What You Need to Know About Dating Someone With Anxiety
Many people around the world struggle with anxiety, including myself. It’s something that never seems to go away. Everything can be okay, but then suddenly take a turn for the worse. An anxiety attack can come on with no notice or gradually build throughout a day or week. Anxiety is nothing to play around with or take lightly. People who suffer from the disorder need a special kind of support system that can help make their days a little easier. If you’re dating someone with anxiety, you already know that it isn’t easy. If you find yourself having a tough time in your relationship, or are unsure of what to do to help your boyfriend or girlfriend, consider these tips:
1. Patience Is Key
With anxiety comes a lot of pitfalls, some that may seem impossible to overcome. It’s very important to be patient with your partner when they have a down day. For someone who doesn’t have anxiety, it can be difficult to understand what your significant other is feeling, or why they’re feeling it, but just being there is the most important thing. Sometimes it takes days for someone to bounce back after an anxiety attack, and when they come out of their funk and see you haven’t left their side, they will be grateful.
2. Always Be Supportive
Support is an important aspect to any relationship. When you notice your significant other seems down or stressed, be supportive and try to help them through it. There will be times where you feel hopeless because you can’t seem to make them happy, but trust me, you are making a difference. Just having my boyfriend around to talk to and help me calm down is a huge help in being able to function the way I do.
3. Try to Understand
Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is not an easy task. You may think you understand something because you had a similar experience, but never assume you know how your partner feels. Instead, talk to them about what’s going on in their head and let them know you want to understand. Give them a comfortable space to open up to you.
You may think they’re mad at you or upset with you in some way when, in reality, they’re feeling down about life. Maybe their anxiety is acting up because they’re thinking about an event they have to go to or they’re stressed about everything they have on their plate. You never know what someone is going through, which is why it’s so important to communicate to better understand your significant other.
4. It’s Okay to Just Listen
When you get your significant other to open up about what’s on their mind, don’t jump to immediately trying to find a solution. You’ll probably instantly want to try and find a way to fix everything, but first, let them talk and vent to you. Attempting to find a solution for all of their problems will overwhelm them and make them want to close back up. Sometimes listening is all they need.
5. Think of Something That Makes Them Happy
If things don’t seem to be looking up any time soon, suggest their favorite food or activity to help get their mind off the things causing their anxiety to peak. Even if they turn down the offer, they’ll appreciate your effort.
Anxiety is a scary thing to live with; one that puts people in a place darker than anyone can imagine. When you’re in a relationship with someone with anxiety, it’s important not to rush the progress and to make sure you have their trust. Make them feel comfortable with opening up without trying to force anything out of them. It isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of patience and understanding. Just remember to always be there for them to lean on.
|Related: 5 Tips for Dealing with Anxiety in College|