Anxiety and finding love

‘Why are you single?’ is a question I hate being asked as I never know how to respond. Do I lie and tell them that I enjoy it, or tell the truth, that deep down I am an incredibly damaged woman with trust issues, whose anxiety stops her from finding love. I’d more than likely go with the lie, unless I wanted to make them uncomfortable, which would usually results in a pity party, and I’ve had my fair few of those. I’m 26 and all my friends are starting to settle down, they’re buying houses, getting married and having babies, while I’m sitting here stressing over what to type to a man I’ve never even met before. I’m behind, but not even a tiny step behind, I’m literally right at the back of the queue.

If you’ve read some of my previous posts you’ll know that I have some serious daddy issues, so mix that in with a load of rejections, self loathing and and anxiety level that is through the roof and you’ve got yourself a dysfunctional human being with a fear of opening up. My guard is constantly up, I fear affection and abandonment as well as having a persistent worry about what people think. However I crave love, I want that person who wants me and who thinks I’m special, so why do I constantly sabotage myself?

Honestly, it’s because I know no different. I was single all of secondary school, I never had young love or got to experiment with different men. I had no confidence, I didn’t know how to flirt, and I wasn’t attractive so I never received any attention. It wasn’t until I was 18 that I had my first kiss with a guy who would eventually end up being my first and last boyfriend. We were together because we were both the same, we were off to university without having had a relationship. I liked him, and I think he liked me as well, however I don’t think our relationship was built on emotions alone, and underneath we both just wanted to shed our last element of youth before spreading our wings and flying off into the big world. It was easy, we were both part of the same friendship group and it just happened. And three months later it was over. Would I call it a proper relationship? No, he was great guy and I enjoyed it all for a time, but there was no romance, no butterflies, and we spent most of the time watching TV. After 3 months we went back to being friends, the stigma of never having had a relationship was gone, and we were free to go our separate ways.

When I went to university I had flings and kisses in nightclubs but most of them were found through friends or on drink fuelled nights, nothing stuck. I was also led on very badly which is a incessant theme throughout my life, why? because I fall too easy. The slightest bit of attention and I’m yours, hook, line and sinker. I found that this usually resulted in people playing with my feelings to pass the time, while they waited for something better to come along. This has been a recurring nightmare of mine for the majority of my life, which is a huge reason why I never allow myself to find someone, I fear being rejected… again. I don’t have one happy story to tell you, they have all ended terribly, and because of this I’ve fallen behind. I tried to use dating apps but I never had any luck, and the last one I went on made me feel awful afterwards. I’m terrified of having a relationship because I don’t think I’d know where to even begin, how to talk to them, where to go, how to behave etc… I even panic about how to kiss as I haven’t don’t that in over four years, and I don’t even want to think about sex. People tell me that I’ll find someone who understands me and takes it slow, but how do you bring up in conversation to a random stranger that you need to take things slow because you’re so behind? I feel like I’m still in secondary school and all I need is to have that young innocent love, to start from the beginning and learn the dos and donts of being with someone.

I’m only 26, and when I tell people my worries their usual response is ‘you’re so young it will happen one day?’ but honestly, will it? I’ve been told this my whole life, but still no Mr Darcy, and can I really blame him? I need someone who’s going to force me out of my shell, who instigates everything and understands my behaviour without shunning me for it, who supports me through all my weird anxiety induced moments and doesn’t judge me for my lack of knowledge on the subject ‘relationships’. I may be damaged, but I’m an enigma who just wants to be loved.

I’ll probably never end up messaging that guy because my anxiety wont let me. People think I’m being dramatic, making a big deal out of something that for them is so small, but it’s an everyday struggle for me. They don’t realise that by telling me this I’m being driven further and further into my shell because it just highlights how ‘weird’ I am. Who knows what the future holds, maybe that perfect guy will finally show up and hold my hand through all these worries I have, but for now my brain is a boulder on the path to happiness, and I just can’t seem to get around it.

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