Anxiety can affect the best of us. No matter how confident you are, we can all experience anxiety from time to time. Unfortunately when it’s dialed up to the hilt it can be debilitating and can create a real mess in your loving relationships.
Imagine you really like a guy. You’ve been dating for about a month. Things are going really smoothly and all of a sudden he does something that ruffles your feathers. Instead of feeling secure and sure of your connection with him, uncertainty and insecurity starts to creep in.
Yes, a little bit of uncertainty is normal when you first meet someone. You don’t have a crystal ball, there are no guarantees, therefore you simply have to keep your heart and eyes open, go with it, and hope for the best. But what happens when you really start to like him, you’ve become more and more emotionally invested, and you’ve started to wonder if there’s a future?
Then out of nowhere you feel something has shifted between you (and not in what you would perceive a good way)…
Maybe you’re not so sure if he’s still as interested in you, and instead of just going with it and taking your time to get to know him more to see if the uncertainty passes, you start to panic – fear sets in, paranoia takes over your otherwise calm mind, and let’s be honest, you can feel like you’re going crazy.
For example: On Sunday on your last date you felt confident and sure that your feelings of affection and desire were mutual, you felt in sync. When you looked at each other and touched you felt wildly alive and deeply connected. BUT by Wednesday of that week, you sense that’s he’s lost his spark for you. Since Sunday he has not reached out to you as much as he had done, he seems unexpectedly distant, and the warmth in your heart has been replaced with a sharp ache of disappointment and loss!
As a result of this change perhaps you become fixated on every text message, every call and every word he says. Maybe to relieve the anxiety you start trying to control the contact; you begin chasing him hoping for some confirmation that he’s still interested and that your doubt was just a figment of your imagination. Or perhaps you pull away for fear of seeming too eager; instead of holding space with warmth and self-belief, you act disinterested and aloof, and even come across as rude. You start power playing.
Has this ever happened to you?
If so, perhaps you’ve been triggered in some way and this has set off some anxiety.
Here are some common situations that can rattle women:
Did he not call you when you thought he would (or should)?
He seems different than how he was with you last week?
He mentioned an ex and now you’re feeling insecure?
He seems busier than he was with less time for you? (Due to work, kids, other commitments)
He went out with his friends and did not contact you (as you had hoped he would)?
He didn’t invite you to a social event and you believe that if he likes you he would have included you?
There are a gazillion scenarios that could trigger your anxiety, though whatever your triggers are, they can be overcome.
Here are 7 ways to overcome this kind of heart-wrenching anxiety:
1. Find out the core beliefs that are triggering your fear– Do you believe that when a man doesn’t contact you every day it means he’s not interested? Do you believe that all men lose interest inn you? Do you think that you’re not smart enough or not beautiful enough and that’s why he’s pulled away? Do you believe that men think you’re too much (in some way)?
Whether these kind of thoughts are true or not, they can shoot down your confidence and faith in finding a loving relationship. Most often we just get so caught up in the story that we forget to consciously recognise the belief, which leads to you making assumptions that may or may not hold any truth.
2. Ask Yourself If Your Belief Is True– Challenging your belief will help you dissolve the belief. Is it 100% true that he’s lost interest? Is it true that you’re too boring? Do you know for sure that you’re not pretty enough? Do you know for sure if he’s got his eyes on someone else? Question the thought/s you have running. Most often they are not true, they’re assumptions.
3. Are you looking too far ahead? Dating is supposed to be fun. Sure it’s important to know what your deal-breakers are, though sometimes we want to know too much too soon. While you’re so worried about being “screwed over”, you invariably screw yourself over. I know this feeling all too well. If you feel pressure to not waste time with the wrong guy, you can become stressed, too quick to judge and anxious. As you get to know him take each moment for what it is and allow time to reveal whether or not he’s the best guy for you. Don’t get ahead of yourself.
4. Think Positively. I know it can be challenging to think positively when you’re feeling anxious about something, especially if you’re struggling with self confidence in a relationship, but it is extremely important. Focusing too much on what you believe to be the negative outcome can cause you to stress even more. However, honing your attention on the things you like about the relationship can help you calm down and take control of your emotions. Positive affirmations are another way to start thinking positively. “I am attractive”, “I am worthy”, “I attract quality men”, “What’s meant for me will not go by me” – these are all positive statements that if said repeatedly can help you get past your fears.
5. Stay Active And Engaged In Other Interests. Have you ever heard the phrase, “An idle mind is the devil’s playground?” It essentially means that too much spare time can leave the mind to wonder. Staying active and finding things to do with your spare time can refocus your attention on other areas of your life so that you’re not stressed about your relationship 24/7.
Other than the obvious activities such as seeing friends and focusing on a hobby or a personal passion; a great way to release tension is to get amongst nature – walk or stand barefooted on grass for 30 minutes, stand in the water at the beach.
6. Talk to Him. If you really can’t get the idea out of your mind that he’s going to leave you or that he’s lost interest, you may need to bring it up. I caution you to tread lightly with this conversation as you don’t want to seem too needy or too insecure as guys prefer a woman with self confidence in a relationship. Instead of bluntly asking, “Do you still like me?” you could try a more subtle approach by asking him something like, “Hey, I noticed it’s been a while since we’ve spent time together, is there anything going on that you want to talk about?” This way you don’t appear needy and you’re also offering to lend a listening ear if he needs it. From there you can determine what’s going on with him and/or the relationship.
7. Get Professional Help. If your anxieties don’t seem to subside after having tried all of the above options it may be necessary for you to get professional help. Therapists are great for helping patients to overcome anxieties. With cognitive behavioral therapies and other approaches, they can help you to pinpoint the source of the insecurities and learn how to combat them in the future.
Being in a new relationship can be energizing, exciting, fun, and spontaneous – but it can also be emotionally stretching, particularly for someone who’s uncomfortable with the unknown. As we’ve all had our share of ups and downs with relationships, learning how to prevent our past experiences or innermost feelings from getting the best of us can be hard.
Rather than becoming reactive and a slave to the anxiety, which can see you doing and saying things when emotional, which pushes your boyfriend further away, it’s best to get on top of things now. By following the seven tips listed above, you should start to see the stress and anxiety melt away giving way for a loving relationship to develop.