Am I Just Convincing Myself That I Love Him?

One of the most common questions I’m asked by people in committed relationships who are struggling with anxiety is: What if I’m just convincing myself to stay? What if he’s a great guy (or girl) but I just don’t really love him? It’s a valid question, and here’s my answer:

Yes, it’s possible to convince yourself to stay with someone because they’re a great person. The question to ask is: How do you feel about him/around him/toward him when your heart is open and you’re not in an anxious state? That’s the baseline barometer; anything else is what happens when fear is in the driver’s seat. Fear is VERY convincing. It can tell you that you don’t really love him. It can tell you that you’re just convincing yourself. It feeds you culturally sanctioned lines like you should just know and that if you have to work this hard, it’s not really love.

Instead of asking if you really love him, some better questions to ask are: Do you like him? Do you enjoy his company? (again, when you’re not anxious). Do you like talking to him? Do you find him interesting? Love is such a loaded word in our culture. It connotes such terms as “feeling head over heels”, having butterflies, and “knowing that he’s The One.” Love, quite simply, implies a feeling, but when it comes down to deciding something as monumental as choosing a marriage partner, you have to consider much more than a fleeting feeling.

Here’s another way to ask the question: when your heart is open (fear isn’t in the driver’s seat), do you feel connected to him? Certainly you won’t connect to every person on the planet even when your heart is wide open. There are certain people that you will feel connected to, that you work well with, where there’s a certain ease and compatibility, and others where the chemistry just isn’t there. Did the word “chemistry” just spike your anxiety? It’s another buzzword in our culture, and one that triggers many of my anxious clients and eCourse participants. But I use is a bit differently than the mainstream usage. When I talk about chemistry, I ask my client or eCourse participant this question: When you’re not anxious, are you drawn to you’re partner? Again, do you feel connected to him and do you enjoy spending time together? (There’s a great thread on the Conscious Weddings eCourse archived message board with the title “Enough Spark”, where the wise women offer their thoughts on this buzzword).

Even the word “connection” can mean different things to different people. ChristmasBride2006 wrote eloquently on this question in response to TrustandLove on the archived Conscious Weddings message board posts (which appear in the Conscious Weddings eCourse, as well as a fabulous interview with TrustandLove):

“Perhaps a good place to start is asking yourself “what is connection?” What is it? It’s an elusive term, like chemistry or even love. It means different things to different people. Is feeling connected an emotional state for you? When I think of being connected with my husband, the feeling usually happens when we’re “jiving” together, i.e. working together towards the same goal, being on the same wavelength about an issue, and so on. This is not a permanent emotional state; relationships are typically full of ups and downs. I do remember the first profound feeling I had after being engaged was not feeling connected” to my fiancé. I remember telling Sheryl about this! It was like my ability to be emotionally on the same page as my husband had suddenly disappeared and I couldn’t find it, no matter how hard I tried. Kind of felt like there was this palpable wall of fear between us. It was a strange feeling and I sympathize with how you’re feeling now. It hurt, and it made me so sad.

“When I was engaged, I really had no clue if it was the right thing, and that feeling of “things suck but I definitely want to marry him” wasn’t really there. At times the only thing keeping me going forward was that I felt about a million times worse when I thought of calling it off. The thought of not being with him felt worse than any sort of fear or doubt I had during engagement.

“So to start, there are probably a few questions you can ask yourself and perhaps explore them with your therapist. The first being, what does connection mean to you, and how might you create times where closeness can occur with your fiancé? What makes you feel loved, and how do you show love? (The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman is an excellent book on this). What is your expectation of the relationship in terms of being “connected?” Often – at least I found- my expectations of emotions in a relationship were totally off-base to the realities of a relationship; like, I should feel in love all the time or want to rip his clothes off every time I see him.

“Reality is, long-term relationships just don’t operate that way. Long-term relationships go through times of feeling close, and feeling distant. One day you might want to kiss him all over, the next day you want to rip his head off. This was HUGE for me to learn. I didn’t have to be feeling a certain way 100% of the time to know that our relationship was a great one.

“Sometimes when we try to force certain feelings, the more distant they become and the lack of the feeling is that much more exaggerated. I suppose you could say that your feeling of connection was my feeling of love while I was engaged. I was forever trying to figure out if I really loved my husband or not because I could not “feel” it. The simple (and not so simple) answer is to just stop searching for it. The deepest feelings of love, and deepest feelings of connection happen in the times we least expect it, when we’re not on the hunt for it and trying to force it to be there.

“The last question I think you should ask yourself is what is your desire? What is your want? Do you WANT to marry him? Forgetting all of the fear or lack of emotions, what do you want deep down? The reason I ask this, is your comment about no part of you saying you want to be with your fiancé. In my situation, despite all the crappy feelings, I wanted to marry my husband. Yes I felt scared, sometimes so scared I couldn’t even get out of bed or make it through the day without breaking down, but in the end, what I *wanted* was to get married. What do you want?”

273 comments to Am I Just Convincing Myself That I Love Him?

  • ThinkBee

    Another way I learned to deal with this thought was to say, “maybe I am convincing myself that I love him, but I’m choosing to stay, however unjustified.” Seems odd, but when you agree that the fear may be true and let that sink in, the truth (aka what you WANT to do, as ChristmasBride said) eventually floats to the top and you realize that the thought is just a thought, you can do whatever you want with it. And I also believe everything we believe takes some form of convincing ourselves, it’s not as if we feel one automatic unchanging emotion about someone or something. We’re just not always scrutinizing the inner workings of our minds.

    • Thanks for chiming in here, ThinkBee (another wise Conscious Married – and now Conscious Mother : ) who appears in the eCourse). I think the idea of “convincing ourselves” is actually another one of those buzzwords – like “settling” or “spark” or “soulmate.” What does that actually mean, “to convince myself”? Another way of understanding it is to say, “I’m working with my thoughts. Not all of my thoughts are true and I don’t have to act on them.” I love what you said about allowing the truth to rise to the top after making space for the fear. It really comes down to learning how not to react to each and every thought, and reminding yourself that, especially during transitions, many thoughts are rooted in fear.

  • Janelle

    I do like this article, but I do have to say it spiked my anxiety! I have been married for a year now but, boy, do i remember asking myself the question “am i just convincing myself”. Now that I have space away from that anxiety, it easy for me to look back and say of corse, i love my husband, and yes, i did love him back then. However, then anxiety went crazy on me.

    Also, maybe this is right or wrong, I’m not sure, but so what if you’re convincing yourself. If your with a good, stable, loving man, who supports you and loves you unconditionally, why not marry him? The book “First Comes Marriage” comes to mind. We expect WAY too much from our fiancees/husbands, life isn’t a fairy tale and you’re never going to find the “PERFECT” man because humans aren’t perfect. So, if you have a great guy, why not marry him?

    This also reminds me of the other article that was written on here, I think it was called “the grass is greener”. I know my Grandmother didn’t have these questions, she found a good guy (my grandpa), dated him for 4-5 years, and then married him. She didn’t have all of these crazy expectations that we as a culture do today! She just committed and they’ve been married for 65 years!

    I just keep thinking Love is not a feeling, love is a choice! I will say though that now, that I don’t ask myself the ‘convincing’ question anymore, I do ‘feel’ my love again but I also realize that feelings come and go, and love is a choice-that’s what keeps me grounded. Also, keep in mind you don’t have to always ‘like’ your husband. There can be parts about him that you can’t stand!

    The ‘want’ part at the end of the article also struck me. I will tell you that I when I was deep in my anxiety I didn’t know what I ‘wanted’, I had NO clue. I chose to marry my husband because I knew that before the anxiety we had a really great relationship, not perfect, but good. I wanted that back, the goodness of our relationship. Luckily, something was there that kept pushing me forward, something got me to my wedding day.

    I now understand the difference between my ‘gut’ and ‘intuition’. I hate to use those words but I’m starting to understand them! I don’t believe in ‘gut’ feelings, b/c my gut is right sometimes and wrong other times, it’s not reliable. My ‘gut’ was just my scared to death feelings, my ‘intuition’ is something that just kept making me go forward, even thought I felt like I wanted to run for the hills! I feel so blessed that I made the decision to get married and I feel fortunate to say that!

    Thank you Sheryl and everyone on these message boards for pushing me forward! I am forever grateful!

  • Speaking of culturally sanctioned lines like you “just know” … I wrote a post about that very concept I thought you, Sheryl and your audience might appreciate. http://thestir.cafemom.com/love_sex/123135/theres_no_such_thing_as

  • Janelle – Interesting that this spiked your anxiety, but it sounds like you found your way through it. You’ve done great work with of this and it shows. I think “convincing” has a negative ring to it – kind of like the word “settling”. Instead of saying that you’re convincing yourself to stay with a great guy, we need to replace that phrase with, “battling my fear brain so that fear doesn’t convince me to leave a great guy.”

  • Janelle

    I read this line wrong the first time through:
    “When I was engaged, I really had no clue if it was the right thing, and that feeling of “things suck but I definitely want to marry him” wasn’t really there.
    I thought it said:
    “When I was engaged, I really had no clue if it was the right thing, and that feeling of “things suck but I definitely want to marry him” WAS really there.

    Yes, Sheryl, that’s what I was getting at, it relates to settling so much! Thanks!

  • Evi

    I broke up with a great guy some years ago due to all this anxiety i had.Very good article, it describes me so well at that time in my life.Too bad i didn t know all these before…i would have saved a very good and promising relationship….
    But that s in the past…Do you think i can find a great guy again after missing such a good opportunity???
    Thank you – great site, great job…

    • Thanks for posting and for your kind words. I’m sure you’ll find a great guy again, and you’ll have an opportunity to work through the fears, false beliefs, and misconceptions that caused you to break it off with the last one. You might want to read through the rest of the articles on this site so that you’re ready to tackle the fears when they arise!

  • Alex

    Thank you so much for this article! It brought me so much relief. When anxiety and fears are high, it’s really hard to distinguish between your inner voice and your self-sabotaging voice. It’s good to point out that clarity can only come when you’re feeling calm.

    • You’re welcome; I’m so glad it brought you relief! Yes, the wounded self or fear self will day and do anything to keep you separate from love.

  • Amanda K.

    Sheryl,

    I just discovered your website today and I am so grateful. You talk about what relationships are REALLY like and don’t paint the portrait of fantasy the rest of society does for us. I’m so thankful for you and your wonderful gifts of writing and helping people :)

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years and have had these doubts on and off for 2 years. It gets to be so draining. I’m thankful to have a sister who encourages me to push on despite the feelings (kind of like your mom does for you).

    Love truly is a choice and living in the choice is better than leaving a good relationship because of anxiety.

    Thanks and Take Care!

  • Randee

    I found some sort of peace in this article. I am battling a form of OCD but with my relationship. I’ll go for a period where life with my boyfriend is good and I want to be with him all the time and marry him and then I start dwelling on stupid things like, “Is this what I really want? Do I love him enough? Should I want to be him him 24/7 and I don’t?” It’s really hard to explain.

    I’ve done this with all my relationships and I don’t want to let this one get away because of all these negative thoughts. I think there is so much emphasis put on “being in love” that sometimes we don’t stop and realize what we really have until it’s gone.

    • I’m glad you found your way here. I want to make sure you’ve seen the Conscious Weddings E-Course: From Anxiety to Serenity as it’s based on every question that you’re struggling with. Although it’s intended for engaged and newlyweds, more and more people in committed relationships are benefitting from it enormously, and on the forums you’ll find many people with R-OCD. You can find the course here: http://conscious-transitions.com/conscious-weddings-e-course

  • Heather

    I just got engaged yesterday, and today, I’ve been a total wreck. I told my fiance, “I can’t remember what we have in common or why we’re in love with each other.” I’m really glad to find your page.

    • Same here. I got engaged on Thanksgiving day and just the other night I was completely emotional and said the same things to my fiancé. I had to spend the next day reconciling and trying to let him know much I do love him. I feel bad that I put him through my roller coasters when he’s been so constant the whole time and never has he made me doubt his love for me.

  • JK

    Sheryl, I have a question for you:

    I was on the phone with a dear friend today and when she started talking about a new man she met, I was sent into a whirlwind of nerves. She said she had a feeling that she “just had to meet him”. These catch phrases, such as, “I just knew”, etc, always send me into a panic because I never had that “I walked into a room, saw him, and just knew I would marry him”. How can I move past these thoughts?

    thank you.

    p.s. when it comes to my man, I do have the “I just know feeling” when it comes to him being the father of my children. but not the “The ONE” feeling. I hate it!

    • When you inundate yourself with the truth about real love through reading books like “The Road Less Traveled” and every article on this site, you will no longer be triggered by those statements. If the trigger does occur, you can learn how to respond from your Loving Adult who knows the truth about love and doesn’t get sucked into the dysfunctional messages propogated by our culture. It does take work, but it’s entirely possible to move past being triggered by these cultural catch phrases about what constitutes a good relationship.

  • Marissa

    I found this article very refreshing and timely, as I just received my copy of your wedding workbook today! I am getting married to an amazing man next August and have had lots of mixed emotions, though not about the actual wedding. The date and venue are set and I am really excited about it all. What I find difficult are the critical thoughts that have recently emerged about my partner since the engagement. Random things that never bothered me before. I feel guilty for having these thoughts because he is so wonderful and loving to me. I told my therapist that working through my issues in that my relationship forces me to face feel like a spiritual workout (I mean that in the best possible way). And yet as a perfectionist, I wonder if it’s ‘normal’ to feel fearful and overwhelmed sometimes, and as a result, feel disconnected from the man I love. Your work has helped me tremendously thus far in accepting and understanding that commitment is about choice and that doubts and random critiques (that actually cause me huge bouts of anxiety sometimes) are indeed normal. Thank you again for being a calm and reassuring voice in a sea of surface-level information about weddings!

  • Randee

    I keep resorting to this article when things get rocky for me. I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 2 years now. I think I have ROCD even though I’m not sure… I am seeing a therapist and am on meds to help my anxiety. I feel like there’s something missing in my relationship but can’t figure out what it is. The thought of ending things kills me but I always wonder should I feel more or do I love him enough?

    • Kristen

      I’m not engaged or anything at the moment but I’ve been with my boyfriend for over a year and ever since the beginning I’ve been getting these anxiety feelings and I overthink alot about little imperfections with him and have trouble just “feeling” what I think I should feel. I keep comparing him to my ex who I thought was so perfect and was everything I was looking for and i had that “feeling” for him but things never ending up working out. So I’ve been thinking that since I don’t feel for my current boyfriend like I felt for my ex then I must not really love my boyfriend. But I have noticed that when I just relax with my boyfriend and push the thoughts of my past boyfriend aside and all the anxious thoughts, I do feel a connection with my boyfriend and I do see a future with him. So after reading this article I felt alot better knowing that love doesn’t have to be this deep feeling that is felt all the time and that I’m not the only one struggling with this because for awhile now I thought it was just me. So thank you very much

      • sanaa

        I feel THE exact same way!!! I could relate to every single word you wrote here. Its a relief to know that I am not the only one out there who feels that way. Its like the same situation for me. It gets ugly at times. But I am working on it. Sheryl, please let us know more about the why’s and how’s of it and how to deal with this. Kirsten, do share how you have been working your way through this.

        • sanaa

          Really Sorry, *Kristen

          • Jess

            NO WAYY!!!! man I’m not alone here! I am in a toughie, I’m doing long distance with my boyfriend. We’ve been at this for two months and have another 4 to go. Sometimes I’m literally just SO STRESSED OUT. My boyfriend is there guiding me along. And when I look at him on paper, I count up 170 true things that make him incredible. We told each other we love each other 2 weeks ago, and I get to visit him in 18 days!! My question is, how do I remove all of these thoughts of self doubt and worry? Because honestly, there is not one red flag in our whole relationship. Not one. But I feel like the devil tries to swwoooop in and ruin every little happiness I experience. I find that praying to Heavenly Father truly helps me feel better though.

          • You’re far from alone, Jess, as you’ll continue to see as you read through my site.

  • Randee: I can’t encourage you enough to purchase the Conscious Weddings E-Course as it addresses everything you’re struggling with and will help you find your way through this to a place of serenity. What do you have to lose – except your anxiety and obsessive thoughts!?

  • Randee

    Thabk you! It’s definitely on my to do list as soon as I can save up for it. I’m uninsured so all these doc an therapy appointments are very costly.

    I’m so afraid of hearing “just break p with him” that i don’t know where to turn anymore.

  • I can assure you that if your relationship is healthy and loving you won’t hear “just break up with him” anywhere on the e-course or the e-course forum! But I understand the fear because I think everyone who starts the e-course shares this same fear. And keep in mind that you can pay over two months. It’s an investment in your peace of mind that you won’t regret.

  • Randee

    Thanks for the info! From what little you know of my story, does this sound like common anxiety or do I run if I’m unsure I don’t “love him enough” and don’t feel 100%?

  • If you’re running because of those questions then it’s common anxiety. Are there any red-flag issues in the relationship? Abuse? Addiction? Trust issues? Irreconcilable misalignment of core values? Are people around you suggesting that you should leave because it’s not a healthy relationship?

  • Randee

    Other than my doubts and ruminations and “not feeling 100%” and “just knowing” things are fine. There aren’t any trust issues, definitely no abuse, we have the same views for the future and values, etc. My only red flags were the ones that I brought on by really thinking about things and now I have let it get too far.

  • Randee

    My current theme is: how do I know if I love him enough?

  • I cannot encourage you enough to do whatever it takes to sign up for the Conscious Weddings E-Course. As you can see from the information page, this is the most common question that plagues the anxious bride or groom (or newlywed). http://conscious-transitions.com/conscious-weddings-e-course/

  • DCS

    This article really struck a chord with me. when I came across it a few days ago. I got married to my partner of nearly 5 years 3 weeks ago. Just over a week before the wedding, the thought “how do you know you really love him?” popped into my head out of the blue.It hit me like a ton of bricks and I suddenly felt completely overwhelmed and couldn’t stop crying.I was so shocked as I’ve never doubted my feelings for him before.Since then I’ve obsessed over it and can’t get it out of my mind. Every time I looked at him he suddenly seemed like a different person. There is no basis for the doubt,just “how do I know I love him?” I thought it would pass but it just got worse and worse until I couldn’t sleep or eat.I went through with the wedding day (which was tough) on the basis I knew throwing away our otherwise brilliant relationship based on a week’s doubts didn’t make any sense.I felt numb and detached on the day,like it wasn’t even me.I hoped things would improve on our 2 week honeymoon away from the stress of the wedding but I just felt constantly anxious and couldn’t stop analysing him and picking holes in his looks and personality,I felt compulsed to keep thinking about it then “testing” to see what I felt,then when I didn’t feel loving feelings I panicked even more.We’re home now and I am still all over the place,I can’t stop bursting into tears. I am normally quite anxious about things but I’ve never been anxious in any way about our relationship.I am seeing a therapist this week to start talking this through as it is killing me feeling like this.Will my loving feelings ever come back? Everything feels like it will never be the same. I still want to hug and kiss him like I normally do but just don’t have the same feelings any more.

    • Yes, your loving feelings with come back, but not without some inner work. I suggest you read through everything on this site, including comments, and then take a look at the E-Course page. Once you read through this site you’ll know that you’re far from alone and that, with the right tools and guidance, you will be able to work your way through the fear and back to love.

  • Vanessa

    I too became anxious after becoming engaged a few months ago. I am the type who starts thinking about something and let’s it envelop me. I started finding things wrong with my fiancé and acting out toward him by nagging and then I stopped being affectionate. How can I do this to him? Weve been together for more than 6 years and have gone through a lot together, have been there for each other during illnesses. I think there has been a lot of pressure between us due to being engaged and planning a wedding, thinking about babies, and also considering returning to college to finish a degree. Anyone that tries to do all of those things simulateously would definitely go bonkers! So I’m trying to take one day at a time. I’m staying at my sister’s right now but plan to have a talk today. Hope it will be productive. Wish me luck!!

  • Catherine G

    Dear Sheryl,

    I also want to thank you for this great article. I had a talk with my friend about our relationships and we concluded that too many people have an idealistic and fantasy-like view of a perfect relationship. Too often I hear about how other women talk of a list of “requirements” (some way extreme) that their mates have to meet. It’s unrealistic and I wish that more women are happy with a quality guy that they have, instead of looking for someone who can take them to a fancy restaurant at least once a week and has a certain amount of income. I mean, I must admit that this notion of “requirements” has crept up on me and has left me wondering “well, my boyfriend can only afford to take me for dinner every now and then, he’s not a beach person and I love beaches!” and it has made me doubt my relationship too. However, he’s got all these great qualities, like patience, kindness and accepting me for being loopy and crazy :P
    So once again, thanks!
    C.

  • Terri

    I have been with my husband for 7 years . Married for 4 and separated for 1 year. I have never had the feelings for him I wanted. I was told I just didn’t feel I deserved him so I was basically sabotaging myself. Beliving there is something wrong with me. I forced myself to move on with him. & figured the feelings would come later.We have had several obstacles to overcome. He has been sober for 5 months and is doing great. Doing all the right things & is ready to start our Lives together again. The feelings have never truley come. On & off but mostly off.We still have huge issues with his x and trying to integrate my 2 children from a previous marriage and his 1. I’m so afraid I’m going to miss out on something great with him. I feel there’s a wall I can’t break through. Is anxiety holding back or is this just not love?

    • It’s hard for me to say with so little information, although it certainly does sounds like it could be anxiety holding you back. Please write to me using the contact form above so that I can hear a bit more about your situation.

  • Bridget

    From the bottom of my heart, thank you for the work you do, Sheryl. I just got engaged a few weeks ago to my partner of 2.5 years. Throughout our relationship, as I have felt the intensity of his attention ebb and flow, I have moved in the opposite direction, alternating between practically begging for marriage and panicking and the very thought of it. When it came time that I sensed he was about to propose, my feelings would change from minute to minute, ranging from excitement to wanting to run away. The first week of our engagement, I felt nauseated and nervous almost every day, feeling awful that I would either have to cancel the wedding or go through with something I did not want. My therapist actually used the phrase on me: “It sounds like you are convincing yourself that you want to be with him,” a thought that made me feel as though I had an almost ethical obligation to leave the relationship. I have not discussed my doubts with anyone since then. But since finding your site last week, I visit it daily. It has been a great source of comfort and relief to have found a forum of women asking the same questions: “Do we have enough fun together?” “Is he my ‘soul mate’?” “Do we have chemistry?” “Do I love him enough to marry him?” I know for a fact that I am with THE most wonderful men I have ever met and that I should be thrilled to be with someone so devoted, loving and supportive, but instead, I pick on his few flaws: he’s not funny enough, he’s not masculine enough… even though HE lovingly accepts my many many flaws! Your site has verified what I suspected to be true: My fears about our marriage are associated with my perceived inability to make myself happy within a relationship. It has never been more obvious than now, as I head to the altar, that I need to take responsibility for my own happiness and the possibility of failing at that is what frightens me the most. In light of this realization, I am doing my best to accept the anxiety and begin a journey of self-discovery that I hope will provide the happiness I seek in life. Thanks again for everything you do! My life is surely changed for having found you!

  • Sophie

    Bridget, come and join us over on the e-course. The forum there is such a wealth of wisdom and support. You sound like you have a huge amount to offer too!

  • Zoe

    Sheryl thanks for the article…in ways it has reassured me but in other ways it has made me panic a little more. I’ve only been with my boyfriend for three months. Pretty soon after we started I developed all my usual thoughts of are we right for each other etc and my anxiety levels flared up. This got better for a while but has flared up badly again over the past week and I am at my wit’s end. I know I’m attracted to him and I want to spend time with him but I keep on asking myself do we have enough to talk about and are we connected enough is something now I’ve read your article. I fear that we are not and I don’t want to break up with him but then I fear that I’m only with him because he is someone. But he’s a great guy who tbh has been engaged before and let down so he has his own issues that he’s working through – he knows nothing of what I’m going through as I don’t want to scare him off. My nausea is getting so bad and I just want to be normal and stopping obsessing about him every minute of the day. How do you carry out exposure therapy for this? When I’m with him, before this week I was always so settled with him, now I am anxious when he first calls to see me but by the end of the night I’m fairly settled. It just feels like things are going from bad to worse.

    • Did you feel connected to him before the anxiety hit? Anxiety and fear eclipse the heart and render it impossible to connect, so when you’re anxious it’s not a good time to assess the relationship. I don’t do exposure therapy; you would have to work with a CBT therapist for that. I see the thoughts as an addiction designed to protect you from the vulnerable feelings of loss, core fear, disappointment, vulnerability and helplessness over an uncertain future (as the future is always uncertain). When you can connect to the core feelings and bring compassion and warmth to your heart, the thoughts naturally dissipate. This is not a quick fix, but it’s deep work that addresses the anxious thoughts from the root cause.

  • Emory

    Thank you for posting this, and I would like to share my story for all to see so it might share some insight on their situation:

    I have been with my GF for almost 3 years, we had been inseparable for almost the whole time until 9 months ago when I made some bad choices and did Crystal Meth. Me and her smoked Marijuana together our entire relationship but after one month of meth I had my first Anxiety attack. I decided my lungs were ruined and quit smoking cigarettes, weed and meth all at the same time. Luckily I didn’t get addicted to meth (i was so scared from taking too much I to this day am to afraid to even think of going near it). However I did go through withdrawal for cigarettes and weed though I think it has finally subsided.

    Long story short, I became a hypochondriac and started thinking every chest pain or every breathe that didn’t feel very deep was a sign of a heart attack, yet my GF stood by me and told me it would be alright. This worked in helping me until i sunk deep into depression a few months ago and now am not sure how I feel about her. From my experience, I feel as though anxiety over a prolonged time can convince you of anything, and for me I still get doubts about my GF and me being the right match, but I know its because I haven’t had a normal day in almost a year where i didn’t think i was possibly dying of something. It makes no logical sense that I would lose feelings for her after all she supported me with and how she saved my from a terrible life with a two drugs that would have destroyed me.

