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Separation Anxiety in Relationships

In this article we will be discussing separation anxiety in relationships.

If you’re someone who experiences anxiety when you’re away from your partner, you’re not alone.

Many people struggle with separation anxiety in their relationships, whether it’s from their boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or partner.

Some of the common symptoms of separation anxiety from a partner include feeling extremely anxious or restless when your partner is not around, constantly worrying about their safety or well-being, feeling a sense of panic when you have to be apart, and struggling to focus on anything else when you’re not with them.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take steps to manage your separation anxiety.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to treat separation anxiety in adults.

Some strategies that may be helpful include practising relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or meditation, seeking support from friends or a therapist, creating a routine that helps you feel grounded and secure, and gradually exposing yourself to longer periods of separation from your partner.

Separation anxiety in relationships can be particularly challenging for those in long distance relationships or for those who have experienced a recent breakup.

It’s important to recognise that these feelings are normal and that there are ways to manage them.

We’ll explore some of the signs of separation anxiety in relationships, it’s causes and redflags, as well as strategies for managing and overcoming separation anxiety to maintain healthy relationships.

Whether you’re experiencing separation anxiety from your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or partner, the Warrior hope that this article will provide you with some helpful insights and tips to help you navigate your feelings, conquer your fears, and maintain a strong, healthy relationship.

DISCLAIMER: Relationships Warrior is NOT a mental health professional. As such, this article is for information only, and is NOT intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a Doctor or Mental Health professional.

If you are experiencing problems with your health, it is always best to follow the advice of a medical professional.

Understanding Separation Anxiety in Relationships

separation anxiety in relationships
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What is Separation Anxiety in Relationships?

Separation anxiety in relationships is a type of “real” fearful feeling that can occur when you feel extreme distress or panic when you are separated from your romantic partner, spouse, or significant other.

While it is common to associate separation anxiety with fear of abandonment in general, there is actually an array of fears at work.

This type of anxiety can occur in any type of relationship, including long-distance relationships, and can affect people of any gender or sexual orientation.

Separation anxiety in relationships is different from healthy attachment in that it can cause significant distress, impairment, and disruption in your daily life and relationships.

See the comparison table below to help briefly clarify the differences between separation anxiety in relationships and healthy attachment in relationships.

I’ll explain about attachment styles shortly.

Separation anxiety in relationships can manifest as excessive worrying, panic attacks, or physical symptoms such as nausea or chest pain when you’re away from your partner.

These symptoms can interfere with your ability to work, socialise, or maintain healthy relationships.

While some separation anxiety in relationships is normal and can be a sign of a strong emotional bond with your partner, excessive and persistent separation anxiety can be a sign of an underlying mental health condition known as, Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD) as stated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).

The DSM-5 is a medical reference guide for specialists and professionals. It gives precise, in-depth definitions of mental health and brain-related diseases, hence, is used for assessing and diagnosing mental disorders.

Separation Anxiety in Relationships vs Healthy Attachment in Relationships

Separation Anxiety in RelationshipsHealthy Attachment in Relationships
Excessive distress or anxiety when separated from a romantic partner, causing impairment in daily lifeA healthy emotional bond between partners, characterized by trust, respect, and interdependence
Excessive worrying, panic attacks, physical symptoms such as nausea or chest pain when separated from partnerPositive feelings of comfort, security, and joy when in the presence of partner, able to spend time apart without excessive distress
Interferes with work, socializing, and maintaining healthy relationshipsEnhances overall well-being, allows for independence and personal growth
Therapy or counseling to manage symptoms and improve overall well-beingNot necessarily requiring treatment, but can benefit from open communication and emotional support from partner
Excessive separation anxiety can indicate an underlying mental health condition that requires attentionHealthy attachment is a key component of strong, supportive relationships
Table 1 – Differences Between Seperation Anxiety in Relationships and Healthy Attachment in Relationships

If you experience separation anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help, such as therapy or counseling, to manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being.

What Causes Separation Anxiety in Relationships?

Reasons for Separation Anxiety in Relationships

Separation anxiety in relationships can have many causes, such as, attachment style, insecurity, trauma, long-distance relationships, low self-esteem, and fear.

Let’s look into these likely common causes in detail, to explain reasons for separation anxiety in relationships.

