Rship – growth, anxiety and learning to move on

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    Hey Michelle and Adelaide ,

    I’m feeling a bit poorly. Stomach bug I think so don’t have energy. Did read both and thanks for advice. I’ll reply once I’m back on my feet. Xx




    @michelle Mr S and your 20th anniversary sounds perfect. Lovely to hear happy news and you had a special day. One to remember even more considering you were in lockdown!

    I don’t think I phrased it properly, I value your opinion but I do whatever I feel is right at the end. I have already decided to not push ahead because I’m not ready to dive into something or stress about discussing boundaries. I want it to be special and not in lockdown.

    The getting creative with iso dates is definitely something I’ll take on board. We did have a quiz on Zoom with a few of his friends a week ago which was nice and no pressure as I have already met them before.

    The ice cream pj party sounds right up my street. I could so something along those lines surprise Jay. I think a bit of distance does makes it more romantic when you finally do meet. I’ve felt more giddy with Jay in early phases then I did with my ex who I saw daily!

    @adelaide your flat mates suicide is not anything to be minimised. Pushing grief away or not dealing with it leads to bigger problems so if you want to talk about it on here. We will support you. And yes you should be proud of yourself you’ve done a lot of self assessment and most of all taken action to change your choices to lead to a more fulfilling life for yourself and better connections. You should be proud!!

    I’ve been feeling very poorly last few days. My stomach is churning and I feel nauseated but can’t be sick. I don’t know if it’s a bug or my anxiety. I do miss my mum and sister a lot too. This is the longest I’ve gone without them. The more lockdown is extended the more claustrophobic I’m feeling. I dont want to unleash this on Jay he puts up with enough of my down days. So I’m just releasing my worries on here.


    Hey both – how’s it all going?

    @Genie. Feeling any better at all yet?  I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a bit of anxiety, it can hit people physically too. Have you been able to get outside at all – are you still running when you can? Both are really good ways of helping to dump stress – as well as here, obviously 🙂   Yeah, the longer it goes, the weirder it feels, especially as I’m a hugger/physical contact kind of person so a phone call is just not the same for me. But my Mum managed her first video call this weekend and it was good just to be able to see her & my Dad in the background – he’s not a camera person at all 😉  So just keep in touch with them all as much as you can and carry on unleashing here for sure..

    I’m glad you got where I was coming from re your decision – when I was still working I used to mentor younger women (one of the few things I miss actually) and some of them weren’t so good as thinking for themselves as you are. So I’ve got a bit more cautious over the years!  Sounds to me like it’s the right decision for you though. Now I just want to hear about what inventive plan you come up with for your first iso-date alone….

    @Adelaide. The PJ/ice-cream party is wonderful….both inventive, thoughtful and fun! Clearly this other woman is very into you to have thought about the icecream and I bet the flower cookies have gone down well. I love it – it’s great to read how you are both reaching out and making it work even in these crazy times.

    It’s interesting you are resilient in other areas and I’m glad it’s not just me with the wacky sense of self-humour 🙂    But it does suggest that it’s more likely simply a lack of confidence in the romance area rather than self-esteem generally, so yeah, the more you practice the less scary and strange it all is…  It is weird isn’t it when you first realise that different people react differently. It sounds so obvious after all.  But it isn’t until you experience it in real life that you actually truly understand or feel it. So yeah, I’m glad you are seeing that just because your ex reacted one way to something you’d say/do,  it isn’t necessarily how other people react.

    Catch up soon both, take care


    Hey both

    @genie I hope you are feeling better! Anxiety can have such strong manifestations physically. I’ve been having dance parties where I can, putting on uplifting music and just going for it! I find it helps shake me out of the worst of it.

    I really feel for you both in the UK in terms of the ongoing uncertainty about when lockdown will be lifted. Where I live things are much more contained. Hope you are able to connect with your family as much as you can; sending love! Love that the older generation is embracing the video tech too @michelle and that you got to connect with your parents. I am not an overly physically affectionate person but physical contact is definitely something I miss too – even just the little everyday incidental contact; the things we take for granted!

