Forum Replies Created
January 25, 2022 at 1:51 am #391837
That’s great, I’m glad this format works for you – it’s really helpful to quote your response and then talk about the thoughts that these bring up.
You can give her an example or two of judgments you are afraid of and hear how she responds – this is a very good idea. From the top of my head, I have visited my father a few times recently, and following his stroke and brain damage, he can become agressive with me, which triggers a lot of feelings from childhood. I notice that following these visits, I have a peak in anxiety and am hyperaware, I opened up to her about this and she was so comforting and supporting. Explaining that I am safe with her and to not be hard on myself for having these feelings. But I will of course take your advice and bring up specifically what we here have mentioned, that I would like to share more, but have a deep fear of it being rejected. Thank you.
express yourself authentically and in a contained way, so that you are true to yourself – very good advice, I feel I am being genuine, but I will try hard to notice when I am expressing myself, that I still being true to myself. I think this ties in with the above point as well, to be honest about how I am feeling.
I read from members who do sound this way, but you don’t, not to me – thank you Anita, it is nice to receive these words of confirmation from you.
I vote for you being a lot kinder to yourself – agreed 🙂 I’m not quite sure why I am so hard on myself sometimes, I envy those who can be completely comfortable with themselves and even love themselves.
Coldness and cruelty deserve judgment and criticism, not your wonderful longing for love – thank you again for this, I feel sometimes in this modern world, that there is a lot of stigma surrounding people who might be percieved as wanting love etc, like this might be seen as weakness. But you are right, it is a lovely thing to be passionate about love and connection.
As another thought, Kate and I had a nice weekend, but she unfortunately had an anxious moment when we were out with friends, I think the empath in me noticed it almost straight away without prompting, and I made every effort to comfort and support her. She was so thankful and since then, she has talked about how safe she feels with me and how amazing I was with her. I just feel that seeing that worry or fear in someone I care about, I have the strongest urge to make sure they feel safe, supporting and not alone.
DaveJanuary 24, 2022 at 8:53 am #391807
“he caused you to get stuck in the fear and neediness that he wanted you to move away from” – this does make a lot of sense now, especially later in my life. It is something I definitely bring into romantic relationships, with separation anxiety and fear when I am not around my partner.
“there is nothing more natural for a child to miss his mother and feel anxious when not in her company. It is not stupid, it is natural” – thank you for saying this, it did always feel like I was being unreasonable missing my mother so much. But like I mentioned above, this has translated to romantic caregivers instead.
“you were afraid that she will respond to your emotions the way your father did” – yes, exactly this. I feel already that she is very empathetic and understands the way I feel a lot of the time, we do seem to share a connection. So maybe it just takes me a little longer than other people to open up completely and share what I am thinking/feeling, without fear of judgement.
“There are ways for you to express to her how much you’d miss her, etc., without appearing needy and overly emotional” – you are so right, I have worked a lot of expressing myself how I want to be heard, not how the voice in my head sometimes tells me I’m feeling. Although you are aware of my inner thoughts and my somewhat anxious attachment style, I am confident that I don’t come across too needy or anxious to my new love interest, I try to carefully think about what I am going to say before I say it, if that makes sense.
“all the ways that help lessen anxiety in general, will help with this particular anxiety.” – thank you, I am trying to cultivate some of the normal mindfulness routines that I developed after we first started speaking on this thread all those months ago. Reading, meditation, exercise. I think starting a new job was an additional stress that I hadn’t really considered until this weekend, so I should be a bit kinder to myself.
“Specifically for this anxiety, when you feel it, talk to yourself the way your father should have, but didn’t” – this is really good advice, and I will certainly do this. These words of affirmation from myself seem so important, rather than being judgemental and critical of my emotional side which feels a deep longing for those I care about.
DaveJanuary 19, 2022 at 6:36 am #391599
Thank you for your reply. Thank you also for letting me express myself like this.
Yes that all makes a lot of sense. With regard to my parents, I don’t recall them saying I was trying to control them, but when I was with my father, I suffered a lot of separation anxiety being apart from my mother, and when I would get emotional or cry, he would often tell me to stop, or grow up, or be cynical towards this type of ‘needy’ behaviour. So I’m not sure I was ever accused of being controlling, but I was made to feel a little stupid for acting so emotionally towards missing my mother.
