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Dear Wendy

Anxious. How to fight healthily?

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  • #1042685 Reply

    Dear all,

    I once had a question and you guys helped shed common sense and give useful tips too 🙂 thanks for that!

    So I’m here again, looking forward to your sharing and advice.

    I’ve had the typical bad experience with online dating such as keep texting but never met, never met and can call me gf, super intense texting before even meeting up.
    All these do affect me and I keep remembering them and make me easily anxious.

    I noticed the tendency of me being anxious. When i interacted with a guy from online, we chatted, got into disagreement (by texts…), i found myself trying to explain myself a lot, and I do want them to try to understand me, which can sound defensive.
    Such as “it’s difficult to trust you yet because we just know each other. Im not sure, im anxious, i had this bad experience that i keep remembering). So I, I, I..

    How to be careful but dont offend the new guys? Lol.

    Where should i start to improve?


    #1042964 Reply

    Well the easiest path is to stop caring. That’s on you though.

    You don’t know these guys. They could be idiots or dog-kickers. Stop giving them power in your life. I’m serious. Decide what behavior you want to see from them and then if they do not live up to your needs, cut them loose. They don’t want to meet up? Cut them loose. They bully you over a misunderstanding – cut them loose.

    Have some self-worth, set some standards, define your boundaries. You are giving a lot more value to getting & keeping their attention than whether or not that attention adds value to your life. Stop trying to polish turds.

    #1042968 Reply

    Ok, first, you need to have zero expectations when messaging with a guy except, let’s exchange a few messages to see if we even have any interest in meeting each other. That’s it.

    Then, if neither of you have suggested meeting up after, say, 3 days on which messages have been exchanged, stop messaging. If he lives too far away for you to meet up, stop messaging. If you start having disagreements or fights, stop messaging. That’s a huge red flag that one or both of you is in no mental space to be dating, or that you’re not compatible.

    But look, have you EVER met a guy in person from online dating? It sounds like no, but you do realize that’s the entire point? It’s not online texting, it’s online dating. You use the app to meet someone you can get together with offline. It sounds like you may be afraid to actually do that, in which case you’re being a time-waster and should stop using online dating apps. Get some online therapy instead. Asking how to fight healthily with a guy you met online and have only texted is cuckoo. A guy shouldn’t have to jump through any hoops just to meet you. You either enjoy chatting and meet up or you don’t.

    Seriously, if you’ve never met up with anyone, get some therapy to work on why you’re so afraid. If you’ve sometimes met up but more often have problems even getting to a meeting, then you need to do what I said above and stop texting anyone where it doesn’t lead quickly to a meet up. No long explanation, no outpouring of anxiety, just stop messaging.

    #1043021 Reply

    If it is actually difficult for you to trust anyone, you need to address that in therapy. To me, the texting should be to make a plan to meet and not too much else, at least not to the level where you’re getting into disagreements and explaining that you can’t trust people.

    You don’t have to explain the inner workings of your brain to guys you don’t know.

    Keep your expectations low and keep it simple.

    See if you’re interested in meeting, and explain you don’t like to text too much before you meet. Focus on what you think and feel, instead of wondering if they truly understand you. That shouldn’t be the immediate goal.

    If you find yourself feeling anxiety from texting potential dates, stop trying to date for awhile and get into therapy.

    #1043026 Reply

    1. I would consider seeing a therapist who can help you with your anxiety. It can really improve your quality of life independent of any dating issues.

    2. Do not become emotionally invested in text chats with people. It just doesn’t mean anything and is no predictor of actual romantic compatibility. These chats should be geared towards setting up an in person date.*

    3. You should not act on the expectation that it’s the responsibility of people you date to manage your anxiety. Everyone should be accommodating but you should have your sh*t together to the extent possible.

    *If you are in a country where vaccination is available, please get vaccinated before dating.

    #1043085 Reply

    Also, I remember your last post, and if a guy is behaving weirdly or offensively on chat, do NOT attempt to do or say anything to convince him to modify his behavior. Just stop responding to him immediately. If he’s saying sexual things, then you know right there he’s a creep, so you remove yourself. Don’t continue talking to him trying to find a way to trust him.

    #1043203 Reply

    Are you spending time looking back at all the stupid things? Stop that. You made decisions in the moment. Maybe they weren’t the right decisions but that’s how you get experience to make better ones in the future.

    People don’t learn much when everything goes right. You learn when things go wrong.

    Evaluate each person for who they are, how they treat you and what they say. If they treat you well, great! If they start fights or don’t listen – stop talking to them. You shouldn’t have to convince anyone to treat you well, that’s not your job. Your job is to set your boundaries for how you want to be treated and then live by it. If in the early days of flirting someone isn’t treating you with respect and kindness – it’s not going to get any better.

    #1043324 Reply

    You can’t develop trust in a person based on a few texts. Trust takes time. That’s why you shouldn’t get too invested early on. My friend recently met a great guy online. She’s 47, mature, intelligent, has been married and has lots of relationship experience. They moved quickly and his controlling & manipulation didn’t become apparent till 3 months in. They’ve broken up. My point is, even people who aren’t new to dating need time to get to know someone & develop trust. Its not going to happen over text or phone calls. Don’t expect any of these guys to manage your anxiety for you. Therapy is much more effective. If you’re not emotionally healthy when dating then all you’re going to attract is emotionally unhealthy people.

    #1043335 Reply

    Yeah. You need to dial things back a bit. It’s odd to be constantly getting into arguments too early. Frankly, I suspect you are expecting way too much far too soon from people you have just messaged. Not even met.


    #1043340 Reply

    Also, constantly going on and on about how you’ve been hurt in the past and now can’t trust anybody isn’t exactly a turn on. At all.

    I’d run from you the minute I started getting messages like that. Especially as I suspect you are causing the fights.

    #1043598 Reply

    Another thing: you actually have complete control over these things happening-

    “ I’ve had the typical bad experience with online dating such as keep texting but never met, never met and can call me gf, super intense texting before even meeting up.”

    You can avoid all these by simply not engaging any more after a few exchanges of messages where either you don’t feel like suggesting meeting up, or he doesn’t. Right? None of those things will ever happen to you again if you decide your policy is going to be to say, hey, want to grab a drink? And then if they don’t immediately start making plans to grab a drink, unmatch them and stop messaging. YOU are in control.

    It makes me really concerned for you that you’re talking about fighting with guys you’ve never met, sharing your past bad experiences and your mental health issues with them, and worrying about offending them. That is all way too familiar too soon and will only lead to trouble. Just act like a normal person who’s trying to go out for a drink, and expect the same from the guys on these sites. ANY weird behavior at that stage and you simply disengage.

    #1043626 Reply

    You’re not ***supposed*** to trust people you’ve never even met!

    Also, it’s not their job to “understand” you. You’re in a wrong position if you think another person — ESPECIALLY one you don’t know — is supposed to look after your vulnerabilities. It’s all right to have vulnerabilities, but you shouldn’t be leading with those or making them into your whole identity. Center yourself in your strengths, and if you feel you don’t have any, then go to therapy to build your self-worth.

    Opening with “I am fragile” is only going to attract unhealthy people.

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