My partner has severe social anxiety. When we first started dating, I had a hard time identifying what was happening. He’d become silent after certain social interactions, stating he needed a walk or even wanted to leave. Sometimes I’d think that I had done something wrong, or that somebody had said something terribly offensive to him. But most times, it was my partner who believed he’d done something wrong. He’d talk for 45 minutes about all the ways someone may have misinterpreted something he said and all of the social implications that come with that (who will they tell? What does that mean for their friendship now?) I’d try to talk him down and show him the error in his thinking, but there was some sort of haze over his eyes—like he was a million miles away. Eventually, I realized I couldn’t help him because I’m not a psychologist, and he has social anxiety. Here are the realities of dating someone with social anxiety.
He needs breakdowns on new people
If you’re going to introduce your partner to a lot of new people, he’ll want breakdowns on each one. What are they like? What might offend them? What topics put them in a bad mood? Is there anything they’re sensitive about? Your partner will ask for all the information you can give him to help him avoid all of the minefields he’s made up in his head.