6 Things You Need To Know (And Do!) If You're Dating Someone With Anxiety

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Love

Being in a relationship with someone who has anxiety may sound like a lot of work. And in some ways, that’s certainly the case. 

Dating someone with anxiety often means spending extra time soothing your partner’s anxious thoughts or having to learn techniques for dealing with panic attacks to help your partner through them.

But the thing about loving someone with anxiety is that all of that effort comes back to you and your relationship two-fold. 

People with anxiety are overthinkers. This means that as their partner, you are always on their mind and you can bet that they’re always thinking about how to make life better and easier for you. 

A little bit of effort and a lot of love can lead to a beautiful and strong long-term relationship with someone who has anxiety. 

People with anxiety deserve to be loved just as hard as they love others, and here are a few tips for being in a relationship with someone who has anxiety.

1. Know what type of anxiety your partner is dealing with. 

“Anxiety” is a general term for a whole spectrum of anxiety disorders. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, there are five major types of anxiety disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Social Anxiety Disorder

Knowing exactly how your partner feels will help you better understand their triggers and thought processes. 

While it’s not always possible to avoid what makes your partner feel anxious, being aware of what’s going on in your partner’s head leaves you better equipped to help them.

RELATED: Why Defining Anxiety & Anxiety Disorders Matters

2. Learn more about your partner’s treatment plan. 

Talk to a clinical psychologist to get more insight about what you can do to support your partner. 

Anxiety doesn’t affect everyone the same way, so you may want to ask your partner for permission to speak to their own mental health professional. While they can’t give you exact details about their sessions, they may be able to let you in on what your partner can do to ease their anxiety and in turn, what you can do to support them in doing so.

3. Consider attending couples counseling. 

Attend counseling sessions together so you can discuss not only how your partner’s anxiety is affecting you and your relationship, but the ways you can work together to ensure your relationship lasts and is a healthy one.

4. Listen to your partner. 

Let your partner tell you what is bothering them. 

While their concerns may seem nonsensical or exaggerated to you, remember that their brain is telling them that these concerns are reality so it’s important not to disregard their feelings.

You don’t always have to fix things and, in fact, that’s not always possible. But it means just as much to simply be there for them. 

5. Don’t try to “fix” your partner. 

Anxiety is a lifelong disorder that can’t be cured. Make it known to your partner that their anxiety isn’t a dealbreaker. 

Most importantly, don’t give ultimatums — that will likely only worsen their anxious thoughts.

6. Make sure your actions match your words.

Your partner needs concrete proof in order to fend off anxious thoughts. If you’re saying one thing but doing another, you’re only validating their anxiety. 

Try your best to be reliable and consistent so even when they’re at their weakest they know that you say what you mean and mean what you say.

RELATED: What It Feels Like To Have Anxiety And Depression At The Same Time

Can anxiety ruin a relationship? 

If ignored, misunderstood, or criticized, anxiety can ruin a relationship. 

Your partner’s anxiety is like a third party in the relationship that may threaten the stability and balance of your relationship from time to time. 

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Signs Anxiety Is Affecting Your Relationship:

1. It feels like your anxious partner doesn’t trust you.

2. Your anxious partner is clingy or overly dependent on you.

3. You’re feeling resentful towards your anxious partner. 

4. It’s become difficult to talk to your anxious partner. 

5. It feels like your anxious partner is avoiding you. 

How do you date someone with anxiety?

It’s hard dating someone with anxiety, but anxiety isn’t a dealbreaker. Or at least it shouldn’t be, because if you’re doing relationships right, it's hard dating anyone. 

It’s no harder dating someone who has trust issues stemming from a cheating ex than it is to date someone with anxiety issues. 

So, no matter who you’re in a relationship with, some facet of that relationship is going to need a little extra effort.

RELATED: Exactly What An Anxiety Attack Feels Like, Why They Happen, And How To Stop One In Its Tracks

Micki Spollen is an editor and entertainment news writer for YourTango. She also runs the travel blog Where In The World Is My Drink.