Anxiety can be crippling when it comes to dating, whether it be feeling intimidated about approaching a guy you’d like to meet, worrying about deepening a connection with an already established dating partner or isolating from gay settings all together to ward off the fears and disappointments of not finding someone.
What all of these scenarios have in common is avoidance, and the more something is avoided, the stronger the “bolt instinct” becomes to where a desired goal is abandoned.
This doesn’t yield growth and happiness, oftentimes leading to a state of stagnation and unfulfillment.
The only way to get what you want is to take a proactive stance, to become a risk taker and “duke it out” with fear head on. The only way out of anxiety is through it.
So how can you go after what you want in dating if you feel paralyzed with anxiety and are immobilized?
Here are some tips to get you started in the right direction:
1. Be in the moment.
Practice relaxation techniques to soothe those nerves and allow you to be more fully present in the moment and courageous.
Whether it be deep breathing, visualization or progressive muscle exercises, these strategies can help decrease your fear so you’ll feel more grounded.
It’s impossible for the body to be physiologically tense and relaxed at the same time.
Commit to learning about these techniques and integrate them into your daily routine to help you gain control over the physical symptoms of anxiety.
2. Create a systematic desensitization hierarchy.
Identify your dating goal, and then brainstorm mini goals or behavioral steps you could initiate that would eventually help you reach your ultimate goal.
Rank them from low-level risk to high-level risk, and then set out to accomplish them rung by rung on the ladder until you get to the top, building in necessary incentives and deadlines to help you stay focused and motivated.
By doing this, you’ll gradually master your anxiety and will be able to track your progress along the way.
“Every time you combat your anxiety, you
will become one day stronger over it.”
3. Cultivate an “I can” mindset.
What we think affects how we feel and act. Anxiety is filled with negative, self-defeating thoughts that can undermine your efforts in dating.
By promoting more positive, optimistic thinking, you’ll set the “law of attraction” in motion by generating experiences that match your mindset and approach to dating.
And be sure to set realistic expectations for yourself along the way.
4. Develop believable coaching statements.
These statements will help you out before, during and after dating situations.
- “I’m not going to let the anxiety win and have power over me.”
- “He’s looking at me and coming over. Breathe and smile and remember this is just a conversation we’re going to have.”
- “I did a great job tonight. I’m proud of myself for taking a risk and coming to this party. Even though I didn’t get a phone number, I accomplished my goal of getting out of the house and trying to have some fun.”
This coping strategy will help you combat the anxiety self-talk and remain grounded and focused on your goals.
These are just a few tricks to help you overcome dating anxiety. They will require practice, consistency and commitment to work effectively.
Every time you combat your anxiety, you will become one day stronger over it, and with perseverance, you will have quieted its influence on you and become more confident.
What are some other strategies that you’ve used to cope with anxiety related to dating and relationships?
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