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Working through Relationship Anxiety - Stories and Advice


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i burn guitars~ Welcome to the site! I'm glad to see you joined and another person that can relate. Maybe we can all learn from each other and overcome this. Do you feel like there's any one thing that would calm your worries with your boyfriend?


Also, you know you can start a thread and maybe get much more input if you are looking for advice, right? Not that you need to - just wanted to make sure you're aware of that.


Again - welcome to the board! And hugs to you~~~~

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I can really relate to you. I've been dating my Girlfriend for about a year now. At first I had no anxiety about her and I didn't really think we'd end up together. I grew to love her fairly quickly. We went to a social gathering about 2 months ago and I noticed that she was being hit on by many guys. It really bothered me that she responded to them and was pretty interested in what they had to say. I talked to her about it and she let me know that I shouldn't worry and that she's all mine. That's easier said than done though. Lately i've been overanalyzing everything. I'm really anxious and I know deep down that i'm about to make a sweet relationship go sour. I think my anxieties root from unconscious insecurities. I noticed the more I love myself, the more she and others love me. I guess relationships are a good spiritual practice.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I googled relationship anxiety and this is the first site that popped up. I'm so glad to find this and see that there are other people going through the exact same thing as me!


I think I started to become anxious with relationships after going through a six year period of being single with intermittent dating. The longer I was single, the more I would build up each new date or possibility and the more anxious I would feel that things wouldn't work out. Whenever I found someone I really liked or connected with, my anxiety would build to unbearable levels. I would constantly check to see if the guy had texted or called back, analyze past IM conversations and emails, and run things through my head over and over to the point of obsession. Worse still is I usually end up feeling physically sick due to this anxiety and have trouble sleeping. The end result is I end up looking and acting like a mess and am less fun around my friends and the guy I'm dating.


I just recently started a relationship with a new guy. Things moved really fast but he did so many positive things to keep my anxiety at bay. Now we are a little over a month into it and my anxiety is coming back. Its so bad, I can hardly focus on work or anything else! I think it stemmed from one disagreement we had and I haven't been able to get rid of it since then! I agree with the other posts on here--that telling my boyfriend about it wouldn't be the best but when I try to talk to my friends, they tell me not to worry and that he really likes me.


I know I shouldn't worry but I can't stop it! The only way my anxiety is lessened is if he sends me some positive signal. But a relationship shouldn't depend on that. I'm just so worried my craziness will push him away or cause me to break up with him just to get rid of this anxiety!

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Hi everyone.


I recently had a very bad anxiety and panic attack that lasted for three days while on holiday with my girlfriend. This was the catalyst for me to seek the help of a psychologist. i started reading as much as i could and started self analysing, particularly looking to find a pattern in my relationship history and the types of partners that i was attracting and being attracted to.


I encourage each of you to read as much as you can on fear of engulfment and fear of abandonment. I also encourage each of you to look deeply into the relationship each of you had with your parents in your childhood. How did they treat you? You will find that many of your current anxiety and relationship issues are the result of childhood wounding. It doesn't have to be physical or sexual parental abuse. Parental wounding can happen even in the most loving of families. My problems arose because i had parents who loved me too much, resulting in smothering and enmeshment.


If you are like me, you have a history of unconsciously sabotaging relationships through fear. You want and crave a loving relationship, but when you get into a relationship, your unconscious fears take over and eventually win out, causing you to sabotage the relationship, either by clinging to tightly, withdrawing or getting into a dysfunctional state through depression/anxiety.


The fear comes from false or negative thinking which is what our ego uses to protect itself and it manifests in irrational displays of affection, unrequited love, giving oneself up in a relationship, excessive attachment, anxiety, panic, self sabotage, seeking emotionally unavilable partners etc.


Each of you needs to find where the fear comes from. Do you fear someone getting too close or do you fear someone abandoning you or both?


