One too many relationships have been sabotaged by those uncomfortable feelings of anxiety.
Relationships have never had higher stakes as they do in today’s world, a large degree of this can be blamed on social media and dating apps. People feel like they have so many options to choose from, so they’re less patient with the people they meet.
Consequently, people have a hard time dating long-term because they feel there will always be another person to hook up with. But this just increases their chances of getting their hearts broken. No thanks to millennial dating, scars from past relationships, and the fear of heartbreak, many ladies are afraid to put their hearts on the line even when they meet someone great.
Being a woman myself, I can attest to this. Fortunately, through my experiences, I’ve been able to gather a few tips on how to shake off relationship anxiety so it doesn’t end up ruining your chances at having a ‘happily ever after’.
- 1 17 Ways To Overcome New Relationship Anxiety
- 1.1 1. Disarm your fears
- 1.2 2. Differentiate between caution and fear
- 1.3 3. Get your friends and family involved
- 1.4 4. Focus on the positives
- 1.5 5. Observe to see if you’re able to be yourself when you’re around him
- 1.6 6. Call a spade, a spade
- 1.7 7. Talk to your partner
- 1.8 8. Relate with yourself
- 1.9 9. Change your inner conversation
- 1.10 10. Give as much as you take
- 1.11 11. It’s okay to ask for an assurance
- 1.12 12. It’s okay to be vulnerable
- 1.13 13. Stop projecting
- 1.14 14. Don't overthink it
- 1.15 15. Focus on the right things
- 1.16 16. Recognize your triggers and share them with your partner
- 1.17 17. Patience is key
- 2 FAQs
- 3 To Conclude
17 Ways To Overcome New Relationship Anxiety
1. Disarm your fears
The primary root of fear is usually the ‘what-if’ questions in your mind. ‘What if he doesn't like me as much as I like him‘ or ‘what if he gets bored of me', thoughts like these are bound to send you into a frenzy. They put your mind in fast-forward motion and make you worry about what may be instead of focusing on what’s going on in the present.
‘What-if' thoughts are usually irrational and thankfully can be debunked by thinking about ‘what actually is'. This way you're disarming those irrational fears and freeing yourself from their toxic grip. There's no need to suffer through experiences in your head that would probably never happen.
2. Differentiate between caution and fear
Don't be mistaken. Sometimes anxiety is very necessary as it warns us about incoming danger. It’s not wise to completely silence such a feeling. It may help you avoid certain pitfalls along the way. Instead, what you can do is train your mind to distinguish between helpful anxiety and sabotaging fear.
For example, if you really like a guy, fear will prevent you from taking the first step and giving love a chance. However, helpful anxiety just helps you to be more cautious. If your anxiety is getting worse by the day, and for some reason, you can't seem to tell the difference between both types of anxiety, it’s best to get an outside point of view.
3. Get your friends and family involved
We all have a tribe for a reason, people who care about us unconditionally and would love to protect us from any outside danger. Your close friends and family occupy this space in your life and they are the best support group to ask for a fresh perspective.
Invite your newfound love over to spend time with you and your family/friends. This way, they'd be able to point out some things about him that you may not have noticed. It’s by their observations that you'd be able to know if your fears were rational or if your mind is just playing tricks on you.
4. Focus on the positives
This tip is focused on the women who feel their partner is actually good for them, yet are afraid to be vulnerable. In the case of on and off toxic relationships, experts often advise their clients to write a list of the negative traits of their partners and keep it close, where they can take a look at it often.
In the same light, a person who is plagued by irrational fears and doubts about their partner could be advised to make a list of their partners’ positive attributes as well as the things they enjoy most about the relationship. Just like in the above example, they should read it often, especially when their anxiety kicks in.
5. Observe to see if you’re able to be yourself when you’re around him
Any serious relationship worth having should allow you to be yourself, ask yourself (and be sure to answer honestly) if you’re free to be your authentic self when he’s around. Once you lose your sense of self, that could be one of the reasons for this relationship anxiety.
No long-term relationship is built on pretense. So your relationships should make you feel freer and not caged or out of touch with yourself. When you feel like you can’t move forward, or have issues figuring out who you are now, it’s easy to get scared about investing yourself in a new relationship.
6. Call a spade, a spade
Denial never gets anyone anywhere, you've to identify your demons and acknowledge them, only then can you tackle and conquer them. Recognizing that what you're facing is ‘new relationship anxiety' is your step to recovery, being in denial would just delay it.
To be sure that what you're facing is really anxiety, talk to someone close about it, once you hear yourself talk about your fears out loud, you're likely to realize how real or unreal they are. To be completely sure about your suspicions, you should talk to an expert or therapist.
7. Talk to your partner
Relationships aren't solo ventures, it takes two to tango. If you're feeling weird about your new relationship, you should talk to your partner about it—he deserves to know. In the process, his response may even confirm or debunk your fears.
Make sure to tell him about it in a face-to-face conversation instead of through text or email, so there are no errors in transmission. If he has difficulties understanding what you're trying to tell him, then suggest going to see a therapist together.
8. Relate with yourself
Let's be real, no matter how perfect a relationship is, it can never provide all the freedom and security you need, you'd have to find some on your own. Learn to enjoy your own company, spend time with yourself, and double up on doing the things you love.
Your hobbies would really come in handy at this point; paint, go see your favorite band alone, write some poetry if that’s what you like, or try doing outdoor activities. This will get your blood flowing and keep your mind on the positive. That way you still maintain your personal freedom and self-security while also enjoying the good vibes from your relationship.
