How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
Sabine
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How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:59 am

I matched and got friend requested with an attractive/interesting girl who is 3 years older on the app. I want to take it slow with her but at the same time really want a solid foundation and a poteintial a relationship. How can I do that without her ghosting me or having me worrying about ghosting me.

She loves Parasite like me and we seem to be connecting with the conversation we had! Hope we can continue to have it! Also, I told her about my situation and hope it she understands and accepts!

However, she hasn’t read my messages yet, but she hasn’t left me on read. I am wondering if she’s just busy or she ghosted me :( . She’s been talking to me 2 days ago and BOTH matched and friended me! She seems so genuine too! I don’t want to focus on it too much, but I have been having bad luck, but it is expected for me in a situation like that!

I have sent one single message complementing how sweet that she asked me about the quarantine, but I won’t send any more, I want to be respectful. But, do you think she will reply to me and if so, how do you think I can alleviate some of the anxious thoughts I have about ghosting or alienating her! (or any online interactions) cry:

Siân
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Re: How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Siân » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:11 am

Hi Sabine,

It sounds like you're feeling anxious a lot about the people you match with on dating apps, and like you're feeling very invested in every match. I totally get it! It's exciting to think about possible dates or relationships with these people! The thing is, until you get to know someone well, liking someone's dating profile and even what they say few conversations through the app is mostly your ideas about what you hope they could be like, or the relationship you'd have with them could be.

When I use dating apps, I think about it as increasing the number of opportunities to meet someone I really want to spend time with, and I get more information at every stage to decide how interested I am in someone. To use some made up numbers, let's say I like 1 out of every 10 profiles enough to match with them and have a conversation, then 1 out of 5 conversations enough to go on a date, then 1 out of 5 first dates enough to go for a second date....that's 250 profiles to find someone I want a second date with! The point is that at each step you are both testing the waters and feeling out a bit what you think of each other, and whether you might want to invest a bit more. One thing that you can ask yourself is are dating apps right for you, knowing that you might look at a lot of profiles before really connecting with someone?

It might sound a bit dispiriting, but the point I'm trying to make is that because getting to know someone is a gradual process it's normal to not connect with everyone. Not clicking with someone straight away is not bad luck - it's normal. Dating apps just make it more intense. Like, if you bumped into someone in a supermarket, thought they were cute and saw from the magazine they were holding that you had similar interests and chatted about it for a moment you wouldn't assume that you were going to maintain a conversation - except with dating apps we suddenly DO feel like we've committed to talking with someone, or more.

What happens if you approach every new match - including the possibly-awesome girl who loves parasite - with a "stranger in the supermarket" attitude? Like, oh, this person might be interesting, maybe we'll have a conversation, maybe we'll just smile at each other and get on with our day.

I think the combination of the feeling that dating apps give you endless opportunities, that you are slowly learning more about the other person and that a lot of people go in with a "stranger in the supermarket" mentality is why people ghost. It's not personal, it's not because you have done something wrong, it's just that they were mostly focused on other things and not super invested.

I deliberately HAVEN'T told you how to do the "right" thing with the person you just matched with, because without a crystal ball no-one but her knows how serious she is about dating or new friendships, how much she likes to chat online, or what she's interested in - except her. Does that make sense?

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
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Location: California, USA

Re: How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:39 pm

It all makes sense. For instance, I am focusing on other things too, but I really want someone to connect with too.

I know I heard people in real life would be better, but with COVID-19 and sometimes that “stranger in the supermarket mentality” can be no better too. Worse is that often men mostly flock to me too, in which I look femme and I don’t present lesbian. I can’t help that men hit on me.

She is online, but she didn’t read my messages. She didn’t leave me on read either, so, I don’t know whether she likes me or not! I want reassurance for that and would also like support interacting with people and maintaining relationships at a distance (friendships and not).

Mo
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Re: How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Mo » Fri Jul 03, 2020 3:19 pm

Do you think you could try making sure your notifications are on in that app (and any other ones that you want to message people on), so you don't miss messages if someone replies, but otherwise not monitoring other people's activities on the app so much? Keeping track of whether or not someone's online or whether they've read your messages isn't going to be helpful to you; if they respond, that's great and you can go from there, but unless and until you get a response, I think it will be better for you to be able to disconnect from those apps and focus on something else.

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
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Location: California, USA

Re: How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Sabine » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:44 am

I have turned off notifications and tried to not check the app frequently. I am trying to focus on something else and if I do go on the apps, communicate with other people on there! I will try and do that for the next few weeks! I have a lot more activities to do such as play Mario Odessey, read, make rings and such.

I’m so creepy and ashamed! I’m sad too!

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: The way I can really think and analyze
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/Her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: California, USA

Re: How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Sabine » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:10 am

Also, what is making me a little more anxious is that my friend and her girlfriend and I am rescheduling our plans in Austria. The COVID rate is going up and her girlfriend’s sister got COVID! I’m sad because I cannot seem (in my mind) to maintain well meaningful friendships (as well as any interactions). I really want to maintain some, especially in the US and I feel tempted to cut people off. But, I don’t want to, I want to maintain friendships.

Sam W
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Re: How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:55 am

As much as you can, try not to be to down on yourself about how you're feeling. When we're anxious, seeking reassurance around our anxiety is really common, and that can often take the form of constantly checking things. It may be helpful to frame that as an unhelpful coping mechanism to unlearn, rather than something that makes you creepy and bad (when we're down on ourselves, it's often harder to get motivated to change things).

And yikes, COVID news like that is never fun! If you know you'll be rescheduling your plans (or cancelling them outright) maybe that's the time to look for something you could do in their place?

Sabine
not a newbie
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue May 19, 2020 6:27 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: The way I can really think and analyze
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/Her
My sexual identity and orientation: Lesbian
Location: California, USA

Re: How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Sabine » Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:17 pm

Thanks so much! So how do I fix that unhelpful coping mechanism, especially obsessing about topics where it becomes a spiral over and over?

Their place is so far away! I’m in Austria and they are in it too. I’m also a little concern that I have to emotional distance once I get back, but you know what they say, different types of friends for different types of purposes!

Sam W
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Re: How to alleviate anxiety about and not mess up about a future relationship

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:51 am

You're welcome! That would be a good question for your therapist, as one of the things they're often trained in is helping people find ways to alter unhelpful coping mechanisms.


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