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General Dating Questions/Relationships stress me out a lot


Dear Azure,

Hello! I'm sorry if I ramble, this ended up being a bit long... I'm 19 years old and just finished my first year in college. I met a girl there (we were neighbours in the dorm), who I have now been dating with for about five months. I've only had one other girlfriend before this in highschool, but we went out for a short month and a half and decided pretty quickly it wasn't working out. So I guess this is my first serious relationship, has been my first for most things, including sex.

Basically my problem is that dating/relationships in general seem to really stress me out, often a lot more than they actually make me happy. There's various reasons for it that I've noticed, chiefly worries about not being able to have good conversations, as that would mean that we aren't connecting and don't enjoy each other's company. I'm not a particularly bad conversationalist, I was a bit awkward as a teenager but I've mostly grown out of it, have plenty of friends that I've made in college (I'm renting an apartment with them now) and am usually confident socially. Not that I never have an awkward moment, but it doesn't plague me all the time or anything (which it did use to). But when I'm dating someone it just seems to amplify any awkwardness and it makes me really stressed, say before going for a picknick I'll freak out over whether we're going to have enough to talk about.

There are plenty of other things that worry me too, jealousy, worries that we don't have enough in common (I really can't connect with her on a lot of things that are super important to her, like rock climbing and botany), I worry a lot when shes on her period, I worry she's getting bored of me, worry that we're having too much sex and that it's getting routine, worry that I'm not who she thought I was, worry that she's not who I thought she was, not being sure if I like her or not when she acts weird, worry that things are unbalanced, etc. Worry worry worry worry! The other day we went for a walk by the nature preserve around the lake, and we were both pretty quiet and thinking about stuff, and I mean that happens and I'm sure it doesn't necessarily mean anything but I was painfully uncomfortable with the silence.

I don't know if this is normal or not. I realize that relationships often don't just flow smoothly and naturally, and that they do take work and effort, but I can't seem to enjoy it! And shes an incredibly nice girl who I know cares a lot about me, and who I care a lot about and who I do like to be around. But I just worry myself to pieces over it, panicking all the time for no reason when little things happen, and big things too. For the first month we dated I felt like throwing up all day from the stress (I'm pretty average with stress, don't have anxiety disorders that I know of, so yes that's not healthy!). It's gotten better and I am more comfortable with her, but I still for example avoid meeting up with her sometimes because I worry that if we hang out it will be awkward and I'd rather avoid the situation.

I hope this makes sense... how can I just calm down and enjoy the relationship? It might not be perfect, but I think it's definitely worthwhile, we've solved lots of problems together so I know it can work if I would just not freak out at every little thing that goes wrong.

Thanks! Sorry it was long,


definitely sounds like an anxiety disorder to me, which is something that can't be fixed with a few sentences here; low self-esteem is probably at work here; ideally you should consider counseling--if you can't do, at least try reading as to increasing self-esteem...

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expertise: over 7000 questions answered...B.A. Psychology Bates College;graduate study, Fordham Univ. School Social Work; technical editor, "dating for dummies", 2d edition, by dr joy browne; thoughtful consideration of your question, then insightful advice about love,romance and related issues given in an objective, non-judgmental manner...over 20 years of personal experience in both short and long term relationships...longer term consultations are available upon experience: personal involvement in many relationships where issues of love, sex, intimacy, trust, etc., had to be dealt with and resolved...just having "experiences", however, isn`t`s the thoughtful reflection upon and analysis of what happened and why, that leads to learning and tell me what`s on your mind and i`ll try to help, or tell you if i can`t...thanks


Over 20 years personal experience in dating, including both short and long-term relationships.Thoughtful reflection and analysis upon same, as well as providing imput relating to issues of love and romance to friends and acquaintances.

BA, Psychology, Bates College, Lewiston, Me. Graduate study at Fordham University School of Social Work.

Life experience can really be the only teacher in this area; however going through the experience is not enough. What is necessary is a real awareness, sensitivity to, and reflection upon what has happened, what has been lost, what has been gained. Getting beyond one's own insecurities and subjectivities, and seeing the experience in the context of the bigger picture, are essential stepping stones to learning and announces CT matchmaking service..for more, go to

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