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Advice – Worried about fucking up.

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/u/wilsonography on /r/polyamory writes…

“Hi loves! With how complex and transparent and cautious and communicative and…etc it feels like we have to be sometimes to make poly work harmoniously, how do you cope with the anxiety that you’re going to accidentally fuck things up?

With my core polycule I feel like the three of us have come to a really good place, and I’ve started seeing a new guy. Things are going well in that regard and everyone gets along, but I still have a litany of anxieties that run through my head…

Am I selfish for seeing someone new? Am I going too fast? Am I taking things unnecessarily slow? What if I somehow screw up and hurt someone? Should I be more/less excited? Etc, etc!

I know all I can do is live in the moment and be honest and communicative…I guess I just need to hear that I’m not alone in my little anxiety bubble, and maybe if y’all have some words of wisdom?”

Dear Wilsonography,

There is a term in board game called “analysis paralysis.” It is a state of mind where you cannot make a decision because there are too many different options to choose from. I used to suffer a bit from analysis paralysis – especially in heavier games like Scythe or open-ended games like Lords of Waterdeep – because I could not figure out what the most optimal decision was. It made board gaming with me a lot less fun because I’d get really anxious, take too long, and drag out games longer than necessary. I eventually got better at just making snap judgments and instinctive decisions that might not be the “most correct” answer, but the best I could do with the amount of resources I could allot.

It is inevitable in human nature that we fuck up. We are not perfect, as much as we all aspire in ourselves and in others to be. But much like analysis paralysis in board games, you learn to breathe through the mistakes you make. Since it is inevitable that you’ll make mistakes, it’s better to just accept them. What might be more beneficial for you is to consider what your recovery tactics would look like when you fuck up.

Living so much in your head about whether or not you should or should not be feeling this way or that way about someone is incredibly exhausting. So take it easier on yourself. You deserve at least a little break; you’ve been doing a phenomenal job with maintaining your current polycule. So give yourself some credit and allow yourself to live in these little moments, appreciate the good stuff, and don’t obsess about the bad stuff. You’re definitely not alone here.

One piece of advice that I’ll leave you off with here is that meditation has helped a lot for me in staying truer to myself. Just sitting down by yourself for five to ten minutes at the end of the day with no distractions or phones have helped immensely. If you haven’t had much experience with meditation, guided meditation can be a pretty good introduction to establishing your own personal meditation practice.

Good luck!

Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.

I want to hear your thoughts and feedback! Please feel free to send me your questions and comments at teatimetomato@gmail.com.

Categories: Advice

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