Can relationships cause anxiety

Relationship Anxiety: 16 Signs and Tips

Relationship anxiety refers to those feelings of worry, insecurity, and doubt that can pop up in a relationship, even if everything is going relatively well.

You’re in a relationship with a great person who you love. You’ve developed trust, established boundaries, and learned each other’s communication styles.

At the same time, you might find yourself constantly questioning yourself, your partner, and the relationship.

Will things last? How do you know if this person is really the right one for you? What if they’re hiding some dark secret?

What if you’re just incapable of maintaining a healthy, committed relationship?

This constant worrying has a name: relationship anxiety.

Yep. “Relationship anxiety is extremely common,” says Astrid Robertson, a psychotherapist who helps couples with relationship issues.

Some people experience relationship anxiety during the start of a relationship, before they know their partner has an equal interest in them. Or, they might be unsure if they even want a relationship.

But these feelings can also come up in committed, long-term relationships.

Over time, relationship anxiety can lead to:

  • emotional distress
  • lack of motivation
  • fatigue or emotional exhaustion
  • stomach upset and other physical concerns

Your anxiety may not result from anything in the relationship itself. But it can eventually lead to behaviors that do create issues and distress for you and your partner.

Relationship anxiety can show up in different ways.

Most people feel a little insecure about their relationship at some point, especially in the early stages of dating and forming a commitment. This isn’t unusual, so you generally don’t need to feel concerned about passing doubts or fears, especially if they don’t affect you too much.

But these anxious thoughts sometimes grow and creep into your daily life.

Here’s a look at some potential signs of relationship anxiety:

Wondering if you matter to your partner

“The most common expression of relationship anxiety relates to underlying questions of ‘Do I matter?’ or ‘Are you there for me?'” Robertson explains. “This speaks to a fundamental need to connect, belong, and feel secure in a partnership.”

For example, you might worry that:

  • your partner wouldn’t miss you much if you weren’t around
  • they might not offer help or support if anything serious came up
  • they just want to be with you because of what you can do for them

Doubting your partner’s feelings for you

You’ve exchanged I love you’s (or maybe just I really, really like you’s). They always seem happy to see you and make kind gestures, like bringing you lunch or walking out of their way to see you home.

But you still can’t shake the nagging doubt: “They don’t really love me.”

Maybe they’re slow to respond to physical affection. Or they don’t reply to texts for several hours — even a day. When they suddenly seem a little distant, you wonder if their feelings have changed.

Everyone feels this way from time to time, but these worries can become a fixation if you have relationship anxiety.

Worrying they want to break up

A good relationship can make you feel loved, secure, and happy. It’s perfectly normal to want to hold on to these feelings and hope nothing happens to disrupt the relationship.

But these thoughts can sometimes transform into a persistent fear of your partner leaving you.

This anxiety can become problematic when you adjust your behavior in order to secure their continued affection.

For example, you might:

  • avoid bringing up issues, such as frequent lateness, that are important to you in a relationship
  • ignore when your partner does things that bother you, such as wearing shoes inside your house
  • worry a lot about them getting mad at you, even if they don’t seem angry

Doubting long-term compatibility

Relationship anxiety can make you question whether you and your partner are truly compatible, even when things are going great in the relationship. You might also question whether you’re actually happy or if you just think you are.

In response, you might start focusing your attention on minor differences — they love punk music but you’re more of a folk-rock person — and overemphasize their importance.

Sabotaging the relationship

Sabotaging behaviors can have roots in relationship anxiety.

Signs of sabotage

Examples of things that might sabotage a relationship include:

  • picking arguments with your partner
  • pushing them away by insisting nothing’s wrong when you’re in distress
  • testing relationship boundaries, such as grabbing lunch with an ex without telling your partner

You may not do these things intentionally, but the underlying goal — whether you realize it or not — is usually to determine how much your partner cares.

You might believe, for example, that resisting your efforts to push them away proves they really do love you.

But, Robertson points out, it’s very hard for your partner to pick up on this underlying motive.

Reading into their words and actions

A tendency to overthink your partner’s words and actions can also suggest relationship anxiety.

Maybe they don’t like to hold hands. Or, when you take the plunge and move in together, they insist on keeping all their old furniture.

Sure, these could all be signs of a potential issue. But it’s more likely that they have sweaty hands or just really love that living room set.

Missing out on the good times

Still not sure if you’re dealing with relationship anxiety?

Take a step back and ask yourself: “Am I spending more time worrying about this relationship than enjoying it?”

