The thought of dating can be scary for many people. It can be especially difficult for those who suffer from anxiety disorders. Often, these feelings can become debilitating and prevent them from enjoying a happy love life.
If you’re worried about how you’ll look during your date or if you’ve come up with more excuses than you can count to cancel, you may be experiencing relationship anxiety. The good news is that it does go away.
1. It’s a normal part of the process
Anxiety is a normal part of the dating process, and many people struggle with it. If you’re experiencing extreme anxiety before a date or other aspects of the relationship, it may be worth speaking to a health care professional.
A common cause of anxiety in a dating relationship is a fear of rejection. This can be a result of previous hurtful experiences in relationships or an insecurity around being loved.
Having a positive attitude can help ease the feelings of anxiety. Try to remember that your date is also likely feeling the same way. Make sure to take good care of yourself before a date, such as eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. You can also try journaling about your feelings before the date to see if it helps to relieve the tension. Also, it’s important to set realistic expectations, as you might have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding your prince.
2. It’s a normal part of relationships
You may feel a little anxiety at the beginning of a new relationship. However, if this is a constant feeling and interferes with your ability to function, it’s time to seek help.
Anxiety can lead to fear of rejection, which can cause you to avoid important milestones like having sex or saying “I love you.” This can keep the relationship from progressing and can even damage the connection you have with your partner.
If you find yourself constantly worrying about your partner and overanalyzing their actions, this is a sign that you have some relationship anxiety. Some examples of this include thinking your significant other is avoiding holding hands, or that they don’t want to move in together because they really love their old living room set.
Anxiety can also make you overvalue minor differences in your relationship, such as having different tastes in music or movies. Overcome this by reminding yourself that those differences are just part of what makes you and your partner unique.
3. It’s a normal part of life
If you have a hard time opening up to strangers, you’re not alone. Dating anxiety is experienced by people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations. It’s normal to have butterflies in your stomach pre-a date and to be nervous, but you don’t have to let it stop you from pursuing love and building relationships.
If the thoughts of rejection or insecurity linger and don’t subside, seek help. Getting a mental health evaluation and engaging in therapy (like cognitive behavioral or dialectical behavior) can help shift negative self-talk, reduce symptoms of anxiety and improve your overall quality of life.
Anxiety can also cause people to avoid important relationship steps like having sex or saying “I love you.” Hafeez says early relationship anxiety can show up as resentment of your partner for working late or taking their friends out, bringing up vacations or events months in advance, and constantly checking their phone to see if they’re thinking about you.
4. It’s a normal part of dating
It’s natural to feel anxiety about your relationship, especially when it’s new. But you can take steps to manage it, which will help you feel better and have a more successful love life.
Dating isn’t always easy for people with anxiety. They may worry about what their date will think of them or struggle to talk about themselves. It’s also common for them to overthink everything that could go wrong in a relationship. This can lead to feelings of shame, which may increase anxiety in other areas of their lives.
Experts say that it’s important to remember that dating anxiety is normal, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. Managing your anxiety and knowing when to seek help can make all the difference in your life. You can learn to overcome it with treatment, practice, and a willingness to try new things. You can also find strength in your abilities that are helpful in other aspects of your life.