I will never be able to be in an intimate relationship. - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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I will never be able to be in an intimate relationship.

This has been bothering me for a while. I do not suffer from any sort of social anxiety.... except when it comes to romantic situations.

Every single time in my life (I am 16, almost 17 BTW) I have rejected any sort of romantic developments with boys, whatsoever. Whenever someone shows any sort of interest in me, I start to get REALLY REALLY anxious and uncomfortable and begin avoiding them at all costs. My stomach drops and after the situation, I am preoccupied by it for the next few days. I just feel sick and terrible, consumed with this awful feeling. The odd thing is, i still get crushes on guys. But the MOMENT I get even a hint that they might like me back as more than a friend, the awful uncomfortable feelings set in and I push them away. I don't know why.

The major time I realised this was last year, when I had this big crush on one of my good friends. We got along REALLY well and even my friends who didnt know I liked him would randomly tell me we would make a good couple. I just really really liked him. But as soon as he started flirting, the anxiety set in HARD. Suddenly I was extremely uncomfortable around him and would get upset and anxious just thinking about having to be around him. It consumed my life for a while, and I felt terrible all the time because I couldnt get it out of my head. I said some awful things to "turn him off", and we haven't been friends since. And the WORST part is, there were moments in the next few months when I still felt I really liked him.

This is not an iscolated incident, It has happened in other situations to other guys, but I don't want this post to be overly long with examples.

I am now so familiar with this feeling that I know I will never be able to find love because there is a part of me that just cannot deal with that. I have never even been kissed. Its not me being afraid of guys, It is the actual romantic situations I am afraid of. And it doenst feel like I just need to wait for the "right guy", either, because it is my own anxieties that is the problem, not the boys personally.

I just don't know what to do and I would like to talk with other people who have the same sort of problem or who have some advice. I am sick of feeling terrible, pathetic, and unworthy of any sort of love.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 12:48 PM
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You're 16... It's not like you're going to die any time soon.

A lot of people here seem to think that they are incapable of change, but honestly that is a load of ****. Everyone can change, it's just a question of how and when.

You talk a lot about being anxious but not why you're anxious or exactly you're anxious about? What part of the whole relationship mess freaks you out? Can't be all of it? Try comparing a normal relationship with a friend to a more romantic one, they're essentially the same, and one of 'em don't freak you out. Why doesn't the romantic relationship work? Scared of someone getting to know the real you?

Also, cheesy advice: you might want to talk to a therapist about that 'special part of you' that rejects relationships.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 01:23 PM
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That's a really tough way for your anxiety to manifest itself, I'm sorry.

Don't lose hope though. You've got a difficult problem to deal with, but you can deal with it. Thinking things like you'll "never be able to have intimacy" and you're "unworthy of love" are totally untrue, I hope it's the anxiety talking and that you don't really believe that.

If therapy's an option for you, you might want to look into it. I can't begin to understand why you react this way, so I don't really have any good advice for you except to not let yourself be defeated by this. If you fight it, you can win. If it's any consolation, I'm rooting for you

Little angel go away
Come again some other day
The devil has my ear today
I'll never hear a word you say
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 01:33 PM
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If you believe that your incapable of change, you won't change. You need some self-confidence to pull through difficult emotional situations and bring out the best in you. You are certainly capable of changing, but you simply can't have the mentality that things will always be this way. I'm starting to learn this myself after being told so for the 100th time.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 02:15 PM
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Honestly I don't think you suffer from social anxiety. Perhaps some sort of commitment anxiety or other relationship related anxiety. If it would make you feel better, perhaps you should talk to a therapist. You're only 16 and it is hard to tell the difference between actual anxiety disorders and anxiety caused by changing hormones. Maybe that's all it is.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 03:58 PM
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Be patient and give yourself time. You are 16 and although it's not about age, I think 16 year olds even without SA might also still be a awkward with members of the opposite sex.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 04:35 PM
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Sounds like you may have some deep seated issues regarding intimacy. You should probably go see a therapist and air things out.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 04:42 PM
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I've already accepted that I won't be in an intimate relationship but that's a different story. I don't think you should give up, you're only 16 and have time.

