Anxiety And Relationships: 10 Tips On Making It Work
Updated August 10, 2019
When you hear the words "anxiety" and "relationship," there are a few different ways that your mind can go. The first is thinking about a relationship that's causing you anxiety. The second is thinking about how anxiety is impacting your relationship. Or, you may even have anxiety over finding a relationship. Anxiety and relationships don't go well together. But, regardless of which direction you were thinking, some tips can help you make it work.
Before we dive into the causes of relationship anxiety and strategies to improve it, let's address the topic of abuse. If you're the victim in an abusive relationship, this information does not apply to you. Abuse should never exist within a relationship. It doesn't matter if it's physical, emotional/mental, or verbal abuse.
If you're not sure if your relationship is abusive, check out the following articles to see if you can relate with the information included:
- How to Recognize the Signs of an Abusive Relationship
- Understanding Domestic Violence and What It Means For You
If you are in an abusive relationship, you must put your safety first. Do not stay with someone that abuses you physically, verbally, or emotionally. If you need support in moving on from your relationship and overcoming the
When Your Relationship Is Causing You Anxiety
The first thing you need to do if you're in a relationship that's causing you anxiety is to determine where the problem is stemming from. Relationships are complicated, and even the best ones can be cause for anxiety from time to time. However, a little work can change all that.
Many different things could be causing your anxiety. It could be that you have differing opinions than your significant other; you both lack proper communication skills, handle finances differently, or have different dreams that you want to pursue. Learning to trust another person can also be difficult and cause you anxiety. There is truly an unlimited list of reasons why you could be experiencing anxiety in your relationship.
This is why it's important to process through and determine what's causing you to feel anxious. Is it that you feel out of control? Are you scared? Did you have a bad relationship in the past that's impacting the way you feel in this current relationship? When you know what it is you can address it directly.
Getting Rid Of Anxiety In Your Relationship
Here are some general tips to help:
- Start talking. Sometimes all it takes to ease anxiety is to talk about it. Have a conversation with your partner to talk through why your feeling anxious. Having an open dialogue about it can help you to see things in a new light. You may realize that the things that you were anxious about aren't things that you need to be concerned with. Or, if there are things that could be changed to improve the relationship, talking about it can help you both to see that.
- Stop looking for problems. If you are insecure about yourself or your relationship, it's likely to make you anxious. Then, you portray this anxiety onto your relationship, which causes problems that shouldn't be there. Stop overanalyzing every word and action of your partner. Not only is this causing you anxiety, but it's probably causing your loved one a lot of unnecessary stress as well. If you're behaving like this, you are likely acting in fear. Determine where the issue is stemming from and address it.
- Change your expectations. If you came into the relationship with unrealistic expectations, it's time to correct them. No one is perfect, and if you're trying to make your partner meet all of your expectations, then you're going to be disappointed. Love them for who they are and relax into your relationship together.
- Learn proper communication skills. Anxiety in a relationship can also stem from having an unhealthy relationship. It could be that you argue often. Learning how to communicate with each other will help you to improve your relationship and lower your stress levels.
- Set boundaries. It's important to have boundaries in life. Determine what your priorities are and what you will accept from others in life. An overcommitted schedule could cause your anxiety. Let your partner know that you need to make some adjustments, and it's not about them, but you need to make sure you're living a healthy life for yourself.
Are You Looking For Specific Help?
While these general tips can help improve your anxiety and your relationship, it might not be enough for you to have the improvement that you're looking for. This is when it's beneficial to talk to a therapist. They can help you identify areas in your life and relationship that are causing your stress and learn the strategies to overcome it.
How Anxiety Is Impacting Your Relationship
If you had struggled with anxiety long before you were in a relationship, you might be creating stress within your relationship because of it. Here are some ways that anxiety impacts relationships:
- You become too dependent on the other person. If you feel insecure, you may become very needy of your significant other. You may not realize that this is hurting your relationship, but it can become very draining for the other person. They can end up feeling like whatever they do for you is never enough to be able to make you feel better. You cannot put your happiness and self-esteem solely on your partner.
- You become irritable and defensive. A few of the symptoms of anxiety include anger and irritability. When your mind is constantly running with anxious thoughts, it can cause you to have a short temper and no patience. This is bad for relationships. If you're always impatient and angry with your partner, it won't take long for them to get fed up with it.
- You become distant. When you struggle with anxiety, it can be difficult to open up with someone else. This can make connecting with another person difficult and can also cause problems with intimacy.
- You become untrusting, jealous, and suspicious. Your anxiety can cause you to be overly suspicious. This can lead to problems with trust and jealousy. You may want your significant other to be reporting to you constantly, and you might try to always check up on them. It doesn't take long for this to become a problem. You can end up accusing your partner of wrong that they haven't done and driven them to the point of not wanting to deal with the drama in your relationship anymore.
Healthy Ways To Handle Anxiety To Have A Successful Relationship
If you're living with an anxiety disorder that's impacting your daily life and relationships, you may want to talk to a therapist. Each person is different, and the way anxiety impacts your life, and the reasons that you struggle with it may be very different than it is for someone else. A therapist can help you get to the bottom of your anxiety and learn how to overcome it and live a healthier life.
While working through counseling, you can also try the following:
- Learn to control your thoughts. When it comes to your thoughts, there are only two ways that it can go. You can either control your thoughts, or they're going to control you. Practice thinking about what you're thinking about. If you catch yourself ruminating on something that's adding to your anxiety, replace it with a different thought. Learning how to do this can take time, but will have a very positive impact on your thought life.
- Be open with your partner. This advice was included earlier too. It's important to learn good communication skills and then be open about what you're struggling with. Don't expect your partner to read your mind or feel anxious about the same things as you. Do your best to communicate your feelings to them, so they know what you're struggling with. If you know something that they can do to help, let them know. Don't get offended if they aren't able to think of it on your own.
- Work on building your self-esteem. If your struggle is connected to your low self-esteem, work on doing things that improve your confidence, and boosts your self-esteem. Make sure that you acknowledge and celebrate the success that you have each day.
- Do some journaling. If you feel that you need to get all your anxious thoughts out of your head, but don't want to dump them on your partner, try journaling constantly. It can be an effective way to clear your mind without becoming too needy on your significant other.
- Remind your partner that it's not about them. If you struggled with anxiety before starting your relationship, it's good, to be honest about that with your partner. If they don't know that they could end up thinking that's, they're the cause of it. This could cause a lot of confusion in the relationship. It will help them not to worry if they know that your anxious behavior is not because of them.
When You're Anxious About Finding Love
If you long to be in a relationship, but it just hasn't worked out yet, you may experience anxiety. You can start to question if there is something wrong with you or if you'll ever find love. If you find yourself in this place, it can help you out to talk to a therapist. It's important that you can feel good about yourself as you are and that your identity is not dependent on being in a relationship.
The only way for you to have a healthy relationship is for you to be a healthy individual. A therapist can help you build your self-esteem without being overly dependent on love.
When You Need Help With Your Anxiety
If you find that anxiety is impacting your relationship or chance of being in a relationship, don't hesitate to reach out to a therapist. Learning how to get your anxiety under control can help you in more than just romantic relationships. It can improve each area of your life. If you're looking for a therapist to work with, you can easily work with online counselors that make it fast and easy to get the help and support that you're looking for.