Dealing with Anxiety While Dating
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Dealing with Anxiety While Dating
It's no secret that online dating sites and apps are valuable platforms for meeting new people. It’s very common though, for many single men and women to feel uncomfortable and anxious with this process given the uncertainty that surrounds this process.
Things like being ghosted, rejection, and getting your hopes up with the pre-meetup online interactions and chats, only to find out you’re not a match and there’s zero chemistry once you finally meetup in real life. The online dating scene is full of highs and lows.
Does anxiety effect the way you approach dating? It’s how you talk your way through this that will either bring relief or discomfort. You may not yet even realise that your efforts to stop feeling anxious about dating can bring on unnecessary anxiety causing you more harm than good.
For many people, attempting to bury or not accepting your anxious thoughts can only make this problem compound more and more. Some people also make the mistake of making too much contact with their new online friend before the date actually happens. A crush can easily develop before you’ve even met them.
This behaviour is bound to push the other person away, it sends out a red flag that you’re clingy and insecure or lack confidence. Don’t make the mistake of pushing them away by controlling your impulsive emotions so you don’t push them away before you’ve even met each other in real life.
How will you deal with those moments when you’re nervously sitting and waiting at a café wondering if your date will actually show up, or you are obsessively watching your mobile phone hoping and waiting for a text message to come through from someone you like? What measures will you take to not be so anxious during some of the low moments that come with online dating?
Experience your emotions and feelings
Try not to judge your emotions. By understanding your emotions, come to terms that these feelings are not necessarily right or wrong, good or bad. There is certainly nothing at all wrong by feeling anxious when it comes to dating, it’s actually very normal for most people. So, don’t judge yourself simply because you’re feeling anxious.
Think about the following questions and see if you can relate: What message is this feeling trying to tell me? What lessons am I trying to learn with these feelings? What parts of these feelings need extra attention? Decide which parts of these feelings are out of balance.
Once you have determined the answers to these questions, you’ll be better equipped to manage and resolve these emotions and feelings and can accept that this is normal when it comes to feeling anxious about the dating scene.
Tell yourself you can deal with any outcomes
It’s completely normal to not hear back from some of the people you’ll be messaging. So, don’t feel disappointed, it’s more likely they didn’t get back to you due to other circumstances, of which there are many factors. From time to time you’ll feel those disappointing emotions will fade quite quickly.
Feelings will develop and evolve, and you’ll get used to these types of feelings as you further navigate the online dating scene. Sometimes you’ll feel down on yourself about how many first dates don’t develop into second dates, it’s normal. Keep a positive attitude and keep remembering that’s it’s difficult to make emotional connections with most people in the real world so always maintain a hopeful attitude.
Learn to be comfortable with uncertainty
Everything in life is uncertain, online dating is no exception. Although using dating apps puts you in vulnerable positions, the risk is worth the reward. Your mind will constantly be thinking about the “what-if’s” but if you don’t get a handle on this, your dating experiences will start to feel exhausting.
Keep telling yourself that the fears you are worrying about aren’t actually happening to you, it’s mostly your imagination and will most likely never eventuate anyway. If you make the decision to avoid dating entirely just because you’ve had a few setbacks, you need to get things back into focus and dust yourself off for a new opportunity.
Don’t neglect your life outside of the dating apps
In order to keep your emotional well-being in check, maintaining a healthy life out of the internet is an absolute must! If you are spending unhealthy amounts of time obsessing about your online crush, or constantly waiting to hear back from him or her, you may start to spiral into a darker place or even depression.
Make sure you are developing and investing in yourself. Investing in your time with online dating needs to be one of your biggest priorities, however, taking the time to improve your personal goals and interests outside of dating apps must hold the same importance of online dating.
Focus on the things that you can control
You don’t need me to tell you that we can’t control every aspect of life, and dating is no exception. However, there is certainly a lot that we can control! For one, you can control things like the frequency of how often you communicate with your new friend, those who you decide to initiate contact with and who you will actually choose to meet up with in real life.
Other things your can control within your dating journey are the logistics, such as places you decide to meet your date at, things to wear and the amount of time in which each date lasts. By reminding yourself about the things you can control will make a big difference in controlling your levels of anxiety.
Just because your date may not be interested in you does not mean there’s anything wrong with you
Not at any point should you consider yourself to be inadequate or unworthy just because you’ve had a few misses with online dating, there will likely be many more misses along the way. 34% of the worlds adult population remain single, so just because you are, doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
It’s very normal to experience anxiety with dating, but there are many solutions to better help manage this. One important aspect to take away from this article, is thinking about the word “fear” Fear is the biggest emotion that holds us back with any decision making in life. Including dating. Through managing your fears and overcoming them to some degree, you will be able to approach dating feeling more empowered and confident.
One last thing, if you can start living your life and stop worrying about what other people think about what you do, your life will change for the better from every angle.