26.04.2019

What Is Relationship Anxiety?

True love and happy life full of joy are quite normal to those who have freed themselves from their inner tensions, fears, anxieties, and gained true self-confidence.

Anxiety and fear that are deeply hidden in our souls are often not realized by us. And not because they are so incredibly difficult to feel. The reason, perhaps, is different. The fact is that fears and anxieties from the very childhood have become a constant background of our life, absolutely habitual and therefore, we don’t seem to notice them. But the fact that you do not notice them does not mean that they are not there. They still live deep down in your soul, and they begin to gradually control you, your life, your choices, decisions, and your relationships. It is they who force you to turn to the paths, which do not lead to happiness and well-being, but, on the contrary, to regrets and sufferings. These are the dark secrets of our inner psyche.

anxiety at the beginning of a relationship

The same goes for all sorts of relationships that we can possibly have with other people, especially romantic ones. We are constantly afraid of the most basic of things even when there is no reason to be afraid. Does my partner really love me? How serious are their intentions? Are they going to leave me? Is my partner losing interest in me? All of these questions may not have any solid ground to stand upon, these are just anxieties. Anxiety about a relationship for no reason is a completely normal thing, unfortunately.

But to know how to deal with relationship anxiety, we must first find out the symptoms of anxiety in a relationship.

Relationship Anxiety Symptoms

Relationship anxiety can assert itself through the following manifestations:

  • Excessive food intake, gluttony;
  • Excessive craving for alcohol;
  • Frequent feeling of fatigue, chronic fatigue. You are tired not from your activities, but from the constant internal tension that accompanies anxiety;
  • Increased drowsiness when prolonged sleep does not lead to any sort of relaxation, and it doesn’t bring any energy;
  • Unquenchable sexual desire;
  • Increased sociability, when a person is not able to stay alone and fills any leisure time with random events, activities, meetings;
  • Workaholism, especially when a person is having difficulty going through weekends and holidays;
  • Excessive fascination with computer games;
  • Excessive, intrusive fascination with books.

anxiety about a relationship for no reasonLet’s take the following case to demonstrate various relationship anxiety symptoms. Once a woman came to me with a request to help her with her relationship. Jane has been building a relationship with Matt for some time. Everything was going great. Both partners treated each other with tenderness, they were attentive towards each other. Matt loved Jane. However, Jane, during sexual intercourses, felt exhausted and tired at times, she did not have the strength to do anything in bed.

When she was alone, she was vigorous, energetic, cheerful. Although sometimes it was quite different, and she was full of energy during her meetings with Matt, but she got tired alone.

In the process of working out Jane's issues, we were able to see that the periods of prostration fell on those moments when she and Matt were especially close to each other. Such was the reaction of the woman to the forthcoming parting. She began to get annoyed, angry; she was overcome by doubts about whether to continue this relationship or not. As a result, the partners were constantly arguing about all sorts of things. And when Jane was alone, she became happy and comfortable in her personal space.

New Relationship Anxiety

Deep down, each of us dreams of a real, bright, mutual feeling, but the path to a happy relationship is often blocked by anxiety at the beginning of a relationship. Some of them may be echoes of past amorous failures, some of them make us think that personal freedom is more precious than love.

There are many reasons why new relationship anxiety can occur, and we are all different in the origins of our personal demons. It happens that youthful feelings raise the bar so high that all future potential partners simply are unable to reach it. A girl may be wary of a new relationship with a man because of some traumas she gained in her teenage years. Finally, one of the reasons why we may be afraid of new relationships is that we are scared of being “dissolved” in a partner, losing ourselves, our habitual way of life, therefore, we consciously distance ourselves from a person. Let’s now talk about the process of overcoming relationship anxiety.

Dealing With Relationship Anxiety

1. Gradually get used to exposure

How to get rid of relationship anxiety? Intimacy implies that you will open your partner those corners of your soul that you hide from the rest of the world. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, then you may be constantly worried: what if a partner is going to lose their feelings towards you when they will inevitably face your shortcomings, quirks, and complexities of character? If a person truly loves you, they will accept all aspects of your personality.

