Is Relationship Anxiety Ruining Your Love Life
Feel Like a Muse (even if you guy isn't a poet)
You are getting ready for a date with a guy that you really like, but relationship anxiety.is driving you crazy. When you met him on a dating app, you really felt excited. Now that you are supposed to meet in person, you are freaking out. It takes you several hours to get ready, and you change several outfits.
When you arrive at the restaurant, you would rather turn back, but a courteous valet flashes his teeth and says, "Welcome Miss." He's ready to open your door. No going back now. With a pit in your stomach, you proceed towards the restaurant. You think, "This is a mistake. He'll never really like me. Why am I wasting my time?"
This is just a simple example of how the relationship anxiety may affect you. There are many forms of this devil. It really knows how to disguise itself to make you think that it's there to help you, when in fact it prevents you from enjoying your life.
Relationship anxiety is deeply-rooted
Unfortunately, relationship anxiety is not going away by itself. It's deep-rooted and it most likely comes from your childhood and previous relationships. It affects the way you feel about yourself, how you behave on a date, and what kinds of beliefs you develop about relationships, love, and dating. You don't have to have a clinical diagnosis of anxiety to be affected by it.
The biggest issue is that you don't get to enjoy relationships for the big portion of your life until you figure this out. Some people never do. You shouldn't be one of those people. You deserve to be cherished and appreciated for all you have to give to some lucky guy.
Your emotional intelligence can't breathe
Furthermore, anxiety covers your emotional intelligence and causes you to overanalyze and overfunction in relationships. You may feel helpless, confused, and frustrated with the dating scene or in your relationships. Then you become even more confused and frustrated, and so on. The negative cycle is self-perpetuating. The fact that many other women go through this, doesn't make it easier for you.
So many are affected by it. If it wasn't for relationship anxiety we wouldn't have numerous romantic comedies. Actually, I take it back. I will risk my reputation and make a blanket statement, "We've all struggled with relationship anxiety at some point or for the most part of our lives."
This begs the question, "Why can't it be easier." And, I'll tell you that it can. You too deserve to feel cherished and appreciated and you can get there. If you understand and learn how to deal with insecurities and fear of love, you too can feel like a muse.
They too have issues
When you meet a guy who struggles with relationship anxiety, the situation just becomes more complicated, not easier. Remember when you arrived at the restaurant and decided to go in just because the valet greeted you? You went in and met the guy who was completely smitten by you, but how could you have known.
His face was blank emotionless, and at best he seemed courteous. You had some good conversations, but you have no idea if he likes you that way. You know which way? Like a girlfriend, lover, or a potential life partner.
So, you go home and have no idea of what to make of this date. You consult your friends, but they each give you different advice. Then, you continue analyzing and waiting for the guy to contact you again., but you have no idea what to make of the ways he behaved.
He was kinda serious. Perhaps, you didn't notice that he was probably confused by your behaviors and signals. He couldn't read you at all. Your anxieties fed off each others'. His anxiety made you feel more anxious and vice versa. Oh boy, does this seem complicated? Why can't we all just get along?
Do you feel exhausted and completely hopeless? I get it, but please don't. You are not doomed to feeling like this forever. Relationship anxiety may be a significant obstacle to your happiness in love, but you can totally learn to manage it and turn things around. When you do, you will uncover your own emotional intelligence that will help you handle all life situations in the ways that work the best for you.
Take your power back - three steps to manage
Imagine if you could meet a guy and know in your guts if he is good or not good for you. Or, if you are able to sense that he really likes you? Then your relationship continues, and as he gets to know you more, he falls in love with you more. How cool would it be? How much more fun would you have on a date? Yes, it can be effortless like this.
Do you ever wonder who those women in poems and novels are? What's so special about them? You too can be one of those women who inspire men to go beyond ordinary to show you how much they like or appreciate you. Read more to learn how to handle relationship anxiety, so you too can feel like a muse (even if your guy isn't a poet).
You may not be able to get rid of the fear of love completely, but being aware of it and learning how to manage it, will help you significantly. I help my clients in therapy do exactly this. We explore how their upbringing, society, culture, and past relationship affect them. I help them process the feelings that arise during the therapy.
My feedback provides clients the different outlook. This work widens my client's perspective and allows them to escape the web of their own perpetuating negative thoughts and emotions. We further explore how the client can adopt new ways of thinking and shift focus from triggers that cause. You too can do this work on your own with significant success. There are three steps in this process adapted for your personal use.
Awareness is the first step in managing anxiety. What are some symptoms of relationship anxiety? It's important to note that relationship anxiety isn't an official diagnosis, but many symptoms are similar to general anxiety. They just occur in the contest of relationships.
Anxiety symptoms that you may experience in general or in the context of relationships and dating
Feeling on edge, irritable, worried, overwhelmed, tired
Have trouble sleeping
Struggle with concentration and focus
Outbursts of explosive anger
There are many more anxiety symptoms that you may be experiencing.
There are also symptoms that are typical for relationships. They are basically insecurities about yourself. You may be prone of feeling or doing as follows:
Thinking that you aren't attractive enough
Overfunctioning because you don't believe you are lovable just as you are
Overanalyzing everything because you are not present emotionally to be able to discern what's going on
Not communicating directly and openly. Instead of asking directly if you feel confused, you overanalyze.
