12 Minutes

By THE BALANCE
Fact checked

Man is a social animal, and humans can not live alone in this world by instinctive nature. They need some empathic and benevolent relationships in the form of parents, family, friends, and life partners. The selfless affection of benevolence of these relationships gives motivation and courage to grow in life and fly higher and higher, catching the achievements in life. 

These generous relationships work as a helping and supporting hand as long as they are not associated with worry and mental agony. When your esteemed relationships pass through the phase of excessive concern, worrying, insecurity, and uneasy feelings, then this results in relationship anxiety. 

Whether you are new in a relationship with someone or record a long-term relationship, then relationship anxiety is prevalent these days, and it effortlessly makes your relationships toxic and your life uneasy.  A mild type of possessive feelings are typical in every relationship, but when a person becomes anxiously possessive about his relation, these feelings take the form of relationship anxiety. Relationship anxiety is directly interrelated to low self-esteem, negative thoughts, and traumatic feelings.

Anxiety in a relationship refers to the feelings of intense insecurity, worry, and doubt about a romantic or a friendly relationship. Relationship anxiety can appear at any stage of a relationship, just at the beginning or even when two partners have lived together for a long time. Probably, doctors are aware of this type of anxiety, but DSM-5 (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) does not include it. 

Unlike other forms such as panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, there are no specific guidelines to treat relationship anxiety. It comprises some characteristics of social anxiety disorder because both conditions can cause you to feel a lot of discomfort about rejection. Although many people can feel worried about acceptance and rejection in a relationship, anxiety gets worse when a person experiences such fear or worry. 

For example, anxiety tends to develop worries in a person about the future of a relationship. People with relationship anxiety may cut off their relationship because of fear or continue it with great tension. The effects of this anxiety can block a person’s ability to function correctly in the relationship.

Relationship anxiety can cause a partner to think about:

  • Is this person good for me?
  • Are they hiding something?
  • What if the relationship does not succeed?

Types Of Relationship Anxiety

Researchers at Case Western University discovered these four behaviors associated with relationship anxiety:

  • Cold: emotionally deep- someone who avoid intimacy
  • Nonassertive: do not have the ability to express needs, wants, and desires
  • Exploitable: self-sacrificing and pleasing
  • Intrusive: contacting someone constantly to alleviate feelings of anxiety

Relationship anxiety is mostly found recurring in children whose parents abandoned during childhood; they fear being abandoned by their partners in the same way. Relationship anxiety can take up many forms. Apparently, you are happy and satisfied with your connection, but in reality, you feel uncertain and quizzical about your partner somewhere deep down. It can be challenging to agree on whether you suffer from relationship anxiety or just regular possessive concerns. 

Given below potential indications of relationship anxiety will assist in settling upon this confusion:

  • Avoiding relationship breakthroughs
  • Questioning your loved one’s feelings
  • Doubting your nearest and dearest’s concerns about you 
  • Skepting about your aptness for a relationship
  • Over analyzing the actions and words of your loved ones
  • Wondering if your partner honestly has feelings for you
  • Utilizing more time in worrying about relationship rather than enjoying it
  • Looking forward to a constant easement and assurance from your partner
  • Being tacky many times because of a continual desire to be around your dear ones
  • Recurrently assuming that your partner wants to exit the relationship 
  • Wondering if you matter for your partner or not
  • Looking for reasons to breakup
  • Comparing your relationship with others
  • Insouboridating the relationship
  • Missing out on good times
  • Checking and investigating your partner’s texts
  • Being overly accommodating to your partner
  • Self-silencing
  • Extra demanding and controlling to your partner
  • Keeping secrets  

In many cases, it has been evident that when the uneasy and anxious feelings get out of control, the sufferer tends to opt for strategies to harm his relationship by moving away from his partner.

Relationships are the best__they can be full of fun, with late-night conversations, lots of laughter, and romantic dates. But it often can also cause worry and fear, and there are some common causes of relationship anxiety, as it turns out. Though knowing your anxiety cannot solve the feelings themselves, it will always be best to identify the problem, but finding it can also take time. There is not even a single clear cause of relationship anxiety. You might even go through a hard time while recognizing the potential causes on your own. But once you get it, you will have lots of chances to recover it within a short time. Some of the common causes are;

Long-Term Stress

When your partner or even you experience long-term stress, this can have a worse impact on your relationship. It can arise from factors like:

  • Illness
  • Work pressure
  • In-laws
  • Feeling trapped
  • Financial Strains

If you feel tensed, anxiety symptoms can cause stress with your partner and colleagues, and friends. Usually, stress gets over and over with time, and undoubtedly, long-term stress is a known cause of anxiety. It can also cause anxiety disorders.

