Dating/Relationship Advice?

C

commonwill

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Joined
Jan 31, 2019
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2
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USA
I'm kind of at my wits' end with this issue. I recently was able to graduate college, am working full-time, and am applying to go to medical school. I'm doing much better than any doc predicted when I first got the BPD diagnosis, but it's pretty much only because I wasn't in a relationship or dating...

I just really really struggle with the issue of communication in dating/relationships, and it's coming back now that I'm using dating apps and am starting to see people again. Our first few conversations go great. These really nice guys manage to penetrate my shell and I really come to like them and they start saying nice things about me. Then they say good night, I'll check back with you on a day to meet up next week and then... Then it begins. I am certain they don't care about me and will leave me. I think about them all the time. Whenever I check my phone and they haven't answered, I feel a mixture of sadness, anger, anxiety, exhaustion, and feeling absolutely trapped. Why does it matter to me so much that they answer?? Why do I crave it so much? I then struggle to concentrate at work. My motivation dies and my actions are driven by me being like, "force yourself to keep going, don't cave, don't cave".

When he does, eventually answer, it's always too brief. It's never enough. Even if it's only an hour later, or if he's busy, 5 hours later. I resent him, I hate him... he might as well have cheated on me... This sweet innocent guy with all these passions turns into a malevolent tyrant. And then I delay answering, too. I don't want him to know I'm desperate. I don't tell him any of it. I bottle it in. I tell myself I'm being irrational, "he isn't doing anything wrong, give him a chance." But the anger and desperation builds and builds. And then, boom. I shit all over him, ask him who he's sleeping with, if I'm his third or fourth backup or something, and he's just in shock. He tells me he really liked me (he introduced me to his best friends, after all!) and was maybe even hoping we could become something more serious. He was just really busy at work or ran out of battery. He doesn't understand where this is coming from all of a sudden... He prefers we don't see each other again. Or I tell him about the abusive relationship I endured to explain why I'm acting this way and then he becomes afraid I'm too fucked up for him to handle, especially once he notices the embarrassing self-harm scars I wish I could erase.

Does this happen to other people?? Right now I only just started messaging this great guy on an app and after only 48 hours I am already losing so much sleep, can't concentrate, have no appetite and then suddenly binge on stuff, and can't motivate myself or even remember what my goals and values are, even though I've sketched them out countless times in therapy. I want out, I can't bear it anymore but... I really really want to be in a stable supportive relationship, and if I stop going on dates or getting to know people better, it likely won't happen!! I don't want to spiral again. I don't want to be a basket case. I have enough scars as is. They told me to get back into relationships when I was feeling better again, and I finally thought I was!!! Why does my house of cards always threaten to collapse because of this issue? How do you deal with people not answering your texts? Is there a way to teach yourself patience and to stop seeing them as the devil in human form and reminding yourself you really actually like them? Any strategies people have learned in treatment or through life experience? Or is this just a thing that I need to go to therapy for?

Thanks!
 
G

Girl interupted

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Nov 17, 2018
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1,236
I think bpd’s, because of black and white thinking, fall in love way too quickly. Then when the other person doesn’t match the same emotional pace, it triggers fear of abandonment and we self-sabotage...because the pain of losing someone is unbearable. So it’s simpler to push them away.

But it isn’t. It just becomes more complicated because there are two people with two sets of emotions involved.

I think the key is to have something going on in your life that distracts your brain from the self torture. Your significant other should not be your sole focus. Eaiser said than done, I know. In your case medical school will do that for you, you won’t have time to dwell, let alone sleep.

Then you see the other person only when you have time, and that gives you room to get to know them, feel safe with them, THEN give them your heart. But only after you feel safe.
 
C

commonwill

New member
Joined
Jan 31, 2019
Messages
2
Location
USA
I think bpd’s, because of black and white thinking, fall in love way too quickly. Then when the other person doesn’t match the same emotional pace, it triggers fear of abandonment and we self-sabotage...because the pain of losing someone is unbearable. So it’s simpler to push them away.

But it isn’t. It just becomes more complicated because there are two people with two sets of emotions involved.

I think the key is to have something going on in your life that distracts your brain from the self torture. Your significant other should not be your sole focus. Eaiser said than done, I know. In your case medical school will do that for you, you won’t have time to dwell, let alone sleep.

