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I overthink my feelings for my boyfriend and stress myself out

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  • #184465
    Patricia
    Participant

    So, i know the title is kind of vague. But, I really need some type of advice or answers because this is killing me.

     

    This boy who I am currently dating is my first boyfriend. He is also truly my bestfriend. I tell him everything and talk to him every minute of the day and he comforts me with my anxiety and sad low points in my life. I am so comfortable with him and i want to build more and more with him and honestly, i want to fall in love with him. I really don’t want anybody else but him. I want to be right here, with him. He does everything he can for me. With his minimal money, he buys what he can for me, small chocolates, anything. He deals with my stubborn ways gladly and reminds me that he mutually feels like he truly cares about me and isn’t leaving me the way i tell him i am not going to either.

    So, where the question plays in is here –

    Before me and my b0yfriend began to start talking in a romantic way, before anything was official, he was really just my best friend. I still talked to him every moment of the day and was just as close with him, but we didn’t have a romantic relationship yet. He was with a girl for almost a year, somebody he really wasn’t ready to be with and somebody he didn’t truly love the way he conveyed to her she did. They ended up breaking up just shy of hitting a year.

    We began talking soon after their breakup. He gained feelings for me while he was with her and I had always avoided letting mine interrupt our friendship. But when we began talking, after a while I had gotten the impression it was really just me and him and he wasn’t seeing anyone else. I found out he was still texting her, but I understood him and I wasn’t that hurt. He explained to me that he felt like he missed her, but he came to the conclusion he really didn’t and he wanted to be with me. It hurt me for a little. When we began talking, I had been so crazy over him. And I truly adored him. I still do

    I had already been really damaged from a past relationship and family issues. I began to develop anxiety and i felt like I had lost all of my friends. So my emotional self had really started to fall apart. But after I found out he had been texting his ex, something in my heart felt missing. Im not sure why. It felt like my last straw. It didn’t feel like I had lost feelings for him, or didn’t want to be with him or hated him or felt any indifference about him – but it felt like i couldn’t feel emotions. Like I didn’t know how to feel, I wasn’t happy or sad anymore. I couldn’t really feel the love I wanted to feel for him anymore, but i know i have for him . After I had identified that i couldn’t seem to find this emotion through my body, I began to overthink my feelings. Drowning my head in the same thought of “maybe you don’t ‘like’ him anymore” and it killed me to think that because it wasn’t true, but i just kept pressing this thought on my head and it wouldn’t go away, for months, even until now ill have these moments where my head will just cloud up with that thought and it will stress me out so badly.

    So I’m still stuck in this state. I hate it so much. I know in my heart I have love for this boy. Its not just a friendship its a deep want for him but, i feel like i am expecting this explosive amazing feeling and i can’t get it. I cant get any emotion from anywhere. I am going to therapy and we’ve come to the conclusion i am emotionally detached. I look up my issue online, mainly with the keywords “Why do I feel like I don’t love my boyfriend when I know I do” and such.

    This hurts me and I really want to know what other people think of it. I refuse to hear “maybe you just aren’t clicking with him.” He is perfect for me and I want him. I truly do want to fall in love with him. Its almost like something is not allowing me to, thats how it feels. Please, somebody give me their opinion. I want to live an open free life with him in it. I chose him.

    #184493
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Patricia:

    Reads to me that you are afraid of getting hurt, either left by the one you love or betrayed by him, and so, to hurt less, you feel less. It is a way to protect yourself, to hurt less.

    When you found out that he texted his ex girlfriend, your past hurt awakened (the family issues and past relationship you mentioned), and so was the fear of more hurt triggered. Your brain/ body’s response to that fear was automatic: feel less, go numb, disassociate/ detach.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by anita.
    #184503
    Maria Mango
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    As a chronic over thinker myself, I’m here for you! Thank you for posting, it sounds like you’re really struggling here.

    It seems to me that you feel differently about your boyfriend now because he more or less betrayed your trust. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that and I think being detached is actually a step in the right direction here. Follow that feeling (or non-feeling in this case), explore it with your therapist. This person whom you very much love hurt you and it’s only natural that you are protecting yourself.

    My question to you is this: have you spoken to your boyfriend about this? Have you told him how it makes you feel when he texts his ex? Sometimes just getting that elephant out of the room and having a deep conversation about what you both want in a relationship is just the trick to  start the healing process.

