Relationship Anxiety: An Introduction

When in a relationship with someone you love, there is no greater bliss. But sometimes, a relationship comes with a lot of anxiety. You constantly worry if your partner loves, trusts, or believes in you enough. You can’t help but suspect some dark, hidden motives or secrets behind every action. Consequently, you constantly challenge them and end up losing what should have been a wonderful relationship.

Relationship anxiety refers to those constant feelings of insecurity and doubts that seem to pop up in a relationship. If you find yourself a victim of this disorder, there are several steps you can take to lessen its impact on your life and lead a happy, healthy life. However, before moving towards healing, first, you need to understand what relationship anxiety is. Health2delivery mental health experts have created this article to inform you about relationship anxiety and how it affects you.

Is it normal to experience relationship anxiety?

Relationship anxiety is more common than you may think. People often experience anxiety when they are unsure if their partner has an equal interest in them or if they are confused about wanting to be in a relationship at all. Relationship anxiety can lead to fatigue, distress, lack of motivation, panic attacks, self-confidence issues, and even physical conditions. The anxiety may not be a relationship-ender by itself, but it can certainly give rise to behavior that creates unnecessary distress for yourself and your partner.

Signs of relationship anxiety

While relationship anxiety is pretty standard, it manifests in people differently. Following are the common signs of relationship anxiety you can watch for;

1.     Asking yourself if you matter to your partner

Most people feel a primal need to belong, connect or feel secure in a relationship. You may ask if you matter to your partner or are they there for you in your time of need. Constant doubts gnaw at your mind, asking if your partner would miss you if you weren’t there. Some people may even wonder if their partner is with them because of what they can do for them.

2.     Doubting if your partner really cares or loves you

You can say “I love you” a thousand times, but it won’t matter if you do not believe it. Your partner may seem like they do love you with kind gestures and simple affections, but doubt still continues to grow in your heart, wondering if this isn’t all a façade. When they are a little slow to respond to your text or invest a little more time in work, you start doubting if the feelings have changed.

3.     Worrying if your partner wants to break up with you

Most people look for security, love, and happiness in a relationship. But sometimes, negative thoughts overcome the positive ones, like an unnecessary worry over your partner leaving you for better prospects. This anxiety can create unnecessary hurdles in a relationship.

4.     Being skeptical of a long-term compatibility

In some circumstances, you may start to wonder if you and your partner are suitable for each other. You question every minor conflict, like music or food preference, and begin to wonder if the two of you may last forever.

5.     Adopting a relationship sabotaging behavior

You may start, either consciously or unconsciously, sabotaging the relationship to test if your partner really cares for you. You may believe that if your partner resists your attempts to push them away, it shows their love and desire to truly remain with you. In such cases, it’s very hard for your partner to pick up that there’s an underlying motive behind this kind of behavior.

6.     Unnecessarily reading into words and actions

Some people have a terrible tendency to overthink things. They look for motives where there are none. So, for example, when your partner refuses to hold hands, you may think it’s a cause for concern. But your partner may just do that because their hands were sweaty.

Causes of relationship anxiety

In most cases, it takes time and self-examination to understand the causes behind your relationship anxiety. However, the most common factors that may play a role in its manifestation are;

1.     Bad former relationship experience

Sometimes, memories of a sour past relationship continue to affect you and trigger anxiety. If your former partner was guilty of these actions, you would look for signs of cheating, breakup, lies, and misdirections. You continue to suspect your partner despite their insistence to the contrary.

2.     Low self-esteem

You may sabotage your relationship if you have low self-esteem. You may project your insecurities onto your partner and doubt their commitment to the relationship.

3.     Unsuitable attachment style

If your parents or caregivers always responded to your needs quickly and gave you love and support, you may develop a secure attachment style that may help form healthier relationships in the future. However, if your parents or caretakers left you on your own to develop independently, you may develop an insecure relationship style. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doomed to have relationship anxiety, but it certainly increases its probability.

4.     A questioning nature

Sometimes, a tendency to question every little thing may give rise to relationship anxiety in your life. You will likely spend over-analyzing every little action, word, or gesture and look for hidden motives where there are none.

Overcome relationship anxiety

It may take some time and effort, but you can overcome relationship anxiety if you work hard at it. Address your problems before they become too big, be honest with your partner, and do not hesitate to share your insecurities. Stop keeping things bottled up, testing your partner with ambiguous little stunts, or reading too much into things. Be safe and happy!

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