Anxiety can really suck, can’t it? Whether you have an extreme case of it or just a mild one, most people experience anxiety at some point in their week, but it effects everyone a little bit differently.
For those who have ever dated someone who has a major league problem with anxiety, you’ve probably wondered if there’s anything you can do to help. That’s just human nature, as we often try to be “healers” to those who need it, even if we’re not professionals in a certain area or an obvious topic. But, hey we all want to try to be.
When it comes to dating someone with anxiety, there’s not much you can do to help a partner out, unfortunately. Sure, there are words of encouragement you can give and things to try and limit their stress or eagerness, but, even then, it’s up to them to decide what necessary steps to take in order to slow their brains down.
Since anxiety comes and goes at odd times, we’re giving you some tips on what to expect while dating someone who experiences more often than others, as well as how to handle the situation.
When it comes to anxiety, you’re really going to have to be patient
You know that whole “love is patient” thing? When it comes to dating a person with anxiety, it’s elevated by about 100 times over. Look, everyone has insecurities and worry about different things, causing an internal battle with the mind that sets off some panic that they can’t control. As someone who’s there to support a partner through these types of things, if/when you know about these behavioral patterns, it’s your job to take a deep breath yourself and make things as easy as possible for them. There’s no quick solution to anxiety, so you need to give them a support system that shows trust to help limit such stress.
Encourage them to talk with a professional to help combat their anxiety
As we mentioned, because you’re not a professional, allowing your partner to vent when they feel anxious is a good start, but if it really does become draining on you, it might be best to suggest your significant other goes to therapy. While people might think of that word as a red flag, in fact, it’s the exact opposite, with trained professionals available to help limit anxiety, panic attacks or meltdowns. Plus, showing them support will only help build the relationship between you two.
Offer to listen to their problems so they’re out of their own head
The thing about anxiety is that, people who often experience it, understand that they’re acting irrational. Thing is, there’s not much they can do about it other than to talk to someone and try to slow their mind down — and that’s where you come in as a supportive significant other.
There’s probably plenty of things you want to do to try and help the person you’re dating with their anxiety, but rather than try to find a solution, simply giving them the opportunity to openly talk to you and rant a bit is the best thing you can do. Not only does it help them, but it builds trust between the two of you, while also practicing open communication when things might feel tense.
Never criticize your partner’s anxiety
Unlike some other things, anxiety isn’t something that people can control, as it comes and goes like a bad habit almost anytime it chooses to. Knowing this, it’s important to remember that dating a person with anxiety doesn’t mean they’re flawed or crazy, it just means they’re normal. Avoiding lashing out and pointing to your partner’s anxiety as the root of all arguments is toxic behavior on your part, and can lead to them becoming even more anxious.
Don’t try to “fix” their anxiety, work with them on trying to relieve it a bit
As mentioned above, it’s not uncommon for people to try and fix people they care about; especially when in a serious relationship with them. Outside of putting them down for their anxiety, though, that’s just about the worst thing you can try and do.
Remember, you’re not a therapist or a professional with these types of things, so you could be doing more harm to them by offering up solutions than just letting them work on things themselves. The best way to help them is offer support and lend some ears to their problems or fears.