Talk Nerdy To Me’s @StaffWriter:
Relationships are all about give-and-take.
You can’t be a perfect partner, but you must at least show some effort to make your significant other feel loved and appreciated. If you’ve been neglecting this part of your relationship lately, then you might have some signs of separation anxiety in your relationship.
It’s important to realize that these signs might also have nothing to do with what you have or have not done in the relationship.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is when one or both partners experience anxiety over the fear of being apart. The fear can be so intense that one partner is not able to complete daily activities, such as work, because of thoughts about the other partner.
Are you experiencing any of these five signs of separation anxiety in a relationship?
If so, it may be time to take a step back and look at some reasons why your partner is having such an intense reaction.
Separation anxiety is caused by:
- A fear of abandonment
- Lack of trust in the relationship
- Stress and pressure from work or family obligations
- An anxious personality trait
Therefore, you can come into a romantic relationship with pre-existing separation anxiety. Or, the condition can develop during the relationship.
The 5 Signs of Separation Anxiety in a Relationship
Now let’s look at the five clear signs of separation anxiety in relationships.
These signs can bubble to the surface in the beginning or slowly show themselves over months or years. Either way, it’s important to remember that separation anxiety is a common and treatable condition.
Your Partner is Jealous of Anyone New in Your Life
When we’re attached to someone, we can feel threatened by anyone new entering our world – even if they’re only temporary.
A classic example would be meeting someone new when out with friends or co-workers after work for happy hour drinks.
When that person interacts with you in the beginning, you may feel a heightened sense of attention from them and a heightened need to reciprocate.
When someone new enters your world, it forces our partners to re-evaluate where they stand in the relationship – which typically causes anxiety.
This is not healthy because it’s essentially about insecurity. If they’re not confident in your relationship, they may be quick to react negatively to anything new entering the picture.
Your Partner Doesn’t Want You Doing Anything Without Them
When your partner starts to attach themselves too closely, it can feel like they don’t want you doing anything without them – especially if it’s something they are not involved in.
This lack of independence can cause problems because you both need space to spread your wings, explore other interests, and make an identity apart from each other.
Your Partner Checks on You All the Time
When partners involve themselves too closely, they can start micromanaging every move that they make.
For example, if your job requires you to work overnight and your partner is uncomfortable with that, they may start calling or texting frequently just to check on you.
This lack of independence and intense need for attention can become suffocating – which can lead to damaging the relationship. Their anxiety about you being apart will only escalate as the anxiety grows inside them.
You’re Acting Hyper-Sensitive Around Them
Of course, we want things like text messages or phone calls returned on time but under no circumstances should you make an issue over something relatively small.
If you do find yourself making an issue out of something like this, it can be seen as needy behavior that creates unnecessary drama for the relationship. This type of behavior is often driven by insecurity and fear that your partner doesn’t actually care about you.
In this type of situation, your behavior becomes more of a control issue than out of fear of losing them. It’s important to understand that there are some boundaries we must maintain as a couple and as individuals – how much time we spend together is one example.
You’re Experiencing Emotional or Mental Distress
Extreme separation anxiety leads to obsessive negative thoughts and emotional imbalance. You might be wondering to yourself if your partner is actually cheating on you or if they even love you anymore.
These are the types of thoughts that shouldn’t be ignored because they can create a self-fulfilling prophecy in which you prove your own thoughts to be correct. If your partner is having these types of thoughts – outside of normal worry due to stress at work, for example – it’s likely caused by separation anxiety.
Can Relationships with Separation Anxiety Work?
Relationships with separation anxiety can definitely work.
That being said, there are certain types of relationships that can’t work with this type of anxiety.
For example, if your partner is very controlling and you’re not sure where you stand in the relationship, it’s likely to lead to an unhealthy dynamic for both partners.
Similarly, if one person takes on the brunt of worry or stress when things change, the other partner needs to be able to step up and share those burdens as well.
Untreated separation anxiety is likely to erode your relationship.
In general, it’s best for both partners to remain independent and confident in themselves as individuals as well as a couple. That confidence will help them be more emotionally stable and support one another through difficult times.
What To Do If You Experience Separation Anxiety?
If you’ve found yourself dealing with any of these 3 signs of separation anxiety in a relationship, it might be time to schedule an appointment with your therapist to investigate ways to resolve your issues before they become too difficult to overcome.
It’s also important to talk to your partner.
Let them know how you feel and what you need in the relationship to feel happy, healthy, and secure.
One way to ease your fears is to set boundaries in the relationship and make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to spending time together or apart.
- When you spend time together
- How you spend time together
- When you spend time apart
- When and how you communicate
- Daily check-ins
These are just a few examples that can help ease fears and reduce separation anxiety in the relationship. Do these things and talk to your partner regularly so they know exactly what makes you feel secure.
If you and your partner work on mapping out some boundaries and expectations of each other, it’s likely you’ll find yourselves in a better place. If anxiety is left untreated, it can lead to emotional detachment and relational neglect which only makes the situation worse over time.
You may need a therapist’s help because challenging these types of issues can require professional intervention.
If this is the case for you and your partner, consider finding a therapist today to get your relationship back on track.
Good luck out there, nerderinos!