Sunday, November 09, 2008

This is making me crazy. I probably shouldn't be writing this here, but I've got to get this all out of my head, and I want some third party to come along and tell me how I'm supposed to deal with this crap.

I'm in this sort of emotional situation that I didn't even know could exist. At least, I'd never thought of it before or seen or heard of it, but its tearing me up. I feel stupid writing about it, but this has got to end so I'm going to write about it for a minute because sometimes writing about problems helps me to solve them.

So, close friends and anonymous third parties, here's what I'm feeling:

I'm dating an incredible guy. I love him. He's funny and considerate, smart, good looking, witty, sociable, understanding...a dream come true...really. But he's so incredible, so amazing and wonderful, that sometimes it hurts a little bit to be around him...

Imagine dating someone who is better than you at everything. Even the things you maybe thought you were pretty good at. And, while you admire him and care about him, you also feel a little bit like dirt just being around him because you never feel like you really measure up to anything that he does or has done.

And so, while you love this person so much you'd probably take a bullet for him, there's a small part of you that is in constant pain around him, and you just want to just go hide somewhere or find some people who aren't so amazing so you can feel like you have some sort of value again, because around him you just feel like a waste of a human being.

Its not that he doesn't treat you well, or doesn't seem to care about you. Quite the opposite. You've maybe never been treated so well in your life. But again, that just makes you feel like you're way out of your league somehow... and then you just feel like shit again... and when he's around sometimes its bearable because he's there grinning or holding your hand or doing something adorable and you're just thinking about him (literally, almost nothing except for him the whole much so that maybe you're not paying attention to anything around you, like how you're driving, or that you're dropping things, or that you sound like an idiot when you try to talk) and you're not thinking as much about how your own life is going and how its really not amounting to a whole heck of a lot right now.

But then you go home and it all comes flooding back to you and it sticks with you the rest of the week and just hurts again when he's around even though its numbed a bit by how great he is?

Thats all cyclical and doesnt make any sense, but thats kinda how I've been feeling.

If this was someone I knew and not me, this is what I would tell that person:

(This is also what I've been trying to tell myself the last few weeks)

"Well, he obviously likes you for some reason. He sees something in you, so just accept that and be happy about it."

I can't accept that. First of all, there's nothing I have that he doesn't have or can't get. Secondly, I think his sense of judgement is a little bit skewed right now.

I didn't mention that my boyfriend was in a long term abusive, sheltered relationship a year before he met me, so maybe all the day-to-day normal courteous, nice, stuff that I do seems really great to him, even when its just what any enamored guy would do for the person he fell in love with.

I just worry that maybe he'll realize later on that I'm not so great after all, or worse, that I'll just stay caught up in all these feelings and I really won't be great after all because I can't be myself when I'm always worrying about crap like this.

The bottom line is, I can get through a lot of letdowns, but I'm not sure if I could get through ever being let down by this guy. It would be an awfully long and hard fall. So, I either need to figure out how to fix the way I feel somehow, or find a way to gently let myself down now and deal with it somehow so as to avoid more and deeper pain.

I prefer to change how I feel...I just don't know how I'm supposed to do that.


Robert Anthony Pierce II said...

Hmmm. Glade, I hate to say it, but maybe you should read the Twilight series.

I found out long ago just how much you are concerned about what others think about you. I've always just thought of that insecurity as just one of your quirks, but now I'm seeing that it actually does you harm. I think maybe you should try to see a therapist. They have them at school.

A relationship should never be a competition. This guy is not better than you at everything. As I've said before, you have your own strengths, which include your ability to read social situations. It doesn't matter how many other things he can do better than you, he still has deficiencies that you can help fill for him. And while it's tempting to compare, and think about who is more wonderful, the point is that you are both wonderful. He wouldn't be as wonderful as he is if he didn't have you.

Meanwhile, this constant worrying about yourself and others' thoughts of you is preventing you from interacting normally with people. Like you said, "when he's around sometimes its bearable because he's there grinning or holding your hand or doing something adorable and you're just thinking about him and you're not thinking as much about how your own life is going." That's the point I'm trying to make: by focusing more on others and forgetting about how you are viewed for a while, you will feel better.

Out of therapist mode, since you've probably just gotten enough unsolicited advice. But as much as I'm trying to say it shouldn't matter so much, I myself think you're wonderful. Your boyfriend is amazing, but even still I choose your friendship over his any day. Because you, also, are amazing.