…and how I might be misunderstood with my love interest – I was trying to process this last night. I spoke with my brother and a close friend about what she had said, and they both think that she was worried that I might end things if I knew she was travelling for a short while in the spring, whereas I thought it was that she may not want to carry on seeing each other when she goes travelling. My percieved misunderstanding comes from the fact that if I told her that I would miss her, or that I would want to stay together regardless of travel plans, that she may see this as me being ‘needy’ and overlly emotional.
I did have a girlfriend when I was 21, the first real love in my life, who had a year abroad planned (maybe 18 months after starting our relationship) and she always asked me if I would stay with her whilst she went away, to which I said yes. But weeks before leaving, she broke off the relationship, because she wanted to be single for the year she was abroad. I understand that we were very young, and that a year is a lot longer than 1-2 months. But maybe this is causing me anxiety in my current relationship, that this sort of thing feels like it has happened before.
My friend and brother both thought that her being honest with me was a sign that she wants things to work between us. Also, we have made our own plans next month to travel for a few days, so things are overall very positive with us. I just feel such separation anxiety and worry of being left in the future, like the child in me.
DaveJanuary 18, 2022 at 2:08 am #391555
Anita, I hope you’re well?
I started a new job on the 5th Jan, so things have been very busy for me in the last two weeks. But I am enjoying it a lot. Thank you for the offer to practice addressing the inner child in me. I have been seeing my new love interest for about a month, and we are getting very close and sharing a lot of intimacy and our feelings etc. Though this, like I said before, has lead to an increase in my anxiety. I started to feel very calm about things, until Sunday, when she said something along the lines of “I wanted to be honest with you, that last year when I broke up with my last relationship, I intended to go travelling this year, in the spring/summer, maybe for a month, maybe longer. That was the reason I only applied for a six month lease on this flat. I wanted to be honest, because although I understand that this sounds like some uncertainty, it is a while away, it is something I have wanted to do for some time.”… after talking some more on the matter, I asked if she had been travelling with ex partners, to which she explained that often they didn’t seem like the right relationships to do this with, or the wrong people. I asked if she found someone who wanted similar things, would that influence the decision to travel solo, to which she responded yes. I explained that I have always loved to travel, but have never been in the right relationships either. I also added that at this point in my life, I have never been more free to travel, that my work is flexible and I have a lot of annual leave.
Sorry for the long note, it was something that really triggered my inner child and spiked my anxiety, and like you mentioned, I found a quiet moment and composed the following, whilst addressing my inner child:
<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This scared the child in me a lot. It scared me because I wasn’t sure why she was saying it, was it a preface to being able to exit the relationship as soon as travelling plans materialise, or was she saying it to gauge my reaction, by chance that I may feel similarly about travelling and it may be something we could do together? I felt a deep yearning to tell her exactly how I feel, my child wanted to cry, to reach out, to ask for certainty, for love and support. That I want to grow together, to experience the beauty of life, to see other countries, that I don’t want this to end. As we have joked before, 1 in 8 billion people, I like those odds, because when you win, you win big. This might be a joke, but it is the complete truth to me, sometimes life gives you something that is just too positive to ignore, or to cast aside, my child doesn’t want to be cast aside. A connection like we have made in such a short space of time, is truly a thing of value, created out of two paths of complete complexity and chance.</span>
<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>The child in me was scared. I am scared. The work I have done with myself has been so valuable, and I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, that I discount all the positive things that have happened because of a restless desire to understand my mind and those of others. I have no desire to control, own or have power over Kate, or any partner for that matter, often insecurities about losing someone you love can be misread as obsessions of control, but this is not the case. Kate’s independence, her intelligence and complete passion for life are what draws me to her. I admire and care for her. The child in me, doesn’t want to control his Dad, he just wants to be loved by him. He wants his Mum, Dad and Step Mum to hold him when he is scared, to tell him his is enough, and to encourage him.</span>
Apologies that this might be a word dump, but I wanted to write straight from that child, from the heart.
All the best,
DaveJanuary 4, 2022 at 2:05 am #390738
Sorry about the late reply, it was a hectic time but full of family visits over the holidays. I spend a total of 0 hours on my computer, which is both good and also I have a lot of catching up to do.
You are so right in that as a child I yearned not to be alone and to be close with someone who loves me. That is acutely what I am feeling right now, I started seeing a new romantic connectioned just before christmas, things have gone very well and we’ve spent a lot of time together, but after a few days apart, I seem to be struggling with separation anixety. I guess this might be due to my anxious attachment style.
a tree in dry ground grows longer and longer roots – this analogy is really interesting, I’ve never thought about it like that. I feel like the tree with long roots now, yearning to be close to someone who has shown me compassion.