Lost Trust

Trust loss is a widespread cause of anxiety. Loss of trust might be the result of:

  • Infidelity
  • When one person feels that they can no longer trust the other partner
  • From delaying or canceling the decided plans to just not following through on promises

Trust is crucial in a relationship, and if it’s gone, it requires patience, time, and effort to get it back. No matter the cause, but when the trust upon which the relationship stands is gone, it results in severe anxiety as you become doubtful of what to do with your life. 

Breakups

The people who have experienced the breakup of partnership or marriage can have high levels of anxiety. Whether it be a long-term relationship or just a time pass romance, the resulting insecurities, deprivation, feelings of loss, and inadequacy can have substantial emotional damage. 

Negativity

In a relationship, negativity can be a dangerous factor with communication that includes sarcasm, criticisms, or cracks at the other person. Daily negativity can be highly toxic for both partners and can lead to anxiety. 

Jealousy

Jealousy is also a significant cause of anxiety which has impacts on both partners. Disloyalty or loss of trust in either past or present relationships can trigger jealousy, the threat of being abandoned, neglected, or betrayed.  

Low Self-Esteem

Relationship anxiety is common for low-esteem sufferers. Living with poor evaluations of your self-worth and value can affect your life. In cases where a person fights with low self-esteem, it can raise an endless doubt about the honesty of a partner’s feelings for them. It can also increase feelings of unfaithfulness and other negative emotions that can endanger the future of a relationship.

Some other common reasons can also lead to relationship anxiety:

  • Early experiences
  • Lack of communication
  • Not taking your first relationship as serious as it should be
  • Absence of romance
  • An anxious attachment style
  • Fight eggshells
  • Money
  • Fear of losing love 

Researchers have discovered that worrying about relations all the time, being overreactive, and having persistent anxiety can limit your life expectancy. Anxiety and higher stress levels have highly adverse effects on your mental and physical well-being. So being free from relationship anxiety will lower the risk of various diseases, including heart diseases, and increase your life expectancy. 

By taking relationship anxiety, nothing changes, but your life and the life of your beloved ones become difficult. Instead of contemplating the potential issues of your relation, you can try to challenge the insecurities whenever they arise. Whenever these feelings tend to overpower you, you need to focus on your critical inner voice. If you can successfully recognize your inner voice, then you will proficiently challenge yourself and will not let your anxiety impact your relationship. By practicing the following activities, you can initially suppress your relationship anxiety and can finally get rid of it:

Execute Mindful Listening

Mindful listening is efficiently evident in nurturing your relationships and assisting you in overcoming tensing and distressing thoughts. Mindfulness improves your relationship and reduces stress and worry by aiding in settling conflicts quickly. People practicing mindful listening report a greater sense of satisfaction in their relationship. This mindful listening practice will support you to communicate with your partners effectively, understand their conversation positively, and absorb their perspectives optimistically. 

Stop Comparing Your Relation With The Relationships Of Other People

Comparing relationships with someone else’s relationship is very common and is a potential cause of relationship anxiety. Practicing comparison in a relationship can be toxic and cause the deprivation of happiness and satisfaction from your relationship and, in adverse cases, can result in termination of your relationship. To stop this comparison, you need to look at the potential variables of your relation and connection that make it different and unique from other ties and connections. 

Accept That You Cannot Supervise Your Partner’s Actions

A controlling attitude restrains a relationship from growing positively. To stay happy, you need to acknowledge that you can not control and supervise every action of your partner. Being controlling often meets with resistance, pushes your partner in the opposite direction, and instigates him to do the reverse of what you demand. If you try to communicate with your partner, it will help to satiate some of your anxious feelings.

Feeling anxious is uncomfortable, so different ways can help to cope with such feelings as given below:

Communicate Your Feelings

To shake off anxiety, it’s necessary to have honest conversations with your partner about your dreams, worries, and expectations about the future. Share your doubts with your partner, and this will always undo making up scenarios that will have only the worse outcomes. Speaking undoubtedly with your partner avoids the uncertainties that can encourage stress, leaving room for a flourishing appreciation of a relationship. 

