Relationship anxiety can see us thinking and behaving in ways we are so uncomfortable with, we sabotage the very relationship we actually want.
Do you have relationship anxiety?
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What is relationship anxiety?
Anxiety is the mind throwing us into a state of irrational thinking about the past (what has happened) and the future (what will happen) until we feel fearful. It robs us of the one place we can relax and be ourselves – the present moment.
Anxiety in relationships happens when the more we like someone and they like us back, the more we feel stressed and unable to be ourselves. A simple date can send us into a sleepless night worried about each little thing we said and did. And the more the relationship continues, the more we can be caught up in irrational doubt and fear.
But what we want to focus on here is the behaviours that show you have relationship anxiety. They can be things that are so second nature to you you think you are just ‘doomed’. You don’t realise that actually, you are anxious. And anxiety can be treated. We CAN change.
Look what relationship anxiety made you do…
Do these behaviours driven by relationship anxiety sound familiar?
Doubts – you really like someone but then when they like you back you start to doubt if you do.
Different energy – you get oddly excitable and buzzy around your partner, or go quiet. Either way, it’s not the normal you.
Blathering – you find you say a lot of stupid things around him/her, or can’t stop talking.
Tension and sabotage – before a date you feel more and more tense until you can’t find
‘Attachment theory’ proposes we all need at least one caregiver that we can totally trust to be there for us from minimum birth to aged seven. This adult gives us the love and safety we need, no matter we do or say.
If you don’t get this sort of unconditional support as a child, you end up with ‘attachment issues‘ as an adult.
One of these is called ‘anxious attachment’. This means that your caregiver was inconsistent with their love and care.
You never knew when love and affection would be given or withdrawn, and learned to be on guard for signs. Or perhaps you had to be a ‘good, quiet’ child to get any attention or avoid punishment. You could never relax and be yourself.
Trauma also destroys our self-esteem. We develop an inner critic always telling us the ways we don’t measure up. And this voice ratchets up when someone else dares to like us, and prove the opposite. We are left anxious.
3. You were taught to be anxious in relationships.
Another factor can be the way relationships were modelled to you when you were growing up. A mother who had experienced childhood sexual abuse, for example, might teach her daughters to be scared of men.
How can I get over my relationship anxiety?
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