    Thanks Genie for your reassurance about being here to support. You’re right, repressing grief only leads to more pain in the long run. I wish my parents had taught me this growing up as it’s only after seeking therapy that I am learning how much not labeling and processing my feelings has affected me and held me back but everyone has their own coping mechanisms I guess. At least I can change it for myself now.

    Ice cream iso-date tonight! I love the feeling of excitement you get before a date, especially a second one because you know the first one went well enough that you both want to do it again. Should be fun! She got the flower cookies a couple of days ago and loved the idea. 🙂 We will realistically not be able to meet in person for another 3 weeks, maybe more, so will have to keep being creative. We have kept up daily contact and I am slowly getting over my communication anxieties I feel… every time either I or her react differently to what I’ve experienced before I get a little more confident. You’re right I think Michelle, just a general lack of confidence in this area I think. Good to know that I can build it slowly but surely!

    Was talking to a friend yesterday who is going through that painful phase post breakup where they are realising keeping up contact is ultimately hindering them. I was saying to them that even though cutting contact feels absolutely awful short term it is essential to healing long term. I would never have believed that when I first joined here but looking back and looking where I am now it is so true, so thank you for your kind but firm advice in that aspect.

    Take care both! I’ll let you know how the second date goes!



    @michelle I don’t think it’s anxiety. O feel the same though. Nauseous and twisty stomach.

    I haven’t stepped outside the house for weeks now only to put the rubbish out. I’ve been living in a bubble. I did enjoy my runs and chants so will pick it up again when this is all over.

    I love it when the parents attempt video call for the first time it’s such a funny experience!

    Mentoring? I would love to be able to to do something so fulfilling. It must be worrying though when someone hangs on your every word. Don’t worry I’m quite good at making my own decisions but need a little steer in the right direction sometimes. Jay took the decision well. And he is plotting an ISO date. So I will keep you two in the loop!

    @adelaide where are you based? The uk lockdown is a ongoing. Extended further and no end in sight. The death rates are also climbing. So much lack of direction I feel and mistakes to those working in our hospitals and risking their lives!

    At least you are dealing with your grief and unlabeled feelings now. You are learning and wanting to change so keep going! Enjoy the icecream/pj date! So so proud of you chick for pushing through your fears and how you are now passing on the great advice of no contact to help your friends! It feels good doesn’t it when someone else can learn from your own struggles.


    Hey both.

    @Adelaide – look forward to hearing the isodate update, bet it went/is going well. Yeah, it’s an odd time here in the UK and frustrating when you can see how we could be doing much better, especially on the leadership front but hey, not the place for politics ;-).  I always figured the UK would struggle more and it’s one of the reasons I would’ve stayed away if insurance/visas allowed it! But, no point getting angry about things I can’t do anything about and just focus on those I can, like donating to people who actually can deliver PPE….whatever can actually help in a practical sense.

    It’s amazing how much effort it can take to break free of what our parents/whoever we grew up with ‘taught’ us about the world. That’s why I always think it’s so important to broaden your horizons/circles of friends/influences.  Once you realise they weren’t right about everything, you really start figuring out what you actually believe in yourself and dealing with situations differently. Such as not ignoring/burying grief/any other feelings. Good on you for re-learning that yourself in your therapy.

    @Genie. Awh, I’m sorry you are still feeling rotten. I’m curious though – why are you waiting till this is all over to go out at all? The advice is pretty clear that you are ‘allowed’ out each day to exercise/get some fresh air – especially whilst it’s actually nice weather for a remarkable change. Why make this whole thing even harder for yourself?  This is the exact time when your runs & chants will help you the most.

    Yeah, the call was hilarious – especially when my Mum didn’t know how to hang up. But it was surprisingly helpful in making me feel closer to them since I haven’t seen them since Christmas and that’s our longest time too. Plus don’t forget to stay in touch with other friends as well as Jay. It’s amazing the difference a few cheery WA messages can make. We all need some level of human contact. Living in a bubble may feel safer but it’s actually not really helping you, I would reckon.

    Take care both – look forward to the date updates!

    I love that Jay is organising an iso-date, awesome. Wonder what it’ll be?! Exciting.


    Hey both

    Fabulous news about the isodate Genie! Very excited for you. I’m sorry to hear you continue to feel unwell; agree with Michelle that some fresh air and time outdoors would probably be good. I can understand why that may worry you though.

