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What can I do about my relationship anxiety and chronic overthinking?

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Question - (10 August 2018) 2 Answers - (Newest, 13 August 2018)
A female Canada age 26-29, anonymous writes:

I have been with my boyfriend for over two years and have separation anxiety. Even though there has never been any reason for me to overthink, I do anyway, and it always ends up just being unnecessary stress and a waste of energy. I feel like I'm too old for this but I can't help the way I feel.

I have had a few boyfriends in high school and college and I have always been very independent and needing my space. Then I was single for 4-5 years after college while working. I did date three different guys however which lasted only a few months each. The first one did not want to commit so I ended it, and the other two ghosted. I guess it was a blow to my confidence.

Then I met my wonderful boyfriend. During the first half year, we saw one another almost every day because HE wanted to (he worked from home). It was very different than what I was used to but I thought it was very sweet. Nobody treats me like he does and to this day it's still true. We moved in half a year later and have been living together for almost two years now. We are always physically together even if we are doing our own thing (movies for me, video games for him, in separate rooms). On weekends we like to see family together and spend time with mutual friends. We do not cling to one another and often split off into separate groups but we are aware of one another's presence.

I'm wondering if this habit is causing my insecurity for the rare times that we ARE apart. Once in awhile, I'll visit home by myself while he stays home, or he'll attend an event after work. I always feel anxious during these times when I don't hear from him. Even though I always come home to the same wonderful man. I know it's all in my head so I don't contact him (or request contact) any more than I usually do but it's always a relief when I get home and see him on the couch... like any other day.

We are both introverted and enjoy being home even when doing our own thing, so I don't think FORCING myself to go out to be away from him feels naturally either. He also knows I overthink and the few times I mention to him that I overthink and that I know it's just in my head, he is very assuring and sweet. Any advice on how to improve myself for my own peace? My brain runs at 100MPH and it's driving me nuts.

View related questions: confidence, moved in, video games

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (13 August 2018):


"Idle-minds are the devil's workshop," they say!

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (13 August 2018):

Life demands that we practice self-control; and it also requires that we exercise trust. People these days have a fancy clinical-name for every insecurity under the sun; but what it comes down to is being mature, and learning to cope with life. Life doen't promise you happiness or comfort 24/7! It doesn't give you permanent training-wheels to depend on!

Not everyone has a chemical brain-imbalance, mental-health disease, or born with a permanent psychological-disability. Sometimes it's our own selfish sense of entitlement; and intense demand that we have around-the-clock comfort, and a trouble-free guarantee on life. We get hurt once or twice; and we're scarred for life! If you pay a psychologist enough, they'll give it a name!

Seriously, though?!!

People can endure a lot more than surviving war, famine, severe physical-trauma, and even torture! Yet they conquer it! They manage to live happy and productive lives! In spite of it all! You can't spend all your hours alone worrying something is going to go wrong! Expecting everything to always be perfect. Demanding his proof of existence by constant personal-appearance! He's in your heart when present, and when he's away! He takes a piece of you wherever he goes! He comes back! Again and again! If his clothes are in the closet, and all his belongings are still there; trust that he's coming back! If not for you, at least for his belongings!

You want guarantees? It ain't going to happen! Heaven and perfection is in the afterlife! Your trust WILL sometimes be betrayed, and it can happen several times over in a life-time. You have to survive, just the same! "What doesn't kill you, does make you stronger!"

It takes determination and hard-work to make a relationship successful; and to make it durable. Anything worth having will place some demands on us. Good-things or things of value require maintenance and upkeep. Grief and tears! "Discomfort!"

We have no right to place any burden on anybody to compensate for issues we have that are our own to contend with! You have a brain, a head, and a body full of organs. It is your responsibility, and under your own power; to make them all do what you want them to do. Like everybody else!

You mentioned that you have to force yourself to go out. It's good that you don't smother each other. Keeping him aware of your anxiety gives you no right to make him a slave to it. Nor should you be a slave to it. Sometimes we have to grow-up and deal with the "discomfort" when things aren't going our way. Relationships last longest when there is love, peace, and trust. When there is harmony, and very little conflict. That's proof that you're compatible, and that it is working. Everyone is doing their part. Nothing is perfect, sometimes things break.

We stay out of relationships until our emotional-health is strong enough to allow it!

Overthinking is what stirs-up your insecurity, and your mind becomes your personal torture-chamber. We all miss our mates; but you have to give each other space and freedom. You also have to maintain your own independence. That's your battle to fight; not his to cater to, or try to pacify. Dependency or neediness is unhealthy. It's smothering, restrictive, and can be an annoyance. It sucks the life out of a relationship!

You want to control the relationship and make everything predictable. That's not how it works. Your brain can do whatever it pleases; but life doesn't always conform to what you want, expect, or demand. Babies cry and toddlers throw tantrums; because they can't have their way. Mommy won't always pick them up when they cry, or give them what the scream for. You have the adult-version of the same behavior; but you're a woman now. You have the capacity to find ways to overcome and/or manage your anxiety. By keeping your hands busy and your mind distracted. "Idle-minds are the devi's workshop," they say!

Let this piece of advice be your motivation. If it takes FORCING yourself to be away from him; I strongly suggest that you do so. Being an ever-present fixture and always in his grill 24/7; is the best way I know to make him find ways to get-away from you! You talk about separation-anxiety? Smothering someone with insecurity is the surest way to commit "self-fulfilling prophecy" that I know. Even babies have to be put-down and allowed to cry; so they'll get used to being independent. Adults have to teach ourselves when to back-off; and when to draw nearer to those people we share our most powerful feelings. It's balance and consideration. It's real trust!

You need to find ways to keep your mind distracted like more mind-engaging hobbies! Making a to-do list for yourself, and just taking a natural chill-pill for the sake of peace. No one is slave to your anxiety, but you! Sometimes your greatest responsibility to yourself is to overcome what makes your brain run "100MPH!" Pump the brakes!

Sometimes you can't be told how to do it; you teach yourself how! Your personal-assignment. By your own design! For the sake of maintaining harmony, and keeping the peace. We sometimes have to meet the challenges life throws at us; even if it causes us great discomfort. It's called adulthood. It's not always pleasant, and it comes with pressure.

Reading your post tells me you're doing the right thing. It must be hard; but keep it up! It gets easier with practice. From your description; it seems like it's working. You are rebuilding trust after some past mishaps; that makes ALL OF US gun-shy! It's not only you! I know, because I got blind-sided and dumped! Out of the clear blue!!! Everything seemed

great(?)!! It happened very unexpectedly. I survived, and I found love again. Sweetheart, there is always hope! No one is your last-chance! My first-love died of cancer, the second-one dumped me; and the present-one is loving me like I've never been loved before! I'm living proof!

You can't let your mind just tell you crazy things; without solid evidence to back it up! You can't hold fear of what "might happen;" because that fear will be the very weapon that will destroy what you have. Be strong, girlfriend!

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