Do you have poor boundaries in your relationships? Are you afraid to express yourself? do you give yourself up in relationships? Do you feel responsible for the feelings of your partner in a relationship? Do you find it difficult to let go in a relationship and just be in the moment? These are all symptoms of abandonment and engulfment fears.


The following books are very good;


How to be an adult - David Richo

When love meets fear - David Richo

journey of the heart - John Welwood

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can agree with atelis's viewpoint on the parental wounding. I also found this site by googling relationship anxiety.

My father has been married 3 times all 3 times been cheated. I've been engaged twice both times cheated on.


Now I'm 27, and have been dating a wonderful girl for a year. It seems like when the initial bliss of a relationship is over I can't stop asking her what's wrong or being paranoid. We all no that point where, for lack of a better word, a relationship becomes routine. I don't think there is anything wrong with that, but for some reason I always have to think there is something else going on.


I dunno but thank you for this thread it's helping me to put a lot of this in perspective.



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  • 4 weeks later...

I too have extreme relationship anxiety. I've been with my fiance for about 2 1/2 years now. We have been engaged for almost a year. I used to be really anxious at the beginning because he wouldn't react the way I thought he should in certain situations, like when I cried he would just ignore me - he thought I was trying to manipulate him. Whenever we would fight, he would either ignore me or i would upset him to the point where he would say mean things.

I figured out that I was indeed being controlling and manipulative, without really realizing it. I backed off, learned to think before I spoke and really considered the consequences of my actions.

Things really turned around and he has been really great. We both have a lot more consideration for the other. We got engaged and ever since, my anxiety level has shot through the roof. I keep obssessing "what if he isn't the one? What if we get back into bad habits and hurt each others' feelings? What if he doesn't really love me? What if he doesn't want to marry me for the right reasons? What if we get married and he realizes what a nut I am?"

It's EXHAUSTING!!! I spend ALL of my spare time reading through forums, reading books, trying to figure out how to fix this so that I can just enjoy him and enjoy being engaged. I know deep down that I am just way too dependent on him for my happiness and that I need to learn how to be happy without him. It's hard.

I haven't spent very much time being single ever since high school. I have always had a boyfriend. Maybe that's my problem - I've just learned to be dependent on men and haven't learned how to love myself. It's a downward spiral that's extremely hard to change right now.

Good luck to everyone else. I would love to hear what has worked for everyone.

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I have posted this on various threads. I LIVE by this book. My therapist had me pegged as an anxious person in my first session (he's very much like me!), and recomended this book: The Feeling Good handbook by David Burns

It has changed my life!

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  • 3 weeks later...
I encourage each of you to read as much as you can on fear of engulfment and fear of abandonment. I also encourage each of you to look deeply into the relationship each of you had with your parents in your childhood. How did they treat you? You will find that many of your current anxiety and relationship issues are the result of childhood wounding. It doesn't have to be physical or sexual parental abuse. Parental wounding can happen even in the most loving of families. My problems arose because i had parents who loved me too much, resulting in smothering and enmeshment.

Do you fear someone getting too close or do you fear someone abandoning you or both?


I'm another one who suffers from Relationship Anxiety! I hadn't realised this until a few weeks ago. I've been with my partner for 3.5 years, and admittedly he set off my anxiety since he cheated on me early into the relationship and even though we've come past that, I find it really really hard to not over-analyse and over-react to every little thing he does.


I went to a counsellor and she immediately recognised I have a fear of losing people, based on my relationship with my parents (which is why I quoted the above, it is so true). My father said a few very bad things to my sister and me when we were teenagers and would get scary and yell and scream at us. My mother on the other hand 'smothered us with love' and found it really hard to 'cut the apron strings'.


I'm starting to do a lot more things for myself, and exercise more. I went running the other day and the high I got from it was so good I started dancing around the house!


My partner is supportive, and something he said to me is very true "You think about things way too much and come up with scenarios in your head that never actually happen in reality. you need to stop thinking stuff like that because it's only detrimental."


