Thoughts (intrusive? obsessive?)

when i dated my first boyfriend i was flooded with heaps of anxiety every day about if i was doing the right thing, if it was the real thing, etc. this crippled me until we broke up. that was a year and a half ago. now i have started dating someone new and its gotten a little serious a little quickly, we are spending a lot of time together. i was hoping the next time i dated someone it would be a lot easier, but within just a few days this incredible, massive weight of anxious thoughts fell on me.

anyone have any thoughts on these? obviously you don’t know my whole story, but what are your experiences with these? what are your thoughts? I want them to be intrusive, obsessive thoughts but then im like WHAT IF THEY ARENT. every time i ask myself if i like him, my brain goes, ‘but do we feel anything? we are so depressed, im not sure anything gives us joy. we really just get anxious and then dissociated for a couple weeks, what does it mean to like someone?’

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Hey there, @nhall2000. I’ve experienced similar things to what you’re going through. They may or may not be intrusive/obssesive thoughts or they might just be anxious doubts, who knows. The important thing is reminding yourself that they’re just thoughts and don’t hold any weight over who you are or what you want. I’d reccommend bringing up some of these thoughts to the person you’re seeing and get their thoughts on what you’re thinking. Maybe they might be able to bring you some comfort and be able dismiss some of these thoughts. Honesty and communication are 100% crucial to relationships, even in the beginning stages. Be open to your partner about what you’re going through.

I can definitely understand intrusive/anxious thoughts, I have many, all the time, so you’re not alone with them. I’ve learned that the more I focus on the thoughts, the more they affect me. Try distracting yourself with something else when your thoughts feel like they’re too much to handle and see if that helps.

You got this, friend. You can get through this. Much love. :heart:

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Hello @nhall2000

I totally understand with a relationship when it first starts, there is this whirlwind of emotions, passion, insecurity, frustration, jealousy, etc. I think it truly is unique with each person, but also we all have had similar feelings at some point. Intrusive thoughts or negativity can just be the mean voice in your head, but sometimes it is also a gut instinct.

I would recommend sitting with your current partner and discussing what you are wanting out of the relationship, is it a fling, is it serious, what are the goals for each party???

Also it’s totally ok after the initial excitement wears off to look back and see that your feelings aren’t the same. Sometimes you get a great relationship for a few months or a few years, maybe for rest of your life. I would say try not to overthink it and be honest with each other.

I say this as a person in a long term relationship - sometimes we can really be jerks to each other when we are at our worst (stress, anxiety, depresssion) but we talk it out and make sure we are treating each other with respect and also that the other person knows what our intentions are. Be kind and forgiving to each other.

<3/Mish

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From: twixremix (Discord)

hi nhall! thank you for reaching out and sharing how things are for you right now. i have definitely been in your shoes when it comes to the huge weight of anxieties that come with relationships. you are far from alone in that. from my own experience, the best thing you can try to make things more comfortable in the relationship is to have a transparent conversation on all that you’re feeling with your partner, in the relationship, and what thoughts you face daily. then you can both work on ways to either get the relationship back on a smoother path (not so fast/serious like it is now, thus causing the anxiety) or give you the validation you need to move forward. this validation might even lead to you finding your answers to these common questions you’ve shared or at least pave the way to one day knowing your answer of how you feel. all in all, i hope you have fun in this relationship and are treated with the love and respect you deserve. your heartsupport community is here for you if you’d like to talk through these thoughts more! you got this, my friend, i believe in you and your partner to make this work. love, twix

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From: Lisalovesfeathers (Discord)

Hi Friend Thank you so much for your post, I would like you to know that I can relate to what you have written as a person who has had a few relationships over the years that have been plagued by anxiety it is very hard to live with so you are not alone in you story. I am very sorry that you are having to manage this as I am fully aware how diffiicult it can be and all I can say to you is that you need to talk to your partner, explain how you are feeling and do your best to make them understand what is going on, that way when you are feeling that anxiety hit and acting a certain way it wont come across as something more that what it is. I do hope that it will calm down and with a supportive partner it will learn to settle. I wish you well friend. Much Love Lisa. x

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thank u. i never really hear people about this kind of relationship anxiety so its nice to know you understand

yeah its so tough, its so hard to know if its a gut instinct or not. im gonna try to bring the ‘relationship’ back to the point of a more casual dating scenario so that i can have my own space to exist and to think. and i told him that, which makes him pretty anxious, which then makes me anxious, but i need to.

