Anxiety in a relationship- 200 shocking truths
What is Relationship anxiety?
It is a form of anxiety with reference to romantic relationships. Relationships can be source of pleasure and happiness. It may tend to make you feel complete and desired.
However, instead of being happy, a person suffering from this relationship anxiety disorder constantly doubts the strength of their love. It refers to those feelings of worry, insecurity, and doubts which sabotage a relationship instead of strengthen it.
You may develop these feelings of anxiety towards your partner even if everything is going relatively well.
These sorts of questions and continuous worries about your partner and yourself keep popping up in your mind again and again like:
- Whether I am correct for this person and probably vice versa also. Whether this person is really right for me?
- Will this relationship last?
- Whether I would be able to give 100 percent to this relationship?
- Is my partner hiding some dark secret from me?
This constant worrying about your relationship and your partner is relationship anxiety.
You would be surprised to know that relationship anxiety is very common. Some people experience relationship anxiety during the start of a relationship, before they know their partner has an equal interest in them.
Some experience relationship anxiety disorder even before their relationship has started. And some experiences relationship anxiety years after they have been in a committed relationship.
If you are not dealing with this disorder at the very start, over a period of time it can lead to:
- emotional distress
- lack of motivation
- fatigue or emotional exhaustion
- stomach upset and other physical concerns
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How do I know that I am experiencing Relationship Anxiety?
It is normal to have some level of anxiety in a relationship especially at the start of the relationship when you are not so sure about the interest of your partner towards you.
So, you need not get worried about it as this phase will pass with mutual trust developing between you and your partner.
However, if this continuous worry is affecting you too much or is hampering your daily activities; then you may be suffering from relationship anxiety disorder.
Here are some potential signs which will help you in determining whether or not you are experiencing this disorder:
1. Questioning oneself if you matter to your partner
The basic assumption of a good healthy relationship is the connection, belongingness and feeling of security which your partner provides you. You start questioning the very basis of your relationship. These kinds of worries might be coming to your mind like:
- Will my partner miss me if I am not around?
- My partner love or like me for what I am doing towards him rather than for what I am. If I stop doing those things; he might not be really interested in me.
- Will he would offer me support if anything serious came up
2. Being skeptical of your partner’s feelings for you
You both have committed yourself to each other and there have been exchange of romantic interest towards each other. You both have gone for dates and enjoy each other’s company. You know that your partner is happy with this relationship and makes some kind gestures also towards expressing it.
However, you have this constant skepticism in your mind- : “They don’t really love me.”
When they suddenly seem a little distant, you wonder if their feelings towards the relationship have changed.
Everyone feels this way from time to time in a relationship, however if these worries are continuously nagging you; then probably you have a relationship anxiety disorder.
3. Distressing yourself that they might want to break up
Everybody in a good healthy relationship wants to hold on to feelings of being loved, secured and happy. It is absolutely normal to feel that nothing should happen to disrupt this meaningful important relationship.
But relationships do break because of many issues and reasons which may and may not be in control of either or both the partners.
The thoughts- that your partner will leave you and no more desire you or want a breakup; when they turn into fear; you are suffering from relationship anxiety disorder.
This anxiety can become problematic when you adjust your behavior in order to secure keep the relationship going.
For example, you might:
- avoid discussing issues, such as wishing birthdays of parents and relatives, that are important to you in a relationship
- Ignore when your partner does things that you do not like, such as coming late for a date frequently.
- worry a lot about them getting mad at you, even if they don’t seem angry
4. Doubting long-term compatibility
Relationship anxiety can cause you to ask yourself- whether you and your partner are truly made for each other.
Are you both truly compatible with each other?
These questions might come to your mind even when there are no differences between you and your partner and everything is going great in your relationship.
5. Sabotaging the relationship
You are trying to test your partner by doing/acting things which might damage your relationship like:
- unnecessarily, getting into arguments with your partner
- Not allowing them to comfort you even when you are in stress by insisting that nothing is wrong with you.
You may not do these things intentionally, but the underlying motive — whether you know it or not — is usually to find out whether or not and how much your partner cares.