During rough patches, this might be the case. But if you feel this way more often than not, you’re probably dealing with some relationship anxiety.

Identifying what’s behind your anxiety can take time and dedicated self-exploration, since there isn’t a single clear cause. You might even have a hard time identifying potential causes on your own.

“You may not be aware of a reason for the anxiety,” Robertson says. “But no matter how it presents, the underlying reasons generally reflect a longing for connection.

These are some common factors that might play a role:

Previous relationship experiences

Memories of things that happened in the past can continue to affect you, even if you think you’ve mostly gotten over them.

You might be more likely to experience relationship anxiety if a past partner:

  • cheated on you
  • dumped you unexpectedly
  • lied about their feelings for you
  • misled you about the nature of your relationship

It’s not unusual to have difficulty placing trust in someone again after you’ve been hurt — even if your current partner doesn’t show any signs of manipulation or dishonesty.

Certain triggers, whether you’re aware of them or not, can still remind you of the past and provoke doubt and insecurity.

Low self-esteem

Low self-esteem can sometimes contribute to relationship insecurity and anxiety.

Some older research suggests people with lower self-esteem are more likely to doubt their partner’s feelings when experiencing self-doubt. This can happen as a type of projection.

In other words, feeling disappointed in yourself can make it easier for you to believe that your partner feels the same way about you.

People with higher levels of self-esteem, on the other hand, tended to affirm themselves through their relationship when they experienced self-doubt.

Attachment style

The attachment style you develop in childhood can have a big impact on our relationships as an adult.

If your parent or caregiver responded quickly to your needs and offered love and support, you probably developed a secure attachment style.

If they didn’t meet your needs consistently or let you develop independently, your attachment style might be less secure.

Insecure attachment styles can contribute to relationship anxiety in various ways:

  • Avoidant attachment could lead to anxiety about the level of commitment you’re making or deepening intimacy.
  • Anxious attachment, on the other hand, can sometimes result in fears about your partner leaving you unexpectedly.

Keep in mind that having an insecure attachment style doesn’t mean you’re doomed to always experience relationship anxiety.

“Just as you can’t change from one kind of personality to another, you can’t completely change your attachment style,” says Jason Wheeler, PhD. “But you can certainly make enough changes that an insecure attachment style doesn’t hold you back in life.”

A tendency to question

A questioning nature can also factor into relationship anxiety.

You might need to ask yourself about all possible outcomes of a situation before deciding on a path. Or maybe you just have a habit of carefully considering every decision.

If you tend to ask yourself a lot of questions about your choices, even after you’ve made them, you’ll likely spend some time questioning your relationship, too. This isn’t always a problem. In fact, it’s usually healthy to take time to think about choices you make, especially significant ones (like romantic commitment).

It could become an issue, though, if you find yourself stuck in an endless pattern of questioning and self-doubt that doesn’t go anywhere productive.

It might not feel like it in the moment, but relationship anxiety can be overcome, though it does take some time and effort. And doing so usually involves more than simply being told that your relationship is fine.

“I can tell someone their anxiety doesn’t necessarily mean there’s an underlying problem in the relationship, and indeed they may be well loved,” Robertson says. “But until they have felt [a] sense that all is well, that they truly are safe and secure, the anxiety will likely persist.”

She encourages addressing relationship anxiety early, before it becomes a problem.

These tips can help you get the ball rolling:

Maintain your identity

As you and your partner become closer, you might find key parts of your identity, individuality, or even your independence shifting to make room for your partner and the relationship.

This often happens naturally as you and your partner become a couple. And while some changes — such as getting used to sleeping with the window open — may not have a big impact on your sense of self, others might.

Losing your sense of self in the relationship or changing to accommodate what you think your partner wants doesn’t help either of you.

Remember, your partner’s reasons for wanting to date you probably have a whole lot to do with who you are. If you start pushing down parts of yourself in order to hold on to the relationship, you might begin to feel less like yourself. Plus, your partner might feel as if they’ve lost the person they fell in love with.

Try being more mindful

Mindfulness practices involve focusing your awareness on what’s happening in the present moment without judgement. When negative thoughts come up, you acknowledge them and let them move on.

This can be particularly useful when you’re stuck in a negative thought spiral. It can also help you to prioritize your day-to-day experiences with your partner.

After all, maybe the relationship will end in a few months or a few years, but you can still appreciate and enjoy it in the meantime.

Practice good communication

Relationship anxiety often comes from within, so it may have nothing to do with your partner.

