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Maximus2019

Feel like OCD Ruined my Chances in a Relationship

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Hello. There is a woman I really like and have been interested in for five years. We went on one date about three years ago, but, despite my efforts, I couldn't get a second date with her until two weeks ago. She had ignored all my texts 6 months prior to that, so I was very excited that she not only finally responded, but agreed to meet me. The meeting itself went great. The conversation went very well and I could feel mutual interest. She even messaged me the next day before I got around to touching base with her. Our follow up conversations were good for a while, and she was the one who even asked when we could meet next. We were supposed to meet last Friday, but she got sick and asked if we could meet next week (which would be some day this week), instead. 

This week is where I feel I might have ruined it through our text messages. When I get OCD, it prevents me from being able to naturally engage in a conversation, and I can say things which are off topic because I'm not focuses. My former manager even told me once "you gotta work on your segways". He told me that because we were talking about one thing and I suddenly switched the conversation to a new topic. So, with her, while we were texting I couldn't focus well because I was having OCD about a door in my home getting stuck on the latch when it opens and closes, and felt like I needed to deal with that before I could have a normal conversation with her. It wasn't even an emergency since this door was to a room I didn't need to go in, and it was only getting briefly stuck- by pushing a little harder it would easily open and close. In any event, here's how our conversation went:

Her- "who are the other people who work in your office"

Me- "I work with a computer programmer and a latin american film maker"

Her- "Oh interesting!"

This is the point where I felt I needed to say something to keep the conversation going, but I had such OCD I was afraid to mess it up. About six hours later, after thinking about it a lot, and not knowing even if I should respond until the OCD goes away, I eventually said:

"Yeah. It's a nice area, but I drive a lot. Sometimes two round trips a day. Do you work out?"

Now that last question I feel is what killed it. First she is commenting on an interesting person I work with, and I am changing the conversation to be about the location and asking her if she works out. In my ocd, I felt some need to ask a question to give her an opportunity to respond. Now I feel like she just thinks I'm awkward, lame, and boring. This was two days ago and she still hasn't responded.  A couple of hours ago I texted her to see if we were still going to meet, and I called her by a nick name that she occasionally has used but which I never called her by. I was trying to be warm, but feel it might have been out of place (it's the kind of nickname a boyfriend would give his girl friend) ("Kit Kat" since her name is Catherine lol). 

I was on cloud 9 after meeting her and haven't felt that positive in a while.

My questions are a) how to deal with this problem of OCD sabotaging my conversations in the future, and b) does it looked like I might have made her back away?

Thank you!

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Hi @Maximus2019 and welcome to the forums.  I am glad you have had the opportunities to get to know this girl better, hopefully things go well for you.

As to your first question, there are two ways that I see the OCD is impacting you, the primary worry (in this case about a door) and the secondary worry about the conversation itself.  In general any work you do to address and recover from your OCD is going to help on both fronts.  If you are not seeing someone about your OCD or have not had a professional diagnosis of OCD that would be a great place to start.  In case you are not familiar the standard treatment for OCD is a type of therapy called Cognitive Behavior Therapy, or CBT.  If you have not had CBT I highly recommend you look in to it (talk with your doctor, self refer, etc.). You can learn more on the main OCD-UK site and especially if you live in the UK they can help you get started.  If you have had CBT I recommend refreshing yourself on the methods use to try and start tackling these problems.  It might be helpful to get a book that is designed for self-guided CBT, there are some in the OCD-UK store, or you can check on your local bookstore or online shop.  But at its core, the way to beat OCD is to make yourself keep living your life inspite of OCD, to do the things OCD tells you you can't or shouldn't do.  So you sometimes say non-sequiturs during conversation, its a little strange, but its not the end of the world.  Try not to focus on it too much, if it happens it happens.  I think the less you focus on it, the less it will be an issue.  Hard sometimes but try to just talk and not worry too much if you change topics.  It happens, even to non-OCD people (my sister does it ALLLL the time and she is completely OCD free).

