Fear of Dating (17 Effective Ways To Overcome It)

by April Maccario

Have you ever been asked out by that special someone whom you fantasized about all day; only to get mixed feelings instead of the normal one of excitement? If so, it’s likely your mind started racing with questions like should I call in sick? Should I block his number? How do I politely refuse him? 

Then, it dawns on you that this is becoming a regular occurrence in your life. Oh, dear! I can imagine how worried you must be about what it is that is happening to your love life. For starters, you are not crazy nor are you losing your mind; you simply have a phobia for dating.  

Many people have let their fear of relationships get the best of them and ultimately ruin their chances of a blissful relationship. A significant number of persons in this category do not even realize that this fear is the reason why they are permanently shut out of the dating world. For those still wondering whether they have this phobia, I have highlighted a number of salient signs that will enable you to arrive at a reasonable conclusion.

Why Am I Scared Of Dating? Why The Anxiety Kicks In

1. You Are Overly Choosy In Picking Dates

You find a way of coming up with a thousand and one reasons why you shouldn’t go out with someone. It’s either the guy is too handsome, or too friendly, or talks too much. More so, you frequent a lot of dating sites in search of the perfect date and when you find someone, you find a fault in that person. 

2. You Are Fond Of Not Showing Up At Dates 

Are you so afraid to go on a date, that you fail to show up? You turn off your phone so that you can’t be reached. All efforts by your close friends and family to get into the cab waiting for you outside prove futile. It always ends with one excuse or the other and then the date is called off. 

If this perfectly describes your actions, fret not, there are many people out there just like you. However, be aware that it might hinder your ability to not only find love but also keep long term relationships with people.

3. You Leave Dates Abruptly Without Reason

Let us assume you finally show up at the venue. Your mind starts plotting a quick escape tactic for you. Once it manufactures one, you immediately implement it. It’s always ‘work-related’ or ‘something came up, I have to leave’. The irony of the whole thing is that you abscond from a date even when it is actually going on quite nicely. No one is chasing you but you are always on the run

4. You Are Scared Of Approaching Someone You Like

You meet a guy you like at a fancy restaurant or a bar. Your instincts tell you to approach the person and say ‘hi’ but your fear and anxiety get the better of you. For ladies, it is understandable as you might not want the guy to feel you are too forward or desperate but for guys what’s your excuse? It’s either you are scared of rejection or you are afraid of the unknown. 

5. You Have A Reputation For Ruining Your Relationships

It so happens that you have been the reason why your previous relationships fell through. It could be your manner of talking, your overbearing attitude, your poor culinary skills, or the kind of friends you keep. Now, you feel nobody is capable of coping with you or understanding you. In your mind, this date would certainly end up like the last, so what’s the point of showing up. 

6. You Avoid Social Gatherings 

You make it a point of duty not to attend gatherings that would mean you meeting people. Your argument is based on the claim that social gatherings are not your thing but deep down you feel you might meet someone and then mess it up. You hide behind study, work, and family engagements to miss out on social meetings.

7. You Have So Many Doubts About Yourself

This comes up after the modalities of the date have been settled and it happens mostly with blind dates. You are wondering if you would fit the description he has of you in his head. Perhaps, it’s the fear of what to say or how to respond to a question. Instead of getting caught up in an awkward situation, you dismiss the idea of dating entirely from your mind. 

8. You Are Afraid Things Might Get Intimate Between You Two

Due to ugly experiences, you might have had in the past, maybe rape or sexual abuse, you deliberately steer clear of any sexual activity so as not to open up old wounds. It is also possible your religious beliefs do not permit pre-marital sexual relations. In an attempt not to go against your beliefs and personal principles, you build a wall around your mind that blocks out all dating thoughts from entering in. 

9. Fear Of Commitment

Commitment involves being completely loyal and honest with your partner. The idea of being responsible for another person’s feelings and needs scares you completely. In your mind, you can barely take care of yourself, talk more of someone else. More so, your fear of committing to someone else prevents you from going on dates. You feel trapped when your man starts displaying signs of commitment. 

