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vivi_x

why is dating so hard with ocd (Merged Threads)

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does anyone have any advice on dating with ocd? no matter what kind it is, ocd gets in the way especially with relationships, which can cause feelings of doubt and despair. it might seem like a silly thing to some but I have been finding tackling this very difficult and just wanted to know how other people have gone about it

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I wish I could offer you advice. I have the same problem. ☹️ 

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2 hours ago, daja said:

I wish I could offer you advice. I have the same problem. ☹️ 

I'm just really struggling at the moment and finding it hard not to just give up on everything

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Yes, OCD can get in the way of relationships - especially in the long term. I've found short term, the high of a new relationship - to some extent - overrides the disorder. The best mindset? tell OCD to go to hell. Life is too short.  

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1 hour ago, paradoxer said:

Yes, OCD can get in the way of relationships - especially in the long term. I've found short term, the high of a new relationship - to some extent - overrides the disorder. The best mindset? tell OCD to go to hell. Life is too short.  

This. You shouldnt really try to "date with OCD". Get rid of the scsn instead

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Ocd can make all sorts of things more difficult than they would be otherwise. But people can and do have relationships even with ocd so it can happen. I think the key is to just allow those thoughts and feelings to come, be ready for them, think "I see you ocd, I'm not playing these games today ". If you leave the thoughts alone they will dissipate. Just focus on your date and try not to overthink it all. 

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I agree with GBG. 

I was scared when I was dating (yes I can remember all that time ago :)) because I thought OCD might step in and ruin things. 

Just the fear of that was powerful enough. But I was determined to find a soul mate who also wanted to settle down, we could buy a home together and get married (I really wanted that). 

My OCD theme was  not relationships. But if it does happen to be relationships, or around dating, then what to remember is, as GBG says, it's playing its games, but you DO NOT have to join in. 

If you start believing it, connect with it, it will try and apply compulsions and interference with your choices and all sorts. 

And it may challenge your true core character values, suggesting otherwise. 

Just treat all such intrusions as "just my silly obsession" , don't believe or connect with them. 

Just be the person you are. Make the person you are dating feel comfortable to be with you and take things one step at a time, don't rush. 

All the best 

Roy 

Edited by taurean

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4 hours ago, taurean said:

I take things one step at a time, don't rush. 

I find it really hard not to rush because the uncertainty at the beginning of seeing someone and actually liking them and then them leaving scares me to death but the more you rush the more they pull away and I'm not sure how to manage all these things, so I find myself searching for how long is normal to see someone before you're in a relationship and how to know if you're being too forward and I sit for hours trying to work it out but I can't and I don't know how to deal with the anxiety so I feel like the best thing to do is to end it before it starts because that way I know I can't get hurt. 

 

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1 hour ago, vivi_x said:

I find it really hard not to rush because the uncertainty at the beginning of seeing someone and actually liking them and then them leaving scares me to death but the more you rush the more they pull away and I'm not sure how to manage all these things, so I find myself searching for how long is normal to see someone before you're in a relationship and how to know if you're being too forward and I sit for hours trying to work it out but I can't and I don't know how to deal with the anxiety so I feel like the best thing to do is to end it before it starts because that way I know I can't get hurt. 

 

I thought you might say that. 

The fear of failure is so strong when we are obsessing in the way you are. 

You need to break that cycle of rumination, learn not to go there, to let things play out. 

I wanted to get married, but only to the right girl for the right reasons. 

So when you find yourself falling into rumination, STOP, think - "oh I am doing that silly obsessing again" and get busy doing something else. Keep working on this until not thinking obsessively becomes your default response. The obsessional thoughts will then start to lose power. 

Ignore that temptation to give up. Life works so much better I think if we have a partner rather than just friends. 

I took my time, overcame the obsessive fears, and my wife and I are still happily together after nearly forty years :)

 

 

Edited by taurean

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It depends on what your theme is.  If you're a cleaner you could date another cleaner. I've known some people that have ocd & I was fine with it. It's just a matter of being up front with it & the other person accepting it. 

