What Anxiety Actually Is, And Why It Makes Relationships And Dating So Hard

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Its staying up at night and tossing and turning because you wonder how someone feels. Its questioning if this is really something or is it all in your head.

Anxiety is being excited about a date but thinking theyll cancel last minute. It’s staring at your phone waiting for it.

It’s every past relationship on repeat and hoping this one doesnt end the same way.

Its an ending that emotionally destroys you. Its trying to handle it with grace and dignity but at the same time, youre in tears wondering, when things changed and what you did wrong. Its beating yourself up for it, even when youre friends tell you, it was him not you.

Anxiety tells you, ‘no, its not that they were the wrong person, its that youre flawed and not good enough.’ And you look at yourself fixating on things you wish you could change because thats probably why it didnt work out. Anxiety is striving for perfection even if it kills you.

Anxiety is every text and not wanting to be the first one to send it.

Its stressing how to word something properly because you care but you dont want to come on too strong.

Its the agony of waiting for a response as reread what you just said. Its wanting to send a double text but knowing you shouldnt

Its social media adding to it and making it 10X worse. Its never just a like or a view or a share because youre staring at your phone wondering if it means something more.

Anxiety tells you, theyre ignoring you on purpose. They dont care. They are going to leave. Theyre mad at you.

Anxiety is believing lies made up in your own head.

Its the weight lifted off your chest when they respond but you still worry.

Its wondering at any moment, ‘are they going to change their mind about me?’ Its playing out that scenario in your head, just so youre ready for how youd respond to it.

Anxiety is anticipating the worst in people, even though you have the best intentions. Its caring but the insecurity of caring too much.

Its questioning and doubting, everything someone thinks, says and does.

Its finally getting a relationship but youre paralyzed with fear of it ending, even though it just started.

Anxiety is pushing people away because you think its for their own good.

It’s is being everywhere on time and needing your partner to be the same way. Its wanting things to go according to the original plan and getting upset when it doesnt.

Its messing up and making a mistake and your immediate assumption is, theyre going to leave or dump you. Its being unbelievably hard on yourself even though youre the least judgemental person ever.

Anxiety is being painfully insecure and not being able to help it.

Its standing in a crowded room, holding his hand, as you meet his friends but all you want is for them to like you. It’s trying too hard that they don’t sometimes.

Its wanting to drink but worrying about drinking too much. Its the apology the next morning you didnt even need to say.

Anxiety is wanting to explain to him, ‘this is what youre dealing with or this is what youre getting and I understand if you want to leave.’ But at the same time, you just try and hide it.

Its learning to trust him slowly.

Anxiety is explaining to your partner, ‘this is what I thought, its completely illogical, I know but I need you to just tell me Im wrong. Tell me we are okay.’

Its needing constant reassurance.

Anxiety is your partner wrapping their arms around you when you completely break down and they just have to keep telling you, ‘its fine.’ It’s someone else being strong when you can’t be.


But its also the fear of letting someone close enough to see that side of you because you’ve always been strong for yourself and you fear vulnerability.

Its that critical voice inside your head that you hear on repeat. Even when they compliment you, you dont believe it at first. And they dont understand why you dont see yourself the way they do. But theres something beautiful about teaching someone to see themselves through your eyes.

Anxiety is the beauty and appreciation of someone really knowing you and accepting you because you still struggle to accept yourself. Its watching them change the way they act or what they do, just to keep you more at ease. Its the comfort in a simple phrase, ‘Im sorry I didnt answer this is why’ Its a feeling of wholeness when they say, I still love you, even with this thing WE have to live with.

Kirsten Corley is a poet and author of the book, , availablehere.

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