It’s the beginning of a potentially ideal relationship. Except for one or two doubts, you can’t seem to shake, the conversation is amazing, the communication is loud and clear both ways, and everything appears to be set for a happily ever after—except for one or two doubts you just can’t seem to shake. We’ll talk about relationship anxiety and how to deal with it in this article.
‘Will they get bored?’, ‘What do they see in me?’ ‘How long do you think it’ll take for this one to break apart?’ These questions can persist even after the ‘I love you have been exchanged in a relationship. If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, you may be suffering from relationship anxiety.
It’s reasonable for a person to be concerned about living with a current or potential partner—this is a significant portion of their lives. However, in some circumstances, this anxiety can be so severe that it prevents the relationship from blossoming or even taking off in the first place.
What is Relationship Anxiety
Anxiety about a romantic or friendship relationship is referred to as relationship anxiety. Despite the fact that health professionals are aware of this sort of anxiety, it is not listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Doctors do not have defined protocols for diagnosing or treating relationship anxiety, unlike other forms of anxiety such as generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
Some aspects of social anxiety disorder are present in relationship anxiety. Both of these situations might make a person feel quite uncomfortable when they are rejected. Although many people are concerned about acceptance and reciprocal feelings in a relationship, anxiety is more likely to arise when a person is afraid or worried excessively.
Anxiety, for example, might cause a person to be concerned about the future of a relationship. People who suffer from relationship anxiety may choose to end their relationships out of fear, or they may choose to stay in them despite their anxiety. The effects of anxiety can make it difficult for a person to operate in a relationship.
Relationship Anxiety Test
Relationship anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways and for a variety of causes. When it comes to relationships, people have a wide range of experiences and may act in a variety of ways. If you want to find out if you have relationship anxiety, take this simple questionnaire.
Excerpt from Questions
1. Do you find it difficult to communicate with your partner?
A. Yes, there is too much pressure.
B. Yes, it can be quite a bit at times.
C. No, I’m a natural communicator.
2. Have you ever been in a toxic relationship?
A. Yes of course.
B. In a way
3. Do you shy away from committing to a relationship?
A. Yes, I’m a nervous wreck.
B. Yes, but I give it my all.
C. No, I enjoy being in relationships!
4. Have you been given an anxiety diagnosis?
5. Have any of your ex-partners betrayed your confidence or cheated on you?
B. Kind of
6. Have you ever been the victim of physical, mental, or verbal abuse?
A. Yes, a lot of times.
B. Yes, a couple of times.
C. Never, ever.
7. Are you always on the lookout for ‘the one’?
8. Do you or did you have a lot of fights with your current spouse, or did you have a lot of fights with your prior relationship?
A. Yes, that happens quite frequently.
B. Yes, on sometimes.
C. No, just very infrequently.
9. Do you feel unappreciated in your relationships all of the time?
B. I don’t give it a second thought.
10. Do you have concerns about your lover abandoning you?
A. I’m always thinking about it.
B. I am occasionally concerned.
C. I’m not concerned about it.
Overthinking Relationship Anxiety
This post is just what you need if you want more peace of mind in your relationships and want to eliminate feelings of anxiety, insecurity, or jealousy. “How do I quit overthinking in a relationship?” you might wonder. So, let’s get started on the techniques on how to reduce overthinking in a relationship!
Strategy 1: Recognize why you overthink.
The first step in ending your relationship’s overthinking is to figure out why you’re overthinking in the first place. Humans have the ability to think about and notice our own thoughts and feelings, which is one of our most distinguishing characteristics. Ask yourself some of the following questions if you find yourself overthinking:
- What emotions am I experiencing at the moment?
- How do these emotions make me feel in my body? (tight stomach, rapid breathing, etc.)
- What thoughts or concerns am I having right now that are causing me to feel this way?
The first step is to identify the concerns and thoughts that cause you to overthink.
Strategy 2: build trust.
Any connection is built on the foundation of trust. The issue is that many people who overthink their relationships do so because they don’t trust their partners.
If your partner has a history of cheating, lying, or manipulating you, you may have reason to second-guess what they say. If this is the case, you’ll stop overthinking when your spouse stops being untrustworthy, or you decide it’s time to terminate the relationship.
Strategy 3: Share With Your Partner
Overthinking in a relationship is frequently the result of a lack of communication. Because you haven’t spoken with them about it, you have to speculate what they are thinking or planning. Is your partner aware of your feelings of insecurity? Take some time to talk about your feelings and thoughts with your companion. Inquire as to what they meant when they uttered XYZ or performed 123. In most cases, this will provide a solution to your concern of how to avoid overthinking in a relationship.
