October 7, 2019 at 12:17 am #316417faber castellParticipant
When dating, do you believe that if you feel anxious or not well with someone it’s necessarily because there’s something off in that connection?
I had one situation recently with a guy I liked a lot, where I felt pretty anxious, and another where I felt much more at ease pretty much at the same time, which made me question my judgment when it comes to tolerating discomfort. (None of these guys are relationship material I’ve realized, and this is quite disappointing). But anyways, I felt the contrast, which was great, because I have a really hard time when my friends tell me stuff like: “Well, if you’re not feeling okay with the guy then leave…” cause I feel uneasy almost all of the time so I have to rationalize myself a lot, and in the meantime, I see people deciding how to discard men in way simpler ways. “If I feel okay I’ll stay, if I don’t, I wont”. Truth is I just think it’s not that simple, I rarely understand where the discomfort is coming from, I believe there are two types of uncomfortable: sometimes you need to get out of your shell to meet people and have fun and share with others, and that’s uncomfortable, and sometimes you’re just with the wrong people. How do you differentiate your own feelings of insecurity from toxic people who can harm you?
October 7, 2019 at 2:10 pm #316581InkyParticipant
- This topic was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by faber castell.
Hi faber castell,
Well, meeting people for the first time would give anyone anxiety LOL.
I say if you’re unsure, let the other person make the suggestion whether to meet again.
Then after the third date if you’re not feeling it, then dump them. It doesn’t matter how polite and nice they are.
And obviously if they are rude, gross, off, etc. get rid of them.
If you’re talking about people you’ve known a while… I would suggest thinking about people you KNOW you ALREADY like rather than wondering if random guys will fill that relationship role.
InkyOctober 8, 2019 at 4:25 am #316677LenaParticipant
This is a really interesting question, and one I’ve struggled with myself. I too have a lot of insecurities, and have struggled in relationships/dating in general to not let anxiety get the best of me and to be a more confident and self-trusting person. The truth is, there is no clear answer, but attachment style is a real thing, and is distinct from the general traits of insecurity or anxiety that might manifest themselves as you’re getting closer to someone. There are a lot of psychological research studies out there involving infants and the way they respond to their primary caregivers that corroborate attachment theory and show the effects it can have in later romantic relationships.
For me, realizing I definitely had an anxious “insecure” attachment style was a major turning point in being more conscious of my behaviors and therefore being more capable of changing them. I’m not saying that my own personality traits don’t play a role in my dating style—I’m definitely an over thinker and over-analyzer, and don’t have as much confidence as I would like—but it is sort of freeing when you realize that attachment plays a role in it too. I’ve come to realize that my anxious attachment style definitely factors into why I’ve been constantly drawn to avoidant, emotionally distant men who feed into my anxiety and make me feel out of control and volatile. It’s not like I consciously want it lol (who wants to feel crazy?), but I think a part of me has misinterpreted all the drama of dating emotionally ambivalent people as genuine passion. Like, those highs and lows of being with someone who pulls away-but seems to genuinely like me underneath it all-is sort of exciting, weirdly enough, because it mimics the romantic notions we all grew up with as love being this battlefield..this game where we have to overcome obstacles to be with the one we love. But in the end being someone is emotionally avoidant is enough but fun. It’s actually really frustrating and exhausting and deflating and makes you constantly question yourself-why am i not enough? Why can’t this person see the value in me? Why did they choose this other person over me? Why can’t I have an awesome, stable relationship like other people? Why am I so weird and dramatic and emotional and sensitive? The list goes on.
I really recommend the book attached, which explains attachment theory well. I think the fact you’re having these questions is awesome…the first step in changing any behavior is just being aware of it. And for me, once I made a conscious decision to start avoiding the types of people I usually go for -avoidant attachment styles-I realized it is possible for me to have a stable relationship. With someone who is fun and layered and complex, but still secure and communicative and doesn’t set off all these red flags in me.
And also, I’m not saying I’m not still drawn to avoidant types, unfortunately. I recently had a fling with someone that was pretty avoidant, and who clearly didn’t want anything more than a physical relationship with me. I didn’t pull away immediately, but once I got the signs I often get when I’m dating an avoidant—not sleeping well, being preoccupied with them, over analyzing the situation, etc—I decided it was probably best to end things. And it was actually a really good decision, because he turned out to be an emotionally manipulative person with deep-seated issues. He tried to lure me back in by claiming he’d talked about me with his therapist (the old me would have been probably eaten that up and been flattered lol) and tried to gaslight me by saying that I was the one with issues that prevented our relationship from moving forward and claiming that I was missing out by not being with him. He actually texted me things like #insecurities and #self-Sabotage.
These millennial boys are ridiculous, but that’s a story for another day.
Anyway, my point is, had I continued dating this person (which I was tempted to, given that I did feel like we had a connection), I would have gotten really attached to someone that wasn’t good for me, and that has a lot of work to do on themselves. I saved myself a lot of trouble my just going with my gut that this was not a person I needed in my life. I do think as you become more confident and secure in yourself-both in your attachment style and just in general-you become way more discriminating about the people you spend time with. You learn to value yourself more, and not accept behavior that you know deep down isn’t what you deserve. You learn that there are so many connections out there that you can have, and just because this person feels really special or different doesn’t mean they’re the one for you. Great chemistry with someone is amazing, but great chemistry with someone who treats you well and genuinely values your time and all the qualities you bring to the table is even more amazing. And we all deserve that.
- This reply was modified 7 months, 3 weeks ago by Lena.