I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
Sabine
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I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:06 am

This is from another forum post, but I just want to share my complex feelings with the complex situation. I kind of feel a little bad but there is room to improve and to make it right.

I have a deep connection to a girl in California, but I cannot meet her, perhaps in a long time due to COVID and the fact that she cannot get the COVID vaccine. Around the same time, I fell and I talked to a girl in Northern Ireland, fairly new relationship and we have videochatted only once. We have talked a lot via messaging app, but she got a head sore and had to post pone our second videochat date. She didn’t read my messages, but I left one message and drawing she may like. I like both of them, but I have some complex feelings right now.

I am working on some boundaries with her, but I am also working on being engaged with her and her interests more. I want to work on balancing engagement and boundaries more. Like doing fun dates and checking out what she talks about and try to understand them, specifically the music she likes. I haven’t checked in with her with how much she checked out with music I sent, but she has wanted me to check out her music, videos and links on camera after she sent it to me together more so than I have. Today, I was tired, so I kind of felt a little bad about talking to her because even though I wanted to talk to her I was tired and she can tell I was also exhausted. She feels for me in a sense and I love that. However, despite me being tired, we did arrange a date on opening her presents and mine at the same time (both to eachother and showing our holiday present hall). I cannot wait for that!

Secondly, even though I like the California girl, I long to talk to the Irish girl I recently sent a text too. I really want to talk to more stuff I have in common with in her, even with the fact that we both live in different countries and that we don’t know were we are from. She feels for me as well and understands why I couldn’t talk sometimes. I can’t describe this longing, but I can’t miss her because I didn’t meet her and I also don’t want my longing for her to become an obsession. That word even to describe my feelings, is a bad thing. I don’t think I even have the expectation, I have the hope she will text me back and would want to talk to me. I would blame myself if she didn’t, my obsessive compulsive disorder because I should have told myself and I should be focused on doing other stuff and dedicating myself to the California girl.

I don’t know what’s going to be the outcome, but I feel that my strong feelings of attraction (physically, emotionally and intellectually) and longing for the Irish girl may become a detriment, may become an obsession (because that’s what my dad is making sure that is). I feel it’s not, but I am not so sure.

How do I reconcile those feelings and not worry about what’s next? How do I focus on improving my current relationship as well? At any point how do I do an evaluation? How do I have more to talk about with her and do with her? Or talk about what she wants to without being so opinionated, yet giving my voice? Sorry if sometimes I am not clear, I am just figuring it out. I know I like them both and I want it to work out.

Heather
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Heather » Tue Dec 15, 2020 10:59 am

Sabine,

Before I say more, can you give me an idea about how much of your time and energy is being spent right now on these relationships and how much on other areas of your life? Obviously, since when you come here, they're what you talk most about, it's hard for us to get a sense of how they exist in the context of everything else. I'm feeling like that matters for me to know how to answer this well.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:11 am

Heather wrote:Sabine,

Before I say more, can you give me an idea about how much of your time and energy is being spent right now on these relationships and how much on other areas of your life? Obviously, since when you come here, they're what you talk most about, it's hard for us to get a sense of how they exist in the context of everything else. I'm feeling like that matters for me to know how to answer this well.



Right now:
In the morning, it is mainly now leisure and exercise and family time (which is also mainly in the evening). However, I video chat and talk with the girl in California once to twice a day about. And we text moderately to a lot. I’m busy with Animal Crossing as well and will have more focus on the common apps. In terms of the girl in Northern Ireland, it’s obviously decreased time due to her head sore and her not feeling well and responding.

That’s how much the time is. It’s also tricky because of the quarantine and it’s winter break. And the time zone.

Heather
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Heather » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:18 am

So, when you're NOT focusing on these relationships -- either by actively engaging in them or by talking about them here or thinking about them (which I was also asking about in my question, sorry if that wasn't clear!) -- or in Animal Crossing, what else has got your time and energy? Just trying to get a picture.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:32 am

Heather wrote:So, when you're NOT focusing on these relationships -- either by actively engaging in them or by talking about them here or thinking about them (which I was also asking about in my question, sorry if that wasn't clear!) -- or in Animal Crossing, what else has got your time and energy? Just trying to get a picture.


First of all, I don’t engage with them in Animal Crossing. I also want to clarify that I spend time with my family and one friend in Austria (on Saturdays usually) as well more so in the day time. I babysit a cat 30 minutes to an hour every two days per week not including the weekends (and don’t speak to the one in Californian girl). I also exercise by walking or dancing during the day. I also am going to spend more time working on my applications and supplementary material so that’ll take up an amount of time. So, in terms of actively engaging with them, I would say it takes up 1/6 and 0 for the Irish Girl since she hasn’t responded yet.

Heather
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Heather » Tue Dec 15, 2020 11:43 am

Okay, gotcha! Thanks for giving me a fuller picture. I think I have a better idea of what it all looks like in context now.

