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The Lies Anxiety Tells Me When I'm Dating Someone

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I went on a fourth date Saturday night. It went well. My service dog wasn’t there since it was at his place and I hadn’t asked about pet
rules at his place (he doesn’t live in an apartment complex, rather just a basement of a house). It was OK though. I didn’t pass out, I didn’t feel intense anxiety
, I felt instead comfortable and safe.

Safe. That is something I don’t feel around men. Ever since my abusive relationship ended over five years ago, and coupled with the abuse I experienced from other male figures in my life, trust doesn’t come easy to me. Yet with him, I felt safe in his embrace.

I’ve been dating for about two and a half years now. I’ve tried a couple different online platforms and all the dates I’ve gone on haven’t been right. You know that feeling you get when something clicks? Well, after going on over 30 dates, it still hasn’t felt right. Until now. Something about this guy is different. He’s soft spoken, but outspoken. He takes things slowly and methodically and is always thoughtful and kind to ask how my health is, how my dogs are. He’s even been accepting of my service dog.

Yet somehow after our fourth date, the next day, something felt off. I panicked the next afternoon (following a syncope episode, but that’s another story) and suddenly felt like I didn’t deserve love, kindness and care in my life, especially from a partner. We haven’t talked since and my anxiety is reading into it.

It’s a constant struggle balancing my anxiety with my desire for a romantic relationship. I constantly feel I don’t deserve anything. I even let my anxiety get the better of me during our date Saturday. I became awkward, I let my anxiety rush my thoughts and I began breathing shallowly and getting dizzy.

Anxiety messes with my mind. It tells me things I should never believe. Yet anxiety has a way of making sure I believe it, even when I have three close, dear friends tell me I deserve love, I deserve this relationship so much, that I deserve the job I haven’t heard from for over a week. Anxiety is the little voice in my head that tells me, “you’re not good enough. You’re not skinny enough. You’re not pretty enough.” Anxiety is real. It is a monster. And it consumes me.

Unsplash photo via Priscilla du Preez

Originally published: April 5, 2018
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