Sammi Says: Dreading Relationships

Sammi Says: Dreading Relationships

Dear Sammi,

I’ve been happily single for the last 4 years, living my own life. I dated occasionally during that time, but they never lasted, I’ve always had feelings of dread and lingering sadness if I’ve dated anyone for more than a few weeks. Considering these were people I originally asked out on a whim, it made sense to me.

However, the same thing happened recently when I asked out a crush, and for once she said yes. I know I want to be with her, so why do I also dread dating her, and why can’t I feel happy and confident regarding how things are going? What would you do in this confusing situation?

Loveshy

 

Dear Loveshy,

I can totally relate to your situation, as I often experience doubts regarding relationships. It can be tough to work through, especially when you aren’t sure whether your feelings are valid or merely a reflection of fear and anxiety.

As you mentioned, you tend to make quick decisions and then regret or question them. This is normal. When you rush into relationships, you don’t necessarily give yourself enough time to consider all of its aspects, which can lead to intense overthinking. Do you really want to be with this person? What if they aren’t good for you? What if you mess up? What if they do? What if you want to see other people, too? The questions go on and on, feeding off each other until you probably have had enough.

It seems to me that you have a bit of commitment issues. Don’t worry, I think half of the world (if not more) does, too. Really though. I have been in a relationships for over two years now, and I still get freaked out by the thought of commitment sometimes. Now, I’m saying that I am disloyal or that I think my boyfriend disloyal; but it definitely freaks me out, feeling so much love and putting so much time into something that can easily be destroyed. There are so many mistakes both of us could make, so many external factors that could cause issues, etc. But you know what? There are also so many things that could go right.

The dreading, the stressing, the doubting–it’s all a normal part of dating, especially in the beginning. Once you accept your feelings as exactly what they are (merely emotions that everyone experiences), you will be able to move on from them. Try writing them down; they might not seem so terrifying or daunting.

Everyone questions, second-guesses, loses confidence. Do not feel guilty or wrong for doing so; I look at it as a defense-mechanism. We almost search for a problem because we are so used to finding one.

Be strong in those moments to prove yourself wrong; keep pushing forward in the relationship and be in that particular moment with your crush–really be there, taking it all in, listening, talking, and enjoying yourself.

If you feel that you no longer like the person you are dating, odds are you will know it without having to obsessively question yourself. You won’t worry about it or be too upset over it. You will want to end it and be free. The fact that you are stressing means you care, which is important in any relationship. So don’t be so hard on yourself, your thoughts, and your emotions. You are no different from anyone else, and you deserve to happy.

Sammi

 

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Sammi Says: Thinking About Other Guys

Sammi Says: Thinking About Other Guys

Dear Sammi,

I have been with my boyfriend for 5 happy years. However, I often find myself having some sort of feelings for other guys, and more often than not they are close friends or ex-boyfriends. I feel guilty just thinking about it. I am not sure how to handle these feelings. What would you do?

Guilty

 

Dear Guilty,

One thing I learned from having OCD is that doubts are completely normal, especially in relationships. Everyone experiences them. I think that maybe you’re over-analyzing it a bit, which is totally normal! But take a step back and think: “I’m with my boyfriend because I love him.”

You may have slight attractions to other people, but in the end, you are loyal to your boyfriend. That’s what truly matters. Attractions will always be there. That’s a normal feeling, especially when it comes to people you have a relationship with. Past lovers and even close friends will always hold a special place in your heart, not because you want them but because you care about them. As long as you aren’t tempted to cheat or willing to risk losing your boyfriend to satisfy your feelings, then they are not serious and are actually healthy. In fact, you may be interpreting them as something they really aren’t simply because you care so much for your boyfriend and don’t want to upset him.

You’re not doing anything wrong. You’re a great girlfriend because of the way you’re handling this.

Sammi

 

Originally posted on hercampus.com.

Need advice? Ask Sammi in the “contact” section!

How To: Say Goodbye to Guilt

How To: Say Goodbye to Guilt

 

I harbor guilt. Lots of it. In fact, that’s basically all I feel 24/7. Having OCD makes it even worse; I dwell on my mistakes (ones that most people wouldn’t even consider mistakes in the first place) and obsess over them until my stomach is in knots. I wake up every morning with painful cramps from the shame and anxiety. It is not a good feeling.

I am sure I’m not the only one with an over-active conscious. We all mess up, say words we don’t mean, start petty arguments, allow our feelings to take control. Why? Because we are human. We feel. We love. We hurt.

Feelings are not a sign of weakness, no matter what anyone says. In fact, they are quite the opposite. Admitting to emotions makes you strong and confident, while hiding them only proves insecurity. Be proud of who you are and what you feel rather than wearing a facade.

That being said, emotions can be messy. You’ll often find yourself torn, unsure of how to handle a situation. You can ask as many friends as you want for their advice; but in the end, it is you who makes the decision. It is you who has to deal with the consequences, and only you who knows exactly what you want and what you don’t want. So quit caring what others have to say; they don’t know your situation or your needs. Sure, you can turn to others for support, but learn to make your own decisions–and learn to accept yourself along the way, mistakes included.

There is no guide to life. You are going to have mishaps. You are going to get hurt by someone and you are going to hurt someone. That’s life. Move on from the shame, the doubts, and the guilt because they will only cloud your future judgement. You will walk on eggshells for your entire life if you don’t learn to forgive yourself. You will settle for less than what you deserve if you’re too hard on yourself.

This ties in with false guilt. In the article “Healthy Guilt vs. False and Harmful Guilt,” Paul Coughlin says, “False guilt has nothing to do with what’s true and accurate, nor is it related to true repentance. Rather, it is usually the fear of disapproval in disguise, and this problem especially hounds people who have a hyperactive or malfunctioning conscience.” In other words, this type of guilt is misleading. You may feel shame for reacting a certain way, even though you had every right to. Your actions were justified, yet you feel the need to seek acceptance or reassurance from others; and if anyone disagrees, you automatically assume you were wrong, and therefore plagued with guilt.

False guilt is extremely daunting. Everyone handles situations differently; not everyone will agree with you all of the time. But that doesn’t mean you are wrong, and you should not beat yourself up over human emotions.

Now, if you do or say something you aren’t proud of, something that you know was out-of-character or irrational, apologize. That is all you can truly do. You can’t go back, so replaying it over and over will only lead to more problems, like irritability or sensitivity. Simply try writing down your thoughts in a journal or in your notes on your phone, and then never think about it again. Wake up the next morning and move on.

Dwelling on the past does not make you smarter or stronger; it benefits you in no way. Set yourself free, forgive yourself, and love yourself–unconditionally.