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Relationship anxiety

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Hello!

I browsed around and didn't see a topic on this issue so I figured I'd start one.

I just started a relationship that I'm very happy with so far. However, as with past relationships as well, I get some severe bouts of anxiety over it. It only happens in between spending time with her. We live pretty far from each other and have very busy schedules, so we can only see each other once a week. In between times, my mind goes to worse case scenarios that this is "too good to be true" sort of thinking. She's the type that prefers to communicate via text message, so I wind up over analyzing and picking apart all of her texts and how she responds. I also over analyze my actions, wondering if something is say or do is off putting. Often I see similarities between her and past failed girlfriends and I start thinking along the lines of "oh maybe she's going to turn out just like *that* one." However, when we are together in person everything is fine and I can be my normal confident self around her.

I know this kind of anxiety is all based in irrational thinking but for some reason no matter how much I tell myself this, my mind can't stop going there. I have to fix this otherwise I feel like I'm going to either drive myself crazy or create a self fulfilling prophecy with this relationship or any future ones. Help!

Edited by BlackInMind
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It won’t help to simply scold yourself for irrational thinking. Cognitive-behavioral therapy requires that you identify the specific irrational thoughts and challenge them directly. For example:

You read one of her texts and you think: She’s having doubts about whether I’m the right guy for her. She’s thinking of breaking up with me.

Albert Ellis or a Cog-B therapist would take that thought and re-process it this way:

What is the evidence for this? Is there another way of looking at what she said? What is the contrary evidence? If it did turn out to be true, would it really be catastrophic?

It’s also worthwhile to enhance your self-awareness of your own self-worth—why any woman would be foolish to break up with you.

Rather than berate yourself, sympathize with yourself for having fears of losing her: Of course you don’t want the pain that would accompany that. Nobody would. Try to accept your fears. Then reinforce your knowledge that you have the inner strength to survive that loss if it should happen.

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Dennis that is probably the best advice I have ever seen given on this board. I had never looked at those problems that way but what you are saying is really true.

I would add that your situation sounds pretty good. If you are enjoying her company and she is enjoying your company then that is all that really matters. Most women I know want a stable man who they can enjoy being around. When they find that they don't just throw that away or ruin that for no arbitrarily. The fact that she chooses to spend what free time she has with you is an indication that she does enjoy your company

Edited by Hairnet
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It’s also worthwhile to enhance your self-awareness of your own self-worth—why any woman would be foolish to break up with you.

Rather than berate yourself, sympathize with yourself for having fears of losing her: Of course you don’t want the pain that would accompany that. Nobody would. Try to accept your fears. Then reinforce your knowledge that you have the inner strength to survive that loss if it should happen.

Dennis, that is an amazingly empowering statement, thank you!

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