Any relationship has its own challenges but when it comes to mental health problems, both sides react to the illness in different ways. Whether you are the one with the anxiety or are dating someone with anxiety, it’s important to be proactive. Seeking help and speaking to a therapist about your problems and your relationship can be a great first step. Here are some other tips for dating someone with anxiety:
Nothing is worse than trying to help someone when you don’t understand them. Get to know their triggers and understand when they need space. Each person’s anxiety might be different and being supportive means spending the time to better know their type. In many cases couples counselling can help partners better communicate and understand the situations.
A couple might be stuck on a topic that is bothering them and a neutral third party needs to help both sides better consider all aspects of a situation. And sometimes…that argument is just about a silly circumstance that we need some perspective one.
Sometimes it’s not you
There are cases where someone is anxious and doesn’t really know what the trigger was. The best way to treat the situation is to step back, be patient and try to stay calm. After both partners have calmed down, talk about what happened. Was it really something you did? If not maybe it’s best for the both of you to keep track of your partner’s triggers.
Build the right support system
Most often people with depression and anxiety need a safe haven, a place they are comfortable. They also need that with the people who surround them. It’s great for a person with anxiety to have a solid support system that includes friends and family but also counsellors and if needed a psychiatrist.
A support system can often include having a simple ritual together that they can depend on. Like having colouring books on the coffee table where they know they can cuddle up and colour with you. Rituals can be taking long walks or driving to their favourite ice cream shop, it’s a distracting mechanism that brings them back to reality which is having you and others in their life.
Take care of yourself and your health
Your partner might have had their anxiety long before you came along and you can’t try to “fix them”. Remember to pay attention to your mental health and well-being. By leading an active lifestyle not only do you feel better but you encourage your partner to stay healthy. Speaking with a counsellor and being proactive about your mental health is a great first step.