How to Deal With Relationship Anxiety
I’m betting your relationships are your source of excitement, joy, and oftentimes even a rollercoaster ride of emotions and because of this, plus the power of social media and past terrible experiences it has also become a source of anxious thoughts and feelings.
Although it can be normal to feel this especially when you’ve gone through terrible relationship partners, and if you’re a huge overthinker, relationship anxiety becomes a problem when it takes over your relationship. The tricky thing about this is that this so-called “relationship anxiety” is that it just seeps in, and it comes at any point in our romantic lives.
At some point when we have just entered a relationship or even when our relationship starts becoming more serious, we start worrying about things like “What does he even like about me?” “Do I even like him/her?” “Did I make the right choice?” “How serious is this?” “Are we going too fast?” (maybe I should stop here before I start making you more worried).
And when these thoughts start to take over despite the assurance, we start feeling alone, and then we’d be too self continuous and start distancing ourselves from our partner.
Now there are signs and reasons why you have relationship anxiety, here are a few things you’d have to be aware of and how you can overcome this
Note: This might not be applicable to everyone, and not everything on the list might be happening to you, so don’t treat this as a checklist.
You start overthinking your partner’s words and actions
Now, this normally happens when you’ve had experiences in the past like cheating for instance or even when social media stories about cheating and falling out of love start influencing you when you notice small changes in behavior (limiting public displays of affection like holding hands, a quick kiss, and even hugging) that you somehow integrated to those stories you hear, or even when you’ve experienced something similar to those in the past you start assuming things.
The overthinking then starts.
“What if he/she no longer wants to spend time with me?” “What if he/she is embarrassed by me?” “What if he/she has someone else and he’s afraid to be seen around me?” “What if he finds someone better than me?”
These thoughts are just thoughts only because you’ve started assuming things instead of actually talking to your partner. Because oftentimes, we are concerned about whether or not our partners would break up with us over insignificant and non-existent reasons.
Honestly, I’ve also had these thoughts as a person in a relationship. No matter how reassuring our partner is when you’ve gone through something or getting influenced by the “hook up” and “cheating” culture that’s been trending, you’d end up thinking about a lot of things. But the thing is, a relationship is about focusing on both of you. It’s different in every relationship, and the only thing you can do is sit down with your partner and talk to them about it. Because overthinking cannot solve everything. At one point I’ve even asked my boyfriend (multiple times) if he loves me when certain triggers come at me because of TikTok videos about the downfall of other relationships. Reassurances don’t just happen once in your relationship; it’s a constant thing.
Worrying > Enjoying your relationship
Try to reassess your relationship if you’ve ended up being more anxious or worried about where your relationship is going or actually enjoying your relationship. Like I said in the beginning, it’s normal to worry from time to time, but if it has affected your relationship in a way when you’ve only been more insecure and worried, you’re experiencing relationship anxiety.
Although, it can be hard to change this overnight, go on dates with your partner, play relationship games with your partner, and talk to your partner in working this out.
Sounds easy right?
A little bit.
I had a similar problem until I actually played Dating Connect with my partner, I felt more reassured knowing that he was genuine in playing with me. We went through activities and asked each other questions as to where we wanted our relationship to go despite the conversations that made each other cry (don’t worry, we’re not broken up) and conversations that were too serious for a date night. We were actually able to lessen my relationship anxiety.
Fear of abandonment
This is probably rooted in maybe childhood or your past relationships (but I’m not someone licensed to give a diagnosis, you could check in with your usual or nearby psychologist if you think you have this).
Anyways, fearing abandonment should not be taken lightly, because at one point it bothers us, and it might reach difficult situations. Now I’m not saying that I know the future, but if we continue to fear being abandoned by our partners, it will reach a point where we’d become too dependent on them which might lead to feeling suffocated in the relationship because at one point I kept asking my partner if he wouldn’t leave me.
Although reassurance helps, when we’re alone with our thoughts and when the relationship anxiety takes over we just can’t help but doubt. You could however reach out to a professional to help you with this since we can’t just diagnose ourselves and try on techniques on ourselves forever. It doesn’t hurt to reach out if you’re afraid to do that (like me) then start with something small like scheduling it online and talk to someone until you’re ready to go to the sessions in person.
Finding a way to end the relationship before it becomes serious
With several questions that go into our heads, we often lead to making rash and regretful decisions in our relationships, and more often than we think is breaking it off before it reaches anything serious. This is what most people label as “self-sabotaging behaviors” and this is when you cut off not only relationships with partners but also with friends.
It’s quite difficult to change this behavior because we fear that when someone gets too close, we might end up hurt or even hurt them. Self-sabotaging behaviors often occur when you’ve been let down quite a few times already, or even other factors that led you to inherit these behaviors.
One thing that I could say that might ultimately help you and your relationships is, to be honest with what you’re feeling. Like what everyone says, and as cliche as it sounds “communication is key.” Communicating with them and telling them that you are afraid, and having that talk with them can actually deepen your relationship with them. They are now aware of how you feel and what you do, and what triggers you are affected by.
Note from the writer:
Although relationship anxiety doesn’t go away overnight and I’m not saying that it will be cured over time and will never happen again, I can’t give you that assurance because the assurance that you seek is something that you do yourself. When it’s hard to do, try to take that leap and ask for professional help, because it is okay to feel these things. These things are often beyond our control, and it doesn’t make you any less of a person.
You are who you are, unique, strong and amazing.
Words: Jan of Life Sutra