Attachment Style

Attachment style relates to how people create and maintain relationships, which is heavily influenced by their early interactions with carers/parents.

Note that there are four main types of attachment:

1. Secure attachment – Individuals with a secure attachment style are comfortable with intimacy and are not afraid of being alone.

They feel secure in their relationships and trust their partners.

Insecure attachment (2,3,4)

2. Avoidant attachment – Individuals with an avoidant attachment style tend to avoid closeness and intimacy in relationships.

They may feel uncomfortable with emotional closeness and prefer to maintain their independence.

3. Disorganised attachment – Individuals with a disorganised attachment style may have experienced trauma or abuse in their childhood, leading to confusion and uncertainty in their adult relationships.

They may have a fear of both intimacy and abandonment, leading to inconsistent behaviours in their relationships.

4. Anxious attachment – Individuals with anxious attachment have a significant need for emotional closeness and intimacy in their relationships but also have a high level of anxiety and concern about the possibility of losing or being rejected by their partner.

People who have an anxious attachment style may depend too heavily on their partners to satisfy their emotional needs and may constantly seek their approval and reassurance.

How the attachment styles impact separation anxiety (Brief analysis)

It’s very important to realize that Separation anxiety in relationships can be influenced by all these attachment patterns. However, depending on the attachment style, the impact might vary.

For example, individuals with an avoidant attachment style are less likely to experience separation anxiety in the traditional sense because they value independence and self-reliance over emotional intimacy and attachment.

Nevertheless, their behaviour can seriously impact their significant other to cause, and/or intensify the feeling of abandonment.

As a result of their anxiety about intimacy and abandonment, people with a disorganised attachment style may suffer from separation anxiety.

They could struggle with consistency in their behaviours and emotions, as well as having trouble trusting their partners.

Anxious attachment style is characterised by a fear of abandonment and a preoccupation with the partner’s availability and responsiveness.

This can lead to excessive worrying and clingy behaviour when the partner is away or unavailable.

Those who have a secure attachment style, on the other hand, could be less likely to experience separation anxiety since they have a strong sense of self and feel secure in their relationships.

However, even people with secure attachment styles are susceptible to separation anxiety, for example, if their partner suddenly pass away, or distances themselves from them, or is unavailable.

Notably, the impact may be less severe than on an individual with an insecure attachment style.

It is evident that the anxious attachment style, out of the four, has the most impact on separation anxiety in relationships.


When you are insecure in your relationship, you may become too concerned about losing your partner, which can contribute to separation anxiety.

Insecurity in a relationship can rise to emotions of separation anxiety since it drives you to constantly worry about losing your partner.

When you’re insecure, you may question your partner’s devotion to the relationship, which might make you uncomfortable when they’re not around.

Consider the following example to demonstrate potential reasons for separation anxiety in relationships.

Assume you’ve been in a relationship for a few months and have noticed that your partner is spending more time with their friends than usual.

You begin to fear that they are losing interest in the relationship, which makes you uncomfortable when they are not present.

You start texting and calling them more regularly, hoping for reassurance that everything is fine.

Unfortunately, this behaviour may push your partner away, leading to increased anxiety and insecurity.

Instead, it’s critical to communicate openly with your partner about your concerns and work together to strengthen the relationship’s trust and security.

Tip – One practical action you can take to overcome worry in your relationship is to work on improving your own self-confidence.

When you feel good about yourself and your worth, you are less likely to be concerned about losing your relationship.

This can include taking efforts to improve your physical and mental health, following activities and interests that make you happy, and surrounding yourself with supportive friends and family.

Related Article – Relationship Insecurity


Trauma can play a big role in causing separation anxiety in relationships since our past experiences impact our views and behaviours in our current relationships.

Trauma describes prior events that significantly damaged one’s emotional well-being.

These events can include being neglected or abandoned as a child, being physically or emotionally abused, or experiencing the unexpected loss of a loved one.

People who have gone through trauma may be more likely to struggle with separation anxiety in their current relationships because they worry about being abandoned and losing what they have.

For instance, suppose June’s father passed away unexpectedly when she was a young girl. She was devastated by this incident and felt a profound sense of loss.

As June gets older and starts dating, she might start to feel anxious when her partner go away, even for a short time.

June can struggle with extreme anxiety and terror, worrying that something awful would happen to her partner just like it did to her father.

