Can I share something with you? I have been dating someone new and it’s been bringing up a lot of anxiety, fear and old stories for me. Even after all these years, it’s still tricky to navigate this with someone new so I wanted to share a couple of things that have been helping me lately.
Show Up Authentically
I used to have a lot of shame about the anxiety I have in new relationships and I used to tell myself all kinds of stories about how I was messed up and no one would want to be with me if they knew what I was really like. I had to do a lot of inner work around those inner dialogues and while I’ve changed most of them I still have shame come up when I feel anxious. I’ve made the conscious decision to out myself when I’m feeling anxious because I want to show up as my most authentic self. A lot of times I don’t even need support I just need to tell the person I’m dating to hold space for me to say how I’m feeling. Refusing to hide who I am has been empowering and really helped me move through some of the guilt and shame I had from my past.
Creates Space for Intimacy
I used to have a ton of shame around my anxiety and I would struggle to hide it at all costs. However, I know that I want a deeply soulful connection with the people that I have relationships with. When I start to try and hide the parts of myself that are anxious or are having fear come up I remind myself that the kind of relationship that I want requires me to be vulnerable. When I share openly about what I’m feeling and working through it removes the shame from it and it also creates space for my partner to share openly about his fears and insecurities too.
Ask For What You Want
As I’ve been navigating this while I’m dating I try and check-in with myself and ask what my soul needs. Do I need support? Do I need alone time? Something else? I’ve been really working on directly communicating the ways I want to be supported. Here are a few examples of how these dialogues look:
I’m having a little anxiety come up about __________ would you mind having a conversation about this with me later?
My anxiety is pretty high right now would it be OK with you if we did that/talked about that later?
This situation is bringing up a lot of fear right now could you just tell me we’re safe in this situation?
It can feel awkward for me to directly ask for what I want but I find the more I do it the easier I get. Usually, the accommodations I need are very small and a simple conversation or words of reassurance really help me in the moment.
I hope this gives you some ideas about how you can cope with your own anxiety. Here are some of the affirmations I’ve been using as I do this work:
- I deserve love just as I am
- It is safe for me to be myself
- The more authentic I am the better my relationships are
- It’s safe to feel anxious and this won’t last forever
- I am safe and I am strong
- When I’m authentic I give others to be authentic too
- Anxiety teaches me valuable lessons and serves my highest good