What to Keep in Mind If You're Feeling Anxious About a New Relationship

We've said it before and we'll say it again: New relationships are stressful. 

While it's often exciting to enter the "getting to know you" stage with a new partner, it can also be a very worrisome time. Opening yourself up and being vulnerable can feel scary, and that doesn't even cover the constant fear regarding the instability of your new romance.

However, if you're not taking risks, you're not giving yourself the opportunity to accomplish something really great. Instead of letting your fears convince you that running away is the best option, keep scrolling for things you should keep in mind if you're feeling anxious about a new relationship.

Fear Doesn't  Always Mean Something's Wrong

The problem with feeling fearful about a new relationship is that it can start to feel like a sign that something is definitely wrong. If your mind is anxious and worried, there must be something off about your new partner or the chemistry of your romance, right? Well, not always. Sometimes anxiety is no more than your brain's natural urge to protect itself—the emotional equivalent of "fight or flight."

Maybe you've been hurt in the past, you struggle to open up to people or you're afraid of being abandoned—these and more reasons could all account for an anxious feeling in a new romance that have nothing to do with your relationship and everything to do with you. Before you decide that your fears are telling you to call it quits, try to examine where they're coming from and whether they're based on a logical worry about your partner or an internal fear that you're allowing to control your emotions.

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(Riverdale via The CW)

 

It Could Be Pointing to an Incompatibility

While fear doesn'always mean there's something wrong, it's certainly plausible that your anxious feelings could be pointing towards a genuine red flag in your relationship. If there's something incompatible in your romance, it's better to know sooner rather than later, so your anxious feelings definitely shouldn't be ignored. The problem then becomes determining if your worries are based in reality or within in your own brain. Thankfully, there are multiple to accomplish this.

First, you can ask yourself about the source of your anxiety. If you can't come up with an answer, it's probably unfounded. You can also check in with friends to see if they've picked up on anything problematic in your romance, as it sometimes takes an outside perspective to truly determine if there's an issue. Lastly, you can make a list of  pros and cons about your S.O. to truly focus your thoughts and determine if they have any qualities that are worthy of your fear. If you try any or all of these and come up short, your anxiety is probably just the natural fear that comes with getting close to someone new.

 

Remember That You Survived Without Them

A lot of anxiety comes from fear about losing your partner. As you start to develop deeper feelings for them, the pain you would feel if they left becomes a potential reality. Therefore, you start overthinking every interaction, subconsciously convincing yourself that you're not worthy of their affection or telling yourself that you're going to mess up and lose them.

Oftentimes these fears are completely invalid. Relationships don't work out for a variety of reasons, so if your new romance does end, chances are it will have very little to do with you. However, the potential of losing someone you care about is a risk you have to take.

Instead of allowing that possibility to bog you down, try to focus on the fact that you survived without them and will be perfectly capable of doing it again. That doesn't mean you have to prep for a breakup before your relationship has really begun, it's just a way of reminding yourself that your fear isn't nearly as scary or life-altering as it sometimes seems.

Summer and Tom From (500) Days of Summer

((500) Days of Summer via Fox Searchlight Pictures)

 

You Can Only Control Yourself

When you're feeling anxious about a relationship, it's easy to turn things around and blame it on outside sources. You start demanding that your partner act differently. You imagine that their actions are responsible for your feelings and subsequently try to change them in order to ease your own fears.

However, the only person you can control is yourself. Anxiety starts in your own brain, so no amount of outside adjustment is going to get rid of your fear. Instead, it will likely only bring up new worries to occupy space in your thoughts. You can't blame your partner for how you're feeling. All you can do is try to shift your own mindset, determine how healthy this relationship is for you and act accordingly.

 

Relationships Are Meant to Be Fun

We talk a lot about how hard relationships are and how much work they take. And we totally stand by that statement—healthy, functional relationships don't just happen. But it's also important to remember that relationships are meant to be enjoyed.

If you're focusing too much on what needs to happen for your relationship to survive or whether your partner aligns with every single one of your couple goals, you're obviously going to feel anxious. It's okay to think about what you need, but it's also okay to let go of some of your fear and just enjoy the relationship for what it is. Things might end or they might last forever, but spending all your time worrying about the future is only going to distract you from the beautiful moments you're experiencing in the present.

 

On the hunt for more dating advice? Click HERE for six signs the talking stage of your relationship will lead to more.