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old relationship issues resurfacing

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i'd broken up with a boyfriend of 2.5 years four months ago. more than 2 months of NC.


trying to date around. i was casually dating a few guys for a few weeks or so. recently dropped all of them but one whom i actually like.


the problem is that i try to maintain my distance, but i end up getting more emotionally involved than i had planned to. i'm starting to feel some attachment to this person, and it's been 2 months since i met him.


this is probably a projection of my feelings towards my ex on to somebody else. i'm experiencing A LOT of anxiety and panic attacks. feeling really insecure and worried. i'm terrified of abandonment and that i will never hear from this new guy again.


i saw him on sunday. he hasn't contacted me at all today and i'm on pins and needles. i get extremely worried and antsy (i don't act on it of course). i know better than to act out and cling, but how do i get rid of this anxiety??? what if the new guy never calls again? i'm worried that i had suggested getting together sometime this week, which might've turned him off.

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I hate to break it to you... But it sounds like maybe you really shouldn't be dating right now.

Issues from your past relationship, and getting clingy fast are all results of not being over your ex. You're getting clingy because you ARE projecting your feelings and past relationship with your ex onto this new guy.


Not fair to him really. But most of all, it's not fair to you. You're setting yourself up for a major relapse from what it sounds like. Whereas I know advice only goes soo far when it comes to matters within your life (ie, you will do what you want, regardless of what others say), but please take it into consideration.


I'm kind of where you are with the time frame (minus the new guy, though). My ex and I of almost three years split up two months ago. I could not even imagine really dating another guy now. However there are many times where I feel like that's what I need. I haven't had a "new" guy in probably... about four years. Yikes! I feel like I wouldn't still be so hung up on my ex if I just met someone new. But my problem has been that I can't seem to even be interested in guys. I feel like maybe I'm being too picky or... I don't know. Sorry, I should make that my own thread...


But anyway, I say to take it easy with the dating thing. You said you were casually dating guys recently, but it's only been about four months since the two of ou split up. Maybe you haven't really given yourself time to grieve, heal, or just get over things?

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It can be hard not to feel anxiety in a relationship whether you've just broken up with someone else, or whether you've been single for years. Just try not to be too clingy or too aloof. I think the best and most natural way to accomplish this is for you to go ahead and hang out with your friends a lot and take up any activities or hobbies that you can, interactive ones, preferrably. This way you won't have that feeling of desperation about you towards making your relationship work out.


Also, remember, no one is perfect, yourself included. Do your best, but in the end, either the relationship will work out or it won't. Just don't put too much burden of responsibility on yourself

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I agree with both of the posters.


On one hand it sounds like you're not ready to date again, because it sounds like you have abandonment issues from your past relationship (and understandably so!) On the other hand, having a guy to hang out with once in a while can be a good tool in the healing process.


I don't think you pushed him away by asking him to hang out with you. If it's meant to be it will happen, if not, then it won't.


Focus on your own healing. Hang out with friends, do hobbies, and maybe date once in a while, but don't attach too many expecations on him, because it doesn't sound like you are ready to go full force into a new relationship. Which is perfectly fine.


Have you talked to a therapist about your most recent breakup? it may help get some issues under control. They can help you work through your anxiety.

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thanks for your responses guys.


i'm aware that i'm not ready. this guy had once asked me to be his girlfriend. i told him i'm not ready.


but at the same time, i want to be ready because the opportunity presents itself. in any case, i just want to be able to hang out without expectations and have fun. it was possible for the first month (he's 18 years older and i pretty much saw no future). now it's creating anxiety because i actually like him, and i'm so afraid.


now that i feel he's pulling back or possibly losing interest, i'm going into a frenzy (discreetly of course). i just don't know what to do with myself. should i initiate contact or just wait til he calls?


i'd been seeing a therapist and he recommends that i try antidepressants because i might be biologically wired to be worrisome and prone to anxiety.


what are your thoughts?

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I'm sorry you are currently having a rough go at dating. I think you are right and it might be a good idea to attempt to approach these dates as just friendly get togethers. What's wrong with telling these guys up front that you are just looking for friends right now?


For the guy in question, I think you should probably back off and take some time for yourself. Do some research into antidepressants and I would definitely get a second opinion from another doctor before you decide to start taking them.


Keep us posted.




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i've attempted to approach dating with a more carefree attitude, but i get worked up sooner or later. i always second-guess myself, even if i know i just want to be friends (telling myself "hey maybe it could work, if only..."). AND as soon as i even remotely like somebody, i become frantic and scared.


these panic attacks are killing me!


i'm backing off and going to try to focus on myself. but i'm scared that he'll think i'm not interested (he's called me out on my acting aloof). on the other hand, i don't want to cling (any initiation on my part causes me to feel like a clinger). is there a win out of this?

