We all get anxious at the start of a new relationship, clothes strewn on the floor because you ‘have nothing to wear,’ constantly watching your phone screen to see if they’ve replied to your messages.
The first few months are full of butterflies and excitement, but they are also a minefield of worries and anxieties as your feelings for this person start to grow.
Are things moving fast enough or too fast? Do you see a future with them? These are just some of the unanswerable questions that run through our minds and clutter our thoughts, distracting us from actually enjoying ourselves.
But how do you stop these anxious thoughts from spiraling out of control and just relax when dating someone new?
We’re all guilty of freaking out a little at the start of a new relationship, but your focus should be on not letting your anxieties get the better of you and ruining something good.
If you’re finding your anxiety levels increasing, read on for some tips on how to handle your emotions at the beginning of a new relationship.
Note: If you are really worried about how your anxiety might affect your blossoming relationship and you want to get a handle on it, it can really help to talk to a relationship expert.
We recommend the service from Relationship Hero where you can chat to someone who will listen to your concerns, offer advice on ways to manage your anxiety, and generally be there to hold your hand through these early stages of your relationship.
If this is something you think you could benefit from, you can chat to someone now or arrange a session for a later date. It’s all done from the comfort of your own home via video or phone call.
1. Remember, you’re still getting to know each other.
Not that long ago, this person you’re worried about impressing was a complete stranger to you.
It might feel like a lifetime already, but chances are, you haven’t actually known each other that long.
You need time to get to know each other if you really want this to go somewhere. No one is perfect, and if you’re trying to hide anything from them in the fear they won’t like you for it, then you’re not giving the relationship a real chance.
If this relationship is going anywhere, you have to accept each other for the people you are on the good days and the bad, so it’s best to just relax and let them get to know the real you from the start.
2. Don’t be scared to be vulnerable.
The thought of being vulnerable and putting yourself out there where your emotions could get hurt can understandably cause a lot of anxiety.
It’s a big step, lowering your emotional barriers and actually letting someone see who you really are, but it’s necessary if you want to give this relationship a chance.
The idea of rejection might have you freaking out and considering ending things before they’ve even really begun. But letting someone in and trusting them is a risk you have to be willing to take if you want anything to progress.
By keeping them at arms length emotionally, you’ll never be able to build the bond of trust that is the foundation of any good relationship.
Don’t overthink it. Try not to worry about getting hurt before there is any reason to suggest you will.
3. Don’t let your past hold you back.
It’s hard not to let a previous relationship influence you as you enter into something with someone new, especially if that relationship ended badly.
Breakups can make us distrustful, and it’s normal to be cautious and anxious as you start getting involved with someone else for fear of being hurt again.
But just because you’ve been hurt before, doesn’t mean you will be this time.
It’s not fair to distrust your new partner just because someone in your past hurt you. This is a different relationship, a different person, and different circumstances. Don’t let anxieties from your past ruin all the joys your future could hold with this person.
If you see similar patterns start to emerge that led to the breakdown of your previous relationship and alarm bells start ringing, then listen to them. But it’s important to distinguish between your own fears and the reality of how this relationship is making you feel.
If they are making you happy, then relax and embrace it. Don’t wait for it to go wrong; enjoy everything that’s going right.
4. A shared experience is a good experience.
Shared experiences are what bring you closer in a new relationship. What might feel mortifying at the time (say, if you embarrass yourself on a date), could become one of your favorite funny stories together in the future.
We’re all human and things can’t be perfect all the time.
This goes for arguments too. Having an argument in the early days might feel like the end of the world, but it helps you understand each other in the long run. You’re seeing the good with the bad and learning each other’s triggers and boundaries.
If your relationship is going to have a future, you need to see every side of each other to know if you are genuinely compatible.
Try to stop worrying about being too compliant and easy going, especially if this isn’t your nature. Be unapologetically you and you’ll know that if they stick around, they’re here for you all the time, not just the good times.
5. Stop putting pressure on yourself.
The fastest way to make something take a downward turn is to put pressure on the situation.
We all want our dates in those first few months to be perfect and set high standards for ourselves in the way we look, what we say, and how we act.
It can be exhausting to live under our own pressure to make every date amazing. Ultimately, this can stop us from actually enjoying ourselves.
Just as staring at your phone screen worrying whether you text the right thing won’t make them reply any faster, anxiously overthinking your dates or outfits won’t make your date any better.
