New Relationship Anxiety: 9 Crippling Symptoms, Causes & How To Overcome It

Author: Oscar Stevenson & Renée Shen

Are you just at the start of a new relationship and feeling anxious about it? 

You are not alone!

New relationship anxiety is common, but it can also be crippling.

Here’s how to: 

  1. Understand what it is
  2. How it manifests
  3. The causes; and 
  4. How to overcome it

New relationship anxiety is a feeling of intense worry and stress about somebody you have started dating. 

It often manifests in worrying that you are unworthy of this person's love, will be cheated on or will otherwise face disappointment in the future. 

It can also manifest as:  

A strong feeling of insecurity about whether this new person truly cares about you and wants to commit to you; and

An extreme preoccupation about the future of your relationship or the various ways it could go wrong or end in heartbreak and disappointment

It’s normal to experience some anxiety when dating someone new. 

But just because it’s normal, doesn’t mean it can’t get out of control. 

And when it gets out of control - that’s when it no longer serves you.

The truth is that sometimes new relationship anxiety becomes almost overwhelming and can even cause you to unintentionally sabotage your budding romance. 

In our eagerness to make a new relationship work, we can end up tripping over ourselves and coming across overly needy, desperate and low value. 

There Are 7 Common Signs That A Woman is Perceived as Low Value to All Men. Do You Know What They Are & How to Avoid Them Like the Plague?

Here are the top signs that your new relationship anxiety is getting out of control and needs to be dealt with. 

9 Relationship Anxiety Symptoms

1. Overall Lack of Confidence 

It’s easy to feel like you’re on shaky ground when you’re dating someone new, especially if you’re already prone to being anxious in your life.  

Add to that the fact that it feels like dating apps and social networks are tools that don’t give you many promises and often bring sudden surprises.  

You get so used to meeting up with boring, predictable, average people, that your heart leaps when you meet one who’s worth their salt. 

But be careful. 

Going after a new love interest too strongly is unattractive and shows an overall lack of value and lack of confidence. 

If you’re a female, I recommend intelligently eliminating the low quality men quickly when dating online. 

How? 

With the dark feminine art of high value banter.

High value banter is a specific method of starting conversations with guys online in a way that quickly eliminates the toxic men and the narcissists. 

CLICK here to discover why you as a woman need to use the dark art of “High Value Banter” in order to quickly weed out the wrong types of men and create emotional attraction with the "BEST of MEN"! (...Even if no man has ever given you any love and all you've encountered so far are pen pals, ghosts, booty calls, and incredible duds!)

Don’t know what the dark feminine art of “High Value Banter” is? CLICK to find out. 

If you want to show up high value, then new relationship anxiety is something you have to keep in check. 

Consider whether you may have anxious preoccupied attachment style, and learn to soothe your anxious attachment.

If you notice yourself feeling very insecure and unsure, it’s something you are going to have to resolve in order to get this new relationship started on the right foot. 

See, here’s the thing: 

Anxiety is common, but when you are always in a state of lowkey fear when dating someone new, you won’t be able to bring out the best in your new love interest.

Not only that, but forming an emotional connection will be hard, because connection doesn’t grow well in a state of fear.

2. Difficulty Expressing Yourself 

Why does difficulty expressing yourself translate to one of the symptoms of new relationship anxiety?

Because anxiety often manifests as a low level, chronic fear that permeates the cells of your mind and body.

This chronic fear takes over and hampers self expression. Essentially, you can’t be yourself.

When you don't feel safe and confident about expressing your feelings and thoughts, it's a sign that something deeper is wrong. 

Anxiety when dating someone new can make you feel like a shy middle schooler trying to ask someone out. 

You stumble, blush and trip all over yourself. 

Even the simplest good morning text or instant message can have you overthinking your every word and feeling like you’re speaking in a foreign language. 

Here are some signs you can’t express yourself due to new relationship anxiety: 

  • You are so afraid of doing the wrong thing that you end up being too passive (in some dating circles, this is called leaning back, and I don’t recommend it)
  • You trip over words and/or stutter
  • You constantly check their social media for signs they’re being unfaithful or just don’t like you as much as they say they do
  • You constantly check your phone for messages from them (this could also just be the excitement of falling in love, but if you’re checking your phone out of fear and worry, it’s more likely anxiety)

3. Worrying About Being Betrayed Or Used

The search for love can be a rocky and painful road. 

If you’ve had bad experiences in the past with toxic people, then you may constantly worry about being treated badly or even being abandoned.

And one of the top signs of new relationship anxiety is that you start to think about everything that could go wrong and obsess about it. 

You begin to worry about being used or your needs going unmet and you start seeing faults in your new partner.

