Anxiety is something openly talked about on the internet nowadays. Maybe not so much real life…but, hey, it’s a start. Someone on my Facebook shared this the other day and it’s really got me thinking; particularly, this little part in the intro – “the all-consuming monster that is Introvert Culture, and the enabling, garbled pseudo-psychology that is Tumblr Advice”.
Also relevant to this post – in my blog post a few weeks back, Lesson Learnt, I chit-chatted about social media and my pet peeves about unfriending people who you might not have spoken to in years, yah-di-yah, you can read the rant here.
All caught up?
So many questions have been swirling my mind, but, I guess, the main thing is…
Why are so many more of us insecure in our relationships?
We’re all human. We all like to be loved, and to feel loved. To be held and to hold. Nowadays this has manifested to include non-traditional signs of affection. We all like to be texted, to be FaceTimed/Skyped, to have our photos liked on Facebook/Instagram.
But there’s a nasty side that exists to this as well. We need to know what our partner is doing, who she’s/he’s messaging, what they’ve liked on Facebook/Instagram. Social Media has created their own ways of allowing us to feed this messed up curiosity. You can see who they’re following, what they’ve liked, when they were online. And I have news for you all… this is NOT a good thing!
Years ago, people used to write love letters to keep in touch. If your partner found someone else attractive, you’d blissfully never know about it, because you don’t see “your partner likes this photo of this random attractive other person on Facebook”. It wouldn’t matter if you didn’t know who or when they spoke to people during their day, because you couldn’t find out when they were last active on Facebook Messenger/WhatsApp.
I think this “ability” to find stuff out is pretty destructive to modern day relationships.
Trust is made when the person in question says something and then you see them carrying out that action. How can trust be built when you’re constantly checking in on your partner’s online presence? They text/ring you and say they’ve been busy today, but during your morning cuppa tea, you checked in to see that they’ve been on and offline all day.
So many people I know are “guilty” of this nowadays. It’s not even gender split; I see both boys and girls, men and women, checking in in this way. I dislike using the word guilty here, because I don’t think it is something to be guilty of. Just a couple of clicks on a mouse or taps on a screen and we can find out this information. I’m not even trying to act like a “goodie” or whatever, because I can’t sit here and tell you I’ve never checked in on a partner in this way.
It’s not nice. It does your mental health absolutely no good whatsoever. You’re never, EVER going to build trust if you’re constantly checking in, and, whether you realise it or not, you’re not letting your partner breath – without them even knowing about it.
So, what am I supposed to do?
I’m no saint. I need to learn to control my own issues too. I’m not seeing my boyfriend now until the back end of September, and I don’t really fancy spending a month in constant anxiety and worry.
We’ve got to figure out how to enable self-control in a way that stops us permanently checking in on our significant other.
We have to face the reasons why we’re insecure head on. I’ll start.
I’m insecure because of exes. I’ve honestly never had a partner with any serious ex-girlfriends that I’ve had to think about, let alone deal with in some capacity. Sparing my own personal details here, story short, this is now a thing in my life.
Cheating in relationships is rife now. It’s so easy, with apps like Tinder and Happn and all those dating websites. You can change who you are in the click of a button, and no-one will ever know. I’m not personally insecure about this, like, if my boyfriend wanted to be with another girl, he would be, simple as. But it’s a very real fear for some out there.
However, here’s a line that really resonated with me about my own insecurities:
“That’s great, but how can I stop my own relationship anxieties?”
Tory’s Top 3 Relationship Anxiety Busters
Like I said, I’m not trying to preach to the choir. I’m no saint on this subject, and could sometimes do with practicing what I preach. These are good and practical hints though, so if ever you get down, just try it.
1. Drop your phone
Just… let it go. If you’re at school/college/work, just don’t go on the sodding thing! Why do you need to be looking at WhatsApp/Facebook messenger when you’re at work anyways? Put it in your bag, or your locker, or just turn it off. Anything that stops you checking in every half hour to see what your significant other is up to.
2. Talk it through
What’s the betting your partner has the same insecurities as you? How do I know that my boyfriend isn’t worried about my exes, like I am his?
You gotta talk!
You’d think that in this day and age, we’d be better at communication, but this simply isn’t the case. Like I mentioned right at the beginning of this blog, introvert culture is a real thing; we don’t know how to talk to each other, we fear talking about our problems with one another, and we let our problems stew up until they boil over. Then we start the chain reaction of arguing and deleting each other from our lives, like I discussed in Lesson Learnt.
Rip it off like a plaster and mention your insecurities to your partner.
3. Stop listening/reading to stuff that will not help you
The sad songs. The “You Know He’s Cheating On You When” articles.
Quit allowing yourself to open to channels that might bring your insecurities to the front of your mind.
Stick your middle finger up at all those things, and put on that cheesy love song that reminds you that you are actually HAPPY in your relationship. If you really, seriously, weren’t happy, you wouldn’t be in that relationship. Think about it.
Life is too short to be unhappy, people. If someone out there is loving you, and wants to hold you, and is texting you… Smile when it happens. Stop over thinking. Allow yourselves to be happy.