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13 hours ago, Handy said:

If you're a cleaner you could date another cleaner. 

I'm not sure if you're joking but this is not a good plan you'd just end up making each other worse. 

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On 07/04/2019 at 14:37, taurean said:

Ignore that temptation to give up.

 

 

On 07/04/2019 at 07:10, gingerbreadgirl said:

If you leave the thoughts alone they will dissipate. 

I did my best not to overthink and to just let things be but then it went wrong like it always does not even because of the ocd and now all I can think is I should have listened and I should have gone with my gut because then I wouldn’t be hurt or upset. My brain told me this would happen, and I ignored it which just made things worse so what do I do now? 

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4 hours ago, vivi_x said:

 

I did my best not to overthink and to just let things be but then it went wrong like it always does not even because of the ocd and now all I can think is I should have listened and I should have gone with my gut because then I wouldn’t be hurt or upset. My brain told me this would happen, and I ignored it which just made things worse so what do I do now? 

Ignore what your brain is telling you. 

Go with what you learn here and believe in it. 

Always going wrong will gradually slip away and new behaviours will bring about a positive response. 

Whereas OCD will always look to the negative. 

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18 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I'm not sure if you're joking but this is not a good plan you'd just end up making each other worse. 

You’d be surprised but that actually doesn’t happen. What happens is you give each other mutual support on getting better. 

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39 minutes ago, Handy said:

You’d be surprised but that actually doesn’t happen. What happens is you give each other mutual support on getting better. 

While its certainly possible that two people with similar/the same problems can help each other in recovery and I have no doubt there are real world examples of just that (perhaps you are one of them), it definitely DOES happen that two sufferers end up enabling each other and making things worse.  This is true not just of OCD but many problematic behaviors/mental health disorders, such as drinking, gambling, smoking, depression, etc.  If you love someone, you love them, and thats not wrong, but I agree with GBG that actively seeking out someone with your same problems is probably not the wisest course of action as its more likely to lead to things getting worse rather than better.  Again its not a guarantee, but it is a high risk situation.

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@vivi_x - I think you could have ended your question at "Why is dating so hard."  :)   Some people are able to navigate them better than others, but in general relationships take work and you have to open yourself up and take chances as part of the process.  I think you'd find a lot of the doubt and anxiety you are feeling would be there regardless of OCD.  That said OCD can certainly present some extra hurdles and its 100% understandable to feel frustration because of that, to wish things were different, to be angry/depressed/sad when you feel like the OCD is getting in your way.  The good news is there are plenty of people on this forum and around the world who both suffer from OCD and end up in successful relationships (and conversely plenty of people who don't have OCD and can't manage relationships well at all).  Things may not be working out as you like at this moment, but I'd say take the advice of people like Taurean as a sign of hope, a sign that despite the extra hurdle OCD can give us, that relationships, successful, loving relationships are absolutely possible with OCD.  Don't give up, sometimes it takes a lot of tries to get things right.  Many, if not most, achievements in life come from a series of failures before actually succeeding.  The Wright brothers didn't achieve successful powered flight on their first attempt.  Thomas Edison in the US and Joseph Swan in the UK spent years developing their versions of successful light bulbs.  If its something important and worthwhile to you you just have to keep going until you get it right, learning from the not-so-succesful attempts along the way.

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The fear of contamination made me call things off with a guy I really liked because he didn’t want to just see me. 

I really wish I wasn’t so scared all the time 

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dating brings anxiety for everyone, so it's important to accept your uncertainty. I've met women with OCD  or not OCD & they are the relationships are the  same. There is always mutual emotional support. I didn't see any enabling going on.  Giving reassurance is a no but giving emotional support is a yes. There are websites that cater to ocd dating too.

Remember that SSRI meds may influence feelings for others so take that into account too. This is a quote from Wired: '

Dopamine also appears central to the neurobiology of romantic love and attachment, conditions that Fisher believes to be affected by — but ultimately distinct from — sexual love and its effects. She and Thomson say that SSRIs may do more than cause sexual dysfunction: They also suppress romance.

