• Welcome to the Anxiety Community Forum, a friendly space for discussion, help and support with mental health issues. Please register to post and use the extra features available to members. Click here to register.Everyone is welcome!

Trying to date somebody with high functioning anxiety

Carlyque

New Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Hello all, I’m trying to get some help. About 16 months ago I met the man of my dreams on a dating site. We dated for roughly 4 months before he ended it saying it was due to poor timing and we should take a break and reset when he was ready. I tried to move on but couldn’t. So after giving him 6 months of space with no contact I reached back out and we started dating again but he again ended it by saying he didn’t have energy for me and that I deserve somebody better than him and deserve to have somebody reciprocate. He is also really concerned with the idea that I’m wasting my time and efforts on him when i could be finding somebody else. He said he was open to dating again in the future but that he needed to work through things so he could get to the point where he was ready for a relationship. He shared with me that he struggles with high functioning anxiety so I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on to try to better understand what he goes through. He seems to really like me and sees how special I am, but he gives into the negative thoughts that tell him I’m better off without him. I let him go once, I can’t do it again. But it’s difficult because we aren’t committed to each other so I don’t really know my place. He says he appreciates all I’ve done and that I’ve helped him figure out so much about himself but tells me “it’s just not going to happen at this time”.

I want so badly to take him by the hand, tell him we will get through this together and that I’m not going anywhere but it seems that all my attempts to work through it comes off to him as I’m trying to help him and he doesn’t want to feel like he has to be helped. I’ve been open with him about my feelings and I think it just puts pressure on him bc he doesn’t want to feel like he has to live up to my same level of effort because he lacks the energy to take on something more meaningful with me. We live two hours apart which doesn’t help bc he avoids my offers to meet up and talk in person.

I’d really like some advice. How can I get him to draw me close versus pushing me away? What can i do to make him want to work through this together rather than apart? Please help!
 

Hooligan1214

New Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
21
Reaction score
5
As hard as it is, you may just have to let him go and let him make his own choice about returning when he feels safe/healthy/open/ready for the relationship. You can't force him nor pry your way into his safe zone. You can express an openness and willingness to empathize and be there, but if hes not in a spot where he can be present in a relationship there's nothing you can really do.
 

Cuchculan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
457
Reaction score
258
I have been in his shoes before. I let a person go simply because of my anxiety. It was a mixture of things with me. I felt there was nothing I could offer this person by way of a social life. Because I never really went anywhere at all. You do question would another person actually accept that by way of dating. I didn't think so. You think of dating and you think of dinners and the movies and maybe a bar and a club. That was all the things I could never manage to do. So you begin to push them away. Sounds kind of harsh / cruel. We sabotage relationships. May say some mean things. Things we don't actually mean. You just want it over and as this person has never done anything bad on you and you actually like them, it can be hard when saying some bad things just to push them away. This might be exactly what your man is doing. The closer he sees you trying to get, the more he might fight back. Say some nasty things. As an attempt to make you leave him alone. Deep down he probably likes you as much as you like him. But he is looking at his own life. He can hardly look after himself. His mind will be thinking that he sure as heck can't be looking after another person as well. Just how the mind plays it all out for us. I have been alone for years now. Do believe I will remain that way too. Just as he knows his life, I know my life too. With anxiety we can up and run from places in the blink of an eye. You imagine been out with him and he just runs to get out of there? Wanting to escape the place. It all factors into it. We don't want to end up in situations like that. Hence he simply might think that dating is not the right thing for him right now. If you can get through to him knowing all of this, good luck in doing so. At the best of times we don't let anybody into our lives. Friends included. We make excuses to avoid most things. Not the life we want. Just the life we ended up with.
 

