In this day and age, it can be easy to think that everyone has mastered the art of getting to know and figuring out the dating game. It turns out; this is not always the case. It is especially true if the apple of your eye seems to have personal struggles that you might need to help them with.
Moreover, the information age we are in has led to the rise of people becoming more self-aware about their personalities, as well as their mental health issues.
With that said, we’re here to offer you advice on how to date someone with anxiety and cultivate a healthy relationship, even if romance isn’t the best route to take. Now, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
The dating scene has undoubtedly changed drastically over the years. From the better accessibility, ease of communication, and variety of ways to get to know a person, finding a date has become almost too easy. However, not so fast.
After all, there is so much more than meets the eye, and sometimes, the person we’re dating will guide us into the truth as an act of honest vulnerability. This is especially the case when dating someone with anxiety disorder.
In the modern world, mental health has become a vital consideration in all aspects of life.
So, when it comes to being in a relationship with someone who has anxiety, we need to take it upon ourselves to provide our partners the love and support they need.
With that said, if you’re genuinely committed to making things work, read on and learn how to date someone with anxiety.
Remember, dating with anxiety and other mental health disorders in the picture is not a setback but an opportunity for growth and learning.
So, let’s explore the ideal ways to approach a relationship when your partner has anxiety.
In and of itself, anxiety is considered a normal response to stress, fear, apprehension, and tension. This may even come in the form of passing negative thoughts, worries, and bouts of overthinking.
However, the American Psychological Association defines it as a disorder that occurs for extended periods and involves bodily changes like higher blood pressure, disorientation, sweat and tremors, and an underlying panic.
In addition to that, an article from Very Well Mind also states how anxiety is often the primary symptom of a panic disorder, which can be particularly debilitating in some cases.
So, if you’re out in the dating pool and the person you’re interested in exhibits
the signs of such a condition, you must first decide if this is a challenge you can take on.
This is because anxiety disorder and relationships aren’t a walk in the park.
However, once you’re set and determined to pursue the person as a potential partner, we can move further into tips for dating someone with anxiety.
15 tips for dating someone with anxiety
We are all aware of how different our minds work from each other.
However, when dating someone with anxiety disorder, you better understand that a brain dealing with mental health issues differs from a neurotypical brain.
Although this psychological terrain can be challenging to navigate, with the proper knowledge and willingness to understand someone with anxiety, you may find yourself a partner you can spend the rest of your life with.
With that said, let’s go over the fifteen best approaches on how to date someone with anxiety.
1. Make communication a priority
One of the best ways to approach any scenario when dating someone with an anxiety disorder is to open yourself to communication.
According to Sun Behavioral Houston, being in a relationship with someone who has anxiety is pretty much similar to other relationships when building the foundation. In this case, it means that you need to communicate and support each other to thrive.
We should also note that communication may be difficult when your partner has anxiety but putting in the effort to understand each other pays off in the end.
So, it’s best to keep things calm and balanced – from the line of questioning to the body language.
Furthermore, it’s best to remember that anxiety disorders are simply a part of a person’s struggles and do not define them ultimately.
So, when it comes to anxiety disorders and relationships, approach with tact, kindness, and gentleness.
3. Don’t be a therapist
In cases when a lack of empathy isn’t the issue, you may fall into the trap of being too invested in your partner’s struggles, and you start being their therapist.
While this may seem like a great way to reinforce your connection, this is not a healthy way of being in a relationship with someone who has anxiety.
In this NY Times article, it was mentioned how you also need to maintain your sense of self to be a good partner and friend, and committing to being their therapist can completely derail the process.
With that said, the ideal way on how to date someone with anxiety and other mental health issues is to be an active listener, speak kind words, and try not to offer solutions if they’re not asking for it.
When you’re still trying to navigate how to date someone with anxiety, we learned from Women’s Health Magazine that you shouldn’t take things personally.
So, when your date or your partner undergoes an episode that may slightly inconvenience you, don’t think, “Why is this happening to me?” Instead, take the generous route and ask yourself, “How can I help the one that I love?” or “How can I make things easier for them?”
In these cases, the best way to approach this when dating with anxiety is to reassure them that you’ll still be by their side as you figure things out.
5. Make awareness and education your goal
Learning how to date someone with anxiety can be a struggle, and you may find yourself being the one needing the help. In the process, you realize you’re terribly impatient, possibly selfish, or even anxious yourself.
Don’t worry; this is okay. This comes with the territory of dating with anxiety and preparing to be part of another person’s life.
So, if you want to foster a healthy relationship, it would be best to make awareness of the condition a goal.
After all, according to Sun Behavioral Houston, prejudice and preconceived notions can negatively impact your relationship.
Therefore, experts state that dating someone with anxiety disorder always requires the willingness to compromise, understand, and empathize.
6. Establish a routine
When you’re dating someone with anxiety disorder, establishing routines in the relationship can help them cope with their condition.
After all, the anxiety stems from a fear of the unknown, and a routine can significantly reduce the unpredictability.
This won’t just help your partner cope with their condition, but doing so can also bring you closer together in ways neither of you expected.
To learn more about the power of routines, watch this video:
7. Practice patience
Another thing you need to understand when being in a relationship with someone who has anxiety is that there’s no quick “fix” or “cure” to the condition.
Of course, some strategies and techniques can help manage it.
However, these often take time to work, and even then, the condition doesn’t go away for good.
Therefore, when you’re dating someone with anxiety, make sure you’re extra patient with them, especially since no one is more frustrated with what’s happening than them.
11. Avoid assuming that everything they feel stems from anxiety
While anxiety can indeed be a significant issue in your partner’s life, this doesn’t mean that every negative emotion they feel stems from anxiety.
Although anxiety disorders can affect how we regulate our emotions, this doesn’t mean that it’s the only cause.
After all, your partner is also human, and adopting a simplistic view of their condition may only do more harm than good to your relationship. In this case, communication can once again play a critical role when dating someone with anxiety.
12. Be clear with your partner
When someone has anxiety, they’re more likely to overthink things, including the minor aspects of your relationship.
So, when you’re in a relationship with someone with anxiety, it would be best to be as straightforward as possible with your partner to avoid misunderstandings.
In this case, honest communication can help curb any negative thoughts, allowing you and your partner to be on the same page.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.