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.
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.
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?
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).
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?
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.
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