How Anxiety Interferes with Relationships: the Opinion of a Psychologist

What will get rid of restless installations “what if” 

Anxiety is one of the popular psychological terms, meaning the ability to worry about the slightest provocation. According to experts, anxiety is a worrying problem that must be dealt with in the initial stages, until it has led to depression or neurosis.

If you are familiar with anxiety firsthand, then you know that this feeling is not pleasant. Chronic anxiety, accompanied by fear, despondency, panic attacks, takes over thoughts and penetrates into all spheres of life, making it difficult to work, rejoice, reason, solve everyday issues and, of course, build relationships.


Anxiety, perfectionism, counter-dependence – all of these, from the point of view of psychology, are forms of attachment disorders. “Attachment is a close emotional connection between two people, characterized by mutual attention, sensitivity, responsiveness and the desire to maintain close relationships for a long time,” explains an expert. – When attachment is broken, a person partially or completely loses the ability to build long-term relationships. This kind of disorder is formed against the background of emotional abuse from the parents or negative experiences with the former.

Anxiety in relationships is manifested in wariness, distrust, inability to make a decision, realize one’s desires, needs and objectively assess the situation. “A character with a high level of anxiety retains the ability to separate fears from facts, but this does not make it easier for him to perceive reality. All his energy and thoughts are aimed at solving problems that did not happen and fighting with the certainty that everything will go wrong, the expert says. “In small amounts, anxiety serves a protective function, protecting against rash acts and dangerous relationships, but anxiety in overdose interferes with the beginning of relationships and successfully destroys existing ones.”


According to the psychologist, the mechanism of attachment in anxious people works in an eternal search for confirmation that the connection with a loved one is safe, nothing threatens the relationship. But even the most objective arguments do not bring satisfaction to restless natures. Finding evidence of love becomes an obsession, and therefore anxiety often manifests itself in codependent relationships.

In addition, anxious people often fall in love with partners with a counter-dependent (avoidant) type of attachment, because they are easily offended by a partner and show indifference with all their might: they do not call first, they behave detached. This attracts avoiders – they just want to communicate at a distance and are glad that they have found the right person. But in fact, people with an anxious type of attachment, like everyone else, want warmth, understanding, attention and reciprocity.


Let’s take a step-by-step analysis of how anxiety affects relationships, and determine the methods of struggle at the prompt of a psychologist. A personal appeal to a specialist will facilitate the task, but you can try to defeat the problem yourself.

1. Anxiety destroys trust.

Anxiety and groundless experiences fog the brain, making it difficult to understand true desires – yours and your sweetheart, as well as pressing problems. Negative guesses and suspicions undermine trust in a couple and alienate you from each other.

What to do? Since worries are a figment of the imagination, divert your mind from them as soon as you feel that the degree of anxiety is growing. Come up with life-affirming mantras for example “Peter and I are doing great, he loves me very much” and repeat them to yourself, focusing on deep breathing. If you are worried about a particular situation, take time out to think and mentally sort it out on the shelves. Where did the reasons for the unrest come from? When you have an answer to this question, talk to your loved one and listen to his arguments. Honest dialogue, unlike anxiety, builds trust. Do not forget that sometimes anxiety prompts you to express your pain in a sharp form, and therefore it is better to pause to see how true pessimistic forecasts are.

2. Anxiety fuels negativity.

If you see everything in a black light and constantly draw gloomy pictures of the future, it is difficult to count on a good mood. And when you have to hush up anxieties, sadness and despondency become a habit, because of which relationships suffer not only with a partner, but also with friends, colleagues, and relatives.

What to do? The fears circulating in your mind take time and energy. Look for sources of positivity to cheer yourself up, use traditional methods of soothing therapy: lavender baths, chamomile tea, motherwort at night. As a decoy strategy, drive out anxious thoughts in the style of the heroine of the movie “Gone with the Wind”: “I’ll think about it tomorrow.”

3. Anxiety divides

When fears and sorrows take over thoughts, life together turns into the format of everyday interactions – it’s as if you are no longer a couple, but cohabitants. Fictitious worries capture the mind, and you have no time to show love, tenderness, sympathy to your sweetheart. Or, on the contrary, he is worried, and you silently pout at his nervousness instead of talking heart to heart.

What to do? When a wave of excitement overwhelms you, dig deep into your own soul to remember how much you love this person. And if you need attention and support to feel loved and understood, tell him so. And don’t forget to apologize if your anxiety gets too overwhelming and you forget that he, too, is capable of worrying.

4. Anxiety gets in the way of intimacy

A healthy form of anxiety signals “something is wrong” on an intuitive-physical level: you feel a heartbeat or a stomach cramp. Anxiety for your neighbor tells you to act, and you, for example, come out in defense of someone who is being mistreated. Because of unhealthy anxiety, you constantly feel a stone in your heart and heaviness in your soul, which makes you suffer because of what is not dangerous, and avoid what can bring pleasure: hugs, intimacy, sex, confidential conversations in bed.

What to do? Unpleasant thoughts should not be ignored, and should not dwell on them. Practice rationalization by considering the worst-case scenario: what would happen if your fear came true, and what consequences it would entail. Frightening scenarios, when viewed in detail, do not look terrible at all. And contrary to negative guesses, intimacy helps to overcome obsessive fears. A warm look, a gentle touch, and sleep in an embrace are proven cures for anxiety.

5. Anxiety robs you of joy.

Joy is directly related to a sense of security and freedom. Negative thoughts and fears deprive your relationship of smiles and, in principle, happiness.

What to do? No matter how deep you get into your worries, don’t take them too seriously. Connect a sense of humor to overcome anxiety. Remember how you have fun together – joke, fool around, laugh! Joy heals the soul and calms the mind, which is vital for a healthy relationship.