In this way, prior traumas might be the source of separation anxiety in current relationships.

It is critical for persons who have been traumatised to seek help and healing in order to address any unresolved feelings and establish healthy coping techniques.

Long-distance relationships

Physical distance in a long-distance relationship can be a significant factor in causing separation anxiety. This could be due to the following, for instance:

Fear of the unknown – In a long-distance relationship, you may not know what your spouse is up to or who they are spending time with.

This might lead to feelings of envy, insecurity, and worry, especially if you’ve had bad experiences with trust before.

Communication challenges – Phone calls, messages, and video chats are common forms of technology used in long-distance relationships.

However, when you are not physically present with your partner, communication can be challenging, and misunderstandings or miscommunications can result in feelings of disappointment and nervousness.

Limited opportunity to develop shared experiences – When you and your partner are physically apart, it might be difficult to plan activities that will deepen your relationship.

As a result, you can start to feel disconnected from your relationship and anxious because you worry that the relationship is deteriorating.

The physical distance between you and your partner in a long-distance relationship can lead to a lack of emotional connection and a sense of isolation, which can create feelings of anxiety and insecurity.

Overall, separation anxiety can be exacerbated by the uncertainty of when you will see each other again, as well as a lack of physical touch and intimacy.

Furthermore, the lack of daily interactions and shared experiences can cause you to feel disconnected and question the strength of your relationship, contributing to separation anxiety.

Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem can play a key role in triggering relationship anxiety.

When you have poor self-esteem, you may have feelings of worthlessness, inadequacy, and self-doubt, which can lead to relationship anxiety, ultimately, intensifying separation anxiety.

Here are some of the reasons why low self-esteem could be a significant cause of separation anxiety in relationships:

Fear of abandonment – If you have poor self-esteem, you may be afraid that your spouse will leave you or reject you.

This fear might cause you to feel clingy or dependant on your relationship, which can lead to separation anxiety when your lover is not there.

Negative self-talk – If you have low self-esteem you may engage in negative self-talk or self-criticism, which can cause you to doubt your own worth and value in the relationship.

This self-doubt can lead to separation anxiety, as you may worry that your partner will leave you because you are not good enough.

Dependence on validation – If you have low self-esteem, you may rely significantly on the validation and acceptance of your partner to feel good about yourself.

When your partner is not around, you may experience anxiety and insecurity, which can develop to separation anxiety.


As mentioned earlier, separation anxiety in relationships entails an array of fears. But what is fear?

In the context of an anxiety disorder, fear is defined as an acute and persistent feeling of worry or dread that is frequently disproportionate to the actual threat or danger present.

People suffering from anxiety disorders may experience fear in situations that most people would consider safe or harmless, or they may experience fear for no apparent reason.

This fear can be crippling and disrupt daily life, making it impossible to work, socialise, or perform routine tasks.

Every couple and scenario is unique, but there are certain similar concerns and fears shared by those who suffer from separation anxiety in relationships.

Do you recognise any of the following? If so, you may have separation anxiety.

Fear of losing your partner – Do you frequently worry that your partner will abandon you, whether due to distance or other factors?

Fear of being alone – You may be suffering from separation anxiety, if the prospect of being alone without your partner is distressing, prompting you to doubt your ability to manage without them.

Fear of abandonment – Separation anxiety can be associated with a fear of abandonment, which manifests as a dread that your partner would abandon you emotionally or physically.

Fear of something bad happening to your partner – You maybe suffering from separation anxiety if you’re concerned about your partner’s safety when you are apart, anticipating worst-case scenarios.

Fear of losing out – When you are away from your partner, you may fear that you will miss out on experiences or events, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Fear of not being able to sustain the relationship – Separation anxiety can cause concern about your ability to maintain a stable and healthy relationship, especially when separated by distance.

Fear of not being able to cope with the separation – The prospect of being separated from your partner can be overpowering, causing you to worry about your ability to cope with the separation.

Fear of not being able to communicate effectively – Distance can make communication difficult, if you suffer from separation anxiety, you may be concerned that you will be unable to communicate properly with your partner while you’re are separated.

Fear of losing intimacy – Separation anxiety can drive you to worry about losing physical and emotional connection with your partner.

