Just when you thought you were happy and content with your love life, relationship anxiety slowly and gradually creeps in, making everything look ‘too good to be true’. And that is what sets the stage and a breeding ground for anxious feelings, thoughts, lack of trust, unhappiness and pointless arguments with your significant other and eventually, you by yourself end up sabotaging your own relationship with the person you love.
Simply put, relationship anxiety is toxic and must be dealt with immediately, especially if you don’t want to mess up the perfect relationship that you have with your partner. Before we share with you the best ways to keep anxiety in your relationship at bay, let us first help you develop a good understanding of it so you know exactly what it is, how it is caused and affects yours and your partner’s life. This is really important because many couples fail to identify this problem and end something special without knowing the real reason for it.
Relationship Anxiety—What is it and its Causes?
Relationship anxiety can be best described as the critical inner voice within us that continuously criticizes us, feeds us bad advice and more importantly, fuels our fear of intimacy. It is the voice that makes us turn against ourselves and our partner by promoting suspicious, hostile and paranoid thinking. Such negative thinking eventually lowers one’s self-esteem and increases an unhealthy level of distrust, jealousy, anxiety, and defensiveness. All this makes us undermine our happiness and worry about our relationship so, instead of enjoying what we have; we end up criticizing it and later sabotage it by ourselves through our negativity and destructive behavior.
The top causes of anxiety in any relationship include:
- The fear of losing your loved one and getting hurt
- Mixed messages
- Overanalytical behavior
- Thinking too low of yourself and too high of your partner
- Overstressing and worrying
- Being critical of yourself
All this can be marked by statements like:
“I am too fat, ugly or boring to keep his/her interest in me.”
“He doesn’t love me so I should leave him before he does.”
“I can never meet someone like him/her so why even try?”
“I don’t think that this will work out.”
“How serious is this?”
“Will this last?”
“Am I ready for such a commitment?”
“Is this going too fast?”
How Does Relationship Anxiety Affect Us?
Anxiety about our relationship can make us behave in strange ways, which are also psychological defenses. It can affect us in the following ways:
Makes you Clingy
We begin to act desperately toward our partner. We act jealous, dependent and are always around them.
You Become Controlling
As anxiety invigorates the sense of losing your partner, this further makes you feel threatened so you try to act more controlling because you want to make sure that you don’t lose them. However, this can be suffocating for your partner and they may eventually leave you because of your controlling behavior.
You Cave in and Retreat
This is when you give up actual and real acts of love and retreat into a fantasy bond. You create a false illusion of connection that slowly replaces actual love, thereby creating a distance between you and your partner.
The Best Ways to Deal with Relationship Anxiety
Here’s how you can cope with and get over relationship anxiety…Take a look:
Identify the Critical Inner Voice
First things first, you need to identify the critic in you. Try to identify the critical inner voice that haunts you and tries to bring you down. It is easy to pinpoint the negative thoughts that creep into your mind, about yourself or your partner. Such as your inner critic can make you feel bad and anxious when you’re dressing up by telling you that you look awful and he’ll never be attracted to you. Other times it can be sneaky by telling you things like, “you can’t trust your partner. He’s too good for you and might be cheating on you.”
Once you’ve identified your critical inner voice, here’s what you need to do next in order to conquer it and keep it away from infiltrating and sabotaging your relationship and self-esteem for that matter.
Sit Down With Your Partner and Just Talk About Your Feelings
The sooner you discuss your feelings with your partner, the better it is as it will clear the bad thoughts and negativity clouding your mind. Sometimes, the lack of communication triggers relationship anxiety because your partner doesn’t know what you’re feeling and you don’t know what they are going through.
So, it’s crucial to sit down every now and then to have an open and honest conversation about your relationship and feelings. Not only will this help clear your mind, but will also calm you down as the negative thoughts will no longer be in your heart. And besides this, your partner will respond positively with love towards your feelings so that you feel less anxious and more secure and confident.
Also, it’s always best to communicate openly with your partner because sometimes what you’re thinking may not be true. Therefore, open up and talk.
Relationship anxiety can make you clingy and controlling, which are definitely two traits that nobody likes and are most certainly deal-breakers. This happens when you’re too dependent on someone and you start believing that your happiness is linked with your partner. Which should not be the case. That’s right; in order to enjoy a happy and healthy relationship, you need to nurture independence. Invest in yourself so that you feel good about yourself. This will help ensure that your mind doesn’t wander off and generate negative thoughts. And when you feel good about yourself, you’ll start looking things around you with a positive approach and you’ll start cherishing what you have instead of sabotaging it.
Stop Analyzing and Measuring Their Every Move
As mentioned earlier, your analytical behavior could be making you anxious about your relationship. So, it’s best to stop analyzing and judging your partner by their text messages, the number of times they call or meet you in a week. All this can be interpreted wrongly by an anxious mind. It is important to understand that you are not at the mercy of your mind; you can power, shape and train it. Stop being analytical about your partner and let them be who they are. Accept the fact that your partner is a separate individual with a sovereign mind. Analyzing your partner will only make you judge them and you’ll feel nothing but anxious. So avoid that and simply, love them for who they are, and care and respect them.