Imagine standing in the middle of a highway, naked, looking straight into the headlights of a truck that is speeding towards you, about to crush you under its wheels. Imagine feeling this way, all the time, every single day.
Now, imagine dating this person – the one who feels like a catastrophe is just waiting to happen in all her waking moments. She knows that the way she feels is completely illogical and she is slightly unfair to you. But she cannot help freaking out every time you don’t text her for a few hours. You might be busy in your own work. But in her head, she has decided that she has messed up somewhere during your last interaction and you are never going to speak to her again.
She reads into every word you say, every text message you write, every gesture that you make. Was the hug tonight like every other night? Wasn’t it a little less warm? Doesn’t it last a little longer generally? Does this mean you no longer love her like you did before?
You, on the other hand, were just tired tonight.
Yes, it is difficult to live with a person like that. Her anxiety starts annoying you. You get irritated when she asks you for the 100th time about whether your date is on for Friday evening. You think she is insecure. You think she is overreacting when you don’t answer her calls on a work night.
Believe me, she knows.
She knows that her fears are baseless. She knows you will probably not leave her without any real reason. She knows that you are coming for the date on Friday. But she cannot help but be unsure. It’s her own mind that is against her.
She needs to be understood, to be reassured that you will be around when she is having an anxiety attack and she cannot even breathe. When she falls asleep on a lonely Sunday night after not speaking to you for days because you are away in the mountains, she needs to know that you will come back to her and sleep right next to her, with her in your arms. And kiss her head when you say goodbye.
She needs to be told that she is loved and she is needed. She will never be fine completely. You can be dating her for a few years and she will still freak out when you don’t text her for a day. But the important task that you have here is to make her feel the calm that she wants to feel.
Believe me, she is trying. There are a thousand voices in her head, constantly telling her that something is waiting to go wrong. She does not want you to feel that she is insecure or crazy or possessive. She just needs to be told once in a while – “I am here for you, don’t worry. I am not planning to leave.”
It’s dangerous to love a girl like her. She isn’t waiting to be rescued, because she knows that you cannot rescue her. She knows that she is not perfect, but she is trying so hard to be a little less imperfect, just for you. She wants all those thousand voices to shut up when she is with you.
So, the next time she freaks out, hold her in your arms and say, “I am here for you, don’t worry.”