Good luck to everyone suffering from this!

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  • 1 month later...

Looks like it's been about a month since someone last posted on this thread, so I'm EXTRA-glad I found it amongst the many threads here!


I also deal with relationship anxiety and have ever since I started dating (I'm 28 now), but I always sabotage my relationships (there haven't been many) by wondering not if he'll fall for me, but whether I 'll fall for him. I worry constantly about whether I'm in a relationship just because I'm "supposed to be" (thanks, society!) or because I actually do like the guy. I'm currently in a relationship with a great guy - we've been "official" for five weeks, though we got to know each other through e-mail for about a month and then actually dated for about a month prior to being "official" - and he is aware of my anxieties and my life-long history with depression/anxiety. He doesn't know that I worry about even liking him (I don't need to share a worry that could be nothing more than anxiety; why scare him?), but he does know that I worry that he'll fall for me but the feelings won't be reciprocated. My biggest fear - and I've told him this - is that I'll hurt him.


He's being patient with me and, again, he's fantastic, but WHAT IF he's not the one for me? and WHAT IF I don't fall in love with him? and blah blah blah. Today I find myself looking for any negative aspect of my BF (personality, looks, whatever) just so I can have a reason to break up with him for the purpose of stopping my anxiety. However, if it's ONLY relationship anxiety, then breaking up will be a huuuuuuge mistake!



Yes, I do have a therapist and I do take anti-depressants/anti-anxiety meds. Also, in the not-too-distant-past, I had massive anxiety about, you know, most of life, but I have conquered all of those other anxieties thanks to an amazing program by Lucinda Bassett. Relationship anxiety is the only one left, and it's killin' me (not literally...)!


Any thoughts?

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Hi all! I think a lot of us suffer from some sort of relationship anxiety no matter who we are. We just deal with it differently. I know that my way of dealing with it is to become clingy and demanding, which is completely opposite of my personality in general. I fear my girlfriend will leave me, but I also fear that I'll lose interest in her. Sort of a weird dynamic, I know. After much soul searching the last few days I've sort of decided that I am not going to let any sort of anxiety dictate to me how I am going to live my life. I don't know if one can just make that decision and have it work, but so far so good. I feel like I have removed an internal weight and now I can just relax and see life for what it is. I feel like I am looking at my relationship differently because now I can appreciate it for what it is and what it should be instead of worrying about every wrong word or analyzing each action. I know that we are in love so shouldn't everything else take care of itself? I think so. Anyway, I hope everyone is doing better with this. I really think that sometimes all it takes is a deep breath and saying "Enough of this!"

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I dated a woman once who had anxiety, but she didn't tell me about this until we had begun dating and I had no idea how serious it really could be. She was very doubtful, worrisome, cried a lot and had low self-esteem about herself and us. One minute, she was the sweetest nicest, funnest person you could ever be around. The next minute she'd be crying her eyes out about absolutely nothing. I tried to work through it with her, but I pulled the plug after a couple months because it just became too intense.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I can relate. I used to feel this way until I changed my thinking. Anxiety was as typical for me as breathing. Then I realized how many great things I had going for me and how focusing on the negative or fearing loss was causing just that.


When I began to choose to see what I had accomplished and put my energy toward helping others and myself, my life took a huge swing in the other direction.


It has been several years now that I have been free of the feeling of anxiety. After all, anxiety is just the fear of not succeeding at something you haven't even attempted yet. So go for it, and look at each step and each day as a gift and a way to learn.


If you take the time to find out who you are and what you truly want in your life, you will experience a much richer sense of being.

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Honestly, My anxiety has been a warning sign that something is NOT right in my relationships.


When I was 19, I was having massive panic attacks and constantly worried about whether my boyfriend at the time loved me. I asked, and guess what... he didn't. It was my body and my brain telling me to wake up because I was not satisfied.