Carlyque

New Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
I have been in his shoes before. I let a person go simply because of my anxiety. It was a mixture of things with me. I felt there was nothing I could offer this person by way of a social life. Because I never really went anywhere at all. You do question would another person actually accept that by way of dating. I didn't think so. You think of dating and you think of dinners and the movies and maybe a bar and a club. That was all the things I could never manage to do. So you begin to push them away. Sounds kind of harsh / cruel. We sabotage relationships. May say some mean things. Things we don't actually mean. You just want it over and as this person has never done anything bad on you and you actually like them, it can be hard when saying some bad things just to push them away. This might be exactly what your man is doing. The closer he sees you trying to get, the more he might fight back. Say some nasty things. As an attempt to make you leave him alone. Deep down he probably likes you as much as you like him. But he is looking at his own life. He can hardly look after himself. His mind will be thinking that he sure as heck can't be looking after another person as well. Just how the mind plays it all out for us. I have been alone for years now. Do believe I will remain that way too. Just as he knows his life, I know my life too. With anxiety we can up and run from places in the blink of an eye. You imagine been out with him and he just runs to get out of there? Wanting to escape the place. It all factors into it. We don't want to end up in situations like that. Hence he simply might think that dating is not the right thing for him right now. If you can get through to him knowing all of this, good luck in doing so. At the best of times we don't let anybody into our lives. Friends included. We make excuses to avoid most things. Not the life we want. Just the life we ended up with.
This sounds exactly like him. He has yet to say mean things to me but he’s doing everything else he can to push me way. What you said makes a lot of sense. Can I ask you if there is anything the person you let go could have done? Would it have changed anything for you? When you say “get through to him” I think that’s exactly what I’m trying to do but don’t know how since I’m in uncharted territory and I certainly don’t want to make things worse. I’m not willing to give up on him because I know deep down underneath the layers of anxiety and negative thoughts, he wants me just as much as I want him and that’s why I’m adamant about sticking through this with him. Is there a way to do this? Do people that suffer from this let people in? If so I’d really love to hear some success.
 

triceps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
1,184
Reaction score
658
Hi Carlyque. I'm thinking that explaining how my wife has handled me through 34 years of marriage might be informational for you. My wife was aware of my GAD, social anxiety and minor OCD prior to our marriage. The most important feature that has kept us married is her willingness to independently attend functions, dining out etc. with no resentment if I can't join her. She accepts that I was unable to attend her father's funeral, would have been able to accept my absence from our daughter's wedding (I made it but came home without her) and she attended the funeral of our best mutual friend without me. She has a clue about how difficult leaving the house is for me and she has learned to just go to things without me. That takes a tremendous amount of pressure and guilt off of me and makes everything that we can do together very special for each of us. Her whole family is aware of my anxiety disorders and accepts that my wife is willing to make adjustments for me. Perhaps your boyfriend cuts off the relationship when it's time to get the family members involved in your relationship? Just letting you know what has helped me immensly and don't know if it might be helpful to your situation.
 

Cuchculan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
457
Reaction score
258
At that time she could have tried to move mountains for me and I would have ignored her efforts. Heck I liked the girl so much. We are friends today. I did explain that I pushed her away on purpose. Not that I was proud of it. But we have to call it like it was. It can be all about his mind set. I seriously have no idea what he is thinking right now. I can only guess. I would be thinking that I had to learn to look after myself first and do things like going places, before I was ready for anybody else in my life. In other words he might feel he has nothing to offer you. Because there are so many things he can't do. The perfect for match for a person like that would be a person willing to do nothing. If that makes sense to you. I say nothing, meaning he might find it hard to do most things outside of the house. There are other times when he is bad, that he might just left alone. But asking that of anybody would not seem the right thing to do. So instead we push the people away. Rather than give them any options at all. That can be a problem for you. Having no options open to you. I know I gave that other girl only one option. That was to leave me alone. She did try her best too. Use what you have gained from reading what I have said. If he hears things said in a way he knows is right and he knows he doing those exact things he might respond to you. Thinking that you have figured out his thinking. Once we have our minds set on something we can come across as cold and even heartless. I wouldn't give up on him just yet. Talk. You know a lot more now. His thinking would be similar to my thinking.
 

