At times dating can seem like an intense job interview that goes on forever. You have to constantly re-assess the situation; Do they like me? Do I like them? What did that text mean? Why haven’t I met their friends yet? Do I want to meet their friends? Honestly, it’s enough to give you dating anxiety, and you happen to already suffer from anxiety, oh boy!
People who suffer from anxiety become so used to over-thinking every little thing that it’s sometimes hard to differentiate between anxiety-induced problems and “real” problems but rest assured, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you…When it comes to choosing that all-important s/o it’s important to recognize the difference between your anxiety and their crazy.
I’m not talking about dating a fellow anxiety suffer (that’s a whole other article), I’m talking about the kind of crazy lifetime makes movies about. The kind of crazy that should send up red flags to everyone. Fortunately, when it comes to this kind of crazy, there are telltale signs you can look for:
1. You never wonder if they’re “the one” cause your family and friends are constantly telling you they’re not:
There’s something to be said for second opinions, especially for those of us who second (and third, and fourth) guess everything. If your mom, best friend, and cat all hate them, something’s up.
2. They ignore your call, which sends you straight to panicville:
Okay to be fair, this might induce a panic attack no matter who does it (when people don’t text me back I get stressed out to the point I can’t breathe) but if they know this and still do it, or if you’re inquiries as to where they were being met with vague answers, the problem isn’t your anxiety, it’s their douchbaggery.
3. They don’t respect your personal space:
Sometimes you just need a minute, especially after a particularly rough panic attack, but your s/o demands your attention, regardless of what you’re going through. This might not seem like a huge deal, it good that they want to be with you, right? Not if it’s always on their schedule or to your detriment. If your s/o treats you more like a PA than a bae, ditch them.
4. “You…are pointing out my flaws again as if I don’t already see them…”
Once again Miss Swift (Taylor) is on point. It’s bad enough that you constantly replay things over and over in your mind, dissecting every little thing and keep a running list of your shortcomings without having someone around who reinforces these feelings of insecurity. Besides, what makes them so perfect?
5. You can’t do enough for them:
No, seriously, no matter what you do for them, it’s never enough. And it never will be. They’ll constantly complain and do everything in their power to take advantage of your anxiety and send you on a never-ending guilt trip. Trust me, that’s a trip (and a relationship) you’ll want to skip. And speaking of guilt…
6. The sky is falling…
Ever notice how your s/o seems to have a crisis every time you want to discuss one of their issues?? I mean, how can they be expected to focus on you when their life is in turmoil? And what kind of self-centered jerk would you be if you asked them to climb down off of their cross long enough to acknowledge another human being (namely you)? A manipulative douchelord/cruellabitch knows that you’re hyper-vigilant when it comes to being perceived as insensitive (or anything else negative) and will use this against you for as long as they can get away with it. Don’t let them.
7. Sometimes, the voices in your head are actual people…
In this case, the voice belongs to your s/o who claims to love you…yet, takes every possible opportunity to kick you when you’re down (And if you’re not down, they’ll be more than happy to knock you down and then kick you). They are constantly reminding you of the pecking order, at least as they see it; they are the sun, the moon, the earth, the sky, and you’re dirt. And the truly sad part? You don’t need any help in the “self-destruct” department, and they know it. Ugh! The next time they start throwing stones, remind them that they, too live in a glass house.
8. Gaslighting; it’s not just for movies anymore…
During one conversation your s/o says one thing…and says something completely contradictory in the very next convo, (occasionally in the very next sentence)! What’s worse, if you have the nerve to point this out (after internally questioning if you’re the crazy one 1,000 times) they will deny it with ease and conviction, often tossing in a “you never listen to me” for good measure. After a few rounds of this, you’ll be convinced that you’re imagining things. You’re not. This form of crazy-making (as if you needed any help) is very convenient for the douchelord/cruellabitch you graciously call an s/o because you can’t actually prove what was said. Unless you want to start recording all of your conversations or hire a court stenographer, I suggest you leave this Charles Boyer wannabe for a leading man more worthy of you.
9. It’s not just you…
You’ve accepted that you over-analyze things, and you are diligently working on rectifying this, but if you notice that others (friends, family, etc) seem anxious around them, or agitated, it’s not a red flag, it’s a neon sign! A person who corrodes the atmosphere of wherever they are is no good for your mental well being, or anyone else’s!
10. And your whiny, crybaby, problem would be…
They NEVER take your problems seriously! Never. When you attempt to talk to them about something your having difficulty with (or overreacting to) you’re met with criticism and ridicule. An anxiety suffer’s worst fear is that they won’t be taken seriously and if you’re getting it from your s/o, it’s a big hint that you’re in the wrong relationship.
11. Judgment zone:
One of the biggest components of anxiety (or at least one of the most talked about) is constantly feeling judged. We analyze the smallest glances and the briefest of interactions, the last thing we need is someone who jumps on the “over-analyzing” bandwagon. As the saying goes “You can do bad by yourself…”
12. It’s not what you say…
Actually, sometimes it is; When people say or do things at inappropriate times and in inappropriate ways, it’s an attempt at control. They need to be the center of attention, always, and if their antics hurt someone’s feelings or rub anyone the wrong way…too bad! They are essentially more subtle, grown-up bullies. If you continue along in a relationship with this person you will constantly waste your time stressing about what they are going to pull next, and that’s time that could be put to much better use.