13 Ways My Anxiety Has Made Dating More Difficult

Unsplash / Hannah Busing

1. I am afraid to send the first text. I will wait for you to do it. And if you never do, then I will assume that you are not interested in me, that my feelings are one-sided, that you don’t want anything to do with me.

2. I cancel dates that I am excited about. Even when I desperately want to date someone, I will bail on plans because I will freak myself out beforehand. I will worry about what to wear. How to do my hair. What to say. Where we should go. I will end up stressing so much that it will seem easier to cancel than to follow through.

3. I take forever to text back. I have to rewrite texts ten times before sending, because I am always worried about saying the wrong thing. I don’t want to come on too strong and scare you off. But I don’t want to seem indifferent (or boring) and make you think I’m not interested either. I never know the right words to use to make someone like me.

4. I do not think highly of myself. I consider myself annoying, a burden. Even if you have been giving me a million signals that you are interested in me, I will still assume you don’t like me, because I can’t see why anybody would.

5. I am not good at speaking. I stumble over my words. I make sarcastic jokes no one understands. Every conversation feels forced and awkward.

6. I am not good at listening. I will never pay complete attention to what you are saying because I will be too busy worrying whether I am making enough (or too much) eye contact. Either that or I will be worried about what I am going to say in response once you are finished speaking.

7. I read too far into every text message. I will never take what you say at face-value. I will look for hidden meaning inside of your words and drive myself crazy in the process.

8. I don’t like public spaces. And I don’t like crowds. Most date spots, like crowded bars and concert halls, sound like a nightmare to me. I would rather be anyplace else.

9. I am afraid to put myself out there. I expect the worst case scenario to happen every time. I cannot picture a date going well. I picture it ending in disaster. That is why I mostly keep to myself. To protect myself.

10. I look like a bundle of nerves. My hands shake. My voice shakes. When my anxiety is really bad, I actually make myself sick to my stomach.

11. I have trust issues. I am worried about not being enough. I don’t want to be abandoned. I don’t want to have my heart broken. My anxiety convinces me I am unlikable and unworthy of love, which makes relationships hard to sustain.

12. I would rather stay inside. I don’t like leaving the house. I would rather be safe inside my bedroom than venture out on the town.

13. I assume I am going to end up alone. I am not confident when it comes to dating. I do not consider myself a good flirt. I’m used to being alone and assume it will always stay that way. TC mark

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