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Relationship Anxiety Overcoming Relationship Anxiety

Being in a relationship is one of the things many of us aspire to. It’s a beautiful thing where we can grow and learn but it can also be a breeding ground for anxious feelings and thoughts.

Relationship anxiety can happen at any stage of dating. For people who have been single for a long, just the thought of being in a relationship can trigger their anxiety. Thoughts like “does he/she like me?” “am I good enough for him/her?” or “will this work out?” can bother people especially as they open up more about themselves and as they feel that they are becoming more vulnerable to another being.

Researchers from Case Western Reserve University found out that worries can impact one’s social relationships. These can be relationships with the family, with a significant person, or with work relationships. According to the study, worries can harm relationships as they can impact the way a person deals with another person. Anxious people in the relationship may appear cold, intrusive, exploitable, and non-assertive.

Causes of Relationship Anxiety

Relationship anxiety can happen as a result of different things. It can be due to fear of intimacy, negativity, and stress.

Fear of Intimacy

A person with a fear of intimacy struggles in forming close relationships with other people. These people may feel like they care and love greatly the people who matter to them but for those they are in a relationship with, they appear as if they don’t care for them.

Fear of intimacy can be the result of parenting practices. In one study published in The Family Journal, it was found out that adults who have a warm, caring relationship with at least one parent or those whose mothers exhibited high levels of warmth and care were less likely to suffer from fear of intimacy.

Adults showing avoidant behaviour in relationships are shown to be those who grow up with parents who react negatively to children’s perceived weakness and neediness.

Fear of intimacy can trigger anxiety in relationships especially when the avoidant person realizes that he/she is becoming more vulnerable to another person.


Negativity towards one’s self in the form of self-critique and negativity towards the relationship can also cause anxiety in the relationship.

Thoughts like “I can’t trust him” or “I’m not good enough for him” can lead people in relationships to turn against themselves and affect the way they deal with others. It creates feelings of jealousy, anxiety, defensiveness, and distrust. These feelings create more worries in the relationship rather than happiness.


Stress doesn’t just affect one’s physical health; it also impacts relationships. Evidence shows that stress can be a threat to marital satisfaction and longevity. This may be because stress can lead a person to have anxious thoughts, make it difficult for him/her to make decisions, and lead to a feeling of inability to cope.

Dealing With Relationship Anxiety

One way to deal with relationship anxiety is to shift your focus inward. Start by finding out what causes your anxiety in your relationship.

If chronic stress triggers that anxiety, then you may try doing some stress-relieving techniques. These include doing regular physical activity, practising mindfulness[, and making sure that you’re getting sufficient sleep. One study shows that sleep deprivation can lead to an elevation of cortisol the following evening. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is typically released when one is stressed.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is another way to address relationship anxiety. It is particularly useful for those whose cause of anxiety is brought by negativity such as negative thoughts about one’s themselves. CBT has been shown to work well for individuals with depression. In CBT, the client and the therapist work together to agree on certain behavioural patterns that need to be changed; this includes negative thinking.

Hypnotherapy for anxiety can make a person calmer and “balanced.” It works for almost any type of anxiety disorder including social anxiety and panic attacks.


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