    All I’m saying is don’t discount the mind as the double-edged sword that is causing your anguish now. I think love matures for all of us, its chemically proven (sorry no reference) that the ultra strong feelings in the beginning of the relationship can diminish over time, but not because we are falling out of love but because we just entering another phase of love. Nothing in this world can be incredibly exhilarating every waking moment of our existence, and unfortunately I think this is the mistake we often make when analyzing our relationships.

    I may have doubts about my GF but I will never let them control me, those same doubts are telling my I’m going to have a heart attack tomorrow or have a stroke the day after that because of what I did to my body or that I’m never going to have a happy normal day again. The reality is that as soon as i can confront this anxiety and get rid of it, I’m sure my feelings for her will come back just as strong, and only THEN when i am feeling no anxiety and therefore able to judge my thoughts rationally will I make a call on our relationship.

    Thank you for your time, I hope to see your response Sheryl. FYI I am still drug free though I do drink :(

  • It’s clear you’ve done some great work on yourself, Emory. I was particularly struck by this insight:

    “I may have doubts about my GF but I will never let them control me, those same doubts are telling my I’m going to have a heart attack tomorrow or have a stroke the day after that because of what I did to my body or that I’m never going to have a happy normal day again. The reality is that as soon as i can confront this anxiety and get rid of it, I’m sure my feelings for her will come back just as strong, and only THEN when i am feeling no anxiety and therefore able to judge my thoughts rationally will I make a call on our relationship.”

    It is, indeed, only when you’re clear in your mind and without anxiety that you can make a call on your relationship.

  • sar

    Hiya,

    Im getting married in 6 weeks! When I first met my fiance it was long distance and I only stayed cause he was more into me. Over time, I have developed feelings for him and for the most part have felt very settled. He is the kindest man and we do compliment each other. I have sufferred frfom anxiety- ocd and ruminations all my life. But is the relationship the problem or is it me? I feel so anxious at the moment I can hardly be around him. Please help.

  • Alex

    I just stumbled upon this article and thought I’d share my story really quickly. I’m a 21 year old male This all started two months ago. I had met my current boyfriend at the beginning of June and we started dating shortly after. I am gay 100% never doubted it a day in my life and still don’t so I know I have no problems with HOCD however I think I may have a pretty severe case of ROCD. It was a Thursday night and my boyfriend and I were out at the bar and having a great time! He had told me he loved me earliar that week and I was overjoyed because I felt the same exact feelings in my heart, but didn’t want to to ruin anything so I wanted to wait until I was certain to express what felt like a volcano about to explode! This Thursday night though he expressed his worry of not being good enough for me and I calmed his nerves saying he didn’t need to worry, but at the end of the night again he did and told me he didn’t know if he could do it if he didn’t hear me say it by the end of the summer (because we were switching to long distance in August). This kind of snapped something inside of me and over the next 5 days I slowly began to put up what I felt like was a wall over my heart keeping out any good emotions or “prickles” of excitement if that makes sense. The night after he said that too it didn’t help that we watched a movie about a couple that broke up because of distance and didn’t end up working out until they were together. I never ONCE doubted my feelings for him besides just usual insecurities anyone could have, but ever since the 5 days after he said that I couldn’t stop thinking whether or not I loved him or not. I finally said it on that fifth day and felt nothing. No butterflies or excitement like I had planned. This gave me really bad anxiety. The left side of my chest feels so tight ever since (well it gives and takes but a pull is always there) and I haven’t really felt any prickles on it fully for two months. I know I love my boyfriend otherwise I would have broken up with him right away. I am seeing him in three weeks and get excited about it in my body and can feel it everywhere but my heart. Two days ago I felt the best I had in two months and even had a tiny surge in my heart, I think. I have been seeing a counselor for a month and she thinks it’s all just in my head and I am creating problems for myself which is so true! The past 2-3 weeks suicide has popped into my head as an option which made me realized how depressed I have been. When I laugh/cry/get excited I don’t feel it in my heart anymore. Is this ROCD or could I just be depressed that he said something I thought he never said and have been having trouble forgiving him fully? He apoligized for something about a week ago and hearing him say he was sorry felt so good (again everywhere but my heart). I just want so badly my feelings to return because I had never felt that euphoric about anyone before. I also don’t feel connected to anyone really in my life right now and everything is going SO WELL at school. I’ve never been an OCD person really in life besides just thinking that things in life are connected…such as a shampoo bottle ending meaning the end of something is coming but never in a bad way and it never made me think too much on it. I have a psychiatrist appointment in 3 weeks a day before I fly to see him. Anyone have thoughts on this? I’m worried, but I know deep down I can beat this whatever it is. I also have had a few panic attacks over these two months.

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Alex. It sounds like classic relationship anxiety, as you’ll see if you continue to read through the articles on this site and the e-course testimonials.

  • Diane

    I just want to say thank you for having these resources out for people who are struggling. I’m get married in 6 weeks. I moved away from home 6 months ago and all of a sudden all of these questions of are you sure you love him popped into my head. We are together four years and it really through me for a loop ever since then I have been a complete mess. One day I’m on top of the world the next day I’m entertaining the same old questions. I’m pretty sure this is all anexity as there is nothing wrong with my relationship no red flags and before moving not a doubt in the world. Ken truly is a wonderful man that I’m so fortunate the marry. But the constant questioning is are king any type of emotion I once had for him and ruining what should be an awesome experience for us. Based on what I read on your website I fit in with your conscience brides. I think you would agree too. It’s hard to experience this bit I’m glad there are resources available to help people. Do you think I would benefit from this course? Do you think this is anexity?I’m constantly second guessing myself do to these relentless thoughts and it puts me quite some stress but at the end of the day ken is the one I come home to and I’m very happy about that. And before I made a major move in my life everything was awesome and things were great the only thing that has changed is where we live.

  • Diane

    Oh and I was told I have rocd. So I’m sure that this will be no easy road. I guess what keeps me holding on is the fact that I can confidently say on days where my head isn’t making noise about Hollywood love and making sure he’s the one and when you know you know I can get very excited for our future together and be thrilled but then I have days where there is to much noise and I get all flustered and confused. I’m holding on to those happy days because I can’t throw away a health relationship with lots of love and happiness for a messed up six months I couldn’t do that to him or me. I know I wouldn’t have good noise free days if those days were not what I really wanted. Agree? Dies this sound like relationship anxiety to you?

    • Without a doubt, you’re suffering from relationship anxiety, especially since it was triggered by the move. The work is about addressing the root causes of the anxiety which, in your case, sounds like are connected to your moving transition (grief, fear, letting go of childhood) and your Hollywood-induced dysfunctional beliefs about love and relationships. I have no doubt you would benefit enormously for the course as it was created to address exactly these root causes.

  • Diane

    It’s such a relief to hear you say that. So having relarionship anexity does not mean I’m not on love it’s just fear making me believe that I’m not ? How long does it take to complete the course ?

    • Yes, that’s right: it’s fear that’s trying to convince you that you don’t love him (provided there are no red flags, which it sounds like there aren’t). Once you purchase the course, you can go through it as quickly or slowly as you want. Most people complete the course within a few weeks and then start it over again from the beginning, taking in the information more slowly and doing all of the exercises. It’s meant to be worked through several times, as you’ll see once you begin.

  • Greg

    I am a senior in high school, and last October I met the woman of my dreams. We have been together now for a year and we have been through so much. Cheating, lying, and a few more things. That may all seem bad, but we over came those obstacles TOGETHER, and I too like all of these people have doubts, or a loss of attraction sometimes. But this article helped me realize that it’s just anxiety playing a huge roll in this. I let myself get I tithe deepest hole until me and my girlfriend talk about our feelings and it seems to work very well. I have thoughts or ‘convincing’ thoughts that ‘maybe I’m not in love with her’. But then I read articles like this and it helps me tromendously. I connect with her, we have a great sex life, we tell each other everything, and most importantly I would not be happy without her. So this made me see that I just need to stop worrying about all of the cliche things like ‘you’ll just know’ or ‘if you have to try, it’s not love’ because I feel as if being in a year long relationship, there is that honey moon phase. Everything is perfect at the beginning, you feel as if it will last forever, then suddenly you have ONE bad thought, and it ruins everything. I have horrible anxiety so that ‘one’ bad thought turned into a thousand. But when I read things like these, and when I confide in my girlfriend and tell her what’s going through my head, it really helps me to see that love is a choice, not always a feeling. So if you can fight the thoughts, and continue to stay in the relationship you have known for a year you are choosing to love. Tha is for your help!

  • Greg

    Thank you very much! I’m thankful to find this article because its already helped me realize a lot! I can’t let my anxiety take over a perfectly good relationship. I’m going to start to see a therapist about this! Would you recommend that?

  • Greg

    And I’m guessing this site is mostly for women getting engaged, or who are married. I was just searching thought the web and found this. Me and Kaity (my girlfriend) experienced some very hard times, and I feel like that is what triggered the ‘maybe I’m not in love’ thought. No we didn’t move to a new location, or anything like these other people but I honestly feel that any thing can trigger those thoughts. And once I had one thought, I thrived on that for a while, and I still continue to. But what makes them subside, is our connection, and how we tell each other everything. There are no red flags in my relationship so that’s what makes my anxiety so much worse. I think to myself ‘wellif everything’s perfect why are you feeling like this’ and to me, that’s the fear talking. I’d love a reply! Thank you!

  • Yes, Greg, I highly recommend working with a therapist. However, you need to make sure that the therapist understands relationship anxiety and doesn’t respond to your doubt with, “Doubt means don’t.” This site is not primarily for engaged women; it’s for anyone struggling with relationship anxiety. If you want to kick the anxiety out the driver’s seat, my Conscious Weddings E-Course accompanied by therapy seems to be the winning combination. (Again, the course if for anyone struggling with relationship anxiety, whether dating, engaged or married.)

  • Greg

    Will do! Thank you!

  • Jill

    Hi Sheryl,

    I think your site is a little path to clarity in a world where people are constantly battling ‘expectation’ – both from the world around them & their own inner voice. Thank you.

    Ten years ago I had a relationship in which I was very much in love. I was young, unhurt, naive & found myself in love with a boy who was just as in love with me. We were level-headed, knew what we wanted, felt unbelievably comfortable with one another and put huge importance on communicating well & trust.

    I’ve always had a close family & great relationships with my parents. My Dad once told me that when you know, ‘you know’ & that that young relationship was one of the best anyone could have & I was lucky to have had it as my first relationship experience. I genuinely believe he was right but when my heart was broken & inevitably what we both wanted turned out to differ, I was left with an almighty wound which even now I don’t feel will ever truly heal.

    Almost 4 yrs ago now I met the man I’m now with & he was the first since then that I instantly felt connected to. He’s made me happier than I ever thought I could be but in this past 2 yrs I’ve found myself with a great deal of anxiety. Like the more committed we become the more fearful I am of the same type of heartbreak. So I feel myself pushing him away slightly & the doubts constantly work through my mind. But I wouldn’t leave. Our life is wonderful together. I wouldn’t want to. 

    I found myself recently in the position of looking after him when he was very ill. I realised during that time how serene I felt and how connected to him i felt within that..the anxiety disappeared as my focus and thoughts weren’t wandering.

    I find myself fearful all the time & I believe it to be because I’ve been hurt so deeply before – am I right? I’d love nothing more than to openly love without fear & the shackles of doubt…I’d love to be able to love my partner with the courage & unwavering trust I felt when I was younger but I worry constantly that I’ll never be able to.

    I also, every now and then, remember feeling doubtful even back then, in that first relationship. In fact, there’s one photograph that I remember being taken and at the time I was thinking to myself ‘I’m not sure about this…I should feel more excited every day,surely?’ i remember thinking that he was ‘too’ sure – he was so certain of me that i doubted him. And yet I look back on the relationship as being wonderful & the best ever & find myself with the exact same thoughts now.

    When I find myself remembering that I doubted even then, I realise that it’s more natural than we allow ourselves to believe. That life is about ‘not knowing’ and the most pleasure comes from just taking things as they come. The grass will always seem greener – its human nature to be curious and wonder ‘what if’, but if you laugh at least once a day, find yourself thinking ‘mmm’ when he kisses you, find yourself smiling right back at him & thinking ‘he’s a good man, a really good man’…then, in my opinion, you’re onto a winner and pretty much have the best life has to offer. Someone who will love you, support you & be by your side to enjoy & bear life as and when it throws things your way. 

    It’s in those subtleties that real love lies.

    Thanks again, so much,

    Jx

    • Thank you, Jill, for this amazingly honest and insightful comment. It’s very common to shut down after heartbreak, and entirely possible (with a lot of effective work) to take the risk of loving again. It’s extremely positive that you’re able to see that your first love relationship was also affected for your anxiety and unrealistic expectations about love and romance. I say “positive” because it will help you remove the first relationship from the realm of idealizing and bring it into reality, and also help you see that the source of the anxiety lies inside of you.

  • Tamara

    Hi Sheryl,

    You don’t know how relieving it was finding this website. I’ve had this problem for about three weeks now. I’ve been dating my man for almost a year now, and things have been going more than perfect. Our passion was so strong and I was ready to almost give up anything for this guy.

    This was until very recently. Nothing happened. I just started getting jealous because I found out about his broad sexual history as opposed to my lack of sexual history.

    Also, I was nervous because he just recently got a really really good job — his dream job — but it will require him to move around all over the world a lot.

    We are in a very serious and committed relationship, so usually I assume that this usually wouldn’t bother anyone. It’s been bothering me though, and I don’t know why.

    At first I was worried that I didn’t love him anymore, because I couldn’t translate what this feeling heavy on the heart was. But I knew in my head I still loved him, I just didn’t know what to do about it. I cried for nights and I talked to people but no one understood. I didn’t want to break it off though, because he’s such a great guy, and I knew what we had was amazing.

    Once I saw this website, however (this was about two weeks ago) I started feeling much better and much more confident that it would get better, and that this is perhaps just a phase of anxiety.

    However, I’m still feeling a little anxious, even after acknowledging the fact that this is normal. I still love him the same and I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life with him. But I just don’t know what to do with this heart of mine. How do I get myself to completely and helplessly fall in love with him again like I did before? Is this even possible?

    I’m a little worried that he might find out.

    Thanks.

  • Lexi

    Hello all,

    I like many of you frequent this site and use it to soothe moments of anxiety, when fear is in the driver’s seat. I have been in a loving relationship for four years with a good, loyal, man who is my best friend. For the last two years however, I have battled with feelings doubt, anxiety, and fear. I should mention that I really, really want to marry this guy and have been waiting for a proposal for awhile now. I think this may related to my anxiety as the waiting seems to feed the fear that something is ‘not right’. The reason I am writing now is that my latest spike has really put my partner under a microscope. I have become so critical of him and our relationship. I constantly analyzing if he ‘puts me first enough’, ‘does enough nice things for me’, cares as much as I do, etc. When I get into these patterns of thinking, it appears as though everything about my relationship is wrong. Then I find myself in a dark hole of looking on the Internet for answers and coming to the conclusion that our relationship is doomed. I become so hung up on what he isn’t doing that I can’t seem to value what he does do… I scare myself so much that my relationship isn’t loving enough, supportive enough, romantic enough, appreciative enough, that we don’t communicate well enough and on and on. How do I break out of these patterns of thinking and get back to a state of mind where everything isn’t the end of the world, where I stop seeing him and our relationship so negatively? I want to get back to feeling like the luckiest girl and seeing everything about him that made me fall in love with him, respect him, and want to marry him. Part of me wonders if I would feel a lot better if he finally proposed, but then the double edged sword of wondering if all this negative thinking is indicative of just how bad an idea getting married would be.

    I’ve read countless posts on here and everyone seems so insightful and supportive, I though I’d reach out and ask for a hand.

    • My first suggestion is to stop googling! I know it’s hard, but you’re seeking reassurance that your relationship is healthy and there’s nothing on the internet that will provide you with that reassurance. You already know it’s healthy and loving, which means that it’s time to look inside of you for the root cause of the anxiety. 99% of the time the internet will only exacerbate your anxiety.

      The common trap is to believe that the anxiety is a “sign” that there’s something wrong or deficient in your relationship, when the truth is that it’s a symptom or messenger from your psyche letting you know that something inside of you needs attention. As long as you’re addicted to believing the thought that the anxiety means that there’s something wrong with your relationship, you’re stuck in the spin cycle of anxiety and you won’t move forward and heal.

    • Stephanie

      I too am an obsessive Googler for all types of relationship advice, which only sends my anxiety level soaring. For those of us who already have trouble filtering negative self-talk and who can endlessly obsess over the smallest detail, the Internet is a minefield of conflicting messages. Ultimately, it’s by quieting the mind that clarity comes, so good luck in your quest for inner calm :)

  • Natalie

    Hi! I have got to say that you saved my life and you still are! The problems that are mentioned by the ladies I am suffering, but I really pray that I will deal with them as per your advice!

    Thank you!

  • Michelle

    I am starting to realize that my significant other is not going to change his mind about wanting children, I thought I could change him. I got into the relationship with him because I was lonely and desperate for companionship and love. Now and then I hear him talk about why he and his ex (They were together for 4 years) broke up. He said they split because she really wanted children and he doesn’t. I really feel like I am missing out on being a mother by staying with him. Before I met him I was talking to a good friend, someone who I really liked and had love for. My friend is a single father who takes care of what he needs to and wants more children. Recently he told me that he has strong feelings for me. He and I have talked in the past about what we both wanted in life. He wants the same thing as I do in life. He and I have a very strong connection but I never pursued him romantically because he lived in another state and I was scared to tell him I cared for him. I feel like he is the one I should have chosen to be with in the first place. What do I do? I am so confused….

    • This sounds like a painful situation, and not one that I can comment lightly about here. But what I can say is that your realization that you can’t change your partner is an important one. He sounds quite clear about what he wants and doesn’t want, and if you have that same level of clarity regarding wanting children, then it may be time to move on.

  • Stephanie

    It’s amazing how many of these posts mirror exactly what I’m experiencing, so thank you for the opportunity to learn and share!

    I recently met a man online and we’ve been seeing each other for a little over a month. The initial physical attraction wasn’t strong, but I was attracted to his caring nature and genuineness. He’s the sweetest, most consistent, most thoughtful man I’ve met, and I enjoy our time together, but my acute anxiety may end up ruining things before we really get started.

    I am no stranger to relationship anxiety-my first significant relationship (13 years ago) ended abruptly after I broke off my engagement to my ex-fiancé. From the moment I got the ring on my finger, I was panic-stricken and unable to eat, sleep or function. Ultimately there were red flags in that relationship that could not be ignored (he was controlling, moody, and manipulative), so I’m not sorry it ended.

    But I am troubled that I seem to be experiencing the same feelings of anxiety with this new man, who is 100% caring, genuine and open. Granted, I don’t have that obsessive smitten/infatuated feeling for him like I’ve experienced with other men, but those relationships were train wrecks. With this man, there is steadiness and zero-drama, which is completely new to me. But I continue to be torn between thoughts of “You don’t really like him, dump him now!” and “Don’t panic, see where things go!” It’s mentally and physically exhausting to be in my head 24/7…when I do spend time with this man, I feel a sense of calm and safety, but also feel emotionally blocked. I wonder: am I just not into this person? Our sexual chemistry is strong, and I catch myself in moments of vulnerability with him. I know the anxiety would end if I walked away; I just think there is something special about this man that I want to explore further.

    Other complicating factors in this situation: he has two children, which also scares me (my ex had a son and I assumed a step-parent role to him almost immediately). I also have a sexual abuse history and had a very unstable childhood/home life. I would love a normal, healthy relationship again (it’s been more than 4 years since I’ve dated someone), but major anxiety has been a recurring theme in all of my past relationships. I recently started seeing a new therapist to deal with the anxiety, but would appreciate any additional thoughts/comments that may help.

    • Welcome, Stephanie : ). What I can offer is that if you want to be in a loving relationship, you’re going to have work your tail off. It’s never easy to address and battle the fear-voices, but it must be done if you’re going to move forward. And it sounds like you’ve found a great guy who can support you through this process. Have you considered the Conscious Weddings E-Course? Don’t let the name dissuade you; it’s the best course of action for anyone struggling with relationship anxiety, whether dating, engaged, or married. The combination of the course with counseling seems to be the winning ticket that will allow you to work through your fears and embrace the loving man that has come into your life.

  • Kelsey

    Hi Sheryl,

    I have been experiencing so much fear and anxiety in my current relationship. The fear and anxiety makes me feel as if this is just not the right guy for me. But something deep inside of me knows that he is the guy I have prayed for. In the beginning of the relationship I never really had these feelings. We have been together almost a year now and lately we have had some disagreements, but nothing too serious. As time has progressed I have noticed that are personalities are totally different, we are like polar opposites. I must admit there are some things I dont like about his personality, certain little quirks.But we love each other and really enjoy being with one another. We share the same core values.

    To make a long story short I know i really love this guy, and really enjoy being with him. Its just i have so many fear thoughts running through my mind “What if he isnt the one?”,What if our personality differnces mean we shouldnt be together,” What if I am trying to make myslef like him just becuase he is a great guy?” I also notice that when i am with him i really dont have these thoughts. I feel good when i am around him. When i am alone all these thoughts begin to surface. I just dont know if this is my fear talking, or if i really should end the relationship b/c of our personality differences and the quirks i dont like?

    I end up googling all this and my anxiety just grows. I know i love my boyfriend, and he has so many awesome qualties, honesty, loving, compassionate…I dont know what to do. :(

  • Kelsey

    Oh and anyone can feel free to comment on my post

  • As you can see from the comments, you’re in the right place : ). Two pieces of advice:

    1. Stop googling. You’ve found your way here, and not it’s time to put a rest to the constant need for reassurance and start addressing the root causes of your anxiety.

    2. Consider the Conscious Weddings E-Course. Even if you’re not engaged or married, it’s the best course of actions anyone can take who is struggling with relationship anxiety. If you’re ready to find your clarity, you need to take loving action and learn to dismantle the false beliefs that may be informing your anxiety.

  • Tamara

    So is it possible to get rid of the anxiety and love him freely once again? I would do anything for that feeling again… I wasn’t constantly worrying about the future and worrying about my love. The thought I’m getting now is that I can’t wait until we’re married because then things will be stable. Because what I’m worried about now is marriage, so once it’s there, it’s “fine”

  • Sal

    Please I really need help….I’m already married but questioning….will u be able to contact me? Please email….I really need help.

  • R

    Hi everyone. Hope you all are well. Well I guess Im here because Im troubling myself in the same area. I just need mybe some answers, perhaps guidance…

    Ive known this guy for over a year and only recently started seeing eachother. its been about a month. Ive always known hes perfect for me and im perfect for him. Last few weeks we’ve been seeing one other, its been so great. I love talking to him, spending time with him, I always get nervous seeing him…all in all I just love being around him and hate leaving him when its the end of the day. I also think about him always and unsurprisingly miss him.

    However, I dont know what has happened but I feel like I dont feel anything. I saw him 2 days ago and all of a sudden, as we kissed, my eyes opened wide and I felt almost dead. This has never happened before and uptil today, its been troubling me so much that ive been in tears about it. I know I like him, even want to marry him but I just dont know where these thoughts have come from. ITs almost as if I have another person in my head telling me that I should leave because I didnt and havent felt anything. I dont know if its temporary or if fear and anxiety has got the better of me.

    What could this mean? Coming back to the question, Am I just convincing myself that I dont like him or am I thinking too much or expecting to always be head over heels for this guy?

    Please help. Thank you

    • Sounds like a good case of relationship anxiety to me, as well as not understanding what’s normal in a healthy relationship. You’re not going to feel magic tingles every time you’re together and every time you kiss!

  • Kay

    What about if it’s really early on I’m a relationship.
    I started seeing someone less than two months ago. Initially I was so sure and it was easy being with them. We talked about everything from marriage to houses to kid. I’m 25, they’re 31, the last two times we’ve seen eachother (we live in different states) I’ve been really irritated by him. I pick at stupid things and u haven’t really enjoyed his company. I know it’s me but being so early I kind of think it was the idea of it all. Not so much him. I do feel like my time is running out and I can see a life with them but at the same time I’m not sure and when I think of ending it, I’m okay with that. But I don’t want to lose the chance for the life I could have either. I’m more concerned that I am trying to force it because it’s so perfect. I don’t want to regret and resent years down the track.
    It’s been all a bit too much too soon that’s for sure. There is no bad traits at all and I’m treated so well but just annoyed by everything from words used to behavior.
    Any advice!?

  • HJH

    Sheryl,
    Can you clarify what you mean when you say, “Do you find him interesting?” I think at my core I know the answer to this question is “Yes!” but for some reason I find that question to trigger my anxiety and I’m not sure why…
    Thanks for all you do!

  • HJH: How about you try to answer it first and then I’ll chime in if you get stuck!

    • HJH

      Sure– I’ll give it a try…
      Does he enjoy life and enjoy sharing the the pieces of his day that make him smile or make his heart race or that he personally finds “interesting?”
      Does he answer questions with more than a yes/no answer and ask me questions in return?
      Does he enjoy learning about new things– whether those new things are found in books, conversations with others, activities, or failures?
      Is he willing to try new things?

      That’s a start, but I still feel like something is missing. I think a piece of this question causing anxiety is the fact that I’m naturally a bit more “intellectual” than he is– not intelligent…he’s smart, engaging, logical, and has an off the charts emotional IQ…but I like reading books, literary magazines, using big words, and engaging in intellectual/theological discussions more than he does… which is not to say that he doesn’t enjoy doing those things, but for some reason I find myself completely stuck on anxiety surrounding our differences in intellectualism and worried that my judgmental thoughts are some sort of “sign” that either he’s not right for me, or (and this is probably more on target) that I’ll never be able to get over this weird piece that I’ve latched onto and it will cause me to drive us apart because I’ll pick at him or, worse, find someone in a work or social environment that shares my drive for intellectualism and somehow find myself pulled away from my fiancee emotionally. That being said, the answer to the questions I listed above is a resounding “yes” but for some reason, I’m still worried about this silly intellectualism piece because I worry it is something I “need” in a relationship and, while we have intellectual discussions, I sometimes feel like I force them upon us. My fiancee is someone who is kind, caring, compassionate, loving, funny, smart, driven, attractive, stable, and who I don’t want to drive away– and yet I have this strange worry that I may drift away due to this very small piece regarding intellectualism— which is what I think triggers my anxiety over the “do you find him interesting?” question. I know that I suffer from anxiety and that the voice I’m hearing in my head is the same one that has led me to feel anxious over other things in the past that I’ve been able to work through, but there is something about the “forever” element to marriage that scares me into wondering if I’ll ever be able to shake this worry and, if I can’t, wondering if I’ll drive us apart.

