You are presently in a relationship with someone who loves you. So, you have developed faith in your relationship, set boundaries and understood the communication styles of each other.
However, if you are feeling anxiety in your relationship, there’s something to think about. Relationship anxiety can arise in any relationship, be it towards your romantic partner, family or platonic love. In every relationship, you certainly look for different ways to make it sustainable.
You are constantly questioning your partner, your relationship and even yourself. Therapeutic Intervention and stress management are effective techniques to reduce the anxiety levels people experience in their relationships.
Will your relationship last? How can you know whether your partner is the right person for you? Do you think they are hiding any dark secrets? Maybe, they are incapable of being in a committed relationship!
There would be a lot of such questions that keep popping into your mind and give you relationship anxiety. Relationship anxiety basically refers to the stressful feelings such as worrying, doubt and insecurity that one deals with in a relationship. All these feelings can arise even if your relationship is relatively going smoothly.
So, is relationship anxiety normal? Let’s find the answer below.
Relationship anxiety and Ways to Deal with It
Well, relationship anxiety is quite common, especially now. Some people may experience it in the very beginning of their relationship before they get to know each other. Others might be even unsure of what they want in a relationship or do they want the relationship?
However, you can also face anxiety in a long-term, committed relationship. Relationship anxiety can become problematic when things start affecting other parts of your life. Hence, over time, they can lead to:
- Emotional discomfort
- Emotional fatigue
- Lacks motivation
- Stomach upset
Relationship Anxiety Symptoms
Do you know that relationship anxiety can be visible in many ways? People usually feel a little bit insecure in their relationship at some stage. It mostly shows when the relationship is new or about to be in a committed relationship. Though these thoughts aren’t unusual, you don’t need to be worried about these passing fears or doubts. It is fine if they don’t leave an impact on you or your relationship.
Nonetheless, these fearful and anxious thoughts can grow and hamper your life. Frequently, it plagues anyone, but that doesn’t mean you are not in a good relationship.
Most of the time, fear and distress grow from the thought of not wanting to deal with abreakup or resistance to getting hurt again like in the past. So, here is some symptom of relationship anxiety that you might be experiencing:
1. Fear of Being In A committed relationship and Vulnerability
You may face issues when you commit to your partner because of your past bad experience. Another reason could be feeling uneasy expressing how you exactly feel. Many people feel that their relationship is confining. As a result, their anxiety level increases.
2. Breaking Up The Relationship Before It Turns Serious
If you are just breaking the bond with people before your relationship with them becomes extremely serious, you might be experiencing anxiety issues. In such cases, people mostly keep their potential friends and partners at arm’s length or simply show self-sabotaging behaviors.
3. Fear of Losing Your Partner
You may not be able to express your desires and needs simply because you have a fear of losing your partner. Often, partners leave their relationships when they feel the need to be honest and trustworthy. So, your reluctance to share your feelings indicates that you are experiencing an anxious relationship.
4. Doubting The Motives of Your Partner
Many people who are in a relationship continuously worry that their partner will get someone better. These people also keep questioning whether their partner genuinely cares for them or they will break up over insignificant reasons.
5. Questioning the Compatibility in Relationship
If you have doubts about the compatibility of you and your partner, you will end up unnecessarily emphasizing your differences. For instance, both of your choice of movie genres or music is different.
Yes, this could be as silly as this petty issue. When you are dealing with anxious thoughts, you automatically worry more about those petty differences rather than appreciating your compatibility.
6. Recognize Feelings as Valid and Not Facts
Emotions are always flowing. Sometimes, it’s positive, and sometimes, it’s negative. They do not give any warning before arrival or after leaving. We understand that it is easy to hop into a negative judgment. However, you would only increase your anxiety and fear.
7. Always Give the Benefit of Doubt
Every relationship deserves a chance to justify its actions. Hence, it is better to practice giving the benefit of the doubt to your relationship before framing it with negative thoughts. Maybe, it could reframe your pessimistic thoughts into an optimistic light.
Next time try saying, “I love to attract people with warmth and enthusiasm” instead of “nobody loves me for who I am.”
Relationship Anxiety Or Just Not In Love
When you are in love, you will experience excitement. However, you need to remember a thin line between excitement and getting anxious thoughts. Suppose you are preoccupied, unsettled, ungrounded, high-spirited, cannot eat, restless. All these can be signs of relationship anxiety or simply excitement.
Types of Relationship Anxiety
New Relationship Anxiety
The beginning of every new relationship gives butterflies in the stomach. It may sound very romantic, but the uneasiness often becomes the root cause of anxiety in an early relationship.
This common phenomenon is easy to address when you identify the triggering point and work on those emotions.
Overthinking Relationship Anxiety
When you have a habit of overthinking the actions and words of your partner, you will go through relationship anxiety. Maybe your partner doesn’t like to show public displays of affection. However, you overthink only to believe that they don’t love you!
