“Find yourself first… like yourself first… love yourself FIRST… & friendship & love will naturally find YOU.”
~ Mandy Hale
We are relationship beings and work hard to enjoy one another, knowing our happiness only doubles when we share time, energy, and space with the one we love.
And relationship also means we need to move over and make room for another. This very act is a form of commitment, which means the need to adjust, adapt and be vulnerable.
1. Adjusting your life to become inclusive in a relationship can create anxiety from life long conditioned experiences of how you show up in dyads, intimacies and roles.
If past connections proved to be challenging, this first step may provoke worry that this union will stick. Fears of failure and abandonment may seem valid if experienced in your past, yet this is different from what is…
- Stop and engage in self-reflection, what lessons have you gained from your past disappointments and how can you apply this wisdom into showing up with your boyfriend now.
- Share your past experiences and brainstorm together on how to stay in the present and create a new reality.
- Remind yourself that you are in this together—communicate then communicate some more, until you know the worry can be put aside.
2. Adapt and move over is key in squelching worries of the sustainability of the relationship.
Start with you, observe, are you making room for your boyfriend in your life, environment, and heart.
- Are you listening to his needs, interests, and desires?
- Are you equally committed in adapting to his way of doing life, as you share your vision?
- Are you willing to transition with change, as relationships require adaptation from what you know to what you learn to become ‘one’ with your boyfriend?
3. Personal Vulnerability is one of the greatest assets and powers you have at your disposal within all relationships.
- Be present, share openly and communicate your joys and worries equally.
- Make a conscious effort to carve time and space for talking your thoughts
- Discern where and when the negative cognitions, i.e.; I fear he’ll leave me and replace with the positive truth, i.e.; I am lovable.
- Remind yourself added insight offers perspective, which, may answer to where the worries derive from, offering clarity
At the end of the day, these three tips adjust, adapt and personal vulnerability provide opportunity and wisdom in knowing what is what, with your connection and whether his boyfriend is a keeper or not. to not move forward together.
Cheri McDonald, PhD, LMFT – www.aplace2turn.com
If you find yourself with a good guy, it may be really confusing when you catch yourself worrying that things are going to end when all the evidence points to things going well.
One possible explanation for this could be your attachment style.
When we are very young (before we even have conscious memories!), we form an attachment with our parents (or whoever is responsible for caring for us). If you received inconsistent care – sometimes you got what you needed, and sometimes you didn’t despite your best efforts – you may have developed what is called an “anxious attachment style.”
This means that in adulthood you might be hyper-aware and worried about any sign that something is wrong.
You might find yourself falling for people quickly but struggling to truly trust that they’re going to be there for you – after all, you’ve had experiences earlier in life when your needs weren’t always met.
If it’s this second reason for why you’re worrying, it’s not just enough to keep track of all the times that he does show up for you – the worry may still persist that THIS is going to be the one time where he drops the ball and decides he’s done.
What you can do is work with a therapist to truly uncover what’s behind your challenges with trust and to have ways to calm your worries when they do arise.
One way to do this is “thought-challenging.”
This means that you come up with multiple explanations when you catch yourself worrying to “challenge” your initial thought.
If your boyfriend is running late for example and you haven’t heard from him yet, you may immediately jump to “He’s not going to show up because I’ve done something wrong and he’s mad at me.” Then you would try to think of at least two other possible outcomes. Maybe traffic is really bad. Maybe he wrote down the wrong time for your date.
Think of as many as you can and tell yourself that you will keep an open mind until you get an answer.
Immediately jumping to the worst case scenario may create unnecessary anxiety for you instead of calming your nerves when things might actually be okay.
Michelle Henderson, MA, LMHC – www.nextchapter-counseling.com
This has been a year of worry. Everywhere we turn there seems to be an opportunity to fall into its trappings.
Often we can find a solution or change the tone of our thoughts.
Other times, though, the worry grows constant, pervasive, like a heavy fog gripping our mind, body, and spirit.
It sounds like you’re stuck in that fog. Worried about your relationship. Wondering if or when he’ll leave.
Has your boyfriend done anything to make you question his commitment?
