Both men and women often face self-doubt when starting a new relationship or going on the new level in their present one. After all, it is easier to build a couple with those people who don't have high requirements, ambitions, or requests, who are to your service at all times and plan relationships without obligations. But when you want to have a serious relationship or are on the verge of starting a new one, then the severe relationship anxiety and fear of unknowingness always exist. That is why if we are not aware of how to deal with relationship anxiety at this stage, it can later grow into some more serious problems.
Not to miss the opportunity of having a great romance and reject people because of your fear and inferiority complex, you need to detect the symptoms of relationship anxiety in time and start working on their liquidation. In today's article, we are going to talk about how to do it properly and discover different reasons for such a phenomenon like anxiety in a relationship.
What Is Relationship Anxiety?
Analyzing the causes of relationship anxiety disorder, we have come to the conclusion that there are not so many reality-based reasons, but imaginary ones are increasingly dominating. For example:
Lack of time: "I am so busy with my work that there is no time for relationships." If they appear, either the work (friends, hobby) will suffer, or the relationship will be incomplete because you think you cannot give them enough time. Frankly speaking, this is not even a reason, but an excuse. To begin with, you need to stop looking at the world in black and white and get rid of the maximum-concepts concerning relationships, you need to reorganize your life priorities and understand what is really important and what is not. Much of what a person was worried about, with the advent of a loved one, go on the second plan and no longer emerges. No matter how scary it was for you that you wouldn’t have time for your regular life!
Dissatisfaction with oneself is another imaginary reason for new relationship anxiety. "I am not yet smart enough/ handsome/ rich/ successful, I should first develop myself and all the necessary qualities, and only then I will achieve everything and become confident enough to start a relationship." First of all, by that time you will become old and stay lonely. Secondly, for some reason, many people forget that it is possible and necessary to develop, being already in a relationship, nothing prevents you from doing this. There are people who want to be with you as you are now, in the present – start a relationship with them and continue your development. Leave excuses to others.
Trust issues are the first real reason for anxiety at the beginning of a relationship, real and deep. It, in fact, is caused by the fear of loneliness: we do not trust ourselves enough, so we are looking for "insurance" in others. It is difficult for such individuals to trust people, but they still strive for relationships. And, nevertheless, we think that not trusting yourself causes trust issues with other people. "I cannot recover if I get hurt," "I am not able to choose a reliable partner," "I do not know how to build relationships" - you are still unconfident in yourself, not your partner.
The Main Types of Relationship Anxiety
The practice has shown that anxiety about a relationship for no reason can appear when a person has problems with one particular aspect of their life, it can differ from the intimate sphere-related issues to the fear of future planning. The main types of this disorder you need to consider before starting overcoming relationship anxiety.
The fear of a serious relationship. This stage is connected with being unready to change something drastically about your life. For example: start living together, meet with parents or even officially tie the knot. Such proximity to the "danger" often leads to the commission of inappropriate actions – shutting down the wedding, breaking up because of nothing or cheating.
New relationship anxiety. Uncertainty has always scared people, and the fear of new relationships may well provoke stress. After all, you still do not know the habits and interests of each other, you are constantly afraid to do something wrong, to seem different from what your partner imagined you in their fantasy. You may fear that the partner may not fit your ideas. It is a fear of inconsistency. For young couples, friends of both sides play a significant role here, who may not like the choice of a friend. Couples who have already had a deplorable experience of relationships worry even more because of the fear of destroying relationships once again when starting over dominates them.
The fear of getting close. The close connection between two people is scary for many of those who do not want to take on any obligations. Unfortunately, such a relationship is almost always doomed to failure. When people realize that their partner tries to approach the forbidden boundaries, they fall into such a panic that they unconsciously choose tactics that will invariably lead to the relationship collapse. It is interesting to note that they will completely lay the blame for the gap on their partner, in every way distorting the real state of things because of their own fear of relationships. Relationship anxiety symptoms, in this case, maybe the desire to meet less often, the need to drink something to have the courage to speak frankly and not ready to open about your life and personal details.
