Anxiety can creep in at any stage of a relationship. Sometimes it's a result of the things going on between you and your boyfriend; at other times, it's because of the things you tell yourself. If you are experiencing a new relationship anxiety, the latter is usually more common. It's alright, and you are not alone.
Nasty breakups and past experiences can easily make people entertain strange feelings even when everything seems perfect in their relationship.
Whatever the cause may be, the most important thing is that you don't allow it to ruin your new relationship. With that said, here are 17 tips to get you on the path to overcoming your anxiety so that you can focus on having a healthy future relationship.
The first step to overcoming anxiety is deciphering why you have the feelings in the first place. Mostly, anxiety comes from holding on to the past or entertaining a fear of the future. Also, research shows that they are deeply rooted in low self-esteem issues, which causes people to have thoughts like:
Take a pen and journal to write down how you feel and behave when your anxiety comes. Think back and remember what happened before the feeling came up so you can understand what triggers you.
One of the leading causes of anxiety at the beginning of a new relationship is the stuff that happened in your past relationships. I know it seems hard, you thought the last guy was the one, but he broke your trust. Perhaps he cheated, so what? That's his loss. It's time to look ahead and move forward.
Leave the past in the past, or it will affect you long term. Your ex is not your new boyfriend. If you entertain feelings that this new relationship will likely turn out like the previous one, chances are, you are going to have trust issues, and that's a recipe for another breakup.
The idea here is to shift your attention from the future to thoroughly enjoying the moment. Don't get me wrong, everyone hopes and, of course, make moves for a better future. However, when it comes to relationships, there's almost nothing you can do about the future. The little you can do about the future is to make the present amazing.
The "What if" thoughts build up anxiety while "What is" doesn't let you lose sight of the important things that are right in front of you.
So you just met a great guy that seems pretty cool? That's amazing. If he's not giving you any apparent reasons to make you have anxiety, go ahead and focus on this fresh start. I know at the start, a little bit of anxiety is normal for everyone. He's new, so the "does he really like me feeling" is totally common.
But once you try to focus on the things that make the relationship grow, you'll find yourself loosening up. Call more often, go out on dates, laugh together, make out time to be intimate. You just met, remember? Now is the time to build fresh memories that may keep the relationship on for a long time.
If you are doing next to nothing, it's easy to pour all your attention into just one thing. It's probably one of the generic causes of anxiety. It can happen with just about anything when you are too fixated on them—from relationships to projects, parties, outfits, etc. What you need to do is add more stuff to your plate.
If you notice you have too much free time, pick up a new project or a book. If you have a hobby, now will be the time to engage more in the things you like. This way, you can channel some of the energy from your anxiety to something productive or fun. With a hobby on the table, things will look like they may just be alright after all.
Trying to impress someone you just met is common with most people. It's totally normal. But while you are trying to do that, don't get lost in playing the script of the person you think your present beau will like. It'll keep you on edge all the time, and you'll most likely be anxious and tired from the burden of trying to be someone else. Would you like to know the best approach ever?
Be yourself. You don't need a script for it. There's no one better at being you than you. It is totally possible you are working on some negative aspects of yourself, but hey, we are all on a self-improvement journey. So that shouldn't make you start trying to be another person. At the end of the day, people should love you for who you are, and if he doesn't like the real you, the earlier you know, the better.
Perhaps you've been single for too long, and now the perfect guy is here. So you find yourself doing everything to make sure it works out. I've been down that road, so trust me when I say it won't end well when you force it. While you can do a lot from your end, there's very little you can do to make anyone dance to your tune.
They'll eventually do what they want. So at some point in your relationship, you need to sit back, enjoy the ride and see where it leads. Altogether, once you see yourself forcing a relationship, it's probably an indication that it's not meant to be. If it's going to work, it's not because you forced it.
One of the reasons anyone experiences anxiety is not being able to trust. There's no script or textbook for a perfect relationship. Every relationship is unique in its way, so at some point, you are going to let yourself go.
If you are too uptight or find it difficult to trust someone you just met, you'll end up not getting to know them. What's the point of dating someone when you are just going to chase them away because you are afraid to trust. Theirs is a saying, "the best approach to knowing if you can trust someone is to trust them."
Before you and your boyfriend became an item, you lived your individual lives as healthy human beings. Now that you are a couple, it doesn't mean you can't still have some personal boundaries.
Having boundaries isn't an opportunity to shut each other out; on the contrary, it's a time for some self-reflection, a time to do your thing. The thing is, being great as an individual will likely make you outstanding in a relationship.
It's not uncommon to try to understand every little detail at the start of a relationship. I've been guilty of that too. But when it's too much, that's one of the ways anxiety creeps into your relationship.
