Do you feel anxious in a relationship? Find that you’re constantly questioning yourself, your partner and the relationship? Are you scared of losing your boyfriend? Scared of your boyfriend losing interest? Or maybe you’re starting to question whether he’s actually “the one” for you? Here’s the key signs of relationship anxiety – so that you can spot the symptoms, and better know what to do. You ready? Then let’s start from the top…
What Is Relationship Anxiety?
Relationship anxiety, otherwise referred to as relationship based anxiety, is essentially the feelings of intense worry about a romantic relationship.
You can also have relationship anxiety when it comes to friendships, and many of the following signs will also apply to that. In this article however, we’re going to look specifically at anxiety in a relationship.
Is Relationship Anxiety The Same As “Normal” Anxiety?
There are actually many different types of anxiety. For example, Social Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Separation Anxiety Disorder, and phobias even – are all types of anxiety.
The most common type of of anxiety however, is Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD). This is typically what is referred to when someone speaks about suffering from anxiety.
It is therefore similar to relationship anxiety, except when you suffer from generalised anxiety, it’s more about excessive worrying relating to different activities and events. Relationship anxiety refers specifically to the worrying over your relationship.
You may therefore struggle with relationship anxiety, without having generalised anxiety.
What Are The Signs of Relationship Anxiety?
Now that you have a brief introduction into anxiety in a relationship, let’s get a little clearer on what the signs of relationship anxiety are.
It’s important to mention that everyone has relationship anxiety, to some degree, at some point or another. It’s natural, and perfectly normal. It only moves through into unhealthy and damaging when it takes over.
So have a read of the following signs and ask yourself:
“Do I do this? Is this true for me? And if so, to what degree?”
20 Signs Of Relationship Anxiety
Let’s get into it. Here’s 20 signs of relationship anxiety.
1) You Worry That Your Partner Is Cheating
One of the key signs of relationship anxiety – particularly when the trust between your partner is actually there (or you have no reason not to trust them) – is when you STILL excessively worry about your partner cheating.
However, in many cases, if relationship anxiety is also present, none of this actually matters. You’re scared of losing your partner. You’re constantly looking out for “threats” and there being someone else on the picture, or a betrayal lurking, is definitely one of them.
2) You Worry That Your Feelings Aren’t Recipocated
Another common fear that comes with relationship anxiety is that your partner doesn’t feel as strongly for you, as you do for them.
Again, it sometimes doesn’t even matter how strong your relationship is or what your partner does, in the moments where it levels out, these doubts and concerns seap in.
The problem is, where you want to bring your partner closer, cling onto them in many ways, you only actually end up pushing them away.
3) You Often Check Up On Your Partner
When you have relationship anxiety, you’ll find you tend to cross the boundary of being caring and inquisitive – asking what your partner is up to and how their day is going – into obsessive and potentially controlling.
You want to know where they are, what they’re doing and you’ll make a note of it, to then see if their story begins to conflict.
If things get really bad, you may also find yourself breaking their trust and privacy by checking their phone, laptop, texts, emails. If you’re at this point, you really need to take a step back and reevaluate, because it’s not fair or right.
4) You’re Scared Of The Relationship Ending
For whatever reason, whether it’s down to him, to you, to whoever – you’re scared of the relationship ending. You’re worried that it won’t work out.
And not just scared of losing them, but feeling like you would be unable to cope.
5) You Question Whether It’s Right
On the other end of the spectrum, relationship anxiety can also make you struggle to commit. You may feel like a relationship is a big decision, a massive tie, and you’re scared of making the wrong choice.
- Is he the one?
- Is this relationship actually right for me?
- Will this relationship hold me back?
- Are we really compatible?
- Is there someone more suitable out there for me?
- Am I making the right call here?
You might also find yourself comparing your relationship to others, or putting unrealistic expectations on the two of you and what your relationship is like.
Remember, no-one and nothing is perfect. In fact, you’ll be waiting your whole life if you set the standards of pure perfection!
6) You Overanalyse Pretty Much Everything
You feel anxious. Anxious about the relationship. And so consequently, you find yourself not only overthinking the things that have happened – and what they might mean – but also situations that could happen.
When you’re in a relationship, the relationship pretty much takes over. This isn’t because of the person. It isn’t actually anything to do with the person – it could be anyone. This is because it’s down to you, your mind and the relationship anxiety that’s driving it.
7) You Blow Situations Out Of Proportion
Because your mind is running wild, because there’s so much more going on in there than most people would think or believe (especially your partner in many cases!), it can cause you to overreact. It can make you act in ways your partner doesn’t understand.
This is down to the fact that there’s so much going on under the surface. You’ve thought of everything, from every angle, like we said above. And as a result of this, it can sometimes create problems that aren’t really there or don’t need to be there.
