Have you ever been to a date with your partner when all of a sudden that voice in your head kept asking you: ‘do you think your partner really likes you? You guys are not compatible, so you will break up! What if your partner is not loyal enough? What if my partner shatters my heart?’
Ladies and gentlemen, this voice inside your head is indicative of what is called relationship anxiety.
Why is this voice inside your head talking? Well, it could be that you have had a bad relationship experience in the past, and you are anxious that you will be hurt again. Another reason would be that you have an insecure attachment style. What is that? It is when you get attached to someone then you become extremely afraid that they are going to leave you. How do you develop this attachment style? You get it when your emotional needs are not met except rarely (they could be emotional needs from your partner, family, etc.)
Here is a list of things that can help you determine whether you have relationship anxiety or not:
- You read too much into your partner’s words and actions.
Please realize that you do not have to overthink every small detail in your relationship. If your partner choose to go out with his/her friends a little extra time this week, this really does not mean that they are bored from being around you or that they do not love you. It may simply mean that they just want to have some fun with their friends.
2. You are just throwing grenades at your partner.
A relationship is something that should continue to flourish not to sabotage. When you do something that you know very well annoys your partner or breaks their boundaries just to test if they will stay or not, will further increase anxiety and will sabotage your relationship.When you overthink every little thing, you will start fighting with your partner over trivial things and without realizing it, you may be actually hurting them because too many trivial conflicts rather than important ones that can help your relationship grow can push your partner away.
3. You are not living the good times with your partner.
The problem with the human brain is that it imagines stuff, and when you imagine something, you keep replaying its scenario in your head like it is a movie. The problem with this movie is this: 1) it did not happen in real life 2) you focus so much on it. You feel like you are worried so much about your relationship that after a date or a conversation, you do not recall what you were laughing about or how much you were enjoying that pizza at the restaurant.
The good news is that you can actually manage your relationship anxiety:
1. Know who you are.
You need to separate your true self from your anxious self. You need to be true to yourself and to your partner. Do not surrender and consider anxiety a part of who you are, just how you are sometimes. Do not push it down or hide it. Acknowledge its presence and deal with it as a feeling.
2. Communicate with your partner in a good way.
Tell your partner what you are anxious about, but you have to take care of your language because they do not want to feel as if they are being accused. Instead of
saying: ‘You do not talk me enough, and I can not stand you.’, say this: ‘You have been distant, and it is making me feel as if your feelings towards me have changed’. Besides language, you need to tell your partner that you actually have relationship anxiety. If your partner really loves you, they will listen to you and support you in taking the steps to managing this anxiety, especially after gaining understanding of how past experiences may have caused this anxiety.
Couples Counseling Therapy is amazing, and no, you do not have to be married and on the verge of divorce in order to go to couples counseling. Even if this is only your second relationship, therapy can help you both be more open with one another. You will learn to be more emotionally intimate because you will be guided as to how you can connect and understand one another in a better way.
Relationship anxiety is totally normal, and it is not the end of the world. With work, you can manage it and have a better connection and a better relationship with your partner.