Having anxiety is not an easy battle. Some days, you feel on top of the world, enjoying life, like nothing can bring you down. Other days, you wake up feeling trapped in your own body – crawling out of your own skin as though you’re a prisoner who cannot escape. Anxiety is a real illness, no matter how many people deny its existence and as someone who suffers with it on a regular basis, it is harshly real.
Just because you have an illness that is not physical—unable to be seen on your body by the naked eye – does not mean it is invalid or nonexistent. With the numerous stigmas against mental illness within society, it makes it even harder for people who struggle with anxiety to speak out and get themselves the proper help needed to aid in their battles.
This, of course, makes everyday situations in life increasingly difficult. For example: relationships.
While dating is hard enough on it’s own for someone of pristine health – it’s even harder when you’re someone who suffers from anxiety and panic disorders. But, if you give the girl with anxiety a chance – looking past the stress, the worries, the overthinking – it can be one of the best relationships you’ll ever have in your life.
Girls with anxiety are not people who are sick – girls with anxiety are warriors.
We wake up every day knowing that—there’s a chance my anxiety will be bad today or, there’s a chance my anxiety will be good today—but, we never truly know. Does that stop us?
We get up, we shower, we eat, we go to work, we go to school, we pay our bills, we have a social life, we find time for all the in-between. We don’t let anything stop us – especially our anxiety.
Girls with anxiety are fierce, triumphant and cunning. They are unstoppable. They don’t accept failure as an option – they push themselves to reach every single goal they set. They are never truly at ease, they are never truly the calm that comes before the storm – they are the storm. They are the raging, thundering, fiery storm that rips through towns and leave their mark.
They are invincible.
They are the girls who will change your life.
Dating a girl with anxiety means that you are dating someone who will always strive to be the best version of themselves. They will push themselves to overcome any obstacle that comes their way. They will love you, with all of the raging, thundering, fiery storm that rips inside of them.
They are the type of people who go above and beyond for the people they care about. And, above all, they are the ones who will appreciate you the most. Dating a girl with anxiety is a tricky situation, often times, but, it’s never something you should give up on.
1. Remain open-minded.
It’s important to always remain open-minded in your relationship and not shut down or cut them off when they have worries or doubts. Girls with anxiety sometimes need a bit more TLC or assurance than others, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in you. It means that they love you enough to worry about losing you – and that, should always be a compliment.
2. Remember it doesn’t get better overnight.
Like many disorders or illnesses, there is no cure that will take everything away overnight. If the person you love is struggling but taking the necessary steps to get themselves better – be patient with them. Show support and realize that they are doing it not just for themselves, but for you as well.
3. When they need help – be there.
Sometimes, support is needed during episodes of anxiety. Some people feel better when they know they’re safe and with someone who cares, loves them and can protect them – even if nothing seems to be wrong. You’re not in their head, you can’t really understand what’s going on – but, you can be there to support them and help them feel better. Even if it’s something that’s as simple as cuddling up and rubbing their back, playing with their hair, watching a movie—it matters.
4. When they need space – give them space.
Other people combat anxiety better when they’re not bothered, touched or triggered. Remember, a person with anxiety knows their triggers—if someone asks for space, don’t be pushy trying to be the problem solver all of the time. Often times, if a person requires alone time, it’s for a good reason.
5. Do not treat them like a sick person.
Anxiety is very real and very scary – but that doesn’t mean you should treat someone as though they’re a sick patient and disabled. No one suffering from any illness – mental or physical – wants to be treated as any less of a person due to their illness. Treat them like a human. Do not belittle them. Do not look down on them. Do not treat them with less respect or admiration.
6. Be realistic with your needs & vise versa.
Not everyone is fully, emotionally and mentally capable of dealing with anxiety disorders. It’s okay to be open and honest and admit when your needs are not being met. In return, listen to your partner when she’s discussing her needs. Sometimes, you two may not see eye-to-eye and realize, it won’t work out. It’s okay to admit when it isn’t working out – don’t hide your uncertainty because you’re too scared to hurt someone who is “fragile.” Be up front and honest with her, allowing her to find someone who is better suited for her.
7. Don’t assume everything is “because of her anxiety.”
When you get into arguments, don’t pull the anxiety card out – it’s a low blow. Some things in your relationship may differ in their outcome because of her anxiety, but, that doesn’t mean every disagreement or difference in opinion is a direct result of it. Don’t blame her anxiety for everything wrong, don’t use it as a cop out during fights to get your way.
8. Do some research.
The best way to understand something you aren’t personally going through is to read and educate yourself. No, you don’t need to go and buy 17 books on anxiety disorders and how to cope with them, but read up on a few websites on just how people react to anxiety and ways to help aid and combat it. The more you know, the better you’ll understand.
9. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship.
There was a reason you fell in love with her in the first place – despite any anxiety she feels. Focus on the positive things you two have together and what makes you both happy. Don’t focus so much on her problems and focus more on ways in which she enhances your life and makes it better. Giving her that validation will not only make you see the bigger picture, but it’ll also ease her worries.
10. Realize the bigger picture.
Sometimes, they’ll double text you. Sometimes, they’ll wonder if you still love them just as much as in the beginning. Sometimes, they’ll be uneasy about you going away. It’s not because they don’t trust you. It’s not because they are doubting you. It’s because they’re scared and they worry – they worry that you’re going to have enough of their anxiety and walk away – finding someone more “normal,” “easier to deal with,” “more laid back.” They worry because they love you and don’t want to live life without you.