Howlingvapor

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
29
I have anxiety and have been with someone suffering from anxiety. It has a tendency to eat away at relationships. Even when you think you’ll just bare down and make it through the difficulties involved it’s a very hard promise to make that you’ll be understanding or flexible. He may be worried that his anxiety will eventually drive you crazy until you leave. Having anxiety can sometimes feel like a physical disability if it’s extreme enough, not being able to do the things most people do, like go out in public or socialize with new people. It can make you feel like a burden. The girl I was with had severe PTSD and I wasn’t exactly that much better in the anxiety department. The relationship ended because ultimately between my constant panic attacks and stress and her unwillingness to share her problems with me because she was afraid it’d worry me we drove each other away and then she just couldn’t take it anymore and left. I wish I could tell you there was something you could say or do to change his mind, but ultimately he’s the one that needs to work through this mentality. If you do end up with him though prepare yourself. Dating someone with anxiety is extremely hard and he clearly knows that otherwise he wouldn’t be doing this. Good luck and stay strong.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Carlyque

New Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. You have no idea how much this is helping me. I have never struggled with anything like this in my life so I felt and still feel very unprepared. I’m not going to give up because my heart simply won’t let me. That said, I’ve taken everything you all are telling me to heart and I hope you won’t mind if I come here for more support and advice when I need it. I’d still love to hear from anybody who has been on either side of this same scenario as it really helps to keep things in perspective.
 

triceps

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2018
Messages
1,184
Reaction score
658
Hi Carlyque. Are you aware if he's getting any counseling or is on any medication? Many of the common anti-anxiety and depression medications often have sexual dysfunction side effects. That 2 hour drive might be very anxiety producing for him. Just a couple of thoughts.
 

Carlyque

New Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Hi Carlyque. Are you aware if he's getting any counseling or is on any medication? Many of the common anti-anxiety and depression medications often have sexual dysfunction side effects. That 2 hour drive might be very anxiety producing for him. Just a couple of thoughts.
He was put on medicine originally but had a bad reaction to it so he chose to find other coping alternatives. He sees a therapist every month and meditates as well as journaling every night to help calm his mind. In the time I’ve known him it seems to have made a difference. I didn’t think about the drive being an anxiety trigger for him but you might be right. He also gets concerned with having me drive to see him saying that it’s asking too much so I don’t end up seeing him at all. We have both signed up to take a project management (PMP) course together next month and that will likely be the only time I get a chance to speak with him in person. So I’m trying to learn and prepare for the right conversation to have with him.
 

Cuchculan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
457
Reaction score
258
Having you drive to him worries him. Curious. Wondering if he lost anybody in the past. Death wise. We talk PTSD. fears something bad might happen to you as a result of him. Might be one to throw out there. What exactly he fears about you driving to see him. And why?
 

Carlyque

New Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Having you drive to him worries him. Curious. Wondering if he lost anybody in the past. Death wise. We talk PTSD. fears something bad might happen to you as a result of him. Might be one to throw out there. What exactly he fears about you driving to see him. And why?
I don’t think it’s the safety part that worries him but more that he doesn’t think he is worth a two hour drive. More that I’ll waste my time. When we were dating he didn’t like that I would come to him more than he would come to me. He was afraid I would resent always being the one to drive or that I was investing too much in him.
 

Howlingvapor

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
29
If I were you I’d just be honest with him. I understand you’ve probably already done this, but telling him how much he means to you and how much this constant pushing away is hurting you may wake him up from that mentality. The more he thinks he’s protecting you by pushing you away the more he’s going to do it. That being said be very careful in how you express that. If you come off as broken hearted he may just feel worse and dig in deeper.

You have to remember that you can’t “fix” him that’s something he has to do on his own. Give him a chance to be with you and let him know what he may be losing if he keeps pushing you away, but just because he has anxiety doesn’t mean you’re obligated to wait until the end of time for him to be with you. It sounds like he’s more of afraid of hurting you than himself. So let him know you’re willing to risk whatever he’s afraid of, but accept that it may not be enough to convince him.

I know you may not want him to live with the fact he missed out on a relationship with you but anxiety or not it’s his decision and you’re not responsible for his choices. You shouldn’t have to spend years of your life waiting for someone to feel like they’re good enough for you. I know that may sound selfish, but when it comes to your own happiness and wellbeing sometimes you have to be a bit selfish.

Sit him down and let him know just how much he means to you and how all of this makes you feel. You can’t keep doing this forever and he can’t expect you to be alone until he’s ready to be with you. It’s admirable that you’re willing to wait for him, but moving on would be the best course of action. We can’t choose who we fall in love with, but we can choose who we stay with.

