Amber Grubenmann

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How to Support an Anxious Partner

Uncategorized Aug 26, 2022

People with an anxious attachment style tend to be very highly attuned to their partner’s emotions and needs.

They are sensitive to shifts in a dynamic and to threats to the relationship.

At times anxiety can be really disruptive to the dating experience.

Even though the emotions can be very strong, the solutions are very simple.

It’s simple to establish trust and lower the anxious partner’s fear. As trust builds over time, the anxiety gets lower until it’s basically non-existent in the relationship.

Grand gestures don’t make up for missing the little things.

If you do something really big and extravagant for the anxious partner, that’s great.

But also pay attention to the little things, like making it your priority to say hi to that person first thing in the morning or sending a text during the day that says, “I’m thinking of you.”

Consistency is more important than quantity.

A break in the pattern of communication will often set off alarm bells in the anxious partner.

For example, if you sometimes text all day and it’s very sweet and loving, and then you don’t text at all the next day, that will trigger anxiety.  

If you do need to shift the pattern, let your anxious partner know.

Have plans on the books.

Being in limbo creates more of an environment of uncertainty.

If you plan the next date soon after the previous one, you buy yourself some relaxed relationship time.

If you’re not able to do that for some reason, keep your partner in the loop about why.

Write down your baseline needs.

These are the minimum behaviors that will keep you feeling safe, connected, and loved in this relationship.

- How often would you like to text during a busy day? 

 - How far in advance do you want to make plans for the next date? 

- How many days per week would you like to hang out at this stage?

- How many days per week would you like to do your own thing? 

- How often would you like to have sex?

Compare the lists. Don’t freak out if they’re somewhat different.

You'll see that these baseline needs are not too "needy." 

Communicate your desire for space with an extra touch of reassurance

Relationships require both connection and space to thrive.

Just because you need time to do your own thing doesn’t mean you’re trying to shut your partner out. Reassure them about that.

The more secure the anxious person feels in the relationship, the more independent you will see them becoming.

Meeting each other’s needs is what makes a relationship fun.

This is a privilege, not a chore. You’re lucky to get to do these things for each other.

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This content was originally published on The Women's Dating and Confidence Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

 

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