I have secretly regressed to anxious attachment style

Hi Friends, 

Happy new year to everyone! Hopefully we made it out of the worst part and things can only get better from here^^ I hope 2021 brings hope and positive change to your life, no matter what that implies for you at this moment. 

I want to write a quick post about the emotional ups and downs that come with a life where booze is no longer used as a crutch. [DISCLAIMER: the post turned out to be a boring / long anxious rant … now is a good time to go and do something more interesting. Otherwise, read on, but you have been warned!]

I’ve been single for a few months now, which has done me a tremendous amount of good, especially considering how rare the periods of solitude have been in my life. I’ve basically been in long term relationships since I was 14. Many of these, I realize, I chose to avoid being alone and feeling unwanted. Now for the first time, thanks to sobriety and the self-development work I started a few years ago, I have grown to tolerate, even cherish, being alone. Discovering my values. Getting to know myself. That kind of stuff. 

Now that I’m back in the dating game, I am also discovering the joys of finding partners out of CHOICE, not by default. I no longer need to find someone at all costs to avoid being alone. This makes a huge difference. But it has also made things more difficult, since as you know, I currently have a huge crush on someone who visibly is letting me do all the pursuing. Because I like this person so much, the stakes are much higher than all those times where I simply let myself be pursued by men who left me relatively indifferent, and “went with the flow.” With this new crush, I feel like everything is more intense, and the ball is constantly in my court, which is horribly nerve-wracking and turning me into an anxious mess. 

Strikingly though, ”Out Of My League Guy,” whose name is Jean, has expressed similar feelings of ME being out of HIS league (we both seem to have severe low self esteem issues^^). Everything is still very new and fresh, and I am trying my best not to get my hopes up, but guys… AT LAST! SHIT GOT PHYSICAL! [cue crowd cheers for Anne]. 

Yep, I asked him to spend New Years Eve together, solo, and he said ok, after expressing worry that because of him, I would spend “the most boring evening of my life.” WRONG! I had the BEST NIGHT EVER.

That evening, once I finally mustered up the courage to kiss him, things magically started to flow – he really does have a rule where he won’t do anything until the woman initiates, but man, once the ice was broken, things got insaaaane. I’ll spare you the details, but it involved lots of kissing, listening to music, deep talks, making love 5 times, pillow talk, and being generally very affectionate and tender. The pillow talk included lots of cheesy moments, where we both seemed to admit we really liked each other. At various moments during the evening, he mentioned how intimidated he was by me, how fortunate he felt to have met me, how “unique”, “special”, and “smart” I was. He also said I was beautiful and even called me a “sex Empress”, explaining that I was much more active in bed than most women, which was very surprising to me, given how hard I worked to get over my crippling shyness. I also reciprocated with similar compliments, and it all felt like a dream come true, despite my insecurities about showing my body to him.

A couple of days later he asked me if I was home, and when I said yes, he texted, “open the door, special delivery”. I was trembling when he came through my door and handed me a paper bag, saying “don’t open this until I’m gone.” I barely had time to say “wait!” and give him a long hug before he mumbled “I have to go” and disappeared into the staircase.  When I opened the bag, I found this beautiful terrarium [see pic above] in a big, heavy glass egg, and a cute note written on a small card.

So all in all, this sounds like the perfect beginning to a beautiful love story. 

And this is where things get sticky. 

The magical sex/bonding night was Thursday evening, and the terrarium thing was Saturday. We texted a lot that evening, but since then, zero news. Nada. Not a peep. I see him online on my phone, but he hasn’t written to me.

I know, I know…  it’s only been, what … 24 hours, but for some reason, I have been feeling emotionally starved every time this kind of silence has happened with this guy (which I would say, happens once or twice a week).

Why so anxious? Probably because so far, this man has let me make ALL the first moves. I asked to make plans first, I text first 90% of the time, I asked to spend new year’s eve together, I got him a (small, and in comparison, crappy) Xmas gift first, I had to kiss him first. I’ve never been this proactive with ANYONE, ever.

For someone who has ALWAYS relied on men (or alcohol) to make the first move, this guy is making me feel like a needy, desperate stalker.

