*This is kind of a rant, will edit soon*
This post has been done before. We’ve all read the BuzzFeed articles: “What It’s Like Dating Somebody With Anxiety,” “8 Things I’ve Learned When Dating Somebody With Anxiety,” etc. etc. I’m unoriginal, this is nothing new.
But my goal is to get down the real nitty gritty. The heartbreaking, earth shattering stuff nobody tells you about. Warning: it’s not romantic.
I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for a little over a year. I’ve known him for a while, but we hit it off in November. The 5th, to be specific. It was easier back then when we were just casual, so he says, but I suppose I know what he means. I guess it’s always easier when you’re not fully committed to a person because it means less responsibility. But I kept pushing. I wanted more. And so it was.
I’m not going to go further into our history, or how it was a year ago, I’m going to just dive right into the ‘now’ and tell you what I’ve learned, seen, done, and experienced from our relationship.
As you might expect, it hasn’t been easy. A lot of his anxiety stems from him being unsure of the future. He doesn’t see himself marrying me, so he’s anxious because he thinks we’re wasting our time. He wants to study in Germany, so he’s anxious we’re dating now for nothing. He thinks he’s holding me back from finding somebody better, so he’s anxious I’m missing out on somebodt else. He essentially has my heart in his hands, so he’s anxious about breaking it. Too much responsibility, as I mentioned before, and it hurts because these are things we then have to talk about.
What I mean is, we’ve only been dating for less than a year. Not many people see themselves marrying the person they’re with at 23, whom they’ve only known a little while. You date, decide you want to get married later down the road, and then get married. But to hear straight up “I don’t see myself marrying you,” when I’m sure it’s what most people think but don’t actually say at this stage, is a little rough. To have him worrying about that now, worries me. To have him saying I need to find somebody better, worries me. To have him seeing this relationship as “too much responsibility” and something to be anxious over, worries me. His anxiety is giving me anxiety and I keep thinking over and over to myself: why can’t he better for me?
But I know it’s not that simple.
So there we have the “future anxieties,” now let’s move on:
Everything has to be in a particular order. I can’t put my dirty phone on his bed. I can’t throw out my gum in his trash can because it will attract critters. I have to put the seat down when I’m done using the bathroom. Eat over the sink to avoid crumbs. Eat my Oreo in one bite instead of two. And when I forget to do these things, I trigger his anxiety. Which in turn, makes me believe I’m just not the right person for him. That I’m doing everything wrong and that he could find somebody better who caters to his anxieties more successfully than I do.
I guess me being extremely insecure, doesn’t make us a great fit.
I’ve never seen somebody obsessively clean and tidy up as constantly as he does. He can’t eat food with his hands. Every social interaction has to be planned and if I do it wrong, he’ll think about it for days. Just last week we were at a concert and we sat in the wrong seats, knowingly, because they were better. He said: “If the people who actually have these seats show up, let’s pretend we didn’t realize.” I agreed, but when they did show up I panicked and immediately said “I’m sorry, we’re in your seats.” The same time he said “Oh we didn’t know!” And the whole concert was entirely ruined because I didn’t follow the plan and made him feel awkward and anxious. My fault. It usually is.
It’s complicated. He assures me it isn’t my fault, that it’s just his anxiety, and that it would be present with any girl he’s with, not just me, but I can’t help but feel like there might be someone more compatible for him out there. And so I’m starting to sound like him.
I do my best to cater to his anxieties. Despite all of this, I love him dearly. Just today, I spent the entire day arguing with him over something I did wrong that made him anxious. And in between getting yelled at and him talking of a breakup, I managed to fix it. But what do I do when catering to his anxieties makes him anxious?
He’s worried that I’m kidding myself. That no right-minded person would let him put them through what he’s been putting me through. That I can’t really love someone who makes me this insecure. That we’re incompatible. That I’m not really happy. That I let him walk all over me.
I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. All I want to do is be the light at the end of the tunnel for him, but it’s hard. It’s really, really hard.
That’s all I want to say.