How do you know you have relationship anxiety? Let’s face it; we are all slightly anxious in relationships. Sometimes, you are unsure if you are pulling them closer or pushing them away. Worse, you never know what the future holds.
It is normal to feel anxious. The issue is when you experience it to unhealthy levels. Read on for the tell-tale signs of relationship anxiety and tips on how to overcome it.
What is Relationship Anxiety?
Many times, anxiety is felt in new relationships. However, it’s nothing uncommon to experience it in long-term relationships. If you are already anxious in other life situations, you will most likely experience anxiety, even in long-term relationships.
Relationship anxiety is when people in a relationship have too much fear and worry to the extent it harbors toxicity or hinders it from being fulfilling and healthy. Many psychologists argue that such anxiety is not just for a romantic relationship. It is also experienced in platonic relationships.
8 Signs of Relationship Anxiety
Here are signs that may indicate anxiety in a relationship:
#1: Extreme fear of opening up
Holding back when starting a relationship is normal. However, as you build it, you and your partner need to open up to each other. People with relationship anxiety are afraid of letting their partners into their lives. They’re scared that their partners will use their vulnerability against them or that the partner may not just like what they see.
#2: Jealous when your partner is away from you
This is often mistaken for cuteness. However, if you feel jealous whenever your partner spends time with their friends or family without you, you experience anxiety. This goes hand in hand with being clingy or needy.
#3: Feelings of low self-esteem in the relationship
If you feel inferior in your relationship, you could be battling relationship anxiety. This could result in feeling that your partner is too good for you. Also, if your feelings of self-worth are attached to how your partner treats you, it is a possible sign of anxiety.
#4: Overanalyzing situations
It is common to constantly overthink situations such as missed calls, delayed replies, or your partner sleeping early. Besides, if you read deeply into your partner’s words and actions, it is a sign to watch out for.
#5: Need for constant reassurance
Reassurance from our partners is very much needed. You need to compliment and reassure each other. However, if it is a big deal if your partner does not do it that one time, you are probably facing anxiety issues in that relationship.
#6: You overlook issues that genuinely bother you
For instance, if your partner is always late and it bothers you, but you don’t bring it up because you are afraid it will turn into a fight. In any relationship, you should be able to bring up things that bother you without fear.
#7: Doubting your partner’s intentions and feelings for you
People with relationship anxiety will always doubt if their partner truly loves them, even if they have it clear. Also, if you constantly worry that they want to break up, it is a sign.
#8: Missing out on the good times
If you spend most of the time thinking about the bad things that could happen rather than enjoying the good times in the relationship, you are probably facing relationship anxiety.
What Causes Relationship Anxiety?
There is no single or definite cause of relationship anxiety. The causes vary significantly from person to person. To understand what causes your relationship anxiety, you may do a thorough self-check and introspection.
Here are some common causes of relationship anxiety:
#1: Unpleasant experiences in past relationships
Your past experiences will permanently shape your future. If your partners in previous relationships cheated on you, lied about their feelings, or mistreated or broke up with you unexpectedly, you may be anxious in the subsequent relationships.
#2: Low self-esteem
With low self-esteem, you will always doubt yourself and your worth. This will play a significant toll on your relationship. With this, you will always need reassurance or question every move your partner makes.
The attachment style you developed as a child can be secure or less secure. People with less secure attachment styles often had their needs dismissed in their childhood. Think about your childhood relationship with your parents and caregivers and how they impact your current relationships.
How Can You Overcome Relationship Anxiety?
It would be best if you overcame relationship anxiety to build a healthy and meaningful connection with your partner. Apply the following tips to overcome it.
#1: Get Trauma Therapy
One great way to overcome it is to talk to a therapist.
A therapist can help you:
- Identify childhood trauma that led to the relationship anxiety you are having;
- Develop secure attachment styles;
- Calm down your anxiety.
Therapy can also make you a better communicator. Many issues arising from relationship anxiety go hand in hand with poor communication skills. It would be best if you become a better communicator to express your feelings and fears.
#2: Try Being More Mindful
Try focusing on the moment more and not the future or the past. Relationship anxiety is magnified by the fear of the unknown and thinking about all the bad experiences from the future. We do not mean that you should forget all your experiences. We are saying you should learn to acknowledge what you feel every moment and move on.
This is one tangible way to enjoy a relationship fully without overanalyzing the negatives. Do not worry about the future; focus on being happy in the moment.
#3: Build Other Relationships
Relationship anxiety is worse for people with no one else apart from their partners. Have other meaningful relationships outside of your romantic relationship. Have hobbies you can do when not with your partner. This way, you can pursue your partner part-time. Even if they go out without you, you still have something to do instead of worrying about them. You will also live without the fear of ending up alone in case of a breakup.