I do think that you might be overthinking a lot of this, and that some of the secret to improving relationships for you might well be doing some letting go. You've talked here and in the past about your concerns about some of this linking up with OCD behaviors and thought patterns, and I think that's a valid concern. I also think that it's probably way too soon in dating relationships like this to start evaluating them in big ways yet -- these are new dating relationships: you're not at that yet. This time is just for feeling things out and exploring. You're still in the part of things where the bulk of what you're doing is gathering information: about each other, about your feelings, about your dynamics, your wants, all of that. Make sense?

I totally get that it can be hard not to focus on outcomes and what might be next or even to want to try and control that (I don't mean in a bad way). You say you want things to work out, but again, I think that even that feels premature to me, because it assumes there's only certain ways that what's going on *could* work out. But when it comes to dating, really, any way things go is ultimately working out, because the aim really is just to see what happens, and see what it turns out we want to pursue together once we get to know each other better.

What do you think about all that, to start with?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:07 pm

Heather wrote:Okay, gotcha! Thanks for giving me a fuller picture. I think I have a better idea of what it all looks like in context now.

I do think that you might be overthinking a lot of this, and that some of the secret to improving relationships for you might well be doing some letting go. You've talked here and in the past about your concerns about some of this linking up with OCD behaviors and thought patterns, and I think that's a valid concern. I also think that it's probably way too soon in dating relationships like this to start evaluating them in big ways yet -- these are new dating relationships: you're not at that yet. This time is just for feeling things out and exploring. You're still in the part of things where the bulk of what you're doing is gathering information: about each other, about your feelings, about your dynamics, your wants, all of that. Make sense?

I totally get that it can be hard not to focus on outcomes and what might be next or even to want to try and control that (I don't mean in a bad way). You say you want things to work out, but again, I think that even that feels premature to me, because it assumes there's only certain ways that what's going on *could* work out. But when it comes to dating, really, any way things go is ultimately working out, because the aim really is just to see what happens, and see what it turns out we want to pursue together once we get to know each other better.

What do you think about all that, to start with?


Yes this makes sense. This is all too early. Maybe I am worried about just the one person. And worried about putting myself 110% into my interactions even if they are not ideal. I really want my interactions to be good and hope neither of them get into conflict nor leave me. So I always would like some fun ideas about dates in the case of the former and to gauge about what someone might be feeling about me or just in general for the latter.

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:15 pm

And when I mean the one person I mean the Irish girl. I am worried that it is becoming an obession, since my OCD may creep into my crushes. But I don’t know, my longing for her is quite normal considering that the last message she left me is that she is sick and she wanted to videochat with me as much as I with her and we were both intensely talking to eachother. And she had to cancel the night we were both free because of her head sore. I’m so worried for her, but worried my worrying is an obsessive compulsive thought and I need to let it go.

Heather
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Heather » Tue Dec 15, 2020 1:54 pm

Just to make sure I understand, have you come around to feeling like your worry about the Irish girl's well-being is obsessive -- as in, she's probably fine, and you need to let that go for *your* well-being -- but what you remain worried about is how she feels about you?

And you're also worried about being left, even when things are in the just-dating stage (not a judgment, I have so been there, just making sure I have this right).
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:04 pm

Heather wrote:Just to make sure I understand, have you come around to feeling like your worry about the Irish girl's well-being is obsessive -- as in, she's probably fine, and you need to let that go for *your* well-being -- but what you remain worried about is how she feels about you?

And you're also worried about being left, even when things are in the just-dating stage (not a judgment, I have so been there, just making sure I have this right).


Yes on that part, but I’m not so sure about whether it’s becoming an obsession. I’m more worried about whether she likes me, but also about her well being (like that head sore can turn into serious migraine or even a brain tumor). I guess both. I left her a message saying I care and she hasn’t responded as she usually does. I’m so worried about her. Again, nothing I can do, but I hope she wants to talk to me back and/or is okay. :cry: I think she wants to videocall with me to because she and I scheduled it many times!

Yeah, a little. I want to reassure myself of that. I want to reassure my OCD that everything will be fine and even then it’s only the dating phase part of dating.

Heather
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Heather » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:18 pm

I can understand and see how both worry about her well-being and wanting that validation have snowballed for you. I'm sorry that that's happened.

I think that sometimes one of the toughest parts of dating is finding the balance between letting yourself get invested enough to really engage with the other person but also keeping enough nonattachment that you can feel okay with the fact that it really is a sort of limbo where we just can't have any sense for a while of where something might go. I also think it's one of those things that, unfortunately, we often just have to learn more through life experience than anything else, and sometimes that might involve some trail and error where we get hurt or where we overstep. Both happen, and it's okay.