You’ll even search for faults in your partner that might not actually exist, just to sabotage the relationship.

Here are signs you’re excessively anxious about being betrayed or used:

  • You’re always looking for the bad things in your partner and bringing them up
  • You’re always on red alert about where they are and what they’re doing
  • You’re often cynical and make negative comments about harmless and/or positive things they do

4. Sabotaging The Relationship

Sabotaging is a classic example and symptom of those who are anxiety-prone. 

Why?

Because we fear we’re going to be abandoned again, so we destroy the relationship first ourselves before our partner can do it to us

Because anxiety takes up so much physical energy that we have to sabotage in order to get a break from the relationship. 

This is a dangerous place to be, because you’re potentially at the start of sabotaging the relationship and later regretting it based on worrying about the future. 

If you think you may have a fear of abandonment, I recommend you read this article on the 15 Shocking Signs Of Abandonment Issues In Adults.

What are signs that you’re sabotaging the relationship?

  • You act mean to your partner
  • You punish your partner by not reaching out to them first, just to stay in control
  • You hold back genuine feelings of joy, laughter or appreciation
  • You pull away for no solid or justifiable reason other than needing to feel in control

5. Feeling Sad and Anxious About Past Disappointments

No relationship, however perfect, can erase the pain of past disappointments. 

All of us who’ve had our hopes let down and our hearts broken know just how long-lasting the pain can be. 

New relationship anxiety can come up as a result of focusing on past heartbreak. 

Let’s be clear:

There’s nothing wrong with remembering the past. But if you’re beginning to think about it 24/7 and it’s causing you major doubt in your new relationship, then there’s likely some leftover grieving you need to do. 

(Before you create a self-fulfilling prophecy…)

Let’s not kid ourselves here. Heartbreak can bring us right to our breaking point and lost relationships can be extremely hard to get over.

If you’re focusing on how your previous partner(s):

  • Cheated on you
  • Disrespected you
  • Abandoned you
  • Used you
  • Abused you

And you keep bringing these memories up to your new partner, then you may just be bringing the toxicity from your past relationship into your new one, because you cannot move past your anxiety about it happening again!

Remember:

If you haven’t grieved your past hurts fully, you’re probably holding on to old pain and toxic worry in your body.

This risks making your new partner pay for the mistakes of someone they don’t know, and probably do not even like!

MORE: Will I Ever Find Love Again? Avoid These 5 Mistakes & You Will.

6. Insecurity About Whether They Really Like You

Do you always seem to doubt that your new love interest actually likes you? 

Are you asking questions like: 

"Is this relationship serious and will it last?"
Does he really like me at all?”

These are fair and logical questions, and a bit of apprehension is healthy.

But if you’re always asking these questions and it makes you really stressed despite having evidence that your new love interest does really like you, then you have to realize this is a sign of new relationship anxiety that can get worse over time. 

If this is you, I recommend you learn to adopt some new, high value mindsets. 

High value mindsets will help you eliminate anxiety and toxic beliefs and replace them with mindsets that allow you to show up high value.

In our program High Value Mindsets, we hold your hand and help you do just that.

(CLICK here to learn how to “trade in” your anxiety and insecurities for self esteem, self worth and intrinsic confidence, so that no one will ever take you for granted & high value men will recognise you as an indispensable “keeper”.)

7. Feeling Completely Overwhelmed

Overwhelm is a typical pattern of those of us with anxiety.

Your body is so consumed by stress that over time, your threshold for overwhelm is lowered.

In other words, you get overwhelmed quickly because your nervous system is overtaxed.

This feeling of overwhelm can make you feel alone and unsure about what to do, which creates more distance between you and your partner. 

Depending on the level of anxiety this can even lead you to give up on love altogether and even give up on the relationship. 

CLICK HERE to LEARN the One Specific Emotional Trigger Within Every Masculine Man That Inspires Him to Want to Take Care of You, Worship You and Deeply Commit to You.

8. Putting Your New Love Interest on a Pedestal

There’s nothing wrong with admiring someone deeply. But we only put a new love interest on a pedestal when we secretly fear that we are unworthy of them.

Ironically, this fear often arises when you are getting exactly what you wanted, when you experience the love you never had. 

Because you may fear it cannot be real.

As you enter a relationship, it's not just the things that happen between you and your partner that make you anxious, but what you perceive and feel about what could happen. 

You then put them on a pedestal, increasing your own neediness and creating an unhealthy codependent cycle...

9. Negative Thoughts About Yourself 

We all have that critical inner voice which can pop up at the worst of times. 

It’s like an annoying bully you thought would finally leave you alone, but she pops back up to torture you.