9. Change your inner conversation
Anxiety is birthed by fear and fear begins with fearful thinking. Nibbling those fearful thoughts in the bud could be your key to silencing your anxiety forever. It may look like those fears are real, but sometimes, our problems are only as huge as we think they are.
So, change your inner conversation from negative to positive. Instead of expecting heartbreak and disappointment at every turn, try being optimistic about the relationship.
Stop thinking thoughts like, “relationships always end badly”, “men always cheat”, “He’s only here for my body”, instead focus on thoughts like, “This is a risk worth taking”, “I love what he contributes to my life” and “relationships can be fulfilling”.
10. Give as much as you take
When you’re too busy loving on your significant other and focusing on being the best partner, you’d have less time to ruminate on toxic thoughts. Aside from the good feelings that come with giving, contributing to your partner’s life instead of sitting around waiting for him to do all the heavy lifting, would give you a sense of peace and fulfillment.
This doesn’t mean that you should become clingy and overcompensate, but shower him with love to a healthy degree. Take your mind off yourself occasionally and focus on what you bring to the table in the relationship.
11. It’s okay to ask for an assurance
Many people think asking your partner for assurance means you’re desperate and insecure, but the alternative may turn out to be very damaging. Anxiety can make you ruin your relationship, and make you doubt absolutely anything. Instead of dying in silence, woman up and talk to your partner.
Using the right words, explain to him the reason for your fears, and ask him if he’s really ready for the degree of commitment that you’re in for. If his response is positive it could serve as stress relief for you and make you less nervous about the outcome and direction of your relationship. However, try your best not to seem needy.
12. It’s okay to be vulnerable
Vulnerability is one of the most feared feelings, especially in this day and age; it's perceived to be a weakness. However, relationships require us to be vulnerable because they’re built on trust. Most times, the anxiety you are feeling could be based on how naked and vulnerable you feel. If this is the case, there’s nothing to be worried about.
It's perfectly normal to feel this way, especially if you’re not used to depending on someone else or trusting them with your feelings. Instead of closing up and becoming excessively overprotective, try loosening up and being open. It's better to take things at a comfortable pace.
13. Stop projecting
Anxiety is a rogue feeling, it can stem from absolutely nowhere and nothing or sometimes it can be structured from one aspect of your life and leak into other areas. The root of your anxiety may turn out to be from another area.
For instance, if you always felt let down by your dad and perhaps other father figures, it may be the reason you feel scared of trusting your new love interest. Try to search for the source of your anxiety, don’t just assume it’s because you met someone new.
14. Don't overthink it
Love is completely illogical; it fully belongs to the emotional realm that is why it’s a bit irrational sometimes. Trying to overthink your feelings and his, or trying to rationalize his actions and motives may drive you to anxiety. The saying, “analysis leads to paralysis” is an accurate way to describe this situation.
Don't indulge those draining questions, “Is what he's feeling love or lust?” “We don't like the same activities, how will we last?”. All these are thoughts that will unfold as time goes on. So, there's no need to overanalyze everything at this very moment.
15. Focus on the right things
Wishing for true love and reassurance from your partner while at the same time only acknowledging the negative stuff is counterproductive. Your need for assurance is an indirect signal drawing your partner closer to you while your pessimism drives them further away.
If you want your relationship to move past the initial point to a more solid place, you’d need to take your eyes off all the unnecessary negatives and plant your focus on the things that matter.
There’s always a certain situation, behavior, or statement that triggers feelings of anxiety. If you’ve been experiencing this anxiety for a while you’d probably begin to understand the pattern behind your episodes.
By recognizing this, you can trace the triggers and try to avoid them. However, you can’t avoid or tackle these triggers on your own, you’d need to explain everything to your partner. Help him understand what triggers your anxiety and why then work together to remedy the situation.
17. Patience is key
Since anxiety can be very uncomfortable and scary, it's only logical that you’d want to get rid of it as fast as possible. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way, it’s a process. Try to be patient with yourself and remember you’re just human, you’re not perfect yet.
Truth be told, some days will be frustrating for both you and your partner. However, it’ll all pay off in the end and in the process, it could even bring you both closer to each other.
It’s completely normal to have anxiety in a new relationship. Therapists have confirmed that new relationship anxiety is not just normal but very common. It's especially common during the first few months of the relationship when one party is still uncertain about the other's feelings.
The best and most obvious remedy for relationship anxiety is therapy. Normally, new relationship anxiety fades on its own after both partners begin to reciprocate each other's feelings. However, if it gets out of control. It’s advisable to talk to someone else, preferably a professional.
It's estimated that a couple can get extremely comfortable with each other by the fifth month into their relationship. However, every relationship is unique so couples could get comfortable either before or after 5 months.
Feeling anxious and a bit insecure is quite normal after discovering you have strong feelings for a person. For one, there’s a possibility that your love interest may not feel the same way about you. But that’s the gamble and a necessary one at that.
Everything we do has a certain level of risk, especially things worth doing. Relationships carry a high level of risk, mostly because lots of emotions and feelings are invested in the process. It’s normal to feel a bit naked and vulnerable, so try not to panic and take things at your pace.
I hope you found this article helpful. Remember, there’s no need to rush to get comfortable in a new relationship. Be patient with yourself and follow the tips above, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying every moment of your new relationship. Don’t forget to leave a comment below and share this article with friends.
As hopeless romantic I struggled tremendously in my love life. After many years of searching, trial & error, and countless failed relationships, I finally found my Mr. Right. It wasn't an easy road, but one that has taught me an incredible amount about the workings of relationships between men and women, and this is what I hope to share through my writing on this blog.