      I’m sorry for the digression!

      • Your anxiety is hanging its hat on the intellectual issue (a common place for anxiety to hook its claws) but, as you know, if it wasn’t this issue, it would be something else. The work is to address the root cause of the anxiety, which is your underlying beliefs about love, projections, fantasies, and/or self-worth and fears of loss. Once you address the root, the surface issues disappear. There have been many women on the e-course forum who have struggled with this exact issue and have worked it out to the point that it never crosses their mind anymore.

        • HJH

          You’re absolutely right about where it is hanging its hat— and I hate it. I’m in a PhD program and constantly surrounded by intellectuals who I can have some pretty fantastic discussions with that my fiancee wouldn’t be able (because he hasn’t studied this material—he’s very knowledgable about other topics he’s studied more) or necessarily be interested in talking about. I worry that if I know I can’t have these conversations with him I will be in some ways “destined” for boredom or unfulfilment. These are not worries that I had for a long time, but someone important in my life expressed their concern about our differences in intellectualism to me and ever since then I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Do you, Sheryl, or anyone else here have any thoughts?

          I agree that the eCourse would be extraordinarily helpful to me, but money is very tight right now and since he and are long distance and spending lots of our money going to see each other, which is obviously very important! :)

  • Jeff

    Hi Sheryl!
    I’m glad that I’ve come across your site, however, I’m wondering if the information contained within applies to me? First off, I’m gay and my partner and have somewhat of a shattered past. We have been together for a total of about four years, but during this time had a three month break, and most recently, I moved to CA (to fulfill my dream of living in a warmer climate) without him and have had a almost eight month break. Needless to say, the past eight months have been terribly anxiety ridden and lonesome for me. My ex partner and I remained in contact a majority of the time while I was in CA, even while we were both dating other people. We are now both in our late 20′s and I’m in the process of moving back to MN, mainly because of him. My problem is this: in recent weeks, we have begun spending more time together as a couple once again and have began being intimate, however, I still feel a tremendous amount of anxiety while I’m around him. This man has everything I was in a partner: attractive, successful, intelligent, driven, loving, respectful, but my biggest concern is I often feel “bored” with him and while being intimate recently, I remember thinking to myself “do I really even enjoy this, especially the kissing part” and it’s worried me.

    Do you have any advice for my situation?

    • Hi Jeff: You’re in the right place. The more you read through the site and comments on articles, you’ll see your situation reflected back to you. You might want to sign up for the free E-Course Sampler (on my home page and my e-course page) as it will give you more of a sense of what my work is about.

  • Lydia

    Thanks for your sound advice. I’m in a great relationship of about 8months. There’s love, trust, friendship in our relationship. Somehow I think I may be missing out on something better out there, some more atrractive, picture perfect guy. I know my bf loves me soo much, he knows I have doubts but is so patient with me. I just need advice on what to do.I think he’s a great guy though!

  • BB

    Hi Sheryl…this helped me a little. Been in a relationship for almost 2 years now. In the beginning, I was on and off with him, then spent a year with almost no doubts, the occasional here and there. I’m also in recovery so this is my first healthy relationship. He’s sober too…everyone else likes us together. In may I SUDDENLY got feeling of “this isn’t right”-and I broke it off….gotten back together and broken up several times. Now we’re together and I Struggle with “do I love him”…there’s been times I feel connected to him recently but then my anxiety kicks in and I’m wondering if I’m leading him on. I WANT to feel in love with him and want this doubt to go away. We go to therapy and whatnot too. I just can’t decide if it’s my head or my heart…he loves me deeply and is 100% sure I’m the one. My past relationships have been very unhealthy and obsessive on my end. This one is different.

  • KAYLA

    Hi Sheryl! I also am in a state of anxiety in my relationship. It has become almost an inner obsession in my head. I feel like all the details from my past must have something to do with the state of anxiety I am in now. My first long term relationship (nearly lasted 5 years) I, much to my own disappointment and heart break now, cheated on this person quite frequently. I was younger, but the actions are still inexcusable in my mind. Within three years of the relationship with this person I became involved romantically and emotionally with another man, this became a toxic presence in my life for so many reasons. I was obsessed and addicted to him, even though everything about the relationship was wrong and I knew it. I couldn’t get out of it. Even when the relationship of 5 years finally ended due to the truth coming out, I still couldn’t end this awful “relationship” with this person. This continued on and off for another year or so. It was taking a toll on me, my life, my relationships with friends and family. During this time I had met my current boyfriend. This relationship started very slowly, my desire to be with this person seemed to end my need to continue the toxic relationship I was in before. I knew very well that both he and I (current boyfriend) needed this relationship to stay open and unofficial at the time because he and I were both exploring other options due to whatever reason were holding us back on our life. It took some time for me too ween myself off contacting the other boy, he was persistent, more persistent then he had ever been. On top of that I feared committing to my current boyfriend because I saw signs he was much like myself. I feared so often the other girls he was contacting would interfere in what we could have…which was unfair for me to make any judgement of, since I myself have been the same person, and was still contacting this other man….Eventually I took the plunge, and ended it completely , cut off all contact and felt free to be with this my boyfriend officially… Everything about him I loved and feared…because he is so much like me…this is when the anxiety began. At a very early stage of our relationship, before a year of officially being together, I discovered text messages between him and another girl. I confronted him, and he came clean. It dawned on me,, that since i had been in the relationship with him, Every aspect of my life had just changed completely, my relationships with friends and family became stronger, I was confident, motivated, driven, ready to take my life in my own hands. More importantly I was honest, honest with him, with myself with everyone. I felt no need to wander into another mans arms as I had done so many times before in my previous relationships, I felt completely committed to him. I felt if this change could inspire within myself, perhaps I owed him another chance to do the same. Since then , he has done everything to prove his loyalty, he has left his life open to me to dissect if need be… that was something I would have never been able to do… So i have found myself able to trust him…but its my own constant thoughts, my own anxiety that has cause an emotional wedge between us…Its awful, I can’t escape it. Always questioning do I really love him? Should I really trust him? Do i have true feelings for him. The battle is exhausting, but it comes and goes. As you have mentioned before, When the anxiety passes, for whatever reason, I see the kind, affectionate, caring attentive,smart hard working driven man he is. I have never felt so secure, so loved so emotionally taken care of… Why are these thoughts in my head, Is it because there is a real problem, i don’t really love him? I don’t really trust him, i am only fooling myself because everything else in my life is so wonderful… or is this just this anxiety, this relentless thoughts that come from my own personal fears within myself. I see myself marrying him, but then I see myself getting hurt….I can’t bare the thought of not having him in my life… Am I in the right place? Have I existed in my head far too long?

    • You’re in the right place. As I wrote on the e-course forum today:

      “This is your wounded self, the part of you that is trying to control the outcome of your relationship. It’s the part of you that is terrified of being vulnerable, terrified of opening your heart to the risk of loss, terrified of taking any big risk at all. After all, if you don’t love your partner enough or in the “right” way, then you can leave and, thus, control the outcome. It’s the part of you that doesn’t trust that you’ll be okay no matter the outcome, that believes that your self-worth is attached to the “success” or “failure” of your relationship/marriage. It’s the part of you that is projecting your lack of passion onto your partner and making him/her responsible for your aliveness and wholeness.”

      • Toni

        sheryl, i feel like a lot of what you’ve written relates to me and the way i am too. I also had a very unhealthy relationship before i met my current partner. I forced myself to stay in the relationship even though i could see no future with a man who treated me so badly, when i did eventually find the courage to leave i shortly after met my current boyfriend. the most kind considerate and funny guy i’d ever known, he taught me that i could love myself and showed me love unlike anything i had ever felt. I wanted nothing more than to spend my life with him and we have had a perfect relationship up until about 7 months ago. Inevitably things started to become more comfortable but i was ok with that, although i worried about my lack of sex drive and would occasionally be rather irritable with him. it was only when he went through a really bad time with panic attacks and anxiety that i really started to question my feelings and my love, based on my reaction to his bad experience. I should have been more comforting, but instead i was selfish and worried only about how this would effect our future. I cannot stop beating myself up about it, i haven’t stopped since the day it happened. Love is selfless and has no boundaries, therefore if i really loved him, i would have been there for him, if i really loved him surely i wouldn’t get irritated with him, if i loved him i would want to have sex with him etc. I do love him, i know i do, he’s a wonderful person and it breaks me to think of not having him in my life.

        But i’m really really struggling, i feel like i’m doing what i did in my past relationship, i’m scared that i’m convincing myself to stay because he’s so wonderful and if i left i’d be losing the best thing to ever happen to me. I don’t want anyone else, i don’t want to be single, but it worries me that i can’t see my future with him just now, when it used to be so clear to me. It worries me that i feel like we’re more like best friends, that i have no desire for sex (although when we do have it i always enjoy it) It worries me that the desire and longing i once felt seems t have diminished. i’m so scared of so many things, but i keep hanging on, because i honestly can’t bring myself to walk away from something so good, and i have no idea why i would want to.

        I’m scared that what i thought was love was just infatuation and i’m scared that i’m just staying because i’m afraid of being alone. I feel so so selfish, i feel like i’m only ever concerned with how i feel and he deserves so much better than that, i want to be able to love him like i used to, to give back everything he gives so selflessly to me. he tells me he knows i love him, he says he sees it in my actions every day and that if he was at all worried he would tell me. But why therefore can’t i feel it?

  • Olivia

    This article helped me so much. I worry too much but when I’m not worried I definitely feel all of the love and have no doubt. Anxiety is just trying to kill me. What a great realization this article has allowed.

  • Linda

    It’s interesting how I came across this article but I’m glad I did.

    What brought me here is a rather different perspective. Nearly two years ago I fell in love with a man who initially I wasn’t that attracted to but soon became the only man I wanted for the last two years. We get butterflies, and comfortably share thoughts and time together.
    He is far from perfect and here is why.. 12 months into the relationship (and also when I ended it) he told me that he was in a long term relationship of 4 years. He admitted that when he persued me, he was being a scoundrel and wasn’t expecting to fall in love. He was in a relationship where he cared for his partner and she loves and cares for him immensely. At this point he’s ready to leave her because the relationship has been wrong long before I got there.

    To cut a long story short. I stopped seeing him obviously upset by what had happened but missed him terribly while I gave him the space to figure out what he wanted. I never wanted to be the other woman.
    Shortly after he became unemployed and a number of other things happened that he realised the comfort and security of being with a great person is the safer option so he stayed.

    So I let him go. Six months and cyclones of tears later we see eachother by coincidence and for both of us, feelings are still there. He kissed me and begged me to stay the night but i knew it was wrong to so i left.
    3 weeks later, he has now proposed to his girlfriend and bluntly told me why as I sobbed.
    1. He can’t uproot and leave his life to start again at age 38. His family, work, friends, life is 90 mins away so by leaving her for me he feels like he’s leaving his entire life.
    2. Their relationship has gotten better and at some point he’s got to take the risk even if it might not work
    3. If he leaves her he loses hundreds of thousands in money
    4. He would feel like a failure when family & friends are expecting him to marry her
    5. He’s more settled now and hes comfortable with her, she’s a great girl

    He loves me apparently still after two years, but he’s invested five years with another person who was expecting a proposal and wants to have his children. He doesn’t want her to have wasted all that time and then just walk away from her.
    Is he settling for comfort and throwing me away because he’s convinced himself it’s the right thing to do? I just need to know so I can let him go. Right now I can’t because we had something neither of us had before. He knows this but (in his own words) “if only we had met years ago or we lived in the same city things wouldn’t be different.”
    Since he proposed he’s felt flat and like he’s settling for a sensible life whilst always feeling he sold himself on instead of persuing happiness. I don’t know what to do.

    • You’ll probably never know the full reason for him to choosing to stay with his partner, but the only thing you can do right now is allow yourself to grieve, and, through the grieving, let him go. You might not want to hear this, but your relationship with him wasn’t completely real since he was involved with someone else the entire time. It’s easy to keep the butterflies and sparks alive when your partner has one foot out the door, even if you weren’t consciously aware of his infidelity. If you can let him go (which you must) you can open yourself to meeting someone else who is fully available and work toward having an honest, real relationship.

  • Kay

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I’ve been struggling with this question since the beginning of my year and 3 month relationship (is that a bad sign?). I have a history of talking myself into relationships that are wrong for me, and I wonder if I’m doing it again.

    He’s a genuinely kind person, he’s so caring, a great communicator and is willing to put in the work that relationships really take… But our lack of connection right from the beginning has been haunting me. He’s super nice and I love that about him – it’s why I gave him a chance in the first place.. But I don’t feel that deep connection. I know they don’t last forever, but I *never* felt butterflies… I enjoy deep conversation and talking about life, and he’ll try to engage in that kinda convo with me, but it doesn’t…ignite, if that makes sense.

    I just don’t want to leave a guy who I know would be great for the long term.. But that emotional/spiritual connection is lacking on my side. He’s also very unmotivated, and seems to be most thrilled with me when I wanna be lazy together, just watch TV and eat… I want a bigger life than that, and I’m just not sure he’s on the same wavelength…

    How do I go about this?!

    Looking forward to reading through the rest of your site. =)

    • sar

      Hi- I feel the exact same way!! How has it panned out for you? Ans Sheryl, what does this llack of connection mean? Im recently married and so stressed.

      • Kay

        Sorry to say that I’m in the same boat, only now it’s way worse, and we’re talking about breaking up! I am, anyway. It’s really rough… I hope things are better on your end.

  • Carleigh

    Hi Sheryl! I am so happy that I found this article! I have been struggling for a few weeks now. So tomorrow is going to be my 9 months with my boyfriend. When I first met him, he was really close friends with my brother and long story short, we fell for eachother, began dating and my brother didnt like the idea at all. There was alot of tension between him and my brother and there still is. My brother simply can’t accept it and it kills me. But besides that, here is my delemma. Im graduating high school next year, and my boyfriend is 6 years older than me. I know it sounds bad but its not! Hes such a great guy and hes so loving and caring and he never pushed me or pressures me to do anything that I do not want to do. I love him so much but up until 3 weeks ago, i have been questioning my relationship. Im the type of person who over thinks and over analyzes EVERYTHING and this has been causing to me to have these obsessive thoughs of “do I really love him?” “Am I still in the infatuation stage?” “Am I too young to love?” and the thing that mortifies me the most is that I have NEVER had these quetions before! A week ago I tried to convince myself that I didnt love him! Like what the heck am I thinking? I know that Im young and I understand that he’s older, but up until 3 weeks ago, I was so positive that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this man! I know it sounds crazy but I really do love him and these thoughts and questions are killing me. They have caused me such bad anxiety and there are some days when I dont even want to get out of bed. I stronley believe that I have ROCD. I have all of the symptoms like the obsessive thoughts, questioning from morning to night, anxiety! Its crazy and Its killing me :( There are no red flags in our relationship but I feel like I have caused this on my own. In the beginning, I didnt feel good enough for him. I thought that he would leave me and find a girl him age and I always had suspicions that he was cheating but only becasue I was so insecure about myself! He would honestly NEVER do that to me and I have so much guilt from all of these thoughs that is literally rotting me away. When I even think about breaking it off or not being in his arms ever again, i panick! The thought kills me! I just dont understand how one can be so HEAD OVER HEELS INLOVE, to waking up with irrational thoughts about their boyfriend! Am i falling out of love? I dont understand Sheryl :( Im very scared.

  • Sara

    Hi there,
    I love this article and I find that it really describes my current situation. My long term boyfriend of 5 years proposed a few months back and I never felt that “OMG I’m SOO SOO happy” like most girls describe it to be. I didn’t feel overly joyed or sad or anything. These confusion started to happen when I got into an argument with his family. I noticed how they are so different and very controlling. I didn’t know if I really want this any more. I keep thinking perhaps there’s someone better? Why do I need to put up with everything? He’s been great and sided with me through everything, but is this what I really want? Is he who I really want? I am really confused. DO I really want to get married? Do I really love him enough to “settle”?

  • Bob

    Hi Sheryl,

    I found both your article and many of the comments that followed very interesting and it gave me a lot of insight into a situation that I have been dealing with for the last six weeks, though I’m coming at it from the other side I think.

    About nine months ago now I met a wonderful women online. We hit it off more or less right away and things moved quickly, though I wouldn’t say we let ourselves get too carried away. There was no rushed engagement or even living together, we just enjoyed each other’s company and spent a lot of time together. Families were met, trips were taken, and things were moving forward.

    At Thanksgiving she invited me to her parent’s home (I had been two or three times before) where she was having a large family reunion, with 25 aunts, uncles and cousins converging on their family home. My (now ex) girlfriend wanted me to come up Wednesday and spend the holiday and the entire weekend but I felt bad skipping out on my family so I agreed to spend most of the day with them and take the train to her Thanksgiving night.

    The weekend was fun but exhausting. As you can imagine I was pretty overwhelmed, shaking hand after hand, telling my life story 25 times over. I probably wasn’t paying as much attention to my girlfriend as I should have. On Saturday her mother cornered me at the refrigerator and told me to keep an eye on her daughter because she was not herself. About six weeks earlier she had decided to try to wean herself off of some anti-anxiety medication she had been taking for two years. I asked my girlfriend (let’s call her Amy from now on) about what her mother had said and she told me she was okay, just a little stressed out by all the people.

    About two days later my whole life blew up.

    Amy showed up at my door on a Tuesday in tears. She told me that she had something to get off of her chest. That she had been having doubts about whether we were meant to be together forever and they weren’t going away. She told me that she could not put a finger on why she had doubts; she just knew that she had them.

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I reacted to all this. We had ups and downs for the next six weeks, but they were mostly downs and as she began to insist that we needed to break up I’m sure that I got angry and exasperated at times, but I also tried to be understanding, to listen and to give her some space.

    Through a series of two and three hour conversations, ones in which I did most of the talking unfortunately, she told me that she loved me, that she was in love with me, that she thought we were very compatible, her family liked me, her friends liked me, we had compatible lives and on and on. But she still had what she called a “gut feeling” that it would not work out long term and that I “deserved better” and it would “only get harder” the longer we waited. I worried that there was something she wanted to say but couldn’t because it was too hard, or too painful for me to hear so I asked her questions to try to give her the freedom to be honest. Did an old boyfriend get in touch with her? No. Did she meet someone new she was having feelings for? No. Do you love me? Yes. Are you in love with me? Yes. I won’t list all the questions, but you get the idea.

    The last time we really spoke in depth she continued to insist all of the good things listed above, but that this “gut feeling” was not going away. I told her that I thought if all the good things about us were true surely she would want to figure out what that “gut feeling” really was before she gave it all up. I asked her to talk to a professional while we took some serious time apart over the holidays.

    The whole thing was so shocking to me. If you had asked me say on Thanksgiving Day (as my entire family did when I saw them) if we were going to get married I would not have been naïve enough to assume that, but on the verge of a break-up two weeks later? No way, not a chance. She suddenly seemed like an entirely different person, distant in the extreme (from me at least) and it felt like it had happened all of the sudden though I suspect a series of coincidences, like two unplanned weeks apart just before Thanksgiving, contributed to me feeling that way.

    One month later my cell phone rang and it was her. We made small talk about the holidays and a last second trip I had taken overseas. When we finally got down to the meat of the matter she told me that she had spoken to her old psychologist and they had a nice chat, she did not indicate they would speak again but did say she offered to refer her to someone else. She had been back on her meds for 6 weeks at this point and admitted she should never have come off them. She seemed much cooler, and more collected then she had before, though she did get choked up once or twice. Finally she said that she had tried and tried and while she could not rationalize her doubts, she did not see a future for us.

    That was three days ago. She mentioned something about being friends and I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that. We made arrangements to get some of our things back from each other and I said goodbye and that was it. I didn’t feel like I could go over the same ground again and the fact that we were on the phone, maybe she choose that for a reason, made it harder as well.

    Though I did have some time to process this and be prepared for it I’m still pretty crushed, sometimes I’m downright inconsolable. It’s hard not to feel like a crazy person, or like your perception of reality is somehow skewed. If I believe her (and I do, she is not a liar, and she has a group of friends and family that would not allow her to lie about things like this) then we have a list as long as my arm of good things on the PROS side and one thing on the CONS side, a gut feeling and I guess I thought that if I gave it time all the good things would overpower whatever this “gut feeling” is. But it never got better and she kept insisting we are not meant to be and so I cracked open a beer (or six) and contemplated starting over again, there were a few sighs in there for sure.

    So no advice to be given here, I just read all of these posts and it seemed like maybe I was getting a peak into her mind. Only, my own demons want me to take it out on myself and tell me it’s me not her it’s me, which is hard but somewhat inevitable I guess considering how it ended up.

    Thanks

    • I’m so sorry for your pain. It’s crystal clear that your partner is suffering from relationship anxiety and that it’s precisely because she cares about you so much that her fear (what she’s calling “gut instinct”) has been activated. There’s not much you can do, although it wouldn’t hurt at this point to send her to my site. Perhaps she’ll be open to reading this comment and hearing that I’ve heard her story thousands of times (literally) and I have no doubt that she’s walking away from a very solid relationship and that her “gut” is actually her fear.

  • Eva

    I’m so glad I found this site. I am currently going through some anxiety which I believe is to do with my relationship with my partner of 4 years. its not been going on long, only a week or so but it feels like my whole life has somehow changed and my thoughts and feelings have become really confused. my boyfriend is loving, caring, understanding, thoughtful, attentive and thoroughly enjoy spending time with him. he doesnt irritate me or bore me and we have a rich social life with many friends. he’s very social, confident, funny, great conversationalist etc. we share the same goals for the future – travelling, experiences etc. we have the same morals and values. so why have I suddenly started feeling doubtful? I never used to worry about the future, and if I do its usually positive things about our plans but this last week I just feel really confused and when I think about the future I feel really scared. I feel like there’s a voice in my head saying “are you sure you want to carry on with this?” I just dont get it. we have had issues, mainly due to my lack of self confidence and lack of experience in relationships etc but nothing that would make me feel like walking away. I dont want to be on my own and I dont want to be with anyone else but sometimes I worry that I’ve run my course with him but theres still so much I want us to do together and to learn and achieve together. do you think its just a general anxiety that is making me feel this way. I do struggle to express my emotions and sometimes I feel that I come across as detached. he’s always saying how much he loves me etc and sometimes I struggle to be so overly emotional but I am definitely happy with him. I think I would know if I felt I wanted to be away from him or something just wasnt right. when I think about breaking up with him I get really panicky and feel like crying.

  • andra

    Hi. I started having these kinds of thoughts about my boyfriend about a week ago (‘do I really love him, or am I just convincing myself?’), when I was really hormonal(my period was about to come on and I had taken a morning after pill). It kind of developed into an obsession, and I can’t stop thinking about it, I panic every time I think that the feelings I used to have for him might not come back (I did feel really connected to him, and I clearly remember thinking and feeling with all my heart that he is the man I want to spend the rest of my life with). They do come back sometimes but then I start thinking about this again and start feeling guilty as hell when he tells me how much he loves me. It’s a real vicious cycle. I don’t know what to do and it’s driving me crazy. I don’t know if I’m falling out of love, or just being my crazy, overthinking self. Please tell me what I can do to stop thinking about this it really is driving me to my wits’ end

  • VivianB

    Great post and comments as always. My most recent question/trigger, etc. is somewhat related to this idea and I wonder what you, Sheryl, or anyone else here might have to say. I was in a conversation (listening, not really participating) and I heard someone say of another girl that the only reason she is still with her boyfriend is because she is too scared to be alone–not because she loves him. Naturally, this made me worry if this is the case with my boyfriend who I can’t imagine living without because he is so great but now I wonder if part or all of that feeling of not wanting to live without him is not out of love but out of a fear of being alone. Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    Peace,

    Viv

    • This is an extremely common thought that the anxious mind sends up. If you know that you’re in a great relationship with a great guy (which you clearly do), then it really doesn’t matter if part of you may have a fear of being alone. The truth is that we’re meant to be in partnership, and if you’ve met someone wonderful, the work is about addressing the fear-based thoughts that are trying to convince you to leave. “You’re just scared of being alone” is one of them.

    • Hayley

      I think the difference is that if someone is with their bf because they don’t want to be alone, then they would be happy to replace him in an instant, and if someone is with their bf because they love him, then in her eyes he’s irreplaceable and doesn’t want to be with anyone else.
      this great article explains mature love vs. immature love, http://realtruelove.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/mature-love-v-immature-love/

  • Soph

    Thank you for this article Sheryl.
    I would describe myself as a very anxious person and this anxiety is somehow reinforced as I have really high expectations for my life. I always wanted a nice house and lots of kids, while coping with a successful career as a singer (which is already quite hard to realize). I am a terrible dreamer and I constantly compare my life with other women of my age. Things seem to work slowly but nicely in my job at the moment but I still doubt a lot about my relationship with my boyfriend of 3 years.
    I am 27 years old and I feel we arrive now to the point of the relationship the BIG question might pop up. I am terrified by this idea as I am scared to have a rush of negative feelings and just run away. My bf is a good, settled, happy, supportive person,I know that he will always be there for me and will do everything to make me happy. We have a healthy relationship, we talk, we share, and we are honest to each other. All in all I think he is a fantastic human-being and I have no doubt he would be trustul husband and a good father. But I keep dreaming of other guys, that are more handsome, more talented or stupidly more wealthy, which makes me feel guilty but also very scared that he is not the “right” guy.
    As much as I like him, and consider him as my best friend, I wish there were more “sparkle” and suprise in my life and most importantly, that I could look up on him, admire him. I have a tendency to feel superior to him(I am older than him), as I earn more money and have more interest in culture and human relationships. I feel horrible saying that but if he was earning more money I would be more relaxed. I can’t give up my dreams of owning a house and giving a good education to my children. I am hoping a lot of the future but it seems so uncertain to me and I don’t know if I can bring myself to handle it with him. Because he is a bit younger and probably won’t get lots of income (he is also a musician) I am scared that it might threaten my dreams,and I cannot bring myself to lower my expectations. The idea of hurting him just breaks my heart as I know he loves me more than anything. Please help me, I am scared. Scared to hurt him, scared that it might be too late, scared to make the wrong choice, scared to miss other opportunities, scare there might be somebody “more suitable.. I feel like a mess sometimes.