Fear of losing trust in your partner – Separation can cause feelings of mistrust, and if you’re suffering from separation anxiety may worry that your partner will be unfaithful or lose interest in you while you are apart.

Fear of failing to meet your partner’s needs – Separation anxiety can make you fearful that you will be unable to meet your partner’s emotional, physical, or practical requirements when you are apart.

Fear of being judged or rejected – If you suffer from separation anxiety, you may be concerned that your spouse will judge or reject you based on your emotional reactions or separation anxiety issues.

Fear of not being able to return to normal after the separation – Separation anxiety can drive you to fear that your relationship will not be the same after the separation or that you will not be able to return to your normal routines or dynamics.

It is important to note that, while the aforementioned concerns are typical in any loving relationship, they become separation anxiety when they are exaggerated or over-analysed.

Related Article – Fear in a Relationship

Now, let’s look into the signs of separation anxiety and the red-flags to watch out for, which might explain why it hurts to be away from your partner, or why you might feel clingy to your partner all of a sudden.

Signs of Separation Anxiety in Relationships

Signs and Redflags to Watchout For

Separation anxiety may be a difficult issue to deal with in a relationship, and it can affect both partners.

If you feel your partner is suffering from separation anxiety, it’s critical to approach the subject with sensitivity and empathy.

In this section, we will cover objective facts and subjective opinions about separation anxiety in relationships, as well as frequent symptoms and signals to look out for.

It can be challenging to know how to deal with separation anxiety in a relationship because it can feel debilitating and overpowering.

Physical symptoms like nausea or shaking, strong fear or worry about being separated from your partner, and difficulty adjusting to even short separation are some common signs of separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety can present differently in different people, so it’s crucial to address the subject with respect and understanding.

Video Explaining Signs of Separation Anxiety

In this video Dr. Tracey Marks, a psychiatrist, explain what separation anxiety is, what causes it, and how it manifests in both children and adults.

Dr. Marks goes on to identify eight signs of separation anxiety in adults, which correspond to the criteria in the “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5).”

These signs include excessive distress when separating from attachment figures, fear of something bad happening to loved ones, worrying about being separated from loved ones, reluctance to leave home or go to essential places, fear of being alone without attachment figures, trouble sleeping away from home, recurrent nightmares about being separated, and distressing physical symptoms.

Separation Anxiety in Adults

3 Signs of Separation Anxiety in Relationships

  1. Being overly clingy or needy with your partner
  2. Feeling anxious or worried when your partner is away or unavailable
  3. Struggling to maintain a healthy balance between time spent with your partner and time spent alone or with others.

Being overly clingy or needy with your partner

Separation anxiety may be present if you or your partner are very clinging or needy.

This could show itself as a persistent need to be together, a need to communicate by text or phone whenever you’re apart, or a sense that you can’t function without your spouse.

Red flags to watch out for may include feeling uneasy or frightened when your partner is not physically present with you, believing you are incapable of handling situations on your own, or believing your relationship to be the sole emotional support in your life.

Feeling anxious or worried when your partner is away or unavailable

Separation anxiety can cause intense anxiety or worry when you’re apart from your partner, even if it’s just for a short time.

This can show itself in a variety of ways, such as continually checking in with your partner when you’re separated, feeling physically ill or uncomfortable when you’re apart, or it is challenging to concentrate on anything else when you are separate from one another.

Red flags to look out for might include feeling a sense of panic or dread when your partner is not immediately available, constantly checking your phone or email for updates.

Struggling to maintain a healthy balance between time spent with your partner and time spent alone or with others

It may be an indication of separation anxiety if you or your partner find it difficult to strike a balance between time spent together and time spent alone or with others.

To spend more time with your partner, you might decide to postpone plans with friends or family members, or you might feel that you can’t enjoy time alone because you’re worrying about your partner too much.

Red flags to watch out for include feeling guilty or nervous when you aren’t with your spouse, feeling like you have to pick between spending time with your relationship and spending time with others, or feeling like you are losing touch with other significant elements of your life.

Have a closer look at table of facts and opinions about separation anxiety below.

This table might assist you in distinguishing between objective facts and subjective opinions regarding separation anxiety in relationships.

Understanding the distinction between facts and opinions will assist you in making better informed decisions and developing more positive perspectives on your relationship.