What you’ve said makes so much sense, I feel I would really benefit from some psychotherapy, but the cost is too high where I am, but hopefully I am starting a new job and I might be able to afford it. What you said about my thoughts being too intellectual in adulthood with regard to childhood experience seems so interesting, I clearly try and rationalise these things and think about them in a pragmatic way, but this doesn’t seem to help. I try sometimes addressing the child in me who is lonely, hurt and strives for love. It is a really vulnerable place to be and it does scare me. It scares me revealing that side to a new partner also.
The black and white thinking you referred to makes a lot of sense, is it possible I have rose-tinted glasses on when thinking of my mother, that she was perfect, when in fact she was just human and wasn’t always there. I note now that although I speak to my mother a lot, we don’t entirely empathise with each other, but I do with my brother, so much more than when we were children.
I have tried CBT several times and have found it very helpful, so I will look into that again. I also read a book called the Happiness trap, which is around a newer wave of CBT called ACT, acceptence and commitment therapy, which follows a similar approach. I guess after several months of reletively stable mental health, I am just a little suprised about a new love interest, and the anxiety that has suddently occured. But I am taking all of your advise and thoughts to heart and they are so hopeful.
I hope you are well,
DDecember 13, 2021 at 3:34 am #389807
Sorry again, we’ve had a bereavement in the family which has been tough to deal with.
You are right, about not doing things for the wrong reasons. I feel most of the time (thankfully), I am helping past and current romantic partners purely out of a feeling of care for them. But of course sometimes the feeling of trying to help my self esteem do creep in.
That makes a lot of sense about the self esteem issues coming from the interactions with my mother as a child. I feel we’ve touched on this before, but more recently I have been talking with new potential romantic options and feel I get very attached quite quickly and have these abandonment issues arise as well. I feel if I am being mindful of these, I can help understand them better. I am going to speak to my counsellor again, as I’ve had a few months off. So it will be good to talk through these things in person again.
I feel I get attached to romantic partners quickly because again of my childhood, that I am searching to be loved and wanted, if that makes sense?
I hope you are well,
DaveNovember 26, 2021 at 2:35 am #389051
Sorry for my late reply, things have been rather hectic this week.
“that he is hyper aware of her feelings, and when he detects that she is upset and distant” I can definitely relate to this. I notice the smallest ques from the women I am involved with, and sometimes take them personally. I am definitely working on this, and have been speaking with a counselor about this and several other things. I think it comes down to self-esteem as well with me, that I think I’m not worthy of the love, attention and their happiness.
“started when you were a child, in regard to your mother, a habit that and extends to romantic partners” Yes absolutely. Although I am still not sure if this is something that is to my detriment or not. Like it still confuses me, that I do love to be there for people and help, but sometimes I’m not sure if I put myself second, and if this is a good or bad thing.
As for the paradox, yes that makes a lot of sense what you have noted. I do sometimes need to understand my needs a little better, and be aware that I may be searching for the attention and validation that the young me didn’t always receive. I dated someone for a couple of weeks but called it off as I wasn’t feeling that connection, though it was hard hurting someone I still didn’t even know that well, and to lose a source of validation. I feel that some days I am still getting used to being single, to not have someone there to listen and to validate my feelings etc.
“when in a relationship, you don’t trust that the woman will be close to you for long, you are hyper alert and anxious, anticipating that she will be distant any time” This makes a lot of sense. I have had several serious relationships as an adult, and I have either finished them as they weren’t working for me, or I have been completely blindsided by others whom I thought I could spend the rest of my life with. So maybe these feelings of abandonment have been reinforced a little in adult life, that women have left me, seemingly without notice. This again is something I am working on, being more mindful and not expecting things that are out of my control.
“a self-esteem moment here, a self-esteem moment there.” 100%, again things I am working on. That I should feel my own intrinsic value without the validation from a woman, though I do appreciate that it is also positive to have that from a partner.
I am glad you have found some of the things regarding your life useful as well. I understand that we don’t need to go further on this, but thank you for letting me help in any way. I really do appreciate all your valuable conversation, it is a constant source of comfort.
