Anxiety is something that most individuals have experienced at least once in their lifetime. Anxious feelings often leave you with intense feelings of worry, insecurity, fear, and uneasiness. While this is a normal emotion, it can have a serious and negative impact on your life. This article is going to focus specifically on the anxiety you may feel with your romantic partner or in your relationship.
Relationship anxiety can occur at any stage of the relationship: before, during, or even after. There may be doubts about if you want to be in a relationship or if the person you are interested in is interested in you back. There may be insecurities and feelings of uneasiness that your partner no longer wants to be with you, or there may be anxiety over how the relationship ended.
Regardless of when you experience this anxiety, it can lead to emotional exhaustion, distress, and even physical illness. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of anxiety, understand why you are feeling anxious, and ways to help overcome it.
You Don’t Believe That Your Partner has Feelings for You
You and your partner are in a loving and committed relationship. You’ve told each other how you feel and you’re always happy around one another. Nevertheless, you can’t shake the feeling of doubt. You are constantly wondering and worrying that your partner is not being honest about their feelings. Every little things, like a slow or dry reply, has you on edge.
Questioning your Compatibility
Even when things are going great in the relationship, you question it. You wonder if you two are really meant for each other or if the small differences you face are indicators that you just aren’t right for one another. It is normal to have small disparities within relationships, but you worry that they are big enough to tear you two apart.
Overthinking Their Every Move
Your partner might forget to tell you that they love you before leaving the house. Or maybe they don’t want to cuddle with you on the couch while watching a movie. To them, these things mean they just had a busy morning and rushed out of the house without saying anything, or they were just too hot to cuddle. But to you, they mean that your partner no longer loves or values you. These are just a few examples of what overthinking in a relationship may look like. While they could lead to more serious issues, more likely than not they won’t.
Now that you know some of the signs of what relationship anxiety looks like, it’s a good idea to explore some of its possible causes. Below are three of many potential causes to feeling anxious in your relationship:
This may be one of the biggest and most important indicators as to why you have relationship anxiety. Attachment style is a psychological idea that focuses on breaking down and analyzing human relationships. Attachment bonds are developed in childhood and have significant relevance to the relationships you form in adulthood.
Anxious attachment is one of the four attachment styles and can develop from inconsistent parenting, abuse, chronic stress, and more. In many cases, it means that your primary caregiver didn’t meet your emotional and/or physical needs consistently. They may have been loving and affectionate at times, but insensitive and emotionally unavailable at other times.
If you experienced trauma as a baby or toddler, the chances that you formed an “insecure” attachment style is rather high. This insecurity is likely to show up in adult relationships.
Previous relationships can affect us more than we realize and stay with us long after the fact. Even if we feel as though we have moved on, if we had a traumatic relationship experience, chances are we are still carrying some baggage with us. This isn’t uncommon after you’ve been hurt - specifically if you have been cheated on, lied to, manipulated, or misled. Even if your current partner doesn’t show any of these qualities, certain triggers remind you of your past and you are carrying them into the present.
Low self-esteem is the root of many problems, including relationship anxiety. Individuals who face low self-esteem are usually more insecure and anxious compared to those with higher self-esteem. They have been known to create and project doubt onto their healthy relationships.
Regardless of how you may feel in the moment, your anxiety can be conquered with patience and determination. Here are some tips to help you diminish your anxious thoughts:
Refrain from Acting on Emotion
When you’re feeling anxious about your relationship, it is normal to want reassurance. However, make sure you are doing this is a beneficial way. Sometimes when we are upset, we act before thinking. This can often times put us in a worse position than where we started at. Be conscientious of your typical behaviors and how they compare to your impulsive behaviors. Engage in calming practices when you feel an impulsive burst coming on.
A lot of problems stem from lack of communication. Even if your feelings of anxiety are solely within you and have nothing to do with your partner, talk to them – but do it in a respective and peaceful manner. It’s alright to admit that you’re feeling anxious at times. Make sure your partner is in the loop and know what is going on so they can do their best to help to relax.
Seek Professional Help
Anxiety can be difficult to manage, especially by yourself. If you are having trouble facing it alone or even with your partner, seeking out help from a therapist can be extremely beneficial. For those who struggle with codependency or an insecure attachment style, there are several support groups that may help too, such as Codependents Anonymous.
Relationships in and of themselves can be daunting at times. Try not to let anxious thoughts make it worse. Do your best to stay mindful, living in the present and enjoy what you have in front of you.
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