10. You Love Your Life The Way It Is

You are content with the life you lead, your job, your family, and friends. Getting a boyfriend will definitely disrupt the order of things in your life and you simply can’t have that. The idea that you won’t have time to go for your yoga class or hanging out with friends or whatever it is that you do fuels your fear of going on dates. 

11. You Have Had A Couple Of Bad First Dates

Bad dates have a way of leaving negative memories in one’s head. You had been talking the whole time and you didn’t realize you had food stuck in your front teeth. Such awkward and embarrassing situations tend to mar one’s dating life forever. Anytime you are asked out on a new date, the unpleasant memories of your bad dates discourage you from saying yes. 

12. You Have Heard Tales Of Horrible Dating Experiences

Your girlfriends share their dating stories and it’s always horrible. You get freaked out whenever you have a date planned and you are scared if your case would turn out just the same as the stories you have heard. You’d prefer to remain in your comfort zone than risk going through the same horrible experiences with people you don’t know. 

13. You Are Scared Of Getting Hurt

So it seems you are the commitment kind of person and you wonder if the other person is tailored the same way as you. You are scared you might get too attached after the first date only to discover the feeling is not mutual. In order not to get hurt emotionally, you’d rather remain friends with the individual in question. 

14. You Are Still In Love With Your Ex

Even after breaking up with your ex, you find yourself still very much with the person. At every slight turn, beautiful memories of the time you shared together rushes through your mind. Those bottled up feelings can’t let you give love another chance. You do not even see yourself committing yourself to another relationship whilst still in love with your former partner. 

15. Dating Stresses You Out

Dating is naturally designed to be fun but oftentimes it stresses one out. For me, picking out a lovely dress, fixing my hair and nails get me all worked up. Don’t forget there are constant chatting and texting which can become quite tiring. The thought of carrying out most of these important yet stressful activities discourages most people from the idea of dating. 

16. You Don’t Want To Rush Anything

You’d prefer to see how things play out naturally in the relationship. You are of the opinion that going on a date may seem like you are rushing things. The idea of kissing on the first date doesn’t sound appealing to you so in order not to break the guy’s heart, you favor the idea of being friends for a while. 

17. You Believe In Finding A Soulmate

A lot of us are carried away by the thought of finding the ideal partner or ‘soul mate’. However, this soulmate myth has led many people to turn down genuine proposals over the idea that their perfect partner is on the way. You are scared you might already be committed in a relationship when he/she comes. 

FAQs

What Is The Fear Of Dating Called?

It is called Sarmassophobia and is also regarded as the fear of relationship. This social phobia causes you to be scared of objects, situations, sexual activities, and the persons involved in them. Its adverse effect is far-reaching as it stops you from finding happiness with that special person. 

How Do I Overcome My Fear Of Dating?

Mallory Grimste, a foremost therapist, advocates deep breathing technique in the face of distress. My advice is simple; focus your mind on positive outcomes and try not to dwell on the experiences of past dates. Try to keep your expectations minimal so as not to get disappointed and finally do away with any preconceived notion of finding your soulmate. 

Is It Normal To Be Afraid Of Dating?

Dating can be overwhelmingly scary so yes it’s normal to get scared. Oftentimes the subject of the fear may be about trying not to embarrass yourself, getting your expectations met, and looking the part. Somewhere in between the feeling of excitement is an underlying fear factor that is made evident by being nervous. 

What Is Pistanthrophobia?

Sara Lindberg defines Pistanthrophobia as the fear of getting hurt by your partner in a romantic relationship, whilst Dana McNeil explains that it’s a fear of trusting others that stems from a negative event that took place in a previous relationship. 

What Is The Weirdest Phobia?

This is a tough one for me as there are several unreasonable phobias in the world. Would you believe there is something called Nomophobia? It is the phobia associated with not having access to a mobile phone. I think the weirdest has to be the phobia of having a phobia- Phobophobia. 

To Conclude

For many people, dating can feel like something dreadful. If that’s the case with you, don’t feel bad about it. The whole dating game and love play can be tricky but should not make you feel like a nervous wretch when trying to find a date. With the above steps, you can surely get over it.

I trust that you find this post both helpful and informative. Endeavor to leave your views and questions in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share this post as it might also be of immense help to someone else. 

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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