Sex & Relationships

A Psychologist On The 8 Texts To Send An Anxious Partner

"Be nice to yourself today."

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When you're in a relationship, it can feel like you and your partner share everything — sweatshirts, food, and — especially these days — existential dread. While 2020 has been the year of being a little bit on edge, if your partner's been extra stressed or generally deals with heightened emotions, knowing some texts to send an anxious partner can give them some tenderness and tranquility.

"Emotions can be highly contagious," Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of Joy from Fear, tells Bustle. "One of the best ways to support an anxious partner is to be present in a non-judgmental, supportive way."

According to Dr. Manly, when your partner feels overwhelmed, it can be easy to absorb their emotions. But staying calm is the first step in giving an anxious partner support. Dr. Manly suggests being mindful of your partner's triggers and needs. For example, if you know your SO gets anxious about money, you may not want to spring a conversation about budgeting on them when they're running late for work and just spilled their coffee all over the kitchen floor.

"Some people find close contact helpful, while others need alone time," Dr. Manly says. "Learning a partner’s needs when anxiety arises can go a long way to reducing the frequency and duration of any upwellings."

Here are eight texts to send an anxious partner.

You are so special to me. I love you so much.

According to Dr. Manly, sending your boo an affirming, supportive, and non-judgmental message can be incredibly soothing. Let them know how much you care about them, and remind them that you are there.

Sending you a hug from afar!

If your partner responds well to physical touch, a loving embrace may soothe them when they're feeling anxious. For the times you can't literally hug your partner, Dr. Manly suggests sending them some virtual loving.

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you. I'm here to listen as you figure out what you need.

Shula Melamed, MA, MPH relationship and well-being coach tells Bustle that when your partner feels anxious, you may want to try to solve everything for them. Rather than changing your own life around your partner's anxiety, Melamed suggests listening without offering your own advice or trying to fix it.

Be nice to yourself today! Drink some water, take a walk, and eat something yummy!

When your partner feels super anxious, they may not remember to drink water throughout the day or get some fresh air. Melamed suggests reminding your partner how much you care about them and how important it is to be kind to themselves and their bodies.

I think we're starting to go in circles. Maybe it's time to do a little desk yoga or watch a few silly videos of baby animals. You don't need to solve it all right now.

"If your partner starts ruminating or continually repeating anxious thoughts, gently point out to them that they are entering this spiral of thinking," Melamed says. "Perhaps they need a bit of a self-directed reality check to ground them."

I just did a really nice five-minute guided mediation. I think you'd like it. I'll send it over.

Sharing is caring. If you just went on a nice walk or watched a calming video, invite your partner to join you. "Encourage your partner to engage in self-soothing behaviors, together or on their own," Melamed says. "Set a good example by having good self-soothing habits of your own."

Remember to breathe today — you've got this!

Rather than offering a solution or taking on your partner's stress, Melamed says to send some words of encouragement. This reminds your partner that they can tackle anything that comes their way.

Let me know if I can pick anything up on my way home. I already got your favorite ice cream in the freezer.

Per Melamed, offering to pick up your partner's car from the shop or grabbing their favorite snacks at the store is a great way to take some extra things off their plate. When external chores and to-do lists are taken care of, your partner may have an easier time snuggling up to watch a movie.


Dr. Carla Marie Manly, clinical psychologist and author of 'Joy from Fear'

Shula Melamed, MA, MPH relationship and wellbeing coach