    I am based in New Zealand; you may have heard our PM’s response being praised. Very strict lockdown measures from very early on, prior to any deaths. Of course it helps that we are an island at the bottom of the world but the swift response seems to have done the trick and I feel very grateful indeed to be here. From next Tuesday we will move down a lockdown ‘level’ to being able to get takeaways delivered – but otherwise still at home – looking forward to not having to cook every night! After two weeks of that they will review the situation and hopefully from there restrictions can be gradual eased. Very grateful to have a timeframe – many other places are not so lucky because things have got out of control. And I am lucky to have very strong social networks so have been catching up with heaps of friends virtually, as well as my flatmates in person. Am thinking of you both and hope you and your families keep safe and well! And yes it is hard not to get into politics eh!!

    Isodate went well! Movie we watched was average but we messaged throughout so didn’t really matter, then FaceTimed for a bit after. She said she enjoyed my company and thanked me for a great time and yet my anxiety was gnawing at me again all night, about how the conversation went and what I did or didn’t say, whether she enjoyed it really or was just saying that. Same old! My instinct is always to reach out and seek reassurance but I learned with my ex that when I’m in this space no amount of reassurance works. So instead I just sat with it and as suspected felt better throughout the day. She messaged me to check in late afternoon and we texted on and off all evening – playfully and quite often flirtatiously. I really enjoy her company even at a distance and she obviously enjoys mind also! As I think I said my ex never really texted just to make conversation and it made me feel very insecure so I am still getting used to the difference in communication style but it’s definitely positive and I’m glad I didn’t let my anxiety drive my reaction. Seems like we are on track for another isodate at some point and  hopefully one in person soon enough!

    Thanks for your kind words about relearning things. This sort of thing is a lifetime of work but given my progress in the last six months I am excited about further positive changes. Just gotta keep working at it eh.

    Take care both. Make sure you tell us about your impending isodate Genie! I’m in my cheerleading T-shirt for you. 🙂



    Hey chicks,

    I’m still not feeling well, think it may be a uti as the pain is going into my back now. I have a video call booked with my gp on mon.

    To answer your question as to why I’m keeping in a bubble. Well because I want to see my family asap. I miss my mum and little sister so much and if I go out and this virus is in the air I don’t want to risk being a carrier without symptoms and then going to see my sister who has CF and causing her an infection which could really be deadly for her. This way as soon as lockdown is over I’m going to see them first. I know I talk about Jay mainly but I have others I’m talking to and family too over video calls etc. I’m enjoying being at home, I’ve got used to it. Jay ordered contactless takeaways via uber eats and we streamed a musical then did a tik tok dance challenge. It was fun but I’m feeling unwell still. So if I go quiet its because i just dont have the energy to type.

    I bet your mum and dad appreciated the call a lot too. That’s a long stretch without them. Do you have plans you’re making for once this is all over?

    @Adelaide the UK’s response has been rubbish. NZ has a good leader so I do envy you!

    Your iso dates are going so well. Just enjoy the moment and the pesky anxiety will ease. Look how different it is already you have someone who is paying attention to what you like,need etc putting in the effort so enjoy it without overthinking it.

    Keep going chick you’ve done major work on you in a short space of time ! Xx


    Hey both, how goes it?

    @Genie.  How’re you feeling now – was the doctor able to help much?  At least if it is a uti getting the right antibiotics clears that up really fast. I felt better literally a couple of hours later last time I suffered that one.  I did have to smile at how smart you are – I’m glad you got where I was coming from on helping yourself not to feel so isolated. I get the CF thing, a friend of ours suffers from the same and has to be so careful.  I still think it’s possible to go out without increasing the risk so long as you stay away from everyone but I get why you don’t want to take the chance. My nephew is likewise a high-risk kid and so my sister is having a nightmare having to wash everything that gets delivered/comes from outside the house, strange times.

    The date with Jay sounded cool. Are you organising the next one or is he? Hope you blew him a kiss at the end 😉  Cheerleading t-shirt likewise firmly on for you!

