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Anxiety is a very common mental illness that can represent itself differently depending on who has it. About 40 million adults here in the US have some kind of anxiety disorder and the chances of you falling for someone who struggles with anxiety are quite reasonable.

Now, for those who do not know anxiety is something we all have on some level but those with disorders respond to stress differently than the average person. They tend to have frequent and intense fears and worries about basic everyday situations. While not everyone with an anxiety disorder is freaking out 24/7 some people deal with the effects of this kind of thing more often than the rest.

While those who do not have any kind of anxiety disorder or struggle with anxiety, in general, will not understand fully understand, it is important to come to terms with certain things.  Try to resonate with the people in your life who are affected, and above all be patient with them. When it comes to falling in love or just dating someone with anxiety problems overall, there are a lot of things we should and shouldn’t be doing. Below you will find a list of some of those things, please do not overlook them.

10 Things You Need To Keep In Mind When Dating Someone With Anxiety:

1. Never let communication fall on the back burner.

When it comes to any relationship, communication is so extremely important.  However, when you are dating someone with anxiety it is more important than you might realize. The more you two communicate, the more secure this person is going to feel.

2. Be patient with this person.

While you might not understand this person’s anxieties, they are still present. Be patient with this person and make sure that you’re not trying to push things or rush them through situations when they’re struggling. As a partner, you are this person’s support system before anything else and you need to remember that.

3. Don’t blame all the problems in the relationship on this person’s anxiety.

This person might have anxiety but that’s not going to be the driving factor of all issues that come forth between the two of you. Talking problems out is crucial and everyone needs to be on the same page. Just because someone has anxiety doesn’t mean they’re super different from the rest of the people of this world.

4. Be calm and collected even when they’re stressing. 

Sure, being calm and collected when someone close to you is freaking out is no easy task but through doing this, you will be able to help calm them. They need you to be there and be the one with everything together within reason. This helps them to have someone to turn to when needed.

5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

If you do not understand something feel free to ask questions. The more you work to better understand this person the closer you two will become. We should always be open when it comes to things like this and the people we love the most.

6. Don’t underestimate this person, period.

When someone has anxiety it can sometimes be a setback for them but that doesn’t mean they are unable to do things. They can and will surprise you more than you could ever imagine. You should always be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

7. Don’t always try to make things better, just be present.

Sometimes this person will need you to be there for them and by be there I literally mean just that. Your presence is enough sometimes and you need to be aware of that. Just being by this person’s side you are able to make their day and situation a lot easier.

8. Don’t invalidate how this person is feeling.

Do not tell this person that the way they are feeling doesn’t make sense or that it’s wrong. Just because you’re not going through it or don’t understand it does not make it unreal. Anxiety and mental health issues, in general, are very serious.

9. Be there when you are needed above all else.

While it might be hard to face this person sometimes depending on the situation, being there when times are rough is important. You are this person’s partner and through the hardest times, you have to stand by each other no matter the situation. At times it will be a bit frustrating, but I promise you, at the end of the day it will be worth it.

10. Don’t think you can just ‘fix’ this person, it doesn’t work like that.

Do not let your mind assume that you can force this person to work through his or her issues. You can’t just go around trying to fix other people. Sure, there are means of help for those with disorders like these but you are not the one who gets to make the choices or call the shots. Love this person as they are.