What it truly means to date with Anxiety
Several months after our breakup, I sat down on the couch replaying all our memories together (definitely not one of my finest moments). It had been a while since I had last thought about him. An hour later I came to the realization I barely knew the guy I had spent the last year with.
When you are single people often tell you the reason you are single is because its not God’s time or God is still molding and working on you. This could not be any truer for me.
Dating on its own is a challenge, now throw in anxiety or any other mental illness you are asking for disaster. Most of the time you are in a relationship, it is just you wondering when is your next mental breakdown coming, would they be there to witness it or how long till they break up with you. I knew of nothing else in all my relationships.
With this kind of mindset and my track record of choosing any boy/man who looked my way, it is no hidden secret way none of my relationships have lasted. However over the time I spent being single I have come to understand these are the things I would have to constantly battle whenever I chose to date.
- It is easier for you to fall in love with a fantasy than with the real thing:
When you suffer from anxiety it is easy to feel as if you are not worthy of love. That your anxiety makes you a burden, and it is something you should be ashamed off. This can lead you to accept “love” from anyone willing to show it to you, and let your mind conjure up a mental image of who the person is, regardless of how they treat you.
2. You have tons of highly intensified fears:
Most people are scared that their partner will cheat on them, or one of their embarrassing traits will come out. However, when you have anxiety these fears become your living nightmare. Your boyfriend not replying your message, when you know he is free can send you spiraling down a dark hole. Living in constant fear of these fears coming true makes having a relationship even harder. Your fear of being cheated can lead you to believe he is even when there is no evidence. Living like that can lead to you projecting your worst personalities traits onto your partner.
3. You become a master of avoidance
Due to all these fears running through your head, when conflict or any red flags appear you tend to avoid the confrontation at all costs. Though you are scared of your boyfriend cheating on you, in most cases the true driver of all your worry is your fear to be alone. This makes it easier for you to work hard at being perfect, and please whomever you are dating to ensure they are happy and you don’t have to argue with them. This added stress does not make it easy to manage your anxiety, or to maintain any boundaries you had at the beginning of the relationship.
Though dating with anxiety comes with all these challenges, it does not mean it is impossible. It just requires a little work. You have to be honest with yourself, and with your partner about how you feel and why. This takes courage, and understanding who you are, and what you are truly made of. This comes with time, patience and truly getting to know yourself, allowing God to heal and be the center of who you are, before you enter any relationship.
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