After a few dates, I don’t want to see this guy anymore. How do I tell him? Just be truthful, says our elder.

Dear EWC

How do I tell a guy I don’t want to talk anymore? We’ve been on a few dates but recently I have had to start canceling whenever he wanted to hang out because I have terrible anxiety (I am diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder). My anxiety makes it to where I get physically sick and sometimes I feel paralyzed. We’re not exactly dating but he “accidentally” sent me a message last night that said “I’m waiting for the right time to ask her out,” and then he said, “Oops, I didn’t mean to send that to you”. I’m afraid of relationships, commitment, and new things. I’m also going through a hard time with my family (a lot of drama that I let affect me a lot more than it should) so with my anxiety that makes me not the best mentally. I don’t really want a relationship right now because I really can’t handle one and I don’t think I really want one. He’s very nice but he’s also extremely sensitive and gets upset quite easily. I don’t want to break his heart but I just can’t do this. I’m 16 and I have no idea what to do.

Mrs.G replies

I think the decisions you are making now are good ones. I can understand why you don’t want to be in a relationship at this time so it is important you end it. I think some of your anxiety could be coming from the fact you are conflicted on the inside. You want to break up but are afraid of breaking his heart so you have indecisiveness and inner turmoil which is making your anxiety worse. It would for anyone. The key here is, to be honest with yourself and with him.
If I were you, I would tell him pretty much what you wrote in your letter. That way you are being truly honest with him and this will help him not take things personally. Be sure you add that you don’t want to hurt him but you just can’t continue seeing him.
Now, from what you say, he could be totally upset. Or, it’s possible, he won’t be. Who knows, he might feel better knowing the truth because I bet he has sensed something going on between the two of you and has been uncomfortable about it. You simply cannot worry about his feelings at this point. I’m sure he will be able to recover and move on, and his heart won’t be forever broken. At least he will know the truth about what occurred, and that’s the important part.
Regarding your anxiety disorder, I feel sorry for you as I know how painful that can be. I want to caution you, though, not to make this an excuse to do other things. You might have to force yourself a little bit to stay sociable and to mingle with your friends. I support you, though, in the idea you don’t need to be involved in a serious relationship right now. It’s just not the right time for that.
And regarding the family problems you are having, I can understand the stress you are under. Maybe when school resumes (assuming you are on summer break now) you can discuss your issues with your school counselor. That might be of help to you,
I wish you luck with your anxiety and hope someday you can conquer it. Keep trying and don’t give up. You’re on the right track now letting your inner feelings direct you somewhat. When there’s a conflict like what you have, it’s always good to take action and to be honest with those involved. I wish you well.

Letter #: 444592
Category: Dating/Relationship

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