Actual relationship issues or is it in my head???

Questions and discussions about relationships: girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers, partners, friends, family or other intimate relationships in your lives.
Hel
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Actual relationship issues or is it in my head???

Unread postby Hel » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:06 am

Just a heads up, I’m covering a lot in this post because there are a ton of contributing factors.

So a few days ago my boyfriend and I had a long talk about intimacy in our relationship. I told him I like when he initiates things, and I want him to do that more often. I also said sometimes I feel like I really want to spend time with just him (not with our friend group) but he doesn’t understand that. He said he wanted to be more romantic and do sexual things less often, which I’m okay with. He also said everything is good between us.

The thing is, we had a pretty scarring sexual experience, which was the reason for the intimacy conversation. I have a lot going on right now and I thought I wanted to do an oral and get fingered but I felt sick afterwards like I really messed up. He told me it was okay, held me afterwards, and said everything was alright.

Thing is, he didn’t sit next to me in classes (we go to the same international school) and I don’t know what that was about. I know he has a ton of issues right now as well and I think that might be interfering with his ability to really understand my needs right now. I asked him if we were cool, and he said yes... I do inherently trust him. However I also have really bad trust issues and a severe fear of abandonment. (Thank you, emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend who never gave me a reason for breaking up with me. :evil:)

He (my current boyfriend) also didn’t respond to a text I sent to just him... he did get his phone taken away by his parents but I know he had several hours where he was online before that, and he texted in multiple group chats I’m in. So... wtf why didn’t he text me?? He knows I get paranoid when he doesn’t. (Or maybe he doesn’t know because he is a teenage boy and this is his first serious relationship. )

I don’t know if bringing this up to him is a good idea right now. Yesterday I flew to a different country for a trip so if I talk to him or anyone else from school it will be online. But I don’t want to have these feelings of not trusting him (he’s given no reason for me not to trust him). I do want to know if we’re okay because I love him and we’ve never really had any issues between us before. But should I give him space and just try not reaching out? (Like, should let him make the first move like he and I talked about?) I just feel like it’s adding unnecessary stress to my life right now.

Please help me figure this out because I’m crying while I’m writing this and I’m really upset. I don’t know if there’s actually an issue or if it’s all in my head. :cry:

[As a side note, I am beginning counseling soon and I plan on bringing up my fear of abandonment and toxic ex with my counselor because I know it’s still bothering me even though it’s been over a year since that breakup.]

Elise
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Re: Actual relationship issues or is it in my head???

Unread postby Elise » Sat Apr 24, 2021 5:15 pm

Hi Hel, I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling quite distressed at the moment.

It sounds like, reading your other posts, that you boyfriend has been responding quite well and in a supportive way to your discussions and communication, and also that the events you are describing (not responding to the text) have happened over a short period of time? You are also very aware of your feelings of anxiety around abandonment due to your past experiences with your ex, which is really great self-awareness, and it's great that you are going to see a counsellor to discuss and work through these.

Focusing on recent events, our brains can really quickly go into catastrophising mode when we're feeling anxious about a situation. This is because your brain wants to protect you from something bad happening, however can go into a bit of overdrive in its response to singular events.

You mention that your boyfriend's phone was taken away and so he wouldn't be able to respond (even if he was online before, I assume the phone was then taken away?), and that is causing you some stress. It is okay to give someone time to respond, but it can be stressful in the meantime, and that is where self soothing and self care activities can be useful to distract your brain from those thoughts by taking some time out for yourself(and a therapist/counselor can help you with the thought patterns themselves more). Here are some resources about that you might find useful:

This isn't to say that you should wait for him to initiate the next message, however it might be good to give him a bit of time to respond to your text (this is not days or anything, just not only 1 hour or so) before doing so. You mention he's also having some stressors at the moment, so this could look like checking in with him also in case his mind is preoccupied with his stressors. This isn't to say your needs also aren't valid, however it might show that you are also there to listen to him and acknowledge the things he has going on too.

You mention him not sitting next to you at school and also not texting you when he was online, and not being sure about whether he understands your needs. Would you be able to expand a bit more on what you are wanting with regards to when and how he is focusing his attention on you, rather than others, and whether and how you've communicated this?

When you say you "get paranoid" when he doesn't text you 1:1 when he's also messaging in group chats where you are present, what does what you want look like? When you say he should "know... (Or maybe he doesn’t know because he is a teenage boy and this is his first serious relationship.)" have you discussed this before or is it something you've thought he'd pick up on from previous discussions?

Hel
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Re: Actual relationship issues or is it in my head???

Unread postby Hel » Sat Apr 24, 2021 8:39 pm

Hi, thanks for responding so quickly! Yeah this is causing me some stress. And it’s true that all these events happened within days of each other so it was just a lot to handle at once.

Good idea to bring up thought patterns with my counselor. I think that will be useful for me because I do tend to worry and over analyze, and I have a hard time distracting myself. However I’m not too worried about it because, yeah, his phone was taken away. We actually called on one of his other devices and everything seems fine so that’s good. I’ll check out the self care articles.

In terms of my needs, I thought that in the past I made it clear to him that I really am craving intimacy right now, especially with all that’s going on in my life. We sit next to each other in a lot of classes and at the beginning of the year, when we first started dating, he would reach out and hold my hand and that type of thing. Of course we still talk and make jokes and once or twice we have made innuendo very subtly but I feel like it’s not much to ask to be able to hold hands for a moment or two in class.

When it comes to the group chat stuff, I don’t know. I mean, I have mixed feelings because I get that texting and being with friends is equally important, and my boyfriend and I do prefer being in person than chatting online. However, sometimes it’s just annoying to be left on read. I know a lot of people like to do that though. It’s hard because my boyfriend and I are very different people. I like schedules, planning, always responding to texts whenever I can, and I almost never give “maybe” as an answer. My boyfriend is the complete opposite. Obviously I love him and our differences make us interesting to each other, but sometimes it’s just frustrating! I don’t know how to approach this because it’s his personality - of course I don’t want to change who he is because than he wouldn’t be the same person. Any advice on that?

I think I mentioned above but I just feel like I’ve said many times that I worry about little things and overanalyze. Some of that’s my personality, other parts are from past bad experiences with my ex who basically abandoned me shortly after he stopped responding to my texts. :/ As I’m writing this I’m realizing that a lot of my anxiety and worries still stem from my past relationship. I think I want to bring this up with my counselor and then definitely with my boyfriend because I think this (how my ex treated me) might be one of the roots of my stress right now.

Overall my boyfriend is good at comforting me and helping me sort out my own issues - I just think he is a bit lazy when it comes to trying to comprise and initiate things more like I’ve asked him too. So yeah any more advice about this would be very welcome.

Sam W
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Re: Actual relationship issues or is it in my head???

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Apr 26, 2021 7:59 am

Hi Hel,

I think it's very sound to recognize that a lot of this anxiety is tied to a past relationship, and that talking about that with a therapist will probably be helpful.

I do want to add that something that can be helpful to remember when it comes to texts or other messages is that it's very common for someone to see something, read it, and either not be able to respond in the moment or intend to respond in a second and then promptly forget to do so. So, when you notice yourself getting anxious about his lack of response, it can help to remind yourself that the most likely explanations are things like that, rather than a sign the relationship is about to end.

Hel
not a newbie
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:19 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I play D&D!
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her/hers
My sexual identity and orientation: Pansexual
Location: Austria

Re: Actual relationship issues or is it in my head???

Unread postby Hel » Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:20 am

Okay, thank you! Yeah I do tend to over analyze things and also, yes, a lot of my worries are from the past relationship. Thanks for the advice!


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