    @Adelaide.  Funny eh, you’re on an island at the bottom of the world and we’re on an island at the top – and how different it all is! NZ has been on our list of places we want to go for a long time – we’ve always put it off until I retired as two-three weeks wouldn’t be enough for us, especially if we did Oz at same time too. We had a couple of great RV trips across US/Canada and would love to do the same in NZ – some of the hikes look amazing too. So it’s definitely getting higher up our list – as & when we are ever allowed out of the UK again!  NZ has handled all this really well and it’s so nice to see some countries coming out the other side ok now. Long way to go but light at the end of the tunnel. The difference a good leader makes eh. Though at the end of the day it’s people who vote the leaders in – so I’m just hoping we learn something about what’s actually useful in a leader….!

    Your isodate sounds like it went really well again. I’m so glad you managed to sit with your anxiety and wait it out instead of caving in to it. However much reassurance you seek, it’s never enough – it’ll last for a little while and then the same old insecure gnawing pit in your stomach returns. The only way out is exactly that ignoring it, doing your best to believe and know you are good enough, that they do like/love you. Basically trusting in the growing relationship…which does sound like it’s going really well. What’s planned next? I can’t imagine how exciting and nerve-wracking a first real date will be – how far away does she live, will it be easy to sort something out?

    Take care both.


    Hey @michelle,

    I don’t get called smart much so thanks! Yes I’m better it was a blimming uti but the antibiotics did the trick. Actually preferred this method of consultation with the gp instead of having to make a trip to the surgery which always gives me anxiety. I hate waiting rooms. Fills me with dread another place where anxiety will escalate if I’m unwell too. Cf is difficult so much of her life is been lived in modified manner so to be on lockdown without any sense of freedom is taking its toll on her mentally now. Boris is out so some sense of captaincy may resume. The whole thing has been rubbishly handled.

    I can understand the extra measures people are taking.

    Jay is planning another one I kind of like having no control and being surprised. It’s making me grow in sense of letting go of controlling everything. I appreciate your cheerleading me on. I sometimes think in dec if I didn’t come on here where would I be?

    I feel for once the anxiety is in a way flat lining in a good way. The spikes of emotion are calming. Does that even make any sense??


    @adelaide how are you chick?? I bet you are out of lockdown. Nz did a fantastic job. Dont forget about us entirely do come on and let us know how you are doing.


    @Michelle do you think with the airlines going bust travelling is also not likely anymore?


    Many of us keep doing hard work and expect that one day everything that we desire will be with us. We will achieve all our goals and will be the happiest person in the world. We keep working and working just to reach the destination call happiness. We sacrifice many things in life. We don’t want to waste a single minute by taking rest. We do not want to stop for a while.

    This was what exactly happening to me. But then suddenly, I looked back to my last 12 years, since when I have started my job. I found, since I have started my professional life, every day I am working hard, taking lots of work pressure and all this time, I am telling myself that one day I will be happy. I will be happy when I will have everything that I desire. But I after analysis, I realize, that after getting almost everything that I desired, own house, a reasonably good car and a completely perfect family, but I have not arrived at the destination called happiness.

    This has made me realize that the destination of happiness can never be reached. The secret is to find out a way to happiness along the way. We should work hard and also to learn the art of enjoying along. It took me a long time to realize, Happiness is not a destination, it’s a part of the journey. Don’t fall into the trap, wait, look around, start to enjoy with whatever you have.


    With Warm Regards

    MB Jr.

    Author of the blog-




    Hey @genie and @michelle! Nice to hear from you both.

    Glad you are feeling better Genie and I know what you mean about preferring virtual methods; I’ve found the same in a lot of respects. So much less stressful. I also know what you mean about the anxiety spiking less – I guess it is all part of adjusting to our circumstances.

    I agree with your assessment of the UK response. So much needless death and hardship for people due to poor leadership! Really feel for your sister too – having to deal with CF would be hard at the best of times, nevermind at the moment. Really hope you can reunite with her soon!

    Stoked to hear that Jay is planning another date. How exciting! Let us know how it goes!

    Michelle, thanks for your wise words as usual – so right that it is just about building trust over time. I feel I am slowly doing that and not so insecure as a result. I really, really hope you get to visit NZ after all this is done! It is an absolutely stunning country and I would love to share some local tips with you! I was actually planning on visiting Europe, including the UK, later this year after a few years of saving up but ha… maybe in a few years eh!! Will make the most of NZ in the meantime.