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I say back off a bit. If he calls you out on acting aloof or not seeming to be as interested as he'd like, just politely remind him that you're not looking for a relationship and that you are just looking for someone to share your company every once in awhile. Nothing wrong with that. And if he takes it the wrong way, don't beat yourself up about it or blame you. You do what you need for yourself, what's left on his part is if he's mature enough to deal with that.


"i always second-guess myself, even if i know i just want to be friends (telling myself "hey maybe it could work, if only...")"

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yeah i'm a serial monogamist....i'd been in 3 long-term relationships back to back in the last 8 years (with maybe a few weeks to a couple of months in between each)


i'm not used to casually dating for a very long time. i pulled it off for about 3 weeks and now can only concentrate on this one guy.


i want to - and need to - be single for awhile. but i can't help getting all worked up and emotionally involved if i'm dating someone i like. as soon as i like someone, i start to get ahead of myself. it's as if whoever i'm seeing at the moment is the bird in the hand and i don't want to let go to search for something better.


this dating thing is harder than it seems! not caring is very hard. maybe i do prefer serious relationships because they ease my anxiety. i'm also kind of terrified of feeling lonely.


how do you guys work through this? i haven't had to deal with this since the past relationships always served as a buffer

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Wow, I can't believe you actually said serial monogamist! That's what my guy friend has called me for years. And... it's true. I really am.


The reason why I asked you that was because you get this way because you're NOT the casual dating type of person. I'm not either so I have gotten the same way you do in the past. I got like that with my ex when we first started dating. I guess I like the relationship thing because I don't have to worry about when he's going to call, IF he's going to call, and would it look bad if I called him. I hated all of that. When we were more in a steady relationship, I just knew he'd call and I didn't worry about what he thought when I'd call him.


Although it is true, sometimes you have to be single for awhile. Maybe not just to discover yourself but to actually get over your ex. Being single doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go out there and go on dates all the time. It just means that you need some time to yourself. Don't rely on another guy to take away any hurt or depression you have from the break up with your ex.


Believe me, I hate being where I am and I hate feeling this way. I can't be wtih my ex, nor would I want to now. But I do wish this didn't have to happen and that things could have been different. I also wish my MR. Right would come along now, sweep me off my feet, and make me forget all about my ex. I also wish I could feel those feelings of love and excitement I had with my ex when we were more new, and I wish it was happeing all over again. But I know it won't happen. And Mr. Right won't come until the time is right. And I don't think that time is now. I have to heal and move on.


Now don't get me wrong, I also feel that you will never FULLY be over your ex until you do get into a new relationship. Even when you've moved on, are doing well for yourself, hang out with friends all the time, you probably will still miss your ex occasionally or even think about him. I know people that have been broken up with someone for a little over a year now, and they still have a little pain and they still miss them. Although they are doing wonderfully. I guess these things just kinda leave a mark. But then when they find someone new where they have that love all over again, things are right where they should be.


I say, give yourself time. Don't turn to medication just quite yet. Just give yourself time. I think you might be jumping the gun on the dating thing. I know I did in the past and they ended up being, in hindsight, a guy I really just shouldn't have been with. Some of them I realized I wasn't that into. I just started dating them because they were ok (yeah, just ok), and they were into ME, and wanted to have a relationship with ME. All of which are terrible reasons to start a relationship.

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annie24 - lol, somehow that phrase cracks me up. yes i'm definitely a bundle of nerves. but i just suffer in my own mental hell and conceal it. the guy certainly doesn't know because i have no contact with him when i'm like this. i don't think they have a clue that i'm suffering like this.


lioness726 - i agree with everything you said. it seems like we're in very similar situations. esp: "I just started dating them because they were ok (yeah, just ok), and they were into ME, and wanted to have a relationship with ME. All of which are terrible reasons to start a relationship."


but i had cut off the "just ok" ones. i like this new guy enough to consider something with him (with a lot of though and time prior to a relationship of course) and now that he's distant, i'm struck with sudden panic. he hasn't contacted me at all yesterday and today (usually he would email or text at least once a day or every other day).


what do i do to calm down?????? it's past the time he usually emails. despite all my rationalizations, i'm craving the contact with him.

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Stay on here and just write or post away.


I know exactly what you mean about going nuts. I've been there myself. I remember once (a long time ago and my friend even remembers it!) when my ex and I were only a few months into the relationship. I called her and was freaking out because he hadn't called me yet, and when I had talked to him before, I thought he sounded distant or funny. I literally started crying on the phone with her because I thought he was going to break up with me. She told me to calm down.

