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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » how to enjoy being loved and love in return

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Author Topic: how to enjoy being loved and love in return
kaleyedoscope
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Member # 44736

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So I do have anxiety and constantly I feel like ANTS, automatic negative thoughts get to me, and when my anxiety gets going it's really hard for me to focus on anything else or even feel real, affectionate emotions, such as Love. It's really hurtful because I have an absolutely amazing boyfriend. I am literally head over heels for him. When we are together, it is amazing. We're in a LDR right now and I am probably stressed out with that and other things moreso than ever before in my life and my anxiety, therefore, is pretty bad.

I tend to thinkn about my relationship and my feelings when I get really anxious, mainly because that is what is most important to me right now and when I get anxious I start to question everything I believe and feel to my core such as "DO I really love my boyfriend? How am I ever going to afford to move to Australia? Etc."

I just think about the uncertainties and it scares me. I didn't really have the physical anxiety symptoms or this degree of worry until about a month before I left Australia (where I was at school and w/ my boyfriend) for home (boston).

I tend to freak out whenever a thought of another guy comes into my head, even though they're unromantic. Lately, it's been really frustrating me and causing me anxiety because I just don't know how to address it yet and I attach that one ANT to everything it seems. Lately one of my guy friends is the automatic negative thought and by guy friend I mean someone who I talked a lot to in Australia for a couple weeks, never in a romantic way, and haven't talked to in a few months. Most of our conversation had to do with our problems and while we did share a lot, it was mostly our emotional issues or whatever was troubling us at the time. I saw a lot of myself in him, not that we have a lot in common, but our emotional issues are very similar. After I really started hanging out with my boyfriend and dating to him, I really didn't talk to him much at all. I just I dunno..wasn't really interested and my boyfriend was my life and still is and he made/makes me happy and feel calm and peaceful. I love him and I feel the love from him in return. I still really don't have a desire to talk to this other guy friend.

But for some reason, he's the intrusive thought tha comes into my head lately and it freaks me out because I start doing "What does this mean? Why am I thinking about him? Do I really love my boyfriend? Is this a sign of something? Does this mean I have feelings for him or something along those lines" over and over again. And I can honestly say that there are times when I am doing well and I'm not really thinking about it and relaxed and then I'll noticed and go "oh good, you haven't been thinking about..." but then I just brought it into my own consciousness and it'll stay there for a while. For example, I'll just see like flashes of his face pop up sometimes. It's not romantic but it scares me.

I am in counselling and I am trying to relax with breathing techniques and rid myself of intrusive thoughts but I agree that it is difficult.

How do I start to let my fears go and truly enjoy the time with my boyfriend and without my boyfriend...because I don't want fears to be plaguing my mind when I'm tlaking to him, which just leads to my anxiety because I haven't yet been able to enjoy my time talking to him?

When I am good and relaxed I am able to allow my emotions to come out more and truly feel my love that I know I have for my boyfriend. When I have anxiety, however, it's the complete opposite and I question even the feeling of pure bliss I had 5 minutes earlier.

Does anyone else in LDRs suffer from this? Is there anything I can do? I love my boyfriend so much and I want to hold on and feel better and cannot wait to be with him again. But I want to help make myself feel better. He shouldn't have to.

Gah sorry for the rant. I'm just sick of the daily anxiety struggle.

Posts: 18 | From: Massachusetts/Australia | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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Kaleyedoscope, if I understand correctly, you have anxiety issues for which you're seeking treatment? Ultimately, I think your therapist is going to have the best, most personalized strategies for you in this regard. While I don't think LDRs necessarily or automatically cause more anxiety than in-person ones do, I think it's understandable that it can making coping seem more challenging at times. And I think the different amounts of missing your partner at different times is typical. Have you specifically talked about the relationship and these feelings with your counselor? Have you read any books or our articles on LDRs?

I think one way to deal with worries about falling for someone else is to actually explore those thoughts, not to be scared of them but aware and think about what might happen. I think it actually seems much less scary when you address it as a possibility because you focus on the facts rather than fears. And if you haven't already discussed with your boyfriend, I think it might help, too, because that's a good level of honest communication. [Smile] If you find yourself having trouble maintaining any friendships with males out of fear of falling for them, I would consider addressing that because it's a hard way to go through life. I used to get many crushes on (male) friends when I was younger (crushes can be both fun and painful!) but that's lessened over the years. I think it's cool to appreciate our friends but I think it's also important to look at men as people first rather than potential dates or what not.

