Happy black woman and man drinking wine on a date

How to Handle Dating Anxiety


It’s normal to have jitters early on in a relationship, but if you are feeling anxiety about dating to an extent that it’s impacting your daily life, this may be a sign of underlying issues. While everyone feels nervous about meeting someone new, anxiety disorder causes intense feelings of fear and unease that can interfere with a healthy relationship. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to alleviate these feelings and feel confident and comfortable with your potential match.

Dating anxiety can be caused by a wide variety of factors. For example, it could be due to past negative relationships, or it can simply be a result of social anxiety. Other reasons for dating anxiety may include a fear of getting hurt, FODA (fear of open relationships), or other psychological conditions such as social phobia, OCD, and avoidant personality disorder.

Many people who experience anxiety about dating find it helpful to work with a therapist who can help them manage their symptoms. BetterHelp has over 20,000 licensed therapists who provide convenient and affordable online therapy, starting at just $65 per week. Take a free online assessment to see if you are matched with the right therapist for you.

One of the most common ways to deal with dating anxiety is to practice mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and deep breathing exercises, to calm your symptoms in the moment. You can also practice self-compassion, which is the process of forgiving and comforting yourself when you have difficult emotions. This can be especially helpful during a stressful situation, such as a first date.

Another way to reduce your anxiety about dating is to have a game plan in place if something goes wrong. This can be as simple as making sure you’re dressed appropriately, or it can be more complex like figuring out what you will do if you are late for your date. “It’s always good to have a backup plan,” Nickerson says. “It’s more calming knowing you have a way out.”

Often, the anxiety people experience online dating is connected to feelings of low self-esteem. They may assume their new partner will judge them harshly or be judgmental, so they hide parts of themselves in order to prevent these concerns from coming up. They may also feel that if a date doesn’t go well, it will be their own fault.

To combat this, it is important to remember that you deserve a loving and healthy relationship. The right person will accept you just as you are, anxieties and all. If you aren’t able to find this person in the dating world, it’s okay, because the right relationship is out there somewhere for you. So don’t give up! Take your time and find the right person for you, and when you do, you’ll be glad you took the risk. You are worth it.

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