Problem Staying in Relationships

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I met this girl and we kind of rush into things a little fast. She moved her stuff in my apartment and things went well for the first 3 motnhs after that I started feeling a little stressed and anxious about the relationship. She suffers from anxiety and when I do things to worry her I become more anxious (like a vicious circle). I talked to her about how I was feeling and she understood and helped me by moving her stuff back to her apartment. I am not sure if I am capable of loving since I am 38 and always felt anxious when I am next to my girlfirend. When I am with her I try to find her little imperfections and dwells them so I can’t support her. I feel like she is a great person and I want to be with her but not sure what to do. I have been very anxious for the last 3 weeks. I am always nice to her but sometimes, I do not want to be around her. Sometimes when I see her cry I react with anger telling her mean things like she is desperate etc… and after I feel so bad. I am so lost on what to do. Pls help.

A. I am glad you are taking thoughtful reflection on your behavior. Your concern about your capacity for intimacy is the essential ingredient in trying to unravel the dynamics and make changes. I recommend two things: First I would use the “find help” tab at the top of the page to locate a therapist in your area so you can begin this reflective journey with someone who has navigated with others. A good therapist will help you pose, and reflect on, the questions you have and help experiment with changes.

Second, the anxiety you feel is reflected in the partner you chose. We tend to be drawn to the people that resonate with our emotional status. For more information on this please check out part one and part two of these articles I have written on this phenomenon. What this means is that both you and your girlfiriend are likely to be struggling with issues surrounding intimacy. The way for you to evolve through this is to see if you can have a dialogue with her about your feelings and in this way perhaps the two of you can each help the other.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Jan 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Problem Staying in Relationships. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 26, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/01/26/problem-staying-in-relationships/