  • Kerry

    Hi,

    I have recently met a guy who I get along so well with & we just click :) but I’ve started having bad aniexty as soon as I wake up thinking “oh he’s not the right one for me”, “do I find him attractive”, “is a relationship really what I want?”. I know it is as when I’m with him I love being with him, cuddling, kissing & just enjoying one another’s company. There’s no red flags with him, he’s pretty perfect really.

    I suffer from OCD as it is which doesn’t help but I have run away from every single relationship I have ever had, even the bad ones which seem even harder to run away from than the good ones.

    Does this sound like relationship aniexty??

  • Arieana

    Hi ,

    I’m nineteen and im in a happy relationship. Me and my girlfriend just recently made a year! My girlfriend makes me very very happy, but for some reason a person from my past name keeps popping up in my head. I believe I suffer from extreme anxiety. it’s not like i think about the person whose name pops in my head, like its just the name, that’s all. Plus, her and my current girlfriend’s name are kind of similar it drives me insane. Like when I think of my girlfriends name , the previous girl name pops up, not all the time though. Both of their names start w| an S! When I met my current girlfriend I guess I wasn’t completely over the previous girl, the thing tht made me not care about her was me pursuing my current girlfriend now. Now that I’ve got my girlfriend I feel like I’m in the getting over the previous girl stage again. Honestly, I don’t want nothing to do w| the previous girl, I just want to be happy w| My girlfriend! Having the previous girls name pops up makes me feel bad for my girlfriend, because I know that’s my girlfriend is 100% about me & well idk if names from her past pops in her head. I just know if there’s something wrong with me. I know that I love my girlfriend, i really do. She is my rock! My girlfriend truly makes me so happy & I WANT to be with her! I know tht I dnt want to be with the previous girl. I never fully got closure from the previous girl, I guess. She really broke my heart, she actually played me for somebody else in front of me! But the funny thing is I didn’t really know much about the previous girl, lols. I just thought she was extremely cute & I like bad girls. so yeah. With my current girlfriend i know everything about her! I share my deepest secrets with her, I trust my girlfriend with my life and plus she’s actually better looking than the other girl, lols. I mean idk whts going on w| me, I just want to be happy with my girlfriend is all. I just want to make my girlfriend happy, i dnt want to make my girlfriend feel like i doubt our relationship because i dnt, my girlfriend is someone i cnt see myself without. She’s like my other half. can you help me , pls? Im so over stressing ths stuff , it makes me cry.

    btw, my girlfriend is in the army & right now she’s away and I miss her like crazy, can ths be a reason for my anxiety?

  • Melissa

    Hi Sheryl,

    One thing that I admire with this article and website is that you continue to reply and give advice even though this article was published in 2011. That shows that you truly care about people. Thank you for that!
    I have been going through the same thing as many on here. Met and now living with a wonderful man, good provider, handsome, treats me like a princess, is great with my kids (19 and 20 years old) Just cannot say enough good things about him….BUT I don’t feel “it” I have had many conversation with him…he says he feels everything for me, but he knows and can see that I don’t feel that connection. The problem is that I really don’t feel we connect….he is very difficult to communicate with, he’s techincally a genius but the simple daily topics and common sense elude him. It’s very frustrating, I often think” Wow he just doesn’t get it” He says his friends say he is difficult, he doesn’t mean to be he hates the way he is, but best way to describe him is that he thinks with a part of the brain we don’t and we just are not on the same level. Like he’s on another planet. It’ so frustating becauase he is such a good person but I don’t enjoy his company, we don’t really laugh together, I have to explain myself on everything. You know how you just connect with someone and know what each other is thinking, he just doesn’t seem to be able to relate. He’s a good man, and what I am telling you is nothing that I haven’t talked to him about….I am afraid to stay because of how I feel, but yet afraid to leave. I don’t want to hurt him, me, us….gosh I am just so lost. Sorry guess this was a good outlet for me to vent!!

    • Hi Melissa: I’m curious what drew you to him and kept you with him if you don’t feel the connection. Was the connection ever there, even in the beginning?

  • Mette

    Dear Sheryl,

    - what a relief it was to find your website and to read yor blogs and all the great comments from people who have the same issues as I do. It made me feel like I’m not some crazy freak on the brink of insanity.

    I have ended 2 longterm relationships because of my anxiety, although I wasn’t aware of it then. Between relationships I’ve had a tendency to go for casual non-comitted relationships, so I can sort of see a kind of pattern with me having “commitment-issues”. I’m now in my third longterm relationship – the best I’ve ever been in – with a truly great guy. He’s loving, caring, considerate, fun, has a great sense of humour, smart etc etc. I love being with him and I can totally see my self spending the rest of my life with him, starting a family and so on. There are no “red flag” issues whatsoever, and when my fear is not in control of me I get that warm fuzzy “oatmeal”-feeling that you have also written about.

    Since the beginning of my current relationsship I’ve had doubts: what if he’s not “the one”, what if I’m only with him because I’m scared to be alone and because I don’t want to hurt his feelings by breaking up, how do I know I really love him and so on. I didn’t share my thoughts and doubts with anyone because I was scared to get the “if there are doubts, then don’t”-answer, and I just couldn’t deal with that. So I stayed in the relationship, and eventually my periods of doubts got rarer and rarer. But just after newyears they came back with a vengeance and a panick attack. Since then I have been somewhat of a mess. I get physical symptoms with no appetite, restless energy, trouble falling asleep and I feel like ending the relationship just to make that feeling go away and make the doubting thoughts go away. Everything can trigger my thougts of doubt and the physical feeling and I sometimes feel that there is no hope for me or my relationship. On the other hand I want to be with my boyfriend for the long haul and when my fears and anxieties are not taking over, I can really feel how much I want to be with him. Still, even as I write this I can hear that voice in my head saying “you don’t really love him, you’re just scared of being alone again etc.” I’ve begun to see a therapist and I do CBT to control and handle my fears but sometimes it’s just so hard. I know I have to work on this but sometimes I feel I don’t want to because working with it in a way makes it stronger (in my warped mind). Sometimes I just get scared of getting scared again, and that can trigger thought and doubts. But I know that if it weren’t for these feelings and thoughts I could definitely have the life I want with my boyfriend.

    Thank you so much for continuing your great work. Again, reading your blogs and the comments here make me feel that I can overcome my fears and that there is hope.

    By the way, I live in Denmark and we also have the cultural notions of true love the hollywood way, “you just know” and so forth.

  • Melissa

    Hi Sheryl,

    He came into my life at a point where I had been divorced for many years and dating all kinds of men. It seemed like I was attracted to a certain look or whatever but those guys turned out to be players or liars with no future. I was taking care of them and I realized I have to find someone who may not be the typical guy I went for. I went out with him and I told the girls at work that I just didn’t feel the spark…but since he was a good person everyone kept saying you have to give him a chance. I was at the point of doubting my choices having made some bad ones in the past, so I thought, well it’s not an initial spark, but maybe something from friendship can grow into that connection. As I said, I cannot ask to be treated better. But I guess it’s that chemistry that you cannot explain. Oh, he is also a widower and having spent over 20 years with her and only being 43 years old, and her dying of cancer and for thre years he took care of her…just made me see that this was a good guy, a good person with a good heart…I want to feel that attraction. But I don’t :(

  • El

    I am not engaged but have been dating someone (who I do love) for a year. But have been really struggling with these exact thoughts. Finding this site has really helped those exact anxieties I have been facing for awhile decrease. I couldn’t always pin point why I kept questioning my relationship because when it came down to it he is loving, supportive, career driven etc etc. But I think I have this fear of “settling” and we don’t have EVERYTHING in common. Like he won’t work out and I want him to (for example). Sometimes I fear the way we communicate will be a struggle, or is the the difference between men and women? I get so blinded by the things that I feel aren’t right, that I don’t always see the things that are right. When my heart is open and not anxious, I do believe I enjoy being with him, he makes me laugh, and gets a long with my family. So…why do I keep questioning it?

  • Sara

    Hi Sheryl,

    I am 26 years old and I’ve been with my boyfriend for 7 years (high school sweethearts) and I too have that uneasy feeling even though I love him very much. We are of different nationality and religion, which doesn’t matter to us because we don’t aren’t religious but it does to my family. They also aren’t accepting of it because they don’t think he’s good enough for me (for shallow reasons). He’s an amazing guy and loves me more than anything but I somehow can’t get past that uneasy feeling. I wish I felt the way he does for me. I never did have the “he is the one feeling” and never had i been sure if he is who I want to marry, sadly it might be for the same reasons my family disapproves, or maybe these are just excuses to try and point the finger at something that is the cause of my unsure feeling about him. He is my best friend and if I knew for sure that we would both get over each other with time I would end it. However, what scares me is things I’ve read and heard about people never getting over their first love and regretting ending things for the rest of their life. I would rather be unfulfilled and never be 100% that risk hurting him or myself for the rest of my life by breaking up. But somehow, I can never get myself to tell him I’m ready to do this and commit to a marriage because of that feeling. Also, there is someone I met a long time ago because I met my boyfriend that I got a crush on, which seems like will never go away. We never had a relationship but he feels/felt the same about me and as soon as I met him I thought, wow I want to marry him. I wish I had that feeling for my boyfriend.

  • bethany

    Oh my! I stumbled upon this article today while feeling “unconnected” to my boyfriend of 2 years and ive found myself crying and reading everyone’s comments! This all hits home and is the first time I dont feel totally crazy or irrational for having these feelings. We are at the point in our relationship where we arein our late twenties and everyone is asking when we are getting engaged. He is ready but there are days when I’m not sure! Hes a great, supportive partner and I feel guilty about my hesitation to get married – I just cant explain whats stopping me from being 100% ready. I think social media (I.e. everyone posting about how amazingly happy and in love they are) always makes me think gosh, should I feel like that every day? Sorry for the long post, it just feels good to know I’m not the only one feeling like this!

  • Emily

    I am almost 100% positive that I am experiencing relationship anxiety right now. It started last Thursday when I woke up and suddenly thought “maybe I don’t love him.” It immediately sent me into a panic, and I began to obsess – like, to a crazy extent – over my relationship, nitpicking every aspect. We are wonderful together. We have been together eight months and have never once run out of things to talk about. He is the sweetest, most caring man I have ever met, very intelligent, handsome, and we have the same goals and ideas for our future. We have even talked out marriage at this point. Our sex life is fantastic. He is madly in love with me and communicates it frequently. Yet I cannot stop obsessing over the idea that maybe I don’t love him, or don’t love him enough. Then the guilt follows, the elevated heart rate, the throat closing. I have been to my doctor to see if there is a chemical imbalance – nothing. I have no history of anxiety or depression, and am, in general, a very put-together, level-minded 25-year-old girl, yet I am being eaten alive with these thoughts. And it’s only been four days. I have been communicating non-stop with my boyfriend and he is ridiculously understanding and supportive, but how do I communicate that this anxiety has nothing to do with him or our relationship? He has a past of bad relationships and is a little fragile and the absolute last thing I want to do is hurt him or mislead him in any way. And how do I convince myself that it is indeed anxiety and not that I have suddenly stopped loving him?

  • Gem

    Hi Sheryl,

    I felt a sigh of relief leave my body after reading this post.
    I guess the feeling I am having with my boyfriend of siz years were of doubt, i wasnt sure whether i love dhim anymore or we should be together because we have had an extremely checked past.
    Theres a lot of insecurities in our relationship from both ends. Recently my boyfriend bought his parents current house and we have been talking for a couple of weeks now about the furniutre we had to buy, the things that needed to be done to the house and general discussion about me moving in.
    I realised something was not quite right when he said that his friends were also moving in, because he was against that idea in the past. However last night after I probed him for a while he mentioned that he would like some space to himself, that i can move in if i want but that maybe once a week a should go back to my parents house. ‘move in if i want?’ well what do you want?
    I understand that his anxiety is going through the roof, and so is mine, and i feel like this has been brewing for a while.
    We then spoke about how we both have doubts about being with each other, we both feel very apprehensive at times. He said ‘ i will always love you no matter what, but love is not the problem’. he also spoke that he has tried so hard to make me happy, so i asked him if he was ‘happy’ he said it doesnt matter if he was or wasnt. So now i feel like he is with me because he doesnt want to upset me, and he wants to make me happy. but that in reality his mind is elsewhere.. is he convincing himself that we have this ‘connection’? just like i am? i love him dearly, the thought of being apart (again) shatter my soul.

    thank you i would appreciate any feedback :)

    • Have you considered seeking couples’ counseling? It sounds like there are some underlying dynamics between the two of you that need to be addressed, and it’s often much more effective to do so with a third, objective person in the room.

  • sharshoura

    it’s the first time to see your website & i like it:) im just over romantic & always imagined that my relationship would be perfect in everything.. though when my fiancee proposed to me.. i didnt know him in the beginning & then i thought why not knowing him? when i knew him better.. i was just sure he’s the right one for me but still we r different in some ways… but the basic values between us are present.. what makes me fear sometime is that my feelings arent stable.. im not always dreaming but many times i wonder & ask him : do u think this is correct & that we r compatible? i think i do that because in the first place we appear to be 2 different characters.. he’s seems to be so firm & maybe sometime unfriendly while he’s not actually it just takes him some time to deal normally with the others while im so open more than him.. when i think about what u wrote in the article to ask myself what do i want? i find myself that i want to marry him but still doubting.. Also i get so confused when i c other couple seem to be so matching ..even in thier pictures ( i know this is so ridiculous) i doubt in my relation & think : do i really love him?? but i find myself that i want always to know how’s he doing,etc… feels like crazy.. thank u so much for reading my post i wish u to reply to me.. May God bless u all :)

  • Sam

    Hi,
    My boyfriend and I have been livin together for 1.5 years, I’ve been madly jn love with him the whole time up until the last month. I’ve been feeling that I’m unsure if I still love him, if his the one, and if I still want to be with him. We’ve moved interstate in the last month together where neither of us know anyone. He has found a job and been working the last 3 weeks where as I hVe not started my new job and have been feeling very anxious around home. I have called my mum and aske how she knew my dad was the one for her , she said she just knew. I used to just know that I wanted to marry my boyfriend and have 10 of his children and now I am unsure.
    He is the best guy, I couldn’t say a bad word about him and I know deep down I love him. But I’m unsure if im still in love with him or if the relationship is over. I do have anxiety issues but this feels like the worst feeling. I am crying every day and feel so low, I’m sure because I am stuck at home all the time is not helping .
    Any advice would do.

    Thanks so much for having this site as an option to get my thoughts out of my head and for some help.
    X

  • Kristen

    I just want to thank everyone for sharing their stories. I have recently experienced very similar feelings to those described here. I feel comforted knowing that other women are dealing with anxious thoughts and worries like I sometimes do. Coming to this page helps alleviate these feelings. Thank you so much.

  • Tara

    I first want to say thank you for making this site and allowing all of us to have the chance to relate to others going on with the same problem. Its amazing how many people are out there with relationship anxiety. Over the years I have had many failed relationships, which always made me wonder if I would find anyone out there that I was good enough for. And I finally did. I have been dating the most amazing guy for almost 11 months. He is constantly bringing me flowers, buying me small gifts just because, always telling and showing me how much he loves me, and would literally do anything for me. Everything was going perfect, things moved fast, and I started spening almost all my time with him. Then one day I woke up and had a panic attack, which set my mind into doubting our relationship. I keep asking myself “do I love him”, “where did the connection go”, “am I really suppose to be with him” and it is making me sick to my stomach. I can’t concentrate, my mind is constantly focusing on our relationship, trying to convince me to break up with him. But when i come to that though I have even more panic and know if I did I would want to get right back together with him. Its so hard and I don’t know what to do. I have been completely honest with him and he is standing by me and supporting me in every way possible, but I am scared this will never go away and our relationship will end. I have been seeing a therapist, who is trying to help me understand that love ins’t just butterflies, but I am so new to a good relationship, let alone, one that has lasted this long, that I have no clue what to do.

    Sherly, is this the same anxiety? Is there anything that I can do? I just want my relationship to be normal againl, but I am fearful my mind will end up talking me out of it and I will lose the most amazing person possible.

    • Yes, Tara, you’re describing class relationship anxiety. You’ve found your way to the right place, and, with hard work, you can learn to manage and then heal from the anxiety.

  • Tara

    Also, how long will this last? Its already been a month and I don’t know how long I can keep going, let alone my broyfriend stick around.

  • Marlene

    All I can say is WOW…I have been struggling with this for about 4 years and this is the first website Iv’e found that makes me see there is hope. I am a generally anxious and ocd person and this is just one of many thing I obsess about. I think it’s just my personality but this is the first boyfriend that Iv’e felt that way about. I got pregnant early in our relationship and ever since I found out I was pregnant Iv’e been feeling loss of connection with him. I love being held him and kissed I love his smell and how amazing he is to me and then other times I can’t seem to feel that deep connection Id like to feel. I hate being mushy and I feel as though I’m missing something. I believe it’s just my head playing games but for 4 years off and on and usually more on? It’s getting annoying and hurtfull..

  • Silver

    I agree that anxiety drives you crazy, and I think it happens more to women than to men. I’m in relationship with a man who is 23 years older than I. He’s the loveliest man happening in my life. I think of my future with him as marrying him and carrying his babies. However, I’ve broken up with him twice because of my uncertainty. We remain friends, but we’ve still tried to make our relationship work.
    I don’t know what I want in life since I’m still in college and don’t have a steady job, and I don’t want to depend on him. Sometimes thinking of how society judges us due to our age gap and about my future drive me crazy. I feel very bad and useless when it happens. But then I realize when I think too much about those problems, my feelings for him decrease and it makes me more uncertain if I love him or not. It’s like a circle, and I don’t know how to get out.
    When I saw your questions, the first answers came up were all yes; but later the uncertainty came back. I guess I haven’t really used my heart to love him; but I want to do it! How do you use your heart instead of brain? Also, people say that if you wonder yourself if you love someone or not, it means that something wrong is going on (like you don’t really love him…) Do you think it’s true or it’s just our brain driving us crazy?
    But your article gives me a hope that I will be able to get out of this circle and truly and conditionally love him!

    Thank you!

    • Sophia

      Every message on this website is amazing, how it resonates with me. Even yours Silver, everything you said is how I feel about my bf. I’m uncertain and resent that ppl tell me if I’m uncertain it’s because he’s not the one. It’s not just because I don’t want to go out into the world again and date, but even if that is part of the reason, is that so bad? Fnding a good guy is so so hard and I know how difficult it can be to meet a decent guy, and one who wants to commit! So when you hesitate about marrying a guy, does that really mean it’s because it’s just not right?! I wish I knew the answer to this question and I’m hoping someone can tell us the answer Silver because I don’t know myself.
      I use my heart to love him but I use my head too and I’m always thinking about what will happen. He wants meto settle down with him in another country (which isn’t my home) and the idea scares me. If he was enough would the decision be easier? Is it really as simple as that??

  • Pushing Him Away

    I have been married to the most wonderful man for the past six years, but as of lately I feel like my relationship is going downhill. I started working a new job that requires me to work long hours and I feel as if I have to meet a state of perfection with everything I do. It causes me to have extreme anxiety and stress which in turn has affected my home life. I have lost interest in my husband and don’t care to be affectionate with him. I’m constantly telling myself that he doesn’t care about me or why am I with him…I’m focusing on the negative or the things I don’t like about him.

    Reading this article has made me reevaluate the times that I have asked myself these questions. I thought of times when I didn’t have my anxiety and realized how fun it was! I want to recapture those moments and hopefully one day I can. I just hope I don’t push my husband away as I am dealing with this.

  • sanaa

    I got into a relationship with my best friend recently but I keep doubting if I really do love him. He is the best thing to have ever happened to me, but I don’t feel “in love” all the time. I had 2 bad breakups before this, and since then I got into the habit of doubting myself and my actions and I am in an extremely bad habit of thinking negatively about everything and anything. He is wonderful to me and he even understands all my doubts and fears. But whenever we are together with each other, I am perfectly content, in love, happy, peaceful, and there is no room for any doubt or fear at that time. I don’t want to breakup with him, but I want to get out of this mess once and for all. We decided on spending our lives together when we got into the relationship but now, it scares me sometimes. Please help me. This is making me go crazy with anxiety.

  • Kimberly

    Hi,
    I found this article on the internet after typing ” forcing feelings but I don’t want him to leave”. Mind you, I am very young. 18. And about two months ago, I met this guy, and we instantly were in a relationship, there was really no question. We started talking about long-term very early on. He is older than me, and in college, but our maturity level line up pretty well. I had this idea of who he was, and then a little bit after we started talking, I realized that, that wasn’t him. Things after that started to feel wrong, but I kept on going because I wanted to find what we had in the beginning. I also love talking to him, and love sharing my life with him. I love hanging out with him, and he is great. But now, we are in this big argument, and I started thinking about what if we would break up, and I felt sad, but for not very long. Usually, that isn’t how I would react. But at the same time, this relationship feels different then others. I’m scared I don’t have feelings for him, and I’m just leading him on. Or that maybe this is just what a mature relationship is, and I have a very distorted view of what a relationship should be? Oh, I forgot to mention… I am a hopeless romantic, and a romcom fanatic.. which, I know, contributes to my distorted view of relationships. Anyway, today, I told myself, I would break up with him, and it felt right. Now, I’m second guessing it, because it started to feel wrong again. CONFUSION!

  • Elaine

    I am so glad I came across this article! This past week I felt really disconnected with my boyfriend (we’ve been together for a year now). I know this article is meant more for women who are getting engaged and have been in long term relationships, but I know that I love him, and I know that I care about sooo much. He makes me really happy…we broke up 3 weeks ago for a reoccurring issue we had and got back together a week and a half later…The breakup helped him realize how much he cared about me and how valuable I was to him. I was miserable without him..and he was too…(without me) .it broke my heart…I know we are working on things now…but why do I feel like this? I feel soo “ehhhhh” with him..I felt like things are at a hault right now and we do not know how to mive foward..I know I love him and want to be with and hopefully marry him one day..are these feelings temporary? Did we lose something along the way?

    • Well, you may have lost the butterflies and infatuation along the way, but that’s a normal occurrence in any long term relationship. Keep reading through my site and you’ll understand more about why you feel “eh” and how the work now is to connect to your own aliveness instead of expecting it to come through the relationship.

  • Hannah

    Okay so I started having a relationship with one of my best friends, who has been one of my best friends for about 2 or 3 years now. It just sort of happened, I didn’t really want it to happen because I have been in different relationships for a few years now and I just wanted to be single, and baring in mind I’m still in my teens, that’s kind of weird for me to constantly be in a relationship. At first, I got the butterfly feelings etc., and I found myself falling for him a lot more than planned. He’s the funniest guy I’ve ever met and he’s really lovely, so I thought I could deal with my anxiety if it started. Then after a few days, it started, I couldn’t get it off my mind. “Am I convincing myself? Do I really love him? If I didnt want it to happen in the first place why did I let it?”. I pushed it to the side for a while, but then I became very cautious of my actions, as my past relationship ended badly. I feel like I become angry and I jump to conclusions all the time, which affects the other person. I then question myself whether I’m taking him for granted or not. I constantly worry that I’m going to be angry with him or take him for granted, its ridiculous, its always on my mind. I really do not want to get angry with him and I want to always have that butterflies feeling. I get so confused that I just get irritated by everything. It scares me. I’ve told him about it, he understands and everything. We went on a break last month but that didn’t last, and I decided to break up with him two weeks ago because I was really worrying myself too much, I really want to be with him but I’m too cautious of everything. We still talk everyday, and I’m worried that that’ll make me take him for granted even more. I also have problems trying to make myself happy, and I feel like I rely on him a lot. I’m worried we can never be back to best friends before our relationship started, but I’m also worried that if we have another relationship I’ll get all these thoughts again.

  • Kate

    I am in a long-distance relationship with my fiance, I feel that I love him but everytime he pushes things forward to a marriage I push things backwards, and I still don’t feel like getting married, by the way I am 21 and he’s 28.

  • Chelsie

    thank you this blog was very helpful. I came across this after having some pretty extreme anxiety wondering if I am still in love with my husband. I will think of it day in and day out to the point where all I want to do is get that voice to stop in my head. It so awful. I really have no reason to leave my husband. When I stop to ask myself why would I leave? I don’t have their answer so then all I can think is that maybe I don’t love him. Maybe my heart is telling me to leave. But the thought of leaving makes me sick because I don’t want to leave. But i can’t get the ideaout of my head. I feel like I can’t talk to anyone about it because I am afraid I will be judged. We have been married 3 years and we have a one year old son. I am 26 and so is my husband. I feel so alone and my anxiety is sky high. How do I know if it’s my anxiety talking to me or something deep down telling me to get out? It is so up and down with me too. I will have a couple good days then I am right back to my OCD thought process. I look back at this time last year and it makes me so sad because I was so excited getting ready for my son to be born and i was so content and happy with my life. I feel terrible saying that because my son is so awesome. Anyway it’s nice to know i am not alone in my feelings. I need to do something to get out of this rut because life is too short to live this way but I don’t know what to do.

  • Mary

    I think I have ROCD. I want to love my boyfriend, he is a great person. But I doubt constantly. This article was a great help to me. Until I started spiking about how I am feeling if I am not anxious. And I again start to wonder if I really love him. I wonder if I ever am anxious and I we have a connection. And what my answer would be to all the question. I asked myself 100 times, so I don’t know which anwers are correct.

