“He’s mad at me…”
Eh, he’s probably not.
It may seem harmless when you are constantly analyzing everything your partner does.
However, once you fast forward two years into the relationship and you are still analyzing every single thing it can get a little oh, I don’t know… exhausting?
Here are some ways that I have been able to stop myself from falling down the rabbit hole.
#1. Don’t even communicate over text
Trying to communicate over a medium that involves not being able to hear someone’s voice or see someone’s face automatically sets you up for failure.
Let me give you an example.
“Hey, I’m going to hang out with a friend tonight.”
The simple message right? Wrong! Here’s how my brain would interpret this message.
Oh my god. Is his friend a girl? Is it someone I’ve met? Why doesn’t he want to hang out with me? Did I do something wrong? Does he not love me anymore?
No, just call each other. Then you can understand what’s happening, make a plan for later, and prevent any “reading between the lines” from happening.
#2. Remind yourself that they are the present, not the past
It’s extremely difficult to not bring the baggage from past relationships into our current relationships.
I had a friend who was cheated on by a serious boyfriend. She has never recovered and has completely closed off to any future relationships due to that hurt.
She also projects her feelings on other friend’s relationships. Before my partner and I dated we were all friends and the moment him and I started dating she said he was going to end up cheating on me due to her past experience.
Your partner isn’t your ex. Just because someone hurt you does not mean that everyone else will.
#3. Focus on what’s happening in your relationship now
When I was in college I dated a really great guy. We got along well, but things quickly escalated
I had just turned 21 and we had been dating for six months. We drove through Vegas and he was extremely upset when I wouldn’t… marry him. I thought he was joking until he pouted the entire drive home.
That summed up our entire relationship. He wanted me to decide then and there if I wanted kids. He wanted me to constantly talk about future plans. We never could fully enjoy our present because he was years ahead in our future.
I have been extremely guilty of doing the same thing but I’ll tell you this… there is no guarantee of tomorrow for any of us and you will miss being fully present if you spent most of your relationship in a future that hasn’t even happened.
#4. Be confident in how your partner feels about you
Recently I kept asking my partner what was wrong because he was acting off and I just assumed it was because of me.
Newsflash, it wasn’t at all. He eventually explained it was stress with work but said something else that resonated with me.
“I want you to be more confident in my love for you and our communication. If I had a problem or was upset with you, I would be honest and tell you.”
Although the words stung when I heard them I realized he was completely right. Assuming that someone’s mood is a reflection of us is often something that stems from codependency… which is something I struggle with.
If someone consistently shows that they love you and want to spend their future with you, you need to work on actually believing their actions.
#5. Communicate if you don’t understand something
About a year into our relationship my partner said something about wanting six kids.
I was in shock and didn’t say anything at the time but in my head, I was having an absolute meltdown.
Does he want six kids?
I would rather die, that sounds like my worst nightmare.
We have to break-up I am not birthing six kids.
I panicked for a few days and then eventually asked him if he really wanted six kids. He laughed and answered he was completely joking. “I just said if you had unlimited funds it would be cool to have a lot of kids. I was completely joking.”
If I had just asked him if he was serious from the get-go I would have saved myself a lot of anxiety and panic.
Even though I have been in my relationship for over two years I still find myself falling down the rabbit hole of what-if’s and questioning everything about my relationship.
It’s important to work on managing our relationship anxiety because even the most patient person is going to get tired of having to provide constant reassurance.
Relationship anxiety doesn’t simply disappear but if you continually work on it and communicate with your partner I promise it will get better.