Yes, I can provide some tips for dealing with dating anxiety. Dating anxiety is the extreme fear of going on a date. But dating anxiety is more than a fear of dating. It is the fear of being embarrassed on a date. You are self-conscious if you are worthy enough or good looking enough or smart enough or interesting enough to your date. On a deeper emotional level, you may have a fear of intimacy, as you don’t want to be vulnerable and hurt by a relationship gone sour.
You may have dating anxiety if you have extreme nervousness and the following on a date:
- Mind “blanks out”; speechless
Your mind may blank out as the anxiety is so severe that you can’t think, remember, or even talk.
- Negative thinking
You may be thinking “I’m not good looking enough” or “I’m too boring.”
- Physical symptoms
During a date, you are so nervous, that your heart beats rapidly and is pounding; you are sweating profusely; you start to get short of breath; you are nauseous or have butterflies in the stomach.
Dating anxiety is a type of performance anxiety, where you are fearful of being embarrassed when having to perform in front of people. Performance anxiety, in turn, is a type of social phobia, where there is fear of social scrutiny.
One tip to address dating anxiety is to change your negative thinking, or negative self-talk. When on a date, if you tell yourself: “I’m not good-looking enough” or “I’m too boring,” you will feel nervous and anxious. If you change your thinking to: “I took time to look good” and “I have interesting things to say,” then you will feel calm. And as the date progresses, you will turn this positive reframing into the confidence boost you need to have a great time on your date.
Another tip to decrease anxiety is to do relaxation techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mind-body exercises such as yoga and tai chi.
Once you are able to have some stability with your feelings so that you are not so nervous, then you can really start to be attuned with your date. A successful date is about an emotional connection, where you are aware of your date’s emotions and can empathize with them via shared experiences. If you are too anxious on a date, then you never get attuned to your date’s feelings. Being aware of your own feelings and your date’s feelings is what makes a date successful. The only way to overcome dating anxiety is to get out there and practice! Try these tips, with the goal of having an emotional connection on a date.