait. Invest time and emotion into something of which I, in all reality, do not know if it's going to pay off at all.
I've always lived the philosophy that hard work yields results, and it scares me to think that some things "just happen or don't" because of external factors I cannot change. It makes me feel so vulnerable.

Of course, this is merely my own assessment. A professional might be able to evaluate my patterns more objectively.

 

I actually briefly looked into this before. They offer short-term counseling only, and current waiting lists for long-term help take up about half a year, according to one of my friends. At the time, that discouraged me.
I won't be around campus for much longer now, as I'm wrapping up my studies in three to four months, but I'll schedule a take-in meeting regardless and see if they can refer me to someone nearby. It's a good tip, thank you.

 

I think the answer is a partial yes, and a partial no. My boyfriend is a naturally very introverted person, and before the events mentioned in my initial post, the only other female he'd ever befriended in his life ended up being his previous girlfriend. He's never had any platonic female friends. Therefore, I had no point of reference at all regarding how he'd handle female friendships going into this situation. I was terrified that perhaps he'd fall for any female he had a decent click with. It truly was a jump into the deep end.

Those months he spent alongside those two girls without anything happening have at least shown me that this fear was unjustified. My doom-thinking brain still doesn't believe in fully platonic male-female friendships, and loves coming up with terrible what-ifs, but at least now I have a reference point to counteract my unreasonably negative thoughts with.

As much as I dread the thought of him ending up following, let's say, an entire semester with only one of these girls as his lab partner, I also truly believe that if it happened, and if nothing bad came of it, I'd come out of that situation significantly stronger. I need my beliefs disproven. And in that regard, seeing him platonically handle female friendships, I do believe, is of big support -- even if it scares me.

The partial no, however, comes from the fact that part of my fear is grounded in stories I've heard from others. Stories about relationships that lasted years, which were secure, happy, healthy and stable, and still got torn to shreds because one of the partners just so happened to run into someone new they had an incredible chemistry with.
I'm not afraid that my boyfriend will knowingly cheat on me, because I trust him as a person. What I'm afraid of is that, outside of his control, he'll just happen to develop feelings for someone because lady luck decided it was time for him to run into his perfect match. We control our actions, but not our feelings, and this could happen to anyone. It might as well entirely be random chance.

That part of my fears is the most intense, the most persistent, and will presumably be the hardest to get rid of. Even typing it, I feel it hits very close to home.

 

I wholeheartedly agree with this. It's no way to live. It's exactly why, so far, I've fought this battle by myself -- with the occasional help of some close friends and my parents -- without limiting him in any way shape or form. He deserves to be free to talk with whoever he wants. He's a living, breathing human being. I don't want to take anything away from him.

Thanks for sharing and answering so thoughtfully. I do also get the sense that you’re losing yourself in this relationship. Perhaps your identity isn’t strong or it’s not enough reference points for you seeing how decent and loyal partners conduct themselves.

It’s good that you’re thinking beyond school and looking at applying for jobs and finding purpose. Don’t stay stagnant in the relationship or any relationship for that matter or always play a supporting role to someone else. I’d hope your boyfriend is just as thoughtful and supportive of you as you are of him. 

As you grow older the need for such passing friendships grows less and less while time is devoted to close family and friends. Both of you are still getting to know one another and university or college days are a time of rapid growth and new experiences. It seems your boyfriend is also growing and maybe learning what kinds of friendships he favours more. Give yourselves lots of room to grow. Don’t get too lost in whatever he does.

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You're paralyzed . You need to see a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health.

This is not a BF problem. 

It's sad that you won't see a physician. And mental health clinics at college are overwhelmed. But. You're situation is treatable.

This war is in your head. Your situation is more severe. You need a complete workup. Many mental health problems manifest in people's 20s. Mood disorders, schizophrenia and a host of other treatable situations.

It's sad that many mental health problems are simply ignored, or misplaced (such as you believing a BF is the problem). And untreated or under-treated.

You're struggling tremendously with everyday things. Not a war or death or anything traumatic. The enemy is your thoughts and feelings. Inside you.

That's a warning sign that you may suffer from any number of treatable mental health issues. But you need a physician, not  college councellng.