This combined with heightened emotions that come from the relationship anxiety, can create some pretty big blow ups. This is why it’s good to work on building your emotional stability, learning to calm down, free your mind and think clearly again.
8) You’re Oversensitive
Again, with all of these signs of relationship anxiety in mind, it’s no wonder that you’re oversensitive. You read into situations, take little things to heart and can find yourself getting hurt quite easily – even when it wasn’t intentional from the other side.
9) You Constantly Seek Reassurance
You want to know what your partner is thinking, how they feel about things, how they feel about you. Initially, this is okay. But as time goes on, it can become pretty tiring.
If your partner then shows this frustration, you then (of course!) read into that or take it the wrong way; your doubt and worry escalating once more.
It’s not healthy and you know it. In fact, deep down, you know exactly how you feel based on all of their words and actions to date… but if your relationship anxiety has taken over, and isn’t managed properly, this won’t even matter.
You’ll still keep asking, still keep pushing and get worked up if you’re not given the “right” answers or told the “right” things.
10) You’re Controlling or Demanding
You’re often criticising your partner. You’re hard on them, you know that. And you don’t like the way you’re treating them, or the way you feel about them. You still love them, but you’re afraid of loving them – you don’t feel comfortable loving them.
The thing is, you don’t really feel comfortable loving anyone. And in many cases, you often don’t fully love yourself either (which is the sad truth.)
This is at the core of your relationship anxiety. That uncomfortable feeling drives the anxiety. And so to try to regain control – due to a lack of control over your feelings for this person – you try to control your partner.
You become bossy, demanding, confrontational when you don’t get your own way. And you don’t want to be like it, you may be aware of it and try to stop it even. But if your relationship anxiety is deep-rooted, it can be very very hard.
11) You Struggle To Keep Your Emotions In Tact
You’re not the “happy go lucky” fun-loving woman you were when you first met your ex. You’re on edge. Anxious. And so it’s no doubt that there’s often blow ups of anger or sadness.
These may also be mixed in with emotional repression. After all, these emotions can become pretty tiring. They can wear you out to the point of wanting to give up and bottle it all away. But this is not the answer!
The answer is instead, in working through it… Which we’ll come to. Don’t worry. You’re not alone on this now.
12) You Push Your Partner Away
Your relationship anxiety is led by your fears. Most commonly your fears of losing the person you love – of having them leave you. There’s most likely some limiting beliefs in there, at the heart of everything. But it drives you to behave badly.
Intentionally or not, you do things that push your partner away. In fact, you often know your behaviour isn’t quite right and there’s a chance you could end up pushing them too far – but it’s a toxic, viscous cycle that’s difficult to escape.
In many cases, you’re also testing them – testing them how far you can push them, how much they will fight for you, and how much (in your eyes) they actually love you.
You’re also scared of something happening, you think it will happen, so you try to “prove yourself right” (even when you don’t really want to be right about it.) If they then leave, you can say “I knew it”, but this only feeds into your low-self esteem and negative beliefs.
13) You Put Your Partner Above Everyone Else
On the flip side, if your relationship anxiety doesn’t cause you to push your partner away, it may be that it has the opposite effect – making you do everything and anything you can to keep them happy.
This means that your relationship may be a little one-sided. (Click here for the signs!) And it doesn’t necessarily mean that you love your partner more than they love you, but the dynamics aren’t quite right, the relationship needs to be balanced out.
See, it’s one thing to be the best partner that you can be – this should be the goal! But this shouldn’t come at the expense of your own needs. So it’s important to notice, recognise and take a step back.
14) You Don’t Feel Like You’re Being Yourself
So we mentioned above the fact that one of the signs of relationship anxiety is that you’ve lost your spark… you’re not fully yourself.
This is not just because your fears and worries are stopping you from fully relaxing and enjoying what you have – but you’re also likely to want to avoid conflict.
You don’t speak up, you always try to “keep the peace” and fundamentally this comes down to the fact that you’re still so scared of losing your partner.
It’s changing you. It’s affecting you. And this isn’t how relationships should feel.
15) You Can Be Clingy or Distant
When you struggle with relationship anxiety you may find that you do one of two things:
- Become Clingy. Overshare. Are needy. Demanding, like we said above. And put everything into, and on, that one person.
- Stay Guarded. Don’t fully let them in. Are reluctant to open up and share. Always keep a part of yourself, to yourself.
Both are usually to extremes. Whereas a healthy relationship has balance.
You let someone in, without putting too much on them. You’re invested in the relationship, whilst still being your own person. You open up without constantly offloading. It’s give and take – and also equal both ways.
16) You May Rush The Relationship
Talking of extremes, if you struggle with anxiety in a relationship, you may find that you try to rush the relationship. You start to catch feelings and this scares you. So you rush for a label, you push for exclusivity, you want to make it official ASAP.