I know your heart is set on this guy, but I’ve been with someone like him. Someone who just wants a break from the relationship because they don’t feel like they’re there enough emotionally to contribute to it. My last girlfriend pulled the same thing towards the end. She said she just wasn’t in a place to be able to contribute to the relationship and said that maybe when she’s well enough we can get back together.

A few weeks later we got back together and after two weeks it comes out that she had found someone else while we were apart and she just got back together with me because she felt bad. Guess it didn’t take her that long to be in a relationship again as long as it wasn’t with me. Her anxiety made her say stuff like “maybe we’ll get together again when I’m healed enough,” but in reality she just wasn’t interested in the relationship anymore.

Granted my situation was very different from yours, but the point is that waiting for him will only hurt you in the end. People with that mentality say maybe you’ll get back together after they’ve worked themselves out without realizing that mental health issues can take years to sort through. Expecting that another person will wait for you during that or making them think it’s realistic to wait that long for somebody is just cruel in my opinion. It should be all or nothing, either he’s done with the relationship because he needs to sort himself out before being involved with someone or he wants to face his problems together with you. Not this will they or want they stuff. It’s almost akin to leading someone on.

So I’d say let him know that you’re willing to face whatever challenges his anxiety poses, and if he still insists on doing it alone then you should just try to move on and find someone else. Waiting for someone to be with you is all the loneliness of being single with none of the freedom, it’s a very miserable situation that doesn’t bode well for your mental health. I understand that it’s hard to move on when you feel like there’s still a chance and you certainly shouldn’t rule out the possibility that someday you’ll cross paths again when he’s finally ready for a relationship with you, but waiting for him will hurt you more than moving on.

To be honest I don’t see how anyone would pass up an opportunity to be with someone that dedicated to them. I would love to find someone willing to go through the challenges that my anxiety brings to the table. I would love for someone, anyone to see past my awkwardness and poor social skills and still want to be with me. If he feels it’s better this way than fine I won’t fault him for that, it’s honestly a very mature thing to put your mental health above your desire for a relationship, but it should be his loss, his sacrifice, not yours. You shouldn’t have to put yourself through hell because of his decision.

I know this was long and kinda harsh, but it needed to be said. I’m honestly rooting for both of you in this situation. I hope whatever happens you can both find peace and happiness someday. As always take my advice with a grain of salt because I don’t know either of you personally. I don’t know all of what you’ve been through or how you are together. Hope this helps.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Carlyque

New Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
This was an excellent read and very very good advice. I guess from my standpoint I don’t view it as “he has a problem and he isn’t letting me in” but more like “WE have a problem because something is affecting US and I want US to work through it together”.

But because I’m not his girlfriend, his problems are not my problems yet. But I don’t know how to communicate that I’m willing to take this all on without it putting pressure on him. For me it doesn’t matter what issue it is or whether an issue stems from him or me or from outside forces. If I was struggling with something, I’d hope he would want to attack the issue and give us a chance to grow together by working through it. So that’s how I view this situation. I don’t feel bad for him, pity him, or want to fix him. I fell for him for many reasons and it’s possible the anxiety brought on some of the things I like about him. In that way, I wouldn’t change a thing. Of course if I could take all these challenges away for him, I would in a heartbeat but unfortunately we all know things don’t work that way.

I know you are right about so much of what you wrote that it’s starting to sink in that at the end of the day, it’s still his choice. No woman especially the high value women, want to chase, convince or coerce any man to be with her. It just seems somehow that the rules feel a bit different when it comes to somebody dealing with anxiety and low self esteem. Finding the balance of showing him he CAN be happy if he works hard and works together with me versus letting him come to that decision on his own without interference from me is extremely delicate and something I haven’t figured out yet. I don’t want to make excuses for him because I don’t want to treat him any differently and at the same time, I understand he is dealing with something I don’t (and most people don’t) understand so some flexibility is required. I also don't want him to feel convinced after speaking to me, I want him to feel inspired. Otherwise he would likely change his mind when he is having a bad day. And really, the relationship isn’t my goal. I see the relationship as the vehicle to get what I want from him which is comfort, security, companionship, etc. just like the ambulance isn’t the goal when you get ill, it’s just the means to get you to the doctor so you can be healed which is the goal. ( I hope that makes sense)So I’m willing to take baby steps and just be intentional vs. jumping into a relationship right away if that would help him. I’d like to ask him if I could visit his therapist with him but I don’t know if that would be over reaching or prying my way into his safe zone or if it would freak him out. I just thought they could help us navigate this easier. Thoughts?
 

