Updated: Jun 22
Relationships come in and out of our lives constantly; friendships, lovers, family… There are many different types of relationships but they all come with their positives and negatives. Relationships can bring a lot of stress upon a person which can then manifest into anxiety so how do we deal with that.
Romantic relationships are the most common to cause anxiety. You get involved with someone and things are great initially. As time goes on, you notice each others flaws but also expect more from one another which puts a lot of strain on a relationship.
You may feel anxious because your partner is putting a lot of pressure on you. They may want you to behave a certain way or stop doing certain things. When people expect others to follow their set of rules in life, it usually isn’t healthy and is an unrealistic expectation.
You may feel anxious that your partner won’t like you for you once they begin to see your flaws. Initially, we try to present the most desirable version of ourselves, which although is true, it is not the version that is always shown. The hidden flaws may end up feeling like a dirty secret that you need to hide, but you don’t feel like you can anymore.
You may feel anxious in your relationship because your partner is trying to put you down. They may be making comments to lower your self-worth and keep you feeling trapped with them. Often this type of relationship anxiety leads a person to believe that no-one else could love them.
There is a common factor running across those various situations and that is honesty. If partners have open and honest communication with one another, anxiety is unlikely to develop (because of the relationship). It’s also to be honest with yourself so that you can develop the type of relationship you want.
If you are already suffering from anxiety within the relationship, the first step is to try and find the trigger. Is it a certain situation, or is it when a certain topic is discussed etc. Once you find this, you can then find ways of altering the situation to hopefully lower the anxiety.
For example, if you feel anxious when your partner says something, speak to them about it. Explain to them the effect of those worse on you. If they didn’t realise before, now they can try to work things differently. If they don’t care, then maybe that isn’t a relationship you want to be in anymore.
Being honest with yourself means understanding what you want from a relationship and a partner. Then having that open line of communication means that you can talk to them about it and build a strong relationship together. It may also be that you want different things and although it may be hard, it may be time to go your own separate ways.
Relationships are hard and often take a lot of work which is why it’s understandable for anxiety to develop. Remember at the core, anxiety is only triggered by a perceived threat, meaning that something within the relationship isn’t working for you. However, being open and honest with your partner sets out a strong foundation for building a strong relationship and getting rid of the anxiety.