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Relationships - anxiety without justification?

Hi everyone,

 

Second time posting here and it's been a while since my first post! Have also come a long way since then and things have changed a lot (more so for the better).

 

I am several months into a new relationship (my first) and over the course of it I have noticed sporadic anxiety developing. This anxiety actually initially started before we were together, and was triggered by situations with the girl I am now with. We have a great relationship and she makes me feel very happy when we talk and spend time together. However, we have of course had a few big arguments which have caused a lot of emotional pain and anxiety. We have worked through them, but something that happens to me now is a rise in anxiety in unnecessary situations.

 

I have found that when her texting tone changes/ seems off, when her responses are curt, or when she's slow to respond, this involuntary anxiety begins to surface. My subconscious is saying "have I said something wrong to make her upset/ mad?". Or sometimes "why won't she give my the time/ tell me what she's doing?". In actual fact, I don't care about any of these things because I have full trust in her, completely understand her needs when she's busy, and am not clingy/ overly attached requiring constant attention. I don't need instant/ quick responses to show things are ok, but my anxiety says otherwise. Whilst my logic says everything is fine (which it is), the anxiety manifests itself completely involuntarily and without any real justification. I get unsettled, am not calm and keep on checking my phone to see when if she has messaged. I have no legitimate reason to feel anxious but I do, and I don't know how to stop it. The moment I return to speaking with her normally, the anxiety disappears, but I am yet to figure out a way of coping/ dealing with it when it's present.

 

Has anyone experienced similar things? Have you found ways of dealing with the anxiety, or better yet - methods to stop the anxiety from creeping up in the first place? Whilst things are ok, I am concerned that if the anxiety continues it will lead to an unhealthy relationship.

 

Thanks heaps for taking time to read my thoughts. Feels good to write things out.

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Re: Relationships - anxiety without justification?

@delta413  welcome back to the forum!

 

Firstly, I'm glad things felt good for to write out everything- getting that release is important, can be a great source of relief, clarity, and a foundation to start addressing things in a positive way with the support of loved ones and the online community (including us)!

 

I would take the pressure off yourself a little bit- what you feel is valid, natural, and ok to feel- there doesn't need to be a reason or trigger. What's important is that you acknowledge and recognise it. Not having someone respond or having a certain tone of response can be anxiety-inducing, making us feel apprehensive, worried, uncertain. You say these feelings go away when things go to normal, so that's a good thing. But when they do come, it can be good to deal with them in a productive way, as you say. You can self-care, jump off social media (or on if it gives you a distraction?) or do an activity that doesn't involve technology so you won't be tempted to check for a response. This could be exercise or just having an elaborate shower. It doesn't have to too structured or complicated- just something that makes you smile and shifts your focus.

If the anxiety gets worse or persists no matter what's happening, we can consider other steps, if you like. Keep us updated, hope this provides a tidbit of clarity for you!

 

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Re: Relationships - anxiety without justification?

Hey @delta413 - I think a lot of us can really relate to those feelings of anxiety and uncertainty in the early stages of a relationship. The fact that you're aware of these feelings is huge - and it's great that you're able to recognise it and stop yourself from changing the way that you act towards her based on those feelings is a huge win. I think it's important to be kind to yourself, and recognise that these are feelings that will pass. When we're in the early days of a relationship, our brains and hormones can go a bit nuts and make us react in pretty heightened ways. I know that when I'm feeling anxious, exercise can really help - have you ever tried going for a walk, or a run/ whatever activity you enjoy when you're having these feelings? 

 

It's great to hear that writing things out here helped you a bit too - it's often great to get it all down on paper. 

 

I also just wanted to add that if you feel like these feelings of anxiety are starting to interfere with how you function, or you're worried about it taking a toll on your relationship, it can really help to chat to a professional - a GP should be able to help you get set up with a mental health care plan so you can talk it through with a psychologist if you think that would be helpful for you. 

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Re: Relationships - anxiety without justification?

Hi @Janine-RO and @Tay100 thank you so much for your responses! They mean a lot, and reading this actually put me at ease and in a calm spot. It's really helpful to know that these feelings can be normal in the early stages of a relationship because of how our minds work, and that in time these things should work out as I understand the relationship more. I do like the idea of keeping distracted or even disconnected from the network to ease things out.

 

Thank you again, this has been really helpful!

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Re: Relationships - anxiety without justification?

Hi @delta413 I just wanted to reiterate that this is such a normal feeling and something I have a lot of personal experience with. Ive had a few relationships and noticed my anxiety levels change per relationship! I have learnt over time that communicating my anxiety is the best remedy - ive been with my current boyfriend for a year and he is actually the one to experience a similar anxiety to what you are describing and I have strongly encouraged him to communicate his anxiety to me so I can help him in easing it. I have also been the one to experience the anxiety and unfortunately I never found a remedy to relieving it unless I just tackled it front on and spoke to my partner about it. I dont know if that is something you are comfortable with doing as you know your partner best.

Nonetheless acknowledging your anxiety and the root cause is so mature of you and I admire you for coming to the forums to seek some advice <3
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Re: Relationships - anxiety without justification?

@delta413 a great insight- and we are glad some our advice resonated with you. Keep us posted on how you go Smiley Happy

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Re: Relationships - anxiety without justification?

@Wolfie_ hi and thanks so much for your words! Means a lot. 

Very helpful to hear actually and I think you’re right - making it clear and known could make a big difference for sure. I’m even finding that after hearing everyone’s comments and speaking out, I already have significantly less anxiety than I did before. Thank you!!

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Re: Relationships - anxiety without justification?

Hi @delta413! I think what you're experiencing is a really common issue. I know lots of people who find themselves getting anxious about whether something bad is happening in their relationships. It's also a bit hard to interpret online or text messages without seeing the person's facial expression and tone of voice.
Something that has helped me in the past is asking a few questions about the situation and what I'm thinking. For example, sometimes I think of alternative explanations and evidence against my view. I've used this article a lot to think about questions I could ask myself.
I'm so glad you're feeling better now! Smiley Happy

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Re: Relationships - anxiety without justification?

@delta413 thats amazing! Normalising it can actually be such a relief. I know offering support to my boyfriend when he felt that way and validating his feelings made it so much easier for him to talk about it and then deal with it. So glad I could offer you that support and always here for more if you need!!