Hi Dr. NerdLove,
Long time reader and love your content.
Background of how I met a girl (J, 25) about 6 months ago in class. She is a 10/10. I looked her up on Instagram and saw she had 5,000 followers and posts very spicy pictures, I was a big fan. We started hanging out and getting drinks over the course of a few months and got a long really well. This last summer we were hanging out again and when I dropped her off at her car she kissed me out of nowhere. My dumb ass thought she was just being friendly and never asked about it. A month or so later and I start to wonder so I finally asked her why she did that. Her response was she’s obviously attracted to me and has been trying not to do it again since we are taking another class together. I was stoked. We tried to not hook up so we could focus on the class but that didn’t last.
We started dating these last 2 months and it’s been awesome. We’re both on the same page as far as what we want in dating, to have fun with no drama or questions about where things were at. We both understood that we’re graduating this year and going onto our respective masters programs that will likely be elsewhere in the country. So the relationship wasn’t serious as it had no real future.
We got back from the coast 2 weeks ago after spending a couple days there. She left to go see her family in another city and I was ready for some alone time just to enjoy being lazy for Christmas break. Well we ended up having our internet shut off cause our roommate randomly moved out and it was in his name. So no video games for me. All my friends were out of town, so I had no one to hang out with. I went on hikes by myself and worked out but you can only do that for so long. So I got really bored over those few days. During the course of this I started texting her more and sort of relying on her to entertain me. Mind you I wasn’t texting excessively, it was 1 to 2 texts a day, but I planned on not texting much during this time to let the anticipation of seeing each other build back up.
I noticed that she was taking longer (up to 24 hours) to respond than she normally did and this started to make me think things weren’t going well. That’s been my experience in the past and I became really anxious. I began to think this was a hallmark sign that things were going to end soon. I ruminated on it for a few days and eventually convinced myself that my negative thoughts were true and that I needed to act.
The day I knew she was coming back, I sent her a text that morning asking if she wanted to go on a date in a few days. I heard no response. I called her that night before she was going to work and had no answer. This confirmed it to me that she was ignoring me and I was clear to ask what was going on. However, instead of just sending a simple text saying, “Hey, you seem kinda distant lately. Is everything cool?” I sent this ungodly long text about how I noticed she was becoming distant and in my experience this meant things were going to end soon but since we had been friends I wanted to continue to be friends. I said I understood that things weren’t serious and we were moving away this summer and so on.
Her response completely killed me. Her text was long as well, but basically, J said this was the kind of talk she didn’t want to have and she had been creating a little distance but thought I was awesome and had no intention of not dating. She liked that we didn’t ask questions or need clarity on where we were at. She explained that it took her longer to get back into town than normal and had been busy with family. I felt extremely stupid and embarrassed for how anxious I felt in the days leading up to my text. I was totally wrong. I apologized and tried to explain why I did it, that it was born out of anxiety and bad previous experiences but has never resulted in me sending a text like I did. She wasn’t too receptive and was pretty focused on how I questioned what we had. We talked on the phone the next day and I explained everything again in much better detail and had her considering a second shot, saying she was 50/50. But J also said she gets weird after she’s had arguments with past boyfriends, but didn’t really elaborate on it. She thought about it and texted me later that day saying she didn’t think it was going to work. J told me that it wasn’t so much what I did, but more her, and we should just be friends. My only response was “ok.”
I feel like such an idiot for what I did. I’ve always had anxiety (it’s human nature), but it’s never gotten to the point where it ruined something that was really good. I totally let it consume me and dictate my behavior. With it being the holidays and no one in town, no internet, and nothing to do, I couldn’t use my normal distractions to help quell the anxiety. I understand that this is something I really need to work on otherwise it will ruin things for me in the future. But I also want to try and make things better with J and hopefully date her again. I’m not going to talk to her for awhile to give her time as well as myself so I can get a better handle on my anxiety. But I do intend to hit her up in the future and see if I can get things going. I do want to be her friend and I’m not going to launch into trying to win her over again, but I think it’s worth it to try. So this is where I need your sweet PhD level of love knowledge for guidance. What is the best way to approach this? And how do you deal with anxiety in a new dating relationship?
The Anxious Dunce