Entering a new relationship can be stressful enough as it is.
You’re constantly wondering when the awkward “what are we?” chat is going to go down or when you’ll be introduced to your partner’s friends — preferably in daylight and not in a dirty bar.
But could you imagine what a new relationship would feel like if you suffered from anxiety? Simple things like waiting for your partner to text you back sends your stomach into painful knots, while wondering why they didn’t send you a good morning text leaves your heart and mind racing like a speeding car without breaks.
For 12 per cent of Canadians, this debilitating disorder consumes their lives and is frustrating enough in everyday life; say, when you’re so paranoid about a meeting you have scheduled with your boss that you have a shot (or three) to calm your nerves. When it comes to dating, anxiety makes an already high-strung situation that much worse.
Here are eight common relationship struggles that those with anxiety will understand…
Whenever the person you’re seeing doesn’t answer you back, you immediately go into crisis mode and begin to expect the worst – it‘s been 10 minutes… they must be talking to their ex again.
Your Brain is Always in Overdrive
Even when your partner is sound asleep or it’s well after three in the morning, your brain kicks into overdrive. You can’t stop thinking about who the random person your partner followed on Instagram today was, which leads to you to believe that they must be talking to someone behind your back. It takes all of your willpower to refrain from waking them up for answers.
You’re Constantly Uncomfortable
You’re so uncomfortable when you go out to a restaurant that you can hardly eat and your date either assumes you have an eating disorder or you really don’t want to be there. But the truth is you really do want to be there – you’re just so paranoid that you might eat too fast or get food stuck in your teeth, so you’re left nibbling on your food like a nervous rabbit.
You Wish You Had a Fast-Forward Button
You’re always happy when you meet someone new, but the thought of casual dating and awkward conversations gives you stomach ulcers. You operate better in relationships only once you feel comfortable and when you really trust the person; the stages of casual dating can really interfere with that. In a perfect world, you could just fast-forward to the good stuff and fall right into Netflix and Chill.
You Constantly Assume the Worst
Whenever the person you’re seeing says they’re busy and they can’t hang out, you just assume they’re making excuses. It couldn’t be possible that they actually have their mom’s birthday dinner or that their boss wants to take them out for celebratory drinks – nope, not a chance.
Meeting Their Friends
You’re already stressed out about how every minor aspect of the relationship is going, so a whole different set of anxieties kick in when it’s time to meet your significant other’s friends. You have a hard enough time trying to act normal in front of your partner, and now they expect you to be able to do that in front of a group of new people — the thought alone makes you feel lightheaded and nauseous.
You Never Feel Good Enough
It doesn’t matter if everything is going really well – you constantly feel like your relationship could end at any minute. It doesn’t matter that you were introduced to their parents over the weekend or that their friends love you. A voice in your head keeps interrupting your thoughts to tell you that you’re not good enough and that it won’t last. You begin to act irrationally and try with all of your power not to push them away, but your frantic behaviour makes them uncomfortable and everything worse.
People Constantly Want to “Fix You”
You’ve been dealing with anxiety for most of your adult life and you know how to control it and how certain situations will make you feel. Even though your partner means well when they say they want to “fix you,” anxiety doesn’t have a simple remedy. It’s is a part of who you are, and anyone who wants to “fix you” doesn’t deserve you.