Ggirlangel93

New Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
3
I have anxiety and i know from experience that we let the negative thoughts win and we push people away. Especially the ones we love the most. From reading your message i feel like he genuinely cares about you but is maybe just going through a really hard time mentally. When i have really hard days with my anxiety my emotions run wild and cause me to distance myself from family and friends. Sometimes we say things that we dont mean and push away people who are concerned and trying to help. I know sometimes i have had a sense of guilt because you feel bad that your loved ones are worried about you and you wish so badly that you could just be normal like everyone else around you. I think it's honestly wonderful how you decided to learn more about his anxiety disorder and how you want to be there for him! More people in this world should be as understanding as you are about mental illness. I would say just continue to be patient with him and give it time. Sending hugs!
 

Howlingvapor

Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
84
Reaction score
29
This was an excellent read and very very good advice. I guess from my standpoint I don’t view it as “he has a problem and he isn’t letting me in” but more like “WE have a problem because something is affecting US and I want US to work through it together”.

But because I’m not his girlfriend, his problems are not my problems yet. But I don’t know how to communicate that I’m willing to take this all on without it putting pressure on him. For me it doesn’t matter what issue it is or whether an issue stems from him or me or from outside forces. If I was struggling with something, I’d hope he would want to attack the issue and give us a chance to grow together by working through it. So that’s how I view this situation. I don’t feel bad for him, pity him, or want to fix him. I fell for him for many reasons and it’s possible the anxiety brought on some of the things I like about him. In that way, I wouldn’t change a thing. Of course if I could take all these challenges away for him, I would in a heartbeat but unfortunately we all know things don’t work that way.

I know you are right about so much of what you wrote that it’s starting to sink in that at the end of the day, it’s still his choice. No woman especially the high value women, want to chase, convince or coerce any man to be with her. It just seems somehow that the rules feel a bit different when it comes to somebody dealing with anxiety and low self esteem. Finding the balance of showing him he CAN be happy if he works hard and works together with me versus letting him come to that decision on his own without interference from me is extremely delicate and something I haven’t figured out yet. I don’t want to make excuses for him because I don’t want to treat him any differently and at the same time, I understand he is dealing with something I don’t (and most people don’t) understand so some flexibility is required. I also don't want him to feel convinced after speaking to me, I want him to feel inspired. Otherwise he would likely change his mind when he is having a bad day. And really, the relationship isn’t my goal. I see the relationship as the vehicle to get what I want from him which is comfort, security, companionship, etc. just like the ambulance isn’t the goal when you get ill, it’s just the means to get you to the doctor so you can be healed which is the goal. ( I hope that makes sense)So I’m willing to take baby steps and just be intentional vs. jumping into a relationship right away if that would help him. I’d like to ask him if I could visit his therapist with him but I don’t know if that would be over reaching or prying my way into his safe zone or if it would freak him out. I just thought they could help us navigate this easier. Thoughts?
I’d he’s comfortable with it then I’d say go for it, but at least in my experience therapy tends to work best when you’re either alone or in a group of strangers, because it’s a lot harder to be open and honest with people you know around you, especially if some of your problems have to do with those very same people. He may feel uncomfortable expressing his feelings, especially those pertaining to you, when you’re sitting right next to him.

If you want a relationship from him I’d recommend showing him that he’s worth your time. Tell him what you love about him and how he makes you feel. Basically help him understand that you aren’t just wanting a relationship with him so you don’t feel alone. If he’s convinced that he’s not good enough for you, then try communicating that he is, but be specific and honest, don’t say General stuff everyone says about their partner like “you’re just so sweet and beautiful” or whatever. Chances are this still won’t convince him, but at least it’s a start.

