Freedom from Relationship Anxiety
Relationships! The most wonderful thing in the world or anxiety inducing. If it’s the latter, then you’re in the right place for some advice. Read on for information about freedom from relationship anxiety.
For some of us the word relationships invokes happy thoughts. Thoughts of real joy and happiness, going out on wonderful dates, happy memories and building an utterly amazing life together. For some of us, the word relationship invokes feelings of doubt, insecurities, and anxiety. We desperately want a relationship but the thought of finding one brings real doubts, lack of control and never feeling enough for out partner. This is called relationship anxiety and can put a stop to a relationship before it’s even properly begun ( I remember this all too well!)
First of all, relationship anxiety is completely normal — it can affect anyone!
It refers to feelings of worry, dread, and insecurity, even if things are actually going well. It often takes the form of intrusive thoughts like, I’m not good enough, what if they’re hiding a secret from me. What if I can’t keep this relationship going. Doubts and insecurities surface. These doubts and insecurities can do real damage to your mental health and to your relationship.
This is why it’s so important to recognise this damaging behaviour and do something about it now. If you don’t you can set a negative pattern for the rest of your life.
What are some of the signs you’re looking for?
Before you can fix the problem, you need to identify it. Relationship anxiety can take many forms, and that’s why it’s so important to recognise then understand it. Only then can you move forward to dealing with it.
Doubting your partners feelings for you.
This is a big one. If you have doubts about your partners feelings for you, you’ll question every little thing. These doubts will set the seed for a doomed relationship. You’ll begin to think, what if they’re just leading me on. Or they say they love me, but I’m just not sure I believe them. These doubts are often underpinned by how we feel about ourselves. If we can’t trust ourselves, how do we trust someone else. While doubts are quite normal, anxiety induced doubts aren’t grounded in reality and can destroy a relationship. Before you can truly trust and believe in someone you have to trust and believe in yourself.
Fear of breaking up.
This fear is often rooted in a lack of control. You feel constantly afraid that your partner is going to end things, even if you have no valid reason for thinking this. You really believe every argument or disagreement is the end of the relationship. You stop being yourself just so you don’t disagree. You lose your own unique perspective. You end up agreeing just so it doesn’t cause a problem. Genuine communication stops! This then leads to a barrier between you when there was no genuine barrier in the first place. The relationship ends, simply because you expected it to.
Lack of trust
You might start doubting what your partner says. You might even believe they’re having an affair, without any actual evidence. There might be times you scroll through their phone, looking for evidence of texts/emails which doesn’t exist. Once trust is gone, the relationship can be gone. This fear is often rooted in a lack of control. If you have issues around trust, you need to deal with them. Ultimately lack of trust will lead to a relationship break down. It will drive your partner away. Lack of trust can often be rooted in your own anxiety. Talking to someone will help you overcome these fears and anxieties. You can then move forward and live the life you really want.
If you have anxiety, you will have a tendency to overthink everything. Every aspect of your relationship. From the ‘what ifs to the ‘what happens when’. You will over analyse every aspect of your relationship. Then you’ll miss out on the really wonderful present moment feelings. Remember though, anxiety is not grounded in reality. It makes us question every little thing. We create scenarios that will never exist. Anxiety stops us fully living our life.
Anxiety stops us being comfortable in talking to our partner. Every response gets questioned and analysed. We stop enjoying being in the moment. You end up being cautious about what you say, because you’re afraid of the response. Overthinking stops us being who we genuinely want to be. We lose spontaneity because we can’t stop analysing. It’s not easy being like this, believe me I know from experience. But experience has also taught me that you can overcome it. I was like this for years. It affected everything I did. Fortunately, I got help and now live a happy life. Don’t let overthinking stop you from living the life you want and totally deserve.
Constantly seeking reassurance
You do love me, right?
You’re not just saying that to make me feel happy?
You’re not going to break up with me, are you?