    Things are positive at my end! We have kept talking daily, I have sent her another parcel to celebrate the start of a new job, and according to her I should be expecting another myself tomorrow! I have always loved sending people surprise gifts so this is ideal, and having the favour returned is a real bonus! We didn’t have an isodate this week – and I was feeling a bit bummed she didn’t raise it – til she texted me saying “I know we usually isodate on Wednesdays but can we rain check?” And I was like oooh, do we now… 🙂 Nice to know she was thinking about it after all and we already have a movie for one lined up next week.

    I still go through periods of feeling anxious, feeling like she may not like me as much as I do her but then contrary evidence presents itself – like tonight when she asked how I felt about navigating two steps at her house when I eventually come over for dinner, because she likes planning in advance and if she was going to cook at my place instead she’d change the menu. I felt so warm and fuzzy knowing she is planning for the future and thinking about what I need And working around potential barriers! So yes, slowly building up that trust as you describe Michelle, and with it excitement too! She only lives about 5km away, but we are still under strict instructions that we should not meet with anyone outside our household “bubble” so it will at least be a few more weeks before we have any chance of meeting in person probably. It is super nice to have that to look forward to though and unlike with my ex I feel a lot more confident in what I have to offer and the kind of relationship I want. Proud of that!

    Lockdown wise, as I say, pretty much still in lockdown except we can order takeaways now. My flatmates and I ordered Malaysian last night and it was sooo good after almost 6 weeks of having to cook every night. Over the weekend I am going to get my first “contactless” flat white – again, first bought coffee in almost 6 weeks. I’m very, very excited!

    So yes, all good news here! Have a great weekend and look forward to letting you know what treats I get delivered and how my next isodate goes. Take care. Xx


    Hey both – how goes it all?

    @ Genie. So glad to hear the antibiotics did the trick. I used to get so nervous at going to the doctors, they called it “white coat syndrome”. Pretty common apparently but makes it nigh on useless to go in for blood pressure readings! These days I really don’t suffer as badly, even through the recent breast cancer scare. The more knowledge & experience I’ve got with it, the less it makes me anxious anymore – one upside of getting older??!

    Personally I don’t hold out much hope Boris will help things much, he’s easily my least favourite politician by a country mile tbh! But at least with the power vacuum gone there’s no excuses not to get on dealing with it all instead of just more talk I hope at least.

    It does make sense about your anxiety flat-lining. It’s pretty amazing once you try a different approach and realise things can actually be different for you. What is it they say, insanity is repeating the same behaviour again and again but expecting a different outcome. Einstein I think?  By breaking your old behaviour, you’ve changed from simply reacting to events and needing to be in control to ‘protect’ yourself – to having a little bit of confidence in letting go and seeing that things can (and do! ) still turn out well. Awesome. I’m looking forwards to hearing what the next isodate is/was – you gotta be pretty excited you guys are dating, all be it at a distance?

    I think travel will survive but it’ll change and it’ll be harder for a while whilst countries are understandably nervous about letting in potential re-infections. I am concerned I guess since UK has done so badly we’ll be one of the last countries people will want back but it’ll get there eventually. Travel is more a state of mind for me about being curious about everything ( drives Mr S nuts occasionally 🙂 ) so I’ll just find other things to be curious and learn about in the meantime! That said, there’s some awesome deals on right now and it’s very hard not to book & hope….

    @Adelaide. Ah, loved hearing you had planned to travel this way – it’s so sad, there are so many people who had great plans who are having to wait it out a while yet. Absolutely I will be hitting you up for tips – local ideas and knowledge is always the best. I much prefer personal travel blogs to the official tourism/big travel industry sites, especially since I tend to like the lesser-known places. Show me a glass of good wine or beer after a great hike and I’m there 😉

    I think it’s so cool she’s already thinking about how she could make cooking at hers work. It’s a wonderful feeling isn’t it, that someone is as excited about getting to know you better as you are about them. I love all the little surprises you guys are doing for each other. 5k is nothing – I had visions on you being on North island and she was on South! It’s actually kinda nice to build up the relationship before bringing the physical side into it to.  The first ‘real’ date will be so much easier but also so exciting!

