We’ve been dating our boyfriend for quite some time and one day the big event happens: we get engaged. At first, we are very happy and euphoric since our next step will be marriage and a whole life together. Unfortunately, there is something that is spoiling this beautiful moment: engagement anxiety kicks in.
Out of the blue, we are afraid that our fiancé; will regret it and break off the engagement. We may also believe that we don’t deserve a man as valuable as him because we are not worth it. Or – the most common post engagement anxiety – that we’re making a huge mistake.
In most cases, there is no reason for real concern and the reality is that anxiety is ruining this wonderful time for our couple and we must do something about it. In other cases, anxiety after engagement can be a red light, showing us that we must think hard about what we really want.
What is engagement anxiety?
Anxiety is the excessive concern about a future event, that is, something that has not yet happened or something we perceive to be a danger. Engagements can be very overwhelming, especially for persons with more sensitive personalities. While it’s absolutely normal to get nervous after you get engaged, anxiety can become a problem.
People with a history of anxiety and/or depression are more prone to developing post engagement anxiety. In some cases, engagement anxiety can even develop into panic attacks. Your anxiety can be only psychological, but it can also manifest in physical symptoms like stomach issues and chest pains.
Engagement anxiety – the pressure
Engagement anxiety is something very common that happens because in our society marriage is highly valued and that is why many people feel bad when they are about to get married.
There is a lot of pressure for everything to be perfect, the bride has to look beautiful, the party has to be spectacular and as soon as they get married they have to start a family right away.
To avoid being overwhelmed by all these demands, we must focus on our own desires, which may not fit with other people’s expectations, but they make us happy and that’s all that matters to us.
Anxiety over being the center of attention at the wedding
Some people just don’t feel comfortable under the spotlight. That is perfectly OK. Even some celebrities suffer from social anxiety. Attention can cause a lot of stress for some of us. And rare occasions in life offer more of it than your marriage. The burden of expectation, the pressure of an amazing life event, life changes marriage brings and a lot more of those can prove to be anxiety triggers.
It is important to know that engagement anxiety is totally understandable. Especially if all your life you imagined that you were going to live this moment fully happy. When that doesn’t happen, questions and insecurities arise, adding more weight to your anxiety.
Post engagement anxiety when you’re not sure if you’re doing the right thing
Post engagement anxiety may have another origin: you may not feel secure about your fiancé; you may question whether he is your soulmate or whether you are the right one for him. In that case you should listen to yourself and carefully evaluate this situation.
Maybe it’s too early to get married and you still have time to change your mind. That does not mean that your relationship should end, but that you should get to know each other better.
Maybe you feel too much pressure from the social mandate of marriage. Ignore that pressure and just focus on your feelings.
What can you do about anxiety after engagement?
What you can do is take a deep breath and relax, so you can think about what you are going to do. If you really feel anxious, you can channel those fears in a useful way: financially plan your wedding, hire a wedding planner or consult a psychologist to help you manage your anxiety. Try to apply concrete solutions to your fears and that will decrease your anxiety.
Post engagement anxiety can be fought with some good ideas to help you relax your mind. You can channel these negative thoughts and nerves by writing down all the emotions you feel at this stage. Writing is a therapeutic activity and you will feel very relieved after doing it. You can then read what you have written and it will help you understand your emotions.
Talk to someone that understands you!
If you have a good relationship, try talking to your partner about your engagement anxiety, making sure you communicate your fears well. You don’t want your partner to misinterpret your feelings for doubts about your future.
Another idea is to talk to someone who understands you, especially If they went through the whole wedding process before. It could be a mother or your best friend, the important thing is that you feel comfortable with her and know that she will not judge you and will listen to you affectionately.
Seeing a therapist helps as well. We shouldn’t hesitate to get help from a professional. After all, that’s what they’re here for.