woman with hands over her eyes

Sometimes we can be so afraid of replicating a past relationship that we bring that relationship into our present one instead of being conscious, aware and present so that we can acknowledge the differences including our own personal growth and actually enjoy the relationship for whatever it is. We forget that we’re not that woman/man anymore. We forget that the only reason for us to fear that we are in a repeater version of a past relationship is if we have entered into this new involvement with the same thinking, baggage and behaviour that we entered into a prior involvement with. If we have gone into a relationship with the same viewpoints that contributed to problems before then our concerns are valid although manageable if we take responsibility for our choices now instead of blindly continuing with the pattern – we can ‘wake up’ – but we do us a disservice when we spend too much time thinking about who we were ‘back then’ instead of what we’ve learned since then and applying it.

When we don’t have the reassurance that comes with having a fairly good grasp on who we are and our values, fear of uncertainty will dictate because we lack the self-knowledge and self-awareness that would mean us being sure of ourselves. Because we are looking for the world or whoever it is that’s around us to tell us who we are or to tell us that we are OK, we end up being unsure of who we are and only feel temporarily OK after reassurance because we don’t have our own back. We get caught up in the cycle of measuring and estimating ourselves against what we think that person wants us to be or what we think the dating pool or society wants.

Due to that lack of self assurance and self-reliance, it means that we are not confident in trusting our gut, intuition and values on what does and doesn’t feel good and right for us. As a result, we’re either going to struggle to opt out of a situation that isn’t working for us or we’re going to struggle to trust a situation that is working for us because we lack self-trust and may even be petrified of making a mistake and getting it “wrong”.

We treat it as if it’s our one-shot. It feels as if the stakes are high.

Are you in the betting shop putting whatever money you have on a horse that you’re hoping your “good feeling about this” pays off, all while knowing that if the horse doesn’t coming that you’ll go bust and you won’t have your rent/mortgage money or be able to pay off your debts or support you?


If this is where you’re at with dating, I don’t blame you for feeling anxious. Imagine being in that betting shop. You’d be clutching your slip, your guts would be at you (unless you’re one of those gamblers that believes it right up until they lose) and you’d be so tense and afraid that you probably wouldn’t be breathing properly. A horse race lasts for a few minutes but imagine feeling like that over a period of weeks or months? It would be agony! I’m the type of person who if I were feeling like that, I’d have bubble guts with the stress of it all, never mind the toll it would take on my mental, emotional and overall physical health. Imagine leaving the house every day poised for somebody to mug you? You’d be veering between scared and defensive and spending 100% of your time braced for something that isn’t happening.

We remember who we were after a previous relationship and are afraid of going ‘back there’. We’re afraid of being afraid.

Even if in that very moment we are enjoying ourselves, we turn down the temperature on those feelings by worrying that even if we are not afraid right now that one day we might be and that we might not like how that will feel. Or we worry that we might not be able to handle it or subconsciously decide that rather than be happy now but potentially disappointed at some point further down the line, we won’t allow us to be “too happy” and relax so that it hurts less in the long run. We’re afraid to be vulnerable in case we get so happy that if someone disappointed us, we wouldn’t be able to handle it (based on our current predictions and perceptions).

We remember how awful it felt before and so rather than run the risk of being vulnerable and enjoying ourselves now and checking in on a regular basis with us so that we can be conscious aware and present, we subconsciously turn down the heat so that were in a familiar zone of anxiety. That’s where we feel more certain.

When we meet somebody we like, the only way we’re going to truly enjoy it is if we date as ourselves with our self-esteem in tow and we relax. If we can’t be who we truly are and we can’t relax, it’s slow torture.

The trouble with what basically amounts to being afraid of being afraid is that we direct the wrong kind of energy not just that at this person and the relationship, but inwardly as well because we become so afraid of things going wrong and we become so fixated on when and if this relationship is going to be The One, that it affects our mindset, our attitude, and our general habits in the interaction.

We don’t realise that we’re holding our breath.

We don’t recognise how tense we are and that we’re poised waiting for the other shoe to drop.

We’re waiting for things to go wrong and as a result we are whipping ourselves up into anxiety.

When these feelings come up and we recognise what’s going on and we then ground ourselves by getting into the present and acknowledging positive, real evidence, we can calm ourselves and continue exploring and deepening the connection with that person, but if we don’t do these things and instead feed our thoughts and feelings with lots of negative self-talk and forecasting of doom, we subconsciously close off as a means of protecting us from being truly vulnerable.

How can we enjoy a new or developing a relationship when we are coming from a place of fear and our future self-worth, self-esteem, and perception of our future opportunities rest in the hands of this person?

Its natural to desire for things to progress when we like the person but where things go awry is where we mistake anxiety about whether we are going to be ‘chosen’ as well as anxiety about whether this person is laying in wait to jack us, for healthy desire for that person and the relationship.

If you’re feeling anxious in a new or developing relationship, get grounded by anchoring you in your sense of self. If you don’t know you, that is your number one priority over getting to know somebody else.

Keep a Feelings Diary and journal so that you have a means of tracking not just your feelings but also the patterns around them. You cannot have any command over changing and calming how you feel if you don’t increase your awareness of the cues and triggers for your anxiety.

Yes, enjoy this new relationship but don’t sack off everything and everyone. Maintain your own life and don’t spend every waking hour thinking about this person and trying to predict the future or worrying about the past because you will detach from your core self as well as the other things that matter in your life.

Take your time so that you can remain grounded. No Future Faking (by you or them) and remember that you are your own boss so you mustn’t be passive and let somebody take you over and sweep you up.

Show up and step up in your relationship. Of course if you hold back and decide that they must do all of the contacting, ‘chasing’ etc, then yeah, they (even if it’s not what they want to do), by omission of your active response, are setting the pace and temperature of your relationship. If you show up as an equal stakeholder, you ‘meet’ them instead of looking for them to direct you.

If you still have anger, resentment, sadness or anything else lingering from a past relationship or trauma that is influencing your anxiety, as you’re already dating or in this relationship, you have an extra duty of care to be mindful and to take ongoing care of these issues so that they don’t take over you or the relationship.

Take care of you.

Your thoughts?


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