As to your second question, I understand why you are nervous, its very common to be nervous when starting a new relationship, to worry about saying or doing the right thing, and when OCD is involved it gets even more complicated.  Do your best to relax and not overanalyze the situation.  You'll be tempted to assume the worst case scenario and because of that you might overreact in your response (like by calling her or texting her too much) making it worse rather than better.  You've reached out to her, now give her the space to respond.  Hopefully she will soon, but maybe she has something else going on today that keeps her busy, or maybe she isn't sure how she feels about you yet so she wants to take the time to respond, or honestly, and this happens, sorry, maybe she just isn't interested in you.  That last one sucks, I know, I've been there more times than I'd like, but its simply the reality of relationships.  It would be great if things work out for you, but if it doesn't this time, maybe it will next time.  Just do your best, try and relax and be yourself, and go with that.  If yourself is a decent person, who treats people right and all that, then thats all you should be, if she doesn't share your interests or she just doesn't connect with you, then it won't work if you try and pretend to be someone else.  If you are yourself and things work out then great, it means she likes the real you and theres a chance things will last.  And if she decides she doesn't want to continue, well it can feel crappy, but its not because you are a bad person or anything (necessarily, I mean you could be a monster, but lets hope not 😉 ) Sometimes people don't click for any number of reasons, thats just life.  Otherwise we'd all be married to the first person we met!

Sorry I can't tell you exactly what to do about your OCD worries, recovery is a bigger topic than can be fit into a single chat after all.  And sorry I can't tell you how this girl feels, not only am I a guy so fully understanding girls is impossible to begin with, but ya just never know in these situations.  Try to be patient and relax and see where things go.  Good luck! 

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Thank you dksea! I appreciate your response.

I am feeling good this morning even though I still haven't heard back from her. I actually told her when we met that I sometimes get OCD, but I didn't get into detail. I was thinking that if I don't hear from her by mid next week or so, maybe I can just be honest and say something like: "You know sometimes my texts are jumbled and off topic when I get OCD, and I was having it when I last messaged you (a door broke in my house that triggered me:). I don't have it much anymore but do get it sometimes especially when talking to someone i like:) You are smart and can pick up on subtleties,  so I hope I don't loose you as a friend because of it."? Do you think that's a good approach? Or I could keep it shorter and just end it after .... "when I last messaged you."

I have read up on/ researched OCD in the past, and I will do a refresher. I will check the OCD UK store.  The one book I read so far is Brain Lock which was very good. If you could recommend any other books or things I should read for my situation I'd appreciate it. 

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It’s tempting to want to explain, it’s a very common OCD trait, but honestly I don’t think it’s the best approach. You’ve reached out to her, the ball is in her court so to speak, if she responds, great, if she doesn’t, well, you tried. I don’t find that continuing to try to contact someone if they haven’t responded after an initial effort really works, they probably just aren’t interested. Sucks I know, but best to just move on and try again IMO. 

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Relationships trigger people with OCD so it’s best to get a grip on it first. 

Relationships lower serotonin so you obsess more which is what you are doing. 

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I definitely understand the level of OCD that relationships can cause. 

Edited by NoahsArk

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Thank you for the responses.

She did reach out to me Saturday and asked if I could meet that day. I was very happy, but I couldn't make it because I cut my lip shaving lol and it looked really bad. I asked if we could meet next week (which is this week) and she said "that might work!, good luck with you lip:) ". I asked that night if she wants to talk on the phone but she didn't respond. Overall this past month and a half she seemed interested. Today I sent a message just asking how she was and that I tried a delicious carrot cake recently that I wanted to get for her:) Still haven't heard from her. 

Regarding my question about whether or not my ocd sometimes makes me go off topic in a conversation, is it ok for me to do that if she gets back to me or if we meet the next time? I feel like if I put it on the table I'll be less concentrated on it, and less likely to be affected by ocd in the future when we're together. Could it be that my need to tell her about how my ocd can affect my conversations is in itself an obsession?

Regarding relationships lowering seratonin and triggering OCD that is interesting. 

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The Chemistry of Romantic Love book explains it better. 

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