According to the ADAA, anxiety disorder affects 40 million adults in the United States. That is 18% of the population, and that’s only counting adults18 years and older. If you suffer from anxiety you most likely understand it. Yes, there are times when you’re anxious and you don’t know where it stems from but it’s not a surprise. You understand how to deal with it, you know what works for you in terms of allowing an attack to pass… you are used to your anxiety.
However, if you’re in a new relationship, your partner may not be used to it.
Your anxiety is not a burden and it shouldn’t be deemed as such, but if you’re someone who doesn’t deal with anxiety, it is a new experience. It can also be daunting for you, as the anxious person, to get into a new relationship with someone who doesn’t really understand you in that way. That could be a cause for even more unnecessary anxiety. So, if you’re that person who is dating someone with anxiety, listen up.
1. Be understanding.
The number 1 thing to do when you’re dating someone with anxiety is to be understanding. If they need to be alone, let them be; if they need to talk it out, listen. An anxious person is sensitive and they’ll need your support, or they might not. Whichever it is, just understand. It’s going to take some time to get used to letting someone be, or dealing with the anxiety but the more you open yourself up to be understanding, the easier it will get.
2. Learn to cope with the “end-of-the-world” syndrome.
When it comes to anxiety, everything is the end of the world. An anxious person’s mind will always be in ‘worst case scenario’ mode; whether you don’t answer their text message or they get a cryptic email from work, their mind is going to think the worst. It is going to seem annoying at times but just know that it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the demons inside their head. Remember that the anxiety is something your significant other can’t really control.
3. Refrain from using the phrase “calm down.”
This goes for pretty much everyone (or every woman) but do not tell someone to calm down when they’re in the middle of an anxiety attack. As previously mentioned, this isn’t something that they can control and when they are in a middle of an anxious episode, calming down just isn’t an option. When your S.O is having an anxiety attack, whether you understand the reason or not, just offer them some sort of comfort. Saying the words ‘calm down’ is not going to help anyone because calming down is not realistic in times of anxiousness.
4. Don’t rush her.
When someone is going through an anxiety attack or an anxious episode, it may be a little while before it passes. That feeling could last for a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days. It is the worst feeling to be anxious for an extended period of time, and as a significant other, you need to realize that you cannot snap out of an anxiety attack. It is something that cannot be rushed; when your S.O is feeling calm again, they will come to you.
5. Reassurance is key.
Anxiety triggers differ from person to person but a common theme could be questioning the relationship. An anxious person may need constant reassurance that everything is ok. It could be anything from telling them you still care about them and aren’t going anywhere, or letting them know that they can get through it. It can get a little daunting but if you give them what they need, the less frequent they will ask.