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4 min read

Is your inner voice holding you back from happiness?
For many people, a relationship can be a powerful and pleasurable experience, complete with everything from adult toys to picnics. After all, what could be better than finding someone you can not only explore the delights of intimacy with, but also lean on for strength and comfort in times of need?
A great relationship can be the fuel that inspires us in our daily lives, and the fire that maintains our happiness when challenges abound.
Unfortunately, relationships are also a breeding ground for feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. While there's nothing wrong with feeling nervous about your relationship from time to time, the problems start when your relationship anxiety forces you to act in a way that damages your relationship.
What is Relationship Anxiety?
The term "relationship anxiety" doesn't refer to the butterflies you feel in your stomach when trying on a new set of lingerie for your other half, or planning a romantic event.

 

Instead, relationship anxiety is the stress and strain that comes from constantly asking yourself questions like:

  •         Does (he/she) really like me?
  •         Is this relationship serious?
  •         Where are we going with this relationship?
  •         Will this work out?

Whether you've been with your other half for ten days, or ten years, these pervasive thoughts can leave you biting your nails, and wondering about how much of your emotional energy you should really be investing into your current relationship.

After all, nobody wants to set themselves up for pain, and we all know how horrible it can be to be the victim of a broken relationship, or a rejection.

Worrying about your relationship can make you feel isolated, and panicked. For some people, it's the perfect excuse to start building walls between themselves and their partners to avoid heartache.

At its worst, relationship anxiety can even tell us we should give up on love, or that we don't deserve it.

So, what causes relationship anxiety, and what can you do to stop it from destroying your romantic experiences?

Where Does Relationship Anxiety Come From?

Falling in love is an unpredictable, scary experience. While we all crave affection, the more we place value on someone else in our lives, the more we believe we have to lose if something goes wrong.

Relationship anxiety comes from the fear of being hurt. It stems from the belief that if we can control our feelings, we can somehow save ourselves from heartbreak.

At a certain level, psychologists believe that we're all a little afraid of intimacy, because when we find something we enjoy, we don't want to lose it. Often, our relationship anxiety is most potent when we're getting exactly what we want. We start to tell ourselves that we don't deserve the love we're getting, or that we're going to lose it, because we're afraid of missing out.

Sometimes, your fear of intimacy may be influenced by the experiences you've had in the past - those bad relationships from years ago, or even the bonds you built with family members growing up. For other people, relationship anxiety is just a natural response to the unknown.

The Symptoms of Relationship Anxiety

Listening to that little voice inside your head that criticizes everything you do, and tells you that your relationship simply can't last, opens the door for behaviors that might be completely out of the ordinary for you.

For instance, people suffering from relationship can exhibit symptoms like:

  •         Clinginess: Let's face it, we all get a little obsessive with our other half from time to time, but relationship anxiety can make this even worse, forcing us to rely completely on our boyfriends or girlfriends for support.
  •         Rejection: If you're terrified that your partner is going to leave you, you might think that the best thing you can do is beat them to it. That's why some people suffering from relationship anxiety reject their partners, or break away from the relationship.
  •         Isolation:Sometimes, instead of outright rejecting your partner, you might give them the cold shoulder, building a wall between you that you think will stop you from getting hurt. Unfortunately, this just punishes your partner for something they haven't yet done.
  •         Retreating:When you feel scared or overwhelmed in a relationship, you might start to retreat from reality, and begin comparing your lover to some fantasy ideal of what romance can be. This makes it easier for you to withdraw from the relationship.
  •         Control:When you feel threatened that you're going to lose your loved one, you might try to take control of the relationship to stop that from happening - and not in a sexy way. By trying to control everything your other half does, you're more likely to breed resentment than attraction.

Overcoming Relationship Anxiety

Relationship anxiety is an incredibly common, and natural part of getting into a relationship. Even if you don't feel it towards the beginning of your courtship, there's a good chance that anxiety will begin to rear its ugly head the more attached you become to your partner.

The good news?

It is completely possible to leave feelings of relationship anxiety behind you, and throw yourself into the wild and mysterious experience of love. 

For most people, overcoming relationship anxiety is all about living life in the moment, and focusing on what's going on inside of our own heads, rather than what's happening within the relationship.

Think carefully about your anxieties, and what thoughts you've been having that could be making your fears worse.

For instance, are you constantly telling yourself that your partner is too good for you? If so, what has led you to that conclusion, and how can you challenge the thought, to help you approach your feelings from a different angle.

Overcoming relationship anxiety, and making the most out of the connections you make with other people, often begins by repairing the relationship you have with yourself.

By questioning your thought processes, and thinking more realistically about the things that scare you, you can begin to realize that most of your fears are totally unfounded.

In our next blog post, we investigate ways to help you challenge and improve those thought processes. Keep an eye out for it - coming soon!

Have you had problems with relationship anxiety before? What did you do to overcome them?

Let us know in the comments! 


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