Just a quick background, im 29 never met my father and lost my mother to cancer when i was 16. Ive always had a hard time with relationships it seems, recently i have started seeing a girl i have had a past relationship with. She IS currently in a relationship with someone else. while i know this to be the root of my anxiety, at first i was very care free, it didn’t bother me much at all, things were great, and i never payed much attention to the situation. it seems to have changed for me in the last week or so, for some reason its like a switch has been flipped. i feel worried, scared, and upset that she still hasn’t broken things off with him. she says things aren’t and never have been right with him and just needs time to figure things out but doesn’t want to ruin things with us. I feel like my guard has been let down and feelings have grown stronger for her. i have talked to her about not wanting to be in this position and that i don’t want to share anybody with someone else. i don’t know if its because i didn’t get the the answer i wanted, but i just feel worried, helpless and concerened, even with reassurance. i don’t know what to do. i don’t want to risk walking away from something that could be good, and i don’t want to hang around and be hurt even worse later. since losing my mother i think that for me having reassurance is imporant, and always afraid to lose people again in my life, so when i act this way i seem insecure and needy.. which i know is undesirable.. i guess what i dont understand is how did i go from care free one day to this nervous wreck the next? i don’t want to lose this girl even though i know the situation is far less than ideal.. any help or insight would be great.
A: To be blunt, you can’t lose what you don’t have. She is not available right now, yet you have developed stronger feelings for her. Why wouldn’t you be having some anxiety? I don’t necessarily think it has to do with losing your mother or not knowing your father, but those issues could certainly be adding to the mix.
I think the best course of action is to let her know that you would like to have a more serious relationship with her if she is available and open to that someday, but that you are taking yourself out of the equation now. This will give her the space to clarify her feelings, and though it may hurt in the beginning, it should eventually reduce your anxiety and give you peace of mind. You won’t feel like you want something you can’t have and you won’t be so worried about another loss. Have faith that if it’s meant to work out in the long run, it will, but put your attention on other things in the present.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts