Do you feel overwhelmed with dating stress? Do you find yourself going on dates but not connecting with the right people? Experiencing mood swings, feeling frustrated, angry, and lonely? Dating stress is real and can be very unpleasant. The pressure to find someone is high and every time someone asks why you’re single, you want to scream or disappear. You’re sick of hearing that you’re too picky and might worry that something is wrong with you. Dating stress is real and painful.
Here are three of the most common reasons for dating stress and what you can do about it.
Your own expectations
The biggest reason for dating stress is your own expectations. We create certain beliefs, rules, and other behaviors when it comes to romance. These expectations might be unrealistic and could lead to trouble connecting with other people.
For example, if you love to vocalize your feelings in order to connect with your date, you might expect that your date will want to express their feelings through words as well. But maybe your date expresses love by spending time with you and holding hands because that is enough for them. Where your date feels loved, you feel frustrated because your date didn’t behave in line with your expectations.
To avoid this dating stress created from your own expectations, work on staying in the moment, and allow yourself to get to know your date with a curious mindset. Find out how they love and they will love you. Communicate what is important to you and how can you both support each other to feel loved. Don’t allow your own expectations to lead you to miss an amazing opportunity to meet a wonderful person.
Fear of rejection
Fear of rejection can lead you to miss out on many opportunities to meet people. Your mind is very conflicted: on the one hand, you want to ask someone on a date, but on the other, you’re convinced they’ll say no, they won’t like you, they will laugh or they’ll be rude. You will feel like you can’t win without even trying and you’d rather choose to walk away to avoid any negative outcome. But a couple of minutes later, you regret your decision and feel frustrated that you didn’t take a chance. This scenario repeats every time and causes your dating stress.
To get out of this vicious circle, set up small, achievable goals. For example, I will smile at this person, and if I receive a small smile back, it will make my day; if I do not receive a smile back, I will still be happy to have smiled at someone who needed it today. Or, I will talk to this person with only the intention of having a good conversation, and maybe I will meet an interesting person. If they are not interested in chatting, I will wish them a good day and find someone who is ready and available to chat. Setting small goals at first will bring your stress level down and slowly build your confidence to set higher goals and ask someone out on a date.
You’re finding yourself at home, feeling lonely, pain, and wishing you had someone special next to you. You carry this empty feeling everywhere you go, and you’ve become convinced that there isn’t anyone out there for you. This dating stress has you so absorbed in the loneliness that you don’t even see the opportunities that are right in front of you. You might avoid social gatherings, or you might feel that no one loves you. You go on dates because you have to, but in everything you do, you take this drowning feeling with you.
This one is really difficult to acknowledge in yourself because extreme loneliness is almost like an addiction, and there are probably a million ways you can try to rationalize it to yourself. But if you decide that this loneliness and dating stress isn’t for you anymore, here is something you can start with. Start looking at people and ask yourself what you like about them; appreciate every opportunity to start a new conversation, and allow yourself to open up to new people. Slowly leave this feeling of loneliness in the past and create a new and exciting lifestyle for yourself. This is a process, but it’s a small step in the right direction.
Dating stress is very common but not often communicated enough. Find the courage to start dealing with it now and start living your life fully.