It’s not uncommon for people to come and see me with relationship anxiety. Many people suffer with social anxiety and struggle with new social situations. Sometimes people are fine with friends or colleagues but fear the intimacy of romantic relationships or suffer with low self-esteem which prevents them from reaching out to new people. This can lead to loneliness, frustration and depression.
The causes are varied but can include experiences in early childhood, negative or traumatic past events, abusive relationships or existing anxiety and confidence issues.
Modern media can portray a false version of a ‘perfect’ relationship and effortless social interactions but the truth is no two are exactly the same. Everyone is different and the important thing to remember is that there’s always going to be someone out there who’s right for you.
Relationship anxiety has similar symptoms to other phobias or types of anxiety. Our inner voice can pre-empt perceived negative events and make physical symptoms worse by creating a spiral of anticipation and worry. Most of us will experience some degree of this before a first date for example, but sometimes it can continue beyond and we may end up sabotaging the relationship because we feel unable to cope.
Perhaps you recognise some of the following signs of relationship anxiety in yourself?
Avoidance – This involves avoiding new people or potential partner’s altogether. Perhaps if a friend tries to set you up or take you speed dating you always make some excuse. If someone new approaches you, do you always make an excuse to leave?
This behaviour can also extend to relationships once they are established. Does anxiety or fear lead you to ignore your partner or make excuses?
Control – Do you find yourself trying to control all situations to ensure you aren’t made to feel uncomfortable or put into a situation where you might be expected to talk to new people? Perhaps in previous relationships you’ve found yourself being overly controlling in order to reduce your own insecurities.
Clinging – Do you cling on to established routines or safe places where you know it’s very unlikely you’ll meet new people? Maybe you sometimes have a tendency towards jealousy or clingy behaviour.
Rejection – Do you reject potential partners or friends for insignificant reasons to protect yourself from difficult situations or having to commit?
Anger/aggression – Do you have a tendency to become angry or aggressive when put in situations where you feel pressured or uncomfortable? Maybe you get angry at potential partners as a way to push them away.
It can be difficult to overcome established perceptions or behaviours and develop the confidence to be comfortable forming new relationships. However, hypnotherapy is the perfect way to deal with these issues because of its ability to directly address subconscious beliefs and fears. It can give you the freedom to finally feel confident and relaxed enough to enjoy these new experiences.
After very few sessions you’ll find yourself confident enough to form new relationships and embrace this change. If you’d like help with any of these issues please don’t hesitate to get in touch and learn more about the accessible, effective and quick treatment options available to you.