Separation Anxiety in Relationships Facts vs Opinions

Separation anxiety is a common experience in romantic relationships.Feeling anxious about separation means you are weak or needy.
Separation anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, including attachment style and previous experiences.People who experience separation anxiety are irrational and overreacting.
Separation anxiety can lead to physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and sweating.If your partner experiences separation anxiety, they don’t trust you.
There are healthy coping mechanisms that can help manage separation anxiety, such as mindfulness and relaxation techniques.Avoiding separation anxiety means you don’t care enough about your partner.
It’s important to communicate openly with your partner about your separation anxiety and work together to find solutions.If you experience separation anxiety, you should just learn to live with it.
Constantly checking in with your partner or demanding constant attention can worsen separation anxiety.Separation anxiety always leads to the end of a relationship.
Developing a sense of independence and self-worth can help reduce separation anxiety.Separation anxiety is a sign of a dysfunctional relationship.
Building trust and strengthening the emotional bond with your partner can help ease separation anxiety.People who don’t experience separation anxiety are cold and unfeeling.
Being supportive and understanding of your partner’s separation anxiety can strengthen your relationship.Separation anxiety is a sign of weakness that should be hidden from others.
Seeking professional help, such as therapy or counseling, can be beneficial for managing separation anxiety.Overcoming separation anxiety is impossible and you’ll always feel this way.
Table 2 – Separation Anxiety Objective Facts vs Subjective Opinions

Now that you understand what separation anxiety is, let’s look into how to deal with it, treatment, coping mechanisms and how to stop separation anxiety in relationships.

How To Deal With Separation Anxiety in Relationships

How to deal with separation anxiety in relationships can be a challenging experience.

Coping with the fear and worry of being separated from a loved one can take a toll on your emotional well-being and your relationship.

However, there are practical strategies that can help you manage separation anxiety in your relationship.

Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship or struggling with anxiety when your partner is away, there are things you can do to ease your fears and strengthen your relationship.

In this section, we will explore what helps with separation anxiety in relationships, how to stop separation anxiety in your relationship, and how to deal with separation anxiety in long-distance relationships.

We will also discuss whether there is a treatment for separation anxiety in relationships and provide practical tips on how to deal with separation anxiety in your relationship.

How to Stop Separation Anxiety in Your Relationship

It can be challenging to stop separation anxiety in a relationship, but it is doable with the appropriate approaches and attitude.

As with anything else, what works for one couple may not be effective for another.

Here are some useful strategies to help you and your partner overcome separation anxiety in your relationship.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a strategy that entails focusing your attention on the current moment without judgement.

When you’re worried about being away from your partner, take a few deep breaths and attempt to focus on the present moment. This can help you maintain your composure and lessen worry.

However, understandably so, when you have separation anxiety it might be difficult to focus on the current moment since your mind is preoccupied with anxieties and fears about being separated from your partner.

Nevertheless, practising mindfulness can help you manage your thoughts and emotions.

One method is to accept your thoughts without judgement and then gently shift your attention back to the current moment.

Take a time to acknowledge these thoughts and how they make you feel when you see your mind drifting to thoughts concerning your separation.

Then, return your focus to your breath or another sensory experience, such as the sound of birds singing.

Acknowledging thoughts without judgement means allowing your thoughts to come and go without attaching any kind of value judgement to them.

When you practice mindfulness, you aim to observe your thoughts in a non-judgemental way, accepting them for what they are, without assigning them moral or ethical qualities, right or wrong.

You can accept these thoughts as a natural part of your experience rather than labelling them as bad or unhelpful and letting them run their course without your trying to control or restrict them.

By accepting your ideas without passing judgement, you open up space for self-acceptance and compassion.

You come to understand that your feelings are normal and real, and that it’s acceptable to be anxious or concerned about your relationship.

This can eventually assist you in gaining more emotional resilience and a kindred spirit towards yourself.

Challenge Your Thoughts and Opinions

Another effective method is to confront your own ideas and beliefs.

This is in contrast to the earlier mindfulness technique, in which you were taught to allow your thoughts without attempting to control or repress them.

As having negative thoughts or opinions might increase separation anxiety, asking yourself if these thoughts or opinions are true, and if there is proof to back them up will help you to refute these ideas.

Try to replace unfavourable thoughts with encouraging statements and reminders of your partner’s devotion to you.

