Home » Online Therapy » Anxiety » Relationship anxiety

Are you struggling with relationship anxiety, fear of abandonment or are perhaps avoiding close relationships? Help is available.

What is relationship anxiety?

Relationship anxiety can affect both individuals who are in a relationship and those who are single but worried about future relationships. It describes a fear or worry that can be linked to many aspects of a romantic relationship.

The role of attachment in relationship anxiety

Attachment to other people is something we create during our first years of life. Research shows that there are four different attachment styles: secure, ambivalent, avoidant and disorganized.

In secure attachment, there is often clear communication and stable contact with other people. There is little fear of abandonment. In ambivalent attachment, you may be very anxious and seek a lot of reassurance from your partner. Someone with avoidant attachment is typically more withdrawn in relationships and does not get close to others. Disorganized attachment is very much based on fear, and someone with this attachment style may become confused and unpredictable in contact with others.

Studies have shown that around 60% of the population are secure, around 15% avoidant, 10-15% ambivalent and 15-20% have disorganized attachment. Attachment is not a diagnosis but only a theory that can explain how we behave in relationships.

What set our therapist apart was her genuine empathy and personal insight. Not only did she possess a deep understanding of neurodiversity, but she also shared personal experiences that resonated with us, creating an instant connection and fostering a sense of trust!

Benedetta Osarenk

Causes of relationship anxiety

Causes of relationship anxiety can vary and include previous negative relationship experiences growing up, low self-esteem, fear of repeating the mistakes of previous relationships, or insecurity and uncertainty in the current relationship. There may also be underlying trauma.

Symptoms of relationship anxiety

Symptoms and signs of relationship anxiety can include:

  1. Fear of rejection: Overwhelming concern about being rejected by the partner, which can lead to avoiding approaching or engaging fully in the relationship.
  2. Fear of intimacy: Difficulties in creating or maintaining emotional closeness, often due to fear of being hurt.
  3. Excessive concern about the status of the relationship: Constant doubts about the stability of the relationship or the partner’s feelings, even in the absence of real problems.
  4. Jealousy and distrust: Unjustified feelings of jealousy or a tendency to suspect the partner without reason. It can also be related to various control behaviours.
  5. Need for constant reassurance: Continually seeking confirmation and reassurance of the partner’s feelings and commitments in the relationship.
  6. Avoidance behaviour: Avoiding serious relationships or withdrawing from a relationship when it starts to become serious.
  7. Emotional lability: Experiencing extreme highs and lows in mood based on events in the relationship.

If you are having difficulties in your relationship or relating in general, help is available. An assessment from a licensed psychologist or qualified therapist may be beneficial, as underlying mental health concerns could be affecting your relationship.


Book a meeting

Fill in the form, choose a counsellor and proceed to payment.


Treating relationship anxiety

Treatment for relationship anxiety can include therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Couples therapy can also be helpful in managing anxiety within a relationship. Developing good communication and trust is also key to reducing relationship anxiety.

The length of treatment depends on the severity of the problem. It ranges from four sessions to two years, depending on how concerns manifest themselves. Finding a psychologist or therapist that you can trust and rely on is essential. Our psychologists and therapists at Lavendla are ready to support you through your journey.


Why Lavendla?

USP 1

Lorem ipsum

USP 2

Lorem ipsum

USP 3

Lorem ipsum


12 common questions and answers about relationship anxiety

What is relationship anxiety?

Relationship anxiety is fear or worry that can be linked to many aspects of a romantic relationship.

What causes relationship anxiety?

Causes of relationship anxiety can be varied and include previous negative relationship experiences growing up, low self-esteem, fear of repeating the mistakes of previous relationships, or insecurity and uncertainty in the current relationship. Underlying trauma can also be a cause. Seeking help from a licensed psychologist can help.

What does attachment have to do with relationship anxiety?

Attachment is something we create in relation to our primary caregivers, depending on how they meet our needs. It is theorized that this attachment can influence how we view and form relationships as adults.

How is relationship anxiety different from regular anxiety?

Relationship anxiety is anxiety focused on aspects of relationships, usually romantic ones. “Regular” anxiety can be described as fear and worry about many different things.

How common are the different attachment styles?

Studies have shown that around 60% of the population are securely attached, around 15% avoidant, 10-15% ambivalent and 15-20% have a disorganized attachment.

Does relationship anxiety develop at a certain age?

The foundation for relationship anxiety can be laid in the early years of life but it can also be influenced by situations later in life such as traumatic events.

How does social media affect relationship anxiety?

Social media can exacerbate relationship anxiety by comparing oneself to others, which can increase negative feelings.

What are the symptoms of relationship anxiety?

There are many symptoms of relationship anxiety such as concerns and fears of rejection, intimacy and relationship status. There can also be avoidance of and withdrawal from relationsips.

Is it common to feel fear in relationship anxiety?

It is not uncommon to feel fear in the context of relationship anxiety. It is important to acknowledge your feelings and work through them, possibly with the help of a therapist.

Can relationship anxiety be treated?

Yes! Treatment for relationship anxiety can include therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to work through anxiety-provoking thoughts and behaviours. Schema therapy may also be helpful.

What is schema therapy?

Schema therapy is a cognitive therapy aimed at stopping maladaptive thought and behaviour patterns and replacing them with healthier ones.

Where can I go if I need help?

Through our site you can book an initial session with a licensed psychologist or therapist to address your concerns and start a treatment plan. We have therapists working in CBT, schema therapy and couple therapy. We can help you make the difficult easier.

Treating relationship anxiety with therapy

Here we go through how relationship anxiety could be treated using therapy. Help is available.

1. Assessment of symptoms

The first step is for a licensed psychologist or qualified therapist to help you evaluate your situation and history. They will assess whether your problems may also be related to other mental health concerns. You may also be asked to complete assessment forms.

2. Psychoeducation and goals

You will learn about how your thoughts, feelings and behaviours affect you both physically and mentally. Together you will analyze situations and set goals for treatment.

3. Tools to change behaviours and patterns

You will work on identifying and changing patterns of thought and behaviour. Together with your therapist, you can work with different tools to overcome your concerns. You will be given homework to practice between sessions.

4. Addressing long-standing and severe concerns

If your concerns stem from childhood and have significantly impacted your life and those around you, you may benefit from schema therapy. Schema therapy is a cognitive therapy aimed at stopping maladaptive thought and behaviour patterns and replacing them with healthier ones.

5. Couples therapy for relationship problems

If you have problems in your romantic relationship and have developed a pattern that is not healthy in relation to each other, you can also go to couples therapy. Integrative behavioural couples therapy (IBCT), a cognitive behavioural therapy for couples, can be very helpful.

6. Follow up and evaluate progress

Your psychologist or therapist will help you throughout this process. At the end of the treatment, you will also receive a plan to continue practicing so that you can maintain your progress over time.

A first step in seeking help

Managing relationship anxiety is a process that requires time and patience. Remember that professional help is available and can be a valuable resource in your journey. Also remember that you are not alone. You can quickly and easily get in touch with one of our therapists or psychologists for an initial conversation about how they can help in your particular situation. We help make the difficult easier.

Lavendla – Making the difficult easier

Written by Ellen Lindgren

Licensed psychologist

Ellen is a licensed psychologist and has experience mainly in clinical psychology where she has worked with various conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, crises and trauma in primary care and psychiatry. She has also worked with research while studying in the US and with affective disorders and insomnia at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.