How to deal with new relationship anxiety, because it can be scary af
Welcome to hell
The beginning of a relationship is arguably the most exciting part, but there's no denying it's also the most terrifying. We love to talk about the butterflies and the chemistry, but why does nobody ever mention the flood of negative emotions that comes with them? New relationship anxiety is a real problem.
What if they get bored? Are we exclusive yet? What if my friends don't like them? There are so many things to think about when you start dating, that sometimes the end product doesn't actually seem worth all the worry.
But rest assured, new relationship anxiety is totally normal, and it's entirely possible to stop yourself getting caught up in it.
This guide runs through everything you need to know in overcoming those niggling new relationship fears.
Be open and talk about your new relationship anxiety
Coming across too keen is a definite dealbreaker at the start of a relationship. Nobody wants to look desperate or over-bearing, so we play it cool. But this means we're not entirely honest about how we're actually feeling.
New relationship anxiety spans everything from worrying about whether they're talking to anyone else, to fretting about them ignoring your last message or not liking your latest Insta pic.
It might seem petty, but it's okay to need reassurance, whatever form that comes in.
So skip the bullshit and have a face-to-face conversation with them. Let them know the little things that stress you out.
Nine times out of 10, they'll understand and give you the reassurance you need. And if they don't, then that's a massive red flag, so you've probably dodged a bullet anyway.
Accept that people are just really bad at replying
Don't get me wrong, it's infuriating when you text back instantly, and they take like three working days to reply. Especially in the early stages of a relationship when you're still trying to gauge whether or not they're actually interested in you.
Honesty really is the best policy, so let them know how you feel and you can try finding a compromise that suits you both.
But sometimes being a bad texter really is just part of someone's character. Unless they're ghosting you, that's not okay.
Believe it or not, there are still people out there whose phone isn't their first priority. In which case, you might just have to accept that's the way they are. And if you can't, then maybe they're not the one for you.
Be independent and make time for yourself
Maintaining a sense of self is key to any healthy relationship.
It's easy to become dependent on your other half, spending every second of the day with them and letting them occupy your mind 24/7. But happiness doesn't just come in the form of romantic love, it can be found in friends and family, work, hobbies and countless other aspects of life.
So it's important to make time for things that make you happy.
Social media is the biggest contributor to new relationship anxiety – put your phone down and take a break
If dating isn't nerve-wracking enough as it is, being able to see someone's active status on five different social medias when they haven't replied to the message you sent 16 hours ago is fresh HELL.
It's easier said than done, but taking a break from your phone might be enough to stop you feeling anxious.
Try keeping yourself occupied and resist the urge to check Snapmaps every five minutes.
Don't take it personally when they don't live up to your expectations
It's a difficult life being a hopeless romantic. You fall hard and fast, spending every waking hour daydreaming about how your relationship is going to pan out.
And it's really just quite rude when your new partner doesn't play along with the script you'd spent so long devising in your head.
But realistically they can't read your mind. So take a step back and put things into perspective.
I mean is it really the end of the world if they didn't serenade you or present you with a huge bunch of red roses?
You can't read minds, so stop trying to
Analysing their every word and every move is something we've all been guilty of in a new relationship.
You've probably dedicated more time to analysing text messages than you have spent reading books this year.
Sitting down with your housemates after a date and reading into someone's body language, or how many kisses they end messages with, is fun to begin with, but over-analysing is a difficult habit to break.
That's when anxieties about your new relationship start creeping in. So try taking everything at face value and have faith that what they say is what they mean.
Live in the present, everything else is out of your control
Who doesn't get ahead of themselves and start fantasising about what your future kids will look like or where you'll go on your honeymoon, when you start dating someone you really like?
But nobody can see into the future and life is unpredictable.
Don't get invested too quickly, and stop trying to predict their next move.
Besides, the very beginning of a relationship is supposedly the best bit, so why waste it thinking about things that you can't control?
Focus on what IS, rather than the what IFs.
Leave the past in the past, every relationship is different
This might seem blindingly obvious but the person you're seeing is NOT your ex.
The emphasis is on NEW relationship anxiety. Don't project anxieties from your previous relationships onto the current one. Yes, your ex might have broken your heart, but it doesn't mean everyone else is going to.
Never change to please someone else
It sounds cliché but a relationship is only ever going to work if you stay true to yourself.
It can be tempting to present a whole new version of yourself in a new relationship, but it's impossible to keep the act up forever. Pretending to be someone you're not is tiring, and will leave you feeling anxious about what will happen when they get to know the true you.
In the long term, it's far better to find someone that wants to be with you for who you truly are, rather than the person you're pretending to be.