As someone with anxiety, being in a relationship, let’s say, brings out my needs — and that’s being kind. It’s hard to let someone into your world without also letting them into your fears, neuroses and anxious habits. It can make you feel like “too much” if your significant other doesn’t get it.
I’ve been with my boyfriend Adam for almost three years, and as we’ve grown together and as my neurotic anxious self has come into full fruition, I’ve begun to appreciate a new definition of “sexy.”
I wanted to share some things that are sexy to me as someone who lives with anxiety. Although not all of these things may seem sexy to you, if you live with anxiety, you might understand.
Here’s what’s actually sexy when you live with anxiety:
1. When your partner decides where you’re going on a date so you don’t have to — but also tells you where you’re going so it’s not a surprise and you can prepare.
2. When you’re experiencing anxiety aches and back pain, and your partner honors your request for a back rub or a tight hug with minimal complaints and maybe one friendly eye-roll. (It also sometimes helps when your partner sits on your back if you really can’t get that heavy feeling out of your chest.)
3. When your partner knows you can’t leave your room in the morning without hearing them say, “I love you,” so they mumble, “I love you” when you kiss them goodbye even when they’re half-asleep.
4. When your partner will repeat “I love you” in the morning a few times if necessary because the first time didn’t feel right and you can’t get that uneasy feeling out of your chest until you get what feels like a “proper” goodbye.
5. When your partner refuses to take “I’m fine” for an answer and gently pressures you to tell them what’s on your mind.
6. When your partner gives you reassurance for the 100th time because even though you know they think you’re pretty or that you’re not a bad person, it would be really helpful to hear them say it just one more time. “Give me more reassurance, baby.”
7. When your partner doesn’t laugh at you when you’re crying for no reason, but then eventually laughs with you when you realize how ridiculous you’re being.
8. When they make you dinner on days you shut down or when the million thoughts in your head have left you frozen in bed.
9. When they encourage you to go to therapy on days you don’t want to go.
10. When they confide in you when they’re anxious, so you get to fight anxiety as a team. When no matter how many times you’ve broken down in front of them, they still trust they can turn to you. When the support goes both ways, so you can be both vulnerable when you need to and strong when you have to. That’s the sexiest thing of all.