You’ve just started dating someone new. It’d be so wonderful if you could just relax and enjoy it. Unfortunately, your thoughts are filled with anxiety and insecurity. Am I doing this right? Do they actually like me? And all that anxiety and insecurity often leads to self-sabotage. So what can you do in the early stages to lessen that relationship anxiety? There’s a TikTok therapist to the rescue.
Above, @therapyjeff, currently with over one million followers and 22 million likes, has advice for what to do about your relationship anxiety. Here’s what he has to say:
1. Have other stuff going on.
When you’re putting all of your time and attention on this new person in your life, so much goes by the wayside. A great way to distract yourself is by having other things going on besides the person you’re dating. Have hobbies, hang out with your friends. Do stuff. This is also a great way to get some healthy distance when you feel yourself becoming codependent. Plus, it just makes you a better person overall.
2. Date more than one person…if that’s your jam.
If you’re still early enough that you haven’t gone exclusive yet, date some other people as well. It’ll give you perspective on the person that you’re currently stressing over. You might also find someone even better, which is always a plus. However, only do this if you’re in the super early stages where it would be acceptable to you to date more than one person at a time.
3. Have a friend you can go to if you start to freak out.
You know what it feels like when you spiral. As soon as it starts, talk to your most trusted friend. Go to the person who doesn’t mind being a sounding board for your problems and who you can trust will give you wise and helpful advice when you need it. Of course, don’t hound your friend 24/7, but a gripe session over drinks is a great way to get some perspective.
4. Keep a list of every time they show you they like you.
Often the darkest insecurities pop up in these early stages, telling us that our new person doesn’t actually like us. How could they? If you’re filled with self-doubt and insecurity, start making a list of the little ways that they’re showing you they like you. Maybe it’s with words or actions. It could be how they text you or the fact that they’re actively setting up new dates. Then you can always go to that list for a reminder when you’re worried you aren’t liked.
5. Be open about your anxiety.
When you’re feeling a bit more relaxed, let your new person know that you’re feeling a bit of anxiety. Don’t unload or anything, but test the waters. Having anxiety is totally normal, and a good partner will validate how you’re feeling. If they act weird about it or pull away, that’s a red flag you should probably be listening to. But if they make you feel reassured of their feelings and are comforting and understanding, this is the greenest of green flags and shows they’re worthy of keeping around.