Got Dating Anxiety? Don’t Worry! Here’s to Finding Anxiety-Free Love
Dating is a rollercoaster ride; full of twists and turns, adrenaline-pumping moments, and that strange pit; the heavy feeling in your stomach. Is it excitement? I think otherwise. While it may bring the same feelings that butterflies in the stomach entail, the heavy feeling in your stomach when you agree to date could be dating anxiety.
Think of dating anxiety as the mysterious cousin of excitement that shows up at the most inopportune of times and can turn the most confident and cocky person into a nervous wreck.
In the era of swipes and likes, dating anxiety has become a common phenomenon and a relatable experience. Doesn’t matter if you’re seasoned in the dating pool or are new to the sea of romance, dating anxiety can attach itself to you like a barnacle.
So, if you’ve got dating anxiety or have felt the pull of the nervous butterflies, then don’t worry. Today, we’ll be exploring the enigma that is dating anxiety, what causes it, and how you can face your fear and find love, anxiety-free.
List of Contents
What is Dating Anxiety?
Dating anxiety can often blur the lines between nerves and excitement, leaving you in a perplexing state of emotions. The racing heartbeat and sweaty palms could be a sign of nervousness, but it can also be a sign of anticipation. It’s kind of the same feeling you get when you’re riding an actual roller coaster while anticipating the next turn that would, well, turn your world upside down.
What you need to understand is that dating anxiety is not always a bad thing; it’s more of a signal that your body sends telling you that something meaningful is going to happen.
Symptoms of Dating Anxiety:
Dating anxiety can manifest in different ways, depending on your experiences with anxiety. So, if you fear dating nerves, then watch out for these dating anxiety symptoms;
- You feel jittery, on edge, or restless before and during a date
- You experience a rapid heartbeat
- You sweat a lot, especially in the palms or underarms
- You experience nausea, stomachaches, or digestive discomfort due to anxiety
- You overthink and repeatedly think about potential scenarios, conversations, or outcomes
- You become too self-critical or think self-doubting thoughts
- You try to dodge dating situations altogether due to fear and anxiety
- You isolate yourself from social interactions
- You find it hard to focus on the conversation or enjoy the moment
- You constantly check your phone or simply fidget
- You struggle to unwind and enjoy the date due to anxiety
- You automatically assume the worst possible outcomes throughout your date
- You overanalyze the date afterward, including reading too much into small details
Reasons You May Feel Anxious When Dating Someone
Now that you might know by now what dating anxiety feels like, let’s look at the reasons you might experience anxiety when dating someone;
1. There’s a Fear of Rejection
One of the most terrifying reasons that you might get anxious when dating someone could be the fear of rejection. The idea of someone not liking you can be daunting in itself. It’s not wrong to want to be liked so when you’re met with rejection, it can sow the seed of doubt and insecurity in your heart, making you feel anxiety when dating someone new.
2. Overthinking Can Ruin Your Date
If you’re an overthinker (like me) then you are always ready with a slew of negative consequences in your head. You ponder on all the reasons and outcomes – from spilling your drink on your date to accidentally calling them the wrong name. This can make you fear dating more than feel excited to meet someone new.
3. There’s Pressure to Impress
You feel like you need to be perfect for your date. Dating anxiety can become worse if you have body image issues or body insecurity. If you feel like your date will not be impressed with how you look, you might dread the evening instead of looking forward to it.
4. Past Dating Experience Can Be One
Any negative dating experience from the past can haunt the steps of this one. Bad relationships and experiences have a way of sticking when we don’t want them to. If you’re reminded of your past relationships when dating someone new, then it could be relationship PTSD and can cause a lot of self-blame and insecurity in your dating life.
5. Let’s Not Overlook Social Comparison
Apart from pressure from friends and family, there’s now an added pressure of social comparison. With the idea of a “perfect couple” or #CoupleGoals, you might begin to feel inadequate in your dating life. This, coupled with social anxiety, can make dating a harrowing experience instead of a pleasant one.
6. Financial Insecurity Can Ruin the Mood
Taking someone out on a date can be expensive and it can ruin the mood if your financial insecurities rear its ugly head. If you feel that you’re less financially stable than your date, then you can feel anxious too. Men can experience dating anxiety caused by financial insecurities more than women as there is an added societal expectation for them to pay on dates. This can only worsen the stress and anxiety when dating.
7. So Can a Lack of Experience
Dating in itself can be a challenging experience and if you’re fresh in the dating pool then your lack of experience can make it even more difficult. Dating anxiety can become extreme if you don’t know what to expect. So, inexperience can be another reason you may feel anxiety when dating someone.
7 Ways to Calm Down You Dating Anxiety:
1. Breathe In, Breathe Out:
When anxiety arises during your date, take slow and deep breaths to calm your nerves. Take this time to remind yourself that you’re OK. Turn your nervous energy into excited energy!
2. Break the Ice
Be prepared with icebreaker questions if you’re meeting your date for the first time. Having a plan or prepared course of action can help you stay on track and not fear the unknown as severely as you would without it. Plus, it’ll keep the conversation going!
3. Enjoy the Moment
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to impress your date. Keep yourself grounded in the present moment and enjoy what’s happening. You don’t have to search for “The One” in this one. Focus on enjoying the experience and live in the moment.
4. Repeat Positive Affirmations
You can also work on boosting your confidence and self-esteem with positive affirmations such as, “I am awesome” and “I will have a good time”. The more you visualize yourself having a good time and positive experience, the more you’ll feel confident and relaxed on your date.
5. Be Kind – To Yourself Too
Be kind to yourself (and your date, of course) if there happens to be a misunderstanding or mistake made. Treat yourself with compassion and kindness. You might be nervous on your date but you don’t have to let your nerves take over your enjoyable experience. Be calm and kind.
6. Don’t Rush, Go Slow
Trust me, dating anxiety or not, you don’t have to rush into things. Take things slow and work on building a connection with your date instead of worrying about or assuming what they might be thinking about you. Take your time and go at the pace you’re comfortable with. You don’t have to impress everyone!
7. Seek Help and Support
Talk to your friends and family about your feelings and emotions. They might have some encouraging words for you! You can air out your worries with them and seek advice from them. If anxiety becomes too much and too overwhelming, then you can talk to a professional counselor for additional support.
When to Seek Help…
Dating is a common experience but if your dating anxiety begins to affect your daily life, routine, relationships, and work life, then you can seek help from a professional therapist. If you’re experiencing these signs, then don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional;
- Persistent anxiety or panic attacks before your date
- Avoiding dating altogether because of anxiety
- Poor self-esteem or negative self-worth beliefs
- Difficulty in creating and maintaining relationships because of anxiety
Make Dating Fun!
Dating can be a fun and exciting experience, so don’t let anxiety ruin all the fun. With these above-listed tips to stop dating anxiety, you can learn to confront dating nerves and jitters and enjoy the adventure that dating can be! Know that you’re strong enough to face your fears and find love, anxiety-free!
Was this article helpful in understanding what dating anxiety is and how you can find love without dating anxiety? Let me know your thoughts and tips to date without feeling anxious in the comments box below!
Take Care and Happy Dating!