Dating someone with anxiety can get complicated. Your partner’s constant worrying and paranoia can make you want to jump ship. However, they are the ones who need help in such situations.
Anxiety issues make it difficult for people to function in social situations, whether at work, school, home with family members, or even with friends. When you love someone with anxiety issues, you need to learn how to handle their symptoms. Read our article to understand how you can better manage your partner with anxiety and what you need to do.
In This Article
How Anxiety Can Impact Your Relationship
1. Worrying About Everything: Anxiety may make your partner worry about every situation, even the past. They can become anxious about things that could happen even if they are unlikely to occur.
2. Being Overly Sensitive: The way your partner is wired, they may get more nervous and easily upset about the smallest of things in the relationship.
3. Causing Them To Be Needy: Anxiety may make your partner become over-dependent on you. This means they may need constant reassurance and time with you to feel comfortable.
4. Being Overwhelmed: It can often be best for anxious partners if they have some alone time to recollect themselves emotionally. They might require more space and time than others to feel grounded.
5. Worrying About Your Feelings: If you are dating someone with anxiety, they will often worry about your thoughts or feelings towards them. This might make them jump the gun and reach conclusions, especially in cases of poor communication.
6. Fear Of Rejection: An anxious partner may not always be comfortable opening up, even if it means that the relationship is suffering due to lack of communication.
7. Fear Of Failing At A Promise: An anxious partner may be fearful about not keeping promises or meeting expectations. It is important to help them relax by talking openly about what might go wrong so you can prepare together. This will help them be more comfortable with the situation and the fact that they didn’t let you down.
8. Dreading Social Situations: Your partner may want to avoid social activities, such as large gatherings or parties. Being constantly unsure of how things will turn out may make them overthink about social events. They may even avoid business trips or vacations because of their need to feel safe.
9. Being Overly Jealous: If your partner has anxiety, they might also be worried about other people interested in you. They may overthink about you cheating on them, making it difficult to relax. As a result, they might be jealous and possessive of you.
10. Blowing Things Out Of Proportion: Anxiety can make your partner blow things out of proportion in their head. Even small problems or doubts may seem like big issues for them than they are. It is best to help them feel comfortable by talking about their concerns.
Here are few tips that will help you better manage the anxious behavior of your partner, rather than let it take over your relationship.
How To Cope With An Anxious Partner
1. Learn About Anxiety
Have an open, ongoing discussion about anxiety and the feelings associated with it. Set aside a fixed time once a week to:
- Talk about anxiety and how it impacts your relationship.
- What can each of you do to manage behaviors that may be difficult for the other person?
- How does the relationship change when a partner suffers from anxiety?
- Who will take on different roles in managing anxiety?
2. Make Efforts To Understand Your Partner
Figure out what can trigger your partner’s anxiety and how you can support them when these triggers occur. For example, if your partner goes to the movies often, maybe you can try going with them sometime. This will help them feel better and not be anxious due to social triggers.
3. Learn To Be More Patient
Patience is key for a healthy relationship. Don’t expect your partner to change overnight. Acknowledge that everyone has their flaws. It is important to give them time and not get easily angry. Understand that anxiety may trigger chaotic thoughts in your partner.
4. Identify What Makes Your Partner Feel Loved
When your partner feels anxious, they need more reassurance. So, hug them often and tell them how proud you are of them. Despite the anxiety, they are working hard to be a good partner and friend. Anxiety can bring a lot of change to your relationship. Both of you must remain open-minded about it to manage anxious behavior and deal with it positively.
5. Show That You Care
Remind your partner that you are there for them and you care about what they go through. However, does not reinforce the cause of their anxiety. Remember that anxiety is a real illness; therefore, it is okay for you to feel frustrated or angry. But refrain from taking out these negative emotions on your anxious partner. It will only make the situation worse.
6. Don’t Judge Your Partner
You need to be aware that the lack of control associated with anxiety can cause erratic behavior. Even your smallest actions may seem like a big deal to them, so don’t judge them for it. Just talk about it and try to find a solution (without being condescending).
7. Realize That Anxiety Is A Real Disease
Remember that your partner’s feelings are not simply caused by worry or overthinking. Anxiety isn’t something that can be easily overcome with positive thinking or willpower. Everyone has a different experience with this illness, and not all anxiety disorders are the same.
8. Consider Seeing A Couples Counselor
If nothing seems to be working, couples counseling is your best option. Therapy may help you work together on your relationship while learning about anxiety disorders. This can benefit the relationship in the long run.
9. Find Ways To Mitigate Your Anxiety
If you are dealing with the anxiety of any kind, remember that you are not alone. Reach out for support and understand the impact your actions have on your partner. Try to calm yourself instead of taking it out on your partner.
Anxiety often means that your partner is constantly on edge, fearing what something could lead to. This means that they may become irritable or easily upset. Whatever the case, it always helps to talk openly about how they feel so that you can be honest about what you are feeling and reassure them that everything is going well.
Here are a few ways things to keep in mind while dealing with a partner with anxiety issues:
What You Should Not Do If Your Partner Has Anxiety Issues
- Don’t pressurize them to talk about it. Give them proper time and space to come out to you.
- Avoid making assumptions about your partner’s feelings and experiences. This may only make you look insensitive.
- Try not to make things all about you. It will show them that you are concerned about their well-being and do not take them for granted.
- If your partner feels like they need professional help, do not oppose the idea. Be supportive and realize that it does not mean that the relationship is in trouble or won’t work out.
- Do not blame your partner for their anxiety.
- Do not try to be their therapist. Not only do you not have medical experience, but it will also make them feel uncomfortable to open up about personal matters with someone they are romantically involved with.
- Don’t lose your temper or patience just because it flares up. Remember how hard it is for them.
- Do not try to fix your partner. They might already feel like they are broken and want to find ways to improve their situation on their own.
- Never suggest drugs for their anxiety without consulting a doctor.
Dating someone with anxiety can be challenging. If you are confused about handling your partner’s situation, ask them how they would like to be supported and respect their wishes. Hopefully, the two of you will find ways to overcome the initial awkwardness and develop a stronger bond.
Be loving, caring, and compassionate. If their anxiety gets severe and interferes with your daily life, don’t wait to take action. Seek help from a licensed mental health professional. Remember, it is never too late to start taking care of yourself or your partner.
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