    He is my first boyfriend (I am 26), I don’t have any comparisons. I don’t want to either, I think. But sometimes I wonder if there is someone better out there. I hate myself for saying that, because although he can be annoying. He is so sweet, caring, funny and has such a great personality. I want to love him. I want these thoughts to stop. I don’t feel anything anymore and I doubt about everything. I have the urge to break up with him. He knows all this and still helps me. He wants me to grow and get better and if we then don’t belong together he says, we will let go of one another. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I want to love him so badly, but what if I just can’t? What if I don’t want it? What if this isn’t rocd or anything, but just me not capable of loving the most wonderful person in the world. Although he does get on my nerves, is that normal?

    How can I get better and start loving him again? And how can I know what I really feel? How can I stop this massive doubts. I am afraid that I don’t dare to break up just because I don’t want to hurt him and our parents (they love us). Or that I am afraid to be alone. That I am staying with him just because I don’t want to be alone and don’t want to hurt him. I want to love him so badly. I really do, but I just don’t know if I can’t. My gut/ intuition is telling me to break it off, it is usually right. But what if this is fear? I can’t miss him, I think. I want to love him.

    I feel depressed constantly. I can’t stop analyzing and ruminating. I want it to stop. What can I do?

    • Accept that you have relationship anxiety, read through my site and watch the videos, then sign up for the free ecourse Sampler. Relationship anxiety is treatable but not without a lot of hard work and the recognition that the source of the anxiety lives inside of you.

  • MM

    Hi Mary-

    I normally won’t comment but I wanted to give a little insight. I was diagnosed with GAD at 19 and had OCD issues with health, HOCD, etc. I have what you would call a nervous personality. Always was afraid of life and the changes it brought. Does my being diagnosed make me less anxious about my wonderful fiance? My point being, I have and Am going through anxiety centering around my relationship with my now fiance. It’s awful but as Sheryl and people here say, if you are with a supportive and loving man, then the anxiety is in you. It’s cliche but true that if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be this emotionally upset.

    Why does a person need to have a prerequisite number of partners before they can marry? Our parents were married in their early 20 to mid 20s and our grandparents were in their early 20s. Romance novels existed but did romance stories and Hollywood play as much of a prominent role as it does now? Why should we care about how many people we date? If we care about a person and can see sharing our lives, isn’t that good enough?

    I think that a lot of the people who you see on this board, and suffer from anxiety in their intimate relationships is partly due to society, personal beliefs, etc. We live in a world of right an wrong, black and white. Its a society of instant gratification. We dont seem to see life in shades of gray. You feel anxious about your significant other? Oh, we’ll you must not love this person. That is their opinion. Again, i think society has really influenced our views on relationships. These people believe in a romantic love, and hey if they have it, more power to them.

    Science shows that the butterflies, stomach flipping is just a chemical reaction in our brains. Eventually, this slows down but by no means does it mean that you or I fell out of love with our significant other. I think since we didn’t have “enough” dating experience, we analyze the heck out of our relationships because of these expectations that society hurls upon us.

    The question we should ask ourselves is when I am not anxious or in a heightened state, can I see myself spending my life with this person. You can leave a relationship and meet someone else who fits your criteria, but they won’t be your current boyfriend.

  • MM

    Sorry for the double post, but I also believe that we as a society tend to look at love as *just* a feeling. How can it be, when feelings change like the seasons? We need to live in the choices we make, rather than in our emotions.

  • Izabella

    Wow this article has given me the biggest relief. Iv been trying to find answers to the same questions and you’ve just answered them all, I really thought I was the only one with this problem! I’m 19, yes still very young but I’m brought up Christian and my mum had ideas of me being married quite young due to the sex after the marriage. I met my first and current boyfriend when I was 17 it’s been quite a journey.. He’s my bestfriend, he knows everything about me, my moods, what I want just by looking at my expressions. He’s the most caring and absolutely amazing boy. But there was stages were I questioned him and our relationship, basically to see what other types of guys were out there to know if I really did love him, I suppose it was anxiety but I didn’t realize, I’d drive myself crazy with these questions “is he the one?” “how do I know I really love him?” “am I forcing myself to be in the relationship over fear?” the questions became daily and I really struggled with my feelings towards him which then made our relationship rocky, I told him what I was feeling and what was going on and kept saying we should go on a break? Everytime I attempted to stay away from him he’d always do or say something that made me forget we were even on a break, which made me ask myself daily “am I really just staying in this relationship because it’s comfortable? Do I even really love him?” recently we got into a ridiculous argument which then led him to want the breakup because he was “done” i felt so much pain, I can’t explain it, I lost my appetite, and everytime I thought of him and what he may be up too, I got this really sick sick feeling in my stomach, it felt like I had to vomit and had butterfly’s in there the same time, it was horrible! I became obsessed with him, I couldnt stop crying it was then replaying in my head “you’re finally getting that break you wanted” but it wasn’t what I wanted, the thought of him being with other girls made me sick to my stomach, I couldn’t sleep, eat , nothing. Two days after the breakup I couldn’t help myself and continued to call him wanting nothing more than to have him back, it was horrible and I sounded like an obsessed weirdo haha. He treated me so different, so angry and very keen to “try” and move on and for me not to know his business, that hurt even more. We had been through stuff like this before, breakup, get back together, go on a break , get back together, so in this situation I had hope that it would just go back to normal.. 6 days went by and it was the longest the two of us had ever been separated or spoken too within the last 17 months, it was horrible. On the 7th day, a family issue had occurred and I had to call him because it involved him, that night we did get back together and I have never been all over him more in my life, can’t stop kissing, hugging, I just can’t get enough of him iv never been happier. The experience made me realise that negative thoughts occur all the time especially to us woman because we grow up to believe that we MUST find a prince charming, perfect everything, but there is no perfect guy or relationship, love can mean so many different things. That “head over heels” feeling only lasts the honeymoon stages, a relationship is built on so much more. I’m very blessed to have a non smoker, rarely drink, bodybuilder, sensitive, protective, adorable, muscley , gorgeous wog, VERY blessed. It takes small experiences like that to appreciate what you do have, and I’m happy I went through that. I haven’t had any of those negative thoughts on our relationship since we’ve gotten back together. I don’t know if I’m so crazy about him now because i thought i’d lost him, but what i have with him now i really don’t want to end. I couldn’t see me having such a strong connection with anyone else. I’m so so happy I read you’re blog! And I’m sorry for the long story, but it truely opened my eyes.

  • N

    I’m very glad I stumbled across this website. :) .. I met a girl recently and we kissed whilst a bit drunk. I thought she was beautiful and though she is shy, there’s something I think I like about her. When we were walking that night (this has never happened before), the words flashed into my head automatically; ‘I love you’. I almost said it to her. It took me by surprise.

    When we kissed, I felt some chemistry but for me it takes a while to develop.

    I’ve never been with someone where things are mutual and when we talked after I felt she was more into me that I was her which has sent my OCD thoughts spiralling. My anxieties have run so high that I’ve had to up my anti-depressants. I keep getting this thought; ‘what if I’m convincing myself I like her because I feel obliged to follow how she feels’. This stems from when I was with someone in which I tried to convince myself I liked them when I didn’t.

    I feel like I’m being an idiot by making false promises but I don’t know. I think about her a lot but I also have borderline personality disorder which makes attachment/detachment issues trump. When she doesn’t text me, I get anxious and feel rejected. When she does and there’s offers of affection, I love it. I feel happy.

    But I’ve wound up my thoughts so tight that I can no longer tell what I’m feeling.

  • Mary

    Dear MM and Sheryl,

    Thanks for the inspiring words. I am trying to convince myself this is relationship anxiety, but I do find it difficult. I know Hollywood has given us a wrong image and that I am guilty of creating a wrong image of love. However, because my partner and I don’t have any fun anymore, I am worried. I can never stop thinking and it always revolves around the relationship. That worries me. Not having fun anymore and a feeling of just knowing it is over. I don’t want it to be, but what if I have to go through the transition of breaking up? I want to love him, he is a great person, and almost everyone agrees we are perfect for eachother.

    Sheryl I want to ask you something about a comment on your article The architecture of anxiety and intrusive thoughts. Where one of the readers wrote that she, although being anxious of being alone, she calmed down with thought of breaking up and she did. I am also calmer when I think of ending it, just to stop the ruminating. But I don’t want to BE calmer I want to work this out and stay with my partner. I don’t know if it’s for the right reasons, but I just want to accept and know that he is the one. When breaking up I finally have the certainty of knowing. Eventhough I don’t want to. What if I am just like that girl, shouldn’t I end it now instead of later?

  • Sea la vie

    This was very helpful. I can relate to it as I’m sort of going through the same but I’m not engaged. I’m having doubts and mixed emotions. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 9 months now and I don’t know if I’m in love or if I just love him I don’t know if I do want to marry him in the future I just don’t know. We have been through alot in the 9 months have had a lot of urs and downs. I have doubts about our relationship everyday . I just don’t know what to do he’s a great guy I want him but I want the feelings back that have gone :( what should I do?

  • Cristin

    So im just here kinda looking for advice and to see why i feel this way.. ive been with this guy for as of next month a year.. the thing is he had a past that got him in trouble and we were only together 27 days before he got put in jail.. ive stuck by his side the whole time.. yet i love him very much but i guess doubts will have his ways.. he is changing his life in there and have also had a lot of confirmation that me and him are suppose to be together.. im not gonna get into this spirtual thing because i dont want to offend anyways.. but he has had pastors and chaplins tell him that we are suppose to be together.. i guess the thought of this actually being the one scares me.. as i said i really dont know him very well but i have symptoms that show i love him very much but i dont know how much i love him yet.. and im depressed because he isnt here with me and that i cant talk to him when i have a bad day.. anyways the point is im afraid and i dont want to be afraid.. my heart says i want to be with him.. but the my mind goes another way at times.. and i get into depressed phases.. i dont know if this is normal because he isnt there.. again i do love him and i guess love grows when you are with someone right??? i mean ive been here the whole time and i cant turn away from him.. he has always there for me i can tell him anything and he is there.. and i guess him loving me that much overwhelms me and i want this to work.. how do i get my mind off the neg. and bad and to be positive about things..

  • J

    I’m so glad to have come across this site and read other people have these thoughts/feelings as well. I have realised that I am normal to have these doubts/questions about my relationship. I have been in a relationship with my boyfriend now for 3 years, living together for just over 18months. Yes like all relationships we have had our ups and downs, however the good times always outweigh the bad. Just over a month ago, I started obsessive thinking over my past which has made me question my love/feelings toward my partner. Long story short my mother died when I was quite young, got shipped from place to place (within family) and was told lies from family about the other side of my family as well as doing a few wild things in my early 20s. Being with my partner has made me feel the happiest I can remember. Last year I ran into an ex who I talked to for a while and did not tell my partner all for fear of him breaking up with me. After a few months I finally told him the full conversation and everything was great between us until my mind started wondering and trying to convince me that I don’t really love my partner. I know when I have none of these thoughts running through my mind my partner and I are great together, he is my best friend and an all round great guy, I had dreams of marrying this man now when I think about it I start feeling so anxious. At time I get so worked up I feel like I should just leave him however the thought of leaving him breaks my heart. We have so many things in common and enjoy doing things together. I guess it is just the anxiety making me question everything about him/our relationship which is frustrating as I just want the thoughts to stop so I can go back to being happy with my partner. I guess is this really anxiety talking and will I be able to overcome it? Even the thought of not thinking all of this thoughts all the time makes me feel anxious.

    • This is the point:

      “I guess is this really anxiety talking and will I be able to overcome it? Even the thought of not thinking all of this thoughts all the time makes me feel anxious.”

      The thoughts are your protection system; they keep you defended from feeling your core fear of loss. Everyone has a fear of loss, but it’s especially acute if you’ve suffered an early loss, as you have. So the work is to say to yourself when you’re ruminating, “I’m in my mental addiction. These thoughts aren’t true. What am I protecting myself from feeling?” And then find the willingness, courage, and compassion to meet your fear of loss and let yourself attend to your unshed tears.

  • Kimberley

    Hi everyone

    Wow this blog is amazing! Sheryl you give such brilliant advice & seem to have solved so many people’s problems.

    I’m hoping you can please help me and not judge me :-(

    I’ve just broken up with my boyfriend of one year last night after being on a break all week. He seems to ‘tick all the boxes’ but I just don’t know if I love him & it’s panicked me! I swing from totally in love to being totally irritated by anything he does! Then I snap at him & feel bad.

    He would be the perfect partner or husband but I’m scared for him to propose in case it’s the wrong decision & I make a mistake.

    To cut a long story short, his positives are;

    says he wants to marry me, build a life & home, have kids
    Kind
    Caring
    Loving
    Patient
    Believes in me & my abilities even when I hate myself
    Romantic
    Adores me & accepts my faults (depression, anxiety, OCD, dry skin, podgey)
    Stopped smoking & drugs for me
    Learnt to cook for me

    His ‘bad’ points
    insecure and possessive e.g. I can’t do things by myself & always have to entertain him. Last Friday he was annoyed that I read a mag whilst he watched a film because I wasn’t talking to him so he said why did he bother coming round, he’d be better off at home. But my point was that we should be happy & comfortable just being in each other’s company, not necessarily doing the exact same things!!
    My family & friends think he’s chavvy because he’s from a lower class – I can’t stop thinking about this but it makes me a total SNOB!

    Please help me I just don’t know what to do. Now I’ve broken up with him I’m so upset but don’t know if this is normal for a break up or if it’s because I shouldn’t have done it in the first place?!

    • Hi Kimberley: Welcome to my site! It sounds like he’s good man but that there may some real issues that need attention before you should consider getting back together with him. The fact that he’s needy, possessive and, it sounds like, controlling are issues that you should be concerned about. If you believe that you have a strong foundation and you want to give the relationship another chance at some point, I would advise you to seek couples’ counseling.

  • liza

    After hours of googling for answers on WHY I was freaking out to the point of not being able to breathe and crying hysterically to my mother about what a mistake I’ve made, I was so relieved on finding this website that I started crying again! I thought I was being a horrible person. However reading through everything (and being able to relate) I still have some questions. To, shortly, set the scene: my ex broke up with me very abruptly after being very serious about getting engaged. I moved back in with my parents and was devastated but realized we were just friends for a very long time. So I start the process of buying my own house, furniture etc and promise myself never to be dependent on a man again. 6 months later I meet this amazing guy who is everything I’ve always wanted and who finally loves me for me – no more pretending to be better than what I am. He absolutely adores me, worships the ground I walk on and have a mind blowing sex life. We have a whirlwind romance for 3months and I’m so happy my face constantly hurts from smiling. We talk about getting married, I even go off the pill to try and have a baby, and eventually he buys a ring that I saw and loved. 3 months to the date we met we get engaged. I’m deliriously happy and say yes! But almost instantly things go wrong – my ring went back to the jewelers 4 times for being sized wrong or stones falling out, we have our first serious fight the night before I’m supposed to move in with him and on the day we move in together I suddenly start to panic. I feel trapped and scared to death that I’m making the wrong decision. I feel like he might love me more than I love him, that he idolizes me too much and if he gets to know the ‘real me’ he’ll run away. Then I feel slightly better after talking to my sister. 4 days later (which is today) I am in such a frenzy I don’t know what to do… I feel like maybe I’m just telling myself I love him because he’s so perfect on paper… The little things he does is starting to irritate me and I’m petrified that living with him will only amplify this. My heart tells me I love this guy and he is perfect in every sense of the word, but then my head tells me I’m wrong and that this will only get worse. Sometimes I even go as far as telling myself that I was so blinded by being in love and getting engaged that I didn’t take enough time to get to know him and that the annoying little things might overshadow all the good. So we’ve only been engaged a month and know each other for 4 months. Surely I should be more in love and happy? I should also mention I suffer from serious anxiety and my work scene has also undergone a massive change, but no matter how many times I tell myself this, I keep going back to ‘I’m making a mistake’ Why am I feeling like this and how can I rectify it? Should I rather ask him if we can cool our heels and live separately for a bit whilst still dating, instead of me pushing him away and becoming resentful? The thought of breaking it off gives me more fear than staying but I don’t want to stay if it means breaking it off in the future will hurt even more. So IS THIS NORMAL?!

    Ps. I really do want to buy your course but I live in South Africa and our currency is super weak to the dollar, so I’ll have to save a couple months before I can buy the course, I’m scared it’s too late by then, so any advice would be helpful!

  • liza

    I forgot to add that I feel a rush of love and happiness when I see him or he does something amazing, but then he says something small that annoyes me – so it goes back and forth. And I only seem to have these feelings the day after we’ve disagreed about something. Is it because I have unrealistic expectations, or because I don’t know him well enough, or is it fear of not being in control or fear of being dissapointed or rejected again. Wow I feel like I’m going crazy! Too many fears and questions :s

  • DeeDee89

    I just wanted to share my story with everyone.

    I got together with my boyfriend in March 2011. Before I met my BF I was ‘in love’, or infatuated, with another boy (I was 21 and he was 19 at the time) and he played around with me. Before my current boyfriend I have never been with anyone else so all this love feeling and heartbreak was new to me. I broke up with my BF in August the same year and again in December, I asked him out AGAIN because I felt like I actually liked him this time. We had been going strong till December 2012 and that was when I started taking the pill.

    The pill gave me side effects: depression and lack of libido. I took it the entire December and quit at the end of the month. Little did I know of the withdrawal symptoms I would then be experiencing. The whole of January this year I was in a complete mess because I was depressed and suddenly felt like I didn’t love my boyfriend. I broke down a couple of times and cried constantly the rest. I’m very honest with my boyfriend so he knew what was going on and when. It didn’t help that I am already a sufferer of depression and anxiety.

    Anyway now I feel more stable but I still get anxious and ask myself the following questions over again

    1) should I have dated more men (because he’s my first)
    2) should I be out there doing things like partying etc (because I was raised in a traditional family who did not let me be a ‘teenager’)
    3) am I missing out?
    4) did I really love him all along?
    5) did I fool myself into thinking I love him?
    6) I don’t want sex with him, does it mean I don’t love him anymore?

    there are more things of course that I obsess over. For example the BF is 36 and I am 24. Maybe I’m too young and need to experience more? But the idea of breaking up with him feels like the choice I should make but breaks me into a thousand pieces to think I won’t have him in my life. I agree that love is a choice. The rest is infatuation. We almost broke up two days ago because I couldn’t have sex with him and broke down again. He admitted that he feels ‘hardened’ towards me because of how I’m feeling, as if we might break up any minute. He makes me the happiest and I feel safe and never has he made me unhappy. He treats me like I mean the world to him and I love him for that but it’s hard when i suddenly start questioning things and allowing my mind to obssess over it.

    Not sure where I’m going with this but all in all, this article clarified a few things for me. Thankyou :)

  • Catz Claw

    Thank God I came across this article. I was feeling a bit down. I was thinking I was merely convincing myself to be with him. You see, he doesn’t have a great job. He is pretty much unsettled.

    But I took all the questions and I got the clear answer right away – Yes, I like him, yes, I love spending time with him. We connect in every possible way!

    But I do have to tell you, I do not miss him when he is gone – I am just anxious as to his whereabouts. I do not feel butterflies or sparks, i just feel warmth.

    So as long as he does not screw up by cheating on me or doing something incredibly stupid, I think I will stay!

    (Can’t help it. I believe monogamy is very hard for guys who have their brains in between their legs! General skepticism about men – not just him in particular…)

    • “But I do have to tell you, I do not miss him when he is gone – I am just anxious as to his whereabouts. I do not feel butterflies or sparks, i just feel warmth.”

      Completely normal!

  • Steff

    Sheryl, many thanks for writing this article. I am suffering terribly from anxiety right now…

    On the weekend, my boyfriend asked me to marry him (while we were sitting on the sofa watching TV – not at all as I imagined a romantic proposal!) My heart dropped straight away as I didn’t feel any excitement at the prospect of it (even though we discussed getting married quite a lot in the lead-up to this).

    Although we have some minor issues (he is not as well-educated and doesn’t enjoy socialising as much as I do), I love him and can’t understand why I didn’t experience that joyous moment which so many women speak of. After a few minutes of shock and tears, I told him I wasn’t sure and that I wanted him to move out to give me some space to think about it.

    I would be happy for him to be the father of my children but haven’t ever experienced the “if he’s the right one, you’ll just know” scenario in our relationship (or any other, for that matter – I’m still fantasise about ‘Mr Perfect’ coming into my life).

    He is caring, supportive, loving etc., so I am really confused as to why have I reacted so negatively. Understandably, he is upset but is willing to give me the space. I am worried that I am sabotaging a good relationship – or, was my strong reaction an indication that he really isn’t ‘The One’? :(

    What on earth is wrong with me?

    • “I am worried that I am sabotaging a good relationship – or, was my strong reaction an indication that he really isn’t ‘The One’?”

      If you’re in a good, loving relationship, your strong reaction is NOT an indication that he’s not really “The One.” And, in fact, your focus on “The One” and “Mr. Perfect” are likely influencing your reaction more than you realize. I encourage you to sign up for the free ecourse Sampler where you can read a bit about ScottishBride’s story (a member of the ecourse forum who struggled terribly with engagement anxiety from the moment of proposal and is now happily married), as well as other women and men who experienced the same reaction you had. The sooner you understand your anxiety and take the steps to address it, the more quickly and easily it will move through you.

      http://conscious-transitions.com/conscious-weddings-e-course/

  • Sally

    Hi there

    I have read through these stories and they have really helped me although I wonder if anyone can help me. I have been with my boyfriend for nearly 4 months now and everything was fantastic. I wanted to be with him So much when I first met him especially as he said he didn’t want a relationship and when I got him it was amazing. Everything has been fine no red flags and he loves me so so so much but over the past 4 weeks I have jus started to question myself – do I love him enough, am I leading him on, am I good for him? Up until those ; weeks ago I was ecstatically happy to see him etc and when I’m not feeling anxious I feel over then moon – even today. It’s like I realise how much I love him and then get really happy. But when I deem anxious I suddenly have the urge to end the relationship in case I don’t love him. I am emotionally drained and feel so sick when I get this anxiety. How can I stop this? I know if I ended the relationship I would be devastated so why do I keep considering this?

  • Jj

    I’m concerned about the talking aspect of my relationship, I get scared that my SO other and I don’t have deep enough conversations all the time. Like with my friends I feel comfortable and the conversation just flows right out of me. But with my SO its not so easy. We’ve been dating two years and it has gotten easier but I’m just scared because it’s not where I would like it to be. Some days( by some days I mean once in a blue moon) her and I will have conversations like we did at the beginning of the relationship, before my anxiety struck. Like the other day we had the most beautiful andi intimate moment in a while and I feel it should be like that more often. We just say and talked for hours on end, but it’s not always like that. Usually when it’s not like that, my mind is always racing and judging and picking out her flaws. My theory is when I’m in that anxious state (which is a lot of the time), I’m not as open as I could be. I’m essentially not relaxed enough. I’m really trying to work on it because she’s a great person that I definitely want in my life and as my girlfriend.

    • Seems clear that it’s your anxiety that’s preventing the conversation from flowing. Anxiety shuts down all channels of intimacy, both emotional and physical.

  • Jj

    This is not say that there is not connection whatsoever when I’m worrying, it’s just not as good or where I want it to be.

  • sanaa

    I have been extremely anxious about a few things about my relationship again. the anxiety is hitting me really badly and I don’t know what to do. When my current boyfriend (M) met me last year, I was going through acute anxiety and he used to patiently clear all my doubts everyday. I used to wake up with a different doubt every single day. It got so worse that when my mother was being tested for breast cancer, I blamed it on myself. I practically started blaming myself for everything and he used to reason it out with me and help me regain calm.
    He had confessed his feelings to me back then but like I said in my previous mail that I used to try really hard to feel for him but I just couldn’t.
    I would also like to mention that before this, I was in a relationship with a guy (R) who I was “blindly in love with” and it lasted for 2 and a half years and it was extremely unhealthy as he used to keep breaking up with me every few months and I used to beg and plead and convince him to get back with me and somehow that is what made it more intense and emotionally gratifying for me as there was always this chase involved and a sense of achievement when he used to finally agree.
    Also, he broke up with me as he didn’t want to commit and cited no future as the reason and told me clearly that the relationship didn’t figure in his priority list anymore.
    I believed for a long long time that I would always love him and never get over him and in time I started finding comfort in the pain and instantly started blaming myself for the breakup; since then I have blamed myself for everything.
    This happened in May 2011. I dated a guy(A) in April 2012 for 2 months but it didn’t work out and when it ended in June 2012, I was even more devastated. I found comfort in the pain I felt when R had left me and started convincing myself that I am still stuck on him and that I still love him and started contacting him and giving him all sorts of details about my life and my relationship with A, even intimate details and felt guilty about everything. I was nitpicking the tiniest of things and telling them to him coz I thought I owed it to him. I messed up my exams and I couldn’t eat. sleep, breathe properly; i was just always figuring out stuff to blame myself for and then telling him about them and trying to prove to myself what a bad person I was.
    It was then that I met M and there was an instant connection. I shared every single thing with him, even things from my childhood, growing up, things which I hadn’t even acknowledged to myself as, I told him coz there was an underlying feeling that I could tell him anything and everything and that he would just get it, and he did. He understood me just perfectly and used to see me for what I really am as a person beyond all that mess. We used to talk all the time and we were like one unit for a very long time. He was my blessing in disguise truly. he never judged me and just took care of me as if he was an angel sent by God Himself to save me from the pain. I was in so much pain and I used to wake up with insane doubts (one day going as far as reading in a newspaper article about child molestation and nearly convincing myself that i must have molested my kid brother too, although it has never happened; but my mind was just trying to completely convince me that i had molested my kid brother), my anxiety was so strong that it almost convinced me over things that never happened.
    M just loved me from the very start. He listened patiently, he never gave up on me even when everybody else had, he took care of me like i was his own and he just somehow helped me get out of that dark area. I was so attached to him by then that I started trying to feel for him as I genuinely wanted to love him (who wouldn’t?) and not lose him. He never pressurized me to feel for him and he was content just loving me and being there for me. I felt it in my heart that this is the guy I want to spend my life with as he totally gets me like nobody else ever has and he truly is my best friend and I can depend on him blindly. But I used to try so hard and I used to end up feeling frustrated. He already knew that I wanted a committed relationship this time as my breakup with R had taken so much from me that I was petrified of another heartbreak and this time I wanted it for life. He even committed to me and all was fine until I started figuring out if I really did love him. When I used to be with him, it was all perfect. Holding hands, hugging each other, being in our own bubble and just not caring about the world; but then anxiety used to hit me and before I could stop it, I was doubting this too. I was in such a bad habit of doubting things that I started doubting my feelings for him too. Although I never felt any attraction to him, I never felt any tingles or any butterflies but there was a sense of deep calm and peace; security, contentment that I got when I used to be with him or around him but I used to then start comparing it to my previous relationships and I used to realise that I never felt the way for M as I did for my ex’s; that those tingles and excitement wasn’t ever there but everything else was; the friendship, the contentment, the happiness, the jokes, the laughter, the warmth, the comfort, the sense of belonging. Also, I have had a string of bad relationships wherein i used to always chase and work hard to get them to love me and I used to always love being the rescuer, I used to pick people I knew it would be hard to please, that was the glue in those relationships for me-the need and work it took to please someone and earn their love, but with M, it all came very easily and thats why maybe I haven’t valued it as much as I valued them. The love, the committment, the time, the comfort, the trust. I would like to mention here that when M is away from me, I do get those feelings I used to feel in my previous relationships regarding the excitement of the chase etc. When he is with me, I am just myself, completely myself. I don’t need to put up an act and he accepts me just the way I am. I feel like I have finally found my way home now. Like he is my home. We share a beautiful relationship and it is very easy being with him; its as if he is my second skin, I am that comfortable with him, but often anxiety hits me if I really do love him or not; but when everything is calm in my world, I am totally in love and nothing else matters. Also, the fear of losing him is pretty huge in my mind. I don’t want to lose him at any cost as I have finally found someone who truly loves me and deserves me in every way and who is patient and who I actually see a future with. Is it relationship anxiety? Also, I have started experiencing insane excitement and also having those tingles and butterflies now and I feel a deep attraction too now and it hits me hard sometimes that I love him so much.

