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Hello everyone !!

MelisssaZZZ posted 10/18/2019 10:03 AM

I am one of the very very old members here. Not sure anyone remembers me still :).

My life is generally good. My daughter is 10 and doing well and growing into a very nice young lady :).

Ex I still have to see (daughter together), he is really a non entity. Still looking for his type of girls (people who remember me might remember that) but by now in Africa...

Anyways, this forum is so amazing that itís a perfect place to ask for help which I am here to do . (And shamelessly admit I have been given super good advice before and I had ignore it 😱

I find myself in the same reoccurring pattern when dating. I meet a man (and that is no problem - I seem to attract a lot of men). Then we go to dates. After 4-8 dates my anxious attachment style kicks in. At some instances I notice slight changes - guys pulling away. At others itís more visible - cancelling the dates.. then I question.. Ď have we lost a moment are we still interested in each other type of stuffí. They say yes all good and etc etc and then fade away..

I clearly need more assurances then an average dater and that freaks people out.. nor I am that great in communicating about it..

So the question is any tips who me with my anxious attachment style (I tried therapy - not leaving me unfortunately) can get to the real relationship side? (Once I am there I am good - anxiety goes away)

Pass posted 10/18/2019 10:55 AM

I'm one of your people, Melisssa. I was in therapy for a few years after leaving my cheating ex, and that helped. Something else that helped was the book Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies (I know, I recommend this to almost everyone, but it's that good). When I worked through that, it helped to teach me that there is more than one way of understanding any social interaction.

The most important thing that I learned from that - as well as from my shrink - is that I can't read minds. Instead of trying to interpret every turn of the head or delayed text, I look at the evidence. Does she want to spend time with me? Does initiate contact with me almost as much as I do with her? Does she share pieces of her life with me?

Basically in the short run it taught me to channel my overthinking into a different direction, and then to eventually turn off my overthinking. It's the overthinking - and the resulting flurry of texts or phone calls - that can make us seem so needy.

You may also want to look at your "type". Are you always going for the same type of guy? Some people just can't handle any sort of inspection, and immediately feel threatened. My gf had divorced a guy like that, so she was looking for extreme open communication - which is definitely my communication style.

MelisssaZZZ posted 10/18/2019 11:22 AM

Thank you Pass :).

Itís funny (ok, not that funny). That I only experience it when there is a turning point from casual into relationship.. and then I tend to fall for people.. and I think men sense that.. and get scared ..

I have tried cbt but in this case as it occurs relatively rarely there is no Ďpracticeí time..

And in terms of evidence. There is some sort of a shift which I am sensing.. at all times. Be it dates schedules less frequently .. or cancelled or communication becoming less so..

So I am sure there are some cases when they loses interest and I am right in assuming that. But also I am sure there are some cases when people are just busy ...

I need to look for someone who is mature for both of us and can give me the reassurances I need and not be scared..

And in the mean time to try to reframe the way I see this.. if they cannot give me the reassurances I need then clearly they are not a man for me...

I just donít know yet how to identify those traits in a person..

Otherwise I am starting to think that the only one who could deal with me was my crazy ex and somehow I am as damaged and toxic as him in some ways..

Pass posted 10/18/2019 11:56 AM

Otherwise I am starting to think that the only one who could deal with me was my crazy ex and somehow I am as damaged and toxic as him in some ways.

Just no, dude. I think you were joking, but wanted to make sure. You deserve way better than that.

It sounds like you're an overthinker like I am. That being the case, you probably have lots of occasion for practice. You probably start having these doubts - and then start catastrophizing - early and often. You probably have them happen with your friends and family too.

Every time your rebel brain tries to tell you how much someone is losing interest in you, hates you, is barely putting up with you, etc., you have an opportunity to practice your CBT techniques. You may lose some potential relationships while you do this, but you're already losing those anyhow, so you might as well learn from them - and even if you're in perfect mental health, you'll lose some relationships, because that's how relationships work!

If you are only having this anxiety relating to romantic relationships, then lucky you! You already have a model for how to use your healthy brain. Give your romantic interest the same balanced analysis, and the same benefit of the doubt, that you would give family or friends.

