A first kiss. Now what?

Heading into the New Year has this letter-writer inspired but still anxious.

Our elder celebrates the connection but suggests taking it slowly.

Dear EWC:

Hello. Last year, I was diagnosed with anxiety. It’s affected me in so many ways, especially forming new platonic and romantic relationships. I barely talk to those who care about me, usually too depressed and apathetic to reply. My sadness usually makes me incredibly lazy.

Nowadays, I’ve wanted to take a new route; becoming more friendly, and putting more effort in, perhaps to even stop over-thinking so much. It’s the holidays, and I thought in the New Year I could change into a better person. It’s been the first week of my holiday, and I finally had my first kiss. I’ve liked this person since last year. He was so awkward about it, and according to my friends he was acting strange the whole day. He told me he had liked me since he first laid his eyes on me, and some strange person took over.

Not the respectful, intelligent person I wanted for 2021 but a confident, adventurous person. I initiated the kiss, and it was weird. I liked the idea that we kissed, but the feeling was rather strange. Anyway, he asked me out a few hours afterwards, though he was so shy the whole time. As a teenager who constantly over-thinks, I understand the relationship won’t last. He’s been one of my closest friends for 4 years; I’m scared to let that go if he leaves me. I said yes to him, so it’s official, but I’m still so nervous. I love him, but there’s so much that could go wrong. I don’t know what to do about it.

Kenti replies:

It’s wonderful to hear that you’ve had your first kiss. Since this is all new, I’m not surprised that you’re concerned your connection will not last. I say this because you have been diagnosed with anxiety and because you’re aware you overthink situations. Rather than wait until the New Year to change, I suggest you contact the professional who made your diagnosis and request a referral to a therapist who can help you manage your anxiety. As a rule, medical diagnoses don’t just go away unless there is some kind of intervention.

In the meantime, there’s been a terrific development. The guy you like told you he’s liked you ever since setting eyes on you. According to your friends, he acted strange all day before telling you his feelings. That’s understandable, as it must have taken a great deal of courage to open up to you. Then you surprised yourself and initiated a kiss. He followed by asking you for a date. To review, you love him and realize that you’ll probably be nervous and that he may be shy on your official date. Still remember you’ve developed a comfort level with each other as friends, so I suggest you go slowly and start with casual conversation.

Unfortunately, it seems you’re overthinking again and fearing that things will go wrong. This is one reason I think it’s important for you to work with a therapist. Also your medical diagnosis will not simply go away unless addressed. I strongly believe that getting help is important, not only because you may start a dating relationship, but also because it will help in future situations such as making friends. Working with a therapist will have a supportive person in whom you can confide and with whom you can receive guidance about what to do.

I wish you well.


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