GAD, Insecurities and Dating!!

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Todd84

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Hi everyone! I wanted to share my recent disaster. Just need to vent to faceless strangers, if you know what I mean.

I recently dated someone briefly who suffers from generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. I also have suffered from severe social anxiety, but after many years of hard work I was able to get to a point where my anxiety is almost non-existent in my day-to-day routine, and when it does surface it's usually manageable.

Anyway, I'll break down our brief relationship as simply as I can without rambling on.

Girl finds Boy online and initiates contact. Boy reciprocates. Girl and Boy meet in person a couple days later, hit it off, and proceed to see each other, on average, at least every other day over the following month.

Girl confides to Boy she struggles with GAD and panic attacks. Boy reciprocates by sharing his social anxiety experiences.

Girl confides to Boy that she had an emotional breakdown weeks before meeting Boy due to her continued failures in romantic relationships. Girl tells Boy she has only had one relationship that lasted beyond 1 year and that was with the father of her kids. That relationship ended 10 years ago when he cheated on Girl during both pregnancies and abandoned her moving across the country shortly after the second was born. Girl admits to not dating much since.

Girl also confides that she feels like she's an embarrassment and failure to her entire family, has poor relationships with them and has only 1 friend who she doesn't see on a regular basis.

Girl expresses her fear that she will scare Boy off. Girl is convinced something is wrong with her and she doesn't deserve Boy. Girl is always apologetic for things that are completely out of her control and doubts Boy's sincerity at times. Girl is always searching for clues to see how committed Boy is to Girl - asking Boy if he's telling people he's seeing her and what I'm telling them about her. Girl expresses fear Boy's family and friends won't think Girl is good enough. Boy is always reassuring and understanding.

Girl is very aggressive in pursuing Boy. Girl pushes to see Boy often, talks about future together, talks about a time when she will introduce her kids to him, and eventually asks Boy if their relationship is committed. Boy confirms it is.

Boy starts developing intense feelings for Girl which leads to an unexpected sense of vulnerability.

Boy's anxiety and insecurity come flooding back convincing him Girl is going to reject him.

Boy and Girl don't see each other for a little under a week.

Boy decides to break pattern after trying to suppress his anxiety and not message Girl. Boy and Girl don't talk all day for the first time.

Boy decides to recreate dating profile out of his own insecurities to see if Girl is active on hers.

To put into perspective just how far I had fallen, I was confident and secure enough to delete my original profile after the second date and I didn't question for a second, up to this point, if she was still using hers.

Boy finds Girl active on her dating profile. Girl questions why Boy is on his dating profile. Boy tells Girl he felt she was withdrawing. Boy expresses fears of being yo-yoed emotionally, tells Girl his anxiety was spiking, that his instincts were telling him to run and hide and move on, and seeing her on her dating profile seemed to confirm his concerns.

Girl blocks Boy without offering a response. This came less than a week after Girl pushed to define relationship as committed.

Boy seeks counseling later that day and after two sessions on back to back days comes to the realization that his own insecurity and fear of being rejected created this problem - Girl had not behaved any differently compared to the previous weeks.

Boy writes Girl a letter apologizing, taking all responsibility for creating the problem, explaining how he came to feel insecure and anxious, reconfirms his commitment to her and mails it a couple days after being blocked along with a token of apology.

Three weeks pass without any response from Girl. Boy has made no further attempts to get her attention.

So basically I'm looking to hear from the people who suffer from GAD on this one. I really don't see any hope in this situation, am I right? I feel like I excelled at confirming all her fears and scared her away never to be seen again. I'm at the point where I am ready to move on and realistically I feel like this is the only option since she's chosen to drop off the face of the Earth, but I'm still holding on to something that's keeping me stuck in limbo. Maybe it's the fact she hasn't actually told me there's no chance? Not that she is under any obligation to.

As hopeless as I can be at times, I'm forever hopeful of things working out for the best.