These statements are forms of seeking constant reassurance. When you have relationship anxiety you can often seek reassurance that everything is going well. You need to know how your partner feels about the relationship all the time. You stop trusting yourself and them. You want to know things are going ok. This type of behaviour can damage a relationship and drive your partner away. They’re rooted in our own doubts, insecurities, and anxieties. To overcome this need for constant reassurance we have to address our own needs first. If you build up your own confidence and self-belief you won’t need to constantly seek reassurance from someone else. You’ll be comfortable with who you are. Once you have this you’ll move forward with assurance and your relationship will flourish. Doubts and insecurities will simply fade away.
So what causes this anxiety?
It comes from our own deep-rooted insecurities that we have been carrying around for a long time. Often from our own childhood experiences or early romantic relationships. Poor experiences, unless addressed will lead onto our belief that all relationships will have a negative outcome. Some specific reasons are:
We’ve been let down in the past
If you were treated badly in the past, you might expect that this will happen again. This is normal. We want to protect ourselves. By taking previous experiences into our present relationships though can be damaging. Just because it wasn’t great in the past does not mean it will be this way again. You have to be mindful of any baggage you carry and try to be self-aware, so you don’t bring your doubts and insecurities into the present. Be careful not to let any anxieties from the past trigger a negative response in the present.
You suffer from low self-esteem and self-belief.
There is plenty of evidence out there that low self-esteem and self-belief will get in the way of a happy and fulfilled relationship. It is a major cause of relationship anxiety. Your own feelings about yourself often get projected onto a new relationship. If you don’t feel great about yourself, why would you believe that the relationship will work out. If you’re not happy in your own skin, you’ll honestly believe that no one else will be happy with you. Build your self-esteem and self-belief and your confidence will grow. People will notice this, and they’ll be attracted to you. Work on your self-doubts and insecurities and the rest will follow. The best relationships truly start with you.
I could write a whole series of blog posts on attachment styles and how they affect our relationships. But I’ll keep this brief. Basically we have 4 attachment styles: secure, anxious, avoidant and anxious avoidant.
We will adopt an attachment style depending on how we grew up, our relationship with our parents, and our early lifestyle experiences. Depending on how we grew up, we’ll live with a type of attachment style which then impacts all our significant relationships. It’s certainly worth doing a bit of self-reflection and research to get a deeper understanding of your own attachment style.
Depending on what your primary style is, it will have a significant impact on how you respond to others, and how your relationship develops. Some have said that once you have a particular attachment style you’ll live with this forever. I disagree. It can be changed. It takes work, but you can definitely change the way you respond to others. You can overcome difficult childhood and early years experiences. It all begins with self-awareness. If you recognise that your early experiences are impacting on your present experiences, then this is a real start that leads to real change. It is definitely worth exploring this further, as your early experiences impact deeply on the present. If you want to chat further about this, I’m happy to discuss it with you. If you want stronger and happier relationships, it’s something I can help you with.
The bottom line
If you’re experiencing any of the above, don’t despair. There are solutions to your problem. Relationship anxiety does NOT have to be relationship ending. There are all sorts of ways to deal with it depending on what you want help with.
If it’s deeper rooted, then coaching will help you understand then find a solution for your longer-term relationship anxieties.
If you just have a few worries but think you’re doing ok, then maybe something like meditation might help relax you. There’s also plenty of more basic stress reduction and anxiety management techniques I can help you with.
Exercise is also a fantastic way of de-stressing and using of some of that excess adrenalin anxiety can cause. It can help you to switch off and get things in perspective.
A combination of all 3 is a really powerful way to deal with your anxiety, and then you’ll feel happier, more confident and ready to get out there and begin life again with newfound resilience. If life is getting you down and you despair of ever getting the relationship you want, let’s have a chat.
You see I totally get what it’s like. I lived this way for many years. Going from one disastrous relationship to another. I felt like I’d be alone forever. Finally I got help and now live a really happy life with my wife and dog. I genuinely believe that with my own experiences, and extensive training I can get you to where you want to be. Just contact me by clicking here or fill in the form below and we’ll get started on your journey to a new and wonderful life.