Falling in love is probably one of the most spectacular experiences you can enjoy as a human being. However, when you are in a relationship with someone who has to struggle with anxiety disorder daily, you would need compassion more than love to keep things going. Introspect yourself and know your strengths before choosing to date an individual with anxiety.
A lot of kindness, maturity and of course love can keep your relationship thriving despite your partner’s anxiety. Try to gather as much information as possible about how anxiety affects different people and see what you can do to help.
Things To Remember When You Love Someone With Anxiety
Below are some ways you can prove that falling in love with you was indeed the best thing that happened in your partner’s life.
1. Be The Calm One
People with anxiety disorders get worked up for the smallest of reasons. In such a scenario, when your loved one is jittery, ideally you should be the more collected one. If both of you are at each other’s throat s or driving each other up the wall for the same reasons, your relationship is going to be short-lived.Remember they’re worth fighting for.
Understand that you have to channel your empathy towards placing yourself in your loved one’ shoes.This doesn’t mean that you have constantly keep checking if they are okay. Their body language could indicate that they are having an anxious moment. Ask them if they want to leave the situation or if there’s anything you can do for them to feel better. Remember they’re worth fighting for.
2. Show Up And Listen
Anxiety makes the monkey mind’s chatter to go berserk. In particular, if your significant other had failures in the past in relationships, chances are you would have to try harder to make them feel secure. Many of the fights happen when their apprehensions or assumptions about something looms large in their head.
The kindest thing you can do in this situation is to show up with consistency. Perceive what they need and make sure you are never short of giving it. While some with anxiety need reassurance, some others need space. Encourage them to voice their insecurities. Listen without judging and see if you can provide a solution. If there’s none, keep listening and be there for them.
3. Never Belittle Or Mock Their Fears
Regardless of the insane number of times, their rant might seem irrational to you, never ever mock them. Comfort them with your presence and words. If you claim that they are overreacting, you will end up breaking their faith in you. This could make them feel more vulnerable in the relationship.
4. Never Slack On Communication
Communication between both of you should be without loopholes. Keep your partner well-informed if you won’t be able to text him from work. Be prompt about replying to calls or texts unless you have a genuine reason otherwise. Being upfront about your situation will prevent them from freaking out unnecessarily.
5. Remember That Social Gatherings Are Upsetting
Social anxiety is an inherent part of most people who suffer from anxiety disorders. Understand that large groups that include both familiar or unfamiliar people may still make them feel uncomfortable. People with anxiety issues love their private space dearly and are open to allow only a few into it.
Unless they volunteer to include more people don’t pressurize them into getting rid of their social awkwardness. Rather than expecting them to accommodate and adjust, be nice and let them be wherever they feel safe.1
6. Focus On Their Awesomeness
Each relationship is challenging and unique in beautiful ways. Every time you feel that your partner’s anxiety is going overboard, stop and remember why you started loving her in the first place. Revive shared passions and spend time doing things you both cherish. This not only strengthens your bond but also keeps your minds brimming with positivity.
After all, it’s not the problem but the attitude towards it that makes it worse. Choose to count your loved one’s virtues. Understand that anxiety and overthinking flourishes when you are not living in the moment. Encourage your partner to practice meditation and yoga which are proven to help overcome anxiety.2
Don’t sacrifice your life and personal interests in the process of caring for your partner. Remember to practice self-love before you can give love. Keep faith in your relationship and eventually, the warmth of your love will be all that your partner would need to rise above the darkest depths of her mind.3
|↑1||Stein, Murray B., and Dan J. Stein. “Social anxiety disorder.” The Lancet 371, no. 9618 (2008): 1115-1125.|
|↑2||Toneatto, Tony, and Linda Nguyen. “Does mindfulness meditation improve anxiety and mood symptoms? A review of the controlled research.” The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 52, no. 4 (2007): 260-266.|
|↑3||Spouse or Partner. Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)|