The table below displays worrying thoughts you may have when you are feeling separation anxiety in your relationship, as well as helpful thoughts you can employ to tackle your worry.

Worrying Thoughts vs Helpful Thoughts

Worrying ThoughtsHelpful Thoughts
They’re going to leave me.It’s natural to miss someone, but they’ve always returned.
Perhaps without me, they’re having more fun.I know that my partner wants to spend time with me and cares about me.
They’ll forget about me if I don’t check in frequently.It’s healthy for us to have different interests and hobbies.
If my partner doesn’t reply to my SMS right away, they must be upset with me.My partner may be busy right now, but I trust that they will get back to me as soon as they can.
It must mean that my partner doesn’t want to be with me if they hang out with friends without me.It is healthy for my partner to spend time with their friends, and it does not imply that they do not love me.
I can’t handle being apart from my lover; I’ll never get through this.Although being apart from my partner is difficult, I have done it before and I know I can do it again.
My partner will find someone better because I’m not good enough for them.My partner cherishes many things about me, and they chose to be with me because they love me.
My lover will forget about me if they go on a trip without me.My lover cares about me and will think about me when they are away.
I’m always the one who has to initiate contact with my partner, they must not care about me.My partner may have different communication preferences, and it doesn’t mean they don’t care about me.
My partner’s behaviour always reflects their feelings about me.There could be a lot of things affecting my partner’s behaviour, so it’s crucial to communicate and provide clarification as necessary.
Table 3 – How To Stop Separation Anxiety in your Relationship: Confronting Your Negative Thoughts

Communicate With Your Partner

Effective communication is essential in every relationship, but it’s crucial while dealing with separation anxiety.

Inform your partner of your feelings and the things you require from them in order to feel more secure in your relationship. This can help you create trust and deepen your relationship.

Express Your Feelings – It’s critical to communicate your emotions to your partner in a direct and non-blaming manner.

For instance, you might say, “I’m feeling incredibly concerned about not being with you. Although you are not to blame, I just wanted to let you know how I’m feeling.

Ask for what you require – Be clear about what you need from your partner to feel more safe and connected throughout periods of separation.

For instance, you might say, “I would really appreciate it if you could check in with me once a day while you’re away. It would reduce my anxiety and make me feel more connected to you.”

Solve problems together – If you’re having separation anxiety, it’s critical that you and your spouse work through issues together.

Consider organising frequent video chats or sending each other care gifts as ways to stay in touch and feel more safe in your relationship.

Reassure each other – Finally, it’s critical to express your love and commitment to the relationship to one another.

Tell your spouse that you are in this together and that you are ready to overcome any obstacles that may arise.

Create A routine

Another helpful strategy in dealing with separation anxiety is to create a routine.

Developing a routine can assist to alleviate separation anxiety in relationships by providing structure and predictability, which can help to minimise feelings of uncertainty and insecurity.

Here are a few ways that creating a routine can be beneficial:

Reduces uncertainty – Having a routine in place means you know what to expect each day. This can help to alleviate uncertainty and anxiety associated with not knowing what will happen next.

Gives you a sense of control – When you feel out of control, it’s easy to get nervous and powerless.

A schedule can assist to give you a sense of control over your everyday life, which can be both empowering and calming.

Provides a sense of comfort – Because they offer a sense of familiarity and constancy, routines can be calming.

This can be particularly crucial when you’re experiencing separation anxiety because you can feel weak and in need of support.

Creates opportunities for connection – Possibilities for connection are increased when you have a routine in place.

This might lead to increased chances for communication with your partner.

For instance, you may arrange routine video chats or make it a point to write each other goodbye messages each night.

Establishes credibility – By sticking to a schedule, you show dependability and consistency.

This can support the development of the trust that is necessary for handling separation anxiety in your relationship.

Seek Professional Assistance

If your separation anxiety is severe and interfering with your daily life, it might be beneficial to seek professional help.

They can assist you in locating the source of your anxiety, coming up with coping mechanisms, providing a safe environment, fostering dialogue, and tracking your development over time.

Here are a few ways a therapist can help you with this:

Helping you identify the root cause – A therapist can assist you in exploring your emotions and experiences in order to determine the underlying cause of your separation anxiety.

This may entail investigating past experiences or patterns in your relationships that are causing your anxiety.