Thinking that you can't be a dream come true for someone
Thinking that you need to prove yourself or make yourself likable so someone will enjoy your company
These are just some of the examples that come to mind. Anxiety in relationships has so many faces. What matters is that you are aware of it when it occurs. You can observe triggers and journal about them. Go back to your old relationships or childhood. What messages did you get growing up?
Did they raise you to think you need to overdeliver so you can feel valuable? They probably didn't teach you how to figure out what works for you. That could be the reason why you keep working hard on autopilot to make sure you meet all the expectations. You will see. So many things will pop up to explore.
2. Tackle it
Once you realize that relationship anxiety is beating you down, you need to know what to do with it. Examining your thoughts and feelings will help you reduce anxiety. Once you recognize negative thoughts, they have less power over you. You become empowered to make choices what you allow to affect you.
Examine your thoughts
Once you notice what situations trigger you, you can become aware of your thoughts at that moment. In therapy, I help my clients by asking questions such as, "What comes up for you when you think or talk about that (a triggering topic or memory). Then clients explore their thoughts and emotions. Similarly, when you encounter something triggering, you can step back and examine your thoughts and feelings.
For instance, when you went to the restaurant to meet the guy, you started thinking that you should go back, that there is no way that he would like you, and that you are wasting your time. Then, you can choose to examine the thought that he would never like you. This thought shows that you may have some self-esteem issues. Where this insecurity comes from? It could be from some past relationships, and it could be from your family of origin.
If you are a survivor of abuse as a child, you will for sure have self-esteem issues. Even if your childhood was great, your parents' messages could be causing the issues with your self-esteem. For instance, with the best intentions, your parents wanted you to work hard, and they rewarded you for all the good things that you've done. Basically, you had to earn their affection in some ways by being a sweet girl or accomplishing good things.
It's just natural that you feel that you need to prove yourself to be liked or loved. Now, you are meeting a guy and you have no idea what he likes and how you can make him like you. It's expected that you will feel anxious. There are ways to overcome these kinds of insecurities and lower your relationship anxiety.
Examine your feelings
Once you figure out your thoughts, you can try to examine your feelings. This task is usually the most challenging part because your anxiety doesn't let you be in touch with your emotions. In sessions with my clients, I help them examine both emotions, thoughts, and sensations in their bodies at the same time. This process enables you to heal holistically because our anxiety and trauma are stuck in our bodies.
You too can practice the same to an extent. I would recommend familiarizing yourself with your body by doing a body scan. The body scan is a practice that can help you familiarize yourself with your body sensations. It involves you sitting or lying down in a comfortable position and observing your body sensations from your feet to the top of your head including internal organs. You will notice different parts of the body may have tightness, tingling sensations, pain and so on.
To examine your feelings journaling is a good practice. Your feelings usually accompany your thoughts, so you will be able to access them together. Then observe your body sensations occurring during the particular thoughts and feelings.
This process will help you be more aware and connected with yourself. Your emotional intelligence will have a chance now, so you don't have to feel confused.
3. Change your thoughts. Argue with that bustard mind or ignore it completely
One small, but significant step is to change your thoughts when you catch them. You will be able to catch them more if you practice this process. Doing so will help you reduce relationship anxiety.
So, let's go back to the moment when you thought that the guy would never like you. What can you say to yourself that will counteract such a negative defeating thought? You can say something like, " Of course he can. So many had before, and I'm fine just the way I am for the right person." You are not exaggerating here. You are telling yourself something reasonable, that most people who know you would agree with.
You can also shift your focus when an ugly thought harasses you. For instance, when you think that the guy will not like you, you can say something like, " I don't know if he will. I'm here to see if I like him." Doing so will help you feel empowered and more relaxed, so you can be yourself and enjoy your date. Thus you will allow your emotional intelligence to help you navigate the maze of the dating process.
How handling relationship anxiety can help your love life
You too can feel like a muse - confident, attractive, and loveable. It may seem hard now, but if you start implementing these steps, you will feel better right away. Your overwhelm will go down, and you will feel more hopeful about love and dating.
If you need extra support, my therapy practice or coaching is here to help. I'm currently accepting new clients. Book a free consultation session with me. I'll help you figure out what you need to work on to find love. If we are the right fit, we can figure out how to work together. If not, I can give you some pointers.
In case that you are not ready for coaching or therapy, you can sign up for my free academy where you can find courses that will help you with your love life. Sign up now to deal with your limiting beliefs that may prevent you from getting the love you want.
Wow, that was such an insightful read.
Being aware of our anxiety is the first step to set ourselves free from it. We all deserve to be loved and cherished without going through our inner Hell.
One thing I remember helped me when I had those type of feelings back in the days, was by changing my thoughts.
After I acknowledge the fact I’m stressed, and it’s not healthy, I used to tell myself “Well; I wonder if I will like him.” This helped me shift my focus from my insecurity towards the person in front of me, and instead of worrying about how I sound or look, I was curious how he sounds and looks.
Thank you for your post!
Thank you Rachel!