Your palms are sweaty. You can’t sit still. You wish the date was over before it’s even begun and you just want to run out of the bar or restaurant and never log onto a dating app again. Sound like you? Maybe you’re suffering from dating anxiety. Here are 8 signs that you’ve been afflicted and what you can do to make dating less frightening.
- You’re trapped in “what if?” thoughts. You might make yourself sick before a date by asking yourself, “What if she really doesn’t like me?” or “What if I say the wrong thing?” But these really just cause you to feel anxious. The best way to deal with them is to answer them properly. So what if she doesn’t like you? Then you’ll have a terrible date and have a laugh about it with your friends someday. See? Once you follow through the question with an answer, you’re in the power seat again with less to fear because the worst case scenario isn’t that bad.
- You have zero confidence. She might seem like she’s perfect and out of your league, which can make you feel no confidence before a date. The best way to deal is to do something that boosts your confidence. It might include getting a haircut, buying a new shirt, or just giving yourself a pep talk.
- Your fear is blocking your fun. It’s hard to see dates as fun when you want to throw up your lunch because you’re so anxious about getting back onto the dating scene. Here’s where choosing a fun date activity can help. It can distract you from your fear while giving you and your date the chance to do something other than stare at each other awkwardly over a coffee table.
- You take a dating sabbatical after getting rejected. When someone isn’t interested in you, it puts you off dating all over again every single time. Although it can be good to take a bit of a break from dating every now and then, if you’re doing so because you’re afraid of rejection, it’s a better idea to get back on the horse! The more you date, the more you’ll realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Rejections happen but they don’t have to be taken personally or seriously.
- You suffer from performance anxiety. You worry about how you’ll do certain things on the date like how you’ll come up with brilliant conversation, how you’ll move in to kiss her, and so on. The thing is, focusing on preparing too much can make your movements appear stilted and strange, so just take a deep breath and try to go with the flow of the date. See where it takes you instead of trying to obsess about all its elements.
- You’re too focused on your date. While you’re worrying so much about whether or not your date will like you or want to see you again, you’re totally missing out on an important fact: you also have to decide if you like her. The ball’s not only in your date’s court! This is an empowering thing to remember so you don’t go into the date with the mindset of it being an interview, with you as the person hoping to get the job. You’re on level playing field here.
- You’re trying too hard to make your dates happy. This can be a symptom of dating anxiety because your fear that things will go wrong can cause you to go the extra mile to try to control the date. You might try super hard to be the perfect gentleman and make your date have a good time. Going over-the-top in this way can cause you to come across as trying too hard, which is basically read as desperation in the dating world. Instead, just cool down and be yourself. Understand that happiness might not strike on the first date for you or them, and that’s really okay. It’s not the end of the world.
- You feel stuck. Dating anxiety can make you feel like a deer in headlights. But wait, who says you have to sit through it? If you’re really anxious, tell your date that you’d like to walk around a bit with them, or go somewhere else together. The change in scenery can really help to get rid of anxiety symptoms, such as a racing heart or a feeling of being trapped which can arise from the tension of a first date.