Come on, guys, we live in a world where ghosting is ‘acceptable’ and widely practiced, with an infinite number of dating apps ruling the romance scene. You can literally find someone new in your life with just a few swipes – it’s almost like shopping for a product at the mall.
It’s shiny, brand-new, and perfect to step out with on Saturday night. Inevitably, it is the reign of the hookup culture, with only a handful of individuals ready to settle down. It is not even surprising to realize that most of us (including ME) are dealing with what we commonly label as ‘relationship anxiety‘, and it is REAL…as real as following the no contact rule after a breakup!
Yes, we understand it is tough, but it is not impossible to settle down or find the right one! Think about it – is it really the ‘culture?’ or is it really the dating apps, or even the ghosting that messes with your head typically? We think it’s our own self-generated anxieties and fears.
That is perhaps the real problem nobody wants to address, discuss, or even speak about. I have been dating on and off since I was sixteen – so it’s literally been a decade since my debut in the world of romance.
And I have seen so many people driving themselves half mad with overthinking and overanalyzing. And I completely understand because I am no different – I am sure more of you have also been in that dark spot where you can’t stop thinking about the outcome.
So, today, I am going to talk about relationship anxiety, signs you are dealing with this anxiety, and most importantly, mind shifts that can stop this anxiety from driving you half insane. Stay tuned to find out more.
But First, Is It Normal To Have Relationship Anxiety?
You don’t need a relationship anxiety test to find out it’s normal to be anxious about your relationship. According to Astrid Robertson, a psychotherapist who spoke to Healthline, “Relationship anxiety is extremely common.”
While some individuals experience relationship anxiety when the relationship is brand-new, even before they are aware of their partner’s romantic interest in them. It could also be probable that they aren’t sure whether they want the relationship or not. It could also be probable that they aren’t sure whether they want the relationship or not.
But at the same time, these feelings can definitely come up in long-term, committed relationships. Over time, anxiety in relationships can lead to,
- Emotional distress,
- Emotional exhaustion or fatigue,
- Lack of motivation, and
- Stomach upset or some other physical issues.
Your anxiety might not result from anything within the relationship itself. But obviously, it can cause behaviors that, in turn, are likely to cause issues and even distress for both you and your romantic partner.
Anxious About Your New Relationship? Signs You Have Relationship Anxiety
Relationship anxiety or gut feelings indicating something might go wrong in your picture-perfect romance is normal and can show up in multiple ways.
Most individuals feel a little anxious and insecure about their relationships from time to time, especially during the early dating stages, where forming a commitment might be a priority for one partner, and taking things slow can be the other partner’s priority.
This is not unusual. So, you typically do not really need to be concerned or worried about these fears or doubts – we have all been here at some point!
While sometimes these are nothing more than passing fears and thoughts, there are times when these will grow and creep into your everyday life.
So without wasting time, let’s quickly glance at some of the most common signs that you are experiencing relationship anxiety.
1. Does He Like Me…Or Does He Like Me Not?
Perhaps, one of the biggest relationship fears is that you can’t stop wondering whether he really likes you or is he just losing interest. Expressions like ‘Is he losing interest?’ or ‘Do I matter?’ are typical in terms of feeling secure within a relationship.
For instance, you might be worrying about,
- Your partner would never really miss you much when you are not around.
- Your partner might not support or even offer to help you out if something serious comes up.
- Your partner wants to be with you only because of what you can do for them.
2. When Will The Other Shoe Drop?
No, overthinking relationship anxiety is not what’s happening to you – you are right to think that it can actually make you ask questions about your compatibility with your partner. You might also wonder whether you are really happy.
As a response, you might begin to focus on minor disagreements – so they like folk-rock, and you enjoy punk music. So what? But you end up overanalyzing the difference.
It is not the fear of losing the person and ending the relationship – it is a matter of ‘when’ – when will he end things with you? You are constantly worried about that moment that is yet to come – you cannot just chill and enjoy how things are, but instead, you are nervous, and there’s this perpetual knot in your stomach.
3. Overanalyzing Is Normal For You:
You cannot take anything at face value – instead, you pick it apart, attempting to understand what your partner was trying to convey.
Any tendency to simply overthink and overanalyze your partner’s actions or words can also point toward relationship anxiety. Maybe your partner does not like holding hands – or when you guys start living together, but your partner does not want to bid adieu to their old furniture.
Sure, these could all turn out to be signs of a potential problem. But it is relatively more likely that your partner just loves their old furniture or has sweaty hands, for that matter.
4. Self-Destructive…But Too Cute To Breakup!
Sabotaging behaviors can have deep roots within the relationship anxiety pillar. Your boyfriend might already be saying, ‘my girlfriend’s anxiety is ruining our relationship,’ and it’s sad.
Yes, you might be doing it unintentionally, whether you realize it or not, but it is done to determine how much your partner actually cares.
For instance, you might be convinced that when your partner resists your efforts to push them away is evidence of their feelings for you. But when you think about it logically, doesn’t it seem difficult for your partner to understand the underlying motives behind your self-destructive approach?
