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I have recently joined this forum (have a post in the Welcome section) and have gotten to the point where I need to ask for help in dealing with anxiety over a potential new relationship.
I am trying to cope with being single at the moment but have a close friend who has recently re-entered my life. At this time we’re primarily communicating via text. There are mutual feelings there but I’m finding it really difficult to know where I stand or what the future holds. In other words, I’m finding it really difficult to wait for things to unfold in their own time and texting seems to exacerbate this.
Obviously, texting leaves a lot to be desired as a path to building intimacy. However, at present, that is our main way of keeping in touch as we live a fair distance away from each other. My problem is that I tend to panic when I don’t get a quick response or any response. Of late I’ve had a fairly good grip on my anxiety, but it’s starting to raise its ugly head again due to this issue.
Can anyone relate? Can anyone share how they’d handle their emotions if in this situation? I just want to feel like I’m on an even keel again - or a relatively even keel, as I don’t think I’ve ever been even in my life 🙂
I can relate to your situation. When my first wife died I met another, in fact we did not actually meet but started corresponding, which quickly led to emails - lots of them. A little different to texting as there is more space and required sitting at a desk at a computer, not just anywhere. At the time I did not think this was the best way to go, impatient I guess.
Looking back I think it was. We both put a lot in those emails, and went on that way for a couple of months. during that time we discussed all sorts of things and came to know each other better. Then when we met we had the expected physical distraction - but had already come to know each other a bit, so the distraction was not so blinding, less chance of mistakes.
Waiting for the email to arrive, and trying to second-guess what was meant if a section was ambiguous was hard. Clearing up meaning meant asking, and that was no bad thing. Each of us got to see where the other could not understand something and could put things another way. This sort of interaction meant we understood each other more.
It did take being a bit more proactive, asking where one might feel uncomfortable, but it worked out.
With waiting, we would say we had to work and would mail in the evening or before work or whatever, so we got to know when to expect a message -we also sent a brief one if we were not going to send the regular one on time.
It all boiled down to consideration for the other and understanding. If you are getting over-worried about messages arriving I'd suggest talking with your friend and arranging things so you don't have to deal with unexpected pauses. A small thing for someone to accommodate if they are concerned for you.
I sure hope it works out for you.
Hi rg - I used to get this when I first met my wife (17 years ago!) (On our Nokia 3210s!)
Texting has some really good points but what you could call "reply anxiety" is the worst one!
I found, what helped for me (besides eventually getting to know each other better!) was - if a reply was taking a long time - putting down the phone and doing something else for a while - gardening, going for a walk without the phone, ringing someone else - just to break the focus...
Or another alternitive is if you see someone you really like and have the occassional conversation, do you sit by the phone hoping for them to call, because generally it may not happen.
The person you have texted maybe doing someone that doesn't allow them to reply, or if they are like me and have my mobile in my pocket, I don't hear the phone ring or when a text arrives, plus there are people who are never fast in responding, that's their way of life, different to what you are, but no two people can ever be the same. Geoff.
Hi Running Girl,
I'm with Croix on this one. Hubby and I emailed and then texted eachother for months and months before we met. I was very guarded and to be honest not really interested in meeting someone. He was patient and persistent ☺.
He would always give a hint at the end of his email or text. What his plans were. For example... Off to night shift... the joy of trying to sleep when the sun is up. A subtle way of saying I'm going to work and you won't get a reply till tomorrow evening. I started doing the same. It's polite and actually kind of nice to feel like they don't want you to put yourself out waiting.
Nothing wrong with the slow build. Slowly getting to know someone. It also helps if you're anxious because you tend to ask whatever you like when it's not face to face and get to know them properly. Gets all the surprises out in the open and spoken about. Which makes it less intimidating when you are face to face. They're your friend.
Also the time frame allows you to keep up your own interests and do your own thing. I remember hubby said to me once peering over my shoulder at my plants "I never dreamt I would enjoy gardening. Never even considered it until you came into my life with this fascination. I love it". Being your own person is a good thing too ☺
Dear Croix, Mr Walker, Geoff & Quercus,
My apologies for being so slow to respond to your supportive messages and constructive advice. I read each post as soon as it was displayed and they have all helped me get through the last couple of weeks. It's comforting that you can each relate to the way I feel.
Texting continues to be a drama for me, but I'm realising now that this is because the relationship is new more than anything else. At the beginning of my previous relationship, before mobile phones (!), I had the same level of anxiety.
Anyway, thanks again to you all for listening and helping keep me calm 🙂