But if something specific is fueling your anxiety — whether it’s playing with their phone when you talk or not wanting to visit your family for the holidays — try bringing it up in a respective and non-accusatory way.

Pro tip

Using “I” statements can be a big help during these conversations.

For example, instead of saying “You’re being so distant lately and I can’t take it,” you could rephrase it as, “I feel like there’s been some distance between us, and it makes me feel like you’re withdrawing because your feelings have changed.”

Even if you know your partner truly does love you and that your anxiety is coming from within, it can help to loop your partner in.

You can explain what you’re thinking and how you’re trying to deal with it. Their reassurance may not fully alleviate your anxiety, but it likely won’t hurt.

Plus, opening up and being vulnerable can strengthen the bond you already have.

Avoid acting on your feelings

Feeling anxious about your relationship or your partner can sometimes make you want proof that everything is all right.

It’s natural to want to reassure yourself, but resist the impulse to find this proof in unhelpful or harmful ways.

Pay attention to the difference between your usual behaviors and impulsive actions. Texting regularly might be normal in your relationship, and keeping up a steady conversation can help reinforce your sense of connection. But sending several texts in an hour asking your partner where they are and what they’re doing, when you know they’re hanging out with friends, can lead to conflict.

When you feel these impulses, try to distract yourself with some deep breathing, a walk or jog, or a quick phone call to a close friend.

Talk to a therapist

If you’re having a hard time working through relationship anxiety on your own, talking to a therapist can help you get some clarity. It’s also a great way to learn how to cope with the effects of relationship anxiety.

For relationship anxiety, a therapist who works with couples can be particularly helpful.

They can help you both:

  • understand your own and each other’s feelings and underlying needs
  • hear each other’s experiences without judgment or defensiveness
  • show you care in ways that will soften or calm the anxiety

It doesn’t have to be a long-term thing, either. One 2017 study suggests that even a single session of therapy can help couples dealing with relationship anxiety.

Concerned about the cost? Our guide to affordable therapy can help.

No relationship is certain, and that can be tough to accept.

You may not be able to entirely avoid all relationship anxiety, but there are things you can do to quiet the constant questioning and spend more time actually enjoying what you have with your partner.

Crystal Raypole has previously worked as a writer and editor for GoodTherapy. Her fields of interest include Asian languages and literature, Japanese translation, cooking, natural sciences, sex positivity, and mental health. In particular, she’s committed to helping decrease stigma around mental health issues.

Signs Your Relationship Is Giving You Anxiety -

Uncategorized | 67 comments

Every relationship involves conflicts, resolutions, and a fair amount of struggle. However, overly-stressful relationships are not healthy relationships. 

There are times when stressful events can occur during a relationship, such as a loved one dying, financial problems, or the loss of a job. Just because you’re going through a stressful event during a relationship doesn’t necessarily mean that your relationship is unhealthy. But when do you draw the line between relationship tribulations and an overall unhealthy relationship?

There are warning signs and red flags that can occur throughout a relationship that indicate it’s not a healthy situation. If you’re interested in learning about the signs that your relationship is giving you anxiety, we’ve created a complete guide to help you better understand your situation. Keep reading to learn more!

You’re Overthinking What You Want to Say

In any healthy relationship, a stable stream of communication is essential. However, if you feel like you can’t communicate what you’re thinking or what you want to say, you may notice that you have an increased level of anxiety. 

Perhaps you feel like you need to stuff your feelings. Maybe you feel stonewalled (shut down, essentially) when you attempt to bring up an issue that concerns you. 

If you feel like you’re in a situation where you can’t fully express what you think or what you want to say, as you’re anticipating your partner’s reaction being negative, this can lead to frequent feelings of anxiety. No one deserves to walk on eggshells every day in their relationships.

You’re Fighting Yourself

Even when you’re not fighting with your partner, if you notice that you’re feeling anxious with the arguments you’re having in yourself, it’s probably your brain trying to fight to make sense of the situation at hand.  

If your partner demands that they need to have things their way all of the time, is manipulative or is not willing to compromise with your situation, it creates a feeling of self-doubt within you. Not only is this behavior abusive, but it can worsen over time. 

This development of self-doubt can create anxiety, and if you’ve noticed it’s because you’re beginning to question yourself due to the actions or words of your partner, it’s a sign that your relationship is giving you anxiety.

Listen to your gut. We all tend to underestimate our instincts, but we always know more deep down than we think we know. 

