Relationships can be fun and exciting and bring meaning and pleasure into your life. But they can also contribute to feeling of anxiousness. You may worry about the way the other person perceives you or you may be afraid of doing something that could put an end to the relationship.
But relationships are important so it is also important to learn what you can do about the anxiety so that you can overcome it. Before we look at some tips, let’s look at the causes of anxiety in relationships.
Causes of Relationship Anxiety
Relationships offer a lot of challenges and when we really care about another person, we do not want the relationship to end. This may cause us to be cautious in our behaviors or feelings because we do not want to compromise the relationship or may be afraid that we will get hurt.
Things that actually happen in the relationship can cause anxiety, but so can the things that we feel or the thoughts that we have about the situation. The thoughts we have, our inner voice, can be highly critical of our feelings and behaviors. It can even cause us to turn on ourselves or the other person in the relationship.
Relationship anxiety can lead to paranoid or hostile behaviors. This contributes to trust issues, jealousy, and hostility. We may be in a great relationship, but relationship anxiety can cause us to worry instead of living in the moment and enjoying the exciting things that a relationship can bring with it.
When we have anxiety about the relationship, we may think negative things about the relationship. You may think that it will never work out or that you are not good enough for the other person. It is also common to believe that relationships only lead to pain and heartbreak.
You may even have sexist thoughts even if you aren’t actually sexist yourself. This gives you an idea to blame if the relationship does end. Signs of paranoia include thoughts of distress and envy.
Finally, you may have negative thoughts about yourself. You may feel like the other person is too good for you or that you are not interesting enough. You may even have thoughts that make it seem like you do not even care about the other person.
Impact of Relationship Anxiety
These anxious thoughts and feelings can lead to different behaviors that do not necessarily show the things we want. We may become clingy because we have strong worries that we are inadequate or that the relationship will end.
Some people find that they become controlling. This often stems out of paranoia. This almost always ends badly for the relationship because it pushes the other person away. Some people may also reject the other person because we are trying to protect ourselves from pain and beating the other person to the breakup that you may feel is inevitable.
One of the most common reactions to relationship anxiety is isolation and retreat. When we feel worried or scared about the relationship, we isolate ourselves away from it. This may appear that it is protecting us, but it is actually making things worse.
Tips for Relationship Anxiety
Relationship anxiety can feel distressing and overwhelming, but it is possible to overcome it and doing so can help the relationship progress to further stages. However, it is not always easy to overcome those anxious feelings of worry and insecurity. There are some things you can do that can help to ease your anxieties so that you can have a fruitful and fulfilling relationship.
It may feel easier and better for your anxiety to conform to the things you believe that your partner wants. In addition, you may feel that you are setting aside your independence and interests more and more to spend time with them. However, it is important that you keep your own unique identity intact.
Some changes and give and take are natural and some of them can be good. You want to accommodate their needs but be sure to take care of your own needs and sense of self as well. Losing your sense of self doesn’t help you, your partner, or the relationship.
Try to remember that your partner wanted to date you because of you. They may feel that they have lost the real you if you change too much. Furthermore, if you change to much there is a good chance that you will not be happy in the relationship because you will not be yourself anymore.
Anxious thoughts can be nagging, and nagging, and nagging. They may seem like they will never end. Mindfulness meditation and other mindfulness techniques can help you focus on the present and increase your awareness on your situation, thoughts, and feelings without any judgment.
Then, once you identify and examine the negative thoughts, you can work to move past them or alter them so that they become positive. It can also help you gain new perspectives on your relationship or your partner. This can help you appreciate the relationship for what it is in any given moment and isn’t that at least partially the point of seeking out relationships in the first place?
Learn Better Communication Skills
Communication is one of the most important things in a relationship, if not the most important. Poor communication can lead to fights, uneasiness, and, you guessed it, anxiety.
You never want to miscommunicate your feelings and worries. Also, anxiety can cause us to forego assertiveness because we feel like it will benefit the relationship when we don’t speak up about the things we want or are uncomfortable with. However, it is important for you and the relationship to communicate your needs and it can help the relationship grow and gain more meaning.
One good way to easily change your communication in a way that takes your partner’s feelings into account is using “I” statements instead of “You” statements. Instead of saying “You annoy me when you blast music while you are cooking,” you can try saying “I feel like you do not care about my needs when you play the music so loudly.”
Don’t Act on Feelings Alone
With relationships, we often let our emotions guide us whether positive or negative. I mean, it is called “Love” for a reason, right? Well, it is actually best to avoid acting solely on feelings.
Feelings can lead to impulsive actions that we may regret in the near future. These days, you may send a text message that initializes conflict that would be avoidable if you had waited and looked at the situation with logic.
If you feel like you may say something that you do not mean, then it is best to tell your partner that you need time to relax. Then, take a walk or a warm shower to get composed before talking to them about it in a calm, reasonable way.
Final Thoughts on Relationship Anxiety
Relationship anxiety can be harmful to a relationship, but it can be overcome with some patience and effort. However, if you feel like you anxiety about the relationship is going to end a positive relationship, you can always seek help from a mental health professional. Therapy can be beneficial for both individuals and couples and a single session may even help your relationship.