Why Does Dating Make Me Anxious? How Do I Calm My Dating Anxiety?

Source: medicalnewstoday.com

You know that jittery feeling when you’re waiting for a text after a great date? Yep, that’s the infamous dating anxiety. It’s like waiting for your turn at the dentist, but way more nerve-wracking.

Anxiety, in moderate amounts, is a natural and adaptive response that helps humans cope with challenges and threats. Dating anxiety can manifest in various ways, and individuals may experience a range of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to this form of anxiety. Here are a few examples:

  • Fear of Rejection:

    Source: amiethedatingcoach.com

Thoughts: “He/she probably won’t be interested in me. What if he/she rejects me?”
Feelings: Apprehension, fear of inadequacy, self-consciousness.
Behaviors: Avoidance of eye contact, reluctance to initiate conversation.

  • Overanalyzing Interactions:

Thoughts: “Did I say the right thing?”
Feelings: Anxiety, self-criticism, overthinking.
Behaviors: Replaying conversations in the mind, seeking reassurance.

  • Comparison to Others:

Thoughts: “He/she, is probably, more interested in someone else. I’m not as [attractive, successful, etc.] as others.”
Feelings: Insecurity, jealousy, low self-esteem.
Behaviors: Constantly comparing oneself to others, seeking validation.

  • Post-Date Overthinking:

Thoughts: “Did they enjoy the date? Should I text them first? What did they think of me?”
Feelings: Restlessness, anticipation, anxiety about the future.
Behaviors: Checking the phone frequently, hesitating to initiate contact.

  • Anxiety About Physical Appearance:

    Source: dailymail.co.uk

Thoughts: “Do I look good enough for this date? Will he/she find me attractive?”
Feelings: Insecurity, self-consciousness, body image concerns.
Behaviors: Spending excessive time getting ready, discomfort with body language.

  • Anticipation of Future Issues:

Thoughts: “What if this doesn’t work out? Will I be alone forever?”
Feelings: Apprehension about the future, pessimism.
Behaviors: Difficulty enjoying the present moment, overthinking long-term implications.

Cracking the Code on Dating Anxiety:
First off, if you’re feeling or thinking like this, you’re not alone. It’s like a secret club we all unintentionally signed up for. But guess what? It’s not because there’s something permanently wonky about you. Nope, not at all. Trauma, big or small, can mess with our vibe.

The Epic Journey Forward:

Now, how do we conquer this anxiety dragon? Here are some friend-to-friend tips:

1. Buddy Up with Emotional Rock Stars:

Hang out with folks who feel like a cozy blanket for your soul. You know those people whose vibes just scream “safe zone”? Surround yourself with them. When you’re dating, pay attention to how you feel around your date. Can you be your goofy, authentic self? That’s the litmus test.

2. Speak Your Heart, Loud and Clear:

Source: linkedin.com

Express your wants and needs. It’s like asking for extra cheese on your pizza. Many of us keep our needs locked up, fearing judgment. But, hey, it’s okay to want things! Time to let it out, buddy.

  • Journaling. Maintain a journal to regularly record your emotions and the events surrounding them.
  • Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help you stay present in the moment.
  • Use “I” Statements. When communicating your emotions, use “I” statements to express your feelings without blaming others. For example, say “I feel upset when…” instead of “You always make me feel…”
  • Choose the Right Time. Timing matters. Choose an appropriate time to express your emotions, especially if they are strong. Avoid doing it in the heat of the moment; instead, wait until you’ve had a chance to cool down and think more clearly.
  1. Be the Non-Judgmental Superhero:

    Imagine if Batman didn’t judge Robin for every goof-up. Be your own superhero. A non-judgmental perspective is like a sidekick to change. Can you look at yourself with a compassionate superhero gaze? Change happens in those tiny moments of self-awareness.

    4. Keep Your Identity Flag Flying:

    Don’t lose yourself in the lovey-dovey cloud. Balance is key. Too much closeness can make you forget who you are. On the flip side, too much distance can feel like you’re on a solo space mission. Keep your hobbies, friends, work, and family in the mix.

  • Pursue Personal Goals. Continue working toward your personal and professional goals. Whether it’s a career aspiration or a hobby, having individual pursuits keeps you engaged and fulfilled.
  • Maintain Hobbies and Interests. Whether it’s reading, painting, or playing a sport, your hobbies contribute to your identity.
  • Financial Independence. Strive for financial independence. Having control over your finances provides a sense of autonomy and reduces dependency.

    5. Bye-Bye People-Pleasing, Hello Authentic You:

    Abandoning yourself to win others’ approval is like a trauma response called “fawning.” If you’re always tiptoeing to make everyone happy, it’s time to kick off those uncomfortable shoes. Maintaining healthy relationships without falling into the trap of people-pleasing involves finding a balance between meeting your own needs and respecting the needs of others.

  • Learn to Say “No”.Saying “no” is a crucial skill in maintaining healthy boundaries.

Understand that it’s okay to decline requests or invitations when they don’t align with your priorities.

  • Understand That You Can’t Please Everyone. Accept that it’s impossible to make everyone happy.

Focus on being true to your values and principles rather than trying to meet external expectations.

6. Loneliness – Let’s Decode It:

Source: neurosciencenews.com

Loneliness isn’t always about being alone. It’s about missing that deep emotional bond. Did you feel unseen as a kid? Or maybe a recent heartbreak left you feeling adrift? Trauma can make us dodge people to dodge pain. Let’s change that.

Emotional intimacy is the real deal. Who’s your nurturing buddy right now? If it’s still a blank, start by being your own cozy friend. Know your feelings, needs, and moods. Embrace them like you’re meeting a long-lost pal. Then, step by step, connect with others who give you those warm, fuzzy feelings.

Final Words on Dating Anxiety:

So, yeah, dating can be like wandering through a maze of anxiety. But you’ve got this! Shower yourself with compassion, unravel the layers of anxiety, and watch as you become the hero of your own dating story.

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