New relationship jitters?
August 3, 2012 4:00 AM   Subscribe

Please help me be happy about my new relationship and stop nitpicking every little thing.

It's a very new relationship, 1 month old. Some background, I asked him out a year and a half ago, and he declined. A couple weeks ago he asked me out and I accepted. Great! I'm happy about that! But why can't I stop dwelling on the little things about him that I don't like? For example, he's not an awesome dresser and he makes really corny jokes. Oh, and his eyebrows are sort of out of control in a Scottish type way. This is basically it. That's what I'm freaking out about. It's mostly physical stuff and I sort of feel like maybe I'm just scared about a new relationship and commitment in general and am projecting this stuff onto him. He's super sweet and he makes no qualms over the fact that he really likes me. SO why does that freak me out?

Any insights would be much appreciated, I would love to be able to relax and just enjoy the beginning of this relationship.
posted by heavenstobetsy to Human Relations (12 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like you care more about what other people think about you than what you think about him.

These are control issues, pure and simple. And they're probably caused by insecurities you have with yourself. I'm assuming that this is because you're young.

I can tell you til I'm blue in the face that people aren't going to judge you based on your boyfriends eyebrows, but it's unlikely your heart will listen.

Get the man introduced to your friends; tell yourself that these fears are your fears about yourself, and try and find a bit more peace with how the world sees you. If you want to talk to him about it, make sure that he knows that you're aware you're being daft and that this is your problem, not his. This isn't going to be easy, and it's the stuff that relationship breakups are made of.

You need to work on this. You need to work on yourself.

Hopefully over time, you'll trust your own place in the world enough to not want to try and micromanage how people around you appear to each other.

Good luck.
posted by zoo at 4:22 AM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

He's super sweet and he makes no qualms over the fact that he really likes me. SO why does that freak me out?

Is happening because of this:
It's a very new relationship, 1 month old. Some background, I asked him out a year and a half ago, and he declined.

It's Self-Protection 101. Guy already hurt/disappointed you once, when stakes were low. Stakes are now getting higher, and you haven't had enough time together to truly trust him yet. Give it, him, you time to figure this out, it's okay. You don't have go whole hog just yet, and you don't have to internally neg him to keep a bit of distance.
posted by likeso at 4:34 AM on August 3, 2012 [5 favorites]

I sort of feel like maybe I'm just scared about a new relationship and commitment in general and am projecting this stuff onto him.

Maybe if you called this "dating," rather than "a relationship," you'd be less troubled by every little thing about him.
posted by Carol Anne at 4:37 AM on August 3, 2012 [3 favorites]

You're not physically attracted to him? That's not a small thing, that's a huge thing. You need to be physically attracted to the people you date. It's not shallow, it is what dating is for.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:15 AM on August 3, 2012 [7 favorites]

I disagree that this is a control issue, or something you need to fix about yourself. It just doesn't sound like you're all that into him. When you're attracted to someone, little physical and behavioral quirks like the ones you mention don't usually loom over the time you're spending with someone. For lots of people, they even become endearing. It sounds like maybe the reason you're focusing so much on the things you don't like is that maybe you just don' HIM all that much at this point.

In answer to your overall question, I don't think you need to relax because I don't think there's anything you're doing wrong here. You've only been seeing each other for a month - try a few more dates, see if these things that are bothering you start to recede into the background, and if not let him loose. It's dating, and it happens.
posted by superfluousm at 5:27 AM on August 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

You mention that he makes no qualms about liking you, but you don't say anything about how you feel about him. Other than there are some things about his physical appearance that bother you. I'm with the_young_rope-rider; you seems like you're not physically attracted to him. And that's OK. Trying to force a relationship to work just because the other person is really into you and you like them okay is not going to work out well. Trust me, I had this experience recently.
posted by radioaction at 6:27 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Another vote for You're Just Not That Into Him. You want to be, but you're not. In my experience, which I think is not that unusual, when you're really into someone - especially in the beginning, when you're drowning in limerence - things like weird eyebrows and corny jokes are the most beautiful, endearing things ever.
posted by rtha at 6:43 AM on August 3, 2012

Here's a thought experiment.

You go to a party with him. You get separated and are talking to various people. You bump into an old friend you used to be close to but who moved away from town and is now visiting. After the hugging and greetings are over, you share details about how your lives have changed since you last saw each other. At this point, are you excited to take your friend over to your boyfriend and introduce him? Or are you vaguely embarrassed. Obviously being a decent person you would do it anyway, but do you really feel the urge to show him off? If you feel that slight cringing or twinge of embarrassment, I would take that as a bad sign this early in the relationship.
posted by peacheater at 8:19 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I felt kind of this way about my boyfriend when we started dating. He's not a great dresser - he wears things until they have holes in them, and even then he doesn't throw them out. His haircut is the same one he's had for years and it's not entirely in style anymore. He makes really corny jokes.

I was still in therapy when we started dating and after three or four dates, I told my therapist that I was thinking of breaking things off. I had gone on a date with him where we were both tired and all of the things above really bothered me. Luckily my therapist was able to help me figure out where this all was coming from: fear. Fear that others would judge me (and him) based upon his quirkier personality traits. Fear that he was treating me so well and was so different from my past relationships, but that I would still get hurt again.

Yes, there's a chance that you're just not that into him, but at one time you were because you asked him out. I think zoo and likeso hit the nail on the head: this isn't just a simple not that into him thing, this is likely more of a fear thing.
posted by anotheraccount at 9:28 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: What exactly is "freaking out?"

Maybe you should focus on the things you do like about him -- which seem absent from this question.
posted by sm1tten at 10:11 AM on August 3, 2012

Eyebrows and corny jokes? Shit, that's Husbunny. Thank goodness I didn't ditch him after our first date, we've just celebrated our tenth anniversary.

Keep getting to know him, it sounds like you haven't passed through the superficial stuff.

One book that I though was incredibly insightful and dead on was "How to Marry the Man of your Choice".

It's not about playing games or anything stupid like that, it's about how to engage with someone to really understand his core values, how and when to reveal things about yourself and in general how to talk to a man that you're dating to see if he's worth being with you.

It's excellent. I think everyone should approach dating as a way to see if the person she's involved with is on the same page and working toward the same thing.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:02 AM on August 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Once, when I talked about similar feelings with a therapist, her take on it was that, for me, it wasn't actually about these physical superficial qualities but rather about my sense of not feeling connected or in-tune enough with the dude I was dating. In other words, is it about something deeper that you're feeling? Maybe just your own fears of getting hurt (as others have said), getting intimate, or maybe about some lack of connection in the relationship?
posted by tacoma1 at 1:02 PM on August 3, 2012

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