While dating and relationships should be a source of pleasure and happiness, it becomes a big source of anxiety for many of us. It will be wrong to believe that anxiety settles down as the relationship grows; in fact, it grows with the relationship for many people. Some of us have an uncontrollable tendency to repeatedly ask ourselves questions like, “Does he still like me? Will he stay committed? Will he maintain exclusivity?
As you know, anxiety and worrying only make things worse; they have the potential to cause irreversible harm to your relationship.
People who are single and looking for a perfect partner are very well aware of the concept of dating anxiety. It is usual for everyone to get slightly nervous at the start of a new relationship. But for people who already have anxiety disorders, things may get a bit overwhelming. For this reason alone, many people avoid the whole dating situation.
Even if you gather enough courage to start dating someone new, the experience will get contaminated with anxiety and stress to the extent that it will no longer be an enjoyable experience.
If you think you are going through dating anxiety, below are some helpful tips for you –
1. Do not be Too Afraid About Getting Judged.
It is easier to say, but everyone wants to leave their best impression on their dating partner. This pressure often makes us try too hard. One major cause of dating anxiety is the worry of being negatively viewed and evaluated by your special someone.
The fear that your dating partner may find you undesirable and unattractive can ruin your peace; trying tools like positive affirmation can prove to be very helpful in getting rid of dating anxiety.
Take some time and evaluate yourself; find your positive traits. List reasons why you would make a perfect date for someone you plan to go out with.
Remember that you will not be the only one under pressure; your partner might also be dealing with the fear of rejection. He/she might be equally nervous. Don’t allow your anxiety to take over you.
2. Consider It As A Casual Meeting.
Many people will get anxious and stressed just thinking about a date. If you are dealing with dating anxiety, it might help to think of these dates just as a casual get-together with your close friend or as an informal meeting to know someone. A lot of people will prefer going to a bar instead of a fancy restaurant to ease things out.
Feel free; you have all the liberty at your disposal to decide how you want to do this. When you are more relaxed, it helps you to be yourself and interact better with your partner.
3.Accept The Reality.
If you find yourself dealing with dating anxiety, don’t try to hide it. When you try to keep it a secret, it can make you feel more anxious. When you are trying too hard to keep your anxiety in control, you will be too distracted to focus on your date.
Being vulnerable is key to any romantic relationship. Ig you let your partner know about your anxiety, they might appreciate you for opening up. Doing this may leave a very positive impression on your date.
4. Pre-Date Planning.
When you do not know much about your upcoming date, it may add to your anxiety. Don’t stay back; participate in the pre-date planning process with your partner. If you are not comfortable with how your partner has planned the date, request them to make necessary changes. For instance, if you are not comfortable going to a faraway restaurant, let him/her know.
If you don’t want your date to pick you up, suggest an alternative. If you think going on a double date will ease things out for you, don’t hesitate to discuss it. Whatever you decide to do, the main goal is to lessen your anxiety to ensure that you have an enjoyable time.
5. Decide Your Speed.
Irrespective of your current state of mind, you must never feel obligated to please your date; it will only make you feel more pressure. Always prioritize doing things that make you feel more happy and relaxed. Some people get anxious on their first date with the fear of meeting them alone. Having some control over the date might help you in dealing with the situation better.
You can try going on a double date, or you can take them to places where you feel more comfortable, like your favorite restaurant or bar. One important thing to consider here is that you and your date should be on the same page; you must plan together by considering each other’s comfort level.
Do not be too pressurized to take things at a faster pace. Take your time and move forward at a speed you are comfortable with. If you are not comfortable meeting too soon, you must let your partner know. There are numerous steps in a relationship: first date, second date, first kiss, meeting family, living together, etc. Do not put unnecessary pressure to match your partner’s speed; you must decide your own pace. The relationship will flourish only when you are relaxed and comfortable. If you are not happy with the pace of your relationship, you will feel frustrated and suffocated.
6. Be kind to Yourself.
Don’t beat yourself up about it if you think that your date didn’t go well because of your anxiety. Everyone goes through bad dates. Take every experience positively, treat them as learning opportunities. It would help if you were happy that you showed enough courage to turn up for the date despite your dating anxiety.
When you take positive out from these learning experiences, you become a better person.
7. Avoid Jumping to Conclusions.
One of the primary reasons for dating anxiety is that people start envisioning the worst outcomes before even going to the date. During the date, this fear makes things worse for already anxious people.
It is best to live in the present and not overstress about the future. When we overthink and overstress about the future, we spoil our present. When your focus is on living the present moment, we can enjoy our present, have fewer things to worry about and make better decisions.
When dealing with anxiety, you must focus on finding out the core reasons why this is happening. Dating anxiety usually occurs when you stress too much trying to portray a perfect first impression. Due to this stress, many people turn this whole dating experience into a nightmare. People put too much pressure on them, leading to the development of low self-esteem. As mentioned above, you must remember that both of you are sailing in the same boat; your partner is also trying to leave a great first impression.
Relax and deal with the situation as calmly as you can. Don’t think about taking extreme steps like canceling the date. Take it slow, move at your own pace, and try to open up with your partner about this dilemma. If they really like you and are looking forward to having a romantic relationship with you, they will try to make things more comfortable.
It is essential to have an open mind, but it is equally important to focus on your dating partner. Because you are going on a date with him/ her to know more about them, give your thoughts a break, try to stay out of your head and listen to them, maybe they are more interesting than you initially thought.