  • SAM

    I am passing through exactly same situation. I am with my girlfriend since November 2012..I was so happy with her and considered myself the luckiest guy..She is so caring,loving and loving person. She is in deep love with me. But from the last month, my feelings suddenly disappeared….One day when i woke up in morning, a thought came in my mind that i have lost feelings for her….In the beginning i just ignored it but it grew stronger..I was so panic, shocked and sad.. I am passing through this terrible situation which i never expected in my life. I want to love her as before..I want to feel for her like before…but i am failing…please let me know will my feelings come back or not? I dont want to loose her as she is the best person i have ever met in my life.

  • Nicole

    Sheryl,
    First, I want to say thank you for your website. Although I have just begun reading, I already feel more understood now than I have in almost a year of searching for answers.
    My fiancé and I dated for about 10 months before we became engaged. We had an immediate connection and became very serious quickly. He is an amazing man who is loving, supportive, smart, driven and funny. We have so much fun together and truly want the same things in life. I would say about 8 months after dating those “omg I’m so in love feelings” started fading. I started to panic and wondered why this was happening. I still loved him and wanted the same things but I didn’t understand why my feelings had changed. We became engaged and I was initially excited. I, after all, was the one pushing for engagement before I started having “doubts”. After we became engaged my anxiety increased and I started doubting whether we should be together. About 2 months after being engaged we moved almost 1000 miles away from our families so that I could attend graduate school. We moved in together and he took on a full-time job. I have now been going to school for about 10 months and things have not been easy between us. Besides my relationship anxiety, (which I didn’t even know was something ppl had until reading your website) we have had a lot of external stressors on our relationship. Besides moving to a new city and living together, my fiancé has struggled to find friendships here and has a hard time relating to me and my new friends since we are students together and are studying the same thing.
    Recently my doubts have been increasing, and my latest worry is if I need time to be on my own. I am 24 years old, and haven’t really been single for more than 3 months since I was 17 years old. I definitely would consider myself a “serial monogamist” and wonder if I need time to learn more about myself before committing the rest of my life to someone. On the flip side I am worried that these are only “the grass is always greener” feelings, because right now in school I have many friends that are currently single. I did live on my own throughout college so I am wonder if that was enough to “find myself.”
    My fiancé has become increasing frustrated with my continuous doubts in our relationship. Up until tonight I did not even think that relationship anxiety could be my real issue. Looking back on previous relationships, I can now see that this same anxiety was a major factor in them failing.
    So now I am face with a decision. Are the doubts I am having about him “being the one” just natural and a product of my newly discovered relationship anxiety problems? Or do I really need time to be by myself and discover more about myself alone?
    Hopefully you can help give me some perspective!

    • You’re suffering from classic relationship anxiety, Nicole! Keep reading through my site, including the comments, and the pieces will start to fall into place. If your really want to attend to the roots of your anxiety, join the ecourse!

  • Allison

    Hi Sheryl,

    I have been dating a man for 2 years. He’s wonderful! He’s brilliant, funny, attractive, and active. He takes care of himself and of me. We had been dating for 2 months, and he said he thought he was falling in love with me. That scared me, because I didn’t know what that meant. A few months later, I started saying it because I didn’t want him to think something was wrong. At 9 months, he asked me to marry him. When he asked me, all I could think was OMG, what are you doing?! Of course, I said yes out of fear. 2 months later, I called off the engagement, and said we had moved too fast.

    The following year, I told him I’d tell him when I was ready. I always had a gut feeling in my stomach that I wasn’t sure what I wanted, and sometimes I thought I wanted to date some more before getting married. However, something got me through those times. When I truly let myself feel for him, I fell in love fully. I told him that I was ready to get married, and now I’m freaking out again!!!

    I keep reading articles on “if you have any doubts, don’t get married.” This scares me, because I do have doubts! I do enjoy his company, sometimes I want to kiss him, sometimes I don’t.

    We actually got married already by paperwork, so that i could change my name before changing careers. Our ceremony/party isn’t until July, and now i’m thinking of calling it off!!! I feel like a total crazy person. We’re already MARRIED!

    Your article gave me hope that if I choose to love this man, and “water my lawn”, rather than looking to the greener grass on the other side, that it will work out. I just desperately don’t want to end up with a family and a divorce down the road.

    • You won’t hear “doubt means don’t” on this site. In my opinion, if you’re in a healthy relationship with a solid person doubt means fear. The place to work is with the fear directly, otherwise you’ll repeat the same pattern in the next relationship.

  • dorothy

    When I discovered this site yesterday I felt relieved…yes, there are more people like me. It is not that I am a bad, not normal person.

    I am with my boyfriend for almost a year now. From the first night we had great communication and we kept on talking and talking every day, opening our hearts. I was living in his country and have passed hard time the previous months, so I really wanted to open myself to someone and with him it worked perfectly.
    For the next months I was discovering new feelings every day. He wouldnt leave me alone so I was feeling I cannot see things clearly. But I was feeling a great attraction to learn him better and I didnt want to lose him, so we continued spending 24 hours per day together. For 6 months we almost never separated and I was living the happiest days of my life. I was with someone that made me feel alive, true, every positive feeling.

    The we had to live separately. I was feeling my emotions just growing and growing, even though we were far. Every time we met we were discussing and passing through many phases. It is not that we didnt have problems all those months but I was always so sure I loved him and I want to spend the rest of my life with him.

    A month ago in another of our short term meetings we were discussing seriously about getting married for some bureaucracy reasons. We have discussed many times in the past that we will be together forever etc but never seriously. Together with a feeling that I dont have the same sparkles for him, it put me in many doubts. Then I went back home and I started getting into a depression, questioning everything.

    2 weeks ago he took the immense step of moving to my place so we wont have the problem of living separately. And this just panicked me even more. I could not feel the same things that I was feeling in the past, that he was still feeling. He looks like a stranger to me, but so does myself. I dont recognize us any more. I feel that I have heard somewhere the love stories of those two people.
    The problem is that he is feeling insecure, because I always come up with doubts, I dont seem to be so much in love with him as he is. He is a wonderful person, I can recognise what I love in him, even now. I even love his “bad” aspects, they are so typical of him.

    I am just so much afraid that even if I pass those doubts now I will have more in the future. And I feel that he needs my love, he is very insecure. I feel very stressed and blocked. I know many readers here seem to be well after solving their anxiety problems and I might have the same. But how can we know that they wont come back again and more serious in the next time?

  • Elizabeth

    Sheryl- I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing attention to this topic. It is something that has become unbearable to discuss with my friends and family as their instinctual response is “then this isn’t right and you need to move on”, I then absorb their words as truth which just creates more anxiety. I have been with my boyfriend for four and a half years. We are on the brink of becoming engaged and I am just about to lose my sanity. I have been having chest pains for the last two weeks, I can’t sleep well, will wake up in the middle of the night panicking, I’m getting sick often because I am so stressed out, sometimes throw up in the morning because I’m so nauseous (your blog post on morning anxiety really resonated with me). I worry that my body knows the “truth” and that I should react to these chest pains by breaking up with him. My boyfriend and I were both on the fence for a long time about whether we wanted to move forward with the relationship or not. We both avoided serious talks for quite a while and just enjoyed doing things together. He made his decision that he would like to move forward about 6 months ago and I continued to be on the fence. He’s been so patient and loving with me and has waited for me to be ready for him to propose instead of just surprising me with it. I remained on the fence because I am plagued by worries and CONSTANT repeating thoughts like “I think my gut is telling me that this isn’t the right person” and “maybe that cute guy that I saw in the grocery store is a better fit for me?” Honestly, these thoughts have been there since we started dating. These thoughts just create an IMMENSE amount of guilt and cloud any feelings of happiness and appreciation that I could have for how he treats me… a surprise breakfast in bed made me for yesterday, a love letter for my birthday where he just poured his heart out to me about how amazing he feels I am and how he thinks I may be the love of his life. I feel absolutely terrible for having doubts in the face of his overwhelming kindness and love. I’ve always been someone who has been plagued by overthinking and stress/anxiety…honestly, I should have started seeing a therapist or taking medication for this a long time ago. I will get an idea in my head and I will spend so much time thinking about it that I will blow it out of proportion, have an entire story created around it, and it will become my truth. So at the risk of losing him, I told him several months ago that I wanted to start seeing a counselor to work through some of my feelings because I truly wanted to move forward with him, but not with the reservations I was having. After working with the counselor I came to a point where I felt really good about the idea and gave him the “green light” so to speak to ask me to marry him. That sureness and excitement that I felt after talking with the counselor wore off about three weeks after our last appointment (this pattern of excitement and then not being sure again has surfaced a few times over the last year) and I came back to my repetitive thoughts. This was about two months ago. Since then I have just been a ball of anxiety but have been hiding it from everyone because it seems such a terrible thing to admit that I’m back to being unsure after giving him the green light. Unfortunately my anxiety got the best of me yesterday and I admitted to my boyfriend that I was back to a place of being unsure.. Rightfully so, my boyfriend lost his patience. When he found out that my sleeplessness and chest pains were because of him, he got upset, said he doesn’t think it is right that I would need to be medicated to marry him and insisted that we take a week apart and not talk so I can work through what I’m feeling. That brings me to today. I just don’t want to make a mistake or hurt him.. I’m at a point now that I need to be SURE.. I can’t come back to him after this week and then change my mind AGAIN after several months.. it isn’t fair to him! I’ve purchased your e-course and am very eager to begin working through it. I’m fearful that what I will learn will make me feel like I shouldn’t move forward with him. Yes, I’ve been plagued with these thoughts ever since the beginning, but the one thing that has kept me with him for four and a half years is the fact that I WANT to be with him. I WANT to move forward with him… I just wish it were without these reservations..without these recurring thoughts. Do you think they can be stopped? He is the most AMAZING man in the world, we have a lot in common, share similar values, enjoy each other’s company, there are no major red flags other than the fact that there are times when I am not attracted to him sexually and we don’t necessarily connect perfectly sexually, but so far that hasn’t created any major issues. I’ve learned that this isn’t everything in and that I would be okay having that side of things not be as strong in our relationship.. I’ve had relationships where this aspect of things was fantastic but several other areas were lacking and lord knows that didn’t work for me. I’ve had a few relationships in the past and whenever it got to a point where I knew it wasn’t right, I always had the strength to let it go and I was always the one that did the breaking up. In this case, I CAN’T let go of him and feel that I might regret it for the rest of my life if I lose him because he is so amazing, and THAT is what keeps me with him. Then my mind gets running and I worry that if I say yes, I’ll regret that too. I just feel so incredibly stuck. I’m hoping that the fact that I WANT to be with him and haven’t been able to let go of him like I did past relationships means something and that it isn’t just me feeling upset over the idea of going through another breakup now that I’m older and it is harder to meet men. I think some of these ideas get created because I am so independent and the thought of being on my own again feels comfortable (despite the fact that I don’t like being in that place). That pain of feeling like no one cares about you, those worried thoughts of “will I meet someone”- it is so backwards, but that is where I am most comfortable, I get some sort of ego trip in dealing with that sadness. This probably goes back to how alone I felt when I was growing up.. I was made fun of quite a bit because I was so skinny and didn’t have many friends so I had to learn to be comfortable doing things on my own and not having many friends. So I will begin the journey with your e-course and will hope to find some clarity. I just hope if the clarity that I find is to move forward, that those feeling don’t wear away again two weeks after I tell my boyfriend and I go back to these recurring thoughts of doubt and worry. If you have any suggestions on how to ensure that doesn’t happen, I am very much all ears! Thank you, with love!

    • The e-course was made for you and I have no doubt you’ll find the clarity you’re seeking!

    • Brianna

      Hi Elizabeth,
      I was wondering how the e-course is working for you?

    • Sophia

      Elizabeth, everything you described is exactly the mirror image of my situation. I couldn’t believe it when i read it, I kept thinking it was a post I had made myself on here. I’d really like to talk to you about how the course worked for you and to just see how you feel now about it all?
      my bf proposed 6 months ago and it freaked me out, I was so confused because he is my everything, I didn’t understand my feelings either and asked for 6 months more time to come to terms with it all. It sounds so wrong, why would I have to come to terms with an engagement, it meant to be the most wonderful experience in someones life and not something I need to be brought around to. anyway we broke up officially 3 weeks ago because after the 6 months I couldn’t come around to it and couldn’t understand my feelings. I only hope this hasn’t happened to you.
      Would you be interested in talking more about it via email? It just made me feel so relieved to see someone with the same feelings, I finally feel a little more normal.

    • sgb

      Hi Elizabeth,
      I cannot tell u enough that reading ur post made me feel like i was hearing my own voice. Please let me know how the course worked for u and in what space u stand now with your boyfriend.
      God bless!
      Love,
      Sb

  • LilyFitz

    I think I found the answer to my prayers after reading this article. I have been battling with anxiety for about a year now, which started because of work related stress. One day I came home from an aweful meeting at work that had me in tears, my wonderful man tried to comfort me but I was inconsolable. I stayed up all night crying on the couch, watching TV. I was flipping through the channels and stopped on a show I have never watched before. I think it was an episode of Grey’s Anatomy and there was something said in the show between two lovers that I can’t even directly quote. I want to say that one person said something to the other person along the lines of, I’m not in love with you anymore. Then something triggered in me and made me think the thought about the man I love. In addition to the fact that I was already depressed and broken down because of work, I added this emotion to the mix.

    After that I met with my doctor and he put me on an anxiety medicine for a few months. I felt so much calmer than and my irrational thoughts about falling out of love with my boyfriend were gone. I do not take any medication anymore and I am very apprehensive about seeing a psychiatrist (which was the suggestion from my Dr. when I called one day to let him know I had an anxiety attack). I still get the same anxious thought about my boyfriend and it irritates me so much. I feel nauseous and it’s uncomfortable. Some days I’m fine and my boyfriend and I are on, connection and all. Then some days my mind just takes over.

    What I love about this forum is that now I know I am not alone and that this too shall pass with work and time. I love my man, I am so grateful and blessed for him in my life. I know I love him and so the thoughts only irritate me because I know they aren’t real. I remind myself during the times I’m anxious to stay strong and carry on because if I allowed my fear to take over and left this man because of it, I know I would make the biggest mistake of my life and regret it always.

    I look forward to reading more and learning more about my relationship anxiety.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you Sheryl! I’m already on to the second section and am just pouring through the information. A question for you- do you have many clients that had constant thoughts that maybe this wasn’t the right person for them from the very beginning? I suppose you could say that it sometimes felt like my ‘gut’ was trying to tell me that this wasn’t the right person for me. My mind is always running and these thoughts were/are a constant for me. I worry that I can’t move forward knowing that these thoughts were there from the very beginning and maybe I’ve only stayed because I was afraid to be alone. How do I know this is not the case? Have you had clients with a similar experience? There have definitely been times where we are very connected and I feel very happy with him. Those moments have become more and more frequent the longer we’ve been together and they are what make me believe that we are a great couple and that even if I am here because I’m afraid to be alone, that that’s okay.

    • Absolutely, Elizabeth. If you’re on the e-course forum, do a search for Suzie and read her posts from the beginning. She had doubts from early on and they continued for TEN years until she got married last July. She’s very happy with her choice now, but it was quite a journey!

  • Carol

    OMG I am so thankful that I have found this article today…I thought I was the only one feeling this way and that it meant I had to break up with my fiance. Just reading all of your experiences guys already makes me feel better because I thought I was the only one and that I was forcing myself which I don’t think I am doing because I do not want to break up with him despite of this anxiety. I shared what I was feeling with him a week after he proposed (we were together for a year and a couple of months)and he is now really upset and g became distant, which really make me feel bad and also hurts…He says he understands that I love him and will work with me and be patient but he acts distant now…I can’t be mad at him for this… I don’t know what to do now to make think the way they were before I admitted it to him. But I had to be honest with him.Now I am scared to lose him in addition of being anxious…I feel like a psycho… Thank you again for this website

  • Marj

    Hi
    Ive been seeing my bf for about 1 year now. I have never really been sure how I feel about him. Some days I feel really good and some days I feel maybe I should finish it. Its physical attraction that is my barrier. He is a lovely man, though we do fight a bit, but deep down I know he has good morals and a good heart (we are both in our 40s). I have not been good at picking the right guys, my longest relationship being 3 1/2 years. I have 2 young children. I wonder if I am sick of my relationships failing so I am now desparate to try make one work, and trying too hard to create something that isnt naturally there. He knows when something is up and has asked me if I fancy him….I am honest and tell him I dont know how I feel. The other weekend we spend a lot of time together and everytime I looked at him my heart just sank and there was just no attraction at all. I am so fed up of relationships not working and I wonder if there is a problem with how I see things or feel about things, expect things etc. I have had a relationship where | felt a strong attraction non stop, couldnt get enough of him, but he never knew how he felt about me and I was the one was always doing the chasing, that makes me wonder if I want what I cant have scenario…I just dont know and it is doing my head in because I dont want to live the rest of my life on my own :( Thanks for reading this…..

  • Oda

    I found this article, coz having this anxiety and searching thru the web like “signs i dont love him anymore’ other articles just provoke me to end things and let you prove you just dont love him. Im really glad that I came across this article,and realized that the problem doesnt lie with our relationship but with me – being relationship OC. its just when I notice little flaws about him and I’m starting to think I deserve better, or wasting my years with him. I’m so thankful with this article able recognize this “anxiety’ feeling that I thought I’m the only one who feel this.

  • Peachybrown

    I met a nice guy about 5 years ago at my church, i was still healing from my last relationship which had ended a year back. I still carried baggage, but this nice guy showed some interest and i jumped at the idea of dating a decent man. He wanted to marry from the “get-go” and i needed time. Anyway 5 years down the line i have always struggled with the idea of marrying him, i like him (without the fear in the drivers seat) and i enjoy his company, he is gentle and thoughtful. But i am anxious coz now we are getting married, and i dont know if i really love him (fireworks, steamy marriage and all) or i should just call it off. I cant imagine not being with him, but i dont want to settle. I wonder if my decision is affected by Hollywood notion of love??Im desperately seeking a resolution before i make him and myself unhappy…

  • Amberfwn

    I suffer from severe anxiety and because of this I’m disabled. I’m 52 and never have been married and always wanted to be. Well 2 months ago I met a man and we just hit it off right away and now I’m already engaged. However, lately I feel like I’m in hell because my anxiety is through the roof. Sometimes I will look at him and think “Do I love him?” and I certainly can’t answer that. I don’t feel the same way I did when we first hit it off. How much of him is in my heart? I don’t know. I just know I’m terrified that I don’t love him like I used to. When I don’t think about it I’m fine, but when it enters my mind, I almost suffer from a full blown anxiety attack. I hope to God it’s just anxiety and I really do love him like I thought. Thanks for reading.

  • Brianna

    I have thought about this as well and it always caused anxiety. I feel like if someone really doesn’t want to be with someone they wouldn’t get anxiety over it. Does that make sense?

  • Rpeli

    Briana, I actually believe the opposite about anxiety and those of us who are sensitive to it. Anxiety is actually a really good sign post for us to see the things that are most important in our lives. If that wasn’t the case, and we didn’t really care about our partners or our relationships, do you really think we’d be giving ourselves such a hard time about it? Doubt it!

    Have you considered the e-course? In reading through some of your comments, we touch on all the themes that are giving you such a hard time. I’ve been a member for a year and a half and am so unbelievably grateful that I found this place as the people on the forums are some of the wisest, most supportive and considerate people I’ve come to know. It’s well worth checking out!

    • Brianna

      I’m so glad you said that! It reassures me. Sometimes when I’m numb and I think something bad, sometimes I get anxious that I didn’t get anxiety over it because it makes me start thinking. If that makes sense?
      I would love to try the e-course, I just can’t afford it right now :/

      • Isabella

        I agree that the worst part is being emotionless. No sadness or anxiety. It makes me start to think as well. Even though I know I wouldn’t feel like this if I didn’t get the anxiety.

  • Isabella

    Sheryl,
    I was wondering if you can write a blog about how anxiety makes us feel like we don’t love our partner. How it makes us feel numb and emotionless. Or have you written an article like that before?
    I was reading through these comments and I am in the same boat as Alex. It feels like there is nothing where my heart is. Some days it feels like a big rock is there or a lot of pressure. Other days, like now, I just don’t feel anything. I’m looking at pictures of my boyfriend and I’ve felt little things since the anxiety, but now there is no emotion at all. It makes me start to question.

  • chelsea

    Hi, I have been dating my boyfriend now now for five months an he’s amazing an I care so much about him. I fell in love with him quickly because we connected so easily but recently the “in love” feelings have faded an I’ve gotten doubts about it actually being love or not? I never knew about relationship anxiety until reading your site. Are the doubts normal an a sign of anxiety or does it mean something else? I would love to love my boyfriend without the fear an anxiety.

    • As long as there are no red flags in the relationship the doubts are normal and not a sign of something else (except your own fears). As you continue to read through my site it will start to make sense.

  • I have read a few different posts here on this site. All of which I do think are helpful, but I have been suffering with anxiety since I was 17 and I am now 24. Therefore, my brain has rewired itself massively and I fear the “fear voice” is in total control. I think that that is the reason I feel like I am emotionless some days. I think my anxiety falls way past relationships though honestly relationships are a huge part of it. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years now, I am expecting a baby in August and I am in a huge anxious mess. It wasn’t always like this and my boyfriend tells me it too, however, we have had some issues that I think I hold onto. I feel like I have talked to him about it before but nothing happens, such as sticking up for me- especially when his mother makes comments at me. Since I found out I was pregnant she has done them and he thinks nothing of it other than I am over reacting. I feel small when I am around him because I feel like he is still babied in his family and they don’t see him as an adult. I feel like it is also projected onto me. In the beginning I didn’t know that and I think that that is when the true colors come out later on down the line. He is a good hearted person and I know that he means well, I just felt like we are more friend than lovers. I feel hurt that school and work seem to be the main priority for her and I am on the back burner or that he doesn’t stand up for himself. I know these are probably red flags and honestly I didn’t /don’t want to see someone because I don’t want to have someone say leave. But I don’t feel connected. However, I also have my own issues, last year I meet someone who I thought I would have a “deep connection” and who would make me sooo happy- but I never went after it because I didn’t want to leave my current boyfriend. And now with a daughter on the way I really want to work out my issues. I have had anxiety before so I know that some of it along the way was fear based. All the “what ifs” came into play. Such as “what else is out there” “what if it gets boring” “what if you meet someone else” “what if you don’t love him” all of these questions that came up way before I had my other issues. We were in college when we met and still lived at home and I know that that didn’t help. And though we just moved out about a month ago and I have been pregnant for 5 (she is due in August) it has really amplified. At the same time sometimes I think he is too nice or not cool enough or doesn’t have enough friends. I sound so juvenile but honestly I don’t know what else to do because of the anxiety. I would like to take a course or see someone but last time I saw someone they told me to just break it off with him… is there any hope at all? I feel panicky so I need to stop writing…

  • I also forgot to mention that I have OCD really bad. And he has good qualities to I know most of it sounds bad but its hard to focus on the good. Because sometimes I just dont know if I even want the relationship but leaving him makes me sad…I am just so confused… so confused. And every little comment I think applies to me. If I see a break up I think its going to happen, I use to think I was going to be gay when I was with the last boyfriend.

    I need help…and I know you might not be able to go by much in my comments because they are so spaced out. I just needed somewhere to go

    • Alicia: I would encourage you to find a local counselor and start to address your fear-based thoughts. If you’re with a skilled counselor, they won’t tell you to leave but will help you find your truth and clarity. In addition to local counseling, my e-course would be an excellent resource for you.

