Dating in the 21st century is not all it’s cracked up to be, but add in suffering from anxiety and it’s a whole different animal.
You meet someone, you give them your number and then you wait. You wait until they decide to text you and when they do, you wait to answer. You craft a perfectly written response, not adding too many Y’s in “hey”, no emojis. But wait! You need to wait a few minutes longer before answering or else they’ll think you’re needy.
You plan a date, you freak out for all the days, hours and minutes before the date begins. You freak out when your date goes to the bathroom. You freak out on the ride home. You absolutely lose it internally if and when they try to kiss you goodnight. But the date is the easy part, right?
Now comes waiting days to text them and playing this ‘game’ that some idiot decided was a good idea. If you give too much, they pull away. If they give too much, don’t feed into it or they’ll think you’re a ‘stage 5 clinger.’
And then the ‘almost relationship’ that everyone seems to be in these days. You’ve gone on a bunch of dates, you’ve hung out pretty often and you think things are great! And then that little voice pops into your head. If you’re like me, you think to yourself ‘Don’t overthink, it’s fine. You guys aren’t dating, just go with the flow.’
The subconscious is a funny thing because it refuses to listen.
Then one day, your little dark cloud of anxiety becomes a storm. You text them and they don’t answer right away, their responses start shortening. You think that you’re annoying them, but is that really what’s happening? Is your anxiety flipping the perspective? Are things actually okay?
So you keep reaching and reaching and over thinking. And then you hang out with them and things are great….but then when you’re out of their presence, the cycle starts all over again.
You’ll make excuses like “it’s just my anxiety”, “I’m just overthinking this like I always do.” If there’s anything I’ve learned from dealing with my anxiety and my love life, it’s this: Treat your anxiety like it’s a gut feeling. If it’s irrational anxiety, let it go. If it’s a feeling that you can’t shake, follow it. If you feel like that person might be seeing someone else, ask. If you still feel that way, follow your gut.
If the love that they’re giving you isn’t extraordinary, let them go. If you suffer from anxiety, you’re going to overthink anyway. But if it isn’t some deafening, once in a lifetime kind of love, it’s not worth it.