Then you see the other person only when you have time, and that gives you room to get to know them, feel safe with them, THEN give them your heart. But only after you feel safe.
Hey, Girl Interrupted. Thanks so much for your advice. I'm trying to distract myself, but wish I could just eradicate this need for them to be there for me all the time and absolve me from my suffering. Wishful thinking perhaps... :( I guess as I get busier, distraction will get easier and easier.
 
W

Wildfire

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Aug 1, 2018
Messages
81
Hey, I think there are a few different areas to look at here. This is me in objective mode.

First, it's great that you are feeling good enough to look for another relationship. Well done!

Next is relationships in general, I know the dating scene in the US is quite different to the UK and I'm well out of it these days, so some of this may not be totally relevant. Relationships are a two way street, they are about two people understanding each other and as you get older less about hormones and out and out excitement, but about putting up with each other's quirks and issues.

This takes time, patience and hard work. It's easy to look at other people and say "they have it all made up. I want that." Then Boom! You get it. What you don't see is what goes on behind the scenes, the compromises, the work etc. However, when starting out, you are both strangers and have different lives, so it is hard to understand where someone is coming from and why they may not reply. As GI said, two sets of emotions, probably completely different.

For example, one person may have a job where they can't reply all the time. I have totally free days and then suddenly hoards of meetings. Sometimes I want a phone break and leave it upstairs and get distracted. It doesn't mean that I'm ignoring my SO, but just that I'm busy. I think it's important that you understand this. Also in the beginning of dating, people want to chat all the time (especially if they like someone) and try very hard to keep in touch and show keenness. So I guess what I'm saying is have some patience and try to relax and have some fun. That's what it's about after all.

I'm not saying there aren't A-holes out there, but if you let the trust develop naturally then things will be much better. You have to go as slow as the slowest person, if that's not fast enough for you then you need to look at whether it's right.

I've been guilty of both, wanting to move really fast and then just not quite being there and being rushed. I used to work for a bank and came back to my phone after 1/2 a day of meetings for find my gf at the time had sent me like 20 messages that went from "hi", through to her accusing me of not supporting her at her aunt's birthday and ignoring her. I was working.


The next point is one about does this happen to everyone, to a certain extent, yes. Especially if you like someone. But you need to look at why you are feeling anxious that he hasn't responded? Is it because you believe that he is ignoring you, up to something, or is it because they are busy, you've only just met or they're just not really phone people.

I came from a generation where I got my first cell phone at 19 and only had 60 texts a month. Whilst I use my phone a lot these days, I still am a bit rubbish at messages. Especially if I'm emailing, posting on forums and trying to reply to loads of things. Sometimes I read a message and forget to reply!

I think that these feeling are something only you can help yourself with. It's good to be excited when meeting someone new and want to hear from them. But don't make it the be all and end all. Hey, you know what you're worth and you can drop them a casual text then leave it in their court. Try to relax about it and look for what it an grow into, not how it could go wrong. That said I am a believer in not throwing yourself headfirst into these things and being a bit more, slowly, slowly. I don't like to get hurt.

As GI said, your SO shouldn't be your only focus, and neither should you be theirs. It is very hard to live your life if your only purpose is to make someone else happy and they pin their happiness on what you do. This works for both of you.

As you get busier, it will be easier not to dwell on things as you will have to study etc. But in the meantime, try some things to occupy yourself and get into. That way you may suddenly be in the middle of something when a guy tests and it may be you who won't reply straight away. Also when they do text, maybe write a reply and send it 5 min later. Get used to not diving for the phone and hammering out a reply.

As for not seeing the devil in people, perhaps my strategy is not the best as I give everyone a measure of trust and then build on that. If the screw me over then that's it. No second chances. I know this is harsh and not too good, but it works for me. Like I said, there are A Holes out there, but I think also accepting that sometimes relationships just don't work out, for one reason or another.

I met a stunning girl once, we were so compatible and went from 0-100 almost straight away, we introduced all our friends, went out to dinner, theatre, spent weekends away etc. Suddenly we realised that as much fun as we were having, it wasn't really going anywhere and we were in different places that were about to go a totally different direction. So we split. I was upset, not heartbroken, but it still wasn't nice. A couple of weeks later I looked back on it. It was ok.

I think believing that immediately any lack of communication means they are cheating etc. after a very short time is not good. Maybe have think about how that would work the other way round? If you met a guy and were in class then had a big assignment and maybe could only text once in a while and he sent you similar messages.

Be a bit guarded and then let the relationship and trust build, and most importantly HAVE FUN.

I hope my ramblings are vaguely helpful and I wish you all the best in your studies and relationships.
 

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