  • Claudia

    Hi, I can relate to a lot of these anxieties, but it relates to a different.situation and I’d really appreciate advice from people with more relationship experience, something of which I don’t have much. My background is that I’m 25 years old and I’m transgendered, so I was born physically male but transitioned to female as that is what i fundamentally was in my mind, (and encountered similar sorts of anxiety through that, but that’s resolved), but the point of mentioning that is that i have little experience of love and sex as my sex change operation was only a year and a half ago. I had my first boyfriend not long after the operation, at 24, and he was wonderful and accepting, but it had to end when we couldn’t be in the same country anymore.The second guy I have met a month ago is where the issue now lies. He is quite a bit older, 42, but I wanted to give it a chance because so many guys my own age I’m not on the same wavelength as. With this guy I feel open and safe, he communicates well and accepts my past, and is madly in love with me, something I never expected.He has already talked of marriage and the future, mainly due to the fact that he wants to get to the point and settle, at his stage in life. I see theoretical potential for a great relationship, but from the start I have never been physically attracted to him, and I’ve tried to look past that, but I’ve never felt a deep sense of love and yearning, and still think about dating other men as it’s only been a month, yet I didn’t feel this way with my previous boyfriend. He already talks of commitment, which overwhelms me and I’ve communicated my unsureness and want to see where things go, part of me tells me to get out now to avoid things getting worse, but another tells me to give it a chance because it could develop into something ideal. A lot of these posts talk about the end of a honeymoon period, but what if there wasn’t one to start with, because he’s fast forwarding the relationship. I will add he’s not pressuring me, but telling me where he stands in the relationship. I appreciate his maturity and straightforwardnessa lot, but i wonder if the divide is too big.. I’m starting out on love.and relationships as a late bloomer, he’s been through marriages and relationships that have failed.and.wants to settle down QUICKLY. Help!

  • Stephanie

    I came across this sight while trying to find out what love is. An action or a feeling (and before that, signs I should stay in my relationship or leave, if its normal to feel certain ways, etc.) I’m 21. I met someone in februarh and we got together in april. Hes smart, funny, caring and fun. However we’ve broken up/taken a breal because I think a lot. I wonder if im making a mistake, if its normal to not get the tinglies when I kiss him or melt at his kisses, feel blah or empty when we hold hands sometimes.. lacking in particular areas make me questoon however, I know I want to love him but I dont know if thag possibility is there. I want to love him and last with him but i feel pulled back in fear and questions and possiblg an obscured view on how i think relationships should look and feel. I’m not ashamed to hold his hand or say he was my boyfriend. When we broke up it aas because I was very anxious and co fused and I didnt know what to do. Maybe we spend too much time togeyher? His father likes me and I assume the same of his step mom. Why do I get so axious and worried every now and then about something I want to work and I want to grow in feelings for? It’s confusing. When we got together the first time I felt the heat of anxiety saying “what did i get myself in to?”" But because he told me it was normal i took his word and we went for about a month. I wonder if ill fall in love with him or if my feelings are jumping all over the place. I’m not trying to play hot and cold. I know I want to be able to be stable and not get like this. He doesn’t have this problee he wants to see me all the time according to his words. Am I just in blinding fear and anxiety? We have good days and bad days. One day I couldnt stop kissing him evem though he had to leave my home and then other days the kisses dont move me the same. Some days I can hug him and not wanna let go, other dahs theyre empty. I dont know what it is but jg can change thatd be good for me..

  • Stephanie

    Oh yeah, i forgot tk mention above in my last comment, also, I wonder if its normal to not be as excited to see him or to miss him. When i see hkm sometimes i cant help but smile a little. Sometimes he misses me more then i ever miss him if at all. Im usually used to distance so maybe it just naturally takes me longer? Is all of this normal? I know someone must kf told you this before but sometimes i wonder what is wrong with me? I really hope you can help me out. Thank you!!

  • Lily

    So grateful I discovered this post at this time. Truly a sign.
    I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years now. Got engaged 3 weeks ago. He is the most perfect ideal man. If only I can clone him out to all my single friends. I’ve been waiting for almost a year to get engaged, finally it happens and I start doubting EVERYTHING. It’s like a switch went off. I stopped looking at him the way I did before we got engaged. I too suffer from anxiety. Example, I shopped for one year before finally purchasing my dream car, I got it and was not happy at all! In fact, I hated it! Is this how I’m feeling now? I know I will live the happiest life with him, he’s wonderful. Why am I doubtingmy feelings about him now?!

  • Taylor

    Hi Sheryl,
    I just came across this site because I was googling “why am I picking certain flaws from my boyfriend” Silly, I know. I am 24 years old and just packed my bags and moved to Hawaii. Well a month before I made the big move I ran into an old fling and we just hit it off so well and hung out everyday and fell in love. We are in a long term relationship now. He treats me amazing, he is honestly one of the nicest guys I have ever dated and now after two months I am constantly thinking of ways to not like him. I know the time we had together was precious and amazing and I even thought I could see a future with him, I’m now thinking of little things that get me annoyed about him like the way he texts, or that he laughs too much, or that he doesn’t make me laugh.. I feel like a crazy girl to be thinking these things when i have an amazing guy that would do anything for me and is even waiting for me! Is this a type of anxiety?

    I also feel like he is more into me than I am with him and before him, I was with a guy for 4 years and it was the chase that got me. I thought he was perfect but didn’t realize how horrible he treated me and only wanted me when it was convenient for him. I am now comparing my current boyfriend who every girl would dream of having because of how he treats me to a guy that I chased for 4 years who I thought nothing was wrong with him… but when everything was wrong with him. I hope I’m making sense. I’m just driving myself crazy thinking about this and don’t want to hurt my boyfriends feelings. When i was with him i said to myself “I’ve never felt this way about anyone” and now that I’m away I’m picking certain flaws to get me annoyed with him. Help please!

    I just want to know if I’m making these thoughts up and forcing myself to not like him because of anxiety and the distance.

  • Emily

    Hi,

    Thank you for a great website, that has really helped me to understand some of the feelings I’ve been having.

    18 months ago, my long-term boyfriend split up with me, out of the blue. He was never particularly communicative, but with astonishing cruelty, ended a four year relationship over the phone. When we were together, I loved him absolutely, and couldn’t see the warning signs that were there. He was moody, we only did the things he wanted to do, he wouldn’t acknowledge my affection in public (he would physically push me away), – I even started to dress differently to please him; anything in the hope that he would love me as much as I loved him. I was so desperate for affection, that every time he held my hand or kissed me, I got chills, butterflies. I thought that desperate need for affection was love, and I was wrong.

    Only a few months after he left, I met my current boyfriend completely by chance. My current partner is the most loving, generous man. He loves me for who I am, not who he can turn me into. He’s the opposite of my ex, demonstrative, affectionate and charming. We’re the couple that our friends roll their eyes at when we cuddle in public. He makes me calm, happy and at peace, with myself and the rest of the world. And yet, I’m plagued by doubt. The scared, nervous ball of emotions deep in my gut asks “Do I really love him?”, “Am I just pretending?” because I don’t crave affection or feel those chills that I did with my ex.

    In my quiet moments, I know that I love my current boyfriend, and that the absence of a desperation need for affection isn’t the absence of love. I know my previous relationship was unhealthy, and frankly, borderline emotionally abusive. But the anxiety is hard to control. I feel like I’m holding back, and not loving with my whole heart.

    For the longest time, I thought this was just me, that I or my current relationship was somehow broken. Reading this site, I’m realising that I’m not alone, and that just like any kind of trauma, the damage done by an unhealthy relationship can echo onward, into my new relationships.

    Thanks so much; this site makes me feel hopeful that I can work through my anxiety.

  • Kim

    Emily sounds like your in a very similar position as me . I was with my ex 3 years and it was full of mental abuse and I craved his attention to even got butterflies when he eventually touched me which was only when he wanted to . He broke up with me last year . The guy I’m seeing now is so lovely and gental but I just pick everything about him . There’s defently no chase cause he showers me with love everyday . I compare him to my ex too wish I could stop doing this . When I’m having an anxiety free day though I can’t get enough of him and feel very much in love with him . If u want to email me n talk more . Kimmyangel78@gmail.com

  • ellie

    Thanks for this wonderful article and all the site. I´ve learnt so much from it. Before, I was even scared of the idea of wedding, let alone marriage! Your articles have triggered some change inside me and everything feels better now. After years of bad luck in love I have found a wonderful man and I am determined never to allow feelings of anxiety to spoil our relationship. Thanks again for your helpful site.

  • Sarah Lynn

    Hi Sheryl. I stumbled upon your website and am so glad I did. I’m currently going through the same thing as many of the women who have posted here with the exception of having clinical depression and being treated with medication for my anxiety (although I’ll admit I don’t take it faithfully). I’m with a wonderful man, he’s everything I’ve ever wanted. A few weeks go I had this gut wrenching feeling of “What if I actually don’t love him” or “What if I’m forcing this because I’m afraid to be alone”. I’m so scared I’m going to lose him or push him away. I’ve vocalized my concerns to him, and he has been great about it, he’s being so supportive and genuinely wants to do anything he can to keep me in his life and make this anxiety go away. I have clear-headed moments where I question nothing and am so very happy. Such as this past week and weekend, I knew he was the one I wanted to spend forever with. We’re in a long distance relationship and I do see him every weekend, and this seems to hit me on Sundays when he has to go home. Any ideas or words of wisdom? Please help…

  • BT

    Hi guys!

    Has been great reassurance im not going this alone.

    I have been with my partner for nearly 7 years. Over the years you of course you have your doubts which I believe is natural. However for a long time I have seen the glass as half empty not just with my partner (its not black its blue etc) but a lot of things in general really. Over time I for some reason felt like I held a grudge/resentment towards him which meant I just looked at everuthing particilarly him negatively & that obviously came across in my interactions with him. Three weeks ago he told me he had been really unhappy for months I knew it was coming as I knew the atmosphere id created (takes
    two to tango, hes certainly not perfect). We’re having a month break from eachother which has been tough for both of us. Id been feeling flat like this for a year or so on and off. My partner telling me he wasnt happy was the trigger I guess for it all to come to the surface. This meant I started over analysing EVERYTHING I felt for him, “do I really love him”, “I love him, dont love him, love him, dont
    love him. Just when I feel good about him it seems to be counter balanced with the negative thoughts.
    I have been to a counselor twice which I found beneficial & ill continue, she also suggested I see my GP
    about depression and a low dose antidepressant which I have started three days ago. I have a great
    life, no red flags, great families, grest jobs and my partner is a generally good guy. We often bicker &
    argue & have gotten to the point where it feels like we disagree with each other just to disagree. I get
    annoyed at all the little things he does right down to how he might place something on the table or if he
    slams the door by accident etc I often take it like he was doing it on purpose to get at me where
    rationally I know thats not the case at all. I have started yoga to help try and clear my head. I dont want to lose him as theres no real reason to other than my negative outlook and now my constant doubts.it dodsnt help that we both travel for work and hes on the other side of the country for ten days of the month. I also have studied full time for two years while working full time meaning 7 days a week gone…no time. I know that has been hard. I just want to love him and for our life to be smooth sailing without all these doubts and all this over analysing. It feels like im sabotaging my own positive thoughts like I tell myself “I love him” but then the thought pops in “no you dont”. Over feeling like this as hes obviously feeling the heat from it all. HELP!

  • KM

    What would be some “red flags”, that you’ve mentioned? You say that you can work through these fears, doubts and anxiety “provided there are no red flags”….could you give us some examples?

    Trust issues…from either side? Infidelity?

    • Red flag issues: Trust, infidelity (that hasn’t been addressed), misalignment regarding having children and/or raising children with or without religion, emotional or physical abuse, addictions that aren’t being addressed.

  • Jennifer

    LOL I find this all so interesting. I was married for 10 years to an emotionally distant man WHO suprisinly was much like my father. I chased this man we will call him John and finally made him mine through vows. I thought for the rest of my life the emotional high of never knowing if he would leave me (abandonment stirs my love hormones thus making me want him more) would constantly flare. Only until I started having panic attacks and depression did the abandonment realization come out thus causing a reaction in my now X to abandon the person I was becoming. He could not handle it and told me to go away and come back when I was better. I realized I was chasing my father. SO needless to say we ended up in a divorce and I vowed to not chase unavailable men anymore.
    A year after we split I met someone, not just anyone, someone that I know I have loved before. Someone that loves ALL of me, someone who is my best friend, companion, I can tell anything to, knows my moods and my insecurities, and loves every ounce of me without question, spoils me, is kind and wonderful. BUT yet, due to my past the anxiety kicks in like so many others and I think I don’t care for him anymore. Now I have been keeping a record and yes it waxes and waynes like the moon. Due to my best friend, I have stayed in the relationship because I know the inner teenager wants that insecure chase, that is love to her, but the adult and inner little kid want that security. I know in the quiet moments I love him, but anytime any outside stress happens I blame him and want to pack up. I express this all to him, he knows all of me and doesn’t stray or let it get to him, he always says, “If anyone leaves, it will be you cause Im not budging.” I want nothing more than to marry this man and devote my life to his and my happiness because I feel I have been given a second chance but yet there’s the nagging feeling…..Can this be combated because I don’t want to loose this wonderful thing I have. :(

  • alice

    I’m so glad I found this article along with everyone else by the looks of it! Haha. I’m 21 years old and have had depression and anxiety for roughly about 4 years but only been diagnosed with depression for the past 2 years, which unfortunatly started from a previous relationship when I was 16 to 18. I’ve been in a new relationship for about 5months with a gorgeous bloke, who I do love. But I’m finding it difficult this being my first relationship since depression and anxiety. Depression I don’t suffer so much from but anxiety, boy do I suffer. I have the same questions everyone else is asking themselves, do I really love him? Omg what if he’s not the one? What if deep, deep down I don’t really want to be with him? These aren’t constant thoughts but they pop into my head couple of times a month! When we were first together I felt it all! Love, passion , excitement, I felt I missed him terribly! We’re long distance, well an hour away in a car. But reality really hit me when he couldn’t see me the one weekend because of heavy snow, this TRAUMATISED me! As the next time I would of seen him, it would of been two weeks! I found this so distressing and lashed out at him when it wasn’t really his fault. Ever since my anxiety has played havoc with me ! One minute I feel I love him, then other times its almost like I feel flat, just nothing. But I know even though its hard not to listen to my anxiety that deep down I do still love him. I panic that he’s not the one when I want him so desperatly to be, I can’t not have him in my life. About a month ago my ‘friends’ and some family members were telling me how if I had such bad anxiety about him and had to question my relationship then I shouldn’t be with him, to which I listened stupidly and broke it off with him. He was devistated. And so was I. But if everyone was saying that , that was the right thing , I thought it must be? WRONG! For days all I said was ‘I don’t know’ …’I don’t know if I’ve made the right decision’ . Luckily a friend spoke to me and basically said… If he loves you…and you love him..what’s stopping you being together? Then suddenly it clicked! I was so excited to tell him that I love him and want to work at it again (as he’d been waiting for an answer off me) . As soon as I told him over the phone I couldn’t contain my excitement! Then this pang of OMG what if I’ve just done the wrong thing?! See where my anxiety creeeps in to destroy things? – we are still together and I love him and want his children I know that much and I know I want to live in his area with him but anxiety does one hell of a job to tell me otherwise! I want this to be it, I want it to just be me and him , I don’t wanna date again and start all over again with anyone else. He is great and makes me smile and laugh and is so understading about my anxiety. But there’s still parts of me that wonder is this love? My relationship at 16 was so intense and almost obsessive because I went into it naïve and fresh (no anxiety) that I had every feeling going, so I do compare this relationship to when I was 16 which I feel bad about! But I’m 21 now and not so free and naïve anymore so I suppose it would be different :) . I just hope that this is all anxiety and not this ‘convincing ‘ thing :)

  • alice

    Also sometimes I feel it gets too much that I feel I can’t do it anymore when anxiety gets a grips on me or ill be really anxious and sick about seeing him again, almost like omg he’s actually real? And I love this person! An that feels so overwhelming! Does anyone else get this?

    • Jennifer

      LOL Alice, yes, yes, yes. I have GAD, for years now and it fluxuates. I realize now I have had it my whole life when I look back, it was only when I was in LTR relationships and getting settled it strikes. I had to start taking note of the fact that, it is the times when we are on vacation or in a non stressful setting that I can lean against his chest and just breathe, content and happy. It comes and it goes, and I actually keep a journal of all the sweet things he says to me so I can go back and read them. I have months that go by and I am fine, then I hit a massive stress block and it all comes back, its him, its the relationship but I always seem to recover in time, feeling love again. The journal also reminds me of that, that it does return. I know based on my past that if I leave this wonderful man, I will just experience it with the next person and the next that comes along, he is just special enough for me to stay and try to work my way through this horrible pain.
      I tell him EVERYTHING and he is incredibly supportive and doesn’t let it bother him, he just says, “Baby, we all have issues.” I am very lucky that way to have someone I can be so open with. I know underneath I am just afraid of being hurt, I just need to find better coping skills in the mean time until I can get to the root of the problem. And he may not be the “one” but then again he might, I personally don’t want to live with the what ifs pertaining to this man I am with, I would rather see where this path I am on takes me. Anxiety cant hurt us, it just makes us really uncomfortable, almost unbearable sometimes but if we have a supportive partner, they will give us the space and time we need.
      You are not alone, hang in there, make a list of your values and what he gives you and weigh it out. If he is worth it to you then stick it out and see what happens, even though, I cry, have anxiety, depression, I am going to wait and see if it passes again.

    • Patricia

      Alice,
      Sometimes I even wonder
      What if this is not anxiety and we all feel this way because we are supppose to end the relationship
      Is crazy what anxiety can do .

  • alice

    Jennifer, that’s so lovely that your partner is like that , as is mine :) he’s understands my anxiety and everything and never let’s it bother him. Yeah I can’t stand the what ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ they drive me mad but I can’t help but ask them. I know I love him deep down and I want to be with him, but when I read the last bit of your comment ‘if he is worth it to you then stick it out’ the only bit that stood out to me was ‘IF he is worth it’ which spiked my anxiety because I think he is but my anxiety is going to tell me otherwise now haha

    • Jennifer

      LOL what I mean when I say “if he is worth it to you” I mean, does the good outweigh the bad? If you made a list of all the good things vs the bad part does the good outweigh it. Some people stay in relationships when they are being abused or neglected, but if he is true, loving, kind, and everything you want then he is worth fighting for what you have together. LOL sorry, I know how anxiety is, I should have worded that differently LOL!!!

  • alice

    Also I get really anxious about our future together then other times the thought of it gets me so excited! Sheryl does this sound like relationship anxiety or convincing? :( I need some reassurance

  • Toni

    I think people have mentioned this before but I wanted to ask, is it possible for the anxiety to make you see your partber differently? I know he hasn’t changed but he’s almost like stranger to me these days And it makes me feel really sad. I want desperately to see him the way I used to, but it’s almost like all my negative thinking had been projected into him and distorted how I see him. I’m not sure if there’s a way back from this? Any advice?

    Also I have no energy at the moment, I’m tired all the time, take little interest in anything and seem to have no fight left in me for anything. Pretty much nothing sparks interest in me.

    I always wanted to marry my boyfriend, he’s absolutely perfect, kind, caring, very good looking would make a fantastic husband And father, and yet now I feel nothing and it’s killing me. I can’t see our future anymore, it’s almost as if in my head I’ve given up on us working And that annoys me so much because I know once you give up, it’s hard to come back from. I want us to work so much, I want to feel my passion And love for him more than anything, but I’m so tired, I just have no energy.

    I really hope I can get back from this place with him. He’s been amazing and so patient and supportive, he really deserves better than what I’m putting him through.

    • Jennifer

      Hi Toni,

      I just went through a horrible anxiety phase as I do every few months anytime there is a lot of stress or pms going on. It kind of sounds like you are depressed. When we suffer anxiety it goes hand in hand with depression, too many of our good brain chemicals are being put out to support the anxiety so it leads to depression. AND when there isn’t enough good chemicals you aren’t going to feel good. I have struggled with depression my whole life, the anxiety I would run from and use outside SOOTHERS (ie; drugs, food, relationships) to combat the depression thus getting high off things that aren’t good for me. There are a lot of things that cause depression from hormones, to diet, to having nothing to look forward too, just depends on the person.

      Don’t pressure yourself to feel anything, that just makes it worse, and don’t guilt yourself because you feel this way. Life waxes and wanes just as emotions do. Sometimes we love our mate, sometiems we cant stand them, and what I have been learning is that is OK! It is normal, we aren’t going to feel IN LOVE all the time, they are after all another person we are living with and even though you feel so connected sometimes, there will be time when you don’t. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn over the last couple of years, when I fall into my depressive states, I say GOD what am I doing, is this is it for me? Am I wasting my time? But the reality is, I had an idea from my childhood that love was one thing when in reality it is something else.

      SO from my own personal experience telling my guy EVERYTHING I am feeling helps me feel close to him when I am vulnerable because if you are not friends (which should be first) it makes it incredibly hard, letting him know that you love and care for him but you are just going through a hard time right now, you may want to go get a pedi, go to the gym or a walk, go have a night out by yourself with a friend or even alone and ALWAYS, ALWAYS love yourself regardless of how you are feeling and take each day one day at a time.

  • Toni

    Thank you Jennifer, you make some very good points. I know I feel better when I take time to love myself, and do stuff for me, it always helps.
    Just now my heart feels so empty and I almost don’t feel like I’m part of his life anymore, I feel like I’m not part of his family or friends And that’s all because of what I’ve been thinking in my head. He’s lying right next to me Abd he’s mine, so why do I feel like we’re no longer together?! My heart feels empty and I’m so desperate to feel something, but I know forcing it won’t help me.

    Xxx

  • alice

    I feel the same sometimes toni and its really hard to almost be affectionate towards that person when you feel so empty and distant. I don’t have really good months then bad months, I wish the good lasted that long! Mines from day to day, depending on what’s happening to me depends on how I am or feel about my partner sometimes. Xxx

  • Toni

    Alice I agree mine are more like day to day. And it all depends on how I’m feeling towards him. I think I’ve realised I put a lot of pressure on myself to feel a certain way, I pressurise myself go think about where we’ll be in a months time, a years time etc. I force myself to imagine our baby or wedding day and I just feel fear for all those things. But then I think, well I’m with him right now, in this moment and it’s not awful, in fact it’s rather nice and if I can sit next to him now and it doesn’t feel bad then what does it matter how I might feel tomorrow or in a month. Why force myself to think if the future when I’m not there, and I’m not in a stable enough place to think happily about the future. Right now I’m only going to see things in a negative way, because I’m struggling. But perhaps if I learn to just enjoy now and ignore the nagging negative thoughts for a little bit, just maybe i’ll be able to turn around in a few months to come and say I can think happily about our future, and I pray that I will because my boyfriend is a gem of a man, who would make a wonderful husband and father, he loves me Unconditionally and I want to learn to love him back exactly as he loves me and for us to enjoy a happy life together, one we had before all this started.

    I want to stop being scared, to stop snapping at him, to accept him as he is and give back what he gives me. Deep down I’m terrified of being taken away from my family, I have been scared if this ever since I was little. I know it will have to happen at some point in my life but it doesn’t mean I won’t always have my family.

    Right now I know I need to just keep moving forward, no matter what the motivation or ill lose the best thing to ever happen to me. I can’t see the future for us and this does worry me, but I believe that as time goes on and we reconnect hopefully the future will become clearer to me.

    Xxx

  • Elle

    This has been really helpful, with my boyfriend at times I could just kiss a thousand times over one day, then the next day I question “do I really love him?” And it’s strange but all of that was true in my case because I do want to marry him but sometimes it scares me when he thinks ahead about marriage and children, this has really helped I thought I was the only one but this has brightened up my evening for certain. :)

  • alice

    Don’t worry elle, I’m excactly the same :) I’m scared that when I have counseling that secrelty its gonna come out that I don’t wanna be with my boyfriend but I love him and allsorts so I think its just literally anxiety, does anyone else feel this about conselling?

    • Brianna

      I do alice!

    • Sophia

      It’s so funny you say that Alice because I feel exactly the same way. My friend subtly told me the other day maybe I wasn’t able to settle down with my current bf because he’s not the one, but I resent that comment. Is it always that black and white? If you love someone so much but marriage or settling down is still terrifying, I don’t think that means that being with that person is wrong. Does anyone else agree? You can’t just throw away a great guy every time just because you’re not entirely 100%ready to move forward.

  • alice

    Thank god someone else does too! Bloody anxiety trys to ruin everything!

    • Brianna

      I’ve been doing well this past week but I got into an argument with my mom and it made it seem like she doesnt care for my boyfriend. So i starte getting anxiety overthat and then i asked he which caused a bigger argument.and she said something’s like you seem unsure Of you’re feelings, it’s like you’re looking for answer, you can’t be with him because we like him. I know all of that isn’t true because I wouldn’t cry over not being with him and when I am with him everything is right in the world. But I’m getting anxious and feeling very empty since she said all that cause I’m the person who goes I that whats happening?! Help!

  • Emmie

    I’m really glad i read your article. i’ve been having so many doubts recently, i’m happy i read this before making a big mistake.
    you see, my boyfriend and i have only been together for a little over a year and he’s already told me that he wishes to marry me and i didn’t return that feeling. people around me kept telling me that i should know but i didn’t.
    my mother and sister don’t like him, not as an individual but because they believe i can do better, and they keep telling me that he isn’t the one. my mother didn’t listen to her mother when she was young and married my dad.she had a hell of a time and eventually separated.
    so she keeps warning me about what would happen if i don’t listen to her and puts that fear in me that i’ll be repeating history.
    He is an amazing guy, loving, caring and EXTREMELY patient with me. i have a connection with him that i’ve never ever had with anyone and i don’t want to lose him. but then i thought that maybe i’m only staying because of that, him being a great guy.
    now i know better! thank you

  • alice

    Does anyone else like almost snap towards their partner? Or always seem moody? Because of the frustrating of not feeling close to your partner or not feeling the connection? I feel like I’m doing this a lot lately :(

    • Patricia

      Alice,
      I feel the exact same way right now and im having a anxiety crisis right at this moment i had to call out because i cant function like this. My girlfriend made a comment about “everythng i do bothers you” “you dnt love me anymore” and she’s aware of my anxiety . Idk why would she say this :( :(
      I dnt want to keep living like thiss is hellll!

      • Brianna

        I feel like this also sometimes. Tidy I feel like more of a friend than a girlfriend and it’s killing me. I hate feeling so empty everyday. I had a good moment with my love yesterday. I can’t believe all my happiness and my relationship is being ruined by a stupid thought I had! I can’t take this anymore, it’s not fair! It’s consuming the most important thing in the world to me :( (((

  • Toni

    Alice I do it a lot, I just feel like I’m
    A totally different person at the moment!

