Do you find yourself constantly worried about your relationship? Do you feel like you’re always on edge, waiting for something to go wrong? If so, then you may be experiencing relationship anxiety.
Relationship anxiety is a very real condition that can cause a lot of distress in your life. But don’t worry – there are things that you can do to overcome it!
In this blog post, I will discuss what relationship anxiety is, what causes it, and how you can start to overcome it.
What relationship anxiety IS NOT
When anxiety is justified
If you’re feeling anxious about your relationship, the first thing you should do is try to understand what is causing your anxiety.
Sometimes there are good reasons for concern, and in that case what you are dealing with is not relationship anxiety. You are simply reacting reasonably to the red flags that you are sensing in the relationship.
Some examples of red flags that can cause justified concern include:
- Verbal, physical or emotional abuse
- Addiction issues
- Lack of trust
These are just a few examples of issues that you are very justified to be anxious about. This post is not about such situations.
However if you are facing any of these behaviours in your relationship, then please seek professional help.
What relationship anxiety IS
Now that we’ve established what relationship anxiety is NOT, let’s talk about what it actually is.
Relationship anxiety is a feeling of unease, insecurity or worry that can occur in any type of relationship – romantic, platonic, familial or even work-related. It is characterized by a constant need for reassurance, a fear of abandonment, and a feeling of being “not good enough” for the other person.
What does relationship anxiety look like?
Relationship anxiety can manifest itself in different ways, but some common symptoms include:
Trying to control your partner
People who are struggling with relationship anxiety have an overwhelming need to know what their partner is doing and who they are with.
You may try to control their every move, check their phone messages or ask your friends to spy on your partner on social media or when out on the town.
In addition you may try to control the relationship itself. For example, you may refuse to discuss certain topics because you’re afraid of what might happen if you do.
This is not a healthy way to live, and it will only serve to suffocate your partner, sabotaging the very relationship you are so worried about preserving.
Creating worst case scenarios in your head
Do you find yourself constantly thinking about what could go wrong in your relationship? Do you imagine your partner cheating on you or leaving you for someone else?
If so, then this is a clear sign of relationship anxiety.
It’s important to remember that these thoughts are just in your head, and they are not necessarily reflective of reality. Just because you think something bad might happen, doesn’t mean that it will.
Constantly testing your partner
If you are constantly testing your partner to see how they react, then this is another sign that you may be struggling with relationship anxiety.
For example, you may try to pick fights with your partner or see how they react when you ignore them or flirt with someone else.
This is clearly not a healthy way to behave, and it will only serve to drive a wedge between you and your partner.
Ruminating and overthinking every conversation and argument
Do you find yourself going over and over every conversation and argument that you have with your partner? Do you replay every little detail in your head, trying to figure out what went wrong?
If so, then this is a sign that you are struggling with relationship anxiety.
It’s important to remember that not every conversation is a life or death situation. You don’t need to analyze and overthink every little thing that is said.
What causes relationship anxiety?
There are a number of different things that can cause relationship anxiety.
Some people may have experienced trauma or insecurity in previous relationships, which can make them more anxious in their current relationship.
Others may have anxiety or insecurity issues that are unrelated to their relationship.
And some people may simply be more prone to anxiety in general.
Whatever the cause, it’s important to remember that you can overcome relationship anxiety and have a healthy, happy and fulfilling relationship.
What can you do to overcome relationship anxiety?
If you are struggling with relationship anxiety, there are a number of things that you can do to overcome it.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that your thoughts are not necessarily reflective of reality. Just because you think something bad might happen, doesn’t mean that it will.
Try to focus on the positive aspects of your relationship, and remind yourself of all the reasons why you are with your partner.
Identify your negative thought processes and try to change them. Remind yourself that the fact that someone hurt you in the past, does not have anything to do with the behaviour of your partner in the present.
Books suck as Go Suck a Lemon could help you shift your perspective.
It’s also important to talk to your partner about your anxiety. This can be a difficult thing to do, but it’s important to communicate with your partner and let them know how you’re feeling.
Your partner can’t help you if they don’t know what’s going on.
You could suggest going to couple’s therapy, where a therapist can guide both of you on how best to overcome this serious problem in your relationship. The therapist can give both of you strategies to use when relationship anxiety is causing a roadblock in the relationship, making sure that both of you feel happy and fulfilled.
In addition, the therapist can help you to understand and manage your anxiety, and provide you with the tools and resources that you need to overcome it.
Relationships need to be built on a strong foundation of trust, communication and mutual respect. However, for some people, anxiety can get in the way of having a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
This becomes a toxic self-fulfilling prophecy of relationship disaster, as it ends up being your very own behaviour that destroys that which you hold so precious.
If you or your partner are struggling with relationship anxiety, it’s important to seek help and to work hard to overcome the mental programming that is causing this anxiety.
With the right help, you can overcome these insecurities and have the healthy and happy relationship that you deserve.