I'm 22 and currently in a long-distance relationship with guy I'm completely in love with. Over the summer we talked constantly online and video-chatted, and it was wonderful. He came to visit me for two weeks, and while our sex was amazing and we got along and laughed together, I couldn't help but feel overrun with anxiety about our future and the nature of our relationship. Namely, whether he liked me, whether we were serious, and did he still want to be with his ex-girlfriend – the garden-variety jealousy and trust issues.
I should add that I have a severe anxiety disorder for which I seek treatment (therapy and medication), and I have some past trauma about opening up about my anxiety disorder to guys. He told me I could trust him, that he was serious about the relationship, and that he wants to be with me. However, after we parted ways and he returned to school, our conversations haven't been like our summertime chats – they're shorter (we have them every day and he usually initiates, so I guess that's a good sign) and it feels like he's just not as into them.
I asked him about this and he said he's not upset with me and that there's no problem with our relationship, so i suppose I'm just freaking out because of my anxiety. I've also picked up the habit of stalking his ex-girlfriend on Facebook and Instagram. But I don't want to be like that – I want to manage my jealousy and trust issues and I want to be with him in a healthy relationship. I know I can do it. I'm constantly worried I'm self-sabotaging or having him think I'm this jealous control freak (I'll admit I am). I think this also stems from me being vulnerable with him. I like him and he has told me he likes me. I just can't seem to believe it.
I'm writing to you for your help. I want to move forward and be happy and confident in this relationship.
– Thank you!
Well, I hope you're bringing this up in therapy. That's where you'll get some tools to manage your anxiety.
What I can tell you is to a) block the ex-girlfriend on social media, and b) make yourself accountable for your behavior. Set some rules about how much time you're allowed to spend orbiting this guy and your imaginary problems. Make plans so that you're busy with other social experiences. Too much alone time leads to relationship preoccupation. Even if there's no one around, force yourself to walk away from the computer and turn on the TV.
Also accept the fact that this relationship is still new. You say things got serious over the summer, which is great, but summer basically ended a week ago. Before you pledge your love to this guy forever, get to know what he's like in the fall. If you're honest with yourself about what you want in a relationship, you might be the one rejecting him.
Readers? How can she manage these feelings of insecurity and jealousy?