The spark between you both is still fresh, so take advantage of it and communicate more instead of imagining what each word of text means, what each action translates to, etc. Please have a little faith; it's okay to take some things at face value.
You'd be surprised how much relief you'll get from communicating your fears with your partner. If you know the reason for your anxiety, it's not a bad idea to talk to him about it. Let him in on your fears and your triggers; if he genuinely cares, you'll find that he'll calm your worries, and you can both keep the magic alive.
If you can't actually pinpoint the reason for your anxiety, talking to you man about it might be a little weird or challenging. You might even scare him off because he may just think you are a negative person.
Then it might be a great idea to talk to a professional therapist or a relationship coach. It might be a result of psychological pain from childhood. Research shows that people who have experienced abandonment at developmental stages often suffer anxiety when they meet someone.
Another way to deal with anxiety, especially when you are not totally sure of the reason, is to let your family or friends be a mirror to gather some perspective on your relationship.
You and your man can spend some time with your family or friends, so they can tell you what they think. You could hear something like, "he lights you up like a Christmas tree," or "he's so cute, and you guys are perfect for each other."
This comment can get you settled. Remember to tell them you need their honesty, so when they tell you something negative, you'll know your anxiety is probably not baseless. Now, this move can be counterproductive if you bring in the wrong set of people. Don't let someone who's too judgmental or negative share their thoughts about your relationship.
Research shows that expectation is the root of all disappointment. When you are in a new relationship, one of the best approaches is to keep your expectations realistic and in-check.
If you have an unnecessary expectation, you'd undoubtedly be feeling anxious most of the time. You'll likely be difficult to please because you'll naturally see faults. So, identify those unfair expectations and let them go.
We all have flaws, and it's straightforward to project our insecurities and flaws onto others. So before you point fingers at your partner as the cause of a problem, you might want to look inwards first. Consider the possibility that you might need to work on yourself before changing something about others. That shift in perspective will naturally throw some burden off you.
Don't take this the wrong way; I don't mean "selfish" in a negative way. It's easy to focus on whether you are good enough for a guy when you've just met. Oh! Am I pretty enough for him? Does he like my hairstyle? Does he like my dress style? His ex is prettier, can keep up?
The truth is, all of these feelings will naturally cause anxiety. But sometimes, you need to ask yourself if he's good enough for you. Again, that shift in thinking will take some edge off you, and you won't feel a constant need to impress.
It's possible the way you look can be a source of anxiety. If you are harboring a feeling like "I'm fat, he'll probably leave me," then there's nothing wrong with working on yourself. Hit the gym if you feel there's a need to drop some weight. More importantly, work on your self-esteem or lack of sense of self as you aim at getting better.
But make sure you are doing it for yourself. You shouldn't aim at getting better because of a man; you'll end up feeling awful if the relationship doesn't work out the way you want. You'll feel like" all that self-imposed" stress was for nothing.
Anxiety is totally normal, starting a relationship. It's nothing to worry about if it's a mix of excitement and the thought of playing it safe. But when your anxieties are stealing the magic, you might need to deal with them so that it doesn't ruin a partnership that has the potential of blossoming into a long-term romance.
First, you might need to look inward and see the trigger or source of your anxiety. If it's rooted in the pain of a past relationship, you need to tell yourself your new boyfriend isn't your ex. Assuming your current boyfriend will behave like your ex means you have rigged that relationship for failure before it has got the chance to thrive. Focus on the present, and build fresh memories. Once you know your triggers, avoid them and talk to your man for reassurance.
While I'll like to go by numbers, I've come to realize relationships are different. You'll meet some people, and the chemistry between the two of you is just out of this world. However, if you are playing safe and following the thumb rules of dating, it takes an average of 2.5 to 4 months. Research shows that men settle in faster than women.
Love can make you vulnerable, and yes, if you find yourself falling hard for a guy and you are not sure if he feels the same way, anxiety can creep in. The feeling that you are at risk of getting hurt may naturally make you feel uneasy because you need to know if you are not technically alone in the relationship.
Feeling insecure in a new relationship can be the result of a past experience. Sometimes, insecurities are just a product of low self-esteem or psychological issues from childhood, such as abandonment. The great news is you can overcome them before they ruin your relationship.
Everyone feels a little relationship anxiety when they meet someone new. Sometimes, it's just a feeling of excitement and the need to play it safe. But it can be more than that if your past experiences are not very pretty. So identifying them and dealing with them with a combination of these tips will help in having a healthy relationship.
I hope you enjoyed the article? Feel free to drop a comment and share it with anyone experiencing new relationship anxiety.