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New Relationship Anxiety
This is my first post and I am hoping you might be able to help.
About 2 months ago, I met this amazing guy just after I got out of a long serious relationship. At the beginning everything was amazing and he was contacting me ALL the time, wanting to hang out and things were just great - we could talk all day and about anything and were very sexually compatible. I felt like I had finally found my human.
About a month in, he told me he has 'mild' depression and is dealing with that and needs his alone time to do this. I totally understand and respect this because I have had anxiety and severe panic attacks (I also suffered from body dysmorphia which led to a lifelong eating disorder and have been mentally and sexually abused by people in my past) and often need my alone time to deal with all of this. I hate being vulnerable and losing control so I haven't let this guy know any of this yet. He thinks I am this confident and 'cool as a cucumber' woman with my shit together!
I haven't wanted to 'annoy' or overwhelm him so have not been texting him as often as I was at the beginning. Whenever he contacts me, I respond and am happy and bubbly and all is great. However the messages are getting more few and far between (the longest he usually goes is 2 days but this time we are on day 4) and he hasn't asked me out in a month. The last 2 dates we had were because I initiated them and he gladly accepted and we genuinely both had a wonderful time. But when I don't hear from him, I start feeling really anxious and thinking he's over me and I just spiral. It doesn't help that I have had other stresses in my life lately so it's all heightened. He has messaged me twice in the past week telling me he wants me but I was interstate - both times he was drunk.
I guess I just need some help in dealing with this - in anyone's experience, will he come back to me and be the sweet, funny, sexy man I met before? Should I take control, ask him out and see how he responds? If he declines my advances, should I move on or should I wait around for him? I want to help and be there for him but I don't want to come across needy or annoying. I really like this man, he makes me feel melty inside. HELP PLEASE!
Thank you for reaching out today and sharing your story with us, it is a wonderfully brave step to take to seek support. Relationships can be really difficult to manage and we totally undertsand how they can cause feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. It can be especially hard when there are mental health concerns for you and your partner that add to the complexity. We are really sorry to hear that you are feeling this way and that you have been feeling unsure of what to do next.
We think that it could be useful to check out Relationships Australia - they have a phoneline to call for advice and heaps of information and tips. You can also check out their state based site depending on where you live.
You can also always give us a call on 1300 22 4636 if you feel dustressed and unsure. Our friendly and helpful team can help you in the moment as well as point you in the direction of further support if you need it.
We also reccoemmend checking ou the other threads in this forum and jumping into other conversations if you feel comfortable - the community is warm and welcoming!
Thanks again for posting here today and we hope there is something of use for you above.
Welcome to the forums! As Sophie M have mentioned, managing relationships can be difficult at times, and mixing in with mental health issues, it will make things much harder. I feel, your partner's depression, is causing him to feel difficult with committing to the relationship. This may result in them drowning in low self-esteem and self-worth, which makes them feel unworthy of being your partner. In short, they are having difficulties loving themselves. In order for an effective relationship, both parties need to be able to love themselves first and accept their own flaws. Only then can they feel comfortable with giving others love. The forums have been very helpful (and I'm really grateful for the forums for pointing me to the right direction) with identifying this when I went thru the same thing with my ex who is a wonderful and loving person.
Perhaps try and take this moment to check in on him to see how he is going, and assure him that you'll always there for them to listen if there's anything they feel like chatting to you about. Remind them that they won't have to feel like this forever, and it will eventually pass. At first they may not feel like chatting to you about it, which may make you feel worried and anxious. But have faith in your partner, and remind yourself that everything will be okay. Take the time away from your partner to reflect on your own well-being, and check back on him in a few days or so. You could also recommend your partner to get a mental healthcare plan from their GP, who can recommend them a professional service. That should help point them to the right direction in managing their depression.
Please take care of yourself as well, don't be afraid to seek out help from a professional service too. Talking through your feelings with them will help them understand your situation, and will point you to the right direction. Also happy to listen to you as well, please chat here if you'd like. I hope everything will be alright for you and your partner.
What you are experiencing is totally normal for new a connection. There is no rushing and it flows in the way you both want it too. Please take your time, focus on yourself and continue to let it flow and happen. Try not to process things and know that Instant Gratification is not real, it's simply impatience. Learn to delay the gratification because this type of mind-set will only cause difficulties down the track.
When he messages you, keep it natural, be authentic and keep the spark alive, get to know him more and learn something new about him. I say this because if you treat his correspondence (i.e. text/calls) as a reward rather than an expectation, you will feel better and he will see this.
Let him come to you but don't ignore him or leave him hanging and show him that you are independent but at the same time, you want to learn about him and connect with him on a deeper level. A lot of men are not as instantly gratified as some women are. Keep going, you are doing well.
Thank you all SO much for your wonderful suggestions and kindness.
UPDATE: My man and I ran into each other and he told me his phone had broken and he was anxious that he couldn't get in touch with me (we don't have each other's email addresses and he doesn't really do social media) Since then he's been in constant contact, extremely affectionate and attentive and our sex life has gone through the roof. I'm not sure if he's currently going through mania but whatever it is, it's amazing.
He also opened up to me about the death of his father which is something he had never done before. He tried to downplay how painful it was and how much it affected him but I told him he was allowed to feel angry and hurt and betrayed by his father passing. He actually thanked me and then proceeded to tell me how desperate he is to be a father himself (I am also desperate to be a mother!) He also told me when he's going through the dark days, it is NEVER about me - I told him the last thing I want to do is cause him more stress so to please tell me if I'm too much. He instantly told me I'm not.
Things are going SO well now and I have told him that I know he deals with things on his own but if he ever needs me, I'm right here. We are in a really good place now and I am so beyond happy - I just want it to last but I know that there will be dark days ahead again so when they happen, I will probably be back here looking for support. I hope my experiences with this man will mean I may be able to support other people who are also going through something similar as I believe support and sense of community is so important.
I know this has been a very round about post but really just want to say thank you all! 🙂