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How Anxiety Impacts Relationships

Being in a relationship is supposed to be fun and exciting. Anxiety can negatively affect various areas of your life including relationships. It can affect how you function in your daily life. Unfortunately, it can also impact how you communicate and connect with other people.

Anxiety is a common issue and understanding the different ways it can interfere with your relationship will help you find skills to cope.

Lets start with sings of anxiety in relationships:               

      • Worrying your partner will lose interest or that they like other people better.
      • Second guessing your partner.
      • Worrying that your partner is cheating.
      • Overthinking every conversation, interactions or texts.
      • Worrying about compatibility.
      • Pushing your partner away to avoid feelings of rejection.
      • Avoiding relationships altogether.


    This anxiety can leave you feeling insecure and off-balanced. There are major ways this can impact a relationship. Feeling of anxiety may make you respond by being too dependent or too avoidant.


    Some people with anxiety have an intense need to be close to their partner (of friend). You may need your partner for constant support and reassurance. If this is your anxiety style, you may find yourself prone to overthinking, planning for all worst-case scenarios, indecision, fearing rejection, needing constant communication and getting anxious when responses aren’t fast enough. Without your partners reassurance, you find yourself uncomfortable.


    On the other hand, you may avoid relationships to cope with the anxiety. If you do get into a relationship, you may avoid all negative emotions. You may hide your frustration, disappointment by refusing to express yourself.  Silence is a coping strategy that highlights a fear that if your partner has a different opinion they may leave. This avoidance may make it appear the relationship is going well because there are few arguments. The anxiety prevents you to address anything that bothers you that will lower your satisfaction in the relationship. Take a satisfaction test for couples with kids or without.

    Coping with Anxiety in Relationships

    If anxiety is having a negative impact on your relationships, its important to talk to a mental health professional. There are treatments that can help you improve your communication and your interpersonal effectiveness.  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy can help you develop skills to reassure yourself or help you take thoughtful actions for yourself rather than needing it from your partner.

    If you find you are more avoidant in your relationships, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can help you explore your past and present relationships. It can help you understand the emotions in those interpersonal connections and attachment style.

    Your therapist can help you understand how the anxiety is impacting your relationships and help you create more effective strategies. If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, contact Intentional Outcomes Counselling at 902 445 3800 or email or information and support.


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    Intentional Outcomes Counselling provides in-person and virtual therapy across Nova Scotia. Visit us in Halifax or book an online appointment today!

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    B3S 0B9