Being in a relationship where you can define your feelings is a sure way of making the most out of it. For many being able to decide whether you have relationship anxiety or are in love can be confusing.
On the one hand, both are strong emotions that have to do with how we see others yet relationship anxiety is a constant feeling of worry, self-doubt, irrational fears, and nervousness. This can be caused by OCD, panic attacks, or PTSD. On the other hand, love makes us vulnerable and it brings out our strengths and weaknesses for nurturing, supporting, and affirming our abilities.
So how do you differentiate the two?
10 Ways of Knowing Relationship Anxiety and Love
1. Daydreaming About Others
In the early days of a relationship, you are likely going to think about when next you will see your partner and the things you wish to do together. However, this can become an issue when your daydream is about other people other than your partner.
In such a situation, you are likely not in love and may have relationship anxiety.
2. Over Analysing Your Partner
Another sign of relationship anxiety is seen in how you put your partner’s words and actions to the test. When you are in love, you find ways of seeing the positive aspects of what they say and do. In some instances, you may even give them some leverage when you are not on the same page with them.
However, when you start over-analyzing their words and actions even when they didn’t offend you, then you may be having relationship anxiety. For example, your partner may not be big on public displays of affection and this becomes a source of constant worrying. In another instance, you may play a particular thing they said over and over without telling them till it weighs you down.
3. Constantly Wanting Your Space Away from Your Partner
Wanting to have your space is not a bad thing even within a relationship but when you constantly want to do your things and maintain your space, it is likely a sign of anxiety.
It may be that you need more time to sort out your feelings or other issues but when it persists, you are likely not in love. Also, this can be used to weigh the relationship and balance things out by letting your partner know how you feel and why you need your space.
4. Intermittent Affection
Sometimes, your partner may be affectionate, and other times, they are all cold and withholding. For some, they will break up with you one minute, in another, they will want you or even cheat. This erratic behavior can be a sign of emotional unavailability, it will likely trigger anxiety and even wipe out any love.
5. Making Excuses for Them
When dealing with a relationship, you may have been giving more into it and never get the care and calm you need. Since you don’t want to deal with the situation or are even afraid of losing them, you find yourself making endless excuses for them.
6. Avoiding Celebrating Milestones
When in love, each day is a reminder of how far you have come and you will not mind celebrating or letting family and friends know about it. However, the opposite is the case when you are anxious, you find out that you tend to avoid milestones like anniversaries, notable events, and other achievements.
See Also: Signs Of An Insecure Man
7. Sabotaging Relationships
When you try to downplay a partner’s care and also resist their effort to prove they love you, you are likely having relationship anxiety. While you may be doing this unintentionally, most times, our emotions help to speak what we are unable to communicate.
If in doubt of this, why are you picking unnecessary arguments, insisting that you are fine even when you are in distress, or breaking the boundaries of your relationship by being in constant touch with an ex? If your answers are about ‘I’s’, you are likely having anxiety about your relationship.
8. Fear of Abandonment
As mentioned, anxiety is usually triggered by several factors and fear of abandonment is one of such. When you spend every waking minute walking on eggshells to avoid your partner walking away, this is a sign of relationship anxiety.
If it is love, you will be comfortable around your partner and will allow yourself to be vulnerable.
9. Constant Worrying About the Future of the Relationship
A perk in a relationship is being able to have long-term plans of being together. Or is it?
Well, to get this out of the way, too much worrying about overcoming your differences and the day you would eventually call it quits has a way of stealing the beauty of your relationship.
10. You Question Your Feelings for Your Partner
Wanting to know how you feel about somebody may be a way of wanting to spice up your relationship but when it becomes a constant thing, then it will lead to anxiety. This will take the form of self-doubting and asking yourself why you are with the person.
At this point, you have to realize that you may be having anxiety and not necessarily love.