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Relationship Anxiety Got You Walking on Eggshells?

Does it feel likerelationship anxiety is like walking on eggshells you are “walking on eggshells”…tiptoeing through a mine field of relationship anxiety? If you would rather be “walking on sunshine” (that is such a great song!), then it is time for a change…isn’t it?

I have a friend who has relationship anxiety. She doesn’t want to have relationship anxiety. In fact, she would rather be able to look forward to having a relationship filled with love, joy and peace.

Instead, when she even thinks about looking for a relationship, she gets cold sweats, her heart starts to thump, she can hear the blood rushing through her veins…and she begins to panic.

What Does Relationship Anxiety Feel Like?

It can feel like it does for my friend…and it can feel like walking on egg shells. When you feel like you are walking on egg shells, you are always on the watch for the words that you speak.

You examine the actions that you take under a microscope. You are hyper aware of everything that you do. There is no comfort in the relationship that you have or are trying to achieve.

There is that underlying anxiety that colors every mood and activity and there seems to be no end to it.I like to think of it as a state of constant tension and being in a state of high alert, almost like alarm bells are going off.

Imagine trying to speak to someone, waiting for the right words to come out and you come up with nothing…or even worse, you croak out a wonderful mishmash of words, a word salad that just sits there in front of you, shaming you…and that is the problem. Attached to the anxiety are other emotions, such as shame, guilt and fear.

The pictures that flash in front of your eyes are not ones of a fantasy filled happily ever after life…no…they are of all of the things that can go wrong.

Where Does Relationship Anxiety Come From?

It can happen to anybody and it is more common than you think. Relationship anxiety comes from unrealistic expectations, set by family, friends, society or the media. It stems from limiting beliefs of not being good enough or deserving. It has its beginnings in low self-esteem. For some people, it starts in previous relationships that were abusive or filled with shame.

When you think of relationships and have relationship anxiety, you think differently than people who don’t have it. The pictures that flash in front of your eyes are not ones of a fun filled happily ever after life…no…they are of all of the things that can go wrong. Your imagination is powerful. No matter what the origins of that relationship anxiety, it can be terrifying.

Whether you are getting back into the world of relationships because of a divorce, a break up, or even if you are a total newbie at it…it doesn’t need to be filled with anxiety.

Focus on what you want…not on what you don’t want…Tweet this!

Dealing with Relationship Anxiety

When you have made the decision that you have had enough…then you can start to move forward.

So, here are the first steps:

  • Focus on what you really want, not on what you fear or don’t want
  • Make a decision…like I deserve to have a relationship and I will…
  • Believe that it is possible…
  • Give yourself a break…don’t be so critical of yourself…
  • Have reasonable expectations
  • Realize that the world is a safe place…yes…stuff can happen…and you need to be aware…but this belief will help you to move forward…in faith…
  • Breathe…deeply…that will help your brain to calm down…really…
  • Look out to that future…with that fabulous relationship…and then look back to now…and see all the steps fall into place…so that you can have it…

If you have relationship anxiety, these simple steps are the first steps on the road…and there are more…but these are a good beginning.

When you have made the decision to have relationships that don’t require you to be “walking on eggshells”, you can have just that…wonderful relationships… free of relationship anxiety…happy…amazing…incredible…just like that…

The next post is titled  3 Types of Relationship Anxiety…and if you want to know…sooner rather than later, when it is published…please join me…there is a form underneath the post or in the sidebar… and I will let you know…: D

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner


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I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Dr. Daisy Sutherland August 14, 2012, 7:57 am

    Excellent article! You definitely hit some major points regarding relationship anxiety..thanks so much for sharing:)

    • Sherie August 14, 2012, 8:41 am

      I appreciate you commenting, Dr. Daisy! Thank you!

  • Mandy Edwards August 7, 2012, 4:30 pm

    Thank you Sherie for sharing this!

    • Sherie August 7, 2012, 5:04 pm

      You’re very welcome, Mandy!

