What Being In A Relationship Is Like When You Suffer From Social Anxiety

What Being In A Relationship Is Like When You Suffer From Social Anxiety

It's like a back-handed slap to the face of the person you're with...
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"I'm having an anxiety attack."

It was my first one in what seemed like months. I could barely keep from crying as I blurted those words out while on the phone with my mom.

"Take long, deep breaths. Focus on your breathing. You need to breathe," she said, knowing I'd pass out if I kept hyperventilating.

I was racing back to the Donald Tucker Civic Center for an FSU basketball game, after being informed that my purse was too big. The game was about to start and my boyfriend had been saving me a seat alongside his friends, and I had to walk three blocks by myself in the cold.

I was already stressed about having to drive to the Civic Center by myself, since I had never been. I couldn't find parking anywhere close enough, so I trudged along in the 40 degree weather, miserable and cold. Upon arrival, I was informed that my purse was "too big" and I wouldn't be allowed inside.

Suddenly, it felt like everyone was looking at me, whispering to each other, pointing out that I wouldn't be able to go into the game. It felt like I had a giant neon sign above my head that said "Mock Me."

It really wasn't a big deal. Looking back at it, I overreacted. I called my boyfriend, cussing and on the verge of tears, telling him that I was done, I was going home, and I spat out "have fun with your friends" as if this was all his fault.

After I had called my mom and she had talked me through my anxiety attack, I texted my boyfriend and immediately apologized. "I'm so sorry baby, I was just freaking out. I'm really sorry, I promise I'm not mad at you."

Dating with anxiety is not an easy feat to accomplish. Just when you think you've got a handle on things, one minor inconvenience sends you into a frenzy, feeling like everything is your fault and everyone is bothered by your presence. Anxiety isn't always watching paperwork pile up on your desk and deadlines approaching. It's walking into a crowded restaurant and not being able to hold your head up and look around at people.

For the longest time, I always thought my boyfriend would get bored of hanging out with me for long periods of time. We went for a hike with my dog on a nice Sunday afternoon, and upon our return home, he said he was going to hang out with his friends and watch some football. I broke down, sobbing, begging for him not to leave me.

It could all be separation anxiety, which I first experienced as a child, visiting my father's house on weekends while I cried and pleaded to see my mother. It wasn't anything against my father; I was just so used to always being with my mother, that without her, I couldn't function.

Now, I don't like to be alone. I like alone time where I can clean and write and gather my thoughts, but after a few hours, it feels like no one wants to talk to me, or to hang out with me, and everyone acts like I don't exist. So I begin to panic, and stress that this is how it ends for me- all alone, with nothing and no one.

Anxiety, for me, is this constant, overwhelming feeling in the back of my head, that everything is a lie and everything is far worse than it seems. It makes me have irrational fears, like being late to anything, or that everyone is staring at me and can see my fear of being alone.

It's almost embarrassing to have an anxiety attack while in a relationship. It's like a back-handed slap to the face of the person you're with, saying that you don't feel safe or comfortable with them, which isn't necessarily true. When my boyfriend asks me to meet him somewhere after work, I can feel knots in my chest because I know I'll have to look for him when I get there. I know that people are going to look at me and realize I'm lost, and talk about me under their breaths.

He's tried to talk me through it, often trying to make light of it with some jokes, but he doesn't understand that this isn't something I can click on and off. Anytime we have to go into a crowded place, I always make him go in first, so I can keep my gaze low and not have to look anyone in the face.

For Halloween, I wore a bandana around my nose and mouth, which surprisingly gave me confidence, and allowed me to lead the way through the crowd at a party, with my head held high, making sure to make eye contact with everyone. It was like I could hide my anxiety and fears behind that piece of cloth, even though there was no reason to cower in a corner with my head covered.

I know many people that have got a grip on their anxiety, and they've found a way to keep it level and not freak out every time something goes wrong. I've used the grounding technique, where you look around and name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste, and it's helped me through some of my more mild anxiety attacks.

Anxiety is so much more than just a term for "freaking out" that people throw around. It's something I've had since I was a kid, and I'll need to learn to overcome it before it consumes me.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

16 Fall Dates Your Girlfriend Is Hoping You Have Planned

Take your girl apple picking and she'll love you forever.

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The great season that brings us homey days and spooky nights is right around the corner—Who doesn't love fall? Weeks filled with bonfires, football, beautiful colored leaves and the smell of cinnamon apple wherever you go. Fall is definitely the season for love, the temperature drops which makes you want to grab someone for some cuddling under some cozy blankets. Fall is also the perfect time to do some super cute things with your significant other, but us girls don't want to do all the planning.

