I have a lot of mental health problems, which makes being in a relationship difficult for me. But none more so than my borderline personality disorder, due to the attachment issues that underpin it. Thus, I thought I’d write an article about the difficulties of meeting my partner in order to highlight this problem I have.
What Do I Mean By Attachment Issues?
Simply put, attachment is the strong emotional bond between two or more people, which causes them to seek closeness with each other and whom they feel secure with when in their presence (Simply Psychology). According to Bowlby’s theory on attachment, attachments are an intrinsic need for an emotional bond with one’s mother that goes beyond the need for nourishment (Learning Theories).
Basically, the attachment you have with your mother (or, as is more common nowadays, your primary caregiver) functions as a template for all your future attachments with other people. Thus, if you have a poor attachment with your mother, and to an extent, your peers, during childhood, you’ll struggle with relationships as a result.
I was bullied relentlessly as a child for not being white, abused by my teachers and other adults, and I was emotionally neglected by my mum. I didn’t trust anyone in my life because my friends would talk behind my back and use me, so it’s not a surprise that I developed borderline personality disorder along with being suicidal by the time I was eight years old.
My Story: Meeting My Partner
I don’t know why this always happens to me, but I resent having to meet my partner, and pretty much every time we arrange to meet. I often hope that they’ll forget so I’ll stop messaging them a couple of days before on the run-up to our meeting, but they never forget (I honestly don’t know why I keep acting like they’ll forget at this stage, they never have after all this time).
Every fibre of my being wants to keep me rooted at home in my safe little room, and every fibre of my being is acting like it’s going to be a horrific experience. My partner is the best person I’ve ever met. I’ve never met anyone as supportive as they are. It’s that kind of unconditional support you expect parents to give their hurting child.
But it’s more than that. My partner is the only person I’ve ever properly connected with. Plus, we share the same kinds of views and a weird as fuck sense of humour. Even so, every fibre of my body is trying to keep me rooted to my chair rather than spending time with them.
Even as I’m writing this on the train to meet my partner, I already know that I’ll most likely have a good time, and my experience with meeting them supports this as more often than not, I’ll have a good time: even though the feeling will be fleeting due to my chronic depression.
Knowing all this, I still go through this exact same process every time we plan to meet. Even though the evidence of our past arrangements to meet, tell me it’s a fact that I’ll have a good time, I still can’t stop this process from happening. Every. Single. Time.
Clearly, it’s a combination of my anxiety disorders and borderline personality disorder, which makes it immune to logic, reason, and the evidence of my experiences. I just wish I could overcome this problem because it makes things very difficult and, as I said, the evidence doesn’t justify the existence of this process.
What makes this even weirder is that I can barely go a day without talking to them online through one of the messenger services. We basically talk every day about anything, from something specific like what’s in the news, asking how their day is going, or more often than not, just to talk about some random shit or use one of the many, many, nicknames I’ve created for them over the years. Yet, even though I talk to them online on a daily basis and I find it weird when we don’t talk, meeting them is another ballgame, and I just don’t know how to fix this part of me.
Have any of you guys experienced something similar? It’s kind of like an unexplainable fear of something, but it’s something that is mundane and you’ve done countless times before. Is there a way to overcome this?
Just got back home – as predicted, I had a good time; the food was nice; we had a few laughs, we talked, and watched the first two episodes of the Alienist on Netflix: although I did have a bit of an upset stomach running up to leaving, but I believe that’s linked to my anxiety disorders, but I’ll leave that less than pleasant topic for another blog article, if you’re lucky.
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Unwanted Life readers.
20 thoughts on “Date Night: The Difficulties Of Meeting My Partner”
It’s interesting that you can quantify the evidence (that you always have a good time with your partner) and still understand the irrationality of not wanting to meet them. I think it’s good to be able to identify your feelings like that though, and also your partner sounds like an incredibly understanding person and I’m very glad that you have them in your life/
They really are super understanding and supportive
I am so sorry that you feel this way. But to have someone who understands you completely is so important. I think a lot of us can relate in some way.
Certainly now that lockdown is easing, I have got so used to being with my small family unit and although I miss my friends like crazy, the idea of leaving the house to socialise fills me with dread. I was due to marry last year and the thought of marrying this year makes me feel sick! Like you, I know the reality is that I’ll have an amazing time and I want to be married more than anything but at the moment, I can’t see past the all-consuming fear and anxiety.
As ever, thank you for sharing so honestly x
Lockdown may be easing but the risks are still the same, so I wouldn’t be returning to anything resembling normality any time soon. How annoying would it be to catch covid19 while the vaccine is rolling out?
I think that the fact that you can recognise what trigger your anxiety is already a huge step and also knowing that you’re going to have a great time with them nonetheless. I think that mostly now most of us can relate with this, I truly dread seeing people back again, not in a negative way, but I have been with my bubble for so long and got comfortable I am not sure I am going to enjoy other’s company. I am glad you have them and that they always support you, thank you for sharing your experience!
Thanks for sharing. It’s easy to want to stay in our safe spaces, and until I’m vaccinated, I’m sure not going to be stepping out of mine any time soon
Good post! I understand how you feel. It’s good that you have a partner who cherish you and you cherish her too. Keep it up. Thank you for sharing your story.
Yeah, I’m really lucky with my partner
Love this post. The fact that you can recognize your triggers and feelings in the moment, and you’re able to still regulate all those strong emotions shows your strength.
Your partner sounds lovely as well and it’s always great when you have someone in your corner that gets you, understands you, and most of, are patient with you.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you. Yeah, my partner is great, I’m not sure what I’d do without them
I don’t share a lot of my anxiety issues but I have horrible anxiety about literally any and all situations. Gatherings, get togethers, or pretty much anything else. It never is as bad as I think it will be but my anxiety is crippling at times. Great informative post as always and very brave to share your experiences.
Anticipation is the worst
I have anxiety and so I can relate to your anxiety. This is such an open and honest post that will help people feel less alone in their similar feelings. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks for commenting
I have always believed what we learn and are taught, as well as treated, in our childhoods shapes who we become and how we treat others later in life. I love that, despite the obstacles you have faced and the ones you are facing in anxiety, you are aware of them and so can write and ruminate over them. No better way to eventually find a solution!
Thanks for sharing. <3
Indeed, our childhoods server as a blueprint for the rest of our lives
Glad to hear that you found someone to watch Netflix with…
Such a creative to way to express your emotions. Loved the way you described how you feel.
Thanks for sharing