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New relationship and Anxious Attachment started to kicked in

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  • #393287
    June
    Participant

    So I met this guy back in January on dating apps. We have been together for 1,5 months. It is still very new indeed.. During the second date I told him that I’m looking for exclusivity in the long round (as I don’t want to date around for too long and ends up with nothing), he said he was just finally move-on from his ex and feeling that he might want to look around first before finally settling down, but he really feel that he likes me a lot and we are very good together. I replied that is fine if he still wants to look around, but I won’t stay if he does that, because i will feel insecure. He then said he’ll think about it.

    After that conversation we still meet regularly, and I don’t think he’s talking/date other girls as well, his dating profile looks like he was offline a lot too, and in real world, he is very very good to me. We meet regularly 2-3x a week in his house/ outside too, and we talked about deep stuff a lot at night. He told me that he’s still friends with his ex, and he wanted to know how do i feel about that (before dating they were already friends for 15 years), I said I don’t really mind but if he respect me enough he will set some boundaries with her. He also told his ex somethings about me too, and i think it’s a good thing because I feel he’s setting a boundaries with her through mentioning me.

    But now I started to care a lot about him and the slightest differences of behaviors kinda triggers my anxiety. A couple days ago I started to feel he act kinda differently, either he feels too comfortable or start to lose interest. What triggers this feeling was, normally we chat when we don’t meet, something light but flirty even if he’s feeling down or busy.. but a few days ago, he started to ignore my messages but i know he’s online, so what should i do?

     

     

    #393312
    anita
    Participant

    Dear June:

    But now I started to care a lot about him” – it means that you are more attached to him than before, and more attachment means more anxiety, which is what anxious attachment is about: More Attachment => More Anxiety.

    The slightest differences of behaviors kinda triggers my anxiety” – anxiety is ongoing fear, and the fear is about him withdrawing from you, so your fearful, alarmed mind is looking for evidence that he is withdrawing from you.

    Normally we chat when we don’t meet, something light but flirty even if he’s feeling down or busy… but a few days ago, he started to ignore my messages, but I know he’s online” – how many messages did he ignore a few days ago? Did you send him a 2nd message even though he didn’t answer your 1st, and then a 3rd, etc.?

    That was a few days ago, did you meet him since and when you didn’t meet, did he message you, as before the suspected withdrawal?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #394755
    June
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Glad to hear other perspective! Thanks for helping me in this journey

    “More Attachment => More Anxiety” – Yes, i think i started to attach myself to him as I find him interesting and has a lot to offer. He also thinks like that of me when we talk and share our feelings.

    “how many messages did he ignore a few days ago? Did you send him a 2nd message even though he didn’t answer your 1st, and then a 3rd, etc.?” – He sometimes still do it, but usually will reply when I sent him 2nd message, and I have never send a 3rd in a row.

    “did you meet him since and when you didn’t meet, did he message you, as before the suspected withdrawal?” – I did meet him again, normally we meet about 2 times a week, mid and weekends together. When we meet it seems like it was normal. He’s very attentive, he did not touch his phones unless I’m out of the room or it’s really urgent, but when we part, he’s back to cold again.

    This week he seems really busy, he don’t even want to meet twice, and his messages was totally dry. But one night I saw he was online again in dating app, I don’t know if he opened it by mistakes (because he have not use it for a while) or purposely being active again, and I started to become really conscious if he text other girls or went out with other girls for dates.

    I’ve been thinking to ask him to be exclusive and not to see other people while we are still hanging out pretty soon. We’ve been together a lot for the past 2 months, I think he should know or at least to talk it out where is the relationship is going. (wish me bravery to ask! lol)

    #394759
    anita
    Participant

    Dear June:

    Normally we meet about 2 times a week, mid and weekends together. When we meet… He’s very attentive…  but when we part, he’s back to cold again” – notice this: when you part, it’s not necessarily that he feels cold toward you. He may simply be busy with life. What is certain is that you feel cold when you part.

    When a strong attachment figure leaves, even temporarily, it feels cold.

    This week he seems really busy, he doesn’t even want to meet twice, and his messages was totally dry. But one night I saw he was online again in dating app; I don’t know if he opened it by mistakes… or purposely being active again” – it is possible that he was too busy with life and needed to distract himself for a moment. Seeing what’s happening on his dating app, who messaged him etc., is a fast and easy distraction, and it can be fun for a moment, nothing more to it.