DaveNovember 16, 2021 at 7:10 am #388691
“she expected you to be the Strong One (the one providing comfort), but in reality, you were weak, you needed her comfort and you didn’t get it when she was upset.” Yes I feel this quite acutely now. I try my best to be there for the people who need me, and especially the women in my life. I still am there for my ex partner, we are still friends, but I would drop anything to be there for her if she was hurting. I don’t know if this is healthy, but I also am not sure how to get past this needing of comfort and support that I need. Today has been a tough day, feeling like I don’t want to hurt anyone I’m dating, but also feeling like I need someones support, I feel a bit paradoxical.
“(1) when visiting your father, (2) when your mother worked and you were alone, and (3) when your mother was with you, but was too upset and sorrowful to comfort you.” This does seem absolutely accurate. Now with my fathers illness and lack of communication or compassion, I feel it strongly when I care for him. I feel I’m also at the age as a man who shouldn’t be reaching out to my mother for so much support. So I do try and nuture myself if I can. I definitely bring the anxiety from my mother into relationships with women, as I am hyper aware of their feelings and try to work out if it is something I’ve done wrong which might have upset them, if that makes sense?
“…is your deep hurt about not being enough for your father and not being enough for your mother” Yes this does seem to be the case. I have been through stages in life where I’ve been given validation (women finding me attractive etc), and have felt great self esteem. But I believe because I broke up my last relationship and have been single for a while, that I can’t find someone who feels like that about me. But the rational part of my brain knows that this is just a time of change and transition. I know I have a lot of love to bring to a relationship, and to admire and support a partner. These things just can’t be rushed or controlled I guess…
To your responses:
“…massive, extensive daydreaming/ fantasy life… NO INTENT WHATSOEVER” I can completely relate to you here, I feel I escaped into worlds of fantasy and fiction growing up as a way of avoiding uncomfortable emotions. I imagine the frustration you felt was intense, on the one hand not being believed, and the other, that it was someone who traditionally should believe and support you unconditionally.
“you did something wrong or failed to do something.. poor him.. evil you!!!” I can imagine how you feel, that maybe you feel similarly to me, that when someone is unhappy, you immediately may have thought that you were responsible, that someone told you it was you causing this. Are you much better at rationalising this now? Realising that you aren’t always responsible for someone else’s mood?
“gave large amounts of my money away countless times so to compensate people for my wrong doing” This makes sense, if you are trying your best to make sure people understand how much you are there for them, or are sacrificing for them. (Don’t worry about my other question, I probably didn’t word it very well)
“As an adult and living on another continent, I went to great lengths, living in miserable physical circumstances, so to spend the least amount of money on myself, and give her the greatest amount of money so to pay her back the huge debt I felt that I owed her.” This must have been so difficult, living with this debt over your head, especially when it sounds like a not-so-real debt that could never and shouldn’t ever be paid back. I hope now you are more open to allowing yourself some luxury and treating yourself well?
“instead of wasting a lifetime trying to pay that debt” I know it must be hard, but I guess there is no real timescale for these things, and one person may make these life changing decisions a lot sooner than others. We all go at our own speeds.
“I finally gave up the efforts, efforts that robbed me of a life worth living, for half a century or so.” That makes sense, it is so difficult to change anyone, if not impossible. You are right to accept things as they are in my opinion. There are times that we get really caught up in how someone is far from ideal, but if they only understood, things might be different. But to attempt to change someone is just painful.
I hope you are finding this helpful? I obviously don’t want to keep asking you questions if you are not finding it useful. Please let me know if there is anything specific you would like to work on?
DNovember 11, 2021 at 2:42 am #388430
“that I intended to hurt her and went about hurting her in a planned and calculated manner.. while reality was that I never meant to hurt her” I imagine this made you feel so trapped and powerless? That although you loved your mother and would have done anything to help, this wasn’t only ignored, but in fact you were criticised for the opposite. Do you bring this feeling into your relationships as an adult? Do you find maybe you have overcompensated in areas of your life so as not to seem like you aren’t doing enough, or supporting those close to you now?
“that I didn’t try to hurt her, but she argued and insisted that what she said was true. I was very confused..” Do you feel this confusion has carried forward into your relationship with others as an adult? For example, that you feel like you are doing everything you can but someone may not appreciate you for it, or that you might earn enough money to be comfortable, but struggles still arise? I’m not sure if you can relate to that?
“it hurt me to eat the food she bought for me, I couldn’t enjoy clothes and toys that she bought for me with her hard earned money” Does this make it difficult for you now to appreciate gifts and shows of self-sacrifice from others? Like it may be that you would be begrudged in accepting them from others?