    So in short, you’re hurt and that’s okay. You need to heal from it just like a physical wound. It will take time and the expression of your feelings and needs to your boyfriend to make this healing happen. Best of luck, you seem like a lovely person and I wish you only the very best 🙂

    Much Love,

    Maria

    #184509
    Patricia
    Participant

    He knows and understands this confusing feeling for me. He hasn’t hurt me since then. Since we became official, which was after the whole texting his ex girlfriend, everything is great between us. Its just about me personally healing now. ts just really frustrating because I want to feel my love for him that I know is there. I don’t feel like I want to leave him or anything. I just can’t feel it what i know is in my head and my heart

    #184511
    Peter
    Participant

    Many years ago I live in a state where I would have told you I felt nothing and that I felt nothing because I felt everything. I think that what happens to people that feel to much. It overwhelms and we become numb… still feeling everything but all at once so that it feels like nothing.  Similar perhaps to the story of the dog placed in a special cage. The floor of each half of the box had an electrical grid that could deliver a painful shock to the dog. The researchers could flip a switch to direct the electrical current to either compartment A or compartment B. The dog learned to expect the shock and would cross the barrier after the shock was turned on. When the shock was applied to both compartments the dog lay down and gave up. Even when the door to the cage was left open the dog did no leave.

    The issue your experiencing isn’t about your boyfriend and what he did and did not do, its about you. The door to the cage that was your past is open. To go through the door you will have to learn again to trust life. Take a step and the feelings will return.

    #184537
    VJ
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    “I don’t feel like I want to leave him or anything
    I had been so crazy over him”

    In most of your comments there is a desperatedness about wanting this person.

    This doesn’t seem to be detachment. In fact this is attachment.

    True love is neither attachment nor detachment.

    It’s like a gardener who steps-in and steps-out only when required. A gardener who should step inside the garden when it is required to water the plants and step out when not required, else the plants will die.

    It is as if  “When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily.”

    It’s like if you close your hands with a butterfly inside it then it is going to suffocate, but when you open your hands and allow it to fly – there is great beauty and love in the overall experience which both you and the butterfly will internally experience. The point is we should not be holding to it.

    You don’t want to badly need this person and give away everything to this person and then after a period of time when there is a setback start a new thread on tinybuddha “Loved my boyfriend a lot but only got was hurt…don’t know what to do?”. Don’t take me otherwise. Look out and you will find such threads on this forum.

    So don’t have the intense neediness of this or any other person in life.

    Assuming you have good relations with your mother and you love your mother. Do you desperately “need” your mother and that you somehow always want her in any case? I don’t think so. But you still love her very much. You may say a motherly love is different than a love with a spouse. A mother will send her child to an overseas country for further studies even though she cannot live without the child. That is true Selfless Love and not Obsessed Love in which there is no ‘wantingness’ or ‘neediness’ for any person. There is no suffocation within yourself and the other and in the relation.

    So then after you remove this neediness, coming back to your original question of the post on how to experience love towards this person?

    You may not like it but – It is by self-love and only by self-love.

    It is only when we expand our love towards ourself, we become so FULL that we then extend it to others. There is no other way of true love.

    See if there are any blockages to self love and inculcate more of that and extend it towards your boyfriend.

    You just don’t need to do anything else and your love life will be back on track.

     

    Best Regards,

    VJ

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by VJ.
    #184549
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Patricia:

    These are the feelings you do have for your boyfriend: “he comforts me… I am so comfortable with him and I want to build more and more with him… I really don’t want anybody else but him… I truly adored him. I still do.… I have love for this boy… a deep want for him”.

    This is the feeling you do not have for your boyfriend: “this explosive amazing feeling”.

    One problem I see at this point is that you are expecting this explosive, amazing feeling and that you believe there is something wrong not having that feeling, as if it indicates a lack of love or something being wrong with you or with the relationship.

    This explosive, amazing feeling doesn’t last for anyone. It is heavily portrayed in movies and books (fiction, including fairytales ending with “and they lived happily ever after”) but in real life, such a feeling doesn’t last. Just like any excitability, they all pass. Some people create a lot of drama in their lives, breakups and reunions just to get that feeling back. Not a good idea.

    And then, when you try to force yourself to feel something, you will get the opposite result, just like trying to force a child to like vegetables… not going to work, he will hate vegetables even more. Stop pressuring the child and he may try them.