Providing coping mechanisms – After determining the underlying cause, a therapist can collaborate with you to create coping mechanisms that are suited to your individual requirements.

Techniques like mindfulness, relaxation exercises, or cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) may be used for this.

Offering a supportive space – A therapist can provide a safe and supportive environment for you to examine your thoughts and work through any issues that may be contributing to your separation anxiety.

This is especially helpful if you aren’t comfortable discussing your anxiety with friends or relatives.

Encouraging communication – Working with a therapist can help you improve your ability to effectively communicate with others, which is important for handling separation anxiety in relationships.

This may entail developing clear, blame-free ways of expressing your wants and emotions as well as actively hearing your partner out.

Monitoring progress – Last but not least, a therapist can keep track of your advancement over time and modify your treatment strategy as necessary.

This can ensure that both your coping methods and your progress towards your goals are being met.

Treatments For Separation Anxiety in Relationships

There are several treatments available for separation anxiety in relationships.

Treatment may combine a variety of approaches, depending on your unique requirements and circumstances.

Here are a few techniques used for treatment of separation anxiety.

Therapy – Therapy can be an effective treatment for relationship separation anxiety.

A therapist can assist you in determining the source of your anxiety and developing coping techniques to manage your symptoms.

Therapy can also assist you in dealing with any underlying issues, such as trust issues or past relationship trauma.

Medication – Medication may be administered in some circumstances to help with separation anxiety. This could include antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

Lifestyle changes – Changes in lifestyle, such as stress reduction, improved sleep patterns, and regular exercise, can also assist to manage separation anxiety.

Mindfulness practicesMindfulness practises, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can assist to reduce anxiety and increase emotional well-being overall.

Support groups – Participating in a support group for those experiencing separation anxiety in relationships can give a supportive community as well as a secure location to discuss experiences and coping skills.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that is frequently used to alleviate relationship separation anxiety.

The goal of CBT is to identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to psychological distress, with the ultimate aim of improving mental health and well-being.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Goal

The aim here is to move away from a negative cycle of worrying thoughts, anxious feelings, and avoidance to a more positive balanced cycle of helpful thoughts, pleasant feelings, and coping.

The following table is aimed at helping you to break the worry cycle and move towards a more positive and balanced cycle in your relationship.

Break The Worry Cycle: Coping Vs Avoidance

Refusing to talk about feelingsExpressing emotions in a healthy way, like talking with a therapist or journaling
Isolating oneselfSeeking social support from loved ones or joining a support group
Using substances to numb feelingsPracticing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or visualization
Avoiding discussing separation anxiety with my partnerTalking openly and honestly with my partner about my feelings and concerns
Ignoring my anxiety and hoping it goes awayAcknowledging my anxiety and practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation
Canceling plans with friends or family to spend more time with my partnerMaintaining a healthy balance between time spent with my partner and time spent with others
Refusing to engage in activities or hobbies that I enjoy because my partner isn’t interestedEngaging in activities or hobbies that bring me joy and fulfillment, even if my partner isn’t interested
Constantly checking my partner’s social media or phone to alleviate my anxietyTrusting my partner and respecting their privacy, and finding healthier ways to manage my anxiety
Being overly clingy or needy with my partner to avoid being aloneLearning to enjoy spending time alone and practicing self-care and self-compassion
Relying solely on my partner for emotional support and validationBuilding a support network of friends, family, or a therapist to help me manage my anxiety and build my self-esteem
Table 4: Coping vs Avoidance – alleviate relationship separation anxiety.

Here are some ways that CBT can help with relationship separation anxiety:

Finding Negative Thought Patterns:

In CBT, a therapist can assist you in finding negative thought patterns, such as catastrophizing, overgeneralizing, and all-or-nothing thinking, that lead to separation anxiety.

Catastrophizing – When you makes this assumption, even in the absence of any supporting data, you are assuming the worst.

For instance, say you have separation anxiety, and you are going on a trip alone; You may catastrophize and fear that something terrible will happen to you or your partner.

Overgeneralization – This is when you extends a negative experience to all similar situations.

For example, if you are suffering from separation anxiety and had a horrible experience being separated from your partner, you may overgeneralise and assume that every time you are separated from your partner would be similarly bad.

