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Did Her Anxiety Push Him Away?

Hi there,

First of all, I have to say that I absolutely LOVE your TikTok and am a huge fan. The advice you give is so on point - thank you!

Dating background:

I met a guy on Hinge a few months ago, and we met up after a few texts. It was great and it seemed like we were really into each other. I work late hours during the week and so we would only meet up a few nights a week, which was fine. We texted all the time, but then I got tipsy a month in and told him I wanted a serious relationship and he said he did too, but he just wanted to move slower. He also has a bad back so couldn't hang for a week or so, and I could then feel him pulling away but when I called him out on it, he kept saying everything was fine (see texts). He then told a friend of a friend (he didn't know we were friends) that he was dating someone for awhile (me) but that I went from 0-100 and that I was too clingy. I never told him I knew this information.

For a week we kept trying to make plans, but because I am playing games in my head (anxious attachment + didn't want to seem too desperate) I rescheduled a couple of our dates (see texts). Whenever we would get into discussions about what was going on, he would give answers that didn't make it seem like he was blowing me off (see texts).

Finally, last week, I had a few days off in a row that he was aware of. I messaged him to see if he had plans, but then - he messaged me and said he was diagnosed with Covid.

The relationship was already slow fading, but now with Covid, I'm not sure if I should message him because this is all in my head, or if he's really slow fading. Since he's been diagnosed (1 week), I've messaged him a few times to see if he's ok. The last time I did, he messaged me with "I thought you ghosted" ?????


Duration of dating: 2 months

Duration of (real or imagined??) slow fading: 1 month

Covid timeline: Met on Saturday 9th, had plans on Thursday and Saturday (I flaked), Saturday he got sick, diagnosed with Covid on January 18th.

In short:

I have attachment issues and know I play games by pulling away to try to bounce back so I don't seem too desperate. I care about this guy but feel like it's time to let go, but not sure if it's appropriate now that he has Covid.

Question: Should I message this guy because he's sick or let him go? Is this all in my head?

First, I LOVE your thoroughness here. Thank you for making this so digestable.

Dating with anxious attachment comes with its own set of hurdles. What compounds those challenges is difficulty controlling your impulses. It's common for people with AA to say whatever comes into their head or to act on an anxious thought. It sounds like that's what was going on here. You would feel like he was pulling back, a product of your AA, and then react. The trick to learn is how to navigate those moments without giving in to the impulse to have them confirmed or denied.

When someone you're dating tells you they want to take things slower, what they usually mean is, "I'm feeling pressured." Given the other things this guy said in your email and text attachment, it sounds to me like this guy is concerned, enough that he's pulling back a bit.

I think it's a good idea to let this one go. Not only has he been diagnosed with Covid, but he's spoken negatively about you to other people. He's also expressed frustration at how you have a tendency to create conflict where there is none. I'm not thrilled that his response to you checking in on him was an abrupt, "I thought you ghosted." That's doesn't convey warmth or a happiness to hear from you. Frankly, he sounds like a dick.

I could then feel him pulling away but when I called him out on it, he kept saying everything was fine

I hate hate HATE people who very clearly want to end things or are on the fence but don't take the opportunity to address the situation when it's given to them. Instead, he put it all on you then bad mouthed you to a mutual to boot. Fuck that guy.

In my opinion, you need to let this guy go. If he wants, he'll come back around. Not to mention: COVID. Let him convalesce in his apartment alone. Maybe he just needs to see that you've got your own life and know how to give him space when he needs it.

The upside here is that you know what's causing you to behave in such an erratic way. That means you can change it. When you feel that anxiety surge to the surface, practice grounding techniques. There are many ways you can ground yourself so you don't immediately react. I usually opt for confronting the negative thought and dismantling it.

Also note that I don't think your instincts were completely off. I do agree this guy was and is slow fading. That's not in your head. It's quite possible he's an avoidant. That would explain some of his behavior, too. Be sure to know this is not all on you.

The other thing to remember is that this not working out is not a statement of your character or emotional stability. Girl, everybody has their thing. You're aware of it and addressing it. That's all that matters.

This man gets 4 out of 5 Fuck That Guys.

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