Strategy 4: Be honest with yourself about what you truly require in a relationship.
Overthinking in a relationship is frequently caused by a lack of awareness of one’s own needs. When you find yourself overthinking something in your relationship, ask yourself, “What current need do I have that isn’t being met?”
This may make it easier for you to communicate with your companion. Rather than bringing up all of your difficulties with your partner (which is a surefire way to start a fight), you can describe what your unique requirements are. You can inquire if they are willing to assist you with this need.
Strategy 5: Make Positivity A Habit
We sometimes overthink because we are unduly concerned with the likelihood of a poor consequence. Choosing to focus on the positive does not imply that something is excellent when it isn’t. It will boost your entire attitude if you take your thoughts off the topic of how to quit overthinking in a relationship and replace it with positive.
Strategy 6: Be Present
Fears of what will happen in the future are often on the basis of anxious thoughts and sensations. Sadness, remorse, humiliation, and judgment are all emotions that have their origins in the past. In the present moment, you have direct power over everything.
That means you have the ability to act in the present moment to lessen anxious thoughts. You have no control over any potential events at other times in your life that worsen your anxiety.
Strategy 7: Fill Your Time
If you don’t have the time to sit around eagerly scrutinizing who said what and what it means, it’s much more difficult. Fill your time with something productive that isn’t related to the connection you’re overthinking.
Spend some time starting a project, exploring new hobbies, or going trekking. Even better, get together with a group of friends who enjoy some of the same activities you do.
Strategy 8: Start Journaling
It might be tough to recognize your anxieties, uncertainties, and desires to exert control over some elements of your relationships. People frequently believe they have a comprehensive understanding of their own thoughts and feelings. In most cases, the opposite is true. When it comes to figuring out how to avoid overthinking in a relationship, your brain is like a bowl of spaghetti noodles. You may believe you know what’s in there, but the noodles are all knotted up, sloppy, and unclear.
Strategy 9: Enlist the Help of Others
One of the most effective strategies to stop overthinking is to believe that others are aware of your concerns, anxieties, and fears. This is especially true when it comes to folks who aren’t involved in the connection you’re overthinking.
Strategy 10: Consult a Therapist
People don’t require therapists only when they’re having serious problems. Many people enjoy sharing their ideas with a sympathetic ear and learning new skills and tactics to improve their lives and relationships.
New Relationship Anxiety
Individuals with early relationship anxiety will often focus their feeling of self-worth on whether or not someone reciprocates romantic interest in them, according to Flowers. This is often expected in the form of regular communication throughout the day, usually via text or social media.
Indeed, thanks to social media and smartphones connecting us to whomever, whenever, the indicators of early relationship anxiety are becoming more visible. Neediness is the form of sending multiple texts, holding your breath until you get a response, and then overanalyzing what they said, according to Sanam Hafeez, an NYC-based neuropsychologist and Columbia University faculty member, is a telltale sign that you’re deep in the trenches of early relationship anxiety.
“Checking their social media continuously to check who they recently friended on Facebook and what comments were posted,” Hafeez says, is another indication of this worry.
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Other ways your worry manifests itself in your actions? Early relationship anxiety can be detected by asking about love, moving in together, or bringing up a vacation or event months in advance to test their commitment. It’s a tactic for finding out how the other person feels about the connection.
Another way early relationship anxiety might manifest itself, according to Hafeez, is resenting your spouse for going out with their friends or for giving up a habit or something essential to you, such as going to a spin class after work together.
When it comes to new relationship anxiety, where does it come from?
Anxiety can arise for a variety of reasons at the start of a relationship, but it all comes down to a combination of circumstances and how you react to them. Let’s imagine you meet your S.O. at a bar or through a dating app; you have no idea what to expect because everything is new to you. Because you don’t have a history with this person and don’t know if it will work out or if they feel the same way toward you, Jane Reardon, a relationship specialist and founder of the RxBreakup app, says it’s “very normal to have some worry.”
“Because there is no track record, you may be skeptical that the individual is who they claim to be,” she explains. However, according to Reardon, how you react to the unknown of your relationship’s future is usually a reflection of one of three things:
1. You’ve been through a traumatic relationship in the past.
It’s natural for that little voice in the back of your mind to bring up old relationship baggage out of fear of history repeating itself when you start a new relationship.