    We’ve been together a lot for the past 2 months; I think he should know or at least to talk it out where is the relationship is going. (wish me bravery to ask! lol)” – when you talk to him on the topic,  look into his eyes, keep your tone of voice and facial expressions gentle, a little smile perhaps. This way he is more likely to feel comfortable talking on the topic. And I do wish you bravery!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 9 months ago by anita.
    #394862
    HoneyBlossom
    Participant

    I’m feeling for you as I know what you are going through. I think that after such a short time together, it’s understandable that he doesn’t want to commit – that’s healthy. I think that the healthiest thing is for people to take things slow and you would have put yourself in a better place mentally and emotionally if you could do same as he has said.

    Having said that, I can’t do relationships anymore although that could change. The anxiety is part of it. Last time was so bad, I just couldn’t put myself through that.

    Best thing is to just get on with your life. It’s best if he comes back that you have more to tell him about than you were waiting for his texts or calls. You will feel better too.

    #395311
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, June and what’s new???

    anita

    #398562
    June
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I’ve been really good thanks! A bit busy with work. How have you been?

    In terms with the guy, I have had the talk with him. We met on weekends and we had a pretty chill day just spending time together, and around the evening when it’s just the two of us, I start asking him if he still swipe on dating apps or not (he answered he is not active anymore) with this information I just go ahead and move to the heavy topics.

    I approached ‘the talk’ first by positive affirmation and mention I had a lot of fun with him during the past 2 months. I don’t know if this is good or not, but I read a lot about effective communication and how to ‘pitch’ the idea LOL, and I settled on presenting it as this is not a compromised from him to stop dating other people and just be exclusive with me, but to make this as a new step and a great opportunity for him to continue ‘the fun’ that we have been doing (I also had a very clear understanding about what exclusive dating I had in mind, so it’s very clear for me to explain to him). And it worked!! He said he had not just fun, but A LOT of fun, and he said it’s just a natural move to continue what he has been doing anyway (as in he was not dating other people at the same time).

    Not much has change after that tho, it was really just a natural thing to do when we already in the same mindset, I just need assurance from him for my own overthinking ass at night lol. He keeps being the same before and after the talk (we have been exclusive together for a month now), in terms of dating apps, I notice his profile has not been active at all after we had the talk.

     

    I know this is a bit too early, but he is a Nomad, we met in Asia (and still in Asia now), and his community (close friends) are traveling back to EU next month. He said he might not follow them and nothing has been set in stone yet at this moment. But deep down I keep thinking he would be lonely without his friends here. He’s a pretty private guy, so he had a bit of problem to meet or to approach people and making new friends. I am a bit worried about this part tho. I asked him if he would be lonely without his friends, and he was just like, “Meh..” For me, I’m not in position where I can move as much as him with my work, so this has been a bit troubling for me for a while now. I know I can’t make him stay for me but at the same time, I had a lot of fun with him near me.

     

    That’s with me, LOL it’s a lot. But how are you Anita? I hope you’re healthy and happy. Thank you for always helping me with my problems lol, I really appreciate your input 🙂

    #398565
    anita
    Participant

    Dear June:

    Good to read back from you, I am fine, thank you, you are welcome, and congrats for a month of an exclusive relationship! Every woman who is anxious about having this kind of talk with a man she’s dating should read your recent post and your whole thread for context. You did very well in these regards: (1) Timing- you chose a time when the two of you were “pretty chill just spending time together”, as opposed to a time when any one of you were stressed or busy,

    (2) Clarity- you were clear about what you wanted before the conversation: “I also had a very clear understanding about what exclusive dating I had in mind, so it’s very clear for me to explain to him”,

    (3) Start- You started with a positive affirmation: telling him you had a lot of fun with him, (4) Presentation- you presented the idea of an exclusive relationship with you as his Gain (more fun with you), not as his Loss (no fun with other women).

    He is a Nomad, we met in Asia (and still in Asia now), and his community (close friends) are traveling back to EU next month… I am a bit worried about this part tho. I asked him if he would be lonely without his friends” –

    – It is valid to be concerned about him being lonely without the physical presence of his close friends but watch for the habit of your Anxious Attachment to kick in from time to time and calm it down every time it kicks in. You don’t want to add ongoing worry and overthinking on top of a valid concern. (Rein over that “overthinking ass at night lol”!),

    – Remember that it worked before to present yourself in his life as his Gain, not as his Loss (the loss of his close friends being there physically in his life, in this case). Imagine how lonely he would be without you if he moves away.

    anita

     

    #398573
    June
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

     

    I’m glad to hear you are well 🙂

    Lol, thank you very much, it was also thanks to you partly because you give me a good advice too and not to get into my anxious headspace too much that I can control myself better.

