You know that butterfly feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when someone takes too long to reply?
Or have you ever had that nauseous feeling right before a first date?
Anxious individuals often see the world through a fearful lens, perceiving danger where it doesn’t exist. Well if you’re dating someone with anxiety these are feelings and thoughts they have all the time. As someone who has anxiety I can offer a few tips to help you.
Take the time to ask the person you’re dating about the things that make them anxious. Listen to your partner and take the time to know how they cope and if you can help. However, don’t be offended if you are not part of their coping strategies. I have specific friends that I turn to if I need comforting, someone to calm me down or if I need tough love. The longer you’re together the more the person with anxiety will learn to depend on you.
If you ask them what is wrong, don’t expect a one word answer. Give them the time to explain themselves as this could be a way of rationalising what has happened. Don’t try and be a therapist either. Sometimes they just need you to listen and give them a hug.
Make sure that you’re texting or calling back. One of the worst things that you could do is leave the person hanging. All it does is open up a can of paranoia worms that you could easily have avoided. Kevin Gilliland, Psy.D., a licensed clinical psychologist and executive director of Innovation360 says: “Do your homework. Read up on what anxiety is and how it feels for people.”
Don’t change plans
It is important that if you make plans with your partner that you keep them. If you do need to change plans does make sure that you communicate the change of plans well in advance. For instance, the person I am with was meant to be staying at mine after going out for drinks one evening. I stayed up waiting and then received a text saying that they were going back to their house instead. Normally, I would be fine about it but for some reason it made me panic. After it happened I explained to my partner how I was feeling and they understood and promised to give more notice next time.
Don’t be scared
If you are going to be with your partner for a long time then you are likely to witness a panic attack. Depending on how severe the panic attacks or anxiety attacks, make sure you know how to deal with them and you remain calm, cool and collected.
Practice mindfulness together
Studies show yoga and mindfulness strengthen the mind/body connection. Taking a yoga or meditation class together could calm you both down. Not to mention it will create a bond that doesn’t require verbal communication.
As important as it is to be considerate of you partner’s mental health, remember to take care of your own too. If you have any other dating tips please leave them in the comment box below.
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Author: Elizabeth Bennett
Elizabeth Bennett is a teacher based in England, she is obsessed with the gym and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. On her weekends off though, she can be found exploring and travelling the world.