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thank u so much. im going to do my best to have fun, take it less serious, and protect myself

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That’s a good idea. Glad you were able to discuss with them. It’s OK to feel anxious about it, but setting some boundaries now should help with the overwhelm.

I have really bad intrusive thoughts and I wasn’t going to reply because it’s a disturbing topic for me. I thought about tho and I think I’d like to reply (I’m actually shaking while I type). I love what everyone has said and the advice you’ve been given, the support here is amazing.

I think if I was to describe the difference between intrusive and obsessive thoughts I would say that with obsessive it’s more thinking. It’s always on your mind, you find yourself having conversations about it in your head with yourself or that conversation could be with someone else or about a situation if that makes sense. You’re just always thinking about it, making lists and weighing pros and cons etc.

With intrusive for me it’s more like something that randomly pops into your head. A thought or image enters your head that you don’t want there. They disturb you or scare you. It’s not really something you actually want to continue thinking about. You don’t really think about what it was, just that it’s inappropriate and sometimes you feel ashamed or say something like “omg how could I even think that?”

I hope this helps.

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Hey @nhall2000

I’m John, and here’s a video of @WayneBrezz and I responding to your post down here in Houston. We hope it helps very much! We’ll keep taps on this post. Reply and we’ll keep supporting you.

Hold fast friend!

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Wow, thank you both so much for taking the time to respond :). I really resonated with how you talked about writing down truths. I was scared you were gonna say that I should write down things like ‘I like this person. This person likes me.’ which is, of course, the basis of my anxious thoughts. But instead you said, ‘I am deserving of love.’ And what really made sense to me was ‘I don’t have to know if I’m going to marry this person within a few weeks of knowing them.’ When you said that I felt a lot of relief. like… DUH. But it really does feel like I have to know that sometimes! But I don’t!

Plus, what Wayne said about my question ‘what does it mean to like someone’ was really nice. Again, I was scared he was going to say ‘you just know’ when I feel like I really don’t know. But he didn’t! So it’s nice to know everyone is on this journey of figuring out what that means.

And for a little context I guess, my name is Nick. I am a 21 year old from Denver. I’m 2 months into a year long study abroad in Munich, Germany. So this is a really anxious time for me even without all this interpersonal stuff. Studying abroad also makes therapy a bit more difficult, but that is on my list of things to sort out since I’ve had really great experiences with therapy. I’ve been watching heart support streams and occasionally posting on this (amazing) support wall since the day I went through my first and only break up in early 2020. Casey, Dan and everyone on the wall have always shown me amazing support :slight_smile:

My goal is to remember that I don’t have to know if I’m gonna marry them! That’s just insane to expect of myself. I also want to make sure I keep in touch with my friends, family, and community so I don’t feel so isolated in this question of if this specific person is a lifelong partner. And whatever the answer to that question may be, I’ll be more than ok.
(thanks again)

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Hey this is all really great to hear @nhall2000 - honestly it sounds like you’re in a really good spot. I’m glad the HS community is here for you! Makes us happy.

I remember dating when I was 21, and just know that everything you’re going through is very normal. It’s seems super complex to figure dating out with everything you have going on, especially when one of those things is discovering who you are.

But it looks like you have a good handle and we celebrate that! Good deal.

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just wanted to update everyone as im feeling anxious and all my friends are asleep. I ‘broke up’ with him today.

Today, he had planned for us to go where we first met (only two weeks ago) and where I lost one of my earrings. He was then gonna give me pretty new earrings (100 dollars). Obviously this is the sweetest thing ever. And all I’ve ever wanted is for a man to come into my life, tell me he loves me, wants to marry me, gives me pretty things, blah blah blah. But I still broke up with him (didn’t take the earrings). I don’t know why i broke up with him! Something in my body just said I had to, and the last time I was in a relationship, I ignored this feeling for a year, attributing it to anxiety, and suffered mentally to the point where i couldn’t eat. After I built the courage to end /that/ relationship, I made a promise to myself to LISTEN to the voice in my body, rather than suppress it. That’s why I broke up with this guy. I wanted to keep that promise to myself, even though this guy seemed like everything I might want.