“It’s not necessary to immediately tell your partner about all the anxieties that you have,” says psychologist Stacy Rosenfeld. “Try to unfold them gradually, practicing openness and facing insecurity in communicating with a partner, but gradually gaining confidence. Eventually, your fears will disappear.”

2. Tell your spouse what you expect from a relationship

Anyone with a relationship anxiety disorder has faced the same exact obsessive thoughts. You cannot just get rid of them like that, although you understand how stupid they are. These problems can harm your relationships. For example, a partner usually called you after work, but now they don’t, for one reason or another. You are now being tormented by thoughts that they may be done with you, but in fact, they may just have a deadline on some very important project that they are working on. Of course, you should not constantly ask your partner whether everything is in order and whether they are happy with your relationship, but if something has been bothering you for a long time, you need to talk about it. For example, “I know how busy you are, but I just got used to you calling me every single evening. It just makes me feel worried; I am afraid of losing you.”

“The brain of anxious people is prone to get stuck on various thoughts," says a psychologist from Los Angeles, Jenny Wats. “To save a relationship, you need to explain your thoughts from the very beginning, from their inception, then follow your logic behind these fears, leave nothing untold.”

3. Separate your “anxious self” from the “true self”

How to get over relationship anxiety? Fight your weaknesses, identify them. One person on Twitter wrote, "Anxieties are just conspiracy theories about yourself. Do not let negative self-suggestion destroy your relationships. Instead of listening to the voice of your anxieties, listen to your inner voice,” says psychotherapist Jennifer Rollin.

“Anxious Self” can say something like this, “If I open up to my partner, I will tell them about my anxiety and all the meetings that I’ve had with a psychotherapist, they are going to leave me or think of me as a crazy person.” We often begin to present ourselves with all sorts of frightening scenarios, many of which are unrealistic. In this case, it is useful to practice facing your anxiety on behalf of the “True Self.” how to get rid of relationship anxietyIt will certainly make it easier for you to calm down, for example, “Working with a psychotherapist does not mean that I am not normal, I just want to become better in all respects. In the worst case, if they consider me abnormal, it will tell me a lot about them and nothing about me. I deserve a partner who will not condemn me." Even the most severe relationship anxiety can be defeated by working on yourself.

4. Recognize that you cannot fully control your partner

How to overcome relationship anxiety? When you are coping with relationship anxiety, it is important to abandon the need to control everything, including what is not in your power, for example, your partner’s weaknesses. It can annoy a girlfriend that during the football season, a man spends every Sunday with his buddies. But she can't just deprive him of all freedom because of anxiety.

“Anxious people often want to control the situation, which is not always possible. You can explain what you want, but if a partner cannot fulfill all of your desires to the smallest detail, this does not mean that they do not like you. It is important to respect and appreciate their individuality - you two are completely different people, not conjoined twins,” says Jennifer Rollin.

5. Tell your partner about your anxiety disorder and how it manifests itself

You do not have to fight it alone. Talk to your partner, tell them about the manifestations of your anxieties. For example, you often blush and sweat due to your social phobia. A simple communication may help you cope with this anxiety. And your partner can become an ally in this by helping you keep calm in stressful situations.

“Sometimes, when we try to hide your anxiety from others because you are afraid of their reaction, it only gets worse. Tell your partner about it, it will relieve you from lots of unnecessary stress because you no longer have to hide your symptoms. Sometimes a tense situation can be fixed by talking about anxiety,” says Stacy Rosenfeld.

6. Establish certain rules for disagreements

Anxious people find it hard to endure disagreements. “Imagine that you had a fight and your partner left, slamming the door on their way out. It is difficult for anxious people to endure uncertainty,” says Jennifer Rollin. To make your life easier, agree on the rules of conflict resolution. For example, you can always postpone an unpleasant conversation, provided that you will definitely return to it within a day. “Discuss the rules in advance to have a plan of actions. There is less anxiety when you know what will happen next.”

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