If you are still not convinced whether or not you have relationship anxiety, then take a few steps back and think: Am I actually spending way too much time worrying about the future of my relationship instead of enjoying the moment?
While going through a rough patch, it might be natural to worry -, but if you start to feel this more often, chances are you are probably anxious about your relationship.
Mindset Shifts To Stop Relationship Anxiety: Can You Overcome Relationship Anxiety?
Now stop looking up ‘separation anxiety relationship’ on Google – especially when we have already looked at all the signs of relationship anxiety and what is causing it. We have already seen all the ways you can stress and really mess up your head – but what about controlling this stress?
When you are in the moment, chances are you will feel helpless and fall back on blogs (like ours), and refuse to believe that it is possible to overcome this anxiety. But what if we tell you it is possible, though it will certainly take time and plenty of effort? Chances are you also need to hear from your partner that everything is fine.
In this context, Robertson told Healthline, “I can tell someone their anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an underlying problem in the relationship, and indeed they may be well loved. But until they have felt [a] sense that all is well, that they truly are safe and secure, the anxiety will likely persist.”
It is always more practical to address relationship anxiety early before it ends up being an issue. Scroll down for a few tips on how you can get the ball rolling on controlling your relationship anxiety.
1. Stressing Is Never The Solution:
It’s honestly a BIG trap. It often feels like you are actually doing something very productive. But after spending hours stressing over something minor in your relationship, you will find that you are in the same spot without any clarity.
You are thinking that when you spin all the wheels hard enough, you will actually land on a solution. Instead, you do not just find yourself in the same spot, but in the process, you will end up ruining your vibe, your mood, and, typically, your self-esteem.
Nope, stressing won’t give you any clarity or confidence – nope, your relationship won’t miraculously become happy or healthy. Instead of solving your issues, stressing only multiple them.
Every time you are on the brink of stress, remind yourself how it is going to be an enormous waste of your time and efforts.
2. This Too Shall Pass:
This one is an oldie but a goldie – I remember just how many times we would all tell each other, ‘Relax, this too shall pass,’ and pass it did – it might take months or years, but it will definitely pass. And this, my friends, is the most powerful mindset that can help you deal with relationship anxiety.
If it does not work out, then you will be just fine – you were just fine before you were in this relationship, and you will be absolutely fine when things do not work out. For some weird reason, it always feels groundbreaking to say this out loud.
It is difficult to realize anything that is so obvious, especially when you are in the middle of it, simply because it does not feel fine – you cannot deal with being separated in real life. To that, I just have one thing to say – stop attaching so much to what it ACTUALLY means when things really do not work out.
Dating happens to be a discovery process, and that is all – it does not mean finding self-respect or happiness to heal your past wounds. If the other person does not feel the same, then you cannot force them – you let them go instead.
3. Imagine Other Possibilities:
The biggest reason behind stressing so much is only one – that we end up investing a lot in someone, and at times, they give back absolutely nothing. There is this underlying feeling that I WILL MAKE THIS WORK.
No, hun, you cannot make it work alone. It might seem like it’s meant to be – but a relationship is work, and the two of you need to make it work together.
But you cannot attach like this at least until the honeymoon phase passes, meaning you are both on the same page where the future of this relationship is concerned. When I first started dating my partner, I tried so hard to stress over our future, so much so I actually thought we had no future.
But look at us; after spending almost five happy years together, I can tell you I was wrong – it was my anxiety running rampant. I was being self-destructive. But then I started thinking about other possibilities and how I could be fine without worrying about putting all my eggs in one smoking hot basket.
4. Relax, It’s YOUR Mind!
Now, this one is perhaps the most common mistake – because we assume that we actually have control. We think that our minds run the show and we are just victims being steered in different directions, even to the darkest, bottomless corners ridden with different fears and anxieties.
We let our minds tell us that we are unlovable and nothing can save our relationship. But wait, why would you allow this to happen? IT’S YOUR MIND!
You can control your thoughts – if you do not like what your mind keeps telling you, take them out on your journal and instead think about happy stuff. It’s a lot like mastering the patronus charm.
Keep track of the quality of thoughts that cross your mind for a few days. Then ask yourself: does this serve you well?
If your thoughts tend to bring up insecurities, anxieties, fear, or even dread, then understand that these thoughts do not really serve well. So, shift it to a relatively more productive space.
Wrapping Up: Love’s Labor Lost!
No relationship comes with 100% certainty. It can be pretty tough to even accept the same – and experiencing relationship anxiety because there is no certainty is also possible.
You might not be able to completely get rid of all the anxiety, but there are so many things that you can actually do to make that nagging voice inside your head absolutely quiet – spending time to enjoy what you have with your partner within your relationship boundary is also essential.
But do tell us what you think about experiencing relationship anxiety. While sharing your thoughts, feel free to let us know about your experiences in the comments below.
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Barsha Bhattacharya is a senior content writing executive. As a marketing enthusiast and professional for the past 4 years, writing is new to Barsha. And she is loving every bit of it. Her niches are marketing, lifestyle, wellness, travel and entertainment. Apart from writing, Barsha loves to travel, binge-watch, research conspiracy theories, Instagram and overthink.