Anxiety disorders affect 40 million people in the United States alone. It is the most common group of mental illnesses in the country. However, only 36.9 percent of people with an anxiety disorder receive treatment.
Anxiety is a common emotion. However, it could develop into a medical disorder if a person experiences excessive levels of anxiety regularly. Many anxiety disorders cause extreme nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worry. These disorders affect 40 million people in the U.S, which makes them one of the most prevalent mental disorders in the nation. Unfortunately, only 36.9% of individuals with anxiety disorders seek treatment. Others may never get a diagnosis or do little to identify symptoms and receive treatment.
What is Dating Anxiety?
When someone experiences excessive anxieties or fears before, during, or after a date, we refer to it as dating anxiety. While some degree of nervousness is typical when meeting someone new, dating anxiety is more severe and pervasive.
This type of anxiety can make an individual feel uncomfortable and nervous. However, it may also affect other parts of a person’s life and even cause them to avoid dating entirely.
Dating anxiety manifests physically as trembling, perspiration, and an elevated heart rate. In addition, affected individuals experience recurring negative emotions of humiliation, rejection, and embarrassment.
Many questions keep troubling people with dating anxiety. For example:
Will she come? Will he like me? Do I say anything? How much is too much to say? What if my drink spills? What if I get turned down?
This anxiety and shyness make people avoid meeting new people and feel lonely and despairing about finding a compatible mate.
Note that dating anxiety is not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
This type of anxiety often has links to:
- trauma from previous relationships
- poor self-worth or lack of confidence
- shyness and withdrawal
- attaching in a nervous or avoidant manner
- fear of rejection, humiliation, and judgment
- worries for one’s safety
- chronic medical conditions
- abandonment concerns
- inexperience in dating
- Genetics, as individuals are more prone to develop an anxiety condition if they have relatives with the same disorder.
- Side effects of any medication or a lengthy recovery
- Brain chemistry since psychologists believe many anxiety illnesses are due to hormonal and electrical signal imbalances in the brain.
- Withdrawal from a drug of abuse
How to Overcome Dating Anxiety
Luckily, overcoming dating anxiety is possible in many ways. You can talk to your friends, find a girl for one night stand dating, seek treatment from a health practitioner, or reach out to your family. But, of course, you should also examine the root cause of your anxiety.
So, without further ado, are some ways to overcome dating anxiety so you can start dating without fears or nervousness.
Understanding Your Anxiety
Research from 2015 indicates that masking your anxiety symptoms may make them worse. The sooner you acknowledge this problem, the better it is for your dating life. That’s because you won’t shy away from the situation and will start finding ways to deal with it.
When dealing with dating anxiety symptoms, it helps to practice emotional-release techniques. In addition, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation and breathing exercises can provide significant relief.
Here is how you can practice emotional release techniques. First, create an image that eliminates your negative feelings. For instance, imagine that you are removing negative thoughts such as worries and fears from your body and mind. Before you release these thoughts, give them different names, colors, or shapes. Imagine packing them into a suitcase and taking them to a deserted forest or an island. Experience this send-off as if it is happening in real life. Now smile and wave goodbye.
Setting boundaries lets those around you know what is acceptable and what is not. They’re also crucial for preserving your mental health.
You can express some expectations on the first date, but recognizing and upholding your limits will help establish clearly defined rules.
Identify Needs and Values
You should outline your dating goals, values, and needs to understand what you want from your dating experience. Then, you can choose between long-term commitment and casual dating and set clear physical and emotional boundaries.
With self-disclosure, a person can progressively develop trust and connection. That happens when someone shares their personal information with another person.
According to 2016 research, increased self-disclosure reduces social anxiety and boosts the desire to reconnect. That means that people dealing with dating anxiety should be honest about themselves when dating.
People can control their emotions and amend unproductive habits by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness exercises allow individuals to reflect on their mental and emotional states without reacting to them or becoming overly attached.
You may also utilize breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation techniques to focus on your inner self and the present moment.
To practice self-love, a person should learn to accept, love, and forgive himself after an unfortunate incident. Practicing self-love means taking care of your physical and emotional state without holding yourself accountable or feeling guilty. Since it will improve your self-confidence, you will feel more relaxed while dating.
Enjoy a Break
Some individuals, asexual or aromantic, may experience dating pressure due to cultural or familial expectations. In this situation, a person can opt to take a break. In addition, some people may want to take time off to concentrate on their professional and personal objectives.
Compared to normal nervousness, dating anxiety involves more severe and enduring feelings of fear and worry. People can look at the underlying factors that produce the disorder and take proactive steps to deal with them to lessen dating anxiety. If dating anxiety affects a person’s mental health, they may find it helpful to discuss it with a healthcare provider.