Anxiety in New Relationships

Fear is natural but surmountable.
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Anxiety in a new relationship is often caused by fear of the unknown. When you don’t know your new friend or partner well, you don’t know what to expect from him and it makes you feel uncertain. Over time, drawing closer will ease the uncertainty and make you feel more comfortable around the person. When you have stability in your relationship, uncertainty and anxiety lessen; knowing how to tackle anxiety will lead to increased stability in your relationship.

1 Attachment Anxiety

Attachment anxiety is the fear of making your partner or friend so angry or sad that she won’t want to be with you any more. You might have attachment anxiety in a new relationship because you don’t know how this person will react to situations and you might assume she will react negatively, notes Susan Whitbourne, Ph.D., in the Psychology Today article “What to Do When Your Relationship Worries Get to You.”

2 Memories of Past Rejections

If you’ve been hurt in the past, memories of this hurt can impact your new friendship or romantic relationship. The more you were hurt in the past, the more anxious you may be in your new relationship. Talking to your new friend about your past hurts will help him understand why you are anxious. By gaining his understanding, you will feel more comfortable in his presence.

3 Fear-Related Anxiety

Fear can cause you to not fully engage in a relationship because you are unsure about what the other person will think of you. Face your fear by continuing to be in this relationship despite your anxiety and using self-talk to dial down your fear. When you feel anxious, remind yourself that fear is normal and it is simply your body’s way of responding to the unknown. Tell yourself that you are capable and strong and won’t let your feelings dictate your life.

4 Low Self-Worth

Anxiety can creep into a new relationship when you feel insecure about yourself and your own feelings. Try to realize that your self-worth is not dependent on any one relationship. Cultivate a life apart from this one person to help diffuse these feelings of anxiety.

Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.