new relationship triggers

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Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 9/29/2007 11:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Hey friends. I'm full of new topics today, as it seems the boards are quieter on the weekends.

Anyways, one of my triggers and something I'm working on assessing, is unrealistic expectation from people particularly when engaging in a new relationship. This is a repeated pattern for me, so i know that i some how feed into it and am not just a victim. BUT, i do try and set expectation from the beginning and people say they understand and i take their word for it -- this is what may need to change.

To put this into context, i'll use an example.

I met someone online, through a friend of a friend. My friend told me that he had met her a few years ago when she was travel and said she was a very sweet girl and really attractive. I began corresponding with this woman months ago, and she already had plans of coming to visit some friends (ticket was already bought, plans already made) before i started taking to her. Anyways, as time went on I noticed that she was becoming more and more "into me". I have experience with dating online, so i told her that i was flattered, but its really when you meet the person in real life can you make an assessment like that. I also told her that i really dont have an interested in getting involved with someone who lives in another country -- seems like a total set up for feelings being hurt. I know its easy for me to get kind of caught up in it as well, but i told this person on more than one occasion, that we need to take a step back... Slow it down until we actually meet and take it from there. WELL, the entire time she has said she understands, but in the next sentence she will say things that sound like she doesnt. It sounds like her expectation are really high and that she is really expecting something to happen between us when she is here. She now makes it sound like she is coming to see me and wants to spend all this time with me... gulp. Firstly, i'm a bit of a loner. I have a tight group of friends but i dont want to see anyone all the time, not right now. I also have a very sick dog at home, whom is my priority over all others. This weekend she arrives and i volunteered to pick her up from the airport -- cause her 2 other friends have to work. WELL, i came home yesterday and my dog was not doing well, and immediately put my priorities into prospective. I told this woman that i cant get her because of my dog, and instead of getting an understanding response I got one of disappointment... This makes me feel really guilty, but my dog is very sick and needs my attention...

So a couple of things. For me its a huge turn off and stesser. Leaving my sick dog out of it, it kinda freaks me out that she had such high expectations for me picking her up... I think she (and she has said somethings that alluded to this) felt that we would embrace each other at the airport like long lost lovers...

I feel like i get myself into these situation (this is not the first) where the other person involved has these false sets of expectations... What this results in is me retreating, hiding, running away, and feeling guilty. I never just disappear, but i tell the person that its gone way too far before we actually met and that i'm worried that one of us is going to get our feelings hurt... Now this person is coming to town soon and she is friends of friends and i want to totally avoid her. I don't know what i'm really afraid of here. I think its more guilt than anything. I feel like i caused this woman some mental suffering, and that makes me feel guilt. The guilt then turns into fear. Not really in this case, but it has in the past... But never the less I wanna avoid this person

So, i wonder if this happens to other people. I guess it doesnt have to be a romantic relationship, it can be any... And it doesnt have to be something that started online. This has happened to me before when i dated people i met out and about... But the idea that someone elses expectations cause a tremendous amount of guilt and discomfort. I talk to people about it, and they say things like " Dan, dont worry about it, its obvious this person is in over their head and you are handling it the right way" That maybe true, but i wonder how it gets to that point. How it has happened on more than a couple of occassions, and how i've actually suffered panic attacks from the guilt and sometimes backlash for the other person...

Anyways, i guess I'm really not looking for an answer. One simple way is to 1) not do any online dating or even meeting people online, even for friendship 2) really monitor the situation and not get caught up in the situation as well. Meaning, if i see the early signs of someone acting a certain way i need to be able to set boundaries and stick to them. That one is really hard for me to do, because i dont usually see it until its too late... And i usually get caught up some how in the whirl wind of things. And to be honest, kind words feel good, and when someone is saying nice things to you, its hard to know what they really mean (especially online)... I think the degree of emotions attached to words fluctuate between each person, and maybe i need to re- assess how and what i say to people. I'm a kind and understanding person (so i think) so i say nice things to people. This can easy be interpreted into something maybe more than its meant to be? I dunno, now i'm just ranting...

thanks for listening.
dan
---
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/29/2007 11:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Dan this is a great subject and you my friend have already given yourself the answers .........

