How to Handle Relationship Anxiety

Relationship anxiety is when you feel worried and unsure about your relationship, even when things seem good. You love your partner, trust each other, and communicate well, but you keep asking yourself questions. Will this relationship last? Is this person the right one for you? Are there hidden problems? And, you might even wonder if you're capable of having a healthy, committed relationship. In this guide, we'll explore how to handle relationship anxiety and find ways to make your relationship more secure and satisfying.

Is it normal

According to therapist Astrid Robertson Relationship anxiety Definitely Is pretty common. It can happen at the start of a relationship when you're unsure about your partner's interest or even if you want to be in a relationship.

But, it can also happen in long-term relationships.

As time goes on, relationship anxiety can lead to:

- Feeling upset

- Losing motivation

- Feeling tired or emotionally drained

- Experiencing stomach issues and other physical problems

Your anxiety may not be related to any real issues in the relationship, but it can cause problems and distress for both you and your partner.

What are some signs of relationship anxiety

It's normal to feel a bit unsure about your relationship, especially in the early stages of dating and commitment. You don't need to worry about occasional doubts or fears that don't affect you much.

But sometimes, these anxious thoughts can start to affect your daily life.

Here are some signs that you might be experiencing relationship anxiety.

Wondering if you matter to your partner

One common type of relationship anxiety is wondering if you really matter to your partner. It's about those basic questions like, "Am I important to you?" and "Can I count on you?" We all want to feel connected, like we belong, and be secure in our relationship. 

For example, you might worry that your partner wouldn't miss you if you weren't there, or they wouldn't support you when things get tough. You might even wonder if they're only with you for what you can do for them. These thoughts come from a deep desire to feel valued in your relationship.

Doubting your partner’s feelings for you

You might have shared "I love you" or "I really, really like you" with your partner. They consistently show happiness when they see you and do thoughtful things, like bringing you lunch or making sure you get home safely. Despite these kind actions, that lingering doubt remains: "Do they truly love me?" 

They may not always respond quickly to physical affection or take their time to reply to texts, sometimes leaving you waiting for hours or even a day. When they occasionally appear a bit distant, you can't help but wonder if their feelings have changed. These feelings are something most people experience from time to time, but for those dealing with relationship anxiety, they can become an overwhelming preoccupation.

Worrying they want to break up

In a good relationship, you feel loved and happy. It's normal to want to keep these good feelings and not disrupt the relationship. But sometimes, this desire turns into a constant fear of your partner leaving. This anxiety becomes a problem when you change your behavior just to make sure they stay with you. 

For example, you might avoid talking about important issues, like their constant lateness, or ignore things that bother you, such as them wearing shoes inside your house. You might also worry a lot about them getting mad at you, even when there's no sign of anger from them.

Doubting long-term compatibility

Relationship anxiety can lead you to doubt the compatibility with your partner, even when everything seems fine. You might wonder if you're genuinely happy or if you only believe you are. As a result, you could start fixating on minor differences, like their love for punk music while you prefer folk-rock, and blow them out of proportion.

Disable the relationship 

Behavior that can harm a relationship often has its roots in relationship anxiety. This might include:

1. Starting arguments with your partner.

2. Pushing them away by saying everything's fine when you're upset.

3. Testing relationship boundaries, like meeting an ex for lunch without telling your partner.

You might not do these things on purpose, but the underlying aim, whether you're aware of it or not, is typically to find out how much your partner cares. For instance, you might think that if your partner resists your efforts to push them away, it proves their love for you. However, as Robertson points out, it's challenging for your partner to grasp this hidden motive.

Reading into their words and actions

Overthinking your partner's words and actions is another sign of relationship anxiety. For example, they might not like holding hands or insist on keeping their old furniture when you move in together. While these could signal a problem, it's often simpler, like them having sweaty hands or really adoring that living room set.

Missing out on the good times

Uncertain if you have relationship anxiety? Just ask yourself: "Am I spending more time worrying about this relationship than enjoying it?" Sometimes, it's normal to worry during tough times. But if this feeling occurs more often than not, you're likely dealing with relationship anxiety.

What causes it?

Figuring out why you feel anxious in your relationship may not be easy. It can take time and self-reflection because there isn't always a clear cause. You might even have trouble identifying reasons on your own. But, as Robertson points out, the underlying reasons usually come down to a longing for connection, even if you're not consciously aware of them.

Here are some common factors that can lead to relationship anxiety:

1. Past Relationship Experiences: Things like being cheated on, unexpected breakups, or dishonesty in previous relationships can make it hard to trust again, even if your current partner is trustworthy.

2. Low Self-Esteem:People with lower self-esteem may doubt their partner's feelings when they doubt themselves, which can create insecurity.

3. Attachment Style: The way you formed attachments as a child can impact your adult relationships. A secure attachment style tends to lead to healthier relationships, while insecure styles can contribute to anxiety. An avoidant style might cause worries about commitment, and an anxious style can lead to fears of being abandoned.

4. A Habit of Questioning: If you naturally ask lots of questions and consider different outcomes before making decisions, you might also find yourself overthinking and doubting your relationship. 

Remember, these factors don't mean you'll always have relationship anxiety. You can work on them to improve your relationship experience.

Can you overcome it

Overcoming relationship anxiety is possible, but it takes time and effort. It's not just about being told your relationship is okay.

I can reassure someone that their anxiety doesn't necessarily mean there's a real issue in the relationship, and that they are indeed loved," says Robertson. "But until they genuinely feel safe and secure, the anxiety will likely stick around.

She advises tackling relationship anxiety early, before it becomes a bigger issue.

Here are some straightforward steps to manage relationship anxiety:

1. Maintain Your Identity: Don't lose yourself in the relationship. Your partner was drawn to you for who you are. Don't change to fit their expectations, as it can make you feel less like yourself.

2. Try Being More Mindful: Practice mindfulness by focusing on the present moment without judgment. It can help you handle negative thoughts and appreciate your relationship as it is now.

3. Practice Good Communication: If something specific triggers your anxiety, address it respectfully and non-accusatory. Use "I" statements to express your feelings and concerns.

4. Loop Your Partner In: Let your partner know what you're experiencing and how you're working through it. Their reassurance can strengthen your bond.

5. Avoid Impulsive Actions: Don't act on anxious feelings impulsively. Distract yourself with deep breathing, a walk, or talking to a friend instead of seeking reassurance in unhelpful ways.

6. Talk to a Therapist: If you struggle to manage relationship anxiety on your own, consider speaking to a therapist, especially one who specializes in couples. They can help you understand your feelings and find ways to ease anxiety. Even a single therapy session can be beneficial.

Dealing with relationship anxiety is possible with the right strategies and support.


Understand that no relationship is entirely predictable, and this can be a challenge to accept. While you may not get rid of all relationship anxiety, there are ways to reduce the constant questioning and spend more time enjoying your relationship with your partner.

Previous Post Next Post