You Can’t Resolve Arguments

Just as we talked about earlier, a relationship can cause a spike in anxiety due to interpersonal fights. If you and your partner are fighting due to their uncompromising behavior, the consequences of their control can cause you stress.

Arguments that continuously go in circles or can never seem to resolve also indicate a relationship that might need to be reconsidered.

You’re Unable To Compromise As A Team

One of the things that you must do in a healthy relationship is to understand the concept of compromise with your partner. There’s a difference between being headstrong regarding specific topics you’re passionate about and never being able to admit you’re wrong. 

Just so you know, giving up to prevent a fight isn’t a compromise, either; giving up to prevent conflict is you neglecting a piece of yourself to make your partner happy.

If you find yourself giving in to your partner’s needs all of the time, it can increase your levels of anxiety.

You’re Always Worried About Your Relationship

If you are regularly consumed with thoughts of your partner and being worried about what they’re doing, what they’re going to do, or how they’re going to react to a particular situation, it’s a sign that your partnership is increasing your anxiety.

Instead of being able to get tasks completed, enjoy yourself, or find time to relax, you’re spending your free time being worried about your partner in an unhealthy manner. This is another sign that your relationship is giving you increased anxiety.

You’re Always Overanalyzing

If you noticed that you can’t stop thinking about your partner or the status of your relationship, it’s a sign that you may have attachment anxiety. 

If you notice that you’re developing this behavior, it’s usually a red flag that the relationship isn’t the perfect fit for you, or it’s a sign that your partner is emotionally unavailable for you to connect.

If you are anxious or emotionally sensitive, pairing up with someone who is emotionally insensitive and is unable to meet your emotional needs can create anxiety in your relationship, even if you don’t realize it at first. 

You’re Putting in More Effort To The Relationship Than Your Partner Is

If you feel like you’re the only one in the relationship putting in effort all the time, this can create a feeling of elevated anxiety. 

Are you’re the one who’s always setting up plans, making attempts to compromise, or putting out extra effort to listen to your partner’s needs? This pattern in actions and behaviors from your partner will have you feeling anxious and even potentially worried about your relationship.

If you feel like you’re not able to connect to your partner in a way that meets your personal needs as well, it’s a sign that the relationship isn’t a good fit for your anxiety. You shouldn’t feel stressed out all the time in your relationship.

The Impact of Stressful Relationships On Your Health

Stressful relationships can increase your anxiety, which is why it’s so crucial for you to identify red flags in a relationship.

If you identify places of concern with your relationship with your partner, and they dismiss your feelings, you should consider leaving the bond- no matter how hard it may be. The most important thing for you to remember in all of your relationships is that your opinions are valid and that you should protect your energy and mental health at all costs. You deserve to be seen, heard, and understood.Are you interested in learning more about how to manage your anxiety and your mental health? Click here to check out our blog.

Coping With Relationship Anxiety: 3 Psychological Tips

Even when you genuinely want to be with someone, you can still experience anxiety as the relationship develops.

Men Today

Artem Beliaikin/

Of course, this may be due to the fact that the partner is not really suitable for you. But sometimes anxiety is not so much about the other person, but about your inner fears; these fears are a classic manifestation of relationship anxiety.

Contents of article

“Relationship anxiety can be described as the fear of losing yourself in a couple,” says David Clow, family therapist and best-selling author on relationships, “It’s as if we would stop being who we are if we get close to someone.” others. Some men fear that if they get too intimate in a relationship, they will lose their vital sense of independence and self-reliance.”

If this is your case and anxiety is preventing a happy life as a couple, then here are three tips from experts to help you overcome negative experiences.

Believe that you are good enough for your partner

Sometimes our anxiety comes from the fear of rejection or abandonment. We don't believe we deserve the person we're dating, so we come up with excuses for not continuing a serious and meaningful relationship.

“Most often, people experience anxiety when they consider themselves not very valuable,” says psychotherapist Jor-El Caraballo. “This may be accompanied by thoughts that the partner is in some way much higher, “out of your circle.” Somewhere deep inside, the thought “I’m not good enough” is itching. It is important to understand that this is a delusion, yielding to which you yourself unwittingly sabotage the relationship and erect barriers between you and the closest person.

Analyze whether you are feeling good or bad.

There is a fine line between nervousness and excitement. This is largely due to the fact that our body responds physiologically to these emotions in the same way: the heart beats faster, and cortisol is released in the brain.

“Not all types of arousal are created equal,” says psychotherapist Steven Snyder, sex and relationship experts, “You can get excited when you do something new and exciting; and there is anxiety that makes you think something bad is about to happen.

