Typically, the beginning stage of relationships is often characterized by a bit of worry about what the future holds for your relationship. Yes, you love your partner, but certain uncertainties about how they feel can be difficult to tolerate.
After all, you simply want to feel secure and happy in your relationship. But when do you know things are getting out of hand? And how can you effectively deal with the situation?
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Here’s everything you need to know about relationship anxiety, including its signs, symptoms, and how to cope.
What Is Relationship Anxiety?
Relationship anxiety refers to feelings of intense worry, insecurity, and doubt about a friendly or romantic relationship. It constitutes some characteristics of social anxiety disorder and can cause you to experience a great deal of discomfort about rejection. Unlike other forms of anxiety, health professionals lack specific guidelines for diagnosing or treating relationship anxiety.
Anxiety and Dating: Can Being In Love Trigger Anxiety?
Dating can be one of the most amazing things on the planet, but it can also trigger anxious thoughts and cause all kinds of distress. Relationship anxiety can arise at any stage of courtship. For most single people, just the thought of dating can stir up stress.
When people start dating, the early stages might come with endless worries (early relationship anxiety): Will this workout? What if they’re lying? Should I find someone else?
No doubt, these anxious thoughts can feel quite overwhelming. Unfortunately, they can get more intense as you grow closer to your partner. At its worst, relationship anxiety can even push you to give up on dating altogether.
Rest assured that it’s perfectly normal to experience relationship anxiety. By learning more about relationship anxiety, you’ll be able to put your anxiety in check and allow yourself to bond better with your partner.
Male Anxiety In Relationships
Relationship anxiety is a thing that’s commonly associated with women. However, men can also exhibit symptoms of anxiety, though differently from women. As a man, your anxiety can cause instability in your relationship.
Unlike women, who have a large social cycle, men only tend to open up to their significant others due to societal norms. This might end up damaging your relationship as your partner may get tired of taking the role of a therapist.
Why We Feel Anxious In Relationships?
Identifying what’s behind your relationship anxiety can take time. You might even wonder whether it’s relationship anxiety or not in love. However, the tendency to feel anxious is often a result of your attachment patterns with your parents or guardians while you were young.
These past experiences influence how you understand your daily needs and how you go about getting them met. For instance, if you experienced anxious-type attachment patterns during your childhood, you’re more likely to have higher levels of relationship anxiety.
Previous romantic relationships can also affect how you view your present ones. When people form relationships, they trust their partners, making them feel exposed and vulnerable. If your ex-partner was dishonest, unfaithful, or ended the relationship suddenly, you may tend to expect this from future relationships.
Other common causes of relationship anxiety include:
- Poor communication
- Fear of being emotionally vulnerable
- Stress build-up
- Fear of marriage
- Low self-esteem
Additionally, the relationship itself can lead to anxiety. It’s natural to experience relationship anxiety if your partner is secretive, controlling, or abusive.
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What Are Some of the Signs of Relationship Anxiety?
Relationship anxiety often shows up in different ways. Maybe you’re happy and contented with your relationship, but you still feel skeptical and suspicious about your partner. It’s a confusing and challenging spot to be in but luckily, knowing the signs of relationship anxiety can help you stop it on its track and move forward in your relationship.
So, how do you know if your relationship is giving you anxiety? Some of the potential signs to watch out for include:
- Questioning your partner’s feelings
- Doubting your compatibility as a couple
- Avoiding relationship milestones
- Over-analyzing your partner’s words and actions
- Doubting their feelings for you
How Relationship Anxiety Affects You and Your Relationship?
Irrespective of its cause, relationship anxiety can have a domino effect on your relationship’s strength and longevity. Anxiety can pile up and place a heavy burden on your overall well-being and outlook if not adequately resolved early on in relationships. Relationship anxiety can lead to increased inner turmoil, causing other mental health problems to arise.
It can also result in recurring problematic or short-lived relationships. Since most people with anxiety tend to avoid things that either trigger or make their distress worse, it’s common to disengage from events you once enjoyed doing. This includes hiding your genuine emotions for fear of rejection or by-passing social events with your partner.
Other ways relationship anxiety can affect relationships include:
- Breaks down trust and connection
- Causes you to behave selfishly
- Robs you of joy
- Social isolation
- You might become overly dependent
How Long Does Relationship Anxiety Last?
Unless you get proper guidance and counseling, relationship anxiety can reach an unhealthy level. You’ll start experiencing frequent distress that impacts your routine or becomes hyper-vigilant for clues that your relationship isn’t working out.
Besides being mentally exhausting, this constant state of mind can ultimately cost you your relationship. That’s why you need to take time and address relationship anxiety before it wreaks havoc in your love life.
Overcoming Relationship Anxiety
It’s time you stop overthinking relationship anxiety and start actualizing your relationship goals. So the real question is, does relationship anxiety go away?
While overcoming relationship anxiety can be difficult and slow-going, you can achieve it if you’re fully dedicated to your improvement and deliberately mindful as you kickstart your journey towards a happy and long-lasting relationship.
These tips will help you get started:
- Practice good communication
- Try being mindful
- Avoid acting on your feelings
- Maintain your identity
Remember, doctors are yet to have proper guidelines for treating this condition. Further investigations into relationship anxiety are necessary for better diagnosis and treatment.
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Consult With a Professional
Now that you clearly understand relationship anxiety, you can see that it neither has to hurt your loved ones nor cripple your relationship. If you have trouble going through it on your own, talking to a professional medical practitioner can help you get some clarity and cope with relationship anxiety.
Besides helping you understand your feelings and those of your partner, our licensed and certified doctors will show you love and care in ways that will calm your anxiety.