5 Ways Anxiety Affects Your Love Life
When you have an anxiety disorder, everyday situations that other people don’t think twice about can make you sweat and trigger a swarm of butterflies in your stomach, and experiences that most people might consider to be slightly stressful can give you a full-on panic attack.
Unfortunately, anxiety’s emotional and physical symptoms can control your life and can dictate everything from what you do to where you go. And for those who are hoping to find love, anxiety can affect that too.
While anxiety affects everybody differently, generally, anxiety can make dating a real challenge. (like it isn’t enough of a challenge already?!) It’s important to find a partner that understands your anxiety disorder and is helpful and supportive of your battle against anxiety. This doesn’t mean that anxiety should stop or end any idea of a love life - but that you should find yourself a partner that isn’t just willing to tolerate your anxiety but is also going to be your mental health sidekick through the mini anxiety attacks and the pesky depression that often follows.
Just remember that if you find yourself dealing with any of these anxiety-related dating struggles, you’re not alone.
1. Hell on Earth is Basically Getting To Know Somebody New
Once you’ve been dating someone for a while, you basically know if they’ve fallen asleep mid-text or if they’ve decided that they hate you. When you’re talking to someone new, everything - and I mean EVERYTHING they do, will have your heart go into cardiac arrest.
Did they think your joke was funny? Are they just responding to be nice or do they actually want to keep this conversation going? No emoji’s?!
Basically, even if all the signs are telling you your new love interest is genuinely interested in you - your anxiety will twist every action, word, and, yes, emoji, to make you believe otherwise.
2. What’s a Long Distance Relationship?
When the person you’re dating lives super far away, it’s easier for them to do all the scenarios your anxiety has illustrated so vividly in your mind…
They’re lying dead in a ditch somewhere because they’ve stopped texting you, because his super hot girlfriend liked a photo of his he must be cheating on you with her, etc…
While there are some people with anxiety who can manage to hold a long distance relationship, many couldn’t handle the stress that comes along with one.
3. This Relationship Is Going Too Well… So, Like When Is It Going To End?
You know that sense of dread you get during a horror movie when there’s a serial killer behind the guy in the movie and he’s happy and is oblivious to that fact that he’s about to get murdered? Ya, that’s how it feels. Because everything seems so great, and you want it to continue to be great but your anxiety keeps telling you that without a doubt, it’s only a matter of time before things start to go horribly wrong.
For those who are in a relationship with anxiety, that’s a common and an unfortunately constant thought that crosses your mind. It’s almost a relief when things do go wrong because you’ve spent so much time stressing over it that you feel comfort in knowing you weren’t “acting crazy” and the downfall WAS truly around the corner. Your worries, aka, your anxiety, begins to affect your relationship for the worse and there’s nothing you can do to stop it -- because it goes from a slow burn worry that sits in the back of your mind and wreaks a very subtle kind of havoc on your psyche until it evolves to a full-blown vibrant burst of anxiety that you feel like you can’t do anything to stop it.
4. You Start To Believe They Deserve Somebody more “normal”
Here’s the thing… all the paranoia, physical symptoms and panic attacks can make you feel like you’re sometimes less human? But… that’s not the case. However, you might (or will) start to wonder if they’re really as content in this relationship as they say they are.
The rational side of you knows your partner knows what they’ve signed up for when they decided to date you and not someone else, but there’s always a voice of doubt in your heat that makes you wonder, and more specifically, wonder when they’ll realize the “mistake” they made by dating you.
5. First Fight? Cue Panic Attack.
What they said was, “You always keep the bathroom light on, can you please remember to turn it off next time.” What you heard, “Our electricity bill is going to be high because you keep forgetting the light on and I have to constantly remind and the next time this happens we’re done.”
Cue panic attack.
Suddenly, a simple request turns into a minor argument and hysterical sobbing and your partner confused as to what they could have said to trigger a panic attack. Knowing how to have a healthy argument is crucial in any relationship, but when you have anxiety, it can be hard to manage your anxious thoughts when you’re having a less than cheerful conversation.
While relationships can be hard when you struggle with an anxiety disorder, it doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve love and you’re never going to find it. It just means that you’re going to have to have a few maybe bad or failed relationships before you find the one that works for you. Through every relationship, you’ll learn more about what triggers you and how your anxiety affects it.
Not sure where to start?
Learn more about your anxiety with Tranquility Online. Sign up for our 7-day free trial to overcome relationship anxiety with Tranquility Online through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.