The Love Thief: Part 1

Being single seems to be my status quo…not out of choice per se, but out of circumstances. Of the said, ‘circumstances’, the biggest determinant is my anxiety disorder. In previous posts, I have delved into my struggle with anxiety: how I started suffering from it; when I was officially diagnosed; and, the numerous struggles I have experienced courtesy of this energy-draining fiend.

As I go along, monitoring myself and all, I’m gradually and sadly realizing the one thing that causes me the greatest anxiety is romantic relationships. I’m almost always ok, until I start dating. In a nutshell, my anxiety shoots through the roof, that I feel physically sick.

Basically when I meet a guy I like, we chat for a while, meet up… and at that point I’m usually fine. However, as days go by I start realizing the relationship is getting serious, and that’s when my problems begin. I start contemplating all the things that could possibly go wrong… and in my attempt to save myself the heartache, I start pulling away; I become distant.

From my observation, when the relationship is in that early stage where we haven’t defined its nature, in terms of whether we’re just friends or we’re dating, I’m usually ecstatic, as the vibrancy of the new found ‘love’ courses through my body. Sadly, I’m also noticing that the vibrancy doesn’t last long enough for me to savour the relationship. A few weeks into the relationship, my anxiety rears its ugly head, threatening to annihilate my relationship.

Anxiety affects people differently. While in some people the relationship anxiety may trigger untamed jealousy and erratic behaviour, mine makes me hold myself back from the guy I’m with. In the event I anticipate the guy might leave me for whatever baseless reasons, I start pulling away until the relationship is decimated.

Normally, some of the triggers include traits in someone that I may not be very comfortable with. For instance, a couple of years ago I dated this guy who was in every sense of the word, ‘doting’. He was six years older than me, and he seemed ready to settle down.

At some point he even proposed marriage, but knowing how my mom has suffered in her marriage because for the most part she was financially dependent on my dad, I gracefully turned the proposal down, telling him I wanted to make something of myself first before I could settle down in marriage with him.

What I did not tell him was that in addition to me wanting to be financially stable first, I had also seen how he treated women on social media. He was condescending; treating them like they were little pieces of trash that could be bought off, since he was from a wealthy family. According to him, money could fix all problems, and as such, he thought women just loved him for his money.

Though we were happy at the time, I feared that someday we would start fighting about the usual things couples fight about, since no relationship is without flaws, and at that point in time, I would be the one on the receiving end of his arrogant treatment. Needless to say, that realization, coupled with his marriage proposal freaked me out, and I started planning my exit. Thankfully, I used the proposal as an excuse, telling him I needed to work on me first; and that was how we ended things.

Since then, after the realization that I wouldn’t be comfortable getting married if I wasn’t financially stable, I’ve always avoided getting into relationships, because I already know I would only end up disappointing the man I’m dating, when I start pulling away when the relationship feels like it’s headed to marriage.

2 thoughts on “The Love Thief: Part 1

  1. Looking for the Light

    You’re expeirnceing the trauma of your parents relationship. Seeing a therapist will help overcome the anxiety. It will also help with not turning into a string of broken relationships or marriages. I know all too well. Please don’t seel yourself short on marraige at this point, if it comes and you’re ready, great. you’re not ready. Just get some help, you’ve been thru so much and contnue to with your parents.

    Reply
  2. Wafula Lukorito

    Quite a few things to unpack here… You clearly dodged a bullet with that guy. People hardly change, and trust me, once you’d settled into your marriage (during or after your first pregnancy, usually) the contempt would have set in. Nothing kills a relationship faster than contempt. I think your anxiety can be a good thing, at least for now. It obviously stems from the dysfunctional relationship that your parents had, but it does save you from committing too fast and regretting later. I have a similar thing too. Whenever things start getting a little too serious, I fret and mess stuff up before it gets too real. But I think that one day you will meet someone with no red flags, someone who won’t set off your anxiety sensors. You will wait for the moment you get to mess things up, but it will hardly come. Instead, all you’ll feel is a great peace, serenity and happiness, and you’ll imagine yourself growing old with them.

    Reply

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