Each and every relationship we have shapes our minds and tends to shape our future relationships as well. Relationship anxiety can spring at anytime during a relationship. At its most basic level, it is anxiety caused with respect to a relationship be it before, during or after. It is that critical voice in our head telling us something is not quite right and it is a result of something we have done wrong. Constant thoughts like ‘do they actually like me?’, ‘did I do something wrong?’, ‘why haven’t they called/texted back?’, ‘why did they cancel on me last-minute’ etc. becomes an everyday affair. These critical inner voices can end up being detrimental to even the most perfect relationships as well.
Anxiety has become very common in today’s world, in fact 80% of the world population suffers from it at some level or the other. Relationship anxiety however isn’t a disorder than can be cured, rather it is the reason of past life experiences you cannot let go of. These experiences could range anywhere from a bad romantic experience to childhood trauma and negative memories.
Think about it, the reason you are anxious in your current relationship is because of your memories from your past relationship. We become so scared of getting hurt in the future as we did in our past that our body creates a defense mechanism that doesn’t let anyone new into our lives thereby saving us from the pain and hurt we could potentially suffer. This may sound great in theory, but this isn’t the way we can live our lives. Of course we need to learn from our mistakes, but expecting everyone to do us wrong isn’t fair either. In the process, we end up only hurting ourselves and not giving a chance to someone who could potentially be the real deal just because of our fear of getting hurt thereby leading to a fear of intimacy.
At the start of a relationship, anxiety can be caused due to various factors, such as attachment or fear of being too dependent on the partner, lack of control, fear of rejection etc. We tend to freak out when we start to get overly attached to someone, especially if we aren’t sure that the feelings will be reciprocated.We can’t control how the other person feels or how they will react and this lack of control is one of the biggest reasons for anxiety.
We all fear rejection at some level, however people with relationship anxiety tend to feel this emotion very intensely, thereby making an already vulnerable matter, worse. Things tend to get worse when the relationship advances and gets more serious. Thoughts like ‘will this last or not’, ‘if this ends how will I live’, ‘this person is too perfect, why are they with me’, ‘I am currently happy which means in the near future things will go wrong for me’ etc. make a home in your mind. These thoughts make us very negative mentally and we tend to isolate ourselves in the process and push our partners away. Overthinking and overanalyzing is another trait that tends to break a relationship. People with relationship anxiety tend to catch every word and movement their partner makes and blow it out of proportion. It can become very taxing for the partner to always have to be careful about his actions and measure his words. This can break an otherwise completely happy relationship.
We cannot control other people’s thoughts or external factors and that is okay. What we can control is the critical voice in our heads. It is crucial that we get into our heads and push away all the negativity that has been the main reason for our anxiety. It is only once we reflect, do we actually realize that we had made a mountain out of nothing and there was absolutely no need for the worry and anxiety to begin with. We need to realize that everything isn’t the end of the world and if something ended badly it is because it wasn’t meant to be in the first place. As mentioned before, relationship anxiety cannot be cured since it isn’t an illness to begin with. However, it is very important that we control our minds to not let it take over our lives in a negative manner. There is no point in worrying about things that are not in our hands, what we can do however, is to get a grip on our thoughts. A conscious and strong mind is the only way to a happy and fulfilled life. Always remember, life is what it is, we need to suck it up and move on.
Featured image via barbara_ines.