Description: This Guest Post from Mrs. Green explores anxiety and dating. Anxiety is becoming more prevalent among adults. Even if you don’t have anxiety, chances are you’ve met or dated someone with this disorder. The following article shows you how to ease dating anxiety or support a partner with anxiety.
Feelings of unworthiness, constant arguments, and the fear of breaking up are enough reasons to shun dating. It is even worse for anxiety patients struggling with shyness, low self-esteem, and social phobia. Although reading the best dating sites review may eliminate the pressure of meeting new people, you need to manage your anxiety to enjoy the relationship. Here is how to cope with dating anxiety.
1. Mindfulness to Calm Dating Anxiety
Mindfulness is one of the ways to overcome anxiety while dating. It is about concentrating on the present without judgment. Mindfulness prevents disappointment since you see your lover as they are instead of who you expect them to be or how things could go wrong. Mindfulness also aligns your intentions with your partner’s because you’re more open about your values and needs.
Moreover, mindfulness encourages vulnerability to create intimacy. There are several ways to become more aware in your relationship, for instance, checking your emotions. You do not have to cling to everyone who shows interest. Being neutral about your date lets you know them objectively without being blinded by emotions.
We are not saying you should be uptight. Be open to the possibility of finding a partner in your date. Even if you are not compatible, meeting them is an opportunity to enjoy yourself. From excitement and empathy to anger and frustration, you will experience numerous sensations during your date. The best way to combat first date anxiety is acknowledging these feelings rather than reacting to them. You can also adopt relaxation strategies like deep breathing, journaling, and meditation before the meeting.
2. Communicate Your Anxiety
Honesty is the foundation of how to date with anxiety. Do not hide your feelings when you become tense during a date. Concealing your anxiety only worsens it. Likewise, keeping your anxiety to yourself prevents you from enjoying the date. Though you should answer your crush’s questions honestly, do not overshare. Premature revelations communicate your anxiety and create false intimacy. For example, do not talk about previous relationships if your partner has not asked.
Instead, tell your crush you are feeling nervous without worrying about judgment. Being harsh on yourself does not mean others perceive you that way. Your date might understand what relationship anxiety is and offer reassurance. Additionally, avoid complaining unless your crush offends you. Lamenting means you are still in pain from past experiences, hence, not ready for a relationship. As such, you need time to regain your joy.
Again, do not be sorry about your anxiety. Like other mental disorders, anxiety is not anything to be ashamed of. A better approach is mentioning your anxiety triggers after getting close to your partner. Your significant other may be empathetic, but consider therapy for unmanageable anxiety cases.
3. Practice “Dating”
The practice is one of the secrets about dating with anxiety. Talking to people you are not attracted to provides the courage to communicate with those you like. For instance, you can initiate small talk with waiters, store attendants, and strangers on buses and trains. While at it, smile, maintain eye contact and strive to understand the other person’s views. Do not be afraid to date the people you bond with. To avoid sharing your attention with many people, have one partner at a time.
Even if the relationships fail, experiencing different personalities enhances self-discovery and reveals your ideal partner’s qualities. This goes together with pursuing like-minded individuals. For example, ask friends to connect you with someone who shares your interests. What is more, confront your anxiety by honoring dinner and birthday invitations. In case you love painting, attending art exhibitions increases your chances of meeting potential suitors.
Furthermore, be confident. You are not the only one in the room with anxiety; neither is your tension evident to other people. Another option is registering for online dating for an anxious person and including your ideal partner’s traits.
4. Prepare for your date
You can reduce your discomfort by participating in planning the date. Suggest a nearby location if you are skeptical about going far from home. You could also organize a double date if you are scared of being alone with your partner. Again, go to the venue alone if you do not want your crush to pick you at home.
Do not forget about conversation ideas to avoid awkward silences. For example, you can ask about your date’s favorite band, book, and TV show. Similarly, create time for your anxiety. For instance, you could worry from 8 to 8:30 PM daily. Furthermore, rank each situation according to your anxiety level. On a scale of one to ten, one means mild anxiety, while ten signals severe panic attacks.
From missing the train to arguing with your significant other, record your anxiety triggers regardless of the magnitude. This way, you can gauge your reaction if you reencounter the triggers. Eventually, you will worry all the time. Likewise, you learn how to relieve your anxiety with dating someone and control your emotions throughout the day.
5. Embrace Rejection to ease dating anxiety
Your anxiety will make you wonder why someone turned you down and how to fix the situation. But you do not have to change for others to accept you. Respect everyone’s choices without feeling like you did something wrong. After all, you cannot find your perfect match if everyone thinks you are right for them.
On the other hand, do not feel guilty when you say no to someone. The rejection may hurt them at first, but they will be grateful you did not play with their feelings in the long term. What is more, reject them in person.
Unlike emails and texts, face-to-face meetings reveal your tone and body language, so your partner knows you are serious. You also get the chance to wish them well in their dating life. Most importantly, avoid blaming the other person for the end of the relationship. Linking the rejection to your partner’s inadequacies heightens their anxiety and makes the situation more hurtful.
Dating with Anxiety
Dating may be hard for anxiety patients, but it is worth it. For starters, healthy relationships reduce insomnia, stress, and heart attacks. Besides taking you to the doctor when you are unwell, your partner encourages you to eat clean and exercise. Similarly, caring for someone else diverts attention from your problems. Do you or your significant other suffer from anxiety? Share tips on loving someone with anxiety in the comment section below.
Mrs. Green is a family photographer, and writes about relationship psychology. She’s a wife and a mother of two adorable kids who won’t get bored even for a minute. She completed a photography course in college. She’s passionate about photography and writing. She loves personality psychology and to help the couples with advice on the relationship.