Worse, his independent/introverted style and his apparent shyness (which I am really struggling to understand since he is both physically and intellectually stunning, and not shy AT ALL in bed), are extremely triggering for me. Although we text on a quasi-daily basis, there regularly comes a point where we don’t text for a day or two, which instantly gets me to switch to Panic-anxious-attachment mode: “WHY does this guy not initiate? Does he not like me anymore? Am I a clingy desperate wreck ? Will he feel smothered if I text? Is he juggling multiple women? Did I repulse him somehow? Is he just shy, or very independent, or simply emotionally unavailable? Am I crazy and overreacting?”

At this point, I know better than to reach out like a psycho. I am able to sit with all these unpleasant doubts, but it’s emotionally exhausting. I DID gain some insight though:

My previous relationship was with someone who was a LOT more anxious than I was, which naturally led me to adopt a more avoidant stance. But here, I am definitely in insecure/anxious attachment mode. Funny how attachment styles really ARE contextual. 

So what now?

I can’t read minds, and don’t feel like I’ve known him long enough to share my needs for intimacy and connection (after all, we are NOT in a relationship, we’ve only been on 5 dates). 

Because I am sick of the cycle where I end up cracking and contacting him, I made a pact with myself yesterday. I SWORE that this time [beware, cheesy formulation coming up], I would give us BOTH the gift of space: for him, the space to realize he misses me, and get a chance to reach out himself. And for me, well …. to sit with this horrible crippling anxiety and practice focusing on my own life/hobbies/interest instead of obsessing over this guy 24-7 and of musing about how many babies we will have ^^ 

It’s really, really hard though. 

What if he NEVER reaches out? What if I’m 80 by the time he does, and my uterus has shriveled up and we can’t make all those babies?

Even worse = What if all this business about me trying not to be needy is just my own fear of being vulnerable and admitting to someone that I like them?

Worst of all = What if this dreaming about a relationship is all in my head? What if I’m on the Truman show and turns out he’s not interested at all and I’ve been hallucinating all these encouraging signs? ARGHHHHH

I must confess, the addict in me has contemplated seeing and sleeping with other guys to “make it” until Jean contacts me (deep down I know he will eventually).. But my sister said this was junkie thinking, and that I should practice finding self-worth by myself instead of using multiple guys as a fix to get attention and validation. Bloody younger siblings and their wisdom… 

I don’t know why I am so triggered – probably because of the uncertainty that comes with the early stages of what (I hope) might turn out to be a relationship. AND also cause of the specific characteristics of this insanely attractive yet seemingly unattainable (except when in person) guy.

If I KNEW he liked me for sure, I would chill out a lot. I know I’m not needy in a way where I am incapable of having my own life. Rather, I need to be reassured that the connection is secure, and he hasn’t disappeared into the void or changed his mind. I’m not the terrified infant who won’t leave her mother’s lap, I’m the infant who needs to know the mother is watching when I turn back to check, and once I feel like someone “has my back”, then I’ll happily keep moving forward in my exploration of the big scary world. 

It’s hard for me to express my need for daily communication to this guy, as I am literally terrified of coming off as clingy or desperate. I haven’t figured out if he has an avoidant style or just a secure style and is taking things slow. I’m obviously terrible at taking things slow but for now, I have no choice. This guy is the slowest person on earth it seems.

I hope this rant gets some of the anxiety out of my system. Sorry for the awful post… better here than in his email though ^^

I hope 2021 brings me more self-reliance!

Xoxoxo Anne

Published by nomorebeer

Learning how sobriety helps you ENJOY life.

23 thoughts on “I have secretly regressed to anxious attachment style

  1. There is so much o can relate to in this post Anne and I have been triggered by exactly the same feelings in many relationships and dealings with men. I am so far from getting this right myself that I perhaps should not offer advice. The only thing I would say is men are generally a very different species. They don’t see time in the same way, particularly when they feel secure. For Jean, you have bonded and connected and there is not the need to have continual contact because he knows you like him. He also assumes you know he likes you. He has told you. As women, we want to hear it and be told it and be reassured by words and gestures and contact … particularly when we are vulnerable and really really like someone. As tough as it is (and believe me, I know how tough!) giving him space is the right idea. Which means sitting with that awful anxiety and ridiculous thoughts that we aren’t good enough and our lives will be over of this man doesn’t message … blah blah. Trust that he will. If it goes on for days and days and that’s unusual then address it with him but not until it’s appropriate to do so. Stay with it. Tell yourself you are worth him and do the things that make you really happy. Trust what he has said to you until you have evidence to the contrary. You aren’t a psycho. You like him and feel vulnerable is all. Love and hugs 🤗 xxx