Work to identify truth. Worry likes to intertwine reality with lies. Enlist help if you’re having trouble separating the two.
If his integrity or commitment level are truly in question, then the path forward looks different from one based on falsities.
Sometimes a falsity is more about us than our relationship. Do you believe you are worthy of faithfulness? Answer that question carefully and tenderly.
You see, worry tends to blend our past with our present.
Perhaps your boyfriend is trustworthy and steadfast but you’ve been left by someone in the past (romantic or otherwise). Perhaps the fog is trying to alert you to a need for additional healing.
If so, consider the next right step including with whom to share your hurt.
- Do and your boyfriend talk about hard things?
- Have you been able to share any of this process or concern with him? If so, how was it received?
Even the strongest relationships benefit from communication development. Perhaps it’s time to implement some practical tools.
Don’t let worry rob you of the good in this day. Grow from your past, prepare for your future, but give the best of yourself to today. Soak it up. Step into the sunshine, breath deep, and allow the light to evaporate the fog. You’ve got this.
Laura Frederick, LMFT – www.laurafrederickmft.com
There is so much I could say about this because it can be rooted in so many things.
At its most basic, this worry hinges on how secure we feel in a relationship.
This may have historical basis such as childhood wounds and traumas – and how secure we felt that we could depend on our caregivers for food, love, and care, among other needs. This may also have a current basis in the health of our current relationship.
More commonly this will be a recipe of these two items, among others, but these two are most common. These can be heavily influenced by the baseline security we feel in our lives which is affected by politics, environmental factors, socioeconomic factors, support systems, etc.
The first step is to establish a framing to get perspective.
In the current climate, the backdrop for how bonkers the world is right now is most definitely playing a role and needs to be a part of how someone should frame their current situation.
Or in other words, “I am worried my boyfriend will leave me in the middle of all this current chaos.”
With the framing in place we next move to the two roots I mentioned.
- Do I have past experiences of important people leaving when I need them?
- Have I resolved these wounds?
- What is still left to heal from this?
If these are unresolved these are excellent things to process and work on in the safety and care of a talented therapist you can connect with and trust. We do this a lot in my practice.
The other of the two roots I mention is the health of the current relationship.
- Are there unresolved parts to the relationship?
- Do the same fights keep happening and one or both of you feels unsatisfied?
If so you may be picking up on their very real thoughts about leaving that they may or may not have verbally expressed to you. Or you may be projecting your own curiosity about ending the relationship on to him. We do this work a lot in the couples arm and solo relationship arm of my practice.
Basically, I tell my clients that if you’re feeling feelings, they are real.
Our task as individuals is to really figure out where those feelings are coming from so we can find simple steps for acknowledging them and resolving them.
Worry and anxiety just tell us that something is amiss and it needs some attention.
So give it the attention and care it deserves. Give yourself the attention and care you deserve.
Julie Holt, MA, LMHC – www.julieholtcounseling.com
How secure do you feel in your relationship? Are you constantly reminded of your value and importance or are you uncertain as to where you stand? This feeling is not good if you are striving for a healthy, long-term relationship.
Why are you feeling this way?
- If your boyfriend is emotionally unavailable, it would cause you to feel insecure, unworthy and insignificant. After all, he’s not telling you that he adores and treasures the relationship. This means that your place in the relationship is unstable and uncertain and without a strong, healthy foundation.
- You may be a needy, desperate woman who wants a relationship, just to have someone in your life. You may be willing to stay devoted, but always fearful that he will leave because you know the relationship is not perfect.
- Your relationship is “on again/off again”, meaning it’s good sometimes, and bad other times. Perhaps your boyfriend draws you in by giving occasional consideration, which you interpret as attachment, love and commitment, but you are not really sure.
- You are, by nature, overly critical, looking for perfection and seeking outside validation for confirmation. Maybe your expectations for the relationship are too high and unrealistic, causing frustration and excessive concern.
The key to reducing your worry and feeling secure is to know who you are and what you are deserving of.
Once you realize your value and you boost your sense of self, the dynamics of your relationship will change and you will no longer accept being with someone who doesn’t make you feel special and loved.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
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