Dear Barb—Relation Anxiety

Dear Barb:

I am in my early twenties, and my boyfriend and I have been dating for two years.  We get along great, have never broken up or had any major arguments, but lately I have been feeling like something is wrong.  I keep wondering if we are right for each other.  He seems to be too good to be true.  I feel almost too lucky to have met someone who is so perfect for me.  Then I start to think that maybe I am not being realistic.  Maybe I am just seeing what I want to see.  My stomach is in knots all the time and my mind keeps creating all these scenarios, like maybe he isn’t who he says he is.  My boyfriend hasn’t given me any reason to feel this way.  But I’ve always heard you should listen to your gut.  I’m wondering if my gut is trying to warn me about something, or am I just scared of this commitment.  Desperately need some advice, Ellen.

Hi Ellen:

It sounds to me like you are experiencing relationship anxiety and that is extremely common, according to psychotherapist Astrid Robertson.  Relationship anxiety can occur at almost any point in a relationship and can lead to questioning the relationship in ways very similar to what you are experiencing.

You may ask yourself whether the relationship will last, whether your boyfriend is right for you and even begin to wonder if you are convincing yourself everything is great when it really isn’t.  These doubts can cause behaviours that will lead to emotional and physical problems, such as stomach issues, stress, self-doubt and trust issues.  Spending a lot of time over thinking your partners’ motives and behaviours is not healthy, and it is important that you get this under control before it destroys a perfectly healthy relationship.

There are things you can do to manage relationship anxiety.  Begin by discussing your feelings with your boyfriend, sharing and communicating how you feel is an important part of relieving anxiety.  It is also essential that you realize the difference between your feelings and facts.  These are your feelings, not necessarily the reality that your boyfriend is experiencing.  Ask yourself what may be causing this anxiety.  Is it possibly low self-esteem, or fear of the relationship ending?  These are questions you need to answer.  If you cannot resolve these feelings, I would suggest you see a counsellor or possibly you could both go for couple’s therapy.  Best of luck Ellen, I hope this information is helpful.

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