Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Keith in Greenville, North Carolina. This is a very weird question asking you guys, but I get insanely anxious when I like someone. Sounds weird, right? But I just get anxiety when I like someone.
Well, first of all, it’s not that weird. Feeling attracted to someone, being infatuated or in love is a very emotional and passionate experience. Being in love will produce a chemical bath in your body. Your body will release stress and attachment hormones and catecholamines, which are a family of neurotransmitters associated with arousal and reward, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
Our thinking brains, or frontal lobe, will go offline and are emotional brain, or limbic system, will take over. This is regarded as a pleasurable experience by most, although it has certainly been known to lead to a loss of judgment, lack of consideration of consequences, and regrettable decisions.
For some, the chemical response that I’ve just outlined above can be so intense that it’s paralyzing. This is the freeze component of what’s called the fight-flight or freeze response. Our body’s involuntary response to what we perceive as a threat, so being in love is a threat? Certainly, it is the threat of rejection, of heartbreak, of misplaced trust, of vulnerability; there are multiple threats here. In order to love, these are the risks that you just have to take. The alternative is to either be alone or have a series of lukewarm shallow relationships without a good emotional investment.
If the feelings of anxiety are truly paralyzing and they’re preventing you from establishing relationships, then it may be time to seek professional advice.