dating someone with anxiety

Important things to consider while Dating Someone with Anxiety

Anxiety is like a rocking chair.”

This line by Jodi Picoult states exactly what every person suffering from anxiety is going through.

To be in a relationship with such a person is a different story altogether.

The biggest problem that you can face when you are dating someone with anxiety issues is stress, and the key to a successful relationship is finding its correct balance with love.

Yes, no one has ever prepared anyone to deal with anxiety issues, and you can never choose who you would fall for.

To be practical, you cannot even have an anxiety sensor in your relationship or friendship.

Having said so, anxiety cannot be the sole reason for breaking up with your partner.

The only thing that can get both partners sailing smoothly in the relationship is educating them on what anxiety is all about. But first, you need to identify all the issues.

According to Research, ‘Anxiety may be caused by a mental condition, a physical condition, the effects of drugs, or a combination of these’

One cannot be born with anxiety, and it is only developed over time.

It is also believed that anxiety affects sleep.

So, you need to sit with your partner and figure out the incidents that made him/her become anxious. Yes, it is a common trait and a face-to-face conversation that can always solve things.

Once you are aware of the facts in his or her life, things would only be easier to handle.

Anxiety Creeping Its Way into Relationships

GAD, or Generalized Anxiety Disorder, is essentially like a climber, and over time, can creep up into making its presence felt in relationships.

It can affect your companionship in many ways than one. Outbursts found in a relationship with an anxious person start with dependency.

People who suffer from GAD have this inherent feeling of being dependant on their partners.

They look for constant support in the one person they are close to so that they can get reassurance and support. This leads to overthinking and always calculating the worst-case scenarios. As a partner, you need to be available for communication.

Take this from me; your absence for a conversation, whenever there is an urgent need from their end, might make them imagine the worst.

This might also anger them, and they might act out on even the smallest of things.

As one who is more patient in the relationship, you will have to handle this situation by letting them know that you would be there no matter what.

Every Ying has its Yang, and that is why the first step of being dependant is avoidance.

Most people who are being excessively dependant right now have been avoiding any close personal relationships in the beginning.

Understanding an Anxious Person

Now that you are aware of the various ways anxiety can crawl into your relationship and show its presence, you would have to figure out what exactly is anxiety. 

Understanding what goes on in your partner’s mind is crucial in this situation if you love him or her and want this relationship to last. 

Consider the followings about anxiety.

  1. Accept that anxiety is a genuine concern, deeply rooted, and it cannot be taken lightly. 
  2. Anxiety is natural, and there are no two ways about it. However, if you do not treat it correctly, it might become an issue later on in life. 
  3. Anxiety is a debilitating disease that stops a person from living a perfectly normal life like others.
  4. People with GAD suffer from fight-or-flight reactions, which include having trust issues in any relationship. A link to anxiety can be made with abandonment issues. 
  5. There is no specific or known cure or fix to anxiety.

As a person dating someone with anxiety, you would have to figure out a way to reach out to your partner and assure them that you would forever be there.

Anxiety is never logical, and thus, most anxious people end up behaving irrationally.

Speaking from experience, just say what your partner wants to hear without trying to make them see logic.

This way, gradually, you would be able to gain the trust and find a way where your individual opinion to them would be significant.

Thoughts Most Anxious People Have

Anxiety hits differently in separate individuals, and so there is no hardcore list where every thought of such a person is written down.

Having said so, there are still a few common thoughts bothering most people:

  1. Does my partner love me?
  2. Is my partner hiding something from me?
  3. Is my partner lying to me?
  4. Will my partner cheat on me?
  5. What happens when we break up?

Especially when you are in a new relationship, these thoughts are bound to come up as anxious people are always thinking about the worst.

While handling this, you need to know that repeated anxious thoughts can lead to shortness in breath, anxiety attacks, and even insomnia.

During one of these situations, your partner might also ghost you.

This would force you to be the communicator in the relationship.

Trust me when I say, keep reaching out to him or her till he feels safe that you are genuinely trying to reach out.

While I agree that this is not a healthy strategy, and this might, to a lot of you, feel that the anxious person is getting the upper hand – well, maybe that’s how it is meant to be for some time. 

Keep your ego aside when you are dealing with this for love.

How do you date someone with anxiety?

I understand that anxiety can be scary, and that is why most people tend to avoid the topic.

But you know what? The most reliable way to cope with anxiety is by talking about it honestly with your partner.

Candid talks are the way to go when you are in a relationship and want it to run a long time without any hindrances.

The one thing that your partner wants from you in this relationship is having someone to listen to.

Accept that your partner has anxiety and then work towards making them talk about it. Clear your mind off any judgment that might cloud your decision.

Do not be defensive and never take anything personally when your partner is suffering from anxiety and having outbursts.

The best way to make this happen is by letting them say whatever is there in their heart out loud.

Yes, anxiety is more often than not considered to be selfishness and an attempt at creating distance. But since you have an equal part in the relationship, you have to stop this from happening. 

Show how compassionate you are and blend in with the thought process that he or she shares. You can also bring in some spice to your relationship by buying items off adult novelty stores and bringing in an element of surprise in the bedroom. 

The Things You Should Steer Clear Of

Brushing anxiety off can only make the situation worse, and you might end up hurting your partner.

So, here is a list of tried and tested things you might want to consciously not do in front of your anxious partner:

  1. Criticize them or their choice.
  2. Dismiss the thought of them being anxious altogether.
  3. Ask them too many personal questions they might not be comfortable with.
  4. Never try to be their therapist.
  5. Try not to lose your temper in front of them.

You may want to learn the process of deep-breathing from your stomach to be able to be in control of the situation at all times.

Dating someone with anxiety is like a roller-coaster ride. You would never know what would hit you and when. So, once you have accepted the fact that your partner has anxiety issues, try to be one of them. 

The After effects of Anxiety

While I have said so much about anxiety as a whole, along with how to behave when you are in a relationship with such a person, you might be a bit apprehensive right now.

Trust me, if you want, and let go of your stress. It is not as bad as it sounds.

Yes, your partner might be obsessed with you. Yes, you may feel claustrophobic at times. 

But if you look at the ways you can work yourself towards handling a relationship with an anxious person, you would know that there is more to it than just being by his or her side.

It can make you understand what love is all about and appreciate the presence of it.

You can learn about the human mind and how it behaves, thereby knowing what are the things that make every person so special.

Being more open to conversations with your partner can build a sense of trust.

And you would never know, maybe, this relationship would end up with both of you learning to value the little things in life.

So, take it up as a challenge and go with the flow. You would be surprised at what you get out of this.

Sharanya Bhattacharya
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