dear sharideth: What the Heck is Wrong With Me?

I’ve recently met a completely lovely guy. He’s amazing – sensitive, intuitive, thoughtful, and I really like him. We’re not in a relationship – still at the ‘friends’ stage – but I would definitely like it to progress further and I’m pretty sure he feels the same.

So how come being with him saps my confidence quicker than a 100 degree day melts an ice cream?

It’s nothing he is doing. He is always supportive and is amazingly good at saying the right thing.

We’re both quite sporty and like to play at similar sports, all of which I am reasonably good at and can quite happily do anytime, any place and (until now) in any company. But when I do these sports with him I suddenly find my ability level plummets and I’m incapable of getting anything right. It’s really frustrating and it’s eating into my confidence and self-belief levels really hard, which in turn is making me very low generally and I’m struggling with that too.

It’s getting to the stage where, to try and boost my confidence a bit, I am taking a big step back from him, asking for some space and deliberately avoiding going out doing sports with him so that I can perform properly and convince myself that I’m not completely useless at them. But I don’t want to avoid him, I want to spend time with him, and we have so many similar interests that we can share it seems dumb to not do them together.

What the heck is wrong with me??? I have no idea how to deal with this. He is always totally awesome when I ask for space and willingly gives it, but I feel like this is my problem and I’m taking it out on him which is totally unfair and is eventually going to ruin the friendship we already have, and the relationship which may not be too far down the line. I’m just feeling like a total bitch and I can see that I need to break the cycle, but I have no idea how to!

Have you got any suggestions please?

Thank you hugely!!

Can’t Pull It Together

dear CPIT,

suggestions?  chill the freak out would be one.  i think you’ve almost convinced yourself something is busted in you.  i assure you, it is not.

he makes you nervous because you like him.  that’s all.  you want to make a good showing of things, but your nerves get the better of you and you make dumb mistakes.  happens all the time.  to everyone.  in all sorts of situations.

i’m a pretty good pool player.  but put me up against someone i don’t know, who i want to beat or at least prove that i can hold my own against and suddenly the pockets get too small for the balls.  every time.

give yourself a break.  but give him one, too.  i doubt he is hanging his decision whether or not to date you on your sporting prowess, but the fact that you probably appear to be running hot and cold will have a definite effect if you keep that up.

so tell him what’s going on.  tell him that he makes you nervous.  he’ll ask you why, then the conversation you’ve both been dancing around will happen.  he’s looking to date you or he’s not.  either way, you’ll know where you stand and you can stop freaking out.  he’s going to be flattered.  guys like knowing they makes girls a little nervous.

but…if you keep doing the back and forth, hanging out then asking for space thing, he’s going to get frustrated and move on, so knock that crap off.  you don’t need space, you’re just embarrassed.  big difference.

you’re going to have to put on your big girl panties and just talk to him.

oh so sincerely,


any other thoughts for our friend?


9 comments on “dear sharideth: What the Heck is Wrong With Me?

  1. What’s with the paradox women have of giving yourself space because you’re freaking out of how much you’d like to be with him? Is it bracing for disappointment? Anxiety of commitment? I have heard girl friends rethink on going on a date with perspective (good guy etcetera) and then looking for their crazy ex instead. I think this is something only women do. Men can show the same stupidity in their mistakes, but I don’t believe there’s that much of a paradox in there.

    Good advice. Do you ever get the feeling you’re repeating the ‘just go and tell him’ advice a lot (while taking a perfectly unique and calibrated approach to every question you get, props for that)?

    • Jennifer C. says:

      To answer your question, no clue. Girls are weird.

    • bethagrace says:

      Because we’re afraid of commitment. Seriously.

      • But what are you doing dating in the first place? And why are you punishing yourself? If a guy is afraid of commitment, he’ll take it on the girl and behave like an ass. This way, he can keep her at a distance and doesn’t have to let his feelings in. Girls do this too (if he responds well to this, he’s a keeper), but more often they take it on themselves. It’s two wrong ways of handling a fear of commitment, but why create a lose-lose situation for women?

        Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to fully answer all this.

        • bethagrace says:

          I’m not sure how behaving like an ass to the girl you like isn’t self-punishment. Girls ask for distance. Guys demand it with their actions.

          As far as why those people are dating, fearing something doesn’t mean a lack of desire for it. People want to give their hearts away, but they’re also afraid of having them broken, or having make sacrifices, or becoming to dependent on the other person. They keep dating because they’re hoping that one day they’ll meet that person who they’ll have no doubts about and all their fears will magically go away. It’s not rational, just the way people are.

  2. I agree with understanding its normal and your nerves are getting the best of you. Your not disinterested in him, nor are you a loser at your sport (based on your previous knowledge of your skills, lol)…. BUT you are nervous and believe in some way he will base his liking for you on how good you are a a sport, so it seems, Bottom line is, if he is someone you want, he will look at your character and everything else that makes you. If he ignores the connection and focus on your ability to play sports than thats not the connection you are looking for! So your both doing each other a favor. BUT I hardly think thats the case. AND honestly, I know you have the urge to hide that issue from him, and create a facade that your a great sports player and alien who doesnt get nervous BUT if you communicate that with him…. the vulnerability, although slightly uncomfortable will free you of your stress and deepen the bond between you. Vulnerability and honesty are always important. AND believe it or not, more attractive and welcoming because you will create a comfort not only for yourself but also for him.

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