Intimate relationship anxiety. This phobia is most often formed in early childhood. The reason can lie in the behavior of parents who couldn't give the child a sufficient amount of love and warmth. Less common causes are physical: violence, diseases of the genital organs, lack of experience, or, on the contrary, person’s own negative experiences, frequent failures or being rejected by ex-partners multiple times.
Relationship Anxiety Symptoms
Psychologists call owners of relationship anxiety philophobia. Such people are unconsciously afraid of falling in love or having a serious relationship. Just the thought of this feeling can drive them into a state of panic or depression:
- philophobia can be mysterious singles or "the soul of the company";
- may not have children or be parents of many children;
- be neat or careless;
- may be in perfect shape or slightly obese;
- have intimate relationships or completely refuse sex.
As you can see, practically any person can have this problem. Most often, a person who has philophobia does not even realize the seriousness of the problem.
- They try to surround themselves with their personal space in which they feel comfortable and safe in loneliness. And the more they protect their territory from unauthorized offenses, the stronger their philophobia and fear of letting someone in gets.
- To open the soul and thoughts of another person is extremely painful for them. The person feels empty and unhappy.
- Communication with family, friends or co-workers does not bring relief to them because of the lack of emotional contact.
- Rare sexual relationships make the situation even worse, leaving behind a feeling of emptiness and meaninglessness and do not help them in coping with relationship anxiety.
The result of this behavior is immersion in oneself, loneliness and the loss of all hope of escaping from this vicious circle.
New Relationship Anxiety
This type of relationship anxiety is extremely often. You may have faced it if you had a painful breakup and then were scared of starting everything from scratch with a new person. Hopefully, if you were aware of how to get rid of relationship anxiety, you have survived this challenge. But there are some people that suffer from this disorder and the reasons for this may be the following:
1. Fear of a bad experience repeating itself
Fear of a relationship with a new partner is usually based on previous negative experiences. The person seems to be focused on their past failures in love, disappointments from betrayal or unfulfilled expectations. Thus, a defensive mechanism works: no new relationship is needed because then it will hurt again. In fact, your fears need to be worked out, and you need to let the insults go. Otherwise, loneliness can be your faithful companion for a long time.
2. Fear of liability and loss of personal space
People who are alone for a long time are so used to this lifestyle that they are afraid to change it, even for the sake of personal happiness and finding love. Because a new relationship is the need to take responsibility for another person and share personal space and time with them. This is what many modern people are not ready for.
3. Fear of disappointment
If a person had to experience disappointment in their beloved person, perhaps even more than once, then a strong phobia of new unfulfilled expectations arises. At the same time, this person is afraid of starting a new romance, and if they do enter into a relationship, they program themselves automatically that every attempt to build a connection with somebody will fail.
Dealing with Relationship Anxiety
A person who is afraid of something, will not get rid of the anxiety just because you said them to. But to do this, you still need to talk about the problem so that the understanding rises. We know that uncertainty scares most of all. And as soon as we learn how to overcome relationship anxiety, it will no longer scare us away but will be rather perceived as the possibility of new opportunities.
If you turn to a doctor to learn how to get over relationship anxiety, almost any psychologist will tell you that the problem is in your self-esteem. But that doesn’t mean you have to put paid to a serious relationship and focus on improving your self-esteem. Dealing with the fear of relationships is a complex process, and it can be carried on when dating with a person. In this way, you will be able to put all the theoretical advice you have learned to practice. And those pieces of advice are the next:
- First, if the fear is in front of you, just go for it, and after a while, you will get used to it, and it will go its own way. It means that if you are afraid of entering into a relationship, just go for it! Do not reject the person you love because you will regret it later.
- Secondly, if everything is correct, then your chosen one is your soulmate. Are you afraid of yourself? Just open up and if you have chosen the right person, they will understand and help you.
- And thirdly, do not give up. You can learn this issue and have an understanding of what to do. You should use your knowledge in real life and ask your partner to help you fight your anxiety. The fear won’t disappear if you do nothing. So, just start dating someone and act as if your fear is not real, let it go and fake it till you make it!