Another boyfriend constantly belittled my profession and degree goals. As I look back, this was actually a form of mental abuse. He kept me down to feel good about himself... something I have been rebuilding since that relationship. However, towards the end I got very anxious and unhappy... again, my anxiety telling me that I was not happy.


The tricky thing is... everyone gets anxious... but for someone who IS by nature anxious its hard to distinguish if the anxiety is justified or our normal negative thought patterns. I have a hard time distinguishing. But, for me, my anxiety in my relationships has usually been a 100% justified. Which, is very ironic!


So I would suggest evaluating your relationship if something is coming up as a red flag in your mind. Its always a good thing to be honest with your significant other about your anxiety disorder so that they don't think you are completely aloof.

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  • 3 weeks later...

So i have been in a relationship for 5 months with a wonderful woman. everything is great except i over analyze everything. She noticed it at the beginning and i am doing it more now that are relationship is getting more serious. She said it will push her away if i continue to do so, i want to fix this problem not just for us but for me. I understand i am over analyzing everything i just don't know how to stop doing it.


Just last week i feel as though i got anxiety and lost my appetite, i hate this feeling.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi guys,


I also suffer from anxiety. I have recently moved to Australia and my bf lives 3 hours south. I know that my anxiety stems from the fact that I have moved to somewhere new and I need to have my own friends and job. I have been actively joining groups to meet people and have made friends with my roommates. However I am constantly worried about whether my bf loves me and what he is doing. My dad sent me this:


Buddhist Quote


In the following lines, we have mentioned some famous Buddhist quotes and sayings…



Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds.

You only lose what you cling to.


Fill your mind with compassion.


We live in illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality. We are that reality. When you understand this, you see that you are nothing, and being nothing, you are everything. That is all.


The Four Reliances

First, rely on the spirit and meaning of the teachings, not on the words;

Second, rely on the teachings, not on the personality of the teacher;

Third, rely on real wisdom, not superficial interpretation;

And fourth, rely on the essence of your pure Wisdom Mind, not on judgmental perceptions.


We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.


To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.


Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.


Pay no attention to the faults of others,

things done or left undone by others.


Consider only what by oneself is done or left undone.

What we think, we become.


Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one getting burned.


Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.


He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.


An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind

Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.


Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.


Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.


Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.


On life's journey Faith is nourishment,

Virtuous deeds are a shelter,

Wisdom is the light by day and Right mindfulness is the protection by night.


If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him;

If he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom.


One of his students asked Buddha, "Are you the messiah?"

"No", answered Buddha.

"Then are you a healer?"

"No", Buddha replied.

"Then are you a teacher?" the student persisted.

"No, I am not a teacher."

"Then what are you?" asked the student, exasperated.

"I am awake", Buddha replied.


He told me to read it once a day. Also, before I go to bed every night, I write down the things I want to do the next day. Including the time I wake up. I find that it keeps me driven during the day. Day by day is the way Until I have my own life set up, I can't really be committed to my relationship. I come first. And as someone has mentioned before, your bf is a bonus to your life!

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hi everyone


i hear ya when it comes to relationship anxiety. I have had relationship anxiety since 2005 and with every relationship since. In 2007 I started taking lexapro because i got really bad. my relationship anxiety is a bit different to yours. I worry that i am with the wrong person because he is not "perfect" and i am overly analytical and critical despite all the good points in the person. as a consequence i can't enjoy what is in front of me. however, lexapro helped me a lot. I am now engaged and have been with my boyfriend for 15 months. However, about 6 weeks ago i came off the lexapro and all the anxious feelings and thoughts came back again. i started taking lexapro again on Sunday.


lexapro doesn't change your personality - it makes life better if you suffer from anxiety. is there anyone out there who has similar relationship anxiety issues as me? worried you'll marry the wrong person and get a divorce? scared that you're not experiencing or feeling all that you're meant to be feeling? i think my problem is high expectations. very destructive.

