How to get through/past the first few weeks
March 25, 2011 12:50 AM Subscribe
How do you stop yourself from caring whether someone you've just started seeing is sleeping with/will sleep with other people?
posted by Chrysalis to human relations (31 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
In the initial stages of seeing a guy (I'm a late 20s, straight cis female), before we're "official", I get an awful lot of anxiety about whether or not the guy is sleeping with other people, or will, or whether he likes me enough to only sleep with me until we've decided whether to have a proper relationship or part ways. I tend to feel like I'd be doing the wrong thing if I slept with someone else, but worry that I'm going to feel like an idiot when I find out that I've been taking their potential feelings into account when they've been out picking up. It's becoming a real problem and I don't know how to handle it.
I'm trying to work out what would bother me specifically and I suppose in a way I would feel hurt/insecure that the guy didn't think I was "enough". Some background that may be relevant: 2 years ago I left a serious (together 1.5 years, living together for 1) relationship when I found out the guy had quite deliberately cheated on me with several girls over the course of our relationship. I'd had NO idea. He confessed that before meeting me he used to be out 3 nights a week trying to take home girls. Prior to that experience, I had never been around that sort of culture, had never had a one-night-stand, went to bars purely to see my friends or a band (ie not to pick up). I think I had just been very naive (I had definitely had boyfriends, and sex, and even a holiday fling - but had never gone out to pick up). After that experience the whole world looked very different and I started going out chasing one night stands myself, and making sure I never went more than 3 weeks without sex. When I am interested in someone though (whether it be a friend, or someone I've met, or from online) and we start sleeping with eachother, I worry that they are out chasing sex on the nights I'm not seeing them. I know that technically they would be doing nothing wrong as we haven't agreed not to be exclusive, but I feel kind of disrespected and as if they're not really into me.
The trouble with this anxiety is that it makes me distance myself emotionally to protect myself, and I usually end up ending things with them, even, or especially because, I have feelings for them, and it makes me really depressed. In the two years since I left my ex, I have not managed to have a single real relationship because I've always bailed early/kept emotional distance.
I've thought about discussing it with them but always feel like if I were to ask for exclusivity so early in the piece it would
a) show them that I have feelings for them and put me in a weak position where they could hurt me
b) make them think I'm crazy and needy and they'd lose interest in me
c) encourage them to just lie and say they won't sleep with anyone else so they could keep sleeping with me, and then I'd really look stupid because they'd KNOW I wasn't sleeping with anyone else
I apologise if any of this doesn't make sense, but even just thinking about it now, and typing it all out, is making me feel very anxious. Last week I brushed off a guy I'd been hooking up with who I accidentally got feelings for, and still wish I could date, because of this, and I'm sick of it. If this doesn't stop I will never have a boyfriend again, but even that is preferable to the anxiety I get when I have feelings for someone. I'm just not sure how to handle it. Other people seem to be able to just go with the flow and I woul like to learn how. So... help please!