anxiety in relationships

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When it comes to relationships, it’s completely normal to feel a whole spectrum of emotions: from joy to being turned on to nerves (ideally the good kind – hello, stomach butterflies). But what happens when the nerves build into something much bigger and become full-on anxiety? Or if you already have generalised anxiety and find it particularly difficult to navigate dating, or being in a relationship?

Firstly, know this: you’re not alone – as these nine women prove. Here, they share what has helped them to deal with anxiety in their relationships.

1) Work on yourself

Sometimes you need to work on yourself first. I’ve dealt with anxiety for a while and I had a partner who stuck by me through a lot, but I ended up falling out of love and I wasn’t getting better. I cut the ties and I grew and learnt so much. Work on yourself first. [Remember], your partner is your partner, not a therapist – get a psychologist and work with them. Give your partner room to be sad and unstable as well, just because you have anxiety it doesn’t mean your partner has to always put you first. [via]

2) Find the right person

It’s a cliche, but when it’s right, you just know. I don’t have to think much about our relationship. Not because I don’t care, but because it comes so naturally. I don’t have to second-guess everything they say and live in the fear that me saying or doing the wrong thing will make them want to dump me. [via]

anxiety in relationships

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3) Go to therapy

Honestly, from my personal experience, therapy has helped me a lot to manage my anxiety to the best of my abilities. In return, it has positively impacted my romantic relationships. [via]

4) Be honest

While I’m actively trying to improve my anxiety, I’m also upfront about having it and how it sometimes manifests in relationships. I’m also open about when I’m feeling anxious and what has made me anxious, so that my significant other always understands where I’m at mentally/emotionally. [via]

5) Show affection

My partner and I both suffer from anxiety. I subconsciously know when he feels anxious and make sure to give him lots of physical affection and make sure he knows he’s loved, by either doing little things (such as making his favourite food or doing chores), or by simply just telling him how much he means to me. When I have anxiety he does the same for me. He makes sure I have plenty of physical affection and he always asks if I want to talk about, but never forces me to. [via]

6) Consider medication

Never forget, if it’s bad, medicine is a really good option. While I have got much better over the years, my meds have played a big part. It might be weird to take that first med, but for me, my quality of life and happiness has improved beyond any belief. [via]

anxiety in relationships

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7) Practice self-care

Medication, exercise, getting enough sleep, meditation, and communication. My husband and I both have anxiety, and we talk to each other about it regularly. [via]

8) Categorise problems

Figure out how to categorise the problems you have into ‘me problems’, ‘partner’s problems’ and ‘our problems’. If it’s a ‘me problem’, find ways to cope or deal with your anxiety. For example, I was cheated on and I have anxiety around it happening again. Does my partner have anything to do with this? No. So it’s a ‘me problem’. Consider CBT or going to a therapist to deal with me problems

If it’s your partner’s problem, find ways to communicate that to them. You can support them in finding ways to cope, or with finding a therapist to deal with their issues, but it’s not your responsibility to deal with them.

If it’s an ‘us problem’, find solutions on both sides to correct the issues. For example, if you guys don’t handle fights well, maybe it’s better to cool down before talking about it. Maybe focus on using “I” and “we” statements rather than “you” statements. [via]

9) Distance yourself from anxiety-inducing people

Pick someone who won’t make your anxiety worse and loves you even when your head is spinning in circles. [via]

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