Because I am afraid of rejection/abandonment to the point of beign phobic about it, I often come across as clingy and dependent. This is off putting to the kind of guy that I like (introvert who likes his own solitude now and then and is fine with my behaving as if I were a cat rather than a Labrador). The level of fear and frequent need for reassurance probably reads as "weak, needy female who is all clingy and shit". If I had been able to articulate it, I would have told them that this phase is temporary. It is akin to tiptoeing very carefully and gingerly across an otherwise beautiful and inviting piece of land that has been sown with landmines. Until you know where each and every one of those landmines are, you are likely to be afraid. Once they have been found and marked and you have some assurance that things are safe now, the timidity takes a back seat and you can frolic happily, avoiding the mines, of course. But if someone saw you at first and didn't realize that you were afraid of the mines, they might think you were a wimp who was too hesitant to do much of anything or to have fun. Boundaries are critically important for me, as is knowing exactly what will or will not result in being discarded.
Once I feel secure, I pretty much live my own life, am happy to see my partner, enjoy their company, play when we both want to play, spoil them here and there, and read my books or work on whatever interest has consumed me at that time.
The problem: as I said, the sorts of guys who'd be OK with this get scared off by my initial insecurity. Meanwhile, other men do want me. What kind are these? the kind who want a groveling, oh-please-give-me-your-approval-every-second-of-the-day-until-I-die sort of woman. The kind who asks her husband's opinion/permission about the most trivial things and who meekly obeys whatever demands he might make. I am not that sort of woman. But, I have been mistaken for her and the men tend to be fairly dismayed when they discover their error.
The other type of man is less likely to be controlling. He just wants companionship all the fucking time and feels rejected if, God forbid, I want to do something alone or with a friend. Need,need,need,need,need.....and this sends me running away as irrevocably as anything could.
No wonder I have had such bad luck with relationships. :-/
So. Instead of looking for my lover/partner/whatever (not sure if I have attained girlfriend status yet) to reassure me every time I have an anxiety attack because I'm afraid I might get dumped.....I am going to have to learn how to manage the anxiety myself. Because really, that's sort of my responsibility, not his. He is doing his utmost to make me feel safe, but ultimately, that's not really his job, is it? My feelings, my responsibility. So this time, when the anxiety attack sucked my breath away and left me feeling all dazy and panicky...I thought...wait a minute. I am a Quaker. Quakers reach for the light, the peace in the silence. Quakers meditate. I know how to do this. I may not have been able to go to meeting, but I can still find that silence and peace. I can put myself back into my body until it's all there, until I feel real. And it took a long time...but I did it. :-)