    In terms of ‘the talk’ it was definitely scary and really feels vulnerable, especially to the person who ask the question. I had to muster up my courage for a while. At some point I feel that it was him that had all the power and the answer, and I don’t like the feeling of it. That is also part of why I don’t want to present it as a question for him, like, “What are we?” type of situation(feels like the balls are in his court). It worked after I shifted my perspective, it was clear to see that I have to approach it as in it will be a lot of positive experience that we both can share together. Seeing that we both in it together makes the strength of the relationship a lot more powerful and I think it makes him feel I have a lot of value to give, after that it just natural to move up to a better “level” (this is if the guy is also on the same page as you are previously *like with him not actively dating other women*)

    *Also PS. if anybody else is reading this, I(and a lot of my girlfriends) do think the best timing to ask is when the relationship is at it’s peak, when you guys are really enjoying every seconds of it. I know it’s scary and it feels like you risk a lot, but don’t wait until things start to bother you and your action change around him, he can feel it. And it’s more natural to move up when you’re at the peak, rather than when things starts to become stressful. It’s really about the right timing.

     

    “but watch for the habit of your Anxious Attachment to kick in from time to time and calm it down every time it kicks in.” 

    Oh it already went up and down LOL. I almost didn’t sleep after he told me that his friends already booked the flight to EU, I had to calm my every nerves and went hours researching how Nomad life affects the relationship and what did the other person do loll.. I had more infos now of how things works, and I know I can’t do much anyway when they already made decisions. I talked with him when I met him about his plans, he said he will definitely speak to me and discuss if the time comes when he have to make a decision. Which I feel I am okay with it if both of us can come to a middle compromise plan about this.

     Remember that it worked before to present yourself in his life as his Gain, not as his Loss (the loss of his close friends being there physically in his life, in this case). Imagine how lonely he would be without you if he moves away.

    I did tell him that lol. He just joke about bringing me as well to EU(or I thought it was a joke), but I know he had a lot of fun here with me and it’s heavy for him to leave it, thats why I figures he decided to stay for a while even when his friends will leave. I also think he should start making new friends here outside his community.

    #398574
    June
    Participant

    Hi HoneyBlossom,

     

    Sorry, I didn’t see your comments there,

    I think that after such a short time together, it’s understandable that he doesn’t want to commit – that’s healthy. I think that the healthiest thing is for people to take things slow

    I think everybody has different pace in relationship for sure. Some do like it fast, and they can burn for so long, some are more slow like you said, but I think you should communicate your expectation with your other person if you do have some certain expectation/ style in the relationship — that is healthy too

    Having said that, I can’t do relationships anymore although that could change. The anxiety is part of it. Last time was so bad, I just couldn’t put myself through that.

    I hope you are in a better state of mind now, I also had some bad experience that makes me go for healing for years and it was hard to fully become yourself again. But it did come thru for me, I become much stronger, and it also makes me feel I grew a lot after I manage to conquer it.

    Best thing is to just get on with your life. It’s best if he comes back that you have more to tell him about than you were waiting for his texts or calls. You will feel better too.

    I normally will put somebody who do ghosting as a major red flag, especially when we already dating for sometimes. I don’t feel they respect you enough to give you the closure you need, so I would not bother it anymore and I will move on. But in this current case, he never ghosted me, and we did have exclusive talk and it went well so far, so I’m very glad about that 🙂

    June

    #398576
    anita
    Participant

    Dear June:

    You are very welcome and thank you for your kind words!

    In terms of ‘the talk’ it was definitely scary” – but you did it anyway, and you did it well: you are courageous and wise!

    At some point I feel that it was him that had all the power and the answer, and I don’t like the feeling of it. That is also part of why I don’t want to present it as a question for him, like, ‘What are we?’ type of situation (feels like the balls are in his court)” –

    – next time a member posts about her struggles with having “the talk” with her boyfriend, or otherwise asserting herself in a relationship, can I direct her to your thread?

    The way to negotiate with another, be it in a private or in a business setting, is to negotiate from a position of power. I don’t mean abusive, or unfair power, of course.

    Seeing that we (are) both in it together makes the strength of the relationship a lot more powerful” – a win-win relationship is one where more power to you means more power to him, and two powerful people make a relationship… well, powerful.

    I think it makes him feel I have a lot of value to give” – one empowering value to bring to a relationship is resourcefulness, the ability to find logical, sensible and/ or creative ways to overcome difficulties

    I almost didn’t sleep after he told me that his friends already booked the flight to EU, I had to calm my every nerve and went hours researching how Nomad life affects the relationship and what did the other person do…  I talked with him when I met…” – in regard to the relationship, he is your greatest source of information, not people who never met him. He reads like a decent guy, get to know him more and more, and don’t be a stranger, post again anytime you feel like it.

    anita

    #398661
    June
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    next time a member posts about her struggles with having “the talk” with her boyfriend, or otherwise asserting herself in a relationship, can I direct her to your thread?