I'm not trying to diminish the issues you're having, of course. I'm trying to find some parallels that you can use. I was having these doubts about every single platonic and romantic relationship I was in, but was only expressing them in the romantic setting. CBT helped me with ALL my relationships. It took a while, but I'm mostly secure in all of them now. Every once in a while my rebel brain will try to tell me something nasty, but I have the tools to look at it more objectively, or to handle it with dignity if it turns out my rebel brain was actually right for once.

Pass posted 10/18/2019 11:59 AM

About this:

Itís funny (ok, not that funny). That I only experience it when there is a turning point from casual into relationship.. and then I tend to fall for people

Could this be a self confidence thing? I always assumed that I was lucky to have anyone who would have me, and so I'd hold on tight. My shrink had me make a list of all the things I bring to a relationship, all the boxes that I might have checked off for my potential partner. Up to that point, I only considered the things she brought to the relationship, and I desperately didn't want to lose those things.

MelisssaZZZ posted 10/18/2019 12:27 PM

Thank you again 😘.

Whilst somehow it is liked to self confidence itís not exactly that. I know I am a catch and I believe it and I am 😀. Nor I actually need anyone, just would be nice to have someone..

I am fun, funny, loyal and supportive, relatively smart and well educated, financially stable and good looking. There is not much not to like about me. I have lots of friends and all the friend relationships are good and people will really walk a long way for me if I need it.

I can be too nice though. I always try to be very nice and kind, But that does not make me weak nor I am tolerating sh*t.

Somehow / somewhere I am not selling and presenting myself fairly..

And yes, this only occurs when casual relationship is in turning point for something more substantial - very very specific circumstance. I get sooooooo insecure and jumpy and always always need to ask where things are.

Or read the Ďevidenceí somehow that o feel they are losing interest and then I withdraw ..

In other parts of life I donít have that.. or if there is something mildly like that i channel it positively - like do more training for the exams,and excel, prepare for difficult meetings extensively and nail them - if itís there itís channeled positively with me making more effort in healthy direction. No self sabotage ...

MelisssaZZZ posted 10/18/2019 12:41 PM

And, Pass you are totally a Hero for overcoming anxiety in many areas of your life - lots for respect ...

Itís amazing to see your journey !

Pass posted 10/18/2019 12:51 PM

Thanks, dude! I hope someone else has the answers you need.

Lostheart8 posted 10/18/2019 19:27 PM

Iíve been studying Alison Armstrongís program understanding men. Itís helped me a lot to understand men and communicate better.

Hereís some things Iíve learned. At the first date, tell the man what kind of relationship you are looking for. I got to the point I told them on the phone. If what you are looking for isnít what they want....youíve ruled them out.

Are you stating clearly the typing of relationship you are looking for? Are you asking him what he is looking for?

Around month 3 ...woman naturally want to make the dating experience into a commitment. Has to do with our brain chemistry. Generally (back in cave days) a woman would be pregnant by month 3 and would want to grab their man for protection and security.

So, at this point most woman will apply pressure for a commitment. Pay attention to your desire to commit, because we have a tendency to ignore donít go there and try to tie down the guy.

Letís, say date F isnít interested in commitment and you naturally start to apply ....heís going to withdraw.

Itís a bit of a stab in the dark, but maybe thereís a part of this going on?

MelisssaZZZ posted 10/19/2019 04:31 AM

Thank you :).

Yes, I am very clear I am looking for relationship very early on. As soon as anyone says see as it goes or letís start casually etc I am crossing them out.

These are guys who have told me they are looking for a relationship..

Whilst some of them potentially tell me what I want to hear and are not being truthful.. there are people who want a relationship and end up in relationships just not with me... (they are in relationship soon after)


MelisssaZZZ posted 10/19/2019 04:31 AM

Thank you :).

Yes, I am very clear I am looking for relationship very early on. As soon as anyone says see as it goes or letís start casually etc I am crossing them out.

These are guys who have told me they are looking for a relationship..

Whilst some of them potentially tell me what I want to hear and are not being truthful.. there are people who want a relationship and end up in relationships just not with me... (they are in relationship soon after)


little turtle posted 10/21/2019 09:43 AM

I think these guys just aren't the right ones for you. What kind of guys are you dating?

While I was dating my now husband, I asked him for assurances. I asked him how long he was going to stick around. I didn't really think things were going to work out, despite everything heading in that direction. We've been together for 8 years now.

What do you do differently when you reach 4-8 dates?

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