7 Things You Should Know If You’re Dating Someone With Anxiety. It’s Not Easy.
Just recently, model and actor Milind Soman’s wife Ankita Konwar opened up about her struggle with mental health problems. While all of us feel for her, have you ever thought about how her partner worked things out with her and dealt with her mental health issues. As a husband or partner, being with the one we love (in sickness and in health) is important. Mental health problems often tend to test our patience and our relationships but romantic relationships are the ones with maximum intimacy and that’s probably why our romantic partners are often affected by our mental health problems. I’ve personally dealt with anxiety and I know how it feels to struggle with it but dating someone with anxiety can be much tougher. I remember the days when my partner would find it difficult to understand my emotions and struggle with anger because he couldn’t help me. More importantly, my partner would often feel like a ‘failure’ for not being able to help me ‘fix’ it.
So, it would be safe to say that being in a relationship with someone who has an anxiety disorder can be extremely stressful. And no one really teaches us how to date people with anxiety and depression but at the same time, someone’s mental health should not really be a dealbreaker if you truly love that person. This is why it is important to understand and educate yourself enough to be able to date someone with anxiety. Since you’re here reading this, you’re already on the path to connecting deeply with your partner and understanding their mental health.
Here are 7 things you should know if you’re dating someone with anxiety:
1. Educate yourself about anxiety and everything that comes with it. Find out everything there is to know about anxiety disorders, speak to an expert. Once you understand this condition, it will be easier for you to be more empathic towards your partner and help you deal with them, their emotions and their condition in an effective manner.
2. Be a good listener to your partner. Talk to them about their anxiety disorder and listen to them as they explain their thoughts and feelings to you. Be responsive but don’t cut them off. Being heard can make them feel comfortable enough to reach out to you when they need you. It also makes them feel loved in general. But always remember to keep an open mind when listening to your partner.
Also Read: Ankita Konwar Opens Up About Her Struggle With Anxiety And Days “Where Everything Isn’t Fine”
3. Find out their triggers. Speak to your partner and ask them about their triggers. Understanding what triggers anxiety in your partner can help you solve half of the problems in your life and relationship. While helping your partner and being sensitive towards them and their triggers is essential but understand that it is not practical to think that it’s your responsibility to protect your partner from all their triggers.
4. If your partner has not sought professional help yet, a great way to begin would be by encouraging them to seek help and being by their side as they do so. But remember that it has to be baby steps. Do not try to rush things with someone who has anxiety because trust me, it won’t end well.Pexels
5. Understand that their anxiety is not about you or the relationship. Do not take it personally. They may come across as insecure or distrustful but understand that their anxiety is deeply rooted and triggered by something else. Apart from this, never blame them for their mental health issues. Your partner did not ask for it.
6. Your partner may often feel overwhelmed due to their anxiety and while it may seem irrational to you, pointing out their behaviour or asking them to calm down will only make things worse. When your partner is spiralling due to anxiety, try to help them through it instead of fueling the fire. Stay calm and help them with grounding techniques that work for them. Make them feel validated and hear them out.
7. Remember that you are not responsible for their anxiety and you are not a professional. Do not try to be your partner’s therapist.
8. While you show so much empathy towards your partner, remember to do the same thing for yourself. Understand and address your feelings for your partner’s anxiety and practice some self-care and self-love too. You cannot help someone else when you are not in a good shape yourself.