Why can being with someone we want to love make us anxious? Many people say they have problems with trust or being open with the person they feel they should feel safest with and this causes hurt and doubt.
Having someone to love is having someone to lose and this can leave us not just questioning them but questioning ourselves. Relationships can become a mirror to our vulnerability as we imagine ourselves seen through the eyes of someone else. This can make our partner seem more powerful than us and leave the relationship feeling unequal.
Perhaps we are just going to a known space of seeing the rush, stimulation and excitement as stress, anxiety and foreboding – the sensations after all are identical, it is the meaning we give them that makes them seem good or bad.
Groucho Marx said he wouldn’t “..belong to any club that will have me as a member”. Could our doubts be in risking the pain of separation or in our feelings about ourselves? A feeling that somehow `I am not worthy and I am going to be found out`.
From our first relationship to our last we bring an increasingly developing blue print that we see as the standard. Initially, this comes from what we learn a relationship should be from our culture, society and from those who raised us. From our culture (faith, social values, media) this can be of an ideal nature that feels hard to live up to. From our family and friends we could see uninspired or failed examples we don’t want to replicate. From our past experience we can bring the fear that what has gone wrong before will go wrong again. It is a lot to contend with for ourselves and a burden of expectation on those we love, who are bringing all of this themselves to their relationship with us.
Despite all this, relationships happen in their millions, all around us. it can’t be true that it always happens better for others, that their grass is greener. A feeling of anxiety can be a positive thing, it can tell us that what we have is important enough for us to keep and to work at. Difficulties and differences guide us to a common language that will ultimately lead us to accept our partner and relationship for what it is, real human intimacy, here and now.