The thought of meeting a stranger on the Internet face-to-face in order to see if there’s a romantic connection feels like an automatic hard NO. It’s too awkward if one or both of you aren’t interested, and you cringe at the idea of sitting there when you already know you never want to see this person again.
Also, what if he’s a criminal?!
Or, you make it to the point where an actual plan is in place, and right before the date, your eyes feel heavy….Cue your brain saying, “SLEEP is what I actually need—NOT a man!”
Or perhaps you aren’t even aware of your dating anxiety…
You just tell yourself and the world that you’re “SO BUSY!,” but if you somehow organically meet the right person, you’d be open to it.
Here’s the good news:
Dating anxiety is SO normal!
I actually think it’s weird to NOT experience any.
Especially when we start to actually like the person.
Naturally, my clients want to make their dating anxiety go away, but here’s why that doesn’t work:
When you’re searching for your person, your desire is high, combined with the fear of getting hurt, as well as the fear of being judged, (especially if you’ve experienced rejection and ridicule in past relationships) so OF COURSE, your brain is going to feel anxious when you put yourself out there again.
So, what I want to offer is that when your dating anxiety inevitably arises, you learn how to MANAGE it, versus get rid of it.
So, here are 5 ways to manage your dating anxiety—NOT get rid of it:
1. Accept that anxiety is a part of the process.
When you allow the anxiety to be there, you are more inclined to keep the love search going, versus indulge the anxiety, react off of it, and then decide to not go after what you actually want—TRUE LOVE!
Pinpoint what is actually making you so anxious.
Dating anxiety will be different for everyone, so figure out what exactly is causing YOU to freak out.
Are you afraid you’ll be rejected? Are you resistant to putting in precious time to a bunch of people who end up being no’s? Scared all of the good ones are gone? Cultivating awareness on what the actual cause of your dating anxiety is can often diffuse it simply by getting to the root of it.
Manage the reason why you’re so anxious.
Insecure about your looks or your current financial status? Worried you’ll miss some major red flags? This step might seem contradictory, because on the one hand, I’m suggesting that you accept your anxiety in step one, but on the other, you do have the opportunity to practice new ways to manage whatever it is that’s specifically making you feel anxious.
For example, if you’re worried someone won’t like you for you, your work is to learn how to love YOU for you—not morph yourself into someone you’re not in the hopes that they’ll be interested in you. Or, if you’re over going on a bunch of dates with lame people who you think wasted your time, I’d suggest reconnecting with your desire to find love and see if you can shift your thoughts on whether or not it’s true that someone you’re ultimately not interested in ACTUALLY wasted your time.
Perhaps, remembering your “why” behind your search for love inspires a willingness to go on 200 dates in order to find your person. (No—200 is not a typo!)
4. Be willing to accept disappointment on your dating journey.
Be willing to accept disappointment on your dating journey. Right before the first date with my boyfriend, I was feeling very anxious, and I got clear on why. My thought was, “I really want him to like me and I really want to like him!”
My brain was putting a lot of pressure on this first date because the build-up was so positive, so I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” And what I came to was, “We’re not into each other and then I experience disappointment…Oh! I can do that!
I’m for sure willing to experience disappointment in order to find my RIGHT person.” I still ACCEPTED that I was anxious before the date, but I managed it by pinpointing what was making me anxious, and then consciously worked through it WITHOUT needing it to go away, but the irony here is that it did help dissipate the anxiety!
5. Remember that dating can still be fun!
Don’t forget that you are looking for LOVE! Love is EXCITING. Blissful. Magical. FUN. Even if they don’t end up being your person, you may still have a great story for the books or a learning lesson you didn’t know you needed that ultimately leads you to the RIGHT person.
You DO have the ability to tap into FUN energy. What feels fun for you? What topics of conversation are fun? Does dressing up for date night feel fun? If so, buy or borrow a cute top or dress. Pick a fun place to meet up!
When you make your dating journey fun, you will ATTRACT FUN, and even better, you’ll for sure dissipate some of the natural anxiety you’re experiencing in the process.
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