I think my fear of fake relationships might be stopping me from having real relationships - help?
April 6, 2010 8:41 AM Subscribe
Why am I so scared that people are trying to trick me/use me? Is this something you really need to be on guard against all the time or is it irrational thinking?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know why, but for as long as I can remember, I've had this fear that people might just be tricking me into thinking they're my friend/they care about me. As a teenager I used to worry that maybe one of my friends would go "pffft I was just kidding... did you seriously think I liked you and was your friend? hahahahhahaha". Like their being nice to me would turn out to be this big prank that everyone would laugh about later. This made me anxious to get close to people. I'm female and I've always had a lot of male friends and when one of them would hit on me, I'd always feel like they'd faked our friendship just to get sex, even as an adult although I've tried to tell myself that maybe they liked my personality AND found me attractive, but it's still made me second guess things. I still find myself worrying that guys just want to f*ck me so they craft these elaborate friendships/fake relationships with me but are really thinking I'm an idiot getting sucked into their scam, and are laughing about it with their male friends behind my back. Even just writing it out, it sounds kind of ridiculous, I mean, it's a lot of trouble to go to just to sleep with someone who's not bad looking but no supermodel, but I do worry. It makes me a bit on edge with my male friends and very distrustful of anyone I become romantically or sexually involved with. I even get put off one night stands when someone starts talking to me cos I don't want them to think they've tricked me into it. And if I actually do have feelings for someone, I shut them off quick smart if they actually become a viable option, cos I don't want to be an idiot. I tend to assume that anyone I'm dating or who fancies me is only interested in sleeping with me and the rest is a scam to make that happen and that they don't like or respect me as a person, and that if they really respected me they'd just say "I want to f*** you and that's it". This seems silly when I consider that I've had friends I've had a crush on and I still wanted to be their friend even if they didn't feel the same. I enjoy sex a lot so it's not something I need to be tricked into but I hate the feeling of someone thinking they're tricking me more than I hate missing out. To make things worse, I once decided to just "let go" and fell in love with someone, but after a year I discovered that he'd cheated on me. Due to my prior beliefs, this confirmed my fears as I chalked it up to "I got tricked and used and he didn't love me or even like me at all, it was all 100% lies and he basically only asked me to live with him for easily accessible sex" - despite the fact that he spent the next year begging me to give him another chance. Rationally I can tell myself I'm not THAT good looking or amazing in bed that people would go to such elaborate lengths to trick me, but I find it hard to trust that people want anything more than that from me, and I flip out at the first "sign" that they don't care. It feels like as soon as someone is physically attracted to me, it must mean they just see me as a piece of meat. I am trying to tell myself that liking someone as a person and liking someone sexually don't have to be mutually exclusive (as they're not for me!), but kind of failing.
To a smaller extent, I sometimes worry that even platonic friendships might be motivated by someone just wanting to get something from me (besides my friendship) and that the person doesn't really care for me.
I also sometimes think maybe everyone is just doing that to eachother and there's something wrong with me that I can't bring myself to use people at all, even people who aren't nice to me.
When people ask me out I immediately think "oh, so THAT'S why they were being nice to me" and then I feel like they probably aren't really my friend, even if they keep hanging out with me (I tell myself this is so they can maybe try again later). This is hard because I've been asked out by a lot of the guys who go to the same activities I go to and it's always nice at the start making new friends but then I get disappointed when I realise they weren't really my friends after all.
Please help me rationally think my way out of this before I ruin all my friendships and future relationships (unless you really need to tell me that most people are just out to scam people for what they can get). I would actually like a relationship with someone who likes me physically and for my personality but I can't get myself to believe it's possible which makes me act cold and disinterested and like *I'm* only after sex when I'm dating - catch 22.
After writing all this down I guess it might be a self-esteem problem?
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