    For sure, you are welcome to do that. I’m happy if my post can help at least 1 person have a relationship that they want. Reminder to myself (or anyone like me) we have a lot more power than what we think. How you communicate your feelings and thoughts are really powerful too.

    The way to negotiate with another, be it in a private or in a business setting, is to negotiate from a position of power. I don’t mean abusive, or unfair power, of course.

    Nobody can said it better. I don’t think the result will change that much in my case if I asked him in a lower position, but the balance of the relationship will fall to him who make/end, which will determine the course later on. And of course you have to lead with the power of love and high value of yourself, otherwise it will feel like manipulative moves.

     in regard to the relationship, he is your greatest source of information, not people who never met him.

    I understand, however I feel more comfortable if  I understand my feelings(is it sad of him leaving? or is it hopeless that i can’t go with him) and what kind of options I can make, in this case, reading a lot from Nomad’s blog and other subreddit, so I know more perspective and also understanding his position better too. Maybe it’s a way to “control” my anxiety too, I feel it makes me double anxious if I didn’t understand the topic well enough, same with what exclusivity means in my head, so I have a clear answer and communication with him.

    With that information I will then get to know his views , and also I will feel less of a burden who keeps asking this and that (maybe it’s not healthy to think myself as a burden, but I also don’t want to add to an ongoing worry like you said earlier)

     

    What’s up with you Anita? I’m now in Thailand, last week they just had a Thai New Year celebration called “songkran” , and basically people will go to the streets and spray water to other people lol(some with bucket of water, some with watergun spray), it was a very fun and exciting culture they have here.

    June

    #398669
    anita
    Participant

    Dear June:

    I will direct anxious members to your thread then, a thread for the empowerment of women: “we have a lot more power than what we think. How you communicate your feelings and thoughts are really powerful too“- … powerfully articulated.

    Please continue to express your strengths and your weakness- there is power in detecting, acknowledging and understanding our weaknesses.

    Reading a lot from Nomad’s blog and other subreddit… it makes me double anxious if I didn’t understand the topic well enough…  With that information I will then get to know his views“- makes sense to me.

    You use the term Nomad, which traditionally and originally refers to pastoral nomads who follow their herd according to seasons. The term, global nomad (or glomad) refers to people who (according to Wikipedia and go expat. com) travel alone or in pairs, but sometimes with kids, living a mobile and international lifestyle and seeking detachment from any particular geographic location/ detachment from “the idea of territorial belonging”.

    When global nomads make a living using their phone and the internet, they are also called digital nomads. This lifestyle is made possible by a combination of the internet, inexpensive travel and low cost of living in various places in the world, having the ability to work from anywhere, at any time, not being tied down to a work schedule, to an office… or to a country.

    I’m now in Thailand, last week they just had a Thai New Year celebration called ‘Songkran’, and basically people will go to the streets and spray water to other people lol” – the celebration of the New Year, aka the Water Splashing Festival, marking the end of the dry season. Sounds like a lot of fun, I wish I was there for the festival!

    anita

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by anita.
    #399928
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, June???

    anita

    #405436
    June
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Sorry I haven’t seen the post for so long, was really busy doing work.  International trip has been pretty easy here as well so I have been traveling quite a bit for work and also I’m planning to see Angkor Wat in Cambodia soon. So excited!! My first time in Cambodia and I was reading some infos, the sites is so large, best to spend 3 days there so we can see sunrise and sunsets too, and the city is also quite gorgeous.

    My dating life has been pretty stable recently. He’s now in Europe, but he have made plans to travel back to where I am now to spend more times together again. I’m really amazed of the consistency that he gave me every day too. We text everyday and without failed we talk on VC everyweek. He never give me any reason to doubt him too, which as an anxious type, I really appreciate that.

    We had a few ‘small’ fights and disagreement about how to communicate to each other, which I think it’s pretty normal. Before we agreed to go on LDR, we already talked about it as well, I think it’s just the matter of how each of you set expectations and show your partner what you want. Showing your standard and your boundaries is not a turn-off, it is really powerful. And him, how open he is to discussing what comfortable or not for him is showing emotional maturity as well.

    I’m happy we’re gonna meet again, and we gonna spend time together, but at the same time I’m a bit anxious, it’s nothing about the relationship, it’s totally on my insecurities. Like is he gonna bailed last minutes and cancel? Will like me as much again when we meet? Will he get bored without his community/friends? etc ( I know it’s dumb to think about something like that).. But I’m sure it’ll go away as time goes by, telling myself to focus enjoying the moment instead of focusing on the useless anxious voice in the back if my mind.

     

    How about you? How are you? I hope things are well and good over wherever you are!!

     

    June

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