15 Tips for Dating Someone With Anxiety
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.
Related Reading: 8 Tips on How to Help Your Partner With Anxiety
What is 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.
Related Reading: The Importance Of Communication In Marriage
2. Keep your calm
According to Licensed Therapist Bree Jenkins in a Cosmopolitan article, the best way to ease interactions is to remove whatever is overwhelming the person with anxiety.
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.
Related Reading: How to Build Empathy in Relationships
4. Don’t make it about you
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.
Related Reading: 15 Ways to Have More Patience in a Relationship
8. Don’t tell them that they shouldn’t be afraid
When you’re dating someone with anxiety, it can be tempting to reassure them by telling them there’s nothing to be afraid of.
However, this can prove counterproductive since they most likely already know that what they’re feeling may be irrational.
So, instead of telling them, there’s nothing to be scared of, try to be supportive when they’re thinking of nothing but the worst-case scenario.
It would be even better if you help through it, allowing them to realize that it may not be as bad as they think.
9. Don’t try to change them
Understanding someone with anxiety can undoubtedly be a struggle, and it may be tempting to try and “change” them so they won’t have to experience it anymore.
However, while it can be painful to see someone you care about struggling, trying to change them can do more harm than good.
After all, it may make them feel like their condition is a burden, which can further fuel any anxious thoughts about the relationship.
In this case, it would be better to show your support instead and let them know you’re there as they try to manage their condition.
10. See things from their perspective
Similarly, when you’re dating a person with anxiety, it would be best to consider their perspective when dealing with the condition.
After all, every person is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone, especially regarding sensitive issues like mental health.
So, instead of offering advice based on your perspective, try to be more empathetic and see the world in their shoes.
Not only will this help you give more insightful advice, but doing so will also allow you to broaden your awareness of the condition.
Related Reading: How Seeing Things From Your Partner’s Perspective Can Boost Your Love
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.
Just remember to be kind and understanding when communicating with your partner.
Related Reading: How to Improve Understanding in a Relationship
13. Create a safe space for both of you
Dealing with conditions like anxiety can be undeniably challenging, and it can potentially take its toll on the relationship.
So, when you’re dating someone with anxiety, it can be a good idea to create a safe space for both of you.
This doesn’t have to be an actual physical space, but just some time or breathing room where you and your partner can clear your minds, especially when dating with anxiety.
In this case, it can be self-care rituals or hobbies where the two of you can unwind and enjoy each other’s presence. It can even be just spending some time together in comfortable silence.
14. Include them in the process
Another way you can support your partner when being in a relationship with someone who has anxiety is by including them.
Anxiety can make someone feel alienated and alone in their struggle, so sharing with them your vulnerabilities can help them realize that they’re not alone.
Moreover, doing so will help encourage them, but this can also help deepen your connection with your partner, allowing you to tackle your challenges together.
However, make sure that you adopt the proper approach and avoid making it only about your struggles.
Related Reading: 20 Steps to Becoming a Supportive Partner
15. Acknowledge any progress
Anxiety can sometimes feel like an endless struggle, so you can help encourage your partner while they’re dealing with their condition by acknowledging any progress they make.
It doesn’t only have to be about the progress with managing their condition; it can also be acknowledging any progress in your relationship.
By celebrating their strength – and yours, you can forge a deeper connection with your partner, even when they’re dating with anxiety.
In closing, we can conclude that dating a person with anxiety may have its drawbacks. Still, it ultimately promises an enriching experience full of compassion, empathy, and growth.
While it may not be an easy process, understanding someone with anxiety is certainly an achievable feat. It may even lead to a great friendship, should the romance not work as intended.
With that said, we hope that you’ve learned the best ways to date someone with anxiety and how to have a healthy relationship with someone with anxiety through these tips.
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