August 11, 2011 at 10:31 pm EDT | by Meghann Novinskie and Kim Rosenberg
Dating jitters

Getting back out on the dating scene is nerve wracking for most singles.

Anxiety. It’s a word used frequently when beginning a new stage in life and being exposed to new situations and stressors.

Some confront anxiety head on and tackle their problems with experts they’ve hired to work through their specific issues and fears. Others treat their anxieties by self medicating with drugs or alcohol, which can only lead to deeper problems. We love hearing when clients have assessed their level of anxiety, diagnosed it as “self treatable,” and deal with it by applying various methods in self reflection, meditation and understanding the roots of their anxiety. These proactive people typically let go of control, address their issues and move on.

We’ve noticed here at Mixology that dating is very often accompanied by anxiety. Whether you’re fresh out of a 15-year relationship or been single for 10 years and ready to give dating “another go,” dating can be intimidating and cause stress and anxiousness. With so many dating apps, online matching sites, dating coaches and matchmaking agencies to choose from, the idea alone of simply getting back out there can be daunting. Though singles come in all shapes and sizes, we all have some anxiety about dating that ranges from mild to severe.

One of the most common causes of dating jitters? Trying to control the uncontrollable: Reservations made? Check. Favorite shirt dry cleaned? Check. Back up plan for after dinner? Check. Everything seems to be in order. So what are these undeniable jitters you feel? You might be worried that (s)he isn’t going to be good enough for you, which is a huge issue. This type of anxiety is usually the fear of the unknown. You are already measuring up her/his shortcomings as you walk into the date with an air of pretentiousness (when the reality might be that you are living beyond your means to portray the lifestyle you hope to someday afford).

Did you launch your online profile or walk into your matchmaker’s office with a bad attitude and bad style and think that you’ll be introduced to the most eligible bachelor(ette)s? You’re wrong. Quick reality check: if you really trust your “yenta” (either human or algorithm) and you are still wondering if Mr(s). First-Date-Friday-Night is going to be a waste of time, then save everyone’s time and don’t embark on the dating process. If you’re prejudging everyone who your friends/computer/dating coach sets you up with, maybe it’s not an external problem. Perhaps you should take a look inside and take a couple steps back.

Dating means releasing control, being open to possibility. With a negative attitude and heaps of anxiety about a simple date, you might just be lonely and looking for a little action. If this is the case, be honest with your matchmaker and decide to hang out with friends or use online options that have little to no strings attached. Clear your mind and thoughts before you start this journey. As seasoned matchmakers, we know that a little pre-date anxiety is normal, but a bad attitude or “I’m better than (s)he is” is not.

Another common anxiety is the fear of being hurt again. This must simply be overcome by crossing the bridge from ready to taking action. Others subconsciously find ways of hiding behind their online profiles, which can trigger anxiety. Insecurities can trigger all kinds of anxieties — we get it.

But how does one fix this anxiety and end the string of bad dates? First, understand your insecurities about potential rejection.

Dating anxiety, relationship hesitation and pre-date jitters are normal, within reason. Navigating how to act/look/do/react while dating is a challenge for most single adults. We’ve already shaped who we are, so meeting someone that meshes seamlessly into our lives is a huge task. Hiring experts is our best advice — whether this means hiring a dating coach, matchmaker, relationship therapist or style analyst, do it. Investing in yourself will always help you reach your relationship goals.


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