I know I am one that does not do the online thing with guys even flirting ........I am not into that at all........I dont mind talking to them and helping out with some probs they are having but I draw the line there

Another GREAT thread

Luvs
LYN
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stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/29/2007 12:38 PM (GMT -7)   

Dan,

I agree with Lyn, this is a good topic and you, IMHO, did answer your own question. You wrote 1.) not do any online dating or even meeting people online, even for friendship.

If you read your whole post again you will see a theme, you want to set the rules, you do not have any intention of wanting to meet this person, however, you tell her you will pick her up at airport and ditch at last minute. You tell her your not interested but your actions contradict your words. Your expectations was she would say she understood how you could have a sick dog and she was just dumped.  I would have taken care of my dog but perhaps I could have found a friend to help her out at the airport if I had given her my word that I would pick her up. I am not judging you here, just suggesting ideas to make it a win/win situation next time.  Guilt is a wasted emotion, so toss it out and learn from this opportunity.

I feel like this girl may have easily been misled.  If you were not interested and she was looking for involvement, you should have told her clearly and then stopped the online relationship.  That gave her reason to misunderstand you.

You said you have your own group of friends, and your not looking to add a new person to this mix.  I would advice you to stay out of the "flirting online scene completely if that is how you feel and just go to a chat line such as the ones offered here to connect with people online but keep romance and relationships out of it.

Take care my friend and again a good topic.

 


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
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Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 9/29/2007 1:26 PM (GMT -7)   
yeah, you are totally right. The one thing i made sure before i ditched out on her was contacting her best friend to see if someone else could get her, and her friend said she was totally covered. Her friend thought it was weird that i would be picking her up in the first place... And i would have to agree with her, and you guys...

Thanks for the advance, and you are right I might have unintentionally mislead this person by not setting boundaries and just going with the flow... And telling her one thing, then making an action that would contradict my messaging to her.

One interesting thing when talking to her friend was... I was under the impression that no one could get her. This was about a month ago, so i offered. I would pretty much pick up any friend of a friend from the airport if they needed a ride... It turns out that another one of her friends was already planning on picking her up and was thrown off when this person coming to visit said she didnt need a ride from them. So there was definitely some miscommunications going on, but when i heard that i felt a bit mislead as well. She told me that this person that was already planning on getting her, couldnt... hmmmmm...

Anyways, thanks again for the advice and i really like the idea of me doing some real self evaluation and work on my communication skills so i dont get myself into situation that are just uncalled for anyone...

best_
Dan
---
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/29/2007 4:00 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Dan, I can understand how things like this easily get misunderstood. 

I met my current (i dont even know what to call him really) guy, years ago.  We dated seriously for over a year when I was 18 but ended up breaking up as the relationship was just too serious for either of us at that age.  He was my first love and well everything.  We ended up reconnecting this past Feburary online.

He now lives 150 miles away and travels alot with his job so communication comes down to either e-mails or cell phone calls.  Both of which now have become sporatic at best.  The biggest kicker to this whole thing is he is married...seperated but married still.  I have been divorced for 3 years to the man I started to date a few months after I broke up with him. 

I told him up front what I expected from a relationship and what I wouldnt tollerate in a relationship.  I cant say how many times I have wanted to say no more, I just cant do this as he has such a passive attitude about this and I stress and worry about it.  My anxiety and questions are ignored and unanswered.

For some reason I just havent been able to work up to cutting it off.  There are so many feelings there even though I keep them to myself.  I know I have to rely on myself and he isnt responsible for my feelings nor am I for his.  I just dont think I am well at carrying out any form or long distance relationship or perhaps I am not even ready for a relationship at all.   Who knows...

