Every beginning of a relationship is challenging, but the word challenging gets a whole new meaning for people with anxiety.
I can still remember the struggles I’ve had at the beginning stages of my last relationship with all the thoughts that something must go wrong. The doubt and distrust in the person for no reason were all caused by my anxiety.
How many times have I stayed up at night, tossing and turning in my bed because I’ve been overthinking about every detail in the relationship? I’m sure that almost all of the worries I’ve had have been unnecessary. It’s was all in my head.
Even if everything was fine, I’ve had negative thoughts about them not showing up or canceling a date the last minute. It was the same with every relationship, no matter whether the guy gave me reasons to think about these things or not.
Another thing that messes with my mind at the beginning of a relationship is the previous experiences. Every ending that has destroyed me emotionally still reminds me that it might happen again. That I might fly high and suddenly be forced to fall down to earth.
Usually, I find the guilt in myself, not in the other person. I always think about my imperfections and talk myself into thinking that I’m just not good enough for them. That they would find someone better and leave. And I would be left alone again. Alone with my anxiety.
Many people don’t realize how stressful a beginning of a relationship can be. They don’t get that you’re stressing about every text you get, wondering if you should be the first one to write or keep waiting. It’s stressful to overthink about every sentence you say because you don’t want to say something bad. Even Instagram and Facebook can become a real agony sometimes because you’re asking yourself if that Like maybe meant something more.
My anxiety has made me start believing in lies, but not made up by the other person, but by me, made up in my head. One late reply is enough to make you create whole movies in your head about them cheating or ignoring you on purpose. Overthinking about every action makes you wonder if they are going to leave you because you’re like this. I’ve imagined the ending for so many times just to be prepared for what would follow.
Even if the person is great, it’s hard for me not to expect the worst of them. I feel insecure even if everything is perfect. I doubt everything and everyone out of fear that I might miss something that could be the cause for ending, although it’s just the beginning.
Anxiety makes me perfectionist in life and in every relationship. That’s why I can get really upset if something doesn’t go according to plans.
While I’m trying to fight the anxiety and live with it, at the same time, I’m doing these things that make everything so much harder. And all I want is them to like me. Everything I do is out of fear that they might change their mind and leave me.
Sometimes, I think it’s best to tell them the truth. Explain that “that’s the way I am and they have to learn to accept that”. But next morning I convince myself that this is a foolish idea. That if I would do it, I would just accelerate the process to the end. Who would want to be with a person like me, I say to myself.
So far, I haven’t found a guy who would make me feel sure in myself and whom I would trust completely, even with telling this. Someone who would reassure me that I’m not alone and that I can trust them. Then again, I may have found him, but my anxiety has stopped me from realizing it.
Individuals with anxiety need a partner who will hug them when they feel low and help them overcome the crisis. A person who will be strong when they are weak. They need someone who will see them for who they really are and who would be ready to go through everything for them.
They need someone persistent and brave. They need a person who will show them how beautiful they are in the other’s eyes and make them see themselves the way other see them.
Photo by Dan Gold