Being in love is one of the emotions we strive to feel in our lives. We want to spend our lives with someone who fills our life with great memories and loves us unconditionally. However, a person who deals with increased levels of anxiety on a day to day basis can struggle in finding someone who understands what they go through and how to help them get through it. Being an anxiety suffer myself, I get quite nervous when it comes to explaining to everyone how my anxiety "works." I always wish there was a manual that I could pass out explaining what I experience on a typical day and how people could help. I know one day I will have the task of sitting my future partner down and explaining to him what my anxiety is all about. Here are a few pieces of advice I would tell him and would encourage you to remember.
Communication is key.
While this may seem like a no-brainer in a relationship, communication can be something that a person with anxiety struggles with. They are afraid to share their struggles with their partner because their anxiety has made them think that their partner will think differently of them and resent them if they even mutter the word "anxiety." When your partner comes to you and explains their anxiety, listen intently and try your best to understand them. If you have to, ask questions. People with anxiety want more and more people to understand what anxiety actually is and your partner will want you to understand exactly what they go through. They more than likely will even explain how you can help them when they experience an anxiety attack.
Reassure them when they need it.
Trust me; reassurance is an amazing thing when you are dealing with anxiety. Nothing is worse than having the feeling like there is a problem between you and your partner or thinking that they want nothing to do with you. When it comes to relationships, telling your partner that things between the both of you are great and that you love them will make their anxiety fade away. One of the biggest worries anxiety sufferers deal with is the feeling of abandonment. I've had my fair share of times where I've broken down and cried thinking of people leaving me and being alone. If you sense that your partner needs some reassurance, tell them that you love them and make them feel like they are your world.
Remember that they are scared - it's not that they do not trust you.
When anxiety constantly makes you believe that the people you love will leave, it can be hard to get that thought out of your head and not have it pop up every second of the day. When you are in a relationship with someone who deals with anxiety, things that you say about exes or friends or anything along those lines could "trigger" them to think that your ex or friend is actually a person trying to tear you two away from each other. Again, it is not that they do not trust you. It is just irrational thoughts popping up from their anxiety. They hate those thoughts and will try everything in their power to keep them at bay. The best thing to do is introduce them to your friends and try to make it clear that your ex is your ex and that it is staying that way.
Texting back in a timely manner will make them adore you.
While this piece of advice might sound a little silly, it is something that will get you brownie points with your partner. When it comes to people suffering from anxiety, silence is one of their biggest enemies. When they go long periods of time without hearing from their partner, it creates scenarios in their mind that do not make sense. It makes them apologize to you again and again because they believe that you think they're crazy. It adds stress to the relationship that should not be there. Sending a text to them saying "Hey, I'm busy right not because of this and I'll message you when I'm done" will relieve them of their stress and make them love you even more. They'll know that you are doing your best to make sure their anxiety does not take over.
Double texts are harmless, remember that.
Double texting in today's world has negative connotations attached to it. When someone double texts you, they usually are yelling at you, what to know where you are, etc. However, receiving double texts from someone with anxiety only means that they care deeply about you. They truly want to know how your day is going or if you want to get dinner that night or if you just want to cuddle and watch a movie. Please remember that they are not trying to be annoying. Double texts show how much they love you.
They are worth fighting for.
If there is only one piece of advice you all take away from this article, this should be the one you listen to the most. There will be days where you and your partner have unnecessary fights. There will be days filled with random apologies and constant reassurance. However, those days will be outweighed by the days filled with love, laughter, and happiness. Once you have gone through the ups and downs of anxiety with your partner, they will know that you are sticking around for a long time and will love you even more for it.