How Living With Anxiety Affects Your Relationship
Whether you’ve been in a committed relationship for years, or are playing the field and have a few prospects, dating with anxiety can be challenging. It can take a toll on you emotionally, physically, and mentally, and it doesn’t just end there. Anxiety can affect more than just the person who has it.
Perhaps you’ve already figured out some of the best ways to cope with anxiety, but there are still a few things you need to know. If you’re dating with anxiety, here are 10 ways it could be affecting your relationship.
1. You’re not 100% honest with your partner
Honesty is a top priority in romantic relationships, and if you don’t feel comfortable enough to truly speak your mind, it will eventually become problematic. And when you’re fearful of offending others, you spend too much time worrying about what you’re saying, rather than being authentically yourself.
2. You worry about whether the relationship will last
Even if you have a healthy relationship, bouts of anxiety could put everything you and your partner have worked hard for at risk. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders go far beyond temporary worry or fear, and the anxiety doesn’t go away over time. And what’s one thing every person in a relationship worries about from time to time? The chances of it lasting. If you have anxiety, though, thoughts of whether you and your partner are in it for the long haul can become all-consuming.
3. You don’t have total trust in your partner
So, we know trust is of the utmost importance, and it needs to go both ways. For people with anxiety, though, honesty and true transparency don’t always come easy. According to Talkspace, dating with anxiety can lead you to constantly wonder whether your partner is cheating, if you love your partner more than they love you, or about the possibility your partner is hiding something from you.
4. You blame yourself for every relationship problem
No matter who’s done what, or which partner has been diagnosed with a particular condition, one person is rarely the only one to blame for issues within a relationship. After all, there are always two sides to every story. But if you have an anxiety disorder, it can be all too easy to assume it’s the root of each and every problem between you and your significant other. As Talkspace says, your anxiety itself could threaten the relationship, constantly thinking your battle with it will ruin the relationship.
5. You’re constantly seeking your partner’s approval
It’s natural to want your partner to respect, love, and admire everything about you. After all, this is the person you’ve decided to be in a committed relationship with. But for those with anxiety, bending over backwards to try to be the ideal mate can become exhausting for both parties. In reality, it’s not the most beneficial way to make yourself feel reassured. Furthermore, Psych Central says this longing for approval could be a longing for a person’s own self esteem. If that’s the case, it’s time to reassess what you’re really searching for to make you happy.
6. You act impulsively in certain situations
Jumping to conclusions is never beneficial, but it can be tempting during periods of high anxiety. Say you have a sinking suspicion your partner is having an affair. These thoughts occupy your head, and you’re left reeling with nothing but scared, nervous, worrisome emotion. And one way some folks like to combat such feelings is to act out when they otherwise wouldn’t. “If you find that your anxiety makes you impulsive in relationships, it can be important to slow down, be still, and think through anything you are doing,” Verywell suggests.
7. You’re too needy
If someone is dealing with an anxiety disorder, it can result in some pretty unpleasant behaviors. Maybe you’re fearful your significant other is just settling. Or perhaps you worry about what they’re telling their friends about you. Either way, clinging onto your partner probably won’t make the situation much better. And if you’re unsure of whether you’re being needy, there’s a laundry list of ways to tell.
8. You avoid arguments at all cost
Does the mere thought of having a disagreement with your partner send you into panic mode? If so, it’s possible you’ll do just about anything to ensure you won’t get yourself into such a situation. According to HealthCentral, people with anxiety may try to avoid arguments as much as possible. The trouble with avoiding arguments, however, is you may not stand a chance at ever really resolving your issues. All relationships come with road bumps, but figuring out how to handle, and overcome them as a couple is what will make your relationship even stronger.
9. Your social life takes a toll
A big part of anxiety can involve feeling nervous around new, or specific, groups of people. And when you’re in a relationship, there’s a pretty good chance your social life as a couple could suffer. Does your anxiety dictate where you can and cannot go? Friends or coworkers of your partner whom you can stand to be around and those you can’t? If your anxiety gets in the way of your social life, and you’re only willing to be around certain people, your relationship might suffer the consequences.
10. Your partner may not ever truly understand
Even if you have the very best partner (for you) in the world, no one else on this planet will ever 100% understand what goes on inside your mind. They can be empathetic, but they can’t feel what you feel, or know the exact amount of pain you’re going through on any given day. That’s not to say this is a deal breaker; all relationships have to overcome challenges.
Maybe this is the biggest one you and your partner will face, but you’ll face it together. As long as you’re both equally committed, and you’re able to listen and try to understand one another to the best of your ability, sustaining a happy, healthy relationship is well within reach.