Someone with Anxiety is a bit like a wild animal. What I mean is this: put them in a new environment and their instincts kick in, regardless if the instincts are necessary. You might panic. Or start sweating. You might desperately want to find an exit route. Wish you weren’t there. Feel twitchy. Miserable. Sick to your stomach. Imagine a raccoon suddenly thrown in the backseat of a car: he’ll probably go apeshit.
Here’s what I always tell myself in new situations: wait it out.
The problem with dating with anxiety is you put off even the smallest steps because it’s terrifying and exhausting. It’s easier to just stay in your world of certainty and routine. I know, even weeks and months into dating someone new, I’ve often longed for the days when I didn’t have to think about anyone else. But I tell myself to wait. Just breath. Wait.
It’s important to push yourself a little to try new things, because then you can remind yourself to wait and see if you’ll eventually adjust. If that raccoon in the back of the car had a bowl of food, some water, a nice blanket to sleep on, he’d probably eventually take a nap. So take a new step, feel all the fear and panic, but then see if you’ll adjust. And that will allow you to take another small step. Then another.
The few first dates I’ve had, because I felt so stressed out the entire time, I left them convinced the guy and myself had no chemistry. But I didn’t act on those thoughts for a few days. Instead of texting him the minute I got home saying “thanks, but no thanks” I just waited. And I realized it was my anxiety pushing me away from the situations, not so much the guys. I convinced myself to try and go on second dates. The next few times were a little (not a lot) more relaxed and I had (slightly) better times. For someone with anxiety, that’s all I could hope for.
Be the raccoon. Freak out. Then wait and look around. ..maybe it’s not as scary as you first think.