The accusations come hard and fast: 

“You're too ugly and boring to keep his interest!”
“You'll never find anyone, so why even try?" 
“You can't trust anyone, he’s probably already cheating on you.”

This negative inner voice is especially common when you have struggles with low self-esteem and past relationship disappointments. 

The problem is it can completely sabotage your new relationship and become one of the worst forms of new relationship anxiety. 

QUIZ TIME: Is your man serious about committing to you? CLICK HERE to find out with this specially crafted quiz!

What Causes Relationship Anxiety? 

We’ve briefly discussed what causes new relationship anxiety in the crippling symptoms of relationship anxiety (above), but here’s a quick list of root causes to keep in mind.

See if any of these causes resonate:

Masculine & Feminine Differences

Does this come as a surprise to you?

Well, it shouldn’t! Men and women in general have different reproductive agendas when dating. 

What’s a reproductive agenda? 

It’s what you are subconsciously looking to achieve and what you need from a new partner. 

Above all, these different needs and biological goals inspire a different worldview in the male and female species.

Due to this fact, it’s completely understandable that you would be experiencing relationship anxiety, or relationship anxiety in general!

You are actually dealing with a completely different species of human.

These differences will cause you stress, but it’s whether you understand the masculine and feminine perspective or not that makes all the difference in how easily you get a partner to commit their heart and soul to you.

If you’d like a masters degree in understanding men (and the masculine perspective), check out our most popular program, “Understanding Men”.

(The promise of this course is for you to discover the secrets of the masculine perspective so that you can get through to any man, connect with him heart to heart, and inspire his deepest loyalty and commitment.)

Insecure Attachment

Your attachment style can definitely cause you to become an overly anxious person.

To put it simply, we all learn our pattern of attachment through our very first intimate relationships: with our parents.

If you parents were emotionally unavailable, neglectful, or abusive, then we may have adopted an insecure attachment style.

QUIZ TIME: Anxious, avoidant or secure attachment patterns? Which one do I have? CLICK HERE to find out with our specially crafted women-specific 10 Question Quiz!

(Why is this important? It is because your core attachment style largely dictates and influences what happens in your relationship. Thus it’s imperative you understand your core attachment style!)

Abandonment Issues

Abandonment issues stem from your past relationship experiences. You may have had extensive trauma as a child - with your parents, family friends or even extended family. 

Overall, a deep fear of abandonment would make you always on high alert of being left all over again.

Who wants to be abandoned again, only to experience all of that searing pain in your heart once more?

Here are 15 Shocking signs of abandonment issues in adults.

A Pattern Of High Stress & Worry

Here’s an interesting fact about life: if you have old patterns of worrying and being anxious, you’ll carry them through the rest of your life - unless you consciously decide to break that pattern.

So how do you end up with a pattern of high stress and worry?

It could be due to having attachment issues, and it could be due to a long history of high stress either inspired by your school environment (always having to perform and not having enough down time), or even your job environment.

If your body is chronically stressed, you’ll carry that over into your relationships because that’s your natural posture in the relationship.

How To Overcome Relationship Anxiety

1. Train Your Body & Mind to Live in the Moment

If you notice a little fear that causes your thoughts to deviate from the facts and the present moment, pause and do a reality check.

Ask yourself these questions:

At this exact moment, is there a real problem in the relationship that needs to be resolved? 

Or can you just let things be for a moment?

Because one thing is true here:

You cannot build emotional attraction and emotional connection with a new partner when you’re always worrying.

And you need emotional attraction and emotional connection, because these are the two ingredients that make them fall in love with you, and secure a real connection long-term.

Cue:

Is He Falling In Love With Me? 8 Definite Signs He Is.

So, make a real conscious decision to calm down before acting. 

You can also consider sharing your emotions openly when you are feeling worried, and consciously ask your partner for help.

But you only want to do that if enough trust has been built up, as if you do it too early it may seem out of context to your new interest.

Regardless, you’ll need to consciously relax and choose to value living in the moment rather than succumbing to the crippling sensations of anxiety.

Choose the high value path for yourself - give yourself that gift!

You’ll find your confidence grows each time you do this. 

On the topic of confidence, here’s a great video by D.Shen on the only thing you’ll ever need for confidence. 

This video will give you the ONE most important thing to know if you want to have confidence for the rest of your life.

2. Be Honest With Yourself About Your Feelings

Feeling anxious?

That’s ok! New relationship anxiety is common and a little new relationship anxiety is normal. 

But just know that a feeling or concern does not need to become a disaster in your new relationship before it is addressed. 

A lot of people know in their mind that they feel relationship anxiety. 

But instead of feeling deeper into their emotions and fears in order to process them, they cover them up with surface positive thoughts or fake confidence.

