Why am I sabotaging myself?

topgirl1 asks:

I’ve been dating this guy for about six weeks and he’s handsome, funny, tender and affectionate. Most of all, he seems really into me. I never met a guy that liked me before. Never really had a boyfriend. The other night he shows up at my apartment (in my actual bedroom, i don’t even know how he got in) merrily drunk after a a friends birthday. He says he was trying to call me but my phone was cut off. He wanted me to be with his friends and everyone he cares about to meet me. He said he wanted to be boyfriend and girlfriend, a couple. He babbled for a while about my many good qualities and even said he loved me but kind took it back? (didn’t want to rush things) he also stressed many times that he would like for us to have a monogamous relationship. I never had one before. 

So I was beyond happy and I think he was too. It was hard to say good-bye in the morning when he left for work. He promised to return after work and texted me throughout the day. For some reason when he came back I got super anxious. He was understandably tired and just wanted to watch tv and cuddle. But all of a sudden I felt like I had made a terrible mistake, that now that I was “his” it was just gonna be watching tv in bed forever. He also tried to convince me that since we are a couple now we don’t need condoms (I’m on the pill)

Anyway a close girlfriend of mine texted me as I lay awake next to my snoring boyfriend passed out at 10:30pm. I left him in my bed to go out with her for a night of heavy drinking , cocaine, and mdma use. Also worth noting, her and I used to have a sexual relationship and my boyfriend knows this. My phone was still off and I returned to my confused bf at 11 am feeling drug sick. He seemed understanding and held me while I shook late into the afternoon. I haven’t seen him since then, 5 days ago. He texts me everyday though and we almost met up a few times but it always fell through (on his end)

I like him, he likes me. Why am I sabotaging myself?

Demetrius says:

I can tell you right now, this is a lot more complicated than the usual “I’m afraid of commitment stuff” that I normally see. The problems aren’t simply limited to resisting a commitment, so let’s lay out what they actually are:

1. The relationship progressed too quickly

2.Your heavy use of drugs and alcohol

3. You lack agency

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a relationship, getting it, and then having doubts. The problem here is that the entire relationship from the very start has moved too quickly. You dated for 6 weeks and after a night of drinking, your new boyfriend arrived at your house completely drunk and now suddenly you’re in a relationship AND considering removing condoms from your sex life. When things are moving this quickly, feeling like maybe you made a bad decision isn’t entirely out of the norm. I’d be wary of anything anyone says about serious life decisions when they are drunk, and the fact that he said he loved you and then took it back is not a good sign. Not that he doesn’t care for you, just that this is someone who gets drunk and maybe does things he regrets in hindsight. You also admit to being new to monogamy, garnering interest from men, and you’ve never had a boyfriend. That means that you’re very inexperienced, and the fact that you went from zero to 100 so quickly is part of the issue. I’m not saying that you can’t do that and be happy, but if you’re wondering why you might be sabotaging yourself, that could very well be part of the issue.

I’m all for going out and having a good time, but doing so to the point that you need someone to care for you the next day is not a good move. I would advise anyone to not consume hard drugs, but if you’re going to (because you’re an adult and I can’t stop you) to the point where you’re not functioning the next day you’ve wandered into abuse/addiction territory. I don’t know for sure if you have a serious substance abuse problem, but the fact that you can’t remember how someone entered your apartment is a tell-tale sign to me that going out on benders isn’t a new behavior for you. I’m guessing that you left the door open to your place because you were drunk or high. I’m not an expert on substance abuse (but my Mother is), but your drug and alcohol use is clearly an issue if someone needs to care for you after a night. This is the sort of sabotage that not only ruins relationships, but can ruin your life. Be careful!

Ultimately, you’re sabotaging yourself because of your lack of agency, and all your issues stem from that. Outside of your drive toward heavy substance use, your entire story shows a consistent lack of agency. This guy shows up drunk to your place, unannounced, and you don’t know how he got in to your apartment nor did you ask. He decided, while drunk, that you guys were going to be in a committed monogamous relationship, brought up removing condoms from your sex life, and at no point did you bring up any doubts or fears you might have about what the impact of a committed relationship might mean to you. Instead you went out with a former lover and friend and went on a bender. If you’re wondering what’s driving your self-sabotage, it’s your lack of agency. More than anything else, you need to address your fears, not suppress them through heavy drug and alcohol use. If you have doubts about the relationship, you need to address them using your words, not by going out and getting wasted.

It’s okay to like someone and have doubts about entering into a relationship with them. Moving forward, try to address your doubts instead of getting wasted to avoid dealing with them. My advice, as it usually is, is to talk with your partner.

Good Luck Out There.

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