Tightly wound ball of neuroses
October 27, 2008 9:58 AM Subscribe
I'm in a great relationship but afraid of messing things up. Help me stop being silly!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been seeing this great guy for several months. Things between us are postive and fun in a way I've never experienced with anyone. Before that, my most recent relationship was a six year long-distance arrangement. That ended last year when I faced up to the extent to which my boyfriend had been lying to and cheating on me, and from my entirely layperson viewpoint, passive aggressively manipulating me. I took some time to cool down, be decidedly single, and like the cliche goes when I was least expecting it met someone amazing.
What I've noticed though is that sometimes I respond to something the new guy's said or done in the way I would have with my ex. He'll say something that reminds me of an argument trigger then I get upset and withdraw. For instance, one night we were at a club with my friends until very late. When we left he said he was hungry and disappointed most places were closed already. Now, with the last one, this would actually have been a veiled accusation that it was somehow my fault, because we were out with my friends, because we didn't leave sooner to feed him, and then it would have turned into an argument that usually ended up with me having to say that everything that went wrong in the relationship was my fault. Silly, right? But the new guy explained he was thinking out loud and not blaming me at all. Luckily so far he's been great about getting me to talk things through, and it always turns out I've misconstrued the situation and read in meanings that would have been there with my ex but aren't there with him. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Cool. I'm starting to get that.
I'm thankful he does that because it's a way of thinking I don't need to carry forward. So far, we're dealing with it. But how do I stop this pattern once and for all? I know everyone has their baggage, and he has a past too, but I want to learn from the experience, not be paranoid and neurotic and risk driving him away.