There's plenty of free and affordable help for you:

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/

Edited by Wiseman2
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5 hours ago, Wiseman2 said:

You're paralyzed . You need to see a physician for an evaluation of your physical and mental health.

This is not a BF problem. 

It's sad that you won't see a physician. And mental health clinics at college are overwhelmed. But. You're situation is treatable.

This war is in your head. Your situation is more severe. You need a complete workup. Many mental health problems manifest in people's 20s. Mood disorders, schizophrenia and a host of other treatable situations.

It's sad that many mental health problems are simply ignored, or misplaced (such as you believing a BF is the problem). And untreated or under-treated.

You're struggling tremendously with everyday things. Not a war or death or anything traumatic. The enemy is your thoughts and feelings. Inside you.

That's a warning sign that you may suffer from any number of treatable mental health issues. But you need a physician, not  college councellng.

There's plenty of free and affordable help for you:

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/

I will agree here. It sounds more like a budding treatable mental health issue than a boyfriend issue. Start with your doctor first. Maybe they can do a complete blood panel including thyroid. Anything out of whack in our body is often reflected in behaviour and brain activity.  Our body and mental health is deeply connected. The different parts of our body are not separate entities. 

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What strikes me in your posts is that you seem to be searching for a form of safety that does not exist, or at least that cannot be provided by another human being, which is a recipe for anguish. 

Relationships are a risk, always, every day. There is not a single one that is immune to infection, nothing that can be done to make certain that it won't end. From one angle, this is sad and frightening. From another? It's like all of life, and what allows for such wonder, such depth. You don't get the full spectrum of the latter until you can accept the former. 

As a child, did you feel that love and acceptance from your parents was dependent on you being perfect? Do you recall being anxious if they left you alone—worried, say, that they would not return? Do you recall safety as something you felt, or yearned to feel? What was their relationship like, in terms of how love was expressed and received? Was one parent prone to nerves, to doubts, to believing that some form of calamity (financial, personal, physical, etc.) was always around the corner? Were there any events in which your sense of safety was jeopardized for a length of time? 

These are just questions. I ask them not knowing if they're remotely relevant, but because the roots of what you're dealing with right now are far deeper than anything to do with your boyfriend. You outlined them yourself, it seems to me, right here: 

23 hours ago, FrozenMoon said:
  • I am insecure about how I measure up to some other wonderful women.
  • I do, indeed, worry obsessively. I have a past of doing this. I'm very much someone who feels the need to always be on top of things that appear to be going wrong, and when things are outside of my control -- for instance, because the future simply cannot be predicted -- I stress out about it.

Where does this come from, do you think?

To find an answer that brings some peace, you have to train the ruminating part of your brain to focus on you with the same ferocity you're now focusing on him, female friends, doomsday hypotheticals connected to stories from friends. You also want to approach this inquiry with curiosity, not judgement. You're not searching here for something that is "wrong," and needs to be purged, but just something tender about you that needs to be respected, better understood. Leech it of its mystery and it loses some of its power.

This, to echo many posters, is where therapy can be a godsend. It's like trekking through a dense forest with an experienced guide, rather than alone. You understand the forest better, and while it never loses its wild edge, its wild edge becomes less potent. You see beauty where before you saw threats.    

I can sit here and tell you that I firmly believe men and women can be friends, or that I firmly believe a stable, healthy relationship is not one that can be "torn to shreds" by sparkly new person. If my girlfriend told me today that she's met someone who lights her up in ways I don't, I would be crushed, and no doubt my ego would be inflamed for a good bit. But I'd also know our demise had nothing to do with that other person; it would be because we were not as stable and healthy as I'd thought and hoped. To my belief system, that is the truth to the situations your friends have mentioned to you, and which you so fear. And to me? Seeing it this way makes it less scary.  

But that's me. You are you, and I was reluctant to even share that because I fear you are looking for proof in the external rather than the internal. Like, right now, you're telling yourself you'll be "stronger" once you see him interacting with a woman and "nothing bad happens." Yet you've already seen this, and still you cry at night, can't sleep, and, most devastating to my eyes, are in a relationship in which you are concealing a huge part of your personal truth from your boyfriend. 

The good news is that the proof and safety you're seeking is already inside you. I think you just need a little help to find it. 

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