If you feel anxiety in a relationship, you need to be more specific about what that feeling is. “If this is good excitement, just understand that your body is on high alert for all sorts of adventures. If it’s a negative experience, then maybe you need to make some lifestyle changes, try meditation, or even get therapy for anxiety.”

Surrender to the relationship

If you realize that your anxiety comes from your own irrational fears of intimacy, one solution is to do the opposite of what your intuition says. Is anxiety causing you to avoid relationships? Try the opposite: surrender to them. The more often you dare to do things that make you nervous, the less anxiety you experience.

“Tell yourself: I’ll just see what happens if I accept everything as it is,” Clow says. “While merging with another person can be anxiety, true intimacy will ultimately bring you the most joy and satisfaction in life.

The worst thing that can happen is a break. And it doesn't come easily to anyone. But understand that a lot of people go through the same thing: coming together and falling apart, and then finding love again. You can't let your fear of heartbreak stop you from having a fulfilling, happy relationship.

what to do if you are not sure about your partner?

No doubt: what to do if you are not sure about your partner?


Group 7Created with Sketch.

To doubt is normal, we do it almost every day, for different reasons, but when doubts make their way into a relationship, the love story becomes more and more like a psychological thriller. Someone tries not to notice this, and someone prefers to immediately move away at the slightest uncertainty in a partner. We tell you where doubts come from and what to do with them.

Reasons for concern

There are many reasons for doubt, and each will have their own. Too long a response to a message, a rash comment, disagreement about which "Spider-Man" is the best, or, conversely, the complete absence of disputes and conflicts - all this can lead to thoughts that it is better to end the relationship with this partner right now. However, there are several common causes that make people feel anxious and insecure about their partner.


This is a fairly large group, this includes: fear of loneliness, fear of loss of individuality, fear of intimacy, fear of losing a partner, fear that a partner will be an abuser. In this category, there may be all the horror stories associated with relationships, as well as experienced traumas taken from previous relationships.

Difference between expectations and reality

At first, he/she/she/she/a/a/a/a/ha/ha/hat/hadn't taken pizza with pineapple, but recently you saw a box from under this very pizza in your kitchen. This, of course, is a caricature situation, and sometimes circumstances are much more serious. In some situations, the realization that the partner is not the person he seemed to be at first can be absolutely a red flag, but sometimes a change can be a sign of development. Of course, this does not apply to 100% reasons for concern when a partner begins to show cruelty, disregard for your personal boundaries, and other unsafe traits.

Sometimes the difference between expectations and reality is not so much about the person with whom the relationship is built, but about external circumstances. One of the partners may have expectations that they will travel around the world together with two tents and a dog, but in reality both work (and on different schedules) and see each fifth full moon when the stars converge in the desired pattern and the weekends coincide.

And sometimes expectations are the very picture of an ideal relationship. So, according to one partner, the “right” relationship will be where there are no conflicts, and in a situation of the slightest disagreement, he will feel uncomfortable.

Mismatch of values ​​

This may not be as much of a concern in the early stages of a relationship, but as time goes by, a discrepancy in values ​​may become more of a concern. Values ​​and interests can relate to everything: responsibilities in a couple, relationships with money, or plans for a joint vacation. Not all partners are ready to give up their preferences, which can also lead to conflicts and even regret about the choice made.

It is relatively easy to start doubting a partner, but you can slide into the abyss of uncertainty due to inertia from doubts. After all, there are so many people in the world, and among them you can definitely find at least one or two with whom you can match in values ​​and injuries and continue to happily move towards a brighter future. However, everyone who has used a dating app at least once knows that you can search for that very ideal instance indefinitely, and each time it will seem that only one swipe is left before it. But even a colossal number of hours spent searching for the ideal potential partner will not eliminate doubts in the end.

To live with doubts or to get rid of them?

A complete rejection of any doubts can play a cruel joke on you. In the end, it is doubts that protect you from suspicious adventures or giving your payment details to phone scammers. However, in order not to slide into paranoia, you need to learn to understand your doubts.

Formulate your expectations regarding the relationship and partner

This will save you from thinking and endless sorting through all the people on earth in an attempt to find love at first sight. Understand initially what you want, and select a partner already in accordance with your request.

Negotiate on the beach

If you are planning a long-term relationship, it is better to discuss these plans at an early stage. This does not mean that you need to immediately set the date of marriage registration and choose names for future children.

Learn more