"There are all sorts of unconscious systems in our brain that we use to negotiate romantic love and romantic attraction," said Thomson. "If these drugs cause conscious sexual side effects, we'd argue that there are going to be side effects that are not conscious."

 

Edited by Handy

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34 minutes ago, Handy said:

I've met women with OCD  or not OCD & they are the relationships are the  same. There is always mutual emotional support.

That is good regarding emotional support, Handy. It is just a shame that you often seem to portray a totally different persona when replying to sufferers of OCD online! :rolleyes: 

Edited by felix4

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I hope you don't mind vivi, but as this is linked I merged your two threads.

 

1 hour ago, vivi_x said:

The fear of contamination made me call things off with a guy I really liked because he didn’t want to just see me. 

I really wish I wasn’t so scared all the time 

 

We've all been there... well those of us with contamination OCD.   OCD meant dating and relationships have been hard for me, for different reasons, but certainly the contamination part of things hindered my social interactions over the years.

But if I am reading the above correctly, he wanted sexual interaction not just to spend time with you?   If that's the case then you could argue he's not the right guy for a long term relationship?   But if you liked him and OCD is the problematic aspect of the relationship developing then you (and I) owe it to ourselves to try and fix the thing that's preventing the relationships going to the next level?  What do you think?  Have you had or are you having any kind of professional help and support?

For both of us we can't change what OCDs taken from us, but we can try and do something so it doesn't ruin potential future relationships.

My thoughts are with you Vivi, stay strong, but we've got this, we can change this! :)

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12 minutes ago, Ashley said:

I hope you don't mind vivi, but as this is linked I merged your two threads.

 

 

We've all been there... well those of us with contamination OCD.   OCD meant dating and relationships have been hard for me, for different reasons, but certainly the contamination part of things hindered my social interactions over the years.

But if I am reading the above correctly, he wanted sexual interaction not just to spend time with you?   If that's the case then you could argue he's not the right guy for a long term relationship?   But if you liked him and OCD is the problematic aspect of the relationship developing then you (and I) owe it to ourselves to try and fix the thing that's preventing the relationships going to the next level?  What do you think?  Have you had or are you having any kind of professional help and support?

For both of us we can't change what OCDs taken from us, but we can try and do something so it doesn't ruin potential future relationships.

My thoughts are with you Vivi, stay strong, but we've got this, we can change this! :)

It’s that he wanted to see other people while seeing me because us dating is relatively new 

I know this is normal for most people but to me it seems absurd and makes me feel ill but I do really like him and he is good with my ocd, encouraging me to fight it but not making me feel like I’m crazy 

I used to see a therapist but since moving away from home I haven’t been able to find one

Edited by vivi_x

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On 08/04/2019 at 16:50, Handy said:

It depends on what your theme is.  If you're a cleaner you could date another cleaner. I've known some people that have ocd & I was fine with it. It's just a matter of being up front with it & the other person accepting it.  

Mmm. Two people with the same problem is hardly likely to inspire recovery.

 

On 09/04/2019 at 05:57, gingerbreadgirl said:

I'm not sure if you're joking but this is not a good plan you'd just end up making each other worse. 

 

On 10/04/2019 at 00:53, Handy said:

You’d be surprised but that actually doesn’t happen. What happens is you give each other mutual support on getting better. 

A rather generalised comment Handy, which as others have suggested is debateable.  I have been doing this nearly two decades and in that time I have seen people with OCD get together many times.... I am trying to think if any have lasted, maybe, but more often than not the mutual support is usually mutual avoidance and reassurance. 

If two people happen to fall in love and they both have OCD then the love combines them and maybe, just maybe they will come through.... I love a bit of romance :inlove:     but only an idiot would deliberately set out to date someone with OCD. 