Long-Distance Relationship Anxiety
Anxiety is relatively common, especially in long-distance relationships. The feeling of uncertainty, nervousness and insecurity when you both are distant apart is quite normal.
However, these feelings can become problematic when they begin to predominate over positive emotions.
My Relationship Gives Me Anxiety
Now that we have come to half of the article, do you think your relationship also gives you anxiety? If you are trying to deal with the effects of relationship anxiety, you are just not the only one.
You may be searching for the answer to “Do you care for me?” Or “Do I still matter to you?” These questions have an underlying need to unite, belong and feel secure in a relationship.
How To Get Over Relationship Anxiety
Since you are going through relationship anxiety right now, you might think it is impossible to overcome. Surprisingly, relationship anxiety is possible to overcome with effort and time.
It is not just about saying that your relationship is nice. There is a lot more than just saying. Anxiety does not always increase in the relationship because of some underlying problem. There could be love in the relationship, but until both of them sense that love and security, the anxious thoughts will persist.
Therefore, it is important to address the relationship anxiety at an early stage. Doing so, you could certainly prevent problematic episodes in your relationship. Following are some tips for you to follow in order to get going:
Learn to Love Yourself
When your relationship is growing, and both of you are coming closer to one another, there is a tendency to lose your identity. As you become closer, you shift your gaze upon the relationship and your partner. Consequently, your individuality, identity and independence take the back seat.
This is a very common characteristic among couples. Making some changes like sleeping with the lights on may not leave a major impact on you. Nevertheless, others might have a bigger role in your sense of individuality.
Losing yourself while trying to make the relationship work will not help any of you in the long run. Remember, the reason why your partner wants to date you has a lot to do with your own identity.
So, if you start losing yourself in order to save the relationship, you might not feel like yourself. In addition, your partner can even feel like they lost the person who they wanted to be with. Therefore, learn to love yourself before you love others.
Try to be Mindful
Being mindful is a practice that you must focus on if you want to know what is happening presently without passing any judgment. When you feel negative emotions, you should acknowledge them and move on.
This is a useful tip that you can apply when stuck in a spiral of pessimistic thoughts. Plus, it will also help you prioritize your daily experience with your lover. Let’s say even if your relationship ends within a few months or years, you should still enjoy and appreciate the merry time in the meantime.
Practice Good Communication With Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend
Often, relationship anxiety comes from within. Therefore, your partner may not be a part of this vaguely. But, if there is any specific reason to fuel your relationship anxiety, bring it up in a non-accusatory way.
If you think your partner is not giving you enough time, communicate. For example, your partner might not want to visit your family. Instead of being sad, ask your partner, “why are you keeping a distance lately? It makes me wonder if you still love me!
You should explain your thoughts to your partner and how you are dealing with these thoughts. It is most likely their reassurance would somewhat alleviate your stress. Moreover, opening up in front of your partner and showing your vulnerable side can strengthen the relationship.
Recommended Books For Relationship Anxiety
Here are our top 3 picks for you to read when dealing with relationship anxiety. These books will help you get less insecure about your relationship and understand your partner.
1. I Need Your Love – Is That True? By Byron Katie and Michael Katz
This is a best-selling book that explores how we are stuck in the dilemma of gaining love and upholding the relationship. This book helps to understand what actually works and what doesn’t in searching for love and acknowledgement.
Read Now: I Need Your Love – Is That True?
2. Love Me, Don’t Leave Me By Michelle Skeen
Michelle Skeen incorporates two therapies – Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT), Schema Therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) to better understand fear and concerns of a relationship that holds you back.
Read Now: Love Me, Don’t Leave Me
3. Daring to Trust By David Richo
Mostly, relationships don’t work out because of trust issues. This book is to develop your trust towards yourself, life, others and higher power. David Richo emphasized how to increase intimacy by developing trust in the relationship.
Read Now: Daring to Trust
Talk To A Therapist to Learn How to Cope with Its Effect
If you are really having a tough time working on your relationship and dealing with anxiety, talk to a therapist. It is one of the best ways to learn about how you can cope with relationship anxiety and its effects.
Therapy helps to dig out deeper meanings and uncover negative thoughts contributing to relationship anxiety. Furthermore, it helps you reach a safer place to work on your anxiety and gain clarity on maintaining a healthy relationship without losing your identity.
For this matter, a therapist who specializes in dealing with couples can be more helpful. They help both the individuals in a relationship to:
- understand the feelings of one another and their underlying needs
- showing care to calm your anxiety
- Share the experience with each other without defensiveness or judgment
It is always better to tell the truth, and seek help!
Useful Quotes For Relationship Anxiety
“No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” —Virginia Woolf
“Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important.” —Natalie Goldberg
“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” —Walter Anderson
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” —Anonymous
“Life is ten per cent what you experience and ninety per cent how you respond to it.” —Anonymous