Before You Date Someone With Anxiety, Read This

Redd Angelo

Loving someone with anxiety is hard. It might be the hardest thing you will ever do, but trust me, loving at all is harder for them, than it is for you.

It isn’t romantic. You won’t be able to save them. There will be days that they’re drowning and you won’t even be able to throw them a life vest. It will hurt you, but trust me, it’s hurting them worse.

There will be bad days and even worse nights. They’ll feel on edge, and because of that, they won’t feel like talking. You’ll ask them what’s wrong, and they’ll say nothing. It might bother you, but they’re telling you the truth. Everything could be going right, but still, they can still feel so wrong.

When that happens, assure them you love them and that you’re always here for them. Please, don’t under any circumstance, ever, utter the words that they’re over dramatic. If you could see what was actually going on in their head, you’d know they are the strongest person you will ever meet.

If they’re having a breakdown, your first instinct will be to tell them “Every thing is going to be okay.” This will make them angry, and that will confuse you.

To them, it’s an empty promise and one that you can’t possibly follow through on. So instead, work through the problem with them. When they tell you what the problem is, break it up into pieces and help them solve it with actual solutions.

They’ll feel bad for you. They’ll feel undeserving and like they’re a burden on you. Please tell them that they aren’t. It’ll be hard sometimes, and you will get frustrated. That’s understandable, but please don’t take it out on them.

Please check in with them whenever you can. When you don’t check in, their mind goes wild. Imagining unimaginable tragedies.

They don’t want to suffocate you though and the thought of doing that will stress them out too, so please, if they do call you, answer whenever you can. Because I promise you they made sure they put their self through Hell before they risked inconveniencing you, and making themselves seem clingy.

They aren’t clingy. They’re in their own person Hell run by their irrational thoughts while trying to survive with a thousand pounds worth of doubts piled on their chest.

You might think they’re being immature, and possessive like they need to know what you’re doing every second of every day, but that isn’t the case. It takes a long time to build trust with someone who has anxiety, but if you and your partner have built that trust, they won’t fear stuff like you cheating on them, but the unimaginable tragedies I spoke of earlier, like that you could literally be dead.

If you’re 25 minutes late, and you didn’t call to let them know, their mind will dive off a cliff into horrendous thoughts. Their mind will randomly talk them in to checking traffic reports, and then accident reports, and before they even realize it, they’re convinced you’re dead on the side of the road, bloody and alone. To you, it will seem so unrealistic and impossible. Your mind will not even be able to comprehend how they had jumped to that conclusion, but to them, it feels like the only possible explanation that makes sense.

So, are you ready to give up yet?

If not, that’s good. It means you’re worthy because while dating someone with anxiety may be hard, it also makes you lucky to have earned a spot in their life. It’s so damn hard to love someone when you have anxiety.

They just don’t let anyone in because dealing with the anxiety that caring about a whole other human being entails is hard.

People with anxiety can’t help but think about every possible outcome. They have thought about losing people close to them a thousand times, and how much stuff in life can go wrong, but once they cope, it’s no longer as big of a negative like it once was. Especially not for you, because they will never take anyone or anything for granted.

Because people with anxiety care so much. Most of the time, they care too much, and they love even harder. They will put you first, always. They will protect you fiercely.

So please, even during their worst moments, don’t take them for granted. They don’t need you to save them. They just need you to be there.

Be their safe place, and if anything, they’ll be your savior, because they can handle it. They’ve been saving themselves for years. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Aly McHenry

A writer with a habit to overshare

More From Thought Catalog