Anxiety, dating, and being ghosted

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Anxiety, dating, and being ghosted

Postby bbradle1 » November 15th, 2016, 6:37 pm

Hello, I'm really brand new here so I apologize if this really should be posted elsewhere. I figured this might be the best place to post my question. :/

I have trouble enough with my anxiety and dating... part of why I'm dating is more or less exposure therapy recommended by my therapist, but I've been having a kind of big problem with being ghosted that I feel my therapist just doesn't quite understand. I have a hard time believing that other people like me generally, so if I'm dating someone and they ghost me it can make me really confused. Like, I can go out with someone, and the date will end with them giving me a hug or even a kiss, telling me they had a great time, and saying that they'd really like to go out with me real soon... and then they'll stop responding to my text messages. I guess maybe I need to work on thinking about how many different situations could have arisen that caused the events rather than just them outright ignoring me. But I've noticed this pattern has made me kind of bitter and cynical. ... More and more I feel like I can't trust what people say and I'm not sure of a healthy way to think about this...

So if anyone has any suggestions or anything, I'd be really interested in hearing your thoughts!
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Re: Anxiety, dating, and being ghosted

Postby oak » November 16th, 2016, 7:18 pm

Yes, you are definitely not alone regarding this.

May I offer my own experience, as an example?

In all areas of my life, I am a "respectable" man: work, home, friends, daily life. Smiles, open doors, "yes, sir".

Except in dating. Goodness! The ghosting, the friendzoning. Yikes.

While I don't encourage cynicism... I basically do.

I see dating almost exactly like the job search: completely a game, that does not measure what it purports to measure, and is deeply unfair and inefficient.

Yet if it is a game (it is), and we have to play it (sigh), we might as play to win, and play morally.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: Anxiety, dating, and being ghosted

Postby Beany Boo » November 17th, 2016, 3:58 pm

Picking up on someone who doesn't believe people like them, and the prospect of having to manage that inside a relationship, even in the short term, can be a pretty daunting prospect to your dates; even if they're just sensing it instinctively. I appreciate there's probably not a lot you can do to suddenly change that about yourself.

People don't have to like you though, to want to date you. You don't have to like them either. The question is can you be who you are (to yourself) in front of someone else and, can you give that other person the opportunity to accept you as such? If you're too busy getting them to like you, then you can't really afford them that opportunity, or, you don't want to; which is totally fine. You might need to work up to it anyway.

People may mean all the nice things they say and do on your dates, while they're happening, and then when they're by themself again, struggle with how they're going to follow through with those things, next time they see you. Sitting with that feeling they may even be afraid to even talk to you again; in case you see them as having tricked you somehow, when really they're just suffering from inexperience; with intimacy.

I guess if you sense someone is being nice to you in a way you can't quite trust; can't trust them to continue on with, call them on it. "Stop, I don't trust what you're saying. You don't need to be nice, give me pleasure or intensity, or spend the time trying to get me to like you. I would rather you were just kind to me. Work on that." Saying that may take more self esteem than you have in reserve, which I get; but it's just to illustrate my point.

Whatever else happens in the moment, if you date people who have the presence of mind to be kind to you, to your face? That's more important than being liked.

Plus, kindness is an extremely attractive quality.
Emotionally,

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Re: Anxiety, dating, and being ghosted

Postby AtomicCowgirl » November 23rd, 2016, 11:04 am

Ugh, I always hated dating.I hope I never have to do it ever again.

I think a first date is one of those things where you almost have to release having any expectation. You're meeting someone for the first time, and you don't know them well enough yet to trust that who they say they are and what they say they think/do is real. Is there a way you can view those first dates as a no-contract event that is simply an opportunity to find out if the other person is someone who can follow through on a stated intent to see you again? You don't have to hold anything against them because you don't really know them that well anyway, you don't owe them anything, and if they don't respond to your first two attempts at contact after the date, just release them with love into the universe.

That probably sounds a lot easier said than done. Interacting with real people ought to be so simple, and yet it is so often terribly messy.
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Re: Anxiety, dating, and being ghosted

Postby Not A Cylon » January 12th, 2017, 7:11 pm

Beany Boo,

People may mean all the nice things they say and do on your dates, while they're happening, and then when they're by themself again, struggle with how they're going to follow through with those things, next time they see you. Sitting with that feeling they may even be afraid to even talk to you again; in case you see them as having tricked you somehow, when really they're just suffering from inexperience; with intimacy.


This is how I tend to feel when I've been ghosted before and am currently with someone who seemed to have the same mutual excitement at first but then things got colder and distant. It helps take the edge off to keep in mind that while their behavior isn't really excusable (adults should be able to at least communicate uncomfortable news with tact) it reminds me that they likely have their own struggles and problems, we're all human and messed up in some way. It helps with healing when you can feel empathy rather than anger, thanks for your post, you really put something I'm currently dealing in a good perspective.
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