If you have never experienced the crippling effects of anxiety yourself, then you can’t truly understand how difficult it can be to deal with it. Or, maybe you can. Loving someone with anxiety is difficult, emotionally draining, and it can even be physically demanding.
Your plans are going to change if your partner has an anxiety attack, some places and situations are going to have to be avoided, and their emotional needs can change on a daily basis. It’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that—but when you love someone, you love them no matter what.
Here are some useful tips that will help you manage dating someone with anxiety.
1. There is more to them than just anxiety.
No one wants to be defined just by a few attributes, and so, you have to remember that they are more than just their anxiety. Remind yourself that they are someone with goals, dreams, hopes, and most importantly, feelings. It’s important that you appreciate them for the person they are and what they bring to the relationship.
2. They may not always be full of energy.
Living with anxiety can be draining, for you and especially for your partner. Remember that your partner can have good days and they can have bad days. Their anxiety will cause them to always be alert and their mind is always going to be going a mile a minute. To empathize with how a person with anxiety may feel, think of your most taxing week at work. You know how anxious you were for a day off? That’s them, just on an everyday basis.
3. They can become overwhelmed very easily.
Not only are anxious people on edge, they can also get overwhelmed by their own anxiety. They are hyper aware of everything around them, and when someone is always living in that hyper aware state, they are going to be overloaded. When they do get overwhelmed, you can help them come down by encouraging them to go somewhere quiet and peaceful. Reassure them that they can get out of an overwhelming situation easily and quickly if they want to.
4. They understand their anxiety is usually irrational.
Someone who lives with anxiety often understands that they are being anxious over nonsense. Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy to deal with it, and for many who deal with anxiety, that can be the hardest part. Instead of pointing out to them that they are being irrational (they already know they are), be compassionate and support them. Let them know that you are there for them and that you will help them through their anxiety, no matter what. Sometimes, all an anxious person needs is to know that they aren’t alone.