“I ended all contact with her more than 8 years ago, so I no longer hear her say anything” Do you feel this was the best decision for you? I understand from friends I know that sometimes, the relationship with a parent is unrepairable and, although we would like to reach agreements and understanding with people we care about, sometimes this just isn’t possible.
DNovember 11, 2021 at 2:30 am #388429
I can absolutely relate to a lot of what you’ve said here. I think feeling alone and lonely in the presence of my father has now been amplified since his stroke two years ago, so when I care for him, he cannot talk due to his disability and struggles to control his anger, so definitely the child in me sees this threat as all too familiar. Additionally, as I became an adult, my father and I have a much-improved relationship, where he would say things such as ‘I love you’. But I feel that was taken away with this illness of his.
To be honest, I always look back on my upbringing with my mother as positive and loving, so I am not actually sure where these feelings come from of abandonment, if maybe they are there because of the contrast of my mother and father, and not wanted to be separated from my mother. Also, she worked a lot so maybe there were elements of me wanting to see her more. I think I struggle to remember if my mother was upset, if she would withdraw from me, I think in reality, she was more likely to come to me for comfort, which might be where I get the feeling that I need to comfort and protect the care giving women in my life from.
“You wanted to run away from that dreadful experience of feeling so alone.” Yes, definitely. I still feel that urge now, to run away from being alone, which in itself is a paradox for me.
“she also withdrew from you emotionally, and you felt.. acutely alone.” again, I am not sure but this could be the case. I never felt a lack of love from her, but I felt empathetic for her sorrows and hurt that she had suffered, and it made me anxious to not be around her.
“Fast forward, you as an adult, fear these emotional states in the women in your life.” This is absolutely true, I have had several long term relationships in my life, and of the ones of which I was the (seemingly) happiest in, these were the ones who broke up with me out of the blue, when I thought I would spend my life with them.
“changing her hurt, sadness and upset .. into Happy.. so that you are no longer alone.” This resonates with me a lot, I feel I bring this into a lot of my relationships with women in my adult life. There have been times where I am single, where I crave the validation and attraction of women, because it makes me feel less alone. I definitely crave a close relationship where I’m told how much I am loved and needed.
One more current point I wanted to add, was that now I am dating, I have been on a few dates with nice people, but nothing too serious. I am struggling with self esteem issues. To be completely candid about this, physical attraction is needed for me in a relationship, as well as emotional, and I feel like I am struggling to connect with people whom I find physically attractive. It is making me question my own ‘attractiveness’. I feel very vulnerable admitting this, because I understand it may seem vain, but It seems to trigger something really deep in me, which hurts. But I also understand these things take time, rome wasn’t built in a day. But I wasn’t sure if I was just reaching for validation more than anything. If that makes any sense?
Thank you so much for helping me work through these things. You have no idea how much this helps.
DNovember 2, 2021 at 1:16 am #388089
Thank you so much. It’s clear I appear to be following patterns in my life with the women I care about.
Absolutely, and my apologies if I am not as good at asking the right questions as you are. I will try my best.
(1) It was my father, having an affair when we were so young, and leaving my mother to raise us alone initially. It was always made clear to use as children what my dad had done (it was hard to hide it really). She never spoke badly of my father though, but was honest about how much it hurt. I felt the need to protect her from my fathers hurt (2) In a similar way to your situation, she went back to school, worked many hours and raised myself and my brother with little help from anyone else, though my father did return to our lives when I was around 3 years old (part time). But similar to me, she feels emotions deeply, and struggles to hide these things, so although I saw her as strong in one sense, she would show us such love and compassion, that I felt such empathy for her real struggles, and wanted to protect her from the tough world. (3) I feel my mother was both happy and unhappy at the same time, although she doesn’t say it now, I think she always wanted my dad to stay, to be the family she wanted and to raise me and my brother together, this sadness always felt close to home for me. But on the other hand, I could see how much my brother and I made her happy, so I wanted to re-inforce that side of things, and not let her down.
With your mother, was it (and is it still) difficult to hear these things, that you contributed to the hurt she felt? Did you feel resentment for trying your best as a daughter and only hearing what a horrible life your mother had? Do you feel that you appreciated her? Although you couldn’t give her the life of luxury she wanted, or was it hard to appreciate her with how she felt towards you?