Something I've noticed in your posts, both here and here is how you're very much in love with your boyfriend but also quite unhappy in your current situation. I read you feel you don't have very much control over your situation; I would argue you do but are facing a lot of adversity. You technically *could* move to Australia sooner rather than later; for example, if your goal is to become a makeup artist, that's something you can do without a BA. In fact, if that's truly your dream and you're not into your studies, then I'd look into exploring that option.

I think it's very good that you want to be happy both with and without him. Something I noticed in your other posts is how you're in a mindset where everything US = horribly bad and everything Australia = amazingly good. And I can see how your home life makes it even harder to be where you are right now. As someone who's done her share of cross-continential living and LDRs, I think it's important to be able to look at all options with an optimistic yet critical eye. Few things in life are black and white. If you truly cannot get back to Australia yet, I'd try to work on making that a reality long-term and making your life here better short-term. That could be moving out of home into a shared flat, making new or better friends, switching majors to one you're more into, etc. I think that'd help a lot, both in terms of your individual well-being and relationship happiness. [Smile]

Posts: 3318 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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I also want to address this comment of yours in the Ideal Relationship thread:
quote:
For me and my boyfriend also, we're big believers in monogamy. As he said it, when he's with someone, he's with them completely and he gives them their all. As I see it as well, I don't think someone can truly be dedicated and in love with a person they're in a relationship with if they're still thinking about other people on the side/go elsewhere to get it.

I think that happens when you find the person who isn't right for you. But when you do find the person who is right for you, you won't want to go to any one else. They're it for you. They're enough for you. You won't feel like you're sacrificing anything. You may think about other guys from time to time but that's natural. I'm more than certain he notices other girls/probably thinks about them from time to time as well. But I know he is dedicated to me and our relationship and he wouldn't sway from that.

I'll admit that I find it ironic that you share these beliefs:it's fine for you to decide what's right for yourself, of course, but I'm also seeing that your current relationship, as desired as it is, is not fitting these ideals. Personally, I am hoping my partner and I will continue our relationship for many, many years to come; however, I also realize that reality can look different from how one might hope or expect, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. In a way, that acknowledgement of potential "weakness" or transience is a strength in our relationship. I'm not saying you should change your views, but I would reflect upon how your current situation and relationship ideals are different, and how these differences might be causing you unnecessary and unwanted distress.
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kaleyedoscope
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I would love to go to makeup school. I mean, I kind of feel bad switching schools for my senior yr when I am so close and I am constantly reminded that I have obligations and responsibilities, which oftentimes kind of makes me feel trapped. I just don't want my family to think that I am giving up or failing if I switch schools to a completely different path, that they think I'm in any way settling for less than my potential, which is the exact wording I'm getting. I mean, I seriously doubt there is any way to leave my uni here, being almost done with my junior yr and only having one to go. If there is a way I can go to makeup school at the same time, that might work.

I just feel like I'm hitting roadblocks wherever I go and it's frustrating. It's not impossible but it is difficult and I'm determined to make it work. It's easy to focus on the negative aspects and I think they can become overwhelming, certainly for me, at times.

I'm trying to enjoy being happy here. It's just the way I want to sort of going about doing that is not relating well to my parents/they don't really understand how I could just want to switch gears 3/4 of the way through school.

I think that US/AUS comparison is pretty spot on and it's something I was warned about "re-entry shock" and the such from coming home from being abroad. It's hard to avoid, I'll admit it.

I am in counseling for my anxiety though. I go again on friday. I'm also trying relaxation techniques and listening to binaural beats because those actually have helped. I've read a lot online about LDRs and I know that I can make it work and I know that we're both dedicated and committed...and I do share my fears with him. He knows I have anxiety and I tell him when I have bad days and good days and he's very supportive. He knows about my worries and how sometimes when my anxiety gets bad it's hard to feel that warm feeling that I get when I am with him and he tells me that sometimes when he gets overwhelmed, he thinks the same way. But he's much better at dealing with negative thoughts than I am at the moment.

I mean, I am definitely trying to be positive and keep myself open and not let my anxieties and worries about uncertainties and the future get to me. I have post it notes reminding me of the positives and to calm down on my desk everywhere. It's kind of funny actually. Sometimes I think I just need to have rants like this and cry and let it out because this is the only way of dealing with stress occasionally. If that makes any sense.

Thank for listening to this incredibly long, scattered thought.

Posts: 18 | From: Massachusetts/Australia | Registered: Nov 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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