If things don’t work out between you then it wasn’t meant to be. But at least if you stop putting so much pressure on yourself, you’ll have enjoyed the time you had together.
6. Turn anxiety into excitement.
Being anxious isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Having those butterflies about someone means that you want things to go well. It shows you’re attracted to them and that’s something to celebrate, not to worry about!
Anxiety isn’t all that different from excitement; it only takes a bit of mental effort to jump from one to the other.
If you find yourself getting anxious about a date you’ve planned, take a breath and stop letting yourself worry about everything that could go wrong.
Instead, start thinking about all the reasons you’re excited to see this person you like. Let yourself get excited and enjoy these first few months with each other.
It will take some mental discipline on your part, but gradually training your brain to focus on the positives of a situation rather than the negatives can help you in all aspects of your life, not just your relationship.
7. Be logical about your fears.
So you’re freaking out again about this new relationship. You’ve gotten yourself in a spin worrying about it, and you are one step away from calling the whole thing off.
Before you do, have you actually thought about whether there is any reason for you to be so anxious? That doesn’t mean hypothetical ‘what ifs’ of everything that could go wrong, but actual warning signs you’ve noticed in the relationship that suggest things will go sour?
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own heads, we can’t separate fact from fiction.
If you’re getting anxiety over the thought of them leaving you or cheating on you, try to remind yourself that these worries are unfounded, most likely drawn from past experiences.
Unless your new partner has given you any indication there is a reason to distrust them, then there’s no reason to doubt them just yet.
8. Communicate your feelings.
Worrying about whether or not they like you as much as you like them is one of the most common anxieties we go through at the beginning of a relationship. You don’t know whether to get your hopes up or run for the hills.
Ultimately, you won’t know what the other person is thinking unless you ask. We all show our feelings in different ways and trying to second guess how someone feels will often leave you with the wrong assumption.
If you want them to know how you feel or you need to know where you stand with them, just talk about it.
Clearly you shouldn’t launch in on the first date and ask if they love you yet. But once you’ve been together a couple of months and you feel as though things are getting more serious, a gentle conversation to see if you both see this going further can help keep your anxieties at bay.
9. Focus on the present.
When you like someone and you really want it to work out, you can’t help but begin to picture your life together, moving in, perhaps getting married or having kids.
Once you start down this path, it’s not long before you begin to consider every complication that could get in the way of your happily ever after.
You might begin to over-analyze the relationship, trying to work out if you want the same things and if you really are a perfect match.
Asking yourself these big questions can cause more anxiety than they’re worth.
No one knows what’s around the next corner, let alone whether or not your relationship will work in the long run. But worrying about it in the first few months of getting to know each other definitely won’t help.
Yes, it’s important to have similar values, and aspirations to have a future with the person you’re dating. If you’re struggling to see how you’re really that compatible, then perhaps this isn’t the right person for you.
But however much you think about every obstacle that could stand in your way, you’ll never be prepared for what life throws at you.
Don’t miss out on enjoying these early moments with each other because you’re thinking too far ahead. Stick to the present and concentrate on being happy right now.
10. Be patient and focus on you.
You might be worrying that things are going too fast, or not fast enough. Perhaps you’re unsure when to make the next move or who should say ‘I love you’ first.
Maybe you’re comparing your relationship to other people, worrying that yours is going at a different pace.
There is no single right answer to how to have a relationship. Creating solid foundations for a strong relationship takes time, and every couple will do this in their own way.
It’s impossible to compare to other couples or even past relationships because each relationship is as unique as the people in it. You’re not going to know everything about each other immediately; it takes time to truly understand each other.
You don’t need to rush this process. The only and most important reference you need to check in on is whether you’re happy. If you are, then let yourself be happy without worrying about how you compare to other people and their relationships.
Let yourself relax and just enjoy the feeling of getting to know each other at the pace that suits you.
Anxiety at the beginning of a relationship is something almost everyone can relate to. It’s all part of learning to trust a person and developing your bond.
What you don’t want to do is let your anxiety take over and stop you from feeling all the excitement and joy that also comes with the start of a new relationship.
Turn your nervous energy into positivity and have confidence in yourself that this person is choosing to spend their time with you because they like you!
You don’t have to be anything other than yourself, so try to relax and go with the flow. Take each day as it comes and try to see every experience as a positive one.
Still not sure what to do about the anxiety you are feeling? Rather than face this situation by yourself, get some help and advice from a relationship expert who can put your mind at ease as you establish the foundations of this new romance. Why not chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero to get you through this.
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