How to Overcome Anxiety in Relationships


Whether you’ve just had your first date or you’ve been together for years, there comes a point early on where you start to feel that nagging voice of doubt. You feel tense to impress them. You wonder if they actually like you or are just pretending. You’re waiting for that moment where you absolutely blow it.

But you have no reason to feel this, right? You’re supposed to be happy and secure, and yet you spend most of your time freaking out behind the scenes.

Unfortunately, the better the relationship is, the higher the anxiety is. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here’s a step by step process to overcoming anxiety in relationships.

Why Do I Have Anxiety?

Bad relationships in the past can make us gun-shy. Negative attitudes or pressure from people around us can put us on edge, such as when your friend tells you, “I don’t like the look of him,” or you mom says, “Don’t lose this one!” There’s even a chance that your instincts are picking up on good cues that you should run for the hills.

You have to stop and evaluate what the real heart of your anxiety is.

Is there something about your partner’s behavior that concerns you?

Can you see any real truth to what others are saying, or do they not know the full story?

Has your partner shown any signs of recreating the problems that ended your last relationship, or are you just waiting for it?

Never let your anxiety run away unchecked. Always narrow down where your real worry lies.

Is it logical?

Is their proof of that worry becoming a real problem?

Is it what you really think, or what others are projecting onto you?

Is the anxiety lasting no matter how much you explain it away? This could be a sign that your instincts are giving you a warning, or that you need to discuss it with your partner.

How Does Depression Affect Your Relationship?

Depression brings an entirely new level to natural anxiety in relationships. You’re not at your best, your most confident, or your most sure of the reality around you. This can breed anxiety on issues that don’t exist, no matter how real they feel, and cause you to make rash decisions – or a lack of decisions – that you regret later.

The first step is to acknowledge you are viewing things through your depression. What you view may be just as it seems, but it may also look different on a good day.

Give it a few days. You may realize the anxiety is nothing to worry about once you’ve come out of the worst of it.

Get second opinions. Find someone you really, truly trust and explain your concerns. Let them know that you’re going through a hard bout of depression right then, and their answer will take these emotionally taxing details into account.

Consider how your partner affects your depression. Do they usually make it easier? Then try to exercise some patience; they’re good for you and you’ll remember that on a good day. Do they disregard it? Be aware that this isn’t understanding and support, and they may not be a person deserving of your trust. Are they making it more difficult? Explain what you’re going through and that you need some time away from them until this passes. If they’re understanding, then let it pass and come back to the relationship with fresh eyes. If they’re not, consider not coming back. Why put up with that negativity in your life?

How to Not Worry about Relationships

We all have that critical inner voice that tells us the worst possible scenario. “They’re secretly bored of you.” “You’re not pretty enough to keep their attention.” “They’re probably cheating on you already.” These eventually stack up until we can’t take them any longer. Not only are we in torment, but the relationship loses all of its fun and excitement.

Managing worries means putting safeguards in place.

Shut up the inner voice.

The inner critic will never stop unless you force it to. You’ll never out-reason it and or convince it that enough is enough. Instead, when you hear that nagging voice breeding anxiety, purposefully stop and tell it “no.” Replace those thoughts with something more positive, such as “I’m beautiful, and I know it. They know it.” “I’m hilarious. Look how hard they laughed at my joke.” The more active effort you make to reject the voice and replace it with something better, the easier it is to ignore the critic and finally shut up the anxiety.

Keep your independence.

When we’re dependent on our partners for all our validation, self-worth, attention, and emotional security, we’ve effectively put all our eggs in one basket and are terrified of dropping that basket. It gets even worse when money gets involved, because our financial security could go under as well.

Instead, stay your own person, with time for yourself so you’re able to feel grounded as an individual and not as an accessory. Have many friends that you know you can turn to if things go south, and who give you emotional support and excitement so losing one relationship won’t ruin you. Have your own money so you always know you’ll be fine if something happens.

Talk to Your Partner

There is a line between being needy and being emotionally honest with your partner. If the anxiety you feel persists, be open and talk it over with them, so they can sooth your fears, give you proof that there’s nothing to worry about, and perhaps avoid things that concern you. If you fear you’ll be cheated on, perhaps they’ll let you see their correspondence with others. If you think they’re irritated by you, perhaps you can both develop cues in conversation to remind you they’re interested. If you’re afraid the relationship won’t last long, you can discuss your thoughts and plans going forward, and lay out the fears so they’re no longer terrifying.

Relationship anxiety is natural, but you can put it to a stop. The key is to be honest with yourself, honest with your partner, and feel free to reach out to others if you need a helping hand. The more trust you develop between them and you, the faster that anxiety will be put to rest, until one day you’re shocked you were ever worried.