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hey - sounds familiar to me except i don't need my fiance to be happy - i think i am too independent and push him away coz im critical of him and worried i'll make a mistake and marry someone who isn't "the one" etc etc - it's all crap i know but hey that's how our brains think - i am on lexapro - that really helped the anxiety. i just came off it for 6 weeks and the anxiety came back so im back on it.

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  • 1 month later...

This is good news. I am currently on another medication but am thinking I need to change. I seem to be ok until PMS kicks in each month and I turn into a paranoid, crying, tired maniac who thinks I need to leave my boyfriend. I have known I have had extreme PMS symptoms since I was a young teenager but unfortunately every time I get it I think that my thoughts are reality. I need to remember that I cannot make any decisions when I have PMS. My worrying is not completely due to PMS I don't think but it really affects my life.


My story: I was really obsessed with my current boyfriend ten years ago but thought he didn't like me. I then met a much older yet very nice and caring man who I got engaged too and we were together for 9 years. I managed to forget about my current boyfriend most of the time while I was with my ex-fiance and it was all good until I began to get very bad anxiety. He already had children and didn't want kids, I didn't know if I wanted kids, he was much older, blah blah blah. I worried so much every day that he wasn't the one for me. Eventually the relationship came to an end (I was faithful the whole time but the worrying got too much).


I got together with my current boyfriend five months ago and he is a similar age, wants kids one day, really likes me, is handsome, fit and active, etc. However I find myself worrying again. I worry we will break up, that I will leave him for someone else (that is my worst nightmare - the thought makes me feel sick), I ask if he is the one for me, etc but I tend worry mostly when I have PMS or am extremely tired. I don't want to sabotage this relationship like I did with the last one. All I know is that I need to take care of myself - sleep, exercise, fun times with the girls, take my medication - which keeps me on a fairly even keel - I am still myself yet I don't want to kill myself. I like these posts because they made me realise that the problem is me (my thoughts are not reality) and that other people also suffer. I also feel like I have to be 100% honest with my boyfriend about this stuff but these posts make me realise that no, it is not for him to know WHAT I worry about.


I'm glad there are others out there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

hi there


I hope it is ok to post on this thread...I couldnt find anywhere else to ask this.


I have suffered from anxiety for about 7 years! I have had extreme anxiety in the past which required CBT etc...it was mainly around being scared of contracting STDs from my partner (HIV mainly). I have come thru this, and even though that relationship ended, with new partners I am able to be intimate without freaking out like i used to about STDS.


But..I have noticed in the last year and a bit, everytime (or most times) i get close to a guy, I have these intrusive thoughts that the guy looks like one of my male relatives (either my dad or my brother). This is so so weird for me. I have tried not to read too much into it, i dont know where they have come from, except towards the end of my last serious relationship (16months ago) when i started feeling different about my boyfriend, i would look at him, and think, god his face looks fat like my dads (I know thats terrible). I left my ex for many reasons (not cos of the anxity), but now i feel like this thought just pops in with any new guy. For example, the last 3 guys i have dated i have thought...god there face looks a bit like my brother/dad.


I have met a wonderful guy a week ago, and we really click...now hes away for a week and these thoughts keep poppping in.

Anyway, it make me anxious cos i dunno if its a sign of something or my mind trying to trick me into something!!


Any ideas??

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am so glad I found this website----My anxiety problem is this ----I do ok when I am getting into a relationship with someone that appeals to me ---when I get to the point where I have really genuine feelings for this person, that's when I freak out and start doubting my own feelings-it usually ends the development of the relatiojsnhip as no one will put up with that kind of indecision for long-I am getting involved with someone I know I could really have a future with-and it is starting again-i dialogue with myself constantly and have a general felling a anxiety about how it will not work-am at the point of just giving up trying to be involved at all

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i just found this thread and posted a few minutes ago-you r describing exactly waht I am going through and have gone through before-I have a chance to be with a great person that I tryluy care about-and am fixing to screw it up by my constant anxiety-the funny thing is that I only go thru this with people I realize I truly care about

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