If you’re in a dating “drought” or nervous about the thought of getting back into the dating jungle, it can result in a great deal of anxiety and fear. We know it’s not easy, and we also know that in order to find love you can’t let that fear stop you from getting into action. Life is at hand; the journey begins now! Dating with Dignity has some ideas on how to you can channel your dating anxiety into an action-packed night.
So, to begin, what can you do to feel more confident for the journey?
1. Channel your dating anxiety into a “me first” project.
Anxiety is something akin to “fear without breath,” and remembering to stay present is the key. Anxiety comes from futurizing and/or catastrophizing; putting yourself in the future causes you to worry, over-analyze past mistakes, and live in regret and remorse about the past. Living in the future and having anxiety about it gives you time to make assumptions that the bad past you had is going to repeat itself.
Ask yourself this question: MUST this happen again? How likely is it, really? Have you changed? Has your life changed? Is this new guy EXACTLY like your ex who dumped you unexpectedly? Your brain takes past experiences and then goes into protection mode to protect you from imagined future hurts. This is causing the anxiety and keeping you stuck.
The key is to stay in the present — NOW — and realize you have a choice to create a brand new experience of dating. You are a new you. It’s a new time. (And not every single guy out there is like your ex!)
2. Learn new skills.
The good news is that it’s 2015 and there are so many options for meeting new people. Get familiar with new dating technologies! Find out how online dating works or join a new Meetup.com group if you prefer to simply start a new activity to meet new people. Learn a new language, further your knowledge of wine or food, or even sign up at your local gym or Y for a new fitness class. Try joining a dating site; you can even think of it as a social experiment.
Getting yourself out there, even if it’s just to make new friends, will help ease you into a new anxiety-free lifestyle. Even if it feels uncomfortable, DO IT. Remember that to get a different result, you must change a thought, feeling or action. And often, “faking it until you make it” by engaging in new activities where you can be whomever you want to be (Consider walking into the room by adopting your hot alter ego.) can catapult your confidence!
3. Define your non-negotiables.
One of the biggest obstacles that most Dignity Daters find is gaining clarity on what it is you’re really looking for in a partner. Let go of your “list.” Throw it in the trash or, better yet, burn it. Start fresh by defining your non-negotiables or deal breakers and then limit the list to five character traits rather than characteristics (eg., family values vs. good dad).
You can start to create this new list by identifying what you need in a new relationship and not worrying about being “high maintenance.” Rather than creating the list from the place of what you didn’t get in your last relationship (a negative approach based on fear), consider creating the list of what you WANT instead (a positive approach based on opportunities for ideal partnership).
We feel confident you aren’t high maintenance, so aim high! Shedding your anxiety is easy when you’re equipped with the right list of what you’re looking for. Putting yourself in the position of choosing him (rather than hoping he chooses you) will uplevel your confidence, raise your attraction factor, and reduce anxiety dramatically. If you need a little help figuring out what that list is, don’t worry — there’s actually an easy, step-by-step process I’ve developed that will help you home in on the One.
4. Practice, practice, practice.
One of the best ways to overcome dating anxiety is to practice catching yourself in the future or past. Then, STOP the thought by creating a pattern interrupt. Go for a walk, call a friend, etc. Then take a deep BREATH. And then ask yourself what’s really going on. Connect to your true feelings and understand from where they’re coming. The idea is to move through the experience rather than around it by going into your intellect rather than your feelings.
Writing in a journal can help you convey your feelings to yourself about why you’re truly feeling so anxious. Talking with a professional (such as a therapist) or even starting with the D-Factor is integral in the process of catching yourself in your anxiety and figuring out how to move forward.
Remember that at one time or another, we’ve all experienced dating anxiety. Making mistakes is part of the process, but Marni and the team at Dating with Dignity are here to help make sure you don’t repeat them. Here’s to you and your continued future success in dating! Start overcoming your dating anxiety right here, today.
Thank you for reading! NOW – Click here to learn how to become perpetually irresistible – and attract and keep a high-quality man!