Is there a light, at the end of the road?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 06:29 PM
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I read your story and its amazing how much you and I are alike.
I too have rejected many men based on a change in relationship from friend to wanting more. It first happened when I was 13 and even though by the time I started to want to have a relationship at 18/19 and knew I was anxious, I was still unable to get past the anxiety to even give it a try, even hurting some men who must of really liked me in the process.
The way it works for me is that if there is any hint of intimacy, all my alarm bells just go crazy and I get so massively overwhelmed that I can't do anything but say no/stop or run away. I have kissed boys but only when there has been a bit of alcohol involved, but alcohol tends to turn up my suspicion of people more, so I am not sure why. I have never done anything more.
I would like to be in a relationship, and like you at times I feel that this will never happen. I am now 28 and I do see a counsellor about this problem - I think I have come some ways in knowing why I am like this and that I can get past it (fingers crossed) if I tried hard enough. I haven't had any opportunities to try lately.
I think its great that you want to do something about this now, I wish I had done so at your age. i felt it was too weird of an issue to go talk to someone about but I have learnt that some level of intimacy fear is normal and I am not the only person out there. Therefore neither are you!!

Thanks to the previous posters for their advice, and I agree with most comments. I however took the view that it was my age/changing hormones etc and thats one of the reasons I never pursued the issue - I should have and I encourage you to do so.

We will be ok!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-23-2012, 08:38 PM
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I totally relate to this. I'm quite aware that my failures have stemmed from issues with emotional intimacy; that said, I'm unwilling to presumptively infer that the same is true for you. That would be my best guess based on what you've shared, but it's ultimately up to you to determine the source of your difficulties here (and I encourage you to do so sooner rather than later). If you feel comfortable doing so and ever feel interested in discussing your experiences further, feel free to message me. I'm always happy to talk about this subject. Anyway, here's the brief version of my story:

I had a really promising opportunity at forming a romantic relationship when I was thirteen. I overcame my approach anxiety and cultivated a rewarding relationship (not in any formal sense, mind you) with a girl whom I absolutely adored. I'm not exactly sure how she perceived whatever it was that we had, but it culminated in an interaction during which she ultimately offered very encouraging reciprocation. And as soon as she did, I freaked out and pretty much cut off all ties with her. I just totally panicked and stewed in self-doubt to the point of paralysis. I couldn't take the final step to actually confront her with how I felt. It was the greatest interpersonal failure of my life. And the period after this event was awkward and painful in the extreme.

It was so bad that I couldn't even make eye contact with her without nearly having a panic attack. To this day, I've been unable to even contemplate a romantic relationship. On top of the fear which ruined this one (still alive and well, unfortunately), this experience serves as an additional excuse to remain comfortably inert. It is a testament to the enduring influence of self-reinforcing, avoidant coping mechanisms; this happened years ago, and yet still it directs my behavior.

I'd like to comment at this point that, in this instance, it clearly wasn't rejection which I feared. After all, this anxiety manifested itself only after I detected a clear signal of interest from her. What stopped me then and haunts me to this day is fear of loss after a substantial emotional investment. I mean, I was anxious enough at that time that being rejected up front would have been a humiliating and generally terrible experience. But what would be infinitely worse, what almost makes me tremble just to think about, is the failure of a relationship after commitment. After becoming thoroughly attached to someone, after sharing oneself entirely . . . and watching it crumble before one's eyes by a mere whim of circumstance. I feel like that girl still owns a part of my soul. I can't imagine the devastation I would have felt if this hypothetical had come to fruition. For an individual as sensitive and intense as myself (and yes, I realize how silly this must sound to many given that I was only thirteen at the time), it would have simply torn my heart in two. And I felt compelled to protect myself from that, even if it meant sabotaging my happiness. This post is already pretty long, and I could go on for days about this stuff, so I'll just leave it at that for now. Hopefully you find something of use in here, and best of luck to you.
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