2. For some reason, this relationship in particular makes you feel insecure.
If earlier relationship troubles aren’t wearing you down, it’s possible that something about this relationship, in particular, is making you nervous. Perhaps you feel nervous around your partner’s friends or family, or perhaps something about his or her behavior irritates you or makes you feel neglected.
3. The attachment styles of you and your new spouse don’t match.
Attachment theory is based on the premise that how you loved as a child (e.g., how your parents treated you, how you were treated in previous relationships, etc.) will eventually shape how you love now. Secure attachment (in which a person is confident in their relationship and remains linked), anxious attachment (in which a person needs regular reassurance from their partner that everything is fine), and avoidant attachment are the three types of attachment styles (where you avoid intimacy at all costs).
How to Deal with Relationship Anxiety
These suggestions can assist you in dealing with relationship anxiety:
1. Preserve your identity
As you and your spouse become closer, you may notice that important aspects of your identity, individuality or even independence begin to alter in order to create a way for your partner and the relationship.
As you and your spouse grow closer, this is a common occurrence. While certain changes, such as becoming accustomed to sleeping with the window open, may have little effect on your sense of self, others may. It doesn’t assist either of you if you lose your sense of self in the relationship or change to accommodate what you think your partner wants.
2. Make an effort to be more mindful.
Mindfulness practices entail paying attention to what’s going on in the present moment without passing judgment. You acknowledge and let go of unpleasant ideas when they arise.
This is especially helpful if you’re stuck in a negative mental cycle. It can also assist you in prioritizing your daily interactions with your partner. After all, the relationship may end in a few months or years, but in the meantime, you may respect and enjoy it.
3. Make an effort to communicate well.
It’s possible that your relationship concern has nothing to do with your partner. However, if something specific is causing you to worry — whether it’s them talking on their phone or refusing to see your family for the holidays — try bringing it up in a respectful and non-accusatory manner.
4. Avoid reacting to your emotions.
When you’re worried about your relationship or your spouse, you may seek proof that everything is well. It’s normal to want to feel secure but resist the urge to seek this assurance in unhelpful or dangerous ways.
5. Consult a therapist
If you’re having trouble dealing with relationship anxiety on your own, seeing a therapist may be able to assist. It’s also a terrific approach to learning how to deal with relationship anxiety’s impacts. A therapist who specializes in couples therapy can be very beneficial for relationship anxiety.
How to Overcome Relationship Anxiety
While feeling nervous is unpleasant, there are methods for dealing with it.
1. Express Your Emotions
It’s critical to have open and honest dialogues with your partner about your anxieties, expectations, and future dreams in order to avoid worry. Uncertainties that might cause anxiety can be avoided by discussing openly with your partner, allowing for a healthy appreciation of the connection.
2. Appreciate the Present
When you notice your mind wandering to the future of your relationship, nip it in the bud and focus on the present now. Thinking about whether your partner will still be in your life in five years, or if they will find you attractive in the months ahead, takes away from appreciating your current happiness. Instead, it burdens you with anxiety about occurrences that may or may not occur in the future.
3. Face Your Anxiety
While it may seem counterintuitive to embrace your fears while trying to overcome them, it is one of the most effective strategies to gain emotional mastery. Do you suffer from anxiety as a result of a previously broken relationship? Perhaps you’re afraid of not being good enough for love because you have issues with your self-esteem. Inquiring about the causes of your anxiety in relationships might help you detect and address these concerns.
4. Attend a Therapy Session
Bringing expert help to handle your anxiety in some situations may be the greatest option for getting it under control. You can get the help you need to transform your negative and dysfunctional thoughts about yourself, your self-worth, and your attitude toward your relationship by going to counseling.
Relationship anxiety is a type of anxiety that can be difficult for doctors to diagnose and treat. Many of the symptoms that persons with relationship anxiety express are also typical of other types of anxiety.
Self-silencing and obsessive reassurance-seeking are two symptoms of relationship anxiety. People who suffer from relationship anxiety may desire and fear acceptance from their spouses. These symptoms might have a long-term unfavorable impact on a relationship.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does relationship anxiety feel like?
Self-silencing and obsessive reassurance-seeking are two symptoms of relationship anxiety. People who suffer from relationship anxiety may desire and fear acceptance from their partners. These symptoms might have a long-term unfavorable impact on a relationship.
Why does being in a relationship make me anxious?
There are a variety of reasons why people are concerned about their relationships. They may be afraid of being abandoned or rejected, or they may be concerned that their feelings will not be returned. Some people are concerned that their partner may be unfaithful or that their relationship will end.