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Separating needs from anxieties in relationship

Community Member

I am 28 and a 2nd time poster. I currently experience moderate GAD, I am seeking treatment and an on medication but I feel I could improve by posting on this forum.

my problem is that I have just started a new relationship and I am constantly stressing out over it. I tend to overthink and overreacte to the smallest of things, and tend to work myself into depressive panics. I'm trying to figure out where my genuine feelings and needs end, and my anxieties commence. My girlfriend is supportive and we do discuss things, however I feel like I'm becoming less tolerable to be around lately. Some of it has to deal with the stress she's been under lately, for which I feel I've copped some blowback (unintentionally but still). It's a new relationship and recently I've been asked to pull back because I've gone so intense and it's hard for her to adjust. I know she's going through things but I need to know how to handle these panicked thoughts and feelings I get. Sometimes I worry she wants to leave me, or that I'm not mature enough for her, and these influence my thoughts around comments made to me in person/text etc. I can look at it objectively but when I'm in the moment, or stressed out because of work I tend to overreact and panic. I want to genuinely figure out my feelings for this girl, but I'm worried that if this relationship ends it won't be because we are not suited to each other, but because I have allowed my anxiety to ruin it.

4 Replies 4

Community Member

Hi oldmate,

Anxiety can be confusing when in a relationship. I have OCD and have been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 1.5 years now. He knew from the outset that I had anxiety, and he has been great with accepting it. He has never personally suffered any form of mental illness, yet he is very understanding and tolerant.

Your girlfriend sounds as though she does her best to understand, but is under extra stress (which is also affecting you), so it's understandable that it's been harder on both of you lately. It's great that you two have been discussing the situation. I cannot stress enough how important communication is. When you explain, for example, that the anxiety has made you feel insecure and leads to you becoming more intense, then she is aware of what is going on.

Getting professional help is important. Making an appointment with your doctor (GP) to get help with your anxiety is a good start. They may set up a mental healthcare plan and refer you to another professional.
In addition, you have the option of calling helplines when you feel overwhelmed and need to talk things through with someone understanding. Beyondblue is reachable 24/7 on 1300 22 4636.

If you think your girlfriend sometimes struggles to understand the effect anxiety has on you, she could browse some of the Beyondblue resources under Supporting someone on the menu bar. The facts also provides relevant info.

I hope something I said has been helpful 🙂

Best wishes,


Community Member

Dear Zeal

That is helpful thank you. I am seeing a psychiatrist and doing all necessary meditations etc, I just tend to find that because my girlfriend has been distant lately, I have a hard time not overreacting and catastropising. I don't wish to over-emphasise the issue every time I see her (which lately has been a little limited) and I'm trying conversely not to be clingy and obsessive. I guess I'm just having a hard time separating my anxious thoughts from normal considerations about what I want in a relationship (level of closeness/intimacy) and it's a difficult line to walk.

It's difficult because I don't want to push her away by being clingy either, I'm having some trouble just letting things be and seeing where they go, my anxiety tends to flare up too much to allow myself that and again it's a difficult line.

ita hard too because I know she has her own minor mental health issues and I want to be supportive, but at the same time I feel my needs aren't being fulfilled.

i guess I'm just seeking direction with all of this.

Community Member

Hello Oldmate322,

Reading your post reminded me of what I went through when I was in a new relationship...

I would always feel really anxious whenever I go out with a guy. My mind would over analyse things that could happen when I'm with him (Really stupid stuff) and I would panic in front of him. To this day, I still can't work out why I would get anxious when it comes to new relationships. I had horrible symptoms which were lost of appetite, weight loss and chest tightness. One of the main concerns I had were that I would not be able to go out for dinner with him because I couldn't eat as I would be so nervous and I would look really stupid which made dating very hard.

As soon I met a guy I saw a counsellor at early stage of our relationship for support, was put on medication and I decided that I needed to be strong believing the more I do dating the easier it would get. I had to do it for my own good because I wanted to meet someone and to settle down with soon.

I told the guy that I was having anxiety, fortunately he was very understanding. I would worry about our date all day, often ruining my day feeling quite nausea and wanting to vomit. We would go out on 30 minutes- one hour dates avoiding lunch or dinner times to begin with. Truthfully, the more I dated him the easier it got. I become more relaxed (It took me about 3 months). I was then be able to enjoy meals with him. I have been with him for 4 years now. I am so glad to have beaten my anxiety and it went away.

My advice would be don't give up; beat anxiety. The more you do it the easier it will become! Find a hobby that you both like- if often distract you from anxiety. One of the activities my partner and I did was walking. It really helped.

Good luck!

Thanks Starlight, that is helpful.

Unfortunately in this instance my girlfriend and I have now broken up (as of this weekend just gone. it was over different things than my anxiety however and I'm dealing with it as best I can. I will however take this on board for the next relationship I guess (whenever that might be, it's hard to think about things like that at present) because I don't want to fall into a bad pattern and I could potentially see myself doing that with my anxiety.

thankyou for your help anyway. It's appreciated.