7 Things Girls with Anxiety Wish You Knew About Dating

Navigating the dating scene in college is hard enough as is - but when you have anxiety, dating can seem nearly impossible to achieve. For someone dealing with anxiety, the typical dating culture becomes a very stressful environment and we often want to hide our struggles for the fear that the person we’re talking to just won’t get it. Here are a few of the things girls with anxiety wish you knew about what dating is like for us.

 

1.  We may seem awkward when we first meet you in person.

Everybody get pre-date nerves. It’s the first time you’re meeting someone you’re attracted to and it seems like so much relies on how the date goes. But, for girls with anxiety, this is amplified to the point that it can sometimes freeze us. Fighting through the nerves is an extremely hard task and we may accidentally come off as shy, awkward, or even accidentally standoffish - when really, we’re just battling our worried thoughts and trying to remain calm.

2. It’s hard for us to physically get close to people fast.

Intimacy is extremely difficult for people with anxiety and it can take a long time to reach a level of complete physical comfort. Even the anticipation of a first kiss can be absolutely terrifying. We require a lot of patience because. for us, physically allowing someone to get near us is a big step. Nothing is more frustrating than being with someone who can’t understand that we may not want to take things slow but sometimes we have to. The best thing for you to do is make us feel comfortable, respected, and not forced.

3. We are often very protective of ourselves.

Not only are we protective of our bodies, but also of ourselves in all aspects. Opening up about the past, and especially about having anxiety, can be mortifying. Since anxiety makes us worry about how people view us, we often try hard to protect ourselves and not let people in for fear of how they will react. Again, this requires patience, because we’re capable of being completely comfortable and open to someone – but it takes time. When we’re first starting a relationship, we don’t necessarily want to spill everything right away, and we want to feel like that’s okay.

4. We’ll stress out over the little things and never feel good enough.

Most girls get the “crazy” reputation for being mad when they don’t get a text back or overanalyzing a guy liking another girl’s picture. With anxiety, this is only amplified even more until it turns into a legitimate concern. What some people may simply get annoyed about is something we’ll completely dwell on, until we’re convinced you’re mad at us, no longer like us, or would rather be with someone else. Although we know these are irrational thoughts, the anxiety makes them fester until it’s almost unbearable. We do trust you; we just find it hard to think someone could like us.

5. We’ll always blame ourselves for everything.

We could be dating the worst guy in the world – a cheater, a liar, or even both. No matter how much something isn’t our fault, we’ll instantly believe it is. This sets off an endless cycle of thinking about what we did to provoke your behavior. You could fully say, “You did nothing wrong, it’s all me” and we would still be thinking about how we should’ve done everything differently. Bear with us; we don’t mean to be self-deprecating on purpose, it’s just the way our mind works and we’ll end up apologizing a lot even if we don’t have to.

6. We’ll try to push you away.

Our first thought is that we’re the problem and that you would be better off without us. Sometimes, when the going gets tough, we’ll tell you to leave when every part of us wants you to stay. This goes along with our thoughts of not being good enough. We genuinely want the people we love to be happy and we think that we’re ruining that chance for them. It’s also a defense mechanism for when we get nervous; it’s easier to be alone than to show our anxieties. Don’t always leave when we do this - most times we just want confirmation that you’ll stay by our side through it all.

7. Once we open up to you, it will be an extremely special bond that’s so worth it.

Dating someone with anxiety isn’t easy, but once you choose to stay, there’ll be no bond like it. To be genuinely close to someone with anxiety is rare and difficult, and if you choose to stay, then we’re latched onto you. The amount we care about you is insurmountable and we will give you everything we have. When it’s so hard to find love, having it will be something we don’t want to ruin. Our mind may tell us not to love, but once we do, we’re 100% involved and ready to commit.

Giving out our heart isn’t easy, so please realize how lucky you are to be a part of our lives.