This is a problem because anxiety is a deep physiological thing that occurs in your body. 

And when you try to think your way out of it, perhaps with positive thinking, you’re only putting it off temporarily. 

In order to change what’s going on in your body, you first deep to recognise the deeper emotions you’re feeling.

So, try to respect your deeper emotions and be honest about your feelings without being impulsive. 

Also, find time alone to unpack some of the thoughts or fears circulating in your mind. 

They can drain your time and your energy if they’re not based on reality or are just endless worries about “what ifs.”

3. Meet Your Needs, Not Your Fears

When you find yourself getting more fearful or defensive in a new relationship, stop for a moment to consider that you may owe some compassion to yourself and your partner.  

Sure, you feel fearful and defensive, but deep down inside, you’re also feeling vulnerable. 

So it’s ok to ask for the support you need to feel loved and understood. 

This is what it means to meet your needs, not your fears. 

You don’t have to ask your partner to erase all your fears and make everything perfect.  

Unless they’re a saint, they probably won’t be able to do that for you.

Again, some fear is normal when entering the unknown! 

But if you have a pattern of feeling excess fear and anxiety, then you need to make a decision within yourself to process your past pain and trauma.

This is especially true when your new relationship anxiety has roots in childhood and isn’t related to your partner specifically. 

Consider that you may have attachment issues that need to be worked through as well.

Attachment style quiz

4. Get Comfortable With Feeling Uncomfortable

It’s a prerequisite of entering a long-term relationship that you must feel learn to be present, and love yourself or your partner through some difficult emotions.

You will need to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. 

You don't have to ignore discomfort or be obsessed with getting rid of an uncomfortable thought. Take a constructive attitude if you can. 

Sometimes your partner just needs you to be present with your feelings, and sometimes you need to offer that same gift to yourself. 

You can show your compassion to your partner with a gentle look or a soft touch, and be compassionate to yourself with a calming breath. 

New relationship anxiety doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you accept that some of it is natural and will pass with time. 

5. Don't Take Yourself Too Seriously! 

You can use your sense of humor to overcome new relationship anxiety.

Remember to laugh and play with your partner. 

This can also play out in the bedroom: physical intimacy can heal and comfort your mind, body and soul in ways that are vital to a healthy relationship.

6. Avoid Excessive Self-Criticism 

Pay attention to the thoughts that are fueling your fears and questions. 

Then give your attention to more positive and motivating thoughts. 

This process of self-discovery can be a vital step for you to maintain your loving relationship. This will make you feel safer and less anxious about your relationship. 

Instead of scolding yourself, treat yourself with compassion. Imagine how you'd talk to a friend who was feeling like you. 

Treat yourself the way you would treat your best friend!

7. Avoid Trying to Control Everything

One of the hardest things for everyone in a relationship is the lack of control. 

You may think that you need to be in control of your relationship to ensure that everything is going as it should and that your needs are being met. 

But in reality, you're not recognizing that you're trying to control the other person to calm your own insecurity. 

This does not work (it doesn’t offer your partner value, but rather takes away value from your partner). 

It also greatly increases discomfort in the other person by not allowing them to have freedom, and constantly feeling pressured and monitored in their reactions and behavior.

8.  Have Your Own Goals 

Protect your sense of identity by maintaining some independence as well as having your own goals. 

If you completely lose yourself in your relationship and have nothing else of value in your life, you may become dependent on your partner's validation, leading to increased anxiety and insecurity. 

Having your relationship as the only thing going on in your life is somewhat limiting, one-dimensional and counterproductive. 

So don’t rely on your relationship to meet all of your needs. 

Keep pursuing your passions, life goals and your career at the same time!

The Bottom Line About New Relationship Anxiety

If you give in to new relationship anxiety and act out impulsively it can ruin your relationship. 

Make a promise to yourself right now that you will not let this happen!

Because if you think about it, acting impulsively on your new relationship anxiety feel right in the moment, but it damages your partner’s trust in you long term.

The key is to understand how new relationship anxiety affects your relationships and be intentional about addressing it.

As someone who has struggled with anxiety before, I can tell you that it’s very possible to not let it ruin your relationship, as long as you catch it now and intentionally create positive changes within the relationship and within yourself.

It’s OK to be scared, just don’t let fear come to sit in the driver’s seat!


Oscar Stevenson
Renee Shen

Oscar Is a freelance writer living in Sydney, Australia. He Is a father of one and a former magazine editor. He loves hiking and kitesurfing in his free time.

Oscar Stevenson

Author For National Council for Research on Women

Renée Shen

Author & Editor For National Council for Research on Women. Founder of the popular women's dating & relationship advice website, The Feminine Woman.


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