Hi Emily N, thanks for responding! Yeah, our connection did feel really great, to be honest. It definitely felt like there was something special there.Emily N wrote: ↑Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:43 am Hi MusicNerd,
Ahh it feels so good to have connections like the one you’re describing! It’s understandable that you didn’t feel great about how things ended with this person, and I’m glad you were able to communicate these feelings to them. It’s also really important and admirable that you took time to actually think about whether being friends, rather than dating, is what would actually be best for you. It can seem like a default to accept friendship because we want to spend time with people we have feelings for, but it’s true that there are many things to consider.
In terms of whether or not friendship would feel good, I think honestly it would feel a bit weird for me at first. But I also think that if it didn’t feel good for me, I’d let them know if I needed space. So, yes, dating would feel like a better outcome for me, but I’d also want to be respectful of what they want too.Emily N wrote: ↑Wed Nov 24, 2021 7:43 am If you reach out to them again, make sure you have a clear idea of what outcomes would feel good to you and which ones would not. At the end of your post, you mentioned that you were open to friendship – does this feel like a good outcome for you? It sounds like you are interested in dating again, and and I think it’s reasonable to let them know this. If they are open to meeting up, you could see how it feels while spending time with them to gauge whether you want to bring this conversation up in the same day or the next hang out. It sounds like you were both thoughtful in your communications together before, and part of communicating well with each other is being open about your needs/desires out of the relationship. How does this sound?
Also, I expressed how I appreciated them letting me know how they felt, but I didn’t express to them why I wasn’t okay with how things ended… but maybe I should at some point? I’m not sure.
Yeah, I think I’d let them know how I felt about the way things ended if it came up in some way in the future. And I’m not sure yet when I’d wanna bring up dating to them. Maybe I could talk over with my therapist how/when I’d wanna go about bringing that up. I think I’d wait for it to naturally come up if we were to meet up again, but who knows.Emily N wrote: ↑Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:57 amAlso, I expressed how I appreciated them letting me know how they felt, but I didn’t express to them why I wasn’t okay with how things ended… but maybe I should at some point? I’m not sure.
Oh gotcha! If you don't think it's helpful to share, you aren’t obligated to express your feelings with how things ended, either! If it feels relevant to bring up in the future, you can do that too It sounds like you have a strong idea of what you want and how to communicate that with them, that’s great! I can understand how it would be nerve-wracking to bring up dating with them. Does it make sense for you to bring it up at the end of the hangout or the second hangout, or would it feel better for you to bring it up at the beginning? It’s possible that the conversation will come up naturally if you both hang out again.
That is a good point! I have no idea what they’re thinking or feeling anyway, so there really is no other way of knowing unless I talk with them (I wish there was a less vulnerable way of finding these things out lol).Emily N wrote: ↑Wed Nov 24, 2021 8:57 am Rejection is a painful experience for sure. But no matter what the outcome is, it also sounds like they have been kind and thoughtful with you in your past experiences, which will hopefully carry over into the future. And you can’t know what they are thinking unless you ask them I suppose!
So relatable... being vulnerable is hard! But at least it can also be rewarding(I wish there was a less vulnerable way of finding these things out lol).
Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Jumping right into it sounds pretty nerve-wracking and I’d rather not do that lolEmily N wrote: ↑Wed Nov 24, 2021 9:35 am That sounds like a good plan, talking about it with your therapist could be really helpful! It’s okay (probably even helpful) to start slowly with reconnecting with them to get a sense of where you both are first. You don’t have to jump into the hardest conversation!
That is also very true! I know that if I didn’t bring this up to them, I’d likely be stuck with “what if?” which makes me think asking them about it might be the move.
Hi Sam! Yeah, tbh this is the first time they’ve ever asked to reschedule something with me, so maybe I’ll just give it a few days to see if they reschedule. If not, then I’ll know where I stand in relation to their schedule or (lack of) interest.Sam W wrote: ↑Tue Dec 14, 2021 7:38 am Hi MusicNerd,
If this is a one-off for them and they're usually pretty good about plans, then I would try not to read too much into it; this time of year in particular is busy for a lot of people. However, if this is a pattern with them, that could be telling you something about their scheduling habits in general or about their interest in seeing you.
Hmm… I guess fear? In the past, I’ve usually been the one to end things with people first in dating situations. But I guess sticking around to see what happens, instead of running away out of fear, makes me anxious since I know I could be setting myself up for rejection.