I just wanted to tell you that you can not take responsiblity for someone else's feelings.  No we dont look to hurt them and dont want too but if we have made our feelings clear from the start then how they feel is up to them.  I know that sounds harsh but we have to take care of ourselves first...better said then done huh?


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
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Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 9/29/2007 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
hey, thanks for you sharing and your advice. Its weird how there can be this power or guilt based on a relationship that doesn't really exist. I mean, it does because you communicate with the person, but in reality, romantic relationships need to be in person. I think thats where i have a hard time. Like I'm well aware of this notion and know that flirting or whatever online can be satisfying -- but if there is no chance of it going anywhere it is really self destructive behavior. It can make you feel good about yourself and whatnot, but is a void filler that can lead to complications.

I've come to some interesting conclusions:
1. Not everyone interperates written words as they are intend to be... And that is arrogance on my part.. Who am i to think they would???
2. Dont even go there. There is no reason to go beyond anything other than subtle talk, and if it goes beyond that then I am to blame as much as they are.
3. Dont bother talking with people far away, in the context of friendship or more. Especially flirting, cause again that is not healthy for anyone.
4. I accept blame for the situation, and even though she is totally covered on her ride from the airport I should have never offered. I thought i was doing a nice thing, but things can be interpreted differently by people. She might have seen that as a sign of true interest, when really it was a jester of kindness.
5. Dont be overly available for people, and set boundaries... And stick to them. Dont contradict your own boundaries. I do this... The contradiction part and thats not fair.

And Elisha, I thank you for sharing your story. I think for you the main difference is you actually have a past with this person, and maybe you feel a bit of guilt in just cutting it off? Maybe there is a bit of comfort, since you know this guy, and maybe you just scared (god, i hope that doesnt sound harsh) to cut it off completely... I'm not sure, but i sure know how you feel...

thanks again for listening..

Thanks everyone for listening.
Dan
---
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Post Edited (Danxiety) : 9/29/2007 6:44:11 PM (GMT-6)


els
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 9/30/2007 8:34 AM (GMT -7)   

I think your conclusions are very realistic Dan.  I like them and think I will utilize a few in my own life...especially #5.

No, you didnt sound harsh at all.  I am one for saying what is on my mind and sometimes it comes back to bit me...lol!  Yes, I have a past with this guy that is the huge difference here.  Hooking back up with him again 16 years later online though just almost seemed like fate or something.  I know that sounds stupid and girly...and I dont usually believe in fate, destiny and all that other stuff but at that time in my life (and his he said) it felt that way.

I dont know...


Elisha
Co~Mod: Depression
Moderator: Heart & Cardiovascular Disease
http://www.healingwell.com/donate


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/30/2007 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
I absoulutely agree with Els on this Dan,...........you have got some really fantastic boundaries and conclusions for MANY to follow ....IMHO

Take care my friend ..........
You are an asset to this forum for sure

Luvs
LYN
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 
Moderator for Anxiety /Panic
Moderator for Alzheimer's
Co Moderator for Crohns Disease 
 
 DX with Crohns, Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety /Panic
 
  
          Be Thankful for the Difficult times..During those times we GROW
 
                 EMPATHY is Always Better than APATHY
 
                 " Friends Are Cheaper Than Therapists "
 
  
                                  


Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 9/30/2007 5:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Elisha_

I don't think the idea of fate or something is "stupid" or "girly". I think its pretty interesting that you hooked back up with someone from 16 years ago. There is a lot of nostalgia there... There's more than just this guy, there is a time in your life that you probably recall when talking to him -- maybe on a subconscious level?. Maybe it brings you back to a time when you were more care free, more open to trying new things, and possibly not suffering from certain mental or physical things?. I'm not sure, but i dont think its stupid. I think its real. And i understand that its hard to cut something like that off, even when you might know it's not worth it. Something is keeping you there, and involved...

I wish you the best! And thank you for the positive feedback!
Dan
---
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh

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