Overcoming Dating Anxiety: Strategies for Building Confidence and Finding Love
After I split from my husband, it was hard to open up to people. I was guarded and unwilling to leave my comfort zone to meet new potential partners. I often fed myself an internal script about there being limited options.
I feared what options would be available to a divorced woman with a child, so I avoided getting back out there. This way, I didn’t have to deal with potential disappointment and rejection.
In short, I was experiencing dating anxiety. After having been off the market for over a decade, I felt lost in an ever-changing dating landscape.
Dating anxiety is a common experience for many people, especially those new to dating or who have had negative dating experiences. It’s that feeling of nervousness or apprehension that arises before, during, or after a date.
This anxiety can manifest in various ways, including physical symptoms such as sweating or trembling, racing thoughts or negative self-talk, or avoid dating altogether.
One of the primary causes of dating anxiety is a fear of rejection. This fear can be exacerbated by past experiences of rejection or abandonment, making it difficult to trust others and feel confident in oneself. Many people feel vulnerable and exposed when dating, as they put themselves out there and risk rejection.
Another factor contributing to dating anxiety is the pressure to make a good impression. Whether it is a first date or a long-term relationship, we often desire to be liked and accepted by our partners.
This pressure can create a sense of performance anxiety, leading to increased stress and self-doubt.
There is also the disappointment of the preliminary interest not being reciprocated or growing into a healthy relationship.
Eventually, my desire to connect with someone new led me to give myself some hard love and realize that I would never meet someone staying at home all the time and avoid dating. To think otherwise was magical thinking.