DaveNovember 1, 2021 at 3:10 am #388042
Thank you so much for getting back to me.
Anita – you are so right, what you mentioned before about the thoughts of us as children coming up in adulthood has stuck with me and has been so important in my self-work over the last few months since talking with you both. The observation you made is acutely felt for sure. I still am in touch with my ex, and feel the guilt of hurting her still. Just like trying to protect my mother. And as I am a carer for my now disabled Dad, I experience his anger and aggression quite often, due to his breakdown. So those feelings come up a lot. I feel the difficulty I have relaxing, comes from being distant from people, maybe some kind of separation anxiety from my mother as a child. I think that is why I get attached to people quickly when talking on dating apps, I trust strong and independent women (like my mother), almost instantaneously. I am very happy to work on these things with you on here, absolutely. Please let me know what you think would be best to start with?
Teak – Your thoughts are really appreciated. You are right in what you say, the critical voice of my father is now so prominent due to his disability and I find it hard not to feel like I am a child again. Exploring these things with you both would be so worthwhile and I thank you so much for the opportunity.
I hope you’re both well 🙂 and I look forward to working things through with you.
DOctober 19, 2021 at 4:05 am #387536
Hi Anita and Teak,
Apologies in the delay in getting back to you, it’s been a super busy 6 weeks after moving into my new home. Lots of family and practical matters to attend to. But I have taken a dip in the dating seas and although I am not seriously dating anyone, I am talking to some interesting people and I am enjoying it, whilst also enjoying my free time, time with family and friends etc.
Anita – I tried Match.com but didn’t find it very easy to use, where I am based in the UK, the majority of people are using apps such as Hinge, Tiner and Bumble, and I have had a couple of dates through these platforms, some really interesting people and am talking to some more, but I am definitely not trying to rush things. I am definitely smiling in my pictures, which show me in some of my hobby settings, running, music etc. Your advice on what to include in the bio is very helpful, so thank you. I am being honest about what I can bring to a relationship and what I am looking for.
Teak – The meetup groups were fun, and I actually have made a couple of new friends, which apart from dating, is something I was looking to do. I am happy to just do things I wouldn’t normally do and to experience new things with new minds 🙂
All in all, things are going well. My dad has his ups and downs health-wise, which can sometimes make my mood difficult, but I am trying to stay pragmatic about it. Also, living alone has been quite the adjustment, I do enjoy it often, but sometimes it can be lonely. So going to the gym and seeing friends regularly has been very helpful. Though sometimes I find I don’t want to pursue hobbies etc in the evening, but also I struggle to relax. Maybe this is just the adjusting phase of my life.
I hope you are both well and the weather hasn’t gotten too cold these days? The leaves are turning orange and falling here in the UK.
All the best to you both,
DSeptember 14, 2021 at 4:18 am #386283
You are right about being bald, I have had several partners before, but I think it’s a normal self-conscious thing about having great hair etc etc. I shouldn’t focus on this at all. I am not sure how to exactly share images on here, so I’m happy to send them across and see what you think via another route, but I can’t seem to find what I last had on my profile, though thinking about it, if I were to create one right now, I think it would go something like this:
Musician & artist.
Runner, walker and footballer.
Accomplished cook, keen finder of new places to eat and drink.
Bookworm and science fanatic.
Big film and TV fan, especially Christopher Nolan.
Empathetic, compassionate, with a dark sense of humour.
Very close with friends and family.
I guess It might be a bit vague, or not… but I was trying to write it for limited space on a bio like tinder or bumble. Would love to know your thoughts, I’m always a little conscious that I do not want to sound like I am trying to show off.
DaveSeptember 14, 2021 at 4:10 am #386282
I think you are right, now I have my own place, it almost feels like ‘what next’, like I should be straight out into the dating scene again. I am yes, definitely feeling the pressure to not mess things up next time, but I think I am also feeling a sense of calm, that I definitely know what I want and need from a relationship, and will be able to choose carefully before becoming too involved, and also to be honest with people I date about this. You are right, I shouldn’t let the pressure get to me, it is after all wise to enjoy the moment, and not have a ticking clock always making you feel on edge.
Thanks for the advice, I have joined two meetup groups in my area and have planned to go to two events in the next few weeks, I’m a little nervous about telling my friends about these, as I’m not sure if they would judge, but then again, they are all in couples, so it would be hard to understand my position right now.
Thank you again, my dad is recovering, but requires a lot of care.
All the best to you,