Dating Someone with Anxiety: What You Need to Know and Do

Updated on November 6th, 2020

The dating landscape is often filled with uncertainties and misunderstandings. No matter who you are involved with, communication is often at the heart of any successful relationship. However, the essential aspect of your relationship will be clear and honest communication when dating someone with anxiety. It will allow those involved to understand their interpersonal and personal limitations and work on the connections and boundaries that support their relationship

Please understand that anxiety is arbitrary, intrusive, and confusing for those who have it and their loved ones. In this article, we cover the details on how to navigate a relationship when your loved one is going through anxiety. 

Dating Someone with Anxiety

Why Is Anxiety a Problem? Understanding the Issues 

We all have something we have to struggle with. The reason anxiety attracts so much focus is because it is more visible. But there is no problem with occasional anxiety. Sometimes, you may feel anxious when encountering a challenging situation in the workplace or family environment, or before taking on an important test. Please note that anxiety disorders involve much more that such momentary episodes of fear or worry that tend to come before a major decision. 

For people diagnosed with anxiety disorders, the worry or fear is incessant and does not dissipate with time. The symptoms that accompany this disorder can interfere with the overall quality of life as well as the performance of normal activities at school, work, and relationships. Anxiety disorders can be categorized as panic, generalized anxiety, as well as phobia-related disorders.  

Several factors may increase your likelihood of developing anxiety disorders, including trauma or abuse, stress emanating from an illness, a buildup of stress, certain personality traits, as well as specific mental health challenges. Please note that there is also a genetic aspect to most anxiety disorders. Research shows that anxiety disorders should be treated seriously because they are linked to a higher risk of substance abuse and depression. People with anxiety disorders also tend to have trouble sleeping and are more predisposed to suicidal ideation. 

Dating Someone with Anxiety | Why Communication Is Important

Effective communication is an essential element of any type of relationship. It is challenging enough as you get to know someone on a romantic and more personal level, especially as you still try to understand where he or she stands. However, when dating someone with anxiety disorders, communication becomes even more unpredictable and shaky. In fact, even the relationship may be itself a trigger for anxious sensitivities. From time to time, you may encounter irritability or anger that don’t seem linked to the reality of your experiences. The individual may also seem unfocused or controlling. Such perceptions and experiences can be exhausting, both physically and emotionally. 

One of the most important things to consider when dating someone with anxiety is to work on a supporting connection that fosters spaces for honest and open communication. Take your time to learn more about anxiety by thinking about the disorder and doing some research. Do not be afraid to ask questions as this can strengthen communication and trust in your relationship. 

Some tips to help you include:

  • Encourage real-time face-to-face communication;
  • Make use of calmer times to have critical engagements;
  • Be a patient listener;
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about anxiety;
  • Acknowledge progress made or effort. 

Additional Tips for Dating Someone with Anxiety 

Although each relationship is unique and comes with its set of challenges, anxiety disorders can make relationships unpredictable and stressful. To make the ups and downs easier to cope with and live with, you need to understand how anxiety manifests. Here are some additional tips you should consider: 

Conduct Research on Anxiety and Improve Your Understanding 

Most people consider anxiety to be a normal condition that everyone can experience at different times. However, for the person with the disorder, anxiety is all-consuming and sneaks into all forms of interpersonal interactions. For your relationship to survive and even thrive, you will need to learn more about anxiety disorders. This approach will help you better understand your partner and the experience that he or she goes through when the levels of anxiety spike.

You can conduct some research online on reputable websites. You could also ask your friends about their experiences. For starters, please note that there are several types of anxiety. Understanding the precise one that your partner struggles with can help with your research.

Ask Questions to Learn More 

You want to learn more about your partner and what he or she struggles with. This means asking questions. Please note that everyone experiences anxiety in different ways. There are those who will go through uncomfortable physical reactions such as churning stomach, while others will have racing thoughts. 

Given the subjective nature of the experience, what you read online may not always apply. In other words, if you are going to better understand your partner, you should have conversations with him or her about it. Exercise patience and understanding when talking about anxiety with your partner. It will take time before you can fully understand and build trust. 

Make Use of Observation 

As you work on understanding your partner, make use of observation. In some cases, people with anxiety disorders tend to refrain or shy away from talking about the issues. You can learn a lot about your loved one through observation in different scenarios. Take note of how he or she reacts to issues and what seems uncomfortable. The more you understand each other, the more you will be able to enjoy your relationship. 

Don’t Stress | Learn More About Anxiety Here 

Dating someone with anxiety may be filled with ups and downs, but can be successful if you communicate openly and honestly. Visit our website to learn more. 

Sophia is a mental health and wellness expert with a background in psychology and over 8 years of experience in content writing. She focuses on learning and writing about the skills people need to heal, cultivate happiness, and restore joy in their lives.

More for you

Regression Psychology

What is Regression in Psychology?

According to Sigmund Freud the father of psychoanalysis, regression is an unconscious defense mechanism, which causes the temporary or long-term reversion of the ego to an earlier stage of developm... Read More