It can work, but both need to be 100% recovery focussed, strict in support and dare I say both at the same stage because if one recovers and the other doesn't then the relationship dynamic changes.  Unlike Handy's advice above, two people with OCD dating needn't be a problem if the two people have very different problems.  Slightly different scenario, but my colleague in the office does have OCD but not contamination OCD like me and often she will push me on things I would prefer to avoid.  If she had the saqme type of OCD as me we would be both avoiding!

So in sumamry, never, ever, ever set out to date someone with OCD.     But, if you hapen to fall in love with someone who just happens to also have OCD then, be strict with each other, be firm, push each other and hopefully the love for each other will bring you both through. 

 

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Just now, vivi_x said:

It’s that he wanted to see other people while seeing be because us dating is relatively new  

I know this is normal for most people but to me it seems absurd and makes me feel ill but I do really like him and he is good with my ocd, encouraging me to fight it but not making me feel like I’m crazy 

I used to see a therapist but since moving away from home I haven’t been able to find one

I am not sure that is normal Vivi.    If you're dating, you're dating, so new or not, he shouldn't want to see other people. Sounds to me like he wanted his cake and to eat it to!  

Where are you Vivi, can I help you access treatment?

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54 minutes ago, Ashley said:

I am not sure that is normal Vivi.    If you're dating, you're dating, so new or not, he shouldn't want to see other people. Sounds to me like he wanted his cake and to eat it to!  

Where are you Vivi, can I help you access treatment?

It is fairly normal for the amount of time we’ve been seeing each other, at least for my age group, which I completely understand not wanting to rush into relationships it just freaks me out a lot

is it okay if I message you with where I’m from?

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If someone wishes to "play the field" then they are not yet ready to commit to a true relationship. 

When we started dating all those years ago my now wife Julie was legally separated, wary of entering into a new relationship until she was sure of the man in question. 

I was wanting to find someone with whom to settle and I really thought she could be the one. 

But as she wasn't ready, we agreed to not make any commitment, see others if we wished but meet up once a month. 

After three months neither of us had found anyone we preferred, so elected to give a firm relationship a go. Since we were ready that became an intimate relationship. 

She had medical and other phobias, I had occasional bouts of repeating intrusive thoughts (but only then for short periods, and I didn't know it was OCD). 

We didn't fully confide these in each other in case it put the other off the relationship. 

We started saving up to buy a flat together. 

Then with no warning she suddenly went profoundly deaf - otosclerosis, a disease where bones in the middle ear seize up rather than vibrate to pass sounds to the brain. 

She was desolate, she thought I would no longer wish to be her boyfriend. 

But the deafness was no frightener off for me. I felt sure we could still communicate, even if only by learning deaf and dumb language. 

She had an inplant operation in one ear -replacing the anvil-shaped bone, the stapes. It gave her back some hearing, and with a hearing aid as well she has some modest, but unidirectional hearing. That has been good but it is still a challenge for her to work hard, in conjunction with lipreading, to get by - especially in a social environment. 

We bought a property and gradually I persuaded her to get a divorce and be free to marry me. 

We have been together now for almost forty years, married for 35. She stood by me through some major OCD challenges which started up when I was 50, but are in remission now after lots of help in therapy, from here and from OCD-UK. 

They say love may conquer all, but it needs plenty of give and take and commitment to handle another's disability. 

There are plenty out there that can, but also many that can't. 

But don't believe that because we have the disability of OCD we cannot find a lasting relationship with someone who can cope with it. 

I have met several spouses or partners of OCD sufferers that cope well with it and corresponded with others here who have such partners. 

Ashley may have met more than I have. 

But if the other person is willing to accept it, and indeed help the sufferer (my wife helped me utilise a CBT workbook for OCD) then the relationship can work well. 

Don't treat OCD as a millstone round the neck. Sure it will restrict the available field of suitors, but nothing more if an understanding person comes along. 

I don't see it as greatly likely to be successful if the partners are both OCD sufferers, but I haven't come across that situation. In our case the fact we had different types of psychological problem (the phobias in her case, not the deafness which is physical) meant we could help each other on a CBT basis, which worked well. 

 

 

Edited by taurean

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