In your case, I feel like you could probably stand to work a little more on the nonattachment side of things, or trying to be less attached to outcomes, and more okay with the fact that yep, in dating, it might not continue sometimes, it might not continue even more of the time than not. Do you have any sense of what you might need in order to feel better about that, more okay with that?
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Wed Dec 16, 2020 12:21 am

Heather wrote:I can understand and see how both worry about her well-being and wanting that validation have snowballed for you. I'm sorry that that's happened.

I think that sometimes one of the toughest parts of dating is finding the balance between letting yourself get invested enough to really engage with the other person but also keeping enough nonattachment that you can feel okay with the fact that it really is a sort of limbo where we just can't have any sense for a while of where something might go. I also think it's one of those things that, unfortunately, we often just have to learn more through life experience than anything else, and sometimes that might involve some trail and error where we get hurt or where we overstep. Both happen, and it's okay.

In your case, I feel like you could probably stand to work a little more on the nonattachment side of things, or trying to be less attached to outcomes, and more okay with the fact that yep, in dating, it might not continue sometimes, it might not continue even more of the time than not. Do you have any sense of what you might need in order to feel better about that, more okay with that?


Well, I’m worried it’s going to snow ball. It hasn’t snowballed yet, not to my standards. And I’m trying not to think of it and focus on other tasks.

I really want to become OK with that. And I might want to work on some strategies like some worksheets and stuff if it becomes too consuming. I don’t know, if I do work on the worksheets all I know is that essentially I’ll be working from the place of “it is my fault that I am obsessing about this” because I pathologize myself as well. that is mainly why I am hesitant to do it. Other than that, I just focus on work, other stuff and improving the relationship with the California girl and working on some boundaries with her.

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:05 am

I realize that my intense longing for her in part is due to my own relational struggles and trying to set boundaries. I also tell myself that maybe it’ll take a little time for her to recover, so I wouldn’t want to spam her so much with messages. Still, I’m so worried about her. I’m reading poetry from a poet she recommended to me in order for me to cope in the meantime. :cry:

And with the girl in California, I realize that once I texted her today about setting a boundary about content sharing and I was going to have to be the one to set boundaries. I don’t know about that, it’s not a bad thing, but when I mainly have to do it ... I like her, but I don’t know ...

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Wed Dec 16, 2020 1:22 pm

Update: when I self advocated tp her, she responded that she will do better and that I am not letting her down. She just is forgetful sometimes and hyperactive, combined with her being stuck on certain things and being so excited. Specifically, I said for her when sharing content during video chatting to not request I watch it right now or look at it right now.

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:24 pm

Update 2: One more update on this forum about the situation. I have talked to my mom and I have come to it that in some part it is an obsession. I keep thinking that her having that head sore was a preset for her to ghost me. But, I try to think the ladder: she’s distracted with her job and/or she is sick with the head sore.

My mind always jumps to the worst possible scenario even with presented milder options and to me that is why I cannot just “get over” something. She really wanted to talk to me to it seems like and scheduled a meeting with me on that day. And talked to me too. But that’s not the point, what can I do to stop catazstrophizing, or jumping to the worst possible scenario. Or thinking about her without the obsession taking over. Or distracting myself until perhaps she texts back.

I hope she does. I wonder if she will ...

Sabine
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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:28 pm

And I also realize there is nothing wrong with my current relationship, I just want that someone else to be there as well. Oh god, I feel like scum just saying it. Like I long for her so bad because we have a lot in common and she seems to like me too! For obsessing and blaming and shaming myself for that, it’s not solving a problem.

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Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:28 am

Hi Sabine,

Looking over you posts, both in this thread and previous ones, I think we've hit a point where we've given you most of the advice and resources we have to help you with this situation and your other romantic concerns. What I'm going to ask is that, for the next little while, we focus only on helping you connect with a therapist or other professional who can help you really dig down and work on some of these fears and unhelpful thought patterns. Right now, continuing to pick through every little detail of these interactions (and your feelings about them) isn't actually helping you in the long run, so focusing on addressing the underlying issues is going to be a much kinder thing to do for yourself.

Sabine
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Location: California, USA

Re: I want to improve my relationship(s) - Long and complex story

Unread postby Sabine » Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:37 am

Sam W wrote:Hi Sabine,

Looking over you posts, both in this thread and previous ones, I think we've hit a point where we've given you most of the advice and resources we have to help you with this situation and your other romantic concerns. What I'm going to ask is that, for the next little while, we focus only on helping you connect with a therapist or other professional who can help you really dig down and work on some of these fears and unhelpful thought patterns. Right now, continuing to pick through every little detail of these interactions (and your feelings about them) isn't actually helping you in the long run, so focusing on addressing the underlying issues is going to be a much kinder thing to do for yourself.


Thank you. I’m working on that with my mom and I’m trying my best. I’m also so sorry I made a response to where I shouldn’t have in another post. But, this post gave me huge insight into my choices, I should have read what the forum was for anyways. :shock:

Anyways, I will now focus on that and what my choices are and what to do next ...


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