Yes, that’s exactly it! It’s like I’m beating people to the punch by leaving the situation first.
Ugh, I hate that you’re right, but you’re right. lol It’s true, I don’t actually know how things will play out unless I stick around to find out.
Hi Carly! No, you’re totally right. You’d think after having anxiety (specifically OCD) my entire life I’d be able to notice this kind of thinking as soon as it happens— but alas, anxiety is sneaky like that sometimes!Carly wrote: ↑Tue Dec 14, 2021 7:10 pm Hey MusicNerd -- you're totally right, and I think you're on the cusp of learning something really important about anxiety and how it plays out interpersonally. Sometimes our own overthinking makes us believe we do know what will happen, because we've quite possibly thought of every way it could. Often times it doesn't always include the scenario in which it works out, we get what we want, or we are braver than we expect.
Yeah, it definitely resonates. They actually messaged me today and apologized and explained how this week is particularly busy for them since they’re making a lot of big decisions. We rescheduled to meet this weekend, so it’ll be nice to see them.Carly wrote: ↑Tue Dec 14, 2021 7:10 pm With that said, I wanted to just say that using how and when they reschedule with you as a thermometer for their interest in you may not be the best way to approach it. It sounds like this person has a lot of stuff going on professionally, and sometimes that is beyond one's own control. Because of that, it may not reflect how they're feeling accurately, which in turn may give you a read of the situation that isn't accurate. Does that resonate with you at all?
Ohhh yeah, I also feel like I’m constantly learning something new about my mental health and how it plays a role in my life - it changes depending on what’s happening in my life at the time. I guess I appreciate that there are always new things to learn about myself“You’d think after having anxiety (specifically OCD) my entire life I’d be able to notice this kind of thinking as soon as it happens— but alas, anxiety is sneaky like that sometimes!”
I’m so glad you took a few days and they reached out to you to reschedule. And yes, that makes sense! Sometimes when there is uncertainty, especially about emotional topics, it’s hard not to create our own narrative of what’s happening to make sense of things that are up in the air. But it also sounds like you are doing a good job grounding yourself and reminding yourself that you can’t really know their side of the story without having a conversation.“I’m realizing that I’m possibly deciding for this person what they are and aren’t able to handle right now by assuming their response, but perhaps that’s also a defense mechanism too. Not sure where that line is, and I don’t even know if what I’m saying makes any sense?”
Wow, I really like that mindset! I guess I’m learning some new things about myself.Emily N wrote: ↑Wed Dec 15, 2021 7:28 am Ohhh yeah, I also feel like I’m constantly learning something new about my mental health and how it plays a role in my life - it changes depending on what’s happening in my life at the time. I guess I appreciate that there are always new things to learn about myself
Tbh they didn’t even take a few days to reschedule— it was literally the next day… So, I was anxious over nothing (what a surprise! )Emily N wrote: ↑Wed Dec 15, 2021 7:28 am I’m so glad you took a few days and they reached out to you to reschedule. And yes, that makes sense! Sometimes when there is uncertainty, especially about emotional topics, it’s hard not to create our own narrative of what’s happening to make sense of things that are up in the air. But it also sounds like you are doing a good job grounding yourself and reminding yourself that you can’t really know their side of the story without having a conversation.
Hi Sofi! Of course, it’s totally okay if you chime in. And honestly, that’s a very valid point - re: them feeling anxiety too.Sofi wrote: ↑Wed Dec 15, 2021 9:59 am Hi MusicNerd, hope it's okay that I chime in! I love what Emily said and can relate to feeling like learning about my own mental health is actually productive. I'm so glad you see it that same way. As for the whole creating narratives as a coping mechanism, that is soo normal/common, you have no idea! It may feel annoying to have to put yourself out there just to get the answers you want, but I always try to think about the other person's perpective--perhaps they are also going through anxiety and similar things. When you think about the world like that, like everyone else might also be having anxiety, it helps you feel better about your current situation because it's no longer personal.
Yeah, building confidence around these kinds of situations is definitely tough, even when I know I’m going about it in a respectful way. And thanks for calling me self-aware! I really try to be, so that means a lot.Sofi wrote: ↑Wed Dec 15, 2021 9:59 am It's also important to work on building some confidence to bring things up directly to people (such as asking if they're too busy for dating or not, etc--always respectfully and kindly, of course!) You're very self aware and are doing great by acknowledging your anxiety and defense mechanisms, so kudos on that