How to Reduce Dating Anxiety Psychology Today

Anxiety disorders are the most common psychological disorder in the U. S. , affecting 68 percent of the adult population. Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is the third-most-common psychological disorder, affecting 65 million men and women in the U. The DSM-5 defines social anxiety as the persistent fear of one or more situations in which the person is exposed to possible scrutiny by others and fears that he or she may do something or act in a way that will be humiliating or embarrassing. Those who are shy, if not socially anxious, tend to experience social situations in a more reserved, tense and uncomfortable manner, especially when meeting new people. Dating is typically a situation where people feel scrutinized, have to meet new people, and may fear they'll do something embarrassing. In this way, dating only adds fuel to the anxiety fire.

5 Ways to Overcome Dating Anxiety Scientific American

Rife with opportunities for awkward conversations and infinite unknown factors -- Will she show up? Will he like me? What do I say? What if I say too much?

What if I spill my drink? Get rejected? -- dating often is seen as overwhelmingly scary and decidedly unappealing. This type of anxiety and shyness leads to avoidance of meeting new people, as well as a sense of isolation and hopelessness about the prospect of finding a suitable partner.

Tips to Relax and Have Fun When You Have Dating Anxiety

Despite the high incidence of anxiety disorders, adults often don't seek treatment until years of suffering with the disorder have passed, if they seek treatment at all. Because anxiety disorders typically start in early adolescents or pre-teen years, it can be hard to recognize anxiety disorders. And anxiety left untreated often leads to developing comorbid disorders, such as depression. People may assume it's normal to feel the type of anxiety they experience, or believe the anxiety is something that can't be treated.

Knowing there were treatments that could (and did) help them gain confidence and a new perspective, I felt compelled to write a book about the skills that help people get past social anxiety. Single, Shy and Looking for Love: A Dating Guide For The Shy and Socially Anxious describes these evidence-based techniques. This means that for both men and women, couples with high EI tended to be happier in their love life together.

Monitor and understand one's own emotions, rather than push emotions away or ignore them8. Harness emotions to problem-solve or to help improve the current situation9. Listen, tune into, and accurately perceive the feelings of your date5. Show empathy and create a connection through shared experiences with your date.

Need help? In the U. , call 6-855-778-8755 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

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