If you know your girl would be down for some fun stuff this upcoming season and you want to surprise her a little bit with some of your planning skills, I got you covered.

Here are 16 Fall date ideas that your girlfriend already hopes you have planned:

1. Apple picking

Find the nearest apple orchard and grab your girlfriend and go pick some fresh apples. You could even decide to bake a sweet apple pie afterwards!

2. Visiting a corn maze


You can have fun getting lost together in these for hours.

3. Pumpkin picking

Find the perfect pumpkin that matches you. My personal favorite thing to do with pumpkins is by taking their seeds out and baking them!

4. Pumpkin carving


You can pretty much create anything design wise on a pumpkin.

5. Have a scary movie marathon

Staying in a night and watching a ton of scary movies is totally something your girl has in the back of her head. Some of my favs are "Scary Godmother" the "Insidious" and "The Conjuring" series and of course, "Halloween Town."

6. Visit somewhere near with pretty foliage

Taking a trip somewhere where you can really check out the Fall colors really makes you love the season even more.

7. Attend a football game

If your girl is really into sports (like me!), she'll love going to her favorite team's game. Whether it's high school, college or professional football, I'm sure she'd love the crisp air with great atmosphere!

8. Check out a haunted house

If you really want a thrilling date, definitely check out a local haunted house.

9. Have a bonfire or go to one

Bonfires in the Fall months are always the best. It really can't get any better than wearing a nice big sweatshirt, hanging out with your favorite person and roasting marshmallows around a warm fire.

10. Create some autumn themed treats

You can go as easy or tricky as you want with these. From something as simple as caramel apples to something as hard as a bonfire cake, your significant other will love the thought and then you two can enjoy something after all the hard work.

11. Look for couple Halloween costumes

Halloween is all about having fun, so go check out the stores and get some matching costumes.

12. Attend a Halloween party

It could be a nice small family get together Halloween themed party or a huge Halloween themed college party... whatever you or your girl is down for!

13. Visit a local coffee shop

Pretty much every coffee shop around the country brings out some Fall themed flavors. Each of you order something new and seasonal and try them out!

14. Spend time in fuzzy blankets by a fire

Cuddling up together in nice, fuzzy, warm blankets and listening to the crackle of the fire can be so relaxing. Talk about your day or simply take a small nap together while snuggled up.

15. Go to the farmer's market

You can always find so much at the farmer's market. Sunflowers are in season during the early Fall months so you could always surprise your lover with a cute bouquet of them.

16. Have a picnic in the park

Pack some Fall favorites like soup, caramel and apples, pumpkin bread and all those other cozy flavors. Pick your favorite park, dress for the weather and enjoy some good homemade food with your favorite person.

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9 Ways To Lean Into Your Nerdy Side While Still Keeping Things Cute Enough With Your Partner

Nerdy and flirty.

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There's nothing like bringing out your nerdy side with your S.O. Unlike the typical dinner date, the pressure is off and you have a chance to let loose and relax. Check out these fun nerdy date ideas for inspiration.

Check out the local arcade

You obviously can't go wrong with an arcade date. Video games, junk food, and the chance to show off your gaming skills! Nothing like a little friendly competition between you and your S.O.

Sing nerdy karaoke

Karaoke. But not just any type of karaoke, nerdy karaoke. Find a bar that appeals to the nerdy crowd. Get up, get out, and sing your heart out.

Nerd out at your local comic book shop

Spend the day getting lost in the newest issue of your favorite comic book. Bonus points if you both show up dressed as superheroes.

Act like a child at the theme parks

Running around the theme park like a 5-year-old is a great way to bring out your nerdy side with your S.O.! Bonus points if you take pictures with the people dressed up as characters.

Meet fellow nerds at the next convention

Grab tickets and head over to the next nerdy convention with your S.O.! It's a fun way to dress up and meet other people.

Relive your childhood at the playground

Do you remember playing in the playground when you were a little kid? Take a picnic lunch and head over to your nearest park. The perfect way to bring out your playful side with your S.O.

Stay in and play games

Video games or board games? The possibilities are endless. Bonus points if you wear onesie pajamas, just 'cause.

Hold a movie marathon weekend

Watch movies as you dress up as your favorite characters and make themed foods/drinks.

Spend the entire day napping

Take a break from the world and catch up on your beauty sleep. All the cuddles.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy embracing your nerdy side with your S.O.

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