5 ways to cope with relationship anxiety in the early stages of dating 

We've all been there.

01 May, 2024
5 ways to cope with relationship anxiety in the early stages of dating 

Once the whirlwind romance and excitement of the first few dates taper off, you're stuck with the uncertain and overwhelming stage—one of the trickiest phases in dating. Sporadic texts between dates, not getting enough attention when face-to-face, or spending too much time apart can all set off anxiety bells, making you feel like the relationship is doomed before it has even started. It’s worse if you have an anxious attachment style. 

It's not a pleasant experience for anyone involved, and it causes unnecessary rifts in a newborn relationship. Below, discover ways you can feel more at ease while dating. 

Focus on life outside the relationship 

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The best way to deal with anxiety during the initial dating stages is to focus on your life outside of the relationship. It’s important to remember that no one, regardless of how perfect they are, can meet all your needs (and shouldn’t have to either). So invest as much time and effort in other relationships and, more importantly, yourself. Hang out with your friends, do something creative, or pursue a hobby you’ve been meaning to try. 

Don’t get swept up in your emotions

I’m guilty of this, as are many others, I’m sure. When we’re upset or triggered, we tend to get blinded by our emotions, so much so that we want to take action at that very moment. Be it starting an argument or shutting down and ignoring our partner, but before you do that, slow down and take a breather. It is essential to be present with your feelings and not hop onto the worst-case scenario, no matter how tempting it is. Once you feel more stable and grounded, you can decide what to do.

Distract yourself

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Probably the easiest way to not be crippled by relationship anxiety is to distract yourself! It works like a charm every time. Go on a walk, listen to your favourite music, or watch something you like. You can go one step further and call a friend you trust or spend some time journaling to process your thoughts. Even a solid 15-20-minute distraction can help you calm yourself. 

Try to identify where your feelings are stemming from

Being aware of our attachment styles and knowing the reasons for our reactions can be quite helpful in managing anxiety. While this will take a bit of deep reflection and uncomfortably sitting with our feelings, identifying our source of distress can lead to better, stronger relationships. For instance, if we feel like our partner isn’t listening to us attentively, it might trigger our trauma of never being listened to as a kid, which might cause us to lash out at our partner.

Communication is key

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A lot of times, we feel anxious because of the uncertainty in our relationship. This is especially prevalent in the early dating stages, when we don’t know the other person well and haven’t formed a strong connection yet. Maybe there’s a lull in your texting pattern, you’re confused about how your partner feels, or you’ve no idea what’s going on in your relationship. The solution? Convey how you’re feeling and have a heart-to-heart with your partner. Chances are, they might be feeling the same way, and even if they’re not, they’ll provide some much-needed reassurance and clear the air.

Lead image credits: Netflix

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