Enjoy The Present

Whenever you find that your brain has started to wonder about the future of your relationship, then you should stop it and should always try to enjoy the present. Considering whether your partner will be in your life in the next five years or not, or if they’ll find you desirable in the coming months, will only take away your current cherishing moments. To manage anxieties, be happy with your current reality, and enjoy the happiness of being with a life partner who you have chosen and who has also chosen to be with you in your whole life. 

Confront Your Anxiety

It may sound hurtful to confront your anxieties while trying to get over them, but this is one of the most potent ways to control your emotions. 

Anxiety Attack Symptoms and Treatment

Are you stressed because of a failed past relationship? Possibly you worry about not being best enough for love. Questioning the reasons for your relationship anxiety can help you to recognize the problem and tackle it.

Some other ideas that can help to prevent relationship anxiety are:

  • Maintain your identity
  • Try being more mindful
  • Avoid acting on your feelings
  • Learn to self-soothe by releasing hidden emotions 
  • Never allow your thoughts and emotions to control your actions
  • Tackle your insecurities
  • Remember who you are
  • Increase your confidence by overcoming critical or negative self-talk
  • Be intentional about the partner you pick
  • Use anxiety-reduction strategies to manage better your relationships anxiety, such as exercise and yoga. 

If you are going through some hard-line times to manage your anxiety, you should talk to a therapist. It’s also an outstanding way to learn how to cope with relationship anxiety. For relationship anxiety, therapies can be beneficial. 

They can help you both:

  • Hear each other’s experiences without defensiveness or judgment
  • Understand each other’s and also your feelings and basic needs
  • Show your care in such ways that can help to calm and relieve anxiety

In many situations, getting a doctor’s help to manage your anxiety can be the best opinion to keep it under control. Through therapy, you can receive appropriate guidance to change dysfunctional and negative thoughts about yourself, your attitude, and your self-worth towards your partner. 

Types Of Therapies To Heal Relationship Anxiety

  • Imago relationship therapy (IRT) is a specific couple counseling designed to improve understanding, communication, and closeness between partners. 
  • Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) is constructive in reducing negative feelings between couples such as distrust and anger, the significant causes of relationship anxiety.
  • Narrative therapy treats negative thoughts that can cause relationship anxiety; it has also shown success in helping people with anger, depression, and body image issues.
  • Gottman method therapy is helpful to reduce negative verbal communication and replace it with intimacy, positive dialogue, increasing sympathy, and respect.
  • Integrative behavioral couple therapy (IBCT) is one of the most recent therapies related to relationships. It proves much beneficial in improving communication between both partners and how they interact with each other.

Such therapies can help relieve some primary causes so that this becomes easy for you to manage your anxiety to prevent everlasting damage to the relationship.

Suppose you are confronting similar or near similar indications as mentioned earlier of relationship anxiety. In that case, you need to critically look for a test to confirm whether you are suffering from relationship anxiety or this is just usual routine-based possessiveness. The self answer to the following questions will let you evaluate whether you are a relationship anxiety sufferer or not:

  • Are you truthful and loyal with your partner?
  • Do your partner finds you entertaining and enjoy your company?
  • Do your partner holds you in high regard?
  • Is your partner takes an interest in your life and the details of it?
  • Do you anticipate the time that you and your partner spend together?
  • Do you and your partner trust each other?
  • Do your partner let you hold your own opinions?
  • Are you in a relationship that you constantly desired?
  • Do your partner supports you when things do not go well?
  • Is your partner grateful and respects what you do?
  • Can you rely on your partner if you need him?
  • Do your partner considers your relationship as the most crucial relationship in his life?
  • Are you optimistic about your relationship?
  • Is your relationship passionate?
  • Is your partner a primary source of emotional stability for you?

Suppose the answer to most of the above questions is yes. In that case, you are entitled to be congratulated because you are enjoying a healthy relationship, and you don’t need to worry about yourself suffering from relationship anxiety.

We need to learn the relationship statistics cautiously because a balanced calculation will never indulge you in a toxic and tensing relationship. We know that worrying about relationships is a normal tendency, but the problem is explained by excessive worrying. You need to take into account the challenging fact that no relationship in this universe is absolute. 

You can put your conscious efforts into avoiding relationship anxiety by quietening your minds from constant and excessive questioning and enjoying your time with your loved ones rather than wasting it on useless thoughts. Your partners are also humans; you should try to give them their space, respect their feelings, and listen to their opinions and suggestions. 

Once you start understanding your partner, your anxious thoughts will gradually go away. Because if you make an effort to get out of your relationship anxiety by opting for the techniques mentioned above and therapies, your troubling life will change into a worth living life.

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