This is often before you’ve properly got to know the person – or even fully qualified if they’re right for you!
The thing is, you’re driven by your emotions and emotions make your relationship anxiety worse, which is why you crave the “security” you think you’ll get from a relationship – only to find, the label doesn’t even give you that long term.
17) Or Are Reluctant To Commit
On the flip side, you it could be that you tend to avoid serious relationships or it took you a lot to commit to your partner. This is because – as we mentioned – you’re scared that it won’t work out and that you will be hurt, disappointed or betrayed.
It was therefore likely to be a long – and potentially – rocky ride to get to where you are with your partner. You may have a habit of walking away at the first sign of trouble or simply not letting the other person in. This leads me onto my next point…
18) You May Abruptly End The Relationship
If you suffer from anxiety in relationships, you’re likely to end up LOOKING for reasons to end it – to try to get you back in a more comfortable position (single and more emotionally stable!)
Even when things are going well in your relationship, you find problems, create problems, get the ick for no apparent reason, and like we said above – literally run at the first sign of trouble, ending it instead of working through things.
All relationships have hiccups, even the strongest ones. But for you, they’re simply an excuse to get out. This is the easier option in some cases. Although it hurts, you convince yourself it’s for the best and then – most likely – push it out your mind.
19) Or Sabotage It
When there aren’t any problems, you’ll also find that you often sabotage your relationships, putting it down to the fact that it “won’t work anyway…”
You do things that you don’t want or mean, things that aren’t right in some cases too. This ties into pushing your partner away because the fear is too much to handle. The anxiety becomes unbearable and so you’re just looking for an escape, a way out.
In many ways there’s a self-fulfilling prophesy in self-sabotaging behaviour. Regardless of this, it’s important to:
- Recognise when you’re sabotaging.
- Understand why you’re doing it – where is it coming from?
- Realise what you actually want here.
20) You Can’t Fully Enjoy It
Now many of these signs of relationship anxiety are pretty extreme. They also sound pretty terrible too. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
You’re not crazy.
It doesn’t make you a bad person.
There’s things that are driving this.
And it’s not all bad, all the time.
It also doesn’t have to always be this way either.
Right now though, if you are struggling with relationship anxiety, to whichever degree, one of the biggest signs is that it just sucks the fun, happiness and joy from the relationship… Not to mention the love.
And yes it won’t be like this 24-7, but generally speaking – relationship anxiety does prevent you from appreciating what you have, relaxing, enjoying what you have and enabling it to be everything that it can be.
You’re not fully happy. You don’t feel safe, content, fulfilled, secure. And these are all the main indicators.
How Do You Know If You Have Relationship Anxiety?
If you’ve read through this article, have been scanning through the signs of relationship anxiety and are thinking that many of these sound pretty similar to you – then it’s likely that you have relationship anxiety.
What Triggers Relationship Anxiety?
When it comes to what causes anxiety in a relationship, it can be pretty complicated. It’s likely that a number of factors are going to come into play with it. From your genetics to your background, the things that have previously happened in your life and the impact they’ve had.
It’s like where you get your attachment style from, and how abandonment issues are developed even. Many people with abandonment issues will also suffer from relationship anxiety. It’s worth reading into to try to piece together the cause of your relationship anxiety.
Once you know the root, it makes it easier to notice the particular events, emotions or experiences that may cause your symptoms of relationship anxiety to kick off, or make them worse. For instance:
- It could be if your partner doesn’t text back straight away – your mind starts to run wild (even if you know it shouldn’t and there’s no reason to really!)
- Or perhaps it’s when you’re having a “bad face day” and don’t feel confident in yourself. Maybe you get dressed up to go out and you just feel uncomfortable which makes you overreact about everything and things escalate from there.
Whatever it is, these are your triggers. You’re likely to have more than one, and sometimes you’ll be triggered for no apparent reason.
But if you can try to spot the patterns, if you can piece together even some of your relationship anxiety triggers, it makes it far easier to work through. Step by step, it will become clearer, providing you continue to focus, learn and grow.
How Do You Stop Feeling Anxious In a Relationship?
For how to deal with anxiety in a relationship, click on over here for part two of the relationship anxiety series.
See, this is the good news – although relationship anxiety can kind of suck, there are things you can do to ease it. It just takes time, commitment and action. But you’ll get there.
For personal one-on-one support for dealing with relationship anxiety, click here. I’ll coach you through step by step, making the process far easier and more effective.
Living with anxiety is like being followed by a voice. It knows all of your insecurities and uses them against you. Don’t let it. Shout louder. Diminish that voice until it’s eventually just a whisper…
You can do this. Take care. Get determined. And don’t lose faith.