How to overcome relationship anxiety
Oh man, I mean woman.
I always knew this day would come. The day when I would have to come clean.
I mean by now you probably know that I don’t claim to be perfect. On the contrary, I always try to share the mistakes I’m making, so that you can learn from them.
But this one, I’m not gonna lie is a little embarrassing. And I thought long and hard if I should really share it. But, here it finally is.
Hi, I’m Justine Mfulama, a dating & relationship blogger with relationship anxiety.
What is relationship anxiety?
Relationship anxiety is a term used to describe excessive feelings of worry, insecurity, and doubt in a relationship. If you constantly fear that your relationship may fail, even when things are going well that it’s a sign that you have relationship anxiety.
I know, because I deal with it myself.
Thanks to a whole decade of messed up dating & relationship dynamics, I still battle with feelings of anxiety when it comes to my now healthy relationship.
Know what I mean?
Meaning that I am so used to men ghosting and not committing to me, that when my boyfriend sets boundaries or asks for space, I get triggered.
I start to imagine all the reasons why it’s only a matter of time until he breaks up with me and how I am yet again not good enough.
Sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. And if you’re reading this, chances are you want to know how to stop overthinking in a relationship.
Thankfully, this is exactly what today’s article is all about. I’m sharing with you how to overcome relationship anxiety.
But first, we need to take a closer look at the root cause of why you worry so much about your relationship.
What causes relationship anxiety?
Relationship anxiety is caused by an anxious attachment style. Women with this attachment style tend to have a fear of abandonment and rejection rooted in past experiences.
As mentioned above, that is also where my relationship anxiety stems from. So you may not be surprised to hear that I’m 31% anxious attachment style.
What triggers relationship anxiety?
Now this is an important question to ask yourself. Just because you may have an anxious attachment style, doesn’t mean you always have to react in that way. Especially in healthy relationships.
So what triggers relationship anxiety? The answer is, relationship anxiety is triggered by uncertainty and a loss of control.
Every time you feel like you can’t control your partner’s behavior or feelings towards you, you find yourself excessively worrying and seeking validation from your boyfriend.
That’s why for someone who has an anxious attachment style, dating a man who is more on the avoidant spectrum can be triggering. But let’s not get into this now, because that deserves its own article.
Can anxiety ruin a relationship?
Yes and yes and yes. For a lot of women, relationship anxiety is the primary reason why a relationship fails. Behaviors such as jealousy, being controlling and even needy can seriously affect a relationship.
Your partner may feel like you don’t trust him, or are too clingy and therefore doesn’t enjoy the relationship anymore.
In many ways relationship anxiety triggers a self-fulfilling prophecy. What you fear the most is manifested because you fear it so much.
That’s why it’s important to learn how to overcome relationship anxiety if you desire to be in a healthy relationship.
How do you stop relationship anxiety?
1. Don’t allow your thoughts & emotions to control your actions
I know it’s easier said than done, but learning how to talk yourself out of an emotional takeover needs to become your most important skill.
Whenever you feel anxious and worried you have to challenge those thoughts. You can look for evidence that your thoughts are wrong or you can question each thought by remembering the actual truth.
- Did he really say he wants to break up?
- Did every guy break up with me in the past
- Will I really never get relationships right?
Pay attention to your thoughts and recognize that just because you think something, doesn’t make it true.
By doing that you prevent your negative thoughts from triggering negative emotions and influencing your actions.
2. Learn to self-soothe by releasing bottled-up emotions
This one is a big one for me. For a very long time I did not know how to deal with my own emotions. Every time I would feel overwhelmed by my anxiety I would start crying in front of my boyfriend, hoping he would calm me down.
However, rather than looking to someone else for help, you need to learn to self-soothe. What activity can you do to release emotions before they shut down your nervous system.
Meditation, prayer, er even working out are just a few of many things that can help. Find something that relaxes you and get in the habit of doing it whenever you can feel your relationship anxiety creeping up.
3. Learn to communicate your needs
One thing that I had to learn in my relationship is to communicate my needs properly. One of the deactivating strategies anxiously attached women like to use is silence and resentment. Which also happens to be my favorites.
In the past, I would often shut down when I was hurt in the hopes that my partner would read my thought and seek closeness again. Well, I’m sad to report that my boyfriend is not a mind reader.
Which means I had to learn to verbalize my needs.
Being able to communicate better alleviates a lot of misunderstanding and leads to more intimacy.
4. Remember who you are
One thing I find is that whenever I attach too much of my identity to the relationship, I tend to lose sight of who I am as a woman and become much more anxious.
It’s always like I forget that life as a single woman was pretty dope too and that there is a life outside of my relationships.
So, I make it a point to remind myself of who I am and how much I enjoy life. I go on solo dates regularly and spend time with my friends.
Knowing and believing that life is beautiful with or without a boyfriend removes some of the pressure you put on the relationship.
5. Tackle your insecurity
I know hearing the word insecurity tends to be hard. After all, admitting that your low self-esteem might be the reason for your relationship anxiety doesn’t feel good.
But owning up to it is the first step. And you would be surprised about how many girls struggle with insecurity. However, once you identify your insecurity you can actually tackle it and learn to build yourself up.
Make a list of all the reasons why you deserve to be loved. By writing down and looking at that list regularly you remind yourself of your own value and why your boyfriend chose to be with you in the first place.
Hopefully, these 5 tips will help you to overcome relationship anxiety.