Let’s first make it clear that relationships cause some level of anxiety for all people. This is normal, inevitable, and can end up be helpful. However, if left unaddressed, things can escalate Relationship Anxiety. A man struggling with this issue may also be struggling with some underlying insecurity. How does anxiety affect relationships?

This post is not meant to single out men. Instead, the idea is to recognize that men typically experience Relationship Anxiety in specific ways. The more we know about such trends, the better equipped we are to prevent and/or cope with them. Anxiety is common but it is also manageable and treatable.

How Does a Man Know If He’s Prone to Relationship Anxiety?

Relationship Anxiety is rarely a sign of indifference or neglect. Men in such situations are trying to be a better partner. This usually manifests in problem-solving when, in reality, men might be better off letting themselves feel what they need to feel first. Some signs to look for:

  • You may find yourself bouncing from one short relationship to another as a way to avoid commitment.
  • Are you overanalyzing things? Is everything your partner says or does end up seeing as a prompt to worry?
  • A man with Relationship Anxiety might not be assertive. He puts himself second in order to seem more compatible.
  • Stress outweighs fun when you’re with your partner.

Common Causes Men Feel Anxiety in Relationships

They’re Already Dealing With Anxiety

If a man is already living with an anxiety disorder (diagnosed or not), entering into a relationship is not likely to make it go away.

Fallout from Previous Relationships

Often, the emotions generated from a breakup or a messy relationship linger to impact how you connect with future potential partners.

Your Attachment Style

How you were treated by parents and caregivers during childhood definitely shapes how you attach to others as an adult. The good news is that with support from a therapist, you can change your attachment style.

middle aged man of color staring intensely at camera in nice dress shirtMen and Anxiety: How Does It Affect Relationships?

All right, you know the signs and the causes but what about the effects? Here are a few ways male anxiety can impact a relationship:

Chronic Instability

Anxiety can do this to anyone. However, men are less likely to admit feeling anxious and thus ask for help. This gives their partners the impression that they’re not willing to do the work needed to create more balance.


Males express anxiety through anger far more than females do. Keeping emotions on a tight leash inevitably leads to outbursts. Needless to say, anger issues only add to the instability of a relationship.

Dysfunctional Coping Mechanisms

If men aren’t getting professional support, they are left to their own devices when it comes to soothing anxious thoughts. Two common unhealthy choices are:

  • Overdoing it physically: Playing a sport or engaging in too much exercise can provide a very temporary form of relief. When the anxiety inevitably returns, men may feel they have to do even more to quell it. In this way, what could be a healthy habit becomes detrimental.
  • Self-medication: Men with anxiety lean on substances like drugs and alcohol far more than women. Just like sports or exercise, if relief is felt, it’s fleeting. Long-term, self-medication is very dangerous to the person doing it and, of course, to their relationships.

Accept, Take Steps, and Heal

A man willing to accept he has a problem is a man who can recover. Anxiety is not a form of weakness. It’s the most common mental health issue on the planet. That said, through a blend of self-care and professional guidance, it absolutely can be soothed and resolved. Let’s connect and talk about anxiety therapy.