You may find your mind swirling with worries: Will they like me? Will I like them? Will we have things to talk about?
All of that stress and anxiety from dating can get in the way of making meaningful connections. We'll break down what stress and anxiety from dating looks like, where it comes from, and how to cope with it.
Chances are, you're familiar with stress and anxiety already. We commonly talk about stress and anxiety about major life transitions or critical events, like moving to a new city or interviewing for a new job.
But all of those overwhelmed, worried feelings that come along with stress and anxiety can also be triggered specifically by dating.
Stress and anxiety from dating look different for everyone. But some common signs include:
Ok, so, some of that sounds familiar. But what causes stress and anxiety around dating?
Stress and anxiety from dating isn't the same as having an anxiety disorder. You can have stress and anxiety from dating even if you're super confident and relaxed in most other areas of your life.
If you've had bad dating experiences in the past or felt really hurt by your last breakup, it can impact how you approach dating in the present. You may feel mistrusting of others or nervous about getting hurt again.
Low self-esteem can cause you to see yourself as deficient and in need of another person to "complete" you. It may feel like you need outside validation to feel whole.
Our attachment styles from childhood can continue to influence how we form bonds with others as adults.
Ready to overcome your stress and anxiety from dating? We have 10 tips that will help you approach your dating life with a clear head.
Don't feel obligated to go on a million dates just to say you did - this is a quick way to burn yourself out. Only make plans with people you are genuinely excited to see and who make you feel good.
Instead of obsessing over finding "the one" right away, try to enjoy the process of dating for what it is - an opportunity to get to know yourself better, meet new people, and better clarify what you're looking for in a partner.
Dating doesn't always go smoothly. Confusion about where you stand with someone is common. If you already know someone isn't giving you what you're looking for, know when it's time to let them go. You'll only be freeing yourself up for the right person!
If you're feeling like whatever you're doing just isn't working, try something new! Don't be afraid to try to meet people in new ways (like striking up a conversation in person instead of on an app) or going out with someone outside your usual "type".
If you get pre-date jitters or find yourself deeply unsettled waiting for that follow-up text, use grounding techniques like journaling, meditation, or deep breathing to bring yourself back to earth.
Mindfulness is an excellent tool to help make dating a little less painful. Mindfulness is all about noticing how you feel and being present in the current moment. This simple practice can help you better understand how you feel around someone new or recognize any unhealthy patterns around dating.
If you're truly burnt out to the point where stress and anxiety about dating is impacting other areas of your life, allow yourself to take a break. You can always come back to it later when you're able to be more present and enjoy it.
Dating can be especially stressful if you're feeling directionless. Take some time to reflect on your recent experiences with dating and what you've learned by writing it down in a journal or discussing with a friend.
Confidence in what you're looking for can empower you to walk away when you haven't found it. Healthy relationships won't be a source of stress or anxiety.
While you're dating, it's easy to get so caught up in other people that your relationship with yourself falls to the wayside.
Journaling with a journal app like Jour gives you a space to check in and reflect every day with daily journal prompts personalized to whatever it is you're going through.
At the end of the day, the uncertainty of dating can cause a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives.
If you have stress and anxiety from dating, feeling overwhelmed, canceling plans, or struggling with nerves are common. You may be more prone to stress and anxiety from dating if you have negative past experiences, attachment issues, or low self esteem.
Luckily, there are tools to help. Journaling with Jour can help you calm anxiety and reconnect with yourself, empowering you to form healthier connections.