    And so, you are expecting a feeling that cannot last to be a permanent feeling and you are pressuring yourself to feel it, which produces the opposite result.

    Realistically, you will feel that feeling sometimes, at best. What you do feel for him (my quotes above) indicate a better and healthier relationship possibility than most people, including those feeling those explosive feelings, at times.

    Personally, I like “comfortable” and “best friend… I tell him everything…. he comforts me… I am so comfortable”- I will take comfortable over explosive feelings anytime!

    anita

     

     

    #184675
    Derek
    Participant

    Hi Patricia,

    Thank you so much for posting this. I think you are really brave and hope that you can see that. You also are strong enough to face your fear head on instead of run away or succumb to it. For me alone that shows the growth that you are making as a person and I personally find it really inspiring. I wish you could be as kind to yourself as you are when you speak about your boyfriend because I think self-love and relaxation will help you. I have so much to respond because so much resonates with me. I wish I could give you a hug. You have made me feel so much less alone, I thought I was crazy for the negative and stressful thoughts but you have made me feel like it’s ok not to be ok, so thank you.

    I am also in my first relationship and constantly overthink it. I am in a gay relationship which for me added some extra difficulties and can be confusing. For example, I have days when I completely freak out and shut down. This usually stems for a very poor childhood experience that is still unresolved. I noticed that it happens to me around big occasions, for example our 2 year anniversary was yesterday and all I could think about was what if he leaves me? What if I don’t love him? IS he good enough, is he educated enough, is he attractive enough etc? These are quite painful and difficult emotions to deal with but what I have learned is that I am not my thoughts and can choose which ones to follow. And remember to just breathe. So like you said you CHOSE HIM. So the next time a negative thought pops in, say to yourself but RIGHT NOW IN THIS MOMENT I CHOOSE HIM. Thank the thought for trying to protect you. I literally label it and say ‘Oh here’s my anxious thought popping up trying to protect me again. Thanks for that but I am ok and choose my boyfriend and love over this thought’.

    The best thing in my opinion is to create as much honesty between you both as possible. Talk to him about your feelings and ask him to be kind and non-judgmental about it. I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend that I can say to ‘I have been really worried about whether or not this will work out to the point I downloaded Tinder for 5 minutes and swiped realizing I didn’t want anyone else but I am finding it really hard to accept and receive our love’. As you can imagine, that is a lot for anyone to take. I beat myself up for months about it, and even repeated the pattern until one day I decided to just breathe. We always have our breath. And I started meditating regularly.

     

    Oh the buzzing feeling. This happens in the honeymoon period, but be kind to yourself. Do you have some days where you look in the mirror and think WOW I AM THE HOTTEST PERSON ON THE PLANET? Probably not, but like love, attraction can come and go. I literally have days where I feel full of passion and want to make love, and other days where stressful negative thoughts take over and I think ‘I don’t know if I find him attractive’. This is all down to our self esteem and how we feel about ourselves. Relationships are like mirrors and reflect the best and the worst of what we see in ourselves.

     

    I realize this is a long message and I really could keep going, so I am going to end this with some bullet points about how I try and cope and has helped me:

     

    – Keep a diary. I write everything and it literally feels like a breath of fresh air.

    – I sometimes try to combat the negative thoughts by having a time frame to think about them. So my ‘thinking time’ is 5 – 6pm. If a thought comes to my mind outside that I say ‘Sorry cannot think about that now – come back later’. It really has worked.

    – I use a free guided meditation app, called Insight Timer and love it. It really helps me to calm in my scary moments

    – DON’T GOOGLE THINGS. That was the WORST pattern for me. I have done it again recently, but google can tell you any answer you want and actually will just increase the anxiety and stress. We don’t live in Hollywood and every relationship is different so there is no right or wrong way to be in your relationships (obviously I mean healthy relationships, not abusive/violent etc.)

    – Remember not to focus your whole world on your relationship. You are a WHOLE PERSON that forms part of ONE Relationship. I think it is really important to find your own personal happiness outside the relationship and enjoy that.

     

    I am going to stop now because I am actually meant to be working but was so so so happy to see your post. I hope I haven’t gone overboard and that this helps rather than stress you.

     

    Remember, just breathe. Wishing you so much happiness and strength.

    Derek

    #309837
    Jess
    Participant

    This response helped me alot! Thank you for your feed back. This will help me breath and not stress so much about it. Overthinking sucks!

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