Later on, I had finally talked to him and everything really was fine. My friend still laughs about it to this day. I mean, so do I! That was three years ago, now. weird, really.


But the stress really is NOT worth it. It's been four months, you said. I know you may really like this guy and consider a relationship, but think about you! You're already wigging out a little on the fact that you haven't had contact. Just imagine what would happen if something BIG happened. I don't know if you've fully healed from the rejection of your previous ex or even exes. You're craving contact and without it you lose it a little. I think it sounds like you need YOU time. Or you and friends time.

Something. Only you know how to calm yourself. You can just keep yourself occupied and do active things. If you're at work, focus on work. And if you can't even do that, write a poem or journal entry.


But really, think about you. Not him and why he hasn't called or made contact. Worry about yourself before you can be and worry about others.

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Think of it this way - worst case scenario - say he never calls you again, or calls up and breaks up with you. The sun will still rise, you will still have a job. Life will go on. You'll be upset for a while, but then you'll get over him, and meet someone better. That is really the worst that can happen.


If he lets you slip away, say to yourself, "his loss!"

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Think of it this way - worst case scenario - say he never calls you again, or calls up and breaks up with you. The sun will still rise, you will still have a job. Life will go on. You'll be upset for a while, but then you'll get over him, and meet someone better. That is really the worst that can happen.


If he lets you slip away, say to yourself, "his loss!"


Yes, there you go!

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arggh!!! i'm seriously fighting the urge not to text message him a "casual" hello.


what's on his mind? why isn't he contacting me? is he losing interest? he's been reliable and stable so far. he's always taken initiative. but i'd reciprocated and indicated my interest enough, i think. why doesn't he like me? was it because i took the risk and slept with him (waaaay too much info provided here, but in my agitated state, i don't care)? but i waited after 9 dates (5 weeks).


this sucks. i've been doing everything i can post-breakup to cope. thought things could go back to normal and i could date happily again. seriously, i'd made plans with friends almost every day of the week. gone on vacation and climbed the Great Wall of China. seen a therapist. worked like crazy. still haunted by these emotional problems i create with men. sigh.


teddybear & annie: it is the anticipation of the terrible event that is worse than the "worst thing" itself. i just want to know that he likes me! blah. but it does help to put it in that perspective. thank you.

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i've really put effort into not contacting him at all, but i'm just dying to know why he's so aloof...gosh why is this so difficult? i thought i finally met someone i like who like me, and complications occur.


he seemed disappointed that i didn't hang out with him on saturday. but on sunday i came over and gave him the gift i got him from my vacation. helped him shop for some furniture. made the mistake of sleeping with him. i left shortly after. didn't even have dinner!


was i too accomodating? did i position myself into giving him my best card for free? omg, did he meet someone else??? i saw a gossip magazine at his place (something that usu only women would read) and he mentioned going out of town next week.


please stop me from doing something foolish or clingy.


i really really want to text or email him asking how his week is going. would this look really bad?


one of the mistakes i'd made in my previous relationships was to put up walls. i don't want to make the same mistake again if this guy has potential

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hm. ok, this is just a guess... but here goes....


I think you are putting out a nervous and clingy vibe. Even though you are trying hard not to, it comes accross in your post that you are extremely nervous and worried about the relationship. The "gift" may have been interpreted by him as trying to "win" him over.


Men get turned off when they think you like them more than they like you. I know, because it's happened to me My experiences have shown me that not only men, but humans in general, like some uncertainty and balance.


Like I said, they can "sense" the nervous vibe, and it turns them off.


So... detach!!! One of my favorite authors is E. Jean Carroll, the columnist for Elle magazine, and she advocates being cool, like those beautiful Swedish 20 somethings who go backpacking through europe wearing tevas and dusty backpacks. Just be natural, carefree, happy.


If he never calls again... so what? his loss. that attitude intrigues men more than sitting around worrying about his call. that turns them off, let me tell you!

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well, prior to your post, i couldn't withstand my panic attack so i caved.


i'd emailed him earlier to ask how his week is going. he says that he's sick. i asked if there's something i can do to make him feel better. he said something which i interpreted as sexual in nature. i was mildly insulted and deflected. he responded with a neutral answer.


i tried to be nice and might've come off as trying too hard. i give up. this is not worth it.


your thoughts? time to write this one off isn't it?

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Dont feel so bad. Time to put this whole thing behind you for the time being. Send him a polite and friendly email saying that you enjoyed getting to know him but you need to spend some time to yourself.


In your current state, this relationship isn't going anywhere. Good luck.




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