6. Reading too much into your partner’s words and actions
You have started to overanalyze everything including whatever your partner has said and done and probably not also.
For example, your partner has set out your favorite meal on the table just to make you happy. You are happy. But at the back of the mind, you are questioning yourself.
Why has he done this entire cooking? Why does he want to please me? Is he feeling guilty for yesterday’s actions?
7. Missing out on the good times
If you are continuously worrying about the relationship than enjoying the relationship, you are probably experiencing relationship anxiety disorder.
When there is some problem going on between you and your partner; you may feel this way. But if you feel this way more often than not, you’re probably dealing with some relationship anxiety.
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What causes Relationship Anxiety?
These are some common reasons that might have led you to develop this relationship anxiety disorder.
· Previous relationship experiences
If the experiences of your past relationship/s have not been good, this might tend to affect your present relationship even if you might not be aware of it. You are at high risk of developing this disorder if a past partner:
- Has broken up relationship all of a sudden and unexpectedly.
- Lied about how they feel for you.
- Cheated on you and this has left mental and emotional scars on you.
If you were in a relationship which had been traumatic or given you bad memories; it becomes difficult to put your faith again in somebody.
Certain factors whether you are aware of them or not, can still remind you of the past experience and provoke doubt and insecurity.
· Low self-esteem
People with low self-esteem sometimes may suffer from relationship insecurity and anxiety. They often tend to question themselves and at the same time their partner also.
However, people who are more confident about themselves tended to affirm themselves through their relationship when they experienced self-doubt.
· An unending question disposition
You are in the habit of asking lot of questions and need answers to them also. This is not always problematic.
However, it becomes an issue only when you find yourself trapped in a never ending pattern of questioning about your relationship and self-doubt that doesn’t go anywhere productive.
How can I deal with Relationship Anxiety Disorder?
The very first step towards dealing with relationship anxiety disorder is to accept that you are experiencing this disorder and you convey your feelings to your partner and take responsibility for how you are feeling towards the relationship.
You and your partner either singly or together can then work out strategies towards alleviating the symptoms and working towards a more fulfilling relationship for both of you.
With some time, effort and support from your partner; it is possible to overcome this disorder.
· Communicate your expectations and feelings in a non accusatory way
It is very much necessary to be clear in your relationship about the expectations and clarify whatever is hanging in your mind from the start of the relationship.
The stressors or the triggers which are causing you anxious feelings need to be communicated to your partner so that even he is aware of the same.
Sometimes, we imagine that our partner knows about what is bothering us; which might not be true.
Just remember that the discussion should be brought in a manner which is not hurting or accusing towards your partner.
· Avoid acting on your feelings
Feeling anxious about your relationship or your partner can sometimes make you want proof that everything is all right.
It’s natural to want to reassure yourself, but resist the impulse to find this proof in unhelpful or harmful ways. When you feel these impulses, try to distract yourself with some deep breathing, a walk or jog, or a quick phone call to a close friend.
· Maintain individuality and accept that you can’t control everything your partner does.
It is natural that as you become we from I; there are some changes/ adjustments to be done in your life in order to accommodate your partner. However, remember that there is no need to change one.
Your partner has liked and loved you for what you are and how you have been.
Changing oneself to please the partner doesn’t go a long way in a relationship. It neither keeps you happy nor your partner.
Also, in the same way your partner is also an individual self. He might like doing something which you do not like. Try not to control or ask him to change something just to please you. You don’t have to control each and every action of your partner. This sabotages the relationship.
Rather; maintain you and your individuality in the relationship to keep a healthy relationship.
· Consult a therapist
It is possible that you have given efforts from your side to work on relationship anxiety; however you are still finding it difficult to let go of those unwanted anxious thoughts.
In this case; it is advisable that you take help of a relationship counselor or a therapist.
A therapist will make you learn how to cope with the effects of relationship anxiety.
- He will get you an idea of what is damaging your relationship.
- He will help you identify the stressors which might be causing you this disorder.
- He would listen to both sides with neutrality without judgment or defensiveness.
- He will show you care in ways that will soften or calm the anxiety.
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