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Possible Relationship Anxiety?
So I have been officially dating my boyfriend for 3 months nearly 4 months and we have been seeing each other for 5 months. Our relationship is great, everything is easy and natural and we get each other, we click really well, we have the same morals and everything and in general everything is just great.
I suffer really badly with anxiety but not related to relationships until now, I think. Here’s a back story on my anxiety: I was always anxious as a child, my parents thinking I possibly suffered from separation anxiety. As I grew older my anxiety manifested itself into different things. It gripped onto any fears I had and made them spiral out of control. My anxiety hit an all time high after my grandma died. I was 16/17 years old at this point and had lost so much weight and was in a really bad place. After a lot of hard work and a small bit of counselling, I managed to gain control over my anxiety.
During my bad anxiety at this age, I started to doubt my own sexuality. I was out with friends when I suddenly thought I got this urge to kiss one of them. I instantly freaked out and tried to find logic for why I got that feeling. I obsessed over it, seeking reassurance, finding things a major trigger when it told me the feared outcome and was trying to make my own links, trying to make it all make sense. It was all I could think about all day every day and it was causing me so much distress. After a while this soon faded and I realised that it was all just my anxiety talking and now I look back and laugh because I know 100% I’m not attracted to women at all and I freaked out over nothing. This story will become more important when I explain how I am feeling now.
Fast forward a few years, my anxiety has come back and is worse than ever. It started after I attended a concert I had been looking forward to. I was part of a terrorist attack (Ariana Grande Manchester Arena Bombing) and although this didn’t heighten my anxiety (which I am surprised over), it has triggered childhood fears and anxieties (separation anxiety). I was excited and anxious on the day of the concert but it all went fine and I felt great. 2 days later, I went back to work and had the worst panic attack ever due to lack of sleep and food. Since then my anxiety has been really bad and work has been the main cause of it.
I have a lot of changes going on in my life and I do not cope well with change. I was talking to my boyfriend on the phone one morning getting ready for work and this was after the concert and my mental health started to deteriorate when I got this sudden thought of “what if I don’t like him anymore?” And like in the previous story, this gave me this horrible feeling in my stomach and I could not stop thinking about it. I was wondering why I had this thought in the first place, if it meant I truly cared about him, if I forced myself into this situation, if I did like him. I researched on it and tried to seek reassurance but loads of articles online just made the fear worse. I was looking for anyone or anything to relate to so I could make sense of why I got that thought. I still can’t seem to shake off this fear and feeling either. I get moments of clarity where we may have a disagreement and I fear losing him, or when I support him through tough times or when my anxiety is elsewhere and I crave a hug from him and his support. We are in a long distance relationship and when I have to leave or he is leaving, I always get really down and upset and I don’t want to say goodbye. But then the fear will creep back in and I don’t know why. The relationship itself is great like I said. He is really supportive and really understanding and can sometimes help with my anxiety. We always have an amazing time together, from day 1 we just clicked, everything felt natural and easy, he’s so loving and attentive, we’ve met each other’s families and get on really well with them, we’ve met each other’s friends and the same applies, we have our disagreements but they are always resolved in a calm manner and discussions, he knows how to make me smile even when I don’t want to and my parents have commented on how happy I have been and they’re glad to see me being myself around him which I always have been. He knows about my anxiety, my past and all of that and we don’t struggle with communication or anything, things are going really really well.
The only time I get really anxious is when he mentions our future. He says he can picture moments between the two of us and in my moments of clarity, I sometimes do too but then my mind will sit there and question why I can’t see the same thing at that current moment then I will start to question what it means and whether it means I don’t like him, and I fall back into the same cycle. We have had conversations about possibly moving in together WAYYYYYY in the future but the thoughts of this makes me so anxious for so many reasons.
One thing I would like to explain is that my past relationship was emotionally abusive but I only realise that after experiencing the complete opposite with my current boyfriend. In my past relationship, I would try to discuss something that concerned me (e.g. someone claiming he was cheating on me) and I would bring it up in a calm way, hoping for a calm and mature conversation but it was instantly twisted on me, he would claim that I believed them and would make me feel guilty for bringing it up. He would end phone calls, refuse to speak to me for a while and I would always end up apologising to him and trying to make things up to him and prove to him that I didn’t believe them. We would also have arguments and he would always end the call and make me feel guilty. We would have a joke and he would push things too far but when I got upset he would tell me to get over it and take a joke but if I went too far, he would lose it and would end the call or ignore me. I was found I was scared to say how I felt or what was on my mind because it would trigger another argument. He told me that he loved me and would write some amazing paragraphs and did a lovely one only 2 days before he broke up with me (over text might I add). I was on my way home from a family holiday when he broke up with me and he made me feel like it was all my fault and I was the reason the relationship fell apart. He said I was a psycho and that I reminded him of ex’s who would overreact to everything as well. I wasn’t expecting the message at all as I’m sure you can imagine. I had actually sent him a message just before he broke up with me where I was opening up to him about fears I had and I was apologising for being so cautious and nervous and I felt like that was the reason he broke up with me. He left so many questions unanswered, claiming we were “too different” amongst other things but told my friends that he “lost feelings for me ages ago”. I loved my ex with all my heart and gave everything into the relationship and made a lot so sacrifices and ignored a lot of red flags I now can see...
I was truly and deeply heartbroken as I’m sure you can imagine but this has now caused me to fear opening up to my Current boyfriend in case it causes an argument and although I have eventually opened up to him after lots of reassurance and things haven’t exploded like they did in the past, I still struggle to get past this. I am trying to make sense on why I doubt my love for my boyfriend as I have never been happier when I have my moments of clarity and he is everything I have wanted in a partner. He does have his flaws and is not perfect, I see them, acknowledge them and have had discussions over them but I still care about him. If I think about ending things I get the same horrible feeling in my stomach and get so upset because I don’t want to lose him. This relationship is the longest and most serious relationship I have had and I don’t know why I am feeling the way I am.
Could this be because of my past experiences with previous relationships (I have had a couple of horrific experiences with guys)??? Could it be that I fear the same thing happening again? Could it be that it’s similar to what happened with my sexuality when I was younger and I’m obsessing over something that isn’t worth worrying about?
[edited by moderator to add paragraph breaks]