First things first, relationship anxiety is completely normal, everybody experiences it one way or another. You can feel distrusting, jealous, helpless, confused,… and this all makes you feel anxious! The reason this happens is because relationships are complex beyond our understanding, you can never predict what’s going to happen and unpleasant situation will come and go. People without any anxiety disorder can easily rationalize those feelings and deal with them.
But when you’re already an anxious person and have GAD for example, the relationship anxiety takes on a whole new form. Luckily, most people that have GAD (or any other anxiety disorder) know they have a problem and that makes thing a lot easier.
The most important thing to do first is to recognize that you are prone to irrational anxiety, you get worried about doing “normal” activities like going out for dinner or even crossing a certain intersection! So you know that for you, things appear a lot worse than they are, this realization will help you to deal with any relationship anxiety, always be aware of your irrational anxiety!
With that understanding, whenever a problem arises you can now deal your own anxiety! for example: your partner said he/she would text you when they finish work but it’s way past the time they normally finish… so naturally you start to get worried… and immediately start creating worst case scenarios in your mind and feed that relationship anxiety (maybe he had an accident, is mad,…). Now STOP!
Why are you thinking these thoughts, analyze those thoughts but NEVER over-analyze them, do they seem rational? Back up and think about “normal” things that might have happened!… he forgot, phone battery ran out, left phone at work and is already on the way home, late meeting,… The important thing is to be aware of your relationship anxiety, know that you always worry too much, that you over-analyze! Worrying never ever helps, you can’t do anything about it so just wait and do something else until he does text, distract yourself.
There are a lot of things you can do to keep your relationship anxiety under control, try keeping a positive events journal. Whenever you had an awesome day or your partner said something extremely nice, put it down, write down all the positive things about your relationship. When you feel your relationship anxiety acting up again, read in that journal and you’ll start to feel a lot better, the anxiety won’t go away completely but all the positive things will definitely suppress it a bit!
Above all be yourself, pretending to be someone else just adds to the stress of keeping you mask on all the time, this is a basic mistake and most people know not to do this but I thought I’d mention it anyway… BE YOURSELF! If your partner doesn’t like who you are… find someone else!
Also keep in mind that no relationship is perfect, this is something that you need to hard-wire in your mind to efficiently deal with that relationship anxiety. Everybody has problems, no relationship is all sunshine and happiness, it’s a process, a journey. Keep that in mind whenever there’s a problem, it’s normal to have issues, discussions, disagreements… you’re not the same person, you’re not telepathic, you have different goals, perspectives,… and this is completely normal. So just stay calm, and talk it out!
Ultimately, all these tips only helps with once specific anxiety, relationship anxiety, but in most cases that is not the root of the problem… that is just a consequence of a deeper issue… to truly get rid of any anxiety, you need to find the root problem and eliminate it! This is of course easier said than done and in a lot of cases it can be traced back some past trauma or habit that changed your perspective on the world around you… You need to change that perspective to something more positive where you enforce and empower yourself, create self-confidence and are less dependent on how others see you!