Dating with Anxiety, Readers Questions
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Ask What You Want Wednesday: Holiday Distance Anxiety

Nearly two weeks ago I started spending time with a very lovely man who I met through mutual friends. Being with him is wonderful. He is very calm, kind, and we don’t stop talking. I feel as though I’m falling for him very quickly.

Now, over the holidays, all I have to rely on for contact are very sparse texts. I’m an avid texter, and he’s not. I’ve heard this is just how he is and his friends all have difficulty getting in touch with him. Waiting for him to respond to me is torture.

Having anxiety alongside feeling strongly for him very fast, then facing separation over the holidays has been an absolute nightmare. Dating and the holidays as separate concepts are bad enough for the anxious, but both together are horrific.  

Do you have any advice on how I can chill the heck out over Christmas and trust that it will work out if it’s meant to?

Okay, let me tell you right here right now THIS IS SUCH A COMMON EXPERIENCE. Not only do the holidays bring up a cornucopia of anxieties related to family, food, gift-giving, and whether or not you thank carolers are annoying, it also gallops into our lives and makes us anxious about our love life.

The holidays disrupt our usual routines. Many of us travel or spend time with family (which may or may not be something we look forward to) and we are often pulled away from our everyday environments.  When there is uncertainty in our lives, anxiety charges through the front door and sets up camp. Anxiety loooovvesss times of disruption and change.

The fact that you describe this man as “calm” and “very kind” is a good sign. In the face of your distance and frustrations I encourage you to focus on these qualities. While the distance is difficult and it’s easy to fixate on what his lack of texting means, be sure to recall the positive emotions you felt while in his actual presence. You enjoy his company and he seems to enjoy yours. The two of you can’t stop talking when you’re together. These are no small details. Use them to help remind yourself of what it’s like when you don’t have the distance.

While not receiving frequent texts can leave us feeling insecure about where we stand in a relationship (especially if it is a new relationship) there is also very little we can do about it. This, in turn, makes us feel even more frustrated. Since we can’t control the situation, our anxiety starts to feed on it.

Instead, think of what you can control. You can control what you focus on. You can choose to focus on the good feelings you feel when around him. You can control what you do with the time apart, and how you do it. Clearly communicate that you are thankful to have met him, you hope he has a good holiday, and you look forward to seeing him after it’s over. Then, focus on yourself. Spend some quality “me time” with yourself. Write. Talk with friends. Go on walks in nature. Paint. Sing. Shop. Do whatever you love to do and do it with an intent of reconnecting with your own inner strength.

Be grateful you have someone to miss. Be grateful you have someone to feel frustrated with. But then? Be grateful for your own heart and your own growth.

If the relationship continues to evolve you will have time to better define your needs and expectations during times of distance. But for now your primary focus is on your own health, confidence, and fortune of having someone in your life who treats you with kindness when you’re physically together.

Happy Holidays






  1. Pingback: A Story From a Reader | The Anxious Girl's Guide to Dating

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