Do you suffer from anxiety? Are you dating or want to start dating? Oftentimes, the thought of putting yourself out there and being vulnerable may sound anxiety-provoking. Sometimes we may find that relationships feel more difficult to maintain when we have anxiety. However, I know for a fact that you are worthy of love. You are also worthy of a partner who is there for you even in your darkest times. Through my own experiences, I’ve put together some of my essentials for dating with anxiety.
For starters, be honest with your partner about your struggles. This is so simple but so important. Transparency is key. It is essential to be able to find a partner with who you can be open and honest. If something, in particular, causes your anxiety, it’s so important that they know so they can be on the same page as you and help in times of need.
Communication! How many times have we heard this one? It is stated so frequently because it’s truly vital. In this case, communicate with your partner about what best helps you when you’re anxious. Although it would be amazing if they were mind readers, sadly, they aren’t. Where there is communication, there also comes listening. As much as you should be communicating with your partner, you should also listen to what they have to say.
Trust Your Partner
Oftentimes, when we have anxiety, a common question we ask ourselves is “does my partner really love me?” Try to trust your partner. If they haven’t given you any reason to worry about them, give them the benefit of the doubt. If they have been there for you and they show that they care about you, trust that they are being truthful and that they do love you.
Create boundaries for yourself. Do not neglect your own needs and wants simply because you are in a relationship. It is important to still make time for yourself and for your own hobbies. Ensure that you’re only doing things that you are comfortable with.
Know Your Worth
Sometimes anxiety can blur the lines between reality and fear. But, if your partner is putting you down or making you feel bad about your struggles, maybe they aren’t for you. You deserve someone who lifts you up when you’re down, rather than pushing you lower. You need to know what you deserve. Remember that your worth is not tied to another person. If someone doesn’t want to be with you, it does not mean that anything is wrong with you.
Take a Step Back Before Reacting
Frequently when we are anxious, we react right away based on those anxious feelings. Try not to react right away. If your partner does something to spark your anxiety, take a step back before reacting. Perhaps take a shower, go for a walk, or talk to a friend. Once you are in a calmer state of mind, then you can address what happened. This is a much healthier way of dealing with any issues that may arise.
Only You Can Help You
Never expect your partner to “fix” you. Your partner should be there to support you, be by your side, and help you through hard times, but no one can “fix” you. Putting these expectations on a partner can be draining to them and can negatively affect your relationship. It is up to you, and only you, to work on yourself inside and outside of the relationship. Your partner should be on your side—supporting you to help yourself. However, do not expect them to do the work for you, as they simply cannot.
Your Anxiety Does Not Define You
Lastly, please remember that your anxiety does not define you. You still have so much to offer. You have so many talents, abilities, and incredible qualities to you. Simply because you suffer from anxiety, does not mean that you have less to offer. You are just as amazing as someone who does not have anxiety. Do not sell yourself short. Having anxiety is not something to be embarrassed about. Everybody has something that they are insecure about bringing to a relationship, but the insecurity does not have to define you. Your partner should be someone who loves every part of you and is willing to offer support through your hardest times.
No perfect relationship exists, but a happy and healthy one does! Try to be mindful about how and who you are in your relationships. Anxiety doesn’t need to stop you from entering the dating world. It’s not as scary as it may seem. And please, if there’s anything you take away from this is that your anxiety does not define you. So, go get the love you so obviously deserve!
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