Then again, he did ‘fall in love’ with ‘me’ very quickly. Though, there was one thing that didn’t sit right with me. He said he used to get frustrated with his ex when he was denied sex, but that he was over that kind of anger. I said, “good, because I can’t promise sex more than once a week.” After I said this he became to huff and puff around for a few hours. I wasn’t exactly sure why he was acting like this so I tried to ignore it, thinking that if he was mad about something, it was his responsibility to express it. When I finally asked what was happening he said, “Do you really only want to have sex once a week.” And I told him that that’s all I could promise, considering my sex drive, stomach problems, mood, etc. He then still was pretty mopey for a while. I was very frustrated because it felt like a waste of time, I could’ve been playing games with friends or some other hobby.

He said he wouldn’t act like that again and that he would make up for it, which might be what the earrings were about. Which is still incredibly sweet and nobody has ever tried to show me love like that before, but it got me thinking about what he wanted vs. what i wanted. He wanted relationship, love, sex, a future. I couldn’t promise that I would fall in love with him and he was already in love. I couldn’t promise sex. I couldn’t promise a future, as I am just a study abroad student. When I told him this he said he would go back to the US with me. He is of course valid in wanted these things, and I think the natural pressure I felt to reciprocate made me not want to be with him at all.

Maybe I made the ‘wrong’ decision and will miss out on a really amazing thing, but I’d rather just be home alone, and not have to worry about putting out or being someone’s 'person;. So I think I’m doing us both a favor. Plus, its only been a couple weeks, and he had already picked the place he would propose (Neuschwanstein Castle… like… are you KIDDING). Is this a fairytale or did he fall in love with the idea of me, rather than the real me?

It sucks to now have no friends here in Germany, and to be doing this alone, but it’s probably for the best?

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I dont know the guy but it sure seems he was moving really quick!! On another note, it’s nice to be given thoughtful gifts, but that may not always be a representation of love, but some times people give us things in order to get back things in return.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of you for listening to your body and for not second guessing what your instincts were telling you! I’m also so impressed and so proud of you for being frank and open about what you want in the relationship and didn’t string him along. I mean, this was so mature and so self-aware, I’m grinning ear to ear as I type this!

This is correct. if he had other intentions and was moving so quick, it seems best to be away from that and to avoid the drama that sounds like its incoming. You made one friend, and you handled yourself SO WELL. You’re ready to make a new one, when the time is right and you meet someone cool to hang with. Again, I’m really happy to see your progress and how brave and strong you are!

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I agree with @Sita about him moving too fast. His reaction was a little bit questionable in my opinion, but it looks like he accepted it in the end. I would watch that tho, because you should always respect your partner and not throw a tantrum if they say no to intimacy. That’s just immature and sad, sorry.

It’s good to listen to your gut. I agree with that, however we tend to bring baggage from past relationships into new ones. We don’t give the person a chance to show us who they really are before we make up our minds that they will be just like our x-partner. We self sabotage when that happens.

We have to shed our past at the door of new relationships.

Keep looking and be patient, because you will find your person :hrtlegolove:

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god this was so nice to read. i cried. it was a really hard decision and it makes me feel good to have someone be proud of me for that :slight_smile: I also can’t stop thinking about how you said ‘you made one friend, handled yourself well, and are ready to make a new one’. I LOVE that perspective. its not that I can’t make any friends and am doomed. I DID make a friend. and i CAN make new friends.

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yeah that is always part of my dilemma: not knowing what is baseless anxiety, what is anxiety i should listen to, and what is anxiety coming from my last relationship. I am glad that I proved to myself that I can protect myself after years of ignoring how I felt, but I also want to be careful that I am not shutting out people in fear of getting hurt. I think this question will probably be one I try to understand for the rest of my life and i want to always consider the possibility that my fears aren’t necessarily accurate to my situation.

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yup! Maybe you can bookmark the post in case you ever need a gentle reminder in the future or if you ever start doubting yourself! Glad to help you see a new perspective :slight_smile: Exciting times ahead for you! :smiley:

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One thing I can suggest that I use is logic.

List your most intense fears in that moment and ask yourself what facts you have that make them valid. Then ask yourself what facts you have that make them invalid. After you do that ask yourself how you feel about your fears now, are they more or less intense? What options do you have to go forward fear free to have a positive outcome?

This will usually ground me and take me out of the negative thinking.

Hope it helps! :hrtlegolove:

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