Dating Tips From A Girl w/ OCD

Fun fact - I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder towards the end of 2019 (take me back). To get specific, I suffer from mostly the ‘O’ part or “Purely Obsessive,” which basically feels like you’re in the car with that one friend who plays the same song over and over again. Or like what you see on TLC but instead of tapping the faucet 10 times before leaving home, Pure O is compulsive thoughts on a loop for hours at a time:

Conversations that should have happened.

Songs I never heard that day.

Something I said. Why I said it. How I said it.

Something you said. Why you said it. How you said it.

4 AM mindless chatter.

The list never ends.

It wasn’t until a day on my therapist’s couch discussing the woes of NYC dating, that she asked “have you ever thought about how your OCD affects your relationships?”

The answer was obviously no, because I just learned that OCD is more than being a neat freak.

After extensive reading and beginning to properly manage this thing (most days), my eyes are wide open on how my thoughts have sent me into crisis mode over the years.

Whether your fate is the same or similar, a few exercises have helped me maintain my sanity and not immediately call it a wash:

Give yourself more time with a thought before sharing a response.

A majority of your first thoughts are negative which automatically pumps “fight or flight” through your veins, and in turn, a negative response to the information you just processed.

Allow that thought to pass, and see what comes next.

For me, it’s usually less elevated feels, which saves the other person from me popping off on them.

Keep in mind that feelings are not facts.

Now this is not to diminish the very strong and very real magic that is a woman’s intuition. BUT there are a lot of things that trigger feelings -- past experiences, your homegirls' past experiences, misunderstanding what was said (ps - stop having full convos in text), expectations of the future etc.

Your emotions are warranted, but the key word is YOUR.

They are YOUR responsibility to maintain, manage and control, not ol boys.

Replace “you made me feel like” with “when you do this, I feel like…” and see what happens.

Schedule “worry time.”

This little gem right here is thanks to a very CBT-focused therapist (God bless her) and this shit wooooorks.

Why worry the whole day when you can set aside a designated time to go in on all those scenarios working through that beautiful brain?

Pretty soon, you look forward to this time, and eventually you will no longer need it because you’ve spent enough time on that issue.

Bye ashy!

Use your words.

Not sure what makes people believe that others can read minds, but they cannot.

A lot of women avoid speaking up from fear of being a ‘nag’ or turning someone off. That narrative isn’t about what’s being said, it's about timing and how you say it.

Nothing plagues me more than the words I did not say.

So apologies ahead of time if you can’t believe I said it, but for my mental health, it’s imperative that I let you know where you had me effed up at, and hopefully it won’t happen again (whether with you or someone else).