If you’re really dead set on this guy communication is going to be key. Telling him you want to help him will make him feel like a charity case, but telling him that you’re want to be by his side through this because you see his worth may help him understand that you’re not going to fight his battles for him, just cheer him on. That’s the only way a relationship with an anxiety sufferer can work. You can’t be his therapist or coddle him, all you can do is be there for him. If you try to fight his battles or fix everything you’ll drive yourself crazy and make him feel guilty for putting you through it. It sounds easy, but it’s not. When someone we love is hurting we immediately want to fix everything for them and make it all better, but we have to ignore that instinct and let them work through it independently. Doing this during the relationship will also keep him from feeling reliant on you so he won’t be as afraid of you leaving him or getting hurt.

Find a way to communicate that you want to support him rather than fix everything and you may be able to get him out of the mindset that being with him would be a mistake for you. This is the only thing I can honestly think may work. If you want to show him this rather than tell him you can try just talking about normal things rather than his anxiety. When you text him, talk about your hobbies or interests or how your day went. If you guys are into gaming maybe play a game together. Do stuff with him that takes his mind off the anxiety rather than try to talk it to death. If he decides he wants to talk about it just listen, don’t give advice or try to relate it to an experience you or somebody else had, just listen and acknowledge his feelings. Show him that being with you is a positive thing for both of you, even if that means being a good friend first.

Think about how you would feel in his shoes. Constantly being told something’s wrong with you and that you need to see a therapist, and take medication and exercise and blah blah blah. Then feel like someone you love feels bad for you and is willing to sacrifice the happiness they might have with someone else to make you feel better. Now imagine if that same person doesn’t care about the anxiety and just treats you like a normal human being. They go from trying to convince you that you’re good enough for them to telling you about their day and playing games with you, maybe even going on a walk in the park together just because. Suddenly you don’t feel like a charity case or a burden. You feel like someone people want to be around and talk to, you don’t feel defined by your anxiety with them because they’re not trying to fix you or give advice or make all your problems go away they’re just making an effort to be there even when it seems like there’s nothing in it for them. If he says it’s not worth your effort to come see him let him know that he’s your friend and a 2 hour drive is worth seeing a good friend.

My point is that if you treat him like you would a best friend, without any expectations of a romantic relationship, he may start to warm up to the idea of one. I can say from personal experience that fear of judgment is not why I refrain from talking about my anxiety with loved ones it’s fear of being pitied or given special treatment. So be a good friend to him and perhaps he’ll become open to something more.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Carlyque

New Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2019
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
I have anxiety and i know from experience that we let the negative thoughts win and we push people away. Especially the ones we love the most. From reading your message i feel like he genuinely cares about you but is maybe just going through a really hard time mentally. When i have really hard days with my anxiety my emotions run wild and cause me to distance myself from family and friends. Sometimes we say things that we dont mean and push away people who are concerned and trying to help. I know sometimes i have had a sense of guilt because you feel bad that your loved ones are worried about you and you wish so badly that you could just be normal like everyone else around you. I think it's honestly wonderful how you decided to learn more about his anxiety disorder and how you want to be there for him! More people in this world should be as understanding as you are about mental illness. I would say just continue to be patient with him and give it time. Sending hugs!
Thank you so much for this perspective and encouragement. When it comes to the people you love most, what is it that you’d want to hear? Is it that you don’t want them to show that they care about you so you won’t feel guilty? Or is there a preferred way you’d want them to show it? What could they do or say that would help you feel normal or I guess in a way that doesn’t cause you to want to withdraw? Are there any situations in which you really want to get closer to them? And if so, what is it that they said or did that made you want to draw them close?
I’d he’s comfortable with it then I’d say go for it, but at least in my experience therapy tends to work best when you’re either alone or in a group of strangers, because it’s a lot harder to be open and honest with people you know around you, especially if some of your problems have to do with those very same people. He may feel uncomfortable expressing his feelings, especially those pertaining to you, when you’re sitting right next to him.

If you want a relationship from him I’d recommend showing him that he’s worth your time. Tell him what you love about him and how he makes you feel. Basically help him understand that you aren’t just wanting a relationship with him so you don’t feel alone. If he’s convinced that he’s not good enough for you, then try communicating that he is, but be specific and honest, don’t say General stuff everyone says about their partner like “you’re just so sweet and beautiful” or whatever. Chances are this still won’t convince him, but at least it’s a start.

