Everyone wants to be loved and our society has over time placed the emphasis on romantic love. When you eventually find yourself in a romantic relationship with someone you love, it’s supposed to be amazing and rosy, besides the occasional unavoidable conflicts. For a lot of people, this holds true. However, there’s a good number of people who are constantly worrying about the state of their relationships, even when there isn’t an obvious reason to. These people will find themselves questioning their relationships very frequently and searching for reassurance. This feeling is called relationship anxiety.
Relationship anxiety is much more common in the beginnings of a relationship. When the relationship is new, it’s easier to be worried about its future and the entire framework on which it sits. As the relationship gets older, there is a tendency to become more confident about its status, thus ending anxiety. However, not everyone can move past the feeling of uncertainty, regardless of how long the relationship has gone on for.
Signs of Relationship Anxiety
Nearly all of us will face some doubts in our relationships, however people who experience relationship anxiety will almost always have the nagging feeling of insecurity. It’s as though they’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop, always anticipating some disaster. Some ways to decipher if you have relationship anxiety include:
- Being afraid to have important conversations, especially about things that bother you, so that you don’t make your partner feel some type of way (angry, sad etc).
- Experiencing doubt about your feelings for your party or your partner’s feelings for you.
- Constantly searching for implied meanings (usually negative ones) in your conversations and their actions.
- Wondering if you’re good together.
- Worrying when they’re away, mostly because you doubt their faithfulness to you.
- Sabotaging the relationship by picking fights or doing things that create problems. This can be both intentional and unintentional.
Causes of Relationship Anxiety
Before one can find ways to rid oneself of this feeling, one must first know or trace its cause. Doing this can be difficult because the root causes are often general life experiences which we don’t realize have traumatized us, until they show up like this. Therefore, a good deal of reflection and self awareness goes into this. Here are some of the causes of relationship anxiety:
- Bad experiences in past relationships
- Having a previous diagnosis of anxiety
- Low self-esteem/confidence
- Anxious attachment style, where one often questions bonds in relationships
- Worrying about the future
5 Ways to Fight Relationship Anxiety
Maintain your individuality
When many people get into relationships, they throw themselves into their partners. Often, this results in the erosion of one’s identity/individuality. You’ll hear people say things like they can’t recognize themselves without their partners. Therefore it’s necessary to maintain a sense of self. You’re an individual first, with your own life. Invest in yourself and your interests. Spend time with yourself. Be your own first love.
Don’t give in to impulses
Some people, when experiencing relationship anxiety, may begin to have dangerous impulses. These impulses are often behaviours that would lead to conflict within the relationship. For instance, you may feel the urge to pick a fight with your partner, or so something you know that they don’t like. When such urges come, think them through and reevaluate the situation. Is it worth the trouble? It can help to write them down and list the pros and cons of giving in to the impulse.
Exercise has been proven to improve mental health, and reduce stress and anxiety. Working out will help release some of the tension you feel, as well as happiness chemical: serotonin. Meditative exercises, like yoga, are most suitable.
Communicate your feelings
Those who have relationship anxiety are often scared of opening up to their partners about their anxieties. This is for fear of pushing them away or hurting their feelings and so on. However, it is imperative that you talk to your partner about these fears. Not only can they reassure you if you do so, it’ll also bring you some relief. Bottling up feelings never ends well. Think about how you can best discuss your anxiety without making it seem like you’re blaming them for it. Talking can make a world of difference.
Choosing to do this by yourself or with your partner can help you gain professional insight into the reasons behind your relationship anxiety. A therapist will also listen and provide needed guidance, whether it’s couples therapy or you alone.
Relationship anxiety can happen even when things seem to be going well. However, when it’s not dealt with, it can create the problems you’re afraid of. Therefore, it’s best to face up to it before things go awry.