Love is a very complicated thing.
Because it can be our reason for living and our cause for hopelessness. It’s a pure, universal emotion that can turn us from lovers to bitter, jaded people.
And for many, the double-edged sword of love causes something else:
What exactly is it?
It’s a form of anxiety concerning romantic relationships. Instead of being happy, one constantly doubts the strength of their love.
But if it’s normal to have concerns about one’s relationship, how can you be so sure that what you’re experiencing is relationship anxiety?
Well, there are several notable signs to take note of:
1) You Can’t Help But Overanalyze All the Time
Look, here’s the thing:
Being skeptical or critical isn’t necessarily bad.
In fact, the ability to think thoroughly before believing in something helps you discern reality from fiction — what’s fact and what’s a mere delusion.
So what’s the issue?
Well, the problem is when you seem to never get satisfied with the answers you get, even when every bit of information has already been presented and cross-examined multiple times.
You’re on a date. You leave a good first impression of how well-dressed you are. You also know how to pique your date’s attention with a variety of interesting topics and geeky jokes.
But then you do this once your dinner arrives:
First, you ask if they have a previous partner.
Your date says ‘yes’ — and your eyebrows are raised at this point.
You ask how many exes they have. How intimate they’ve gone. How they broke up. Who initiated the breakup. Whether there was cheating involved or not. How likely they will cheat on you.
And a bazillion other questions.
Do you know why you’re doing this?
Because you’re trying to avoid failure. You’re very afraid of it. You want to know as many things as possible to determine whether someone is likely to break your heart or not.
And you know what?
It’s totally fine to express your worries about being hurt in love.
What isn’t alright is when you disrespect another person by asking questions that are way too personal.
You simply don’t force them to recall things that might be painful for them, especially if you two just met.
But here’s the worst thing about this dilemma:
You can’t stop yourself from being so inquisitive.
That’s relationship anxiety — you have no control over your negative thoughts about your partner, or even just a potential love interest.
2) You’re Afraid to Be in a Serious Relationship
How long do you think should it take for two people dating to talk about getting serious?
For some, it should be after the third date. Some take weeks. Others, months or even years. The time depends on how well they’ve come to know the other person.
If you have relationship anxiety, this will be your answer:
No matter if you’re already in love with someone, you can’t commit to a relationship.
Because in the back of your mind, there’s that deep-seated fear:
That you’re going to be alone in the end — that you’re once again putting yourself up for betrayal and disappointment.
If you cannot be certain that this person is the one for you, what’s the point of getting serious?
You think it makes perfect sense:
“If you don’t commit, you don’t get hurt.”
But that’s the illusion brought to you by relationship anxiety.
In reality, this is what happens:
Your reluctance to be in a committed romantic relationship prevents you from learning by experience.
If you always refuse a new chance at love, how will you know genuine love, which in turn helps get rid of your relationship anxiety?
3) You Have a Bad Temper
Do you know what makes relationship anxiety awful?
There are several reasons why, but this one is a major factor:
You hurt not only yourself but also the people you hold dearly — even if they don’t deserve it at all.
No matter how much they express their love and affection, you can’t help but make them feel terrible.
Why do you get angry so easily?
It’s because your mind never gives you time to rest from your dark thoughts. You know it’s irrational, but the fear of losing the one you love ruins your mood again and again.
In other words:
You become so mentally exhausted that all it takes to go berserk is a minor inconvenience.
If your partner comes home late due to work or school, you think it’s the end of the world — that you are no longer important in their life.
If they fail to reply to you within a day, you shout and accuse them of cheating or being an ungrateful partner.
Basically, it’s like this:
Relationship anxiety fools you into thinking that things must always go according to plan. You think only in ideal terms instead of being realistic.
Once your partner says or does something that fails to meet your high expectations, you feel that your relationship has become strained.
And once you feel bad, you say painful things— or lay a hand on your lover.
They might forgive you, but remember this:
There will be a time when your partner gets fed up of your raging temper. They will leave, and you will develop more relationship anxiety.
4) You Are Too Attached to Your Partner
Getting aggravated most of the time doesn’t mean you’re not a clingy partner.
Here’s the truth:
Relationship anxiety not only makes you ill-tempered but also very needy.
Because you’re paranoid.
You’re afraid that even a few minutes of silence between you two can snowball into a painful breakup. That’s unlikely to happen, but your mind says the opposite.
So how attached can you be if you have relationship anxiety?
Well, you’re too attached if you do one or many of these:
– Replying as soon as possible to messages and expecting instant replies
– Going out of your way just to eat lunch or dinner with your partner
– Saying “I love you” at least once every 15 minutes because you worry they might forget so easily
– Always asking for hugs and cuddles even if they’re busy
– Being upset when they have to leave for a business trip
– Demanding that you tag along if they will hang out with their friends
Look, here’s the thing:
It’s sweet when you ask for hugs or tell how much you love your partner.
But doing so all the time can be downright annoying — up to the point that it makes your gestures of affection feel less genuine.
5) You Always Go the Extra Mile to Please Your Partner
Love is about wholeheartedly offering your time and attention to another person.
After all, isn’t it romantic when you go out of your way to prepare a surprise dinner or visit your lover at work?
But if you have relationship anxiety, this can become a terrible thing.
Well, because you’re so afraid that your partner might lose interest in you, you do whatever you can to maintain an ideal image of yourself.
And you always do this.
Even if it’s clear with a single gesture that you love your partner, you think it’s not enough. Your lover might be content with you, but you don’t think so.
Again, it’s all in your mind — but it’s enough to affect your reality.
Instead of balancing things such as career, love, and family, you place all your attention on the relationship.
You no longer have time for yourself, to pursue your hobbies and interests.
You don’t even spend time with your friends anymore.
It’s all about impressing your lover.
And that can backfire in a big way:
If you focus on spoiling your partner all the time, you fail to improve yourself, which can make them feel that you’re not mature or ready enough to be in a serious, long-term relationship.
How to Overcome Relationship Anxiety
Relationship anxiety can consume you if you don’t do anything about it.
Yes, it’s going to be tough, but remember:
It’s better to take the initiative instead of becoming a passive victim to your own thoughts.
So what should you do?
Simple: Keep in mind that things will be okay.
When your positive and negative thoughts are wrestling with each other, do this:
Stop what you’re doing and sit or stand straight.
Breathe. Deeply, slowly. Do this 10 times.
It’s not going to flush out your relationship anxiety, but it will lessen its impact — if only for a brief moment.
But that’s fine! What’s important is that you calm yourself enough to allow feelings of hope and love to enter your mind as well.
And even if you experience heartbreak again, ask this to yourself:
The world is not ending. You’re still loved by your family and your friends. You still have a lot of love to give.
And lastly, remember:
Your life is so much more than the sum of your romantic relationships.
You are not doomed to repeat your past failures.
You will become a better person through experience, so much so that your relationship anxiety will eventually crumble.
For more inspirational articles on mindfulness and self-improvement, like Hack Spirit on Facebook.
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