As someone who married at 19 and found myself facing divorce, with four small children to raise, at the age of 37, I had my share of relationship anxiety. There were all the usual questions.
What if I fail again? How will I ever find someone else to share my life with? How did I not see that coming? And so on. . .those questions come from fear. . .
It took time and I overcame it, to find love again with my husband Shane. . .an incredible man who lights up my life and is my best friend.
Are You Keeping Secrets?
When we first find ourselves contemplating going “out there” and finding a new relationship, people will often put their best foot forward, presenting the best side of themselves. They find themselves in a small café, meeting for coffee or a drink, smiling and making small talk, flirting a little and hoping that they are being seen in a good light.
You wear your best clothes, make sure that your grooming is immaculate and then…you start the process of keeping secrets. You hide who you really are, in an attempt to gain approval and be “chosen” by the other person.
This causes relationship anxiety because there is a basic disconnect in your integrity. . .you pretend to be one way when in reality, you are another. When you have that connection with your true self, then you feel comfortable in your own skin.
That does NOT mean laying all of your dirty laundry on the table or telling all, it means, be yourself. . .not a reflection of who you think you should be.
Having the “Talk”
When you come from the perspective that you are the one doing the “choosing”, you are more likely to approach the possibility of a new relationship (or deepening the current one), quite differently.
One of the strategies that I recommend (and one that I followed), is to ask questions or have the “Talk”. Men, don’t run, this works for you too!
When you sit down at that table in the café and you ask questions during the “Talk”, you don’t need to interrogate. . .ask questions in the natural flow of conversation. . .where do you see yourself in 5 years? Are you looking for friendship or a relationship?…and so on…
In order to have the “Talk”, you need to do this, first:
What do you want? Do you want marriage, children, a short term relationship? Make sure that you are honest with yourself. If you can’t be honest with you, you certainly can’t be honest with anyone else and it is so key to have that in a relationship, isn’t it?
Are you done with your previous relationship? Have you closed the door and finished grieving? Are you ready to move on? Relationship anxiety can stem from having not finished with the last one, a carrying forward of the negative repercussions of a previous partnership.
There is a very powerful process, called “The Last Straw” that is very helpful in closing the door on a relationship that you might have clung to for too long. . .
What is the Message that Relationship Anxiety Has for You?
When we create feelings like anxiety in our life, they often come with a message. Take the time to hear what message your subconscious mind is trying to tell you. Listen for clues, they will come.
Have you been focusing on the negative, not the positive that happens in your life?
Are you imagining a future that won’t turn out, based on a past that didn’t?
Are you independent enough? Do you know that you will be okay, whether you are in relationship or not?
Have you accepted responsibility for the part that you played in past relationships? Do you have well established boundaries?
Do you know that you are enough, that you deserve love?
Relationship anxiety will cease to exist when you clear up the past and any residual feelings about previous partners…when you accept responsibility for creating your own life. . .when you know that you are enough and that you deserve love. Create a wonderful vision, filled with light and brilliance and the relationship that you want will be there. . .just like that.
“Drive your own life. . .you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner
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