    Mmmm…..Malaysian food was delicious….it’s one thing I really miss being back in the UK, food tends to be so much better in the countries I travel in, especially healthy food. We’re good at solid food in the UK, pies, mash, sausages, so on. Lovely too in it’s own way but heavy and takes a lot of running to keep it off – especially once you are over 40!  We’ve been making ourselves some very tasty fresh spring rolls with spicy sauce for lunch, after having fell in love with them in Vietnam.  And how much would I like a Vietnamese ice coffee – those things were addictive…!

    Take care both – look forwards to hearing how it all goes.


    @medini thanks for your contribution and self promo. I hope we do all enjoy the journey of happiness.


    @adelaide it’s so nice reading you have evolved and doing well. I do often wonder how @sammy @shelbyville @kkasxo are doing as I felt we all started our journey there and both of us have grown.

    Yes uk response is backwards we were still able to get takeaways yet I see you are only just beginning to have that privilege. Crazy. Sadly uk deaths are the worst in EU.

    Your new relationship sounds quite perfect this far. An equal balance of give and take. It’s nice you are doing things and sending things to each other. It makes you feel so much more secure when it is expressed. Just enjoy it without letting any niggly neg thoughts control you.


    @michelle I feel odd lately like all my anxiety I used to face in different areas of my life has startlingly settled. Even with Jay I feel i no longer stress about have I left enough distance am I getting to close all things which are irrelevant and stop you from enjoying each other properly. I asked him to introduce me to his parents and he was taken aback. He suggested we facetime first (prob didnt want me to panic) and it was wonderful seeing the two people who created such a great man. He looks identical to his dad. His mum is so lovely too and they’ve invited me around for Sunday roast on first weekend I’m available after lockdown eases. Everything lately feels calm. I really have this forum and you awesome chicks to thank. So thank you very very very very very much.

    @Michelle I really hope your travel predictions are true because I get quite excited thinking about travelling with Jay something my ex was too much of a scrooge to consider!


    Hey @michelle and @genie

    Good to hear from you both. I keep you in my thoughts daily looking at the news coming out of the UK. Absolutely dreadful! There is a great video circulating the internet comparing the UK and NZ government responses and it really highlights the starkness of it. I really hope you can see your families soon and you and everyone you know stay well. Look forward to sharing some great local tips when the time comes Michelle; hell, I’ll even pick up the tab if you come to my city! Good to hear you are treating yourself to some familiar cuisine. NZ food is very similar to the UK’s being a colony and all. I can’t believe people can still fly into the UK to be honest – I think our borders will be closed til at least next year… (speculating but wouldn’t be surprised). Lots of time to save up for a massive post pandemic travel splurge I guess!

    Genie, genuinely so lovely to read about your anxiety disappearing lately, and how very exciting that you have now met Jays parents – virtually at least! Huge progress that you should be very proud of! So glad you are only looking forward now and deservedly looking forward to the possibilities the future holds! I hope the others are doing well too.

    All good things to report on my front! The parcel she sent ended up being some treats from the local bakery, yum! I texted her to thank her and she joked about me bringing her breakfast in bed so I actually got food delivered to her house on a delivery app and she was so stoked; it was a really nice exchange.

    We have got into a pattern of being contact throughout parts of the day now; most of the conversation is light and flirty, but we have also both shown a more vulnerable side which is nice. During a deeper conversation I expressed that to be honest I was a bit worried about my lack of experience physically and not meeting her expectations. She responded so kindly and gently, I was touched. She also told me directly that she liked me a lot and is really looking forward to meeting up in person, and I made it clear I feel the same!


    So now it is just a matter of when… the government is making a decision to move down levels or not next Monday and so it is possible we could meet up later that week! But also depends on her sister as she is in a high risk category so may have to be careful. In the meantime, we have got into a nice pattern of isodate movie watching which I will happily keep up. But yeah it would be super nice to meet in person sooner rather than later, not gonna lie!

    A potential lockdown love story… I have to chuckle, so on brand for me in terms of the ridiculousness of it all! Til the next installment, take care and thanks as always for your great support! I owe you both a lot. 🙂

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