  • Dr. Sarah David August 5, 2012, 11:01 pm

    Excellent article Sherie! You hit on a very important topic that I think many people may not recognize as an issue in relationships. Thanks for starting the discussion. Great job!

    • Sherie August 5, 2012, 11:14 pm

      I am glad that you liked the article, Sarah, thanks so much for commenting!

  • Edmund Lee August 4, 2012, 11:56 am

    Do you think this issue is more prevalent in certain areas of the world or it’s pretty similar throughout?

    • Sherie August 4, 2012, 1:58 pm

      Interesting question, Edmund and I think it all depends. If we are raised to think that certain behaviors are a normal part of a relationship because of our culture, we will accept it as normal and it won’t cause problems…but if we go and see things from a different perspective (say in the course of moving somewhere else, reading a book/blog, or seeing more empowering relationships in travel), it might change…

  • Vicky August 3, 2012, 10:41 pm

    Great tips in moving forward. Thank you for sharing.

    • Sherie August 3, 2012, 10:51 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Vicky!

  • denny hagel August 3, 2012, 9:10 am

    Great article! I think in our need to find approval we tend to try to be what others want to see…as we get older we become more comfortable in our own skins…thus opening the door to being who we are and prepared to accept the consequences, some people will love us and others won’t! And that is totally okay!!

    • Sherie August 3, 2012, 10:42 am

      Brilliant insights, Denny…yes, you are right…outside approval is nothing compared to our own approval of ourselves…thanks so much for your comment!

  • Sally K Witt August 3, 2012, 12:00 am

    You did pack a lot in this post. Really good look at the topic.

    • Sherie August 3, 2012, 12:10 am

      Thank you, Sally!

  • Susan Preston August 2, 2012, 6:08 pm

    Brilliant article, Sherie! I especially love this tip, “Look out to that future…with that fabulous relationship…and then look back to now…and see all the steps fall into place…so that you can have it…” So many people have a hard time doing this, but if they can take this and the other 1st steps, they will be Amazed at how life will start to get better. Thank you 🙂

    • Sherie August 2, 2012, 8:00 pm

      Thank you, Susan, I so appreciate your comment! Yes, they will be amazed…: D

  • Kim Garst August 2, 2012, 7:13 am

    Do you think the root of relationship anxiety has to deal with once burned, twice shy? Even in business, once we have been ‘burned’ we are more reluctant to reach out the next time. Thanks for a great ‘make me think’ article, Sherie!

    • Sherie August 2, 2012, 10:18 am

      Kim, that is definitely a huge factor and you are right, it can extend to business! Love your insights, thanks, Kim!!

  • Shelley August 1, 2012, 6:06 pm

    This is a great article and very timely for me. Explains a lot about what is going on in my relationship. Great info!

    • Sherie August 1, 2012, 6:14 pm

      Shelley, I am glad that it could help…thanks so much for the comment!

  • Helena Bowers August 1, 2012, 4:49 pm

    Great post Sherie! I agree with what you said about relationship anxiety having roots in low self-esteem. I come from a background of abusive relationships and low self-esteem, and rather than risk messing up again, I just shut myself away from any type of relationship for years.

    • Sherie August 1, 2012, 4:51 pm

      Fortunately, Helena, there are good relationships out there and even if you have messed up in the past, it is not a predictor of the future…I know it can be hard to trust again and when people make those changes, then they can experience those good relationshps…thanks so much for your comment.

  • Eva Blaskovic August 1, 2012, 1:59 pm

    Wonderful article, Sherie. You touched upon an important topic and defined it in a way that makes sense.

    “Relationship anxiety comes from unrealistic expectations, set by family, friends, society or the media. It stems from limiting beliefs of not being good enough or deserving. It has its beginnings in low self-esteem. For some people, it starts in previous relationships that were abusive or filled with shame.” — Certainly, this is true. It explains why some people are more susceptible to relationship anxiety than others.