Seriously, try to get some professional help, because you sound like you're starting to go into a tailspin here, and I think you deserve the happiness you're freaking out about.

Love you, man.

MoHoHawaii said...

I think the answer to this kind of problem is to lower the intensity of the relationship for now. Don't see him every day. Keep it to once a week for a while. Limit the phone calls and text messages. Talk to him openly about your fears and tell him you want to slow down in order to improve the chances that it will work out between you. If you do this, the insecurities and fear of rejection that you currently feel will mellow eventually. Your confidence will have a chance to grow. It will also give him a chance to get over his prior abusive situation.

I think an excess of intensity in the early stages is an enemy of long-term happiness in a relationship.

Good luck.

Hedge T. Hog said...

There's also a STRONG possibility that this guy has been around the block, and been in relationships besides the abusive one, and just knows real and genuine quality when he sees it. I'm sure there are unique, genuine, and amazing traits you bring to the table. Especially if he's been out of the other for over a year, because anyone can find a relationship that's only pre-requisite is non-abusive.

It could also easily be true that he finds himself thinking similiar things about YOU, and that there's much in you that HE admires, thinks you do better, and amaze him with. Everyone has their unique aspects, and unique talents. Plus there's so much to be said for taste. I know this guy who I love to hear sing, and yet he doesn't do it nearly enough, I think, because he doesn't realize how awesome he is at it.

Hedge T. Hog said...


BamaBeau said...

I sure wish I had Robbie's ability to counsel and some of his rhetoric, but I don't. I have no first hand experience in a committed romantic relationship, and am therefore inept to give advice. However, I will say that I agree with Robbie about a therapist. I think one could help. Please don't compare yourself to others because it can ruin you. That's the extent of my advice.

Now, the part that I feel I'm adequate to discuss- I think you're great. I got more gifts from you during my mission than anyone else- including my mother. (and believe me- European chocolate is ambrosia in Brazil) I was able to go to California over my birthday. Because I had money for it? No, because you paid for it- and without the pretense of repayment. If I want to go hiking for no reason other than hiking, I first think of you. If I want to go to some foreign country just because, who's willing? You. Get the point? Glade, you are really great and many people love you. Don't sell yourself short.

Alan said...

As someone with a little more experience with this stuff, let me condense and reiterate what I think are key points for you:

1. It's not a competition. It's two independent people enjoying the delights of discovering each other and choosing to being together. You can never be identical. If you love him, respect his judgment about you. It sounds like you're scared to think that you could actually be as cool as he thinks. Allow yourself to consider that he just might be right! You're not competing with him, you only need to be the best you possible. And if you love him, that'll be easy because you'll want to be, for him.

2. Slow down. Nothing done in haste is ever as good as it could have been. There's no deadline or schedule here. Best advice is from William Shakespeare's Friar Lawrence to Romeo, verbiage slightly updated:

"These sudden joys have sudden endings. They burn up in victory like fire and gunpowder. When they meet, as in a kiss, they explode. Too much honey is delicious, but it makes you sick to your stomach. Therefore, love each other in moderation. That is the key to long-lasting love. Too fast is as bad as too slow."

Romeo didn't listen and look what happened to him.

Summary: Trust his judgment, you may actually be the really super-cool guy he thinks you are. And slow down, take your time. Long-lasting relationships take a while to build. But that's why they last.

Liz said...

I agree with Robbie - go see someone about the self esteem issues. You knew me when I had horrible self esteem and without help, I wouldn't have gotten through it. It's a bad cycle and it will just keep going and you will lose the things in your life that are important to you - friendships, relationships, work opportunities, etc. Don't let that happen. Getting help is the smart, proactive thing to do - trying to "do it on your own" is ineffective.

I also highly recommend Landmark Education programs as a way to get through to yourself. (It seems a little cultish at first, but if you let that part go, it's great).

Coming from someone who has felt this way in a relationship more than once, I can guarantee you're making up in your head that he's so much better than you and that will eventually kill your relationship slowly and painfully.

Again, I'm with Robbie - you deserve to be happy and you're denying that by freaking out about this, whether conciously or unconciously. Don't lose too much time to this - get help, find a program, do something. If you love this guy and you want to be the best you can be for him and for yourself, you'll take action.