Home Anxiety Feeling Insecure in a Long Distance Relationship

Feeling Insecure in a Long Distance Relationship

I met my boyfriend on a social media site 6 months ago and we fell quickly and deeply in love. He lives in the U.S. And I in the UK and I’m planning a trip to meet him in the next month or so. I have never felt more cherished and more connected to anyone and 90% of the time things are wonderful but I’m plagued with insecurities.

I find myself wondering if he will one day change his mind and I drive myself crazy thinking about the possibility that he might simply stop contacting me. I trust that he wouldn’t be unfaithful, but then the other day I noticed he had given his contact details to another woman and I imagined the worst, even though deep down I knew this was totally innocent. He was understandably upset I felt this way and now I’m worried he thinks that I don’t trust him when honestly I really do.

When we argue — which admittedly is rare — he shuts down and I don’t hear from him much which only serves to fuel my neurosis about losing him and it makes me feel like that crazy girl who obsesses over every detail. The thought that I have upset him in some way makes me feel terrible and it consumes me and makes me feel physically sick.

We have also been planning to meet and I need to book my flight but he has been putting off asking for the time off from work. He is very busy at work and has a high stress job and when feeling positive I think this is the reason but then in dark moments I wonder if he doesn’t really want me to come.

I’m so intensely in love with this man… We have discussed a future and I’m largely sure of his commitment to me but I can’t stop obsessing over this relationship. I have never been this way with any other man and am generally a very laid back person. How can I reign in this insecurity?

I am happy for you that you have met someone that brings so much excitement and joy to your life. While long distance relationships can work the insecurities you describe seem to be growing. Maybe because of this you can use some reflective distance to gain perspective. It sounds as if this relationship exists virtually and that you haven’t been in each others physical presence. If you have been chatting for six months and feel a deep connection this is wonderful — but long distance relationships often serve a purpose in that the distance itself is part of the formula for what makes it work. The longing — wanting but not having — becomes part of the dynamic. There are several reasons for why this can happen, but it isn’t an uncommon occurrence.

What you are feeling is the potential of the relationship — the promise — not the reality. The reality is you feel good but you’ve never met him; absorbed in love and insecure; excited and worried. The hope is that the relationship can live up to the potential.

Don’t jump too far ahead of yourself. While it is wonderful to be in love there are many surveys that show the first part of a relationship can inflate our view and expectations. Give this both time and perspective. Meet him, spend some time in his world, and have him spend some time in yours. Until you interact with each other in person you are projecting a future based on too little information.

If he can’t seem to make time for you because of his work, what will it be like when you are actually in his world? Stay hopeful, but give yourself a chance to look past the potential to the reality of what is. Take each phase of this relationship with equal doses of love, hope — and a clear-headed reality.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan

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