If you’re really dead set on this guy communication is going to be key. Telling him you want to help him will make him feel like a charity case, but telling him that you’re want to be by his side through this because you see his worth may help him understand that you’re not going to fight his battles for him, just cheer him on. That’s the only way a relationship with an anxiety sufferer can work. You can’t be his therapist or coddle him, all you can do is be there for him. If you try to fight his battles or fix everything you’ll drive yourself crazy and make him feel guilty for putting you through it. It sounds easy, but it’s not. When someone we love is hurting we immediately want to fix everything for them and make it all better, but we have to ignore that instinct and let them work through it independently. Doing this during the relationship will also keep him from feeling reliant on you so he won’t be as afraid of you leaving him or getting hurt.

Find a way to communicate that you want to support him rather than fix everything and you may be able to get him out of the mindset that being with him would be a mistake for you. This is the only thing I can honestly think may work. If you want to show him this rather than tell him you can try just talking about normal things rather than his anxiety. When you text him, talk about your hobbies or interests or how your day went. If you guys are into gaming maybe play a game together. Do stuff with him that takes his mind off the anxiety rather than try to talk it to death. If he decides he wants to talk about it just listen, don’t give advice or try to relate it to an experience you or somebody else had, just listen and acknowledge his feelings. Show him that being with you is a positive thing for both of you, even if that means being a good friend first.

Think about how you would feel in his shoes. Constantly being told something’s wrong with you and that you need to see a therapist, and take medication and exercise and blah blah blah. Then feel like someone you love feels bad for you and is willing to sacrifice the happiness they might have with someone else to make you feel better. Now imagine if that same person doesn’t care about the anxiety and just treats you like a normal human being. They go from trying to convince you that you’re good enough for them to telling you about their day and playing games with you, maybe even going on a walk in the park together just because. Suddenly you don’t feel like a charity case or a burden. You feel like someone people want to be around and talk to, you don’t feel defined by your anxiety with them because they’re not trying to fix you or give advice or make all your problems go away they’re just making an effort to be there even when it seems like there’s nothing in it for them. If he says it’s not worth your effort to come see him let him know that he’s your friend and a 2 hour drive is worth seeing a good friend.

My point is that if you treat him like you would a best friend, without any expectations of a romantic relationship, he may start to warm up to the idea of one. I can say from personal experience that fear of judgment is not why I refrain from talking about my anxiety with loved ones it’s fear of being pitied or given special treatment. So be a good friend to him and perhaps he’ll become open to something more.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
This is exactly the type of info I was looking for. I think you are right about not overwhelming him by asking to visit his therapist with him. Perhaps down the road it can be an option.

I like what you said about being specific on the things I like about him bc he has asked me on occasion why I like him so much bc he seems genuinely surprised that I could feel that way about him. I’ve never had a good enough answer and I’ve been scared to be too honest thinking it might freak him out. It’s just so delicate! But reading your post has gotten me to the point where I really feel I have nothing to lose. I also didn’t consider that coming across heartbroken would be a reason for him to push me further away but I think you are right. Trying not to cry during a conversation like this one will be such a challenge haha.

Treating him like a best friend is what I’d like but I need to accept that he won’t treat me the same way. I’ve been holding back letting him contact me but it just doesn’t help things because I just get unhappy if I don’t hear from him and overly excited when I do and that’s not a healthy place to be.
You have no idea how much your post has helped me. I’ve rethought my approach and based on your advice, adjusted my mindset as well which may be key in solving this very complicated puzzle!
 
Last edited:

Ggirlangel93

New Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Messages
15
Reaction score
3
I find that when i am feeling very anxious my mind is in a totally different place. Way different than when i am feeling fine and relaxed. When im having a panic attack or a meltdown i typically say/do things that i dont mean. When i am very anxious and push people away, i deep down feel the opposite and actually want them there with me. To answer your question though I would say that i appreciate it more when my loved ones are simply just comforting/being there for me instead of trying to give me advice. I can be very stubborn especially when i am feeling nervous. So in the moment when people try giving me advice about my anxiety or suggestions about what i should do, i dont like it that much. Even though i know they are just trying to help. I would much rather them say encouraging things to me like "you are going to get through this" or "im here for you" or even a simple text saying "how are you feeling today". Do you talk to him on a regular basis??
 
Top