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DearSugar Needs your Help: How Can I Break the Cycle?



DearSugar and Drama Queen Debbi need your help -- do you have any tips Debbi can borrow to put an end to her self sabotaging love life?

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This is something that has been a recognizable pattern throughout my whole life for as long as I can remember. I've recently realized that all the men I've ever been head-over-heels seriously in love with were all unavailable. And every time, every single time, I knew that before I fell for them. I'm now with a wonderful man who's (for the first time in my life) in love with ME. There are moments when I feel he's the best thing that's ever happened to me, when I'm so grateful he's in my life... and then there are moments where I have the crippling fear that I don't really love him, not like the other guys I have loved in the past.

I've often wondered why that is and the only reasonable answer is that, as I said before, he loves me back. It's almost as if I'm constantly trying to find something wrong with him. I know this probably stems from low self-esteem, which is an inherent part of who I am. After some soul-searching, I've come to realize that the unrequited love I'd been so miserable about before meeting my boyfriend is something I now miss, apparently. It's like I used to thrive on the drama of it all, like some character out of a nineteenth-century novel, I'd sit in my room and cry and basically wallow in my own misery. Still, it always seems like I'm courting more and more drama into my life. Why do I feel the need to blow every tiny problem out of proportion and act like the biggest drama queen? Why can't I just be happy for my "healthy relationship"? I am worried sick that I am going to drive him away and regret it forever.

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onesong onesong 9 years
lickety split, i love that definition of love and settling down. I think everyone here has a great point, but I think that if you do nothing else, see a counselor. It might take 2 sessions, it might take 200, but you obviously need to get to the root of this. I also think you're just plain, old-fashioned scared of the relationship (no offense meant at all, I get scared too!). As Lickety also pointed out, this is completely outside your comfort zone; in fact, it's the polar opposite of what you're used to. That's some scary stuff! On that note, I would totally recommend talking to your guy about your feelings. He sounds wonderful, and it's important to communicate (albeit briefly, not 24/7) where you're at in the relationship. It doesn't have to be a Talk with a capital T, but I think mentioning that you're so happy with him and you love him so much and that it's a totally new experience for you. You don't have to get down on yourself...just bring up the facts. I think that some positive feedback from him might make you feel better--plus I bet you will feel better, too, having verbally id'd your issues to your guy. Other than that, hang in there girleen. You're going to get through this with flying colors, especially with all the wonderful ladies above me chiming in with such great advice. Good luck!
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
remember that stand up guy that use to joke "i'd never want to be a member of any club that would have me"? i think there are a lot of people who feel a little the way you do. one of the things about women who date drinkers is that they keep doing it because it's a pattern they know. it might not be healthy but they know the pattern, know what to expect when. sort of a "comfortable chaos". i suspect that this might be what is happening to you too. you are feeling uncomfortable because you are in new territory so to speak. him being really available (both physically and emotionally) probably feels smoothering at times. you should probably be seeing a counselor or be in a support group to talk about this on a regular basis in a setting where you won't be judged for past choices. being aware of your anxiety is healthy. try to remember that this guy is a good choice. he might not be the last guy you ever date and he doesn't have to be. and btw, love doesn't have to knock you over everyday to be wonderful. "settling down" means calm and trust and knowing what comes next will be with your partner. the excitement of an uncertain relationship can give you a "high", but a long term love is fulfilling. enjoy the guy loving you, sounds like "high" enough to me :)
Marci Marci 9 years
I agree with a lot Jennifer76 said. My own feeling is that even if we don't realize it, we choose unavailable men when we don't really want a relationship. It's so deeply buried that we aren't even aware of it; even complain about it always being that way. So I think the fact that you are with someone who is available is a big step for you. You've taken that step but still have some deep fears about committing to someone, whatever those reasons are, so you create drama to possibly destruct the relationship. Maybe as the relationship continues despite the drama queen antics, you might relax into it. I hope so. He sounds like a good, patient guy, and I love that you're working on analyzing your behavior. Good luck with everything.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
The problem is that you need to change your definition of love. Being "in love" isn't something that makes a relationship. What you feel for those other people is longing or infatuation or lovesickness. Are you compatible with this person? Are you sexually attracted to them? If the answer to both those questions is YES then you are probably in a normal healthy relationship. I think Jennifer76 gave great advice about the "what if" game, and I think katiedid gave good advice about going to a counselor. These patterns can define you if you let them, but a counselor could help you get the root of your issues.
katiedid0985 katiedid0985 9 years
I'm not entirely sure how to stop this either, but it definetly is good that you realize what you're doing. I think that when you have those feelings where you're doubting that you love your boyfriend because he is available or whatever, stop, try to calm yourself down and think about it. Think about how much it sucked to be in love with guys who weren't available and about all of the good things that come with having a great guy who is available. If you can't do it on your own a counselor of some kind could help, possibly cognitive behavioral therapy which helps you change patterns of thought or behavior. Just don't sleep with anyone you meet in the waiting room (a la Carrie Bradshaw on SATC!). :-P
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I have no idea what the solution is, but I just want to say that it seems like it's a REALLY good thing that you recognize the problem. Most drama queens are so caught up in their own, well...drama that they don't even recognize how unhealthy it is for them and how emotionally EXHAUSTING it is for their friends. The only suggestions I have are to play the what if game with yourself. I try to do that for my friend who freaks out about absolutely everything. Say, for example, she's freaking out that someone we know doesn't like her. Ok, well...what if she doesn't like you? What happens? Not a lot, really. What does it mean? It doesn't mean you're unlikeable because lots of other people like you. Not the best example, but you get the gist...(hopefully).
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