I’ve been debating writing this post for a while because I actually don’t really want anyone to read it…so honestly not sure why I’m writing it right now except I haven’t written in a long time and this has been weighing on me pretty heavily lately. This topic involves some people in my life currently, and if for some reason they read this, it’s nothing to do with you! I promise. It’s just relevant right now.
(One other quick thought: I’ve been having hard time writing lately and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I still deal with anxiety just as badly as ever, but I can’t ever seem to find a way to talk about it this semester. I’ve come to the conclusion that I just have so many different thoughts and feelings that I can’t sort them out well enough to make a competent post. So…working on that.)
Okay, back to my topic today: dating.
Dating is something that has always been a huge anxiety-triggering point for me. Obviously I like the idea of having someone I love who I can be myself around, and I’d like to eventually find someone to spend the rest of my life with. But it’s the getting to the “couple” level that completely and utterly freaks me out.
Let me interject with a paragraph from a book I just finished, “Turtles All The Way Down” by John Green. (By the way, every single person on the planet needs to read that book. So. Good.)
The main character, Aza, has pretty severe anxiety and OCD, and at this point she is beginning to get feelings for a boy who likes her as well. Here are her thoughts:
“I definitely felt attracted to some people, and I liked the idea of being with someone, but the actual mechanics of it didn’t much suit my talents. Like, parts of typical romantic relationships that made me anxious included 1. Kissing; 2. Having to say the right things to avoid hurt feelings; 3. Saying more wrong things while trying to apologize; 4 Being in a movie theater together and feeling obligated to hold hands even after your hands become sweaty and the sweat starts mixing together; and 5. The part where they say, “What are you thinking about?” And they want you to be, like, “I’m thinking about you darling,” but you’re actually thinking about how cows literally could not survive if it weren’t for the bacteria in their guts, and how that sort of means that cows do not exist as independent life-forms, but that’s not really something you can say out loud, so you’re ultimately forced to choose between lying and seeming weird.”
I also was writing in my journal a couple of days ago, and here is what I had to say about dating:
It’s so frustrating because it’s so hard for me to tell what my actual feelings are, and what is my anxiety. Here are some of my worries:
1. I’m afraid no one will ever want to be with me because I have anxiety. I need alone time, I need constant assurance, I need stupid things like texts telling me is someone is going to be even five minutes late, and I’m going to be a lot to handle for someone. A lot of times I don’t even feel like I’m worth the effort, and I can’t imagine someone thinking I am.
2. I’ve never been in a serious relationship, so I”m afraid that when I do get into one, people are going to be judging me hardcore on the guy I’m with. I know it doesn’t matter as long as I like him, but I just keep picturing people saying “she could do better” or “she doesn’t deserve him” and I don’t know why that bothers me so much but it does. I also hate that I think about that because it’s very selfish and self-centered and unfair.
3. I’m a very, very slow mover, as I found out with the closest thing I’ve had to a real relationship. (Six dates and we still hadn’t held hands because I was too nervous.) And I’m worried no one is going to want to wait around for me. Also the longer I go without having a boyfriend or having even kissed someone, the more nervous and anxious I get about it happening and it throws me into this vicious cycle of anxiety that I’m afraid I’ll never get out of it.
4. On that same note, since I’ve never had a boyfriend, I’m worried I’ll like the idea of having one more than the actual guy. And I’m afraid that will wear off quickly and I’ll end up breaking someone’s heart because I never actually liked him and just drug him along.
5. I hate the idea of hurting someone. Even the hypothetical situation of me dating someone for six months and realizing we’re just not right for each other and having a mature talk about it and parting as acquaintances with no hatred towards each other makes me feel like a disgusting, vile person.
6. I also hate the idea of getting hurt, obviously. I’ve had enough crushes stomped out or rejected to believe it’s not even worth it to start something.
And on and on…but my hand is getting tired so I’ll stop there.”
Obviously I know I’m overthinking this, but that is the curse of anxiety. So there yah go.
2 thoughts on “Turtles All the Way Down”
Holy crap this post so relatable! Turtles all the way down is such a good book, one of my favorites. Dating with anxiety is so hard and it is so nice to read about other people experiencing the same thing!
Same here! John Green was definitely able to put into words what I had been feeling for a long time. Glad you enjoyed the post!