Monday, October 10, 2011
Anxiety and Dating: A Girl Just Can't Win
Today is World Mental Health Day and, as such, I've decided to be straight up with y'all: I suffer from Anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It doesn't make dating any easier, believe me. Every girl (and guy, if he's being honest) begins to obsess when she/he realizes she's totally smitten with a new potential mate. Now take this obsessing, this "Is he thinking about me right now?" ; "Is he just fooling around or does he want something more?" ; "Who is that girl in his Facebook picture?" ; "Why isn't he calling?" ; "Is he going to break my heart?" -- take this, and multiply it x10. Obsessing complusively. A need to obsess, with no rhyme or reason, on a scale that escalates the more attempts are made to control it. This obsessing has viciously caused me to ruin more than one potential relationship by leading me to actions such as bringing up what I like to call the "Changing of the Facebook Relationship Status" Talk on a 4th date (Sidenote: this could be where the Curse of the Fourth Date originated). Why would I do something so stupid, so prematurely? Because ambiguity makes me anxious, therefore causing me to obsess.
Yes, I take medication to keep it in check. That just subues the OCD; it doesn't make it *poof!* disappear. I'm stuck with it. I've found I need to be with someone who understands anxiety and irrational obsessing, yet is completely mentally stable. Someone who is sympathetic and a calming influence yet doesn't totally freak out or say I'm over-reacting when I go batshit. I've tried the alternative -- dating someone who understands because he suffers from similar afflictions and it just doesn't work, not for me. At least one of us has to have our shit together at any given point in time.
There have only been two occasions in which I've told a guy I was dating about my disorders. Although it's extremely important to be completely open about myself and my insecurities when seeing someone, it's not exactly the easiest topic to broach. "Sometimes I feel like a crazy person. Still want to go out with me?" If you're a regular reader of this blog, you are well aware that I'm already pretty good at making men go running for the hills on my own, without the help of bringing mental disorders to light. And aye, there's the rub: just thinking about initiating a conversation in which I discuss OCD and anxiety makes me so anxious that I have to stop thinking about it.
I just started seeing someone a month ago. Everything feels different with this one. I feel the electricity with him that I've been missing with pretty much every other guy I've dated, even the ones I was really into. He makes me feel like I'm in a movie. And although he gives me the good, happy kind of butterflies, as opposed to the "oh my god I'm going to throw up because I'm so scared" butterflies, I'm not worried. I don't spend my time wondering where he is and what's he doing when we're not together. I'm not anxious about other girls or whether or not he's thinking about me. I'm actually confident that he's into me and wants to be with me. This confidence is new to me and scarier than anything else I've experienced so far, because it makes me susceptible to an even greater vulnerability than anything I've ever known. In this case, the lack of anxiety is making me anxious on a whole new level. A girl just can't win.
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