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    1. yessss 🙂 I’m happy I managed to wait until it was HIM who messaged ME 🙂 IN the past I would have drank to pass the time but feeling all the doubts sober is a whole other story ^^ TRUST is a good one, I’ll practice that more ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would’ve done the same. Drank to pass the time but then when drunk, decided it would actually be fine to text first and completely f**k the whole thing up with stupid, rambling drunk texts. Well done for waiting … I’m glad he messaged you! Men have a different clock! Time for them passes differently then it does for us. He will not see the need to message all the time. You like him, he likes you … that’s enough as far as he’s concerned! Good luck 🤞 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Everyone else has given such good advice, I have nothing new except to say that, in my experience, guys that like you will always call eventually. Try to focus on yourself for now. Maybe some girl friend time? xoxo

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  3. HAhahaha “better here than in his e-mail”. My former self would have 100% e-mailed those feelings while I was drunk. So yay that both of us are not in that situation.
    But, I WAS in your dating situation like 2.5 years ago so can remember it very clearly, and we sound VERY similar in our needs to want lots of attention and reassurance. I think your hyper emotions and over analyzing are totally normal, it’s the excitement of falling in love / having a huge crush!!! So try to focus on all the good parts of this and don’t let the paranoia get to you. I know you are excited to have MORE, but try to be patient, know that he’s got all his own insecurities and craziness going on in his brain, and whatever you do, don’t shut yourself off or withhold affections in retaliation for his short periods of silence. For all you know, he read somewhere he should do that because otherwise he’ll scare off a girl he really likes.

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    1. yes, I’m definitely trying my best to put things into perspective and be patient / let go of any expectations, and not play games, but it’s not always easy 🙂 I wish I had better self-esteem 🙂

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  4. Disclaimer before I comment – I’m nearly 56 and have only had 2 relationships in last 35 years so probs not best person to take dating advice from! But – if you like him and you feel the connection then just call him when you want to? He brought the gift so in his mind he may well have laid his heart on the line already so now thinks the ball in your court and may be anxiously checking his phone to see if you’ve messaged? I don’t think it matters who initiates or whether you take turns – some people are more interactive – it’s what happens when you do that will tell you what need to know – holding out or waiting for him is playing games and that’s not going to help things. Don’t sleep with other people to make him jealous! Just be you and see where that gets you – if he doesn’t like you as you then he’s a fool! Lots of love and hugs 💞💞😘😘xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤ thanks DGS. yes he ended up reaching out and today I wrote to him. There's something that still feels off with him – but he told me social interactions are not his strong point. I'm just worried I picked yet another triggering person and it might be my responsibility to walk away if it doesn't fit my needs – which I am CRAP at doing 🙂 so I'm a bit scared

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Something feeling off is important information to keep in mind but hopefully that will resolve – I get the fear but I think that’s old Anne not the new you and if it’s not right you’ll do the right thing for you 💞💞xx

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      2. yes. this situation is teaching me to find balance between listening to my gut feelings (very unfamiliar since i drowned them in alcool for so long), tuning down the paranoïa/anxious voices, being here and now, and honoring my values/needs. It’s not easy ^^

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Listen to your sister. Don’t undermine the potential of the relationship. Give it some time.
    Why don’t you show up at his door with a gift and rush off? Follow his lead.

    I have not been single since my early 20s….and I’m 49. That said, I have my kids and I have been a couple for 25 years. I’m revelling in my single Dom. That is because I’m at a different life stage.

    Your life seems exciting!

    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m late to the post I’m sorry, just been catching up. This was so me and my husband. I couldn’t believe a guy “out of my league” liked me so much. Stick with it, be yourself, you’re wonderful. These horrible anxious feelings will pass. How is everything now?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Anne…. it’s so good to read you again… this is the best romance I’ve read since City of Girls, well the only one I’ve read since then, and I’m thinking maybe it should be a novel too… :)) Sex Empress – that is just magnificent!! 😆😜🤟 You, being afraid to show your body?!!! In all your pics you are so beautiful. I hear you, we all have insecurities though.
    Hope you are well, and always, as you know, always follow your instincts… I don’t know how these things are supposed to go these days, and I vaguely remember the excitement the wait and see thing would generate but… I just don’t know.
    What I do know is you’re amazing and accomplished. I love your vibrancy and energy, it’s a real uplift to read. Lots of love :)) xoxo

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