Dating someone with severe anxiety or an anxiety disorder can be quite stressful. It may even begin to feel like there is a third person in the relationship. And that third person is the one who constantly plants uncertainty and disarray within the relationship. There’s a lot to know about anxiety and dating and that’s why in this post you’ll learn 6 things you should know before dating someone with anxiety.
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When dating someone with anxiety, it’s important to remember that anxiety is not logical or rational. It causes people to worry about something despite there being no real evidence to suggest it is worth worrying about. But anxiety doesn’t have to break a relationship or put a strain on it.
6 Things You Should Know Before Dating Someone With Anxiety
1. Dating isn’t easy for us
Every time I meet someone, I struggle with coming out to that person about my anxiety disorder. You’d be surprised at how some people have no idea of what an anxiety disorder is or just lack the basic knowledge of mental health, period. It is flat out ridiculous. But anyway, I struggle with coming out because I can’t ever straight up tell them, okay this is what it is and this is what it’s not. Why? Because it changes every day and there is no telling. One day I might show these 3 symptoms and the other I may only show one.
Some people are able to go from relationship to relationship without a problem. For people with anxiety, it’s a bit more than that. People with anxiety don’t like change, in fact, we hate it. When we are dating someone or getting involved with someone, we will always be thinking long-term in the back of our heads.
For people who don’t have anxiety, this can become kind of annoying which I totally get. But let me tell you why we need reassurance from our partners. There is not a day that goes by where we are not thinking about the famous what-ifs. “What if he/she is leaving me? And what if this won’t work out for us? What if I’m not good enough? What is he/she is seeing someone behind my back”…. and the list just goes on and on my friend! People with anxiety need reassurance to help calm the vicious cycle of what-ifs in their heads.
3. Cancellation of Plans
It can sometimes be a struggle for people with anxiety to keep the plans they’ve made. And the reason may not even be you. One reason for canceling plans they made a week ago could simply be depending on how their anxiety is showing up in their life currently. Anxiety can be quite overwhelming sometimes and it shows up when someone least expects it to.
4. It’s hard to move on from things
No one is perfect, and we all know this. But there are mistakes that can be made in a relationship. For people with anxiety, it takes much longer to forgive and you better believe it will not be forgotten. People with anxiety dwell on the wrong anyone has ever done to them to be sure that it never happens again.
I think I struggle with this a lot and I am speaking shamelessly on it. I hate being lied to. Now I understand things happen, people lie, and no one is perfect. But having anxiety, causes me to dwell on things like that. Then I start making accusations and never believing a single thing I hear again. Toxic, I know. But I’m working on that.
Note: Don’t ever lie to an over-thinker. You will hear about it for weeks + it just never ends well. It only causes trust issues in the relationship and it just makes things harder.
5. Anxious Attachment Style
People with anxiety have an anxious attachment style. It’s when they feel insecure and need frequent reassurances which can sometimes come off as needy to those with a secure attachment style. Having an anxious attachment style can cause a person to crave close intimate connections. The need for closeness and intimacy never seems satisfied and they’re left wondering if their partner really wants to be with them. And that’s where reassuring them would come in.
6. Anxiety Can’t Be Controlled
Remember that anxiety cannot be controlled and it is not a choice. I’ve never met anyone who had anxiety and enjoyed it. Anxiety can pop up at any time of the day and when you least expect it. So don’t go expecting your partner to act “normal” when you need them to. It doesn’t work like that.
What are some ways you can support your partner?
- Do some research on their condition and educate yourself.
- Be honest about everything in the relationship.
- Make sure they know you love them even with anxiety.
- Purchase them copies of my ebooks.
- Set boundaries.
- Don’t try to fix them.
- Always listen.
Sharing an understanding of anxiety can make a relationship stronger.
I say this because you’ll be able to see your partner’s internal struggles clearly and compassionately. Anxiety doesn’t have to only be a source of stress in a relationship.