All-or-nothing – When you have an all-or-nothing perspective, you only see the extremes, leaving little opportunity for complexity or grey areas.

If you have separation anxiety, for instance, can believe that your relationship is deteriorating if your spouse is not around or that you would never be happy alone.

These thought patterns are typical in those who suffer from separation anxiety and can add to emotions of worry and anguish.

It is critical to identify these thought patterns and counter them with more realistic or good thoughts.

For example, if you’re very concerned about your partner’s safety, you should remind yourself that your partner has travelled safely previously and is capable of looking after themselves.

Challenging these thought patterns can help with anxiety management and develop more balanced thinking. See table 3. worrying thoughts vs. helpful thoughts.

Creating Coping Strategies

CBT can assist you in creating coping strategies to control separation anxiety.

A therapist could advise relaxing methods like meditation or deep breathing, or they might advise you to partake in activities that uplift your mood and sense of well-being, like working out or hanging out with friends.

You might, for instance, adopt a relaxation method to calm yourself down if you are nervous when your partner is gone on a trip or you might plan activities with friends to keep yourself occupied and enjoy your time alone.

Practicing Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a form of cognitive behavioural therapy that entails exposing oneself to anxiety-provoking circumstances in a controlled setting progressively.

For instance, if you suffer from separation anxiety, you might start by separating from your partner for brief periods of time and then progressively extend that time.

Your therapist will be there to support and advise you while you work to control your anxiety.

Improving Communication Skills

Additionally, CBT can aid in enhancing interpersonal communication abilities.

A therapist can help you learn how to listen actively and empathically as well as how to express your wants and feelings in a clear and assertive manner.

With fewer misunderstandings and conflicts in the relationship, separation anxiety may be lessened.

Consider the following example to wrap up this section:

Michael is married, and when his wife goes out with friends, he has separation anxiety. He fears that either she will meet someone else or that she won’t enjoy their time together.

Michael gains the ability to recognise his unfavourable thought patterns and re-interpret them in a more constructive and practical manner through CBT.

He also works on his communication skills so that he can speak to his wife about his needs and worries in a direct and assertive manner.

As a result, Michael is free from relationship anxiety and can enjoy time spent alone or with friends.

One way Michael could re-frame his negative thoughts is by reminding himself of the positive aspects of his relationship and his wife’s behaviour in the past.

For example, he could remind himself that his wife has been faithful to him and has shown love and affection towards him in the past.

He could also remind himself that it’s healthy for both partners to have their own interests and spend time with friends outside of the relationship.

A more positive and realistic way of thinking for Michael could be: “I trust my wife and her commitment to our relationship. It’s healthy for both of us to have time with our friends and pursue our own interests.

Just because she’s spending time with her friends doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy spending time with me.”

By re-framing his thoughts in this way, Michael can reduce his anxiety and worry and feel more confident and secure in his relationship.

Related Topic ===> Couples Therapy


Separation anxiety in relationships is a typical problem that can impact both adults and teenagers.

It can stem from a fear of being alone or of losing one’s relationship. Excessive concern, restlessness, and inability to concentrate are some of the signs of separation anxiety in adults.

Long-distance relationships can amplify this worry, leading to feelings of loneliness and sadness.

There are things you may do if you are suffering separation anxiety in your relationship.

It is critical to recognise the symptoms of separation anxiety, which include being overly reliant on your partner or having bodily symptoms such as nausea or chest pain.

Develop healthy coping mechanisms, such as mindfulness practises or deep breathing exercises, to address this anxiety.

Another strategy to deal with separation anxiety is to work on improving your relationship’s trust and communication.

It is critical to set boundaries and retain a healthy sense of independence while yet encouraging intimacy and closeness.

Seeking treatment from a therapist or counsellor can also be beneficial in addressing underlying issues that may be contributing to your anxiety.

Be on the lookout for red flags such as jealousy or possessive feelings, a need to know where your partner is all the time, or anxiety when they are with others.

To avoid them from intensifying and causing relationship damage, it’s critical to address these emotions and behaviours as soon as possible.

In conclusion, separation anxiety is a problem that frequently affects relationships.

It may be resolved by developing trust and communication, using healthy coping techniques, and, if required, seeking professional assistance.

People can have healthier, more satisfying relationships by recognising the symptoms of separation anxiety and taking proactive measures to alleviate them.

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