Just when you think you've conquered anxiety you fall right back down again! It's so frustrating and even more depressing when it messes with relationships you feel have potential to grow into something fantastic.

At least I'm almost out of that hole I fell down.
 
Y939

Y939

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Hello, and welcome to the forum. :welcome: I suffer from both social anxiety and general anxiety, and I've also struggled with an anxious attachment style in a relationship in the past, a relationship that was... intense, a lot of the time. I was very insecure. It sounds to me that you both feel very insecure in relationships in general, and those feelings of insecurity tainted the relationship from the get go. She confessed that she didn't feel good enough and needed confirmation that your feelings for her were serious and genuine, your own insecurities showed up, and there was a break in communication. It sounds like she pulled away out of fear. Unfortunately when someone goes silent they often don't return - people with mental health struggles have a tendency to "ghost" and disappear, it's a defence mechanism and way to sever ties to something that is painful, to move forward. It sounds like this relationship is unlikely to start over and go well. :hug: I speak from experience, kind of... I am the queen of painful love and romantic drama. It might be best to let go.
 
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Todd84

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Thanks for the reply Pixie!

While I agree and freely admit that I definitely experienced a sudden onset of insecurity and anxiety in this relationship, I can't say that's the norm for me. I've had several long term relationships over the years and some that were shorter. Only one other time in my life did I experience such overwhelming feelings of insecurity and anxiety and that was years ago with other relationships wedged between.

I guess I struggle to understand why this happened with this particular person and at a time where I felt more secure and confident in myself then I probably ever have.
 
Y939

Y939

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In that case it sounds like it was more her own difficulties, it certainly sounds like she was insecure from the beginning, with some low self esteem. Unfortunately there isn't much you can do, it's up to her now and if she is struggling with low self esteem and attachment issues, she might disappear for good. It's common, I've done it myself which I'm not proud to admit. Maybe she will contact you in time, but I think it's best to prepare for an end without closure. Again, I've been there...
 
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Todd84

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Hey Pixie, I'm curious, what prompted you to disappear? Were you in the relationship long? Was there ever a reconnect down the road? I apologize if I'm out of line asking and completely understand if you do not wish to share. I guess I'm just trying to put myself in her shoes in the hopes I'll gain some understanding as to why "ghosting" was the chosen course of action.

I've begrudgingly accepted this will have no closure and I'm content that it's over. I've even gone on a couple dates with other women since. Life has to move forward after all. But, I do continue to struggle with being ghosted by her. You feel utterly worthless being discarded in that manner, and it's hard not to question your own self worth. That alone has triggered a bit of depression and I've felt more anxious in general since, although it diminishes with each passing day.

I just don't understand why someone who was so aggressive in pursuing a relationship with me would completely shut down and "ghost" without knowing any facts or details, without having a conversation about what's going on, or without trying to solve whatever the issue is.
 
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Broken-hearted n depresse

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Hi todd
My ex has done the same to me. How are you going?
 
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Todd84

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Hey! Sorry to hear you're going through something similar.

3 months later and I'm well over it. I didn't finally put it all to rest until after Labour Day so it took almost two months to move forward. A little ridiculous when I look back now considering how short my time was with her. Live and learn I suppose. I never heard from her again but I'm OK with that and realize I'm better off.

Getting back out there and meeting new people helped a lot. I'm not referring strictly to dating either. I started playing softball in the fall which helped focus my mind elsewhere and meet new people. I've dated a bit as well and am seeing someone now who looks promising. One day at a time. I also focused on photography and playing around with the photos I took.

I don't envy your position but it will get better in time. I'm a firm believer that all the shit we experience makes us stronger in the end, and I've gone through my fair bit of nonsense in my life. In this case I feel it's taught me more about the type of person I'm looking to spend my life with, where that person needs to be in their life and to not compromise so much on what I'm looking for. It also reinforced not getting caught up so quickly in the beginning and moving at a more natural pace, two things I failed at in this case.

Hang in there!
 

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