    But there’s one thing I’ll add. Relationship anxiety can be created within the relationship not just by our own attitudes, beliefs, self-esteem, and past experiences, but by the dynamics between us and our partner. Feelings of inadequacy can stem from our partner’s various expectations. When we do not meet the “requirements” and do not know how to compensate or turn things around, the “walking on eggs” feeling begins to set in and the relationship deteriorates. We no longer just feel not good enough, we *are* not good enough in the eyes of the partner.

    • Sherie August 1, 2012, 4:49 pm

      Yes, there are many things that can cause relationship anxiety and unrealistic expectations definitely can be one of them. Eva, thanks so much for sharing your insights. I have the next post just about ready to go, on the 3 Types of Relationship Anxiety, I think you might be interested in it. : D Once that “walking on eggshells” feeling is in a romantic relationship, you are right, the relationship does deteriorate…I would like to suggest that even if a partner feels that you are not good enough…that is just an opinion…and it is wrong…we are good enough…just because…that feeling of having our deepest selves judged is so wounding…our partner might not like our “behavior” but we are always good enough…big hugs…

  • Olga Hermans August 1, 2012, 1:47 pm

    Great post Sherie, I think we can walk on eggshells with ourselves even, but when this happens with our spouse or some other person it takes all the energy out of us; it’s not fun. You gave us some great insight, thanks!

    • Sherie August 1, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Olga, I appreciate it!

  • Meryl Beck August 1, 2012, 12:38 pm

    Good post, and I love that you gave suggestions what to do about it.

    • Sherie August 1, 2012, 12:39 pm

      Thank you, Meryl!

  • Lisa Birnesser July 31, 2012, 9:53 pm

    Relationship anxiety is more common than most people think. It’s so difficult to step back out after a bitter and difficult relationship. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and I’m looking forward to the next post!

    • Sherie July 31, 2012, 10:23 pm

      You’re right, Lisa, it is more common than most people think. Thanks for your comment, stay tuned for the next post! : D

  • Nisha July 31, 2012, 3:22 pm

    I love this post, because it can be applied to all sorts of relationships, not just the one with your significant other. I don’t have relationship anxiety with my husband, but I definitely do with another person in my life. I’m going to use your tips to figure out how to navigate through it. Thank you!

    • Sherie July 31, 2012, 4:01 pm

      Thanks, Nisha! The next post that I am writing is on the 3 Types of Relationship Anxiety…that might help, too!

  • Carolyn Hughes July 31, 2012, 11:27 am

    I’m having a challenging time with a close relationship at the moment and your post is just what I need! It’s so hard when your head is messed up with feelings to sit down and think objectively and practically. Now I have a ready made list top follow which makes it so much easier. Thanks Sherie!

    • Sherie July 31, 2012, 11:32 am

      Carolyn, I am so glad that I could help you. It is hard to think clearly when feelings are rushing through your head…remember that those emotions have a message for you…and what is that message? Big hugs, dear, as you go through that challenging time…

  • Steve Gamlin July 31, 2012, 10:11 am

    If the 1st anniversary gift is paper, my 6th anniversary was the gift of eggshells…and a year later we split up. We were critical and resentful (I made my share of mistakes, I won’t lie).
    That was 9 years ago and I am now 5 years into the healthiest relationship I have ever enjoyed. : )

    • Sherie July 31, 2012, 11:34 am

      Steve, that is inspirational that you went from that type of relationship to a healthy one, good for you!!!

  • Martha Giffen July 31, 2012, 9:58 am

    Awww. Feel sorry for people who experience this. Must be horrible. Thanks for giving tips to help folks overcome. Blessings to you and your work!

    • Sherie July 31, 2012, 10:04 am

      Martha, I so appreciate you saying that…thank you!

  • elizabeth July 31, 2012, 9:34 am

    I love this post Sherie.. You are going to have to do a guest post for me at dating diva sites! My opt in report is about this and a few other things! I love the help tips! Know you deserve a relationship! We all do and there is someone for everyone!

    • Sherie July 31, 2012, 9:52 am

      Thank you, Elizabeth, and I would love to do a guest post for you!