separation anxiety in relationship

Managing Separation Anxiety in Relationships: Coping Strategies and Tips

Natalie Buchwald, LMHCHealthy Relationships

By Natalie Buchwald, LMHC | Last Updated: June 15th, 2023
Reviewed by Steven Buchwald

Do you feel anxious or worried when you’re away from your partner, especially your boyfriend?

If so, you might be dealing with separation anxiety in your relationship.

While missing your partner when they’re away is a common experience, separation anxiety often feels overwhelming and all-consuming.

In this article, we will explore separation anxiety in relationships and provide helpful coping strategies and tips to manage it, including how to cope with separation anxiety from your boyfriend.

What is Separation Anxiety in Relationships?

Separation anxiety in a relationship is the intense feeling of fear, anxiousness, or panic upon separating from your partner and when being away from them.

Signs of separation anxiety include:

-Fear of being alone or abandoned or that your relationship is ending,

-Fear or anxiety when the person you’re attached to is physically exiting the house,

-Excessive worry about harm occurring to the person you’re attached to.

separation anxiety in relatonships

Causes of Separation Anxiety in Relationships

Our childhood experiences, traumas, or unmet needs shape how we respond and feel in relationship.

Research suggests that separation anxiety in relationships can be caused by a range of factors, including anxious attachment style, past experiences of loss or trauma, maladaptive family functioning, childhood adversities and underlying anxiety disorders. In some cases, separation anxiety may stem from a fear of abandonment or rejection.


People with anxious attachment styles are more prone to separation anxiety. They act out in anxious ways because they fear that the person they rely on for safety or love will leave them. This can manifest itself in the form of separation anxiety.

Coping Strategies for Separation Anxiety in Relationships


Really try to notice and distinguish what exactly you are feeling and where those emotions are stemming from. Being aware of how you feel upon separating from your partner is important. Pay attention to the specific emotions you experience, the intensity of each emotion, the stages you go through before and during the separation, and the thoughts that arise during the process. These are all important clues for understanding the underlying causes of separation anxiety, what helps alleviate it, what exacerbates it. This will help you regulate your nervous system and build tolerance for separations.


It’s important to communicate openly and honestly with your partner about your feelings of separation anxiety. Discussing your fears and concerns can help alleviate anxiety and build trust.

Practice Self-Care

Engage in activities that promote self-care and relaxation, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature. Taking care of your physical and emotional needs can help reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Develop a Routine

Creating a routine specifically for when you are apart from your partner can help establish a sense of structure and stability. Indulging in some activities that bring you comfort when discomfort is expected can help. Indulge in the warm comfort of a bath, watch a show that makes you feel good or catch up with friends that lift you up. Plan regular check-ins and activities to look forward to during your time apart.

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Seek Professional Help

If separation anxiety is interfering with your daily life, it may be helpful to seek professional help from an anxiety therapist. Therapy can provide a safe space to explore the root causes of separation anxiety and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.

separation anxiety boyfriend

How to Cope with Separation Anxiety from Your Boyfriend

Teenage relationships can be both exciting and confusing, as this is a time when we learn how relationships work. It’s common for teenagers to experience “lovesickness,” where the infatuation with a partner can make them want to spend all their time together and feel tortured when apart. If you experience frequent anxiety, separation from your boyfriend may feel even worse.

To manage separation anxiety from your boyfriend, consider these strategies:

Plan Activities: Plan activities for yourself to enjoy during your time apart. This can help you focus on you and what brings you joy independently from your boyfriend.

Practice Visualization: Visualize positive outcomes and happy memories when you’re feeling anxious. This can help reduce feelings of anxiety and bring a sense of calm.

-Stay Connected: Stay connected with your boyfriend by scheduling regular phone calls or video chats. This can help alleviate feelings of loneliness and keep your relationship strong.

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The Benefits of Separation

Separation can have some positive aspects.

The proverb “separation makes the heart grow fonder” speaks to the idea that time apart can be used to appreciate each other and feel gratitude for each other. When we have people in our lives constantly, we tend to take them for granted. Not having them around helps us realize how much we care about them.

Additionally, separation is a reality of life.

We deal with it by accepting it and finding healthy ways to manage our feelings during separation. Accepting separation as a reality of life can help us reduce feelings of anxiety and worry. It’s important to remember that separation is not a permanent state and that we will be reunited with our loved ones.

In the meantime, we can use this time apart to focus on personal growth and self-improvement. Separation can give us the opportunity to pursue interests that we may not have had time for when we were with our loved ones.

It can also give us the space we need to reflect on our relationships and identify areas where we can improve. By embracing the positive aspects of separation, we can use this time apart to strengthen our relationships and grow as individuals.

Separation anxiety in relationships can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that it’s a common experience that can be managed with the right support and coping strategies. By understanding the common myths and misconceptions surrounding separation anxiety and developing healthy coping strategies, individuals can work towards managing these feelings and building healthier relationships.

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Therapy Can Help

If separation anxiety is interfering with your daily life, seeking professional help can be an effective option. At Manhattan Mental Health Counseling, we offer compassionate and skilled therapists who can help you alleviate the intensity of your separation anxiety, develop healthier coping strategies, and explore the root causes of your intense emotions. We prioritize easy access for our clients and accept a wide range of insurance plans. Contact us today to begin your journey towards healing and recovery.