When you’ve been burned in the past.
Nothing kills new relationships more quickly than relationship anxiety and obsessively wondering, “Does he like me?”
Let’s say you’ve started dating someone, and you like them a lot. After a few great dates, they said they’d call you on Saturday … but they haven’t yet. At first, you didn’t mind. But, then, it starts to preoccupy your mind and you start feeling anxious and wonder if he still likes you.
Does this sound familiar? One minute, you’re a 30-year-old in the bar with your friends and the next, you’re reacting like you’re a 3-year-old.
Your anxiety worsens and you start getting paranoid. Ultimately, you end up driving your new man away and you’re left alone … again. It becomes a becomes a self-fulfilling, self-sabotaging prophecy.
However, the real problem might not be your new partner. It might be your emotional baggage from past traumas that’s holding you back from falling in love, and it’s time for you to clean it up.
When something happens in your present dating life that triggers a memory of abandonment that happened in the past, take the time to look at your emotional responses.
Maybe you had the experience of being left alone for too long as a child, which later made you prone to bein overly anxious in relationships as an adult. You can’t overcome the fear that your partner may abandon you, but you can become aware that fear of abandonment is one of your go-to to emotions.
Trauma overloads us.
There is a point where an event (like being left alone for too long as a child) becomes too much for the mind to bear and so we split it off. This is what psychologists mean when they speak of dissociative experiences.
One of the potential long-term problems with a traumatic experience is that it leaves you with triggers — like sudden noises, shocks, fears, feelings of anticipation or anything that stirs up old memories — that can be activated at any time.
So how do you stop these old traumatic wounds from resurfacing again and ruining things in your new relationship? How do you break the cycle of relationship anxiety and deal with your emotional baggage?
Here are 5 ways to stop worrying “Does he like me?” in new relationships by addressing your past trauma and emotional baggage head-on.
1. Be Aware of How Your Trauma Relates to the Past.
Don’t be put off if you can’t remember the events too clearly. You may be able to remember the feelings you have about it and they can be similar to how you feel now when you think you’ve been abandoned.
2. Seek Help.
Consider working on these things confidentially with a psychotherapist. You need to feel safe and in a confidential space to explore these things.
3. Stay Present.
Try to become more aware of what happens to you in these present moments when the abandonment fears flare up.
4. Keep Track of the Triggers that Push You into Anxiety.
Try to trace the experience and journey you go through, including the moments when you slip into the altered anxiety-filled traumatic state.
By doing these things, by following the thread of thoughts and associations around the labyrinths of consciousness, you can become better at knowing what happens to you that can turn you from a calm person into full of anxiety.
You start spotting various moments when things changed and veered from one thing (ordinary and non-threatening) into something anxious.
5. Become More Truthful About Yourself to Yourself.
How often do you find something has gone wrong with a social arrangement, and when you try to ask what happened, you get a response like, “I don’t know” or “I can’t remember” or “I forgot”?
When things break down in ordinary social ways which may involve some guilt, you may frequently use faulty memory as the reason. It’s a habit and it’s a habit you can change.
There will be times when people forget things and not all memory lapses mean something. But, there is a possibility for you to be more honest about the choices you make. You might tell your friends that you forgot, but you can be clear with yourself.
If you are serious about being able to manage your emotions better so you can develop your relationships and not have them break down at the first sign of anxiety, then it helps to develop a more thorough and honest approach to yourself.
Clean up your emotional baggage before it gets in your way again, so you can stop feeling so paranoid and worrying “Does he like me?” in new relationships.
This guest article originally appeared on YourTango.com: 5 Ways To Stop Feeling So Paranoid In New Relationships.