  • Ceri

    Woah, this article, and the replies below have been amazing at making me think about things and where I am.
    I’ve been asking myself very similar questions, and have always been aware that I’ve got crazy irrational fears about relationships, and that most of my negative thoughts are just my mind twisting things, but it’s so difficult to stop them.

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2 and a half years, and most of the time things are great between us. However, last year on holiday in October, we had a massive fight, and things were rocky between us for a good few weeks afterwards. I’ve always had trust issues, and In December checked his facebook messages. I found on there messages between him and his ex from a few weeks before that saying how much they loved each other, how much they missed each other and couldn’t wait to see each other when she was back in the UK over Christmas (She lives in NZ, which is why they initially broke up around 8 years ago). I flipped, confronted him about it, and he said he was stupid to have said those things to her, didn’t mean any of them and wanted to be with me, and that it was only because we had had this massive fight and he had been really miserable. I wanted out right then, but decided to stay with him and see if we could work it out – he pointed out that if he didn’t want to be with me he would have left by now, and he wanted us to work.
    We struggled through the next few months, and he has tried really hard to make everything better between us. I’ve got major trust issues though, I don’t think his ex is really a problem, and see that it was the state of our relationship that drove him to message her, not that he actually wanted to be with her. Our relationship got stronger again, but I’ve carried on checking his facebook though (he doesn’t know), and it was becoming less and less frequently, until there have started to be things recently that he’s not telling me and keeping hidden, and now I check it every day. They’re not massively important things, (he’s bought some quite expensive artwork – I think as an investment, and has booked a day off work mid week to go out with some friends he used to work with , mix of guys and girls), but they’re things that usually he would tell me about, and I just find it odd that he’s hidden them from me/not mentioned them. We’re usually quite open with each other. It concerns me that if there’s stuff like this he’s not telling me now, then what other stuff will there be in the future. They’re not things he needed to tell me, and don’t affect me in any way, so he hasn’t really done anything wrong, I’m just a bit paranoid.
    He’s an amazing guy, he’s affectionate, treats me well, obviously cares for me a massive amount and loves me very much, and I really love him, but I’m scared about a future with him when I have so many trust issues.

    Judging from my past experience, although these trust issues are now being fuelled by him doing weird things, the lack of trust is to do with me, not him – I’ve had fears, anxieties and trust issues in every relationship ive been in, often completely unprovoked.
    I just don’t know how to get past them. I want to just let myself be happy with him but I don’t know how. I’ve thought about ending it, but I really don’t want to, I’m scared that if I end it I’ll just be throwing away something amazing that I should have just worked at, and will still have all the same issues in the next relationship.

  • Liz

    Hey! First of all Im 24years old and i have been a relationship with the same guy fr 8years now. But eversince i have never been sure about us. For the first 4years i have been hung up on my ex.. Then the suceeding years i have just cheated on him. He doesnt know about this of course. I have become more mature now and I can say that I love him. I am not inlove with him. There is no passion or attrction. Idont like kissing or making love. It feels cold. After some time It would happen but not because I want to but because I have to.. Im human too. But we re best of friends. We jive with things. We hve fun. We dont get bored.. He loves me unconditionally. Selfless even. Great guy. Patient, understanding, and loving. He admits to still being strongly inlove even after 8years. But i dont feel the same way. We jive but i dont feel connected. There is no attraction or lust. No passion. I dont feel inlove. Thinking about the future with him brings fear. Fear of wasting my youth. Do i really want him to bet husband? He has qualities of a good husband but I dont feel as If i want to marry him.. Some days i do but i dont feel its true 100%.. I am not excited. We dont have intimate talks. We dont connect on a deeper level. There is a wall. But i can say the relationhip is good cos we act as bestfriends.. But this nagging feeling of do i love him has been surfacing for years.. But not having him around makes me miss him. I like being with him but not intimately.. We spend almost everyday together just lounging and still having fun.. But i cant live like this.. I cant not know what i want.. Why am i like this? I have met another guy and all of the feelings i have been looking for, i have felt with him. I love him and im certain. We may not be perfct but it doesbt matter. Fear is present but it i not winning. But i just cant move on.. I cant make bad decisions. I cant lose my 8years guy without truly understanding why i feel this way.. We are different, yes. I am more outgoing, soul searcher, wanderer, i think deep.. I like talking and learning things. I am curious and passionate. He is the opposite. But he takes care if me, love mes, prioritized me.. But im not still fulfilled. I am thinking maybe someday if we are not meant for each other, God will make things happen for us. I hope to hear your opinions. I hve been this way for years and no one has helped me.. I cant figure it out still..

  • Sophia

    This website has been amazing and I only just discovered it. In minutes I’ve got answers to things I’ve been wondering about for 3 years.
    I have been going out with my bf for 2.5 years. It has been amazing and we have done so much together, travelled and experience things but I never felt that moment where I realized he was the one. I have so much anxiety and also always am comparing my relationship to others around me which seem so perfect.compared to them I felt my relationship wasn’t as good, sometimes we sit with comfortable silence but I over analyze and feel uncomfortable because we have nothing to talk about, and that’s only after a few years. What would marriage be like?
    He proposed 6 months ago and I said no. I was really thrown by the proposal, I hadn’t expected it and at 25 I certainly wasn’t ready for it. That didn’t mean I don’t love him or that I wanted to break up but it obviously hurt him. It confused me too, if he was the one surely I’d say yes and go with it but it never felt as free as that. Like I said I overanalyze and sometimes I think I’ll never be able to settle with anyone, the idea of doing something for life, it scares me. I want it very much but can’t seem to get past the fear it causes. How can you chose one person and spend your life with them?!
    I asked my bf to give me 6 months to let me get my head around the idea, after all he is a wonderful generous caring beautiful man and I am lucky to have met him. But 6 months is arriving and I don’t feel any closer to knowing what I want. I keep thinking as the pressure gets too much that I’ll just leave him and hopefully ill meet someone else and the feeling of the one will be there. But I’m realizing from these posts that that feeling isn’t always there and you have to trust your own judgement but I can’t.
    I have asked friends and no one has been able to help.therapist say it sounds like I am staying with him out of fear bug truthfully he is the first guy I have ever met who I loved like this, all guys before I never gave a chance but something was different and special with my current bf.
    I just don’t know what to do, I don’t want to lose him but I don’t know how to learn that what I have is something good.

  • Sophia

    Reading the other posts is amazingly helpful too, it’s like everyone is in my head and knows exactly what I was feeling. The what if questions, what if I settle down with him but then meet someone else and am attracted to? I want a marriage for life but how do you the guy you chose is the one?
    Like I said I also compare my relationship to others and even reading your posts I feel my relationship isn’t as good.everyone talks about their partners as so kind and patient and mine is too but then what if he’s not as good as another guy could be that I could meet in 6 months if I were single?
    I am plagued by these feelings of the grass is greener. And I fear I’ll never be happy all I can see are my friends getting engaged and not thinking twice about these things. Why do I have to suffer with these feelings? It’s so not normal.
    I really hope for some advice!

    • Liz

      Hey sophia!
      We all have same dillema’s.. Maybe its about contentment. Despite fears, maybe the thought of being with that person for the rest of your life should overcome that. Falling in love is temporary.. The feeling fades. But you have to wake up everyday wanting to be committed with the same person. If marriage scares you, ask yourself why? Then ask yourself those why’s.. If u love someone truly.. You should know why as well. You need to understand where the feeling is coming from.. I myself am not excited about the future. I feel like i am settling cause i am afraid to e alone. I need to be alone. To know what I want. Maybe there is a void in me that i have to fix and fulfill. I have been so dependent. I should learn how to love myself.

  • Liz

    Hey sophia!
    We all have same dillema’s.. Maybe its about contentment. Despite fears, maybe the thought of being with that person for the rest of your life should overcome that. Falling in love is temporary.. The feeling fades. But you have to wake up everyday wanting to be committed with the same person. If marriage scares you, ask yourself why? Then ask yourself those why’s.. If u love someone truly.. You should know why as well. You need to understand where the feeling is coming from.. I myself am not excited about the future. I feel like i am settling cause i am afraid to e alone. I need to be alone. To know what I want. Maybe there is a void in me that i have to fix and fulfill. I have been so dependent. I should learn how to love myself.

  • Sophia

    Hi Liz, do you think you’re not excited about the future because you’re not with someone who makes you excited? I think you’re right in that really maybe I’m scared of marriage because of who it’s with, that sounds bad, but it seems like most ppl settle because they’re excited and looking forward to a future with that particular person.
    Anyway I’m certainly not in a position to be giving advice, I need it myself more.

  • Tina

    HiSheryl, thank you for posting this article, I don’t know what’s wrong with me( although having read all the comments I feel like I am not alone), I have been talking with a guy for nearly seven month through the internet, and finally we met recently, I have always been feeling that he is the right guy, I mean during all those seven months that we were talking I wanted to talk to him as long as possible, he just seemed perfect for me, after meeting we spent two perfect weeks, I like his kisses I like spending time with him, I like his presence, just walking hand in hand, now he is back to his country, we have the same nationality but live in different countries, so there is no language or cultural barrier. When he was here I was just nearly running to see him, although not after the first day, after the first day I didn’t want to go there at all, but later everything was perfect, but what made me think and fear is he the right person, when he was living I was begging me in mind to cry, actually I am very emotional person, tears are always ready to roll down my cheeks but I couldn’t cry much, it made me alarmed, and now he is pretty serious, thinking about getting married, but I don’t feel that butterflies, although again I text and call very often during the day, I am not talking about his personal character because it is just perfect, nothing bothers me there, I just want to understand what am I feeling now, am I in love? or just because he is very good person I want to be with him? I don’t know how else to explain, I like everything in him the way he cares about me, the way he thinks the way he is, but what is that making me feel so troubled?
    THANKS IN ADVANCE
    P.S. I am not a native English speaker so begging your pardon for the mistakes you will encounter.

  • alice

    I’ve posted on this article so many times already! I’ve been with my boyfriend 6 months now :) and I’m on a waiting list for counselling as I have a lot of relationship anxiety from past excperiences. I love my boyfriend and through our relationship he’s moved twice already which I found difficult through circumstances beyond his control, and now he’s moving again :( I find it so difficult to cope with because I’d become so settled, he’s also lost his car which is how we saw so much of each other because the train is just so long . I feel like we’re kinda distant again but I think that’s my fear because there’s so much going on at the moment and we’re not together through his move as he lives in another city to me. I’m hoping ill be settled again soon in his new place but I hate how it is right now :(

  • Mary2003

    Dear Sophia, Liz, Tina and Alice,

    Do you guys have the e-course? Because I would truly recommend buying the e-course. It has helped me a lot and yes I am also still having the thoughts: do I love him, am I settling, is he the one, what if I meet someone better, etc. However, the e-course provides material to learn and grow in life and love.

    You guys are probably in the projection state, which means that you project everything onto your partner to protect yourself from feeling pain, for instance. Try to get out of your head and into your heart. What are you really afraid of? You can only make a loving decision when you learn to love yourself and take responsibility for your own happiness!

    Kick Fear out of the driving Seat and make room for Love! And belief me I know this is not easy! I am still having difficulties myself, but eventually we need to choose and take responsibility for our life. I still project onto my relationship and partner, but when I have a moment of clarity I know I will have these same thoughts/ feelings with someone else. So it is not him, although I wish he was sometimes, because then I don’t have to do the work, unfortunately it is me and it will always BE me who is responsible for her own happiness and in a way that’s also very fortunate;-).

    Good Luck and read through this site and try to tell yourself it is you(providing there are no red flags!)

  • Nanci Todd

    Hi Sheryl,

    I stumbled across this blog about two months ago and my life is truly beginning to change. I’m a 33 year old woman in a serious relationship for the first time in my life. I was in love with someone in my early twenties and he hurt me very, very deeply and it took me a long time to get over. After that time I have remained single traveled the world many times, learned languages, instruments, finished my education etc., relationships have just never been at the top of my list. I met my boyfriend at church a couple of years ago and we have been dating since September 2012. He is such a WONDERFUL man I could not ask for better. I have had so many ups and downs within myself….asking all the questions you mentioned, is he right for me? Do we have enough chemistry? Am I in love with him? If I’m doubting it must not be right….right? Things would be going well and then out of nowhere I would feel this need to break up with him, for no real reason, it was awful. After a fight we had about two months ago…I prayed for help and stumbled upon your blog and I just need to say thank you….I have had so much more peace in my life just from reading your blogs and reading the comments others have written. I had no idea what I was going through had a name….relationship anxiety; but it spoke directly to me and I am seriously considering taking your ecourse. Thank you again…I know you are helping so many. Nanci

    • Thank you, Nanci, and I’m so glad you found your way here. Sometimes the Internet carries a touch of grace, offering up just the right medicine exactly when you did it : ).

  • Malysa

    I might be going through the same problem as mentioned in the article above. I Have been with my boyfriend for the past four years. I had some doubts about our relationship throughout the years, however I was happy with him and we had good times together. Now when it came to getting married I don’t even know if I love him and started wondering if he is the right one for me. I have an inner feeling that is keeping me away and wants me to call it off and not to get engaged. Our engagement is next month and I am totally confused and not sure what I have to do. I am afraid to take this step and not to be the right one. I keep on wondering and cannot feel comfortable about it? Is what im feeling only fear or is it that i really need to call it off and leave him??? This question have been going on for four months now and I am still confused and lost.I am still having the thoughts, do I love him, am I settling, is he the one, what if I meet someone better its an ongoing thoughts that never stops.I hope that things will work out .

  • bob

    were do start. been married 11 months and I’m going crazy I. just can’t get myself
    to be affectionate with him even though he ticks all the boxes and nothing
    is wrong with him. I’m just hhurting him and hurting myself. he deserves
    better then me. some says my heads spinning some days I feel sickly in
    the stomach. is this anxiety or are we just not right for each other.
    I feel times ticking soon I will have to make a decision if I need to stay or leave
    please help the guilt is killing me.

  • Frankie Hendrix

    Hi guys,

    So after reading this article, it has given me a tad bit of hope what I’m currently dealing with. I’m 22, I was in a 3.5 year relationship with a guy who ended up treating me like shit and I have plenty of signs showing anxiety is taking over my life. I have moved from my college town and my counselor so I do not have a therapist nor can I afford one right now. I have been in a relationship with a guy for nearly 3 months (short, I know).

    Anyway, since the beginning of our relationship I find him to be an interesting guy, but I never felt like I truly had “butterflies” or any of that “honeymoon phase” kind of stuff. My previous counselor as well as my friends think I’m choosing to block feelings out due to signs of anxiety as well as just previous pain that I had. (That last break up was REALLY bad, to the point I considered taking medical leave from school).

    So my question is, because I’m not feeling these feelings nor can I say for sure, that I love this guy, is it best to drop the relationship? We’re on a break right now for me to think it over, and I keep thinking how he’s great, I don’t see anything wrong with him, he seems like the perfect guy, except I don’t FEEL anything. Advice? Conclusions?

    I can tell you, if we decide to break up, which I’ve just about convinced myself to do, I’m fearful of the future to where I might find a guy like this again. My generation just seems kind of dumb when it comes to long-term relationships, marriage, exclusive dating, etc.

    • Chances are high that you’ll encounter the same anxiety with the next available partner. You have plenty of time to work this out; the question is only do you want to address this now or with the next guy.

      • Frankie Hendrix

        Can you explain the “plenty of time to work this out” part? And if its suppose to work out with this guy and its just me, in my head, causing problems, I’d love to stay. But I’m starting to doubt that I have feelings or not.

        I do fear that this will happen with future partners though. Between my big break up and the guy I’m with now, the same feelings/lack of feelings/stressing into sickness stuff has happened (I believe there has been at least two guys in between the big break up and the current guy).

  • Mykea Johnson

    Note: i am on my phone, so sorry for typos and missed puncuation. Thanks for posting a wonder article. It helped me alot but the anxiety is still there. Well for the most part I always had guys who really loved me but they knew they werent my match and I leave and we usually stay friends. I even came to the conclusion I will probably never fully settle down. I have 4 children 3 different fathers who are wonderful but the relationship themself didnt work for different reasons. I am nit affectionate and I am a hard working female. Most of my exes are jealous of my success or possessive or just lazy. Well ling story short, I met this guy not too attractive but we made food friends. He was staying with a girl who he said they wasnt in a relationship. We never made things official just interacted sexually. Well feelings git involved both ways. Sadly, he wasnt willing to move out of the other woman’s home at first. We remained friends and I began to date. There was bit of jealously on both ends because we were friends with benefits and was falling in love. Well I met a guy and began ti fall in love with his personality and the way he treated me. He knew of my friend and wanted me to end it so we can start a relationship. I decided to do so and told my friends. Of course he wasnt happy about it and immediately moved out to commit to me. I felt love for both guys but I already decided to be with the guy I was dating. We really connected also in a different way it was what I was missing with my friend. With my friend though I lost the connection on friendship and sex by cutting him off. He wasnt the best guy. I mean other women chased him, he sold them dreams, he was using the woman he lived with. So no matter how much I was in love would him, I wasnt willing to deal with it as his girlfriend. He knew that. I didnt force him to change, he offered to to be with me. Well now I am getting married to the guy I cut my friend off for. I love him dearly and he is a great guy. I never have to worry with him. He is a great man for my sons and we have such a playful home like relationship. However, ever since the marriage application has been filled out, I keep thinking about my friend I cut off. Even though in my opinion he would have been a terrible choice, he was willing to change I the end. We connected and had a loving bond different than the one I have now. Neither one of them holds the same keys because my fiance fills so many voids in my life he is just boring most times and easy to talk too about everything. Other than that he is perfect….period. he invest in my ventures, does things I love, spend time with the kids, great in bed, loving bear, and handsome. The other guy was easy to talk to, fun, playful with the kids, responsible and supportive. Neither guys lied about anything to me. My finace never cheated. But since this application of question my decision as if I am back to the day I made it. I am questioning our entire relationship… but I know I love him. I choice him because we connected and I couldnt hurt him since day 1. He made me smile and handled all my worries. He wanted to get married and commit. No drama or anything. He is still that way. Have I changed? I feel irrational. I wonder if his lack of fun and not being so easy to talk to will affect us eventually. We was fine without it before but it did get lonely some days and caused me to.miss my friend. Its not all the time but often enough. I cant imagine myself saying hey I am leaving for a good time and constant great conversation. I just need help to remake sense of what I originally made sense of. When I decided this I was completely confident at the time and was happy with my decision for so long. Now its back hunting me where I cant even sleep. Help.

  • sp

    Wow, where do I begin? After reading the article and a great number of the comments, it looks like I am not alone which is comforting
    I am currently in a rut myself. A little background, I have been seeing my boyfriend for three years. he is a wonderful human being with, like everyone, several flaws. Most of our relationship has been great. The not so great moments have typically been because of my own irrational beliefs, insecurities and misinterpretations of something he has said or done. Despite our ups and downs, we have had a pretty ideal relationship. we travel, laugh and have a lot of similar views on life and relationships. We have talked about buying a car together, getting a condo in the future, getting married and having kids. i typically didnt bring those topics up because iwanted him to come to those terms on his own. i was pretty certain with wanting those things. we have lived together for two years but about two months ago my mom sold her house and moved in with us along with my brother. we have the entire upstairs but it still is very tight area. Recently he shared with me that within two-three months of us dating he knew this is what he wanted. granted, this was around the time of my menstrual cycle (i normally am much more irritable, much more irrational and much more annoyed). august 5 was when he told me this and i remember that entire week i was just annoyed with the littlest things he was doing. i brushed it off because i figured it was pms. well when he said to me he was certain this is what he wants i kind of panicked inside and ever since then i have been a mess. i have been asking myself if ive been forcing my feelings this whole time, if i ever loved him or just wanted us to work out, if i think i am better than him and need someone more on my level of intelligence (he went to college for graphic design and im the process of getting my BA in psychology), if i should break up with him, if i want to be with him, if hes marriage material, if im attracted anymore, if hes the one…just about any thought. at this point i dont know how i feel or what i want. i am wondering if i convived myself all of these things or if i really dont love him and just want to break up. since this all has been happening, i saw my councelor once (he uses Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) and although i know exactly what he was going to tell me, im still panicking, and constantly thinking about things.

    I would love and greatly appreciate some feedback.

    Sp

  • Katie

    Hi,
    I found this article on the internet after typing ” forcing feelings but I don’t want him to leave”. Mind you, I am very young. 18. And about two months ago, I met this guy, and we instantly were in a relationship, there was really no question. We started talking about long-term very early on. He is older than me, and in college, but our maturity level line up pretty well. I had this idea of who he was, and then a little bit after we started talking, I realized that, that wasn’t him. Things after that started to feel wrong, but I kept on going because I wanted to find what we had in the beginning. I also love talking to him, and love sharing my life with him. I love hanging out with him, and he is great. But now, we are in this big argument, and I started thinking about what if we would break up, and I felt sad, but for not very long. Usually, that isn’t how I would react. But at the same time, this relationship feels different then others. I’m scared I don’t have feelings for him, and I’m just leading him on. Or that maybe this is just what a mature relationship is, and I have a very distorted view of what a relationship should be? Oh, I forgot to mention… I am a hopeless romantic, and a romcom fanatic.. which, I know, contributes to my distorted view of relationships. Anyway, today, I told myself, I would break up with him, and it felt right. Now, I’m second guessing it, because it started to feel wrong again. CONFUSION!

  • Katie

    Sorry I meant we have been together for a year. And I have a fear of settling to which I think he’s already there (he doesnt do little things i like anymore like verbal reassurance, giving me tight cuddles, complimenting me, getting excited to see me), and it hurts. How can I in a way MAKE him be more like this?? Or tell him without pressuring him or pushing him away by thinking relationships are like hard hard work??? Please answer

  • Jennifer

    so I’ve been dating my boyfriend for more than a year now and he is a great guy but lately I have been asking myself and I really do love him I don’t know if I might be asking myself that because when we were dating for 3 months he gave me a promise ring and I had just gotten out of a relationship that year that lasted about 4 years but since we are dating more than a year i keep asking myself do i really want to be with him & every time i ask myself that i keep thinking about how would i be with another guy & maybe with that other guy i would actually feel something for him in my heart, but why do i feel like that? when my boyfriend he is sweetest & caring boyfriend i have had. But sometiMes he can be a bit childish. well I’m just trying to figure out why i feel like this.

  • N.R

    Thank you so much for this article, I have been searching everywhere to find something like this that perfectly summarizes exactly what is going on in my head, and confirms to me the my anxious voice is in no way representative of my true desires and wishes in life. Whenever there is great change in my life, I can recognise now that as my anxiety peaks, I go a little bit mental, and as if over taken by a completely new, self sabotaging monster, my brain tries to gain control my ruining everything that I love. I am relieved to now be aware of this and can now predict a mental episode and prepare myself for the thoughts and feelings that I get…thank you again so so much xxx

  • Hannah

    It’s been such a relief to read this article and all the comments :) I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! I’ve been with my boyfriend for 6 years now, and I have always felt a connection with him. He’s the most amazing person I’ve ever met and I am very lucky to have him! We are looking at buying our first house and I was so excited! Until we found the ‘one’ . I seemed to panic, questioned everything about our relationship and about him. I couldn’t even look at pictures of our house as it made me feel sick! I was upset because people kept telling me I should be excited about getting a house and I felt the pressure of everything. But after reading this I feel I am looking at everything in a different light! I’m waking up in the morning excited about getting a house with my boy :) I just need to learn control all these feelings.. I wouldn’t want to get to a stage where he pops the question and I freak out again!

  • Katie

    This article has hit home for me. I have been with my boyfriend almost 5 years. I have known him for almost 10. We were best friends before we started dating. They say that the best relationships are built off of friendships and I can’t agree more with that. Recently though, I have been having this doubt inside me. I am in a similar position as Hannah. I have been living with roommates since I have started dating my boyfriend and my boyfriend and I have agreed that it is time we take the next step in our relationship and purchase our first home. I was thrilled, excited, and filled with joy when we both agreed on this. But, recently I have just been feeling full of doubt. Constantly questioning myself if he is really the one? Do I love him enough to be with him? Is there something more for me out there? We started dating when I was 20 and I am about to turn 25. I have spent a good portion of my “growing years” growing with him rather than by myself. I am feeling overwhelmed like I haven’t done enough for myself and haven’t lived my life for me. It sickens me. What sickens me even more though is imagining my life without him. He is the best man I have ever met in my entire life. My friends and family always tell me how blessed I am and lucky I am to have such a wonderful guy, and I couldn’t agree more. So, why am I feeling this way? I know I want to be with him. He will make the perfect husband and father. He has loved me unconditionally and has even put up with my crazy roller coaster emotions. We have wonderful communication skills, we are honest about our feelings. He knows I am feeling this way, and what does he say? He tells me he will stick by me through everything because he loves me and all he wants is me. Which of course just makes me feel worse. How can he be so sure and I am over here questions every thought that runs through my head? The worst part about all of this is this guy at work has been hitting on me so much recently. Not to be full of myself, but I get hit on often and it doesn’t phase me. But, for some reason, this guy is getting into my head. He is attractive and funny. I find myself thinking of him sometimes and I feel even more guilty. Why am I thinking of another man? Is it because I am scared of fully committing? I never though this would be an issue with me. I have always felt so sure of everything until now. My boyfriend and I have had our share of ups and downs, but we are a great team and work through them. I keep telling myself these feelings of doubt will go away, but will they? Is this something I just need to learn to accept? Should I run for the hills? But if I run for the hills then what? I end up with someone else and 5 years later I feel bored again and have these crazy feelings all over again? I love that you described love being a choice, not a feeling. I am choosing to stay with him because we make a great team. We have a healthy relationship and he is a wonderful man and I know that is really hard to find sometimes. I do believe a lot of this is unhappiness within myself. I always feel like something is missing in our relationship but in all honesty I think something is missing in me. I am trying to take the best steps I can in order to be the happiest me. It is wonderful knowing I am not alone and any feedback or comments would really bring some light to my life and be greatly appreciated.