The definition of anxiety in relationships
In order for us to understand what anxiety is in relationships, it is important to start by defining what anxiety really is. Anxiety is defined as a feeling of distress and restlessness that is characterized by things like feelings of stress and sweating. Anxiety is a mental health problem that affects many people around the world. So what is relationship anxiety?
Relationship anxiety is a fear of relationships. For people with this commitment phobia, relationships are a real struggle and they find it difficult to stay in their long term, even if they want to.
While it is normal for you to have some fears when entering a relationship or going on dates, people with relationship anxiety have excessive fears and their mind is always full of “what if” and “but” to the point where they feel that it is better to be alone…
What Causes Relationship Anxiety? Relationship anxiety, like other types of anxiety, has underlying causes and some of them are as follows:
- Traumatic experiences from past relationships. Those who harbor painful past memories of failed relationships can easily develop relationship anxiety as a defense mechanism to avoid going through those experiences again.
- Child abuse or trauma. People who were abused as children or who went through traumatic experiences are also more likely to develop relationship anxiety compared to other people.
Signs of anxiety in relationships
People who suffer from relationship anxiety experience the following symptoms:
1. Fear of opening-up
You fear opening up about your situation because you don’t know how people will react. What if they leave after learning about my situation? What will they think of me? These are just examples of some of the questions in the back of people’s minds with relationship anxiety.
2. Drive away those you love and those you care about
As you always wonder if that special someone really cares about you, unconsciously you keep trying to put her to the test. One way to do it is by giving them a hard time being the worst to see if they let you. When they finally leave, you think it’s because they didn’t love you to begin with, while your behavior was the real reason they left.
3. Fear of intimacy
You fear intimacy with your partner because you are emotionally vulnerable. This is where you avoid being around your partner. This leads to a breakup as your partner feels that he does not love her or that he does not care what is far from the truth.
4. Inappropriate jealousy
Too much of anything is bad. A little bit of jealousy in a relationship is normally cute and lovable, but having extreme jealousy is a real blackout. You will always be preoccupied with thoughts of your partner cheating on you, even when your partner has not given you a reason to doubt him/her. This behavior pushes everyone who tries to get close to walking away.
If you have past experiences of betrayal, you will definitely have a hard time trusting people again, but people with relationship anxiety take this too far.
6. Emotional instability
You are always angry and sad and that makes you emotionally unstable. Her mood changes frequently for no apparent reason and she has a hard time calming down when that happens. It is impossible for you to have a relationship with this type of behavior.
7. Get sticky
This is where you become overly dependent on your partner to the point where you start to interfere with your partner’s daily life, for example constantly interrupting them even at work.
8. Lack of sleep
This is understandable since you are constantly preoccupied with everything that happens in your life. Lack of sleep causes other problems, such as mood swings that negatively affect your relationship with your loved ones.
9. Low self-esteem
You constantly worry that you are not good enough for the person who cares about you. You even question what your partner sees in you or thinks of you! This constant worry and self-doubt make all your relationships sink.
10. Anxiety attacks
Since your mind is constantly filled with negative thoughts and emotions, you have anxiety attacks where you begin to experience symptoms such as a racing heartbeat, sweating, pounding heartbeat, and tremors among many others.
Overcoming relationship anxiety and coping with it
It is very important that you know how to overcome relationship anxiety even if you do not have it. Many people around the world suffer from relationship anxiety, which means that the chances that you will see a person with that disorder are quite high. Having a firm understanding of what relationship disorder is and knowing how it affects a person’s behavior and how it impacts emotions is very essential. This information will let you know what to do if you are ever in a relationship with someone who suffers from relationship anxiety.
If your relationship anxiety is too severe to the point where you can no longer consider dating, the best option for you would be to seek psychotherapy. This is where you will learn various ways to deal with your issues constructively with the help of a professional who will guide you through the entire process, allowing you to heal. This option works very well as they guide you through the cognitive distortions that you always tell yourself and this helps you see things from a completely different angle.
If your relationship anxiety isn’t that severe, you can use self-help books that will guide you on how to turn things around step by step, or even seek support from online support groups that deal with relationship problems. If your commitment issues are not serious and the above option does not work for you, you can try to deal with the situation yourself by starting to work against your negative anxious thoughts.
Over time, you will develop the ability to signal when your mind is playing with you. The following are some of the things that can help you maintain a relationship:
1. Let your partner know how they can help you
Sharing is very important in all relationships and letting your partner know some of the strategies to deal with your commitment problems will strengthen your bond and improve your chances of overcoming the disorder.
2. Be honest with your partner
A relationship cannot be successful without honesty. That is why telling your partner the truth about your situation makes things easier, as they will be ready to help you. Your partner will also be able to understand when they see you portraying some of the symptoms mentioned above.
3. Let your partner know the things that trigger your relationship anxiety
This will allow your partner to help you avoid those triggers as well as overcome them. So be honest and share anything that makes you anxious.
Any form of anxiety can be very serious if it is excessive. That is why relationship anxiety should be taken seriously as it causes serious disruption in your life. We all like to love and being loved is in our nature, so don’t let relationship anxiety get between you and finding or keeping your true love.