help me breathe in public
November 16, 2010 6:18 PM Subscribe
i have social anxiety with my sweetie when we're out in public at crowded events because of past baggage. looking for some tips (more inside).
i am over a year into a wonderful relationship with good communication, lots of love and physical and non-physical intimacy.
it did not start that way, though. our first few months were:
1. we hook up after a long build up of emotions and communication (talking to each other every day for hours).
2. my sweetie disappears a week later and starts dating someone for a few months.
3. my sweetie realizes that i'm the person they're in love with and that they were scared to be happy (lots of challenging,painful previous relationships).
4. i also later learn that the week before hooking up with me, my sweetie hooked up with someone else.
5. a year and a half later, we're here.
all this, after really good conversations, was related to my sweetie being scared and confused about me, and some other factors.
we have worked really really hard to build a solid relationship filled with trust. i have much much more trust of my sweetie, each and every day. when i have raised some fears, she always responds exactly how i wish she would without my asking. we're really compatible that way and care about each other (and ourselves).
here is the challenge:
before dating her, i was coupled with someone for 3 years who flirted with everyone in sight, kissed other people (while wasted), really hurt me in public. same with someone before that who cheated on me.
now, when i go out in public, i get nervous when my sweetie people watches. she's not looking for anyone else. she's just interested in the world. other people's interactions. funky fashion. etc. as someone who isn't a really big people watcher, it's a little difficult for me to understand but i'm working on it. i don't want her to change.
that said, i still get really anxious, that she'll see someone cute and run off. i know this makes no logical sense, but it's my true feeling. i am in therapy and i am working on this, but what i'm really looking for are some tricks/tips you may have used/may use to help me snap out of my anxiety when i'm in public and this happens (decreasingly so). not only do i personally hate it, but it makes my sweetie feel my distance and worry that she has done something wrong. i have a fear of being controlling or of making my sweetheart's world smaller. and i really think that this is something that requires my growth because i do trust her. when i get anxious, as is common with anxiety, my fear takes over and my ability to stay grounded disappears.
what i have tried doing is say to myself, "funny self, you're feeling distrustful now, or worried, that's ok, i honor that feeling, and now i can move on." often that works, but sometimes i can't move on until my sweetie checks in on me or gives me a moment of attention, and then i snap out of it.
thank you for reading all of this. i appreciate hearing your tips.