Does the thought of dating make you anxious? Well, you are not alone…

Dating isn’t easy. The fears surrounding it often cause people to hide… and stay single. These fears prevent people from taking any significant steps in relationships or even from falling in love at all. However, if you truly love someone, you should never allow fear to control your actions. Facing your fears head-on is the only way to overcome them.

Here are six common dating fears and how to overcome them:

1. Fear of awkwardness

You might fear approaching the person you desire because you have no idea how to talk to them. Perhaps you worry that your peers will mock you. Or maybe the inability to control what comes out of your mouth freaks you out.

Overcome this fear by lowering your body’s panic response. Practise slow, controlled breaths. This technique helps you gather your thoughts and stop your heart from racing. Once you no longer feel panicked, you can have a calm conversation.

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2. Fear of rejection

Rejection sucks, and its aftermath is not sweet, either. This fear prevents you from approaching anyone for a date. It plants negative thoughts regarding how others will view you in your mind. You fear becoming the centre of attention, which causes you to worry about everyone hearing that you’ve been rejected and laughing at you.

Reinforce your self-esteem to conquer this fear. Low self-esteem makes you feel ashamed to express your feelings to someone and makes dealing with the consequences of rejection difficult. However, life will go on as usual even after a rejection. Minimise the risk of rejection by approaching available people, joining an online dating site, or asking a friend to hook you up with someone.

3. Fear of intimacy

Most people fear intimacy due to past trauma, but some also fear sex or pregnancy due to their personal beliefs. Karen Belz refers to this fear of dating as “sarmassophobia”. She states that sarmassophobia is real, and it affects many people. It makes some people fear dating or engaging in intimate actions.

Remember that fears are just fears. Face them head-on and use these tips to overcome them so that you can start dating again!

It’s okay to seek professional help if intimacy scares you. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods if you are not ready for pregnancy. However, if you have strong beliefs about intercourse and your partner doesn’t respect them, it may be beneficial to consider abstinence until marriage. Become closer to your partner, and remove those emotional barriers you’ve created in your head.

4. Fear of commitment

The fear of taking responsibility for another person’s needs may push you to avoid dating. You may fear commitment because you don’t trust your judgement about your love interest.

To beat this fear, open up your heart and share those predicaments with your partner. Acknowledge that you may end up alone if you don’t take a chance on love. Let go of your fear, and commit yourself to the person you feel connected to.

5. Fear of abandonment

Some people fear dating because of what might happen in the long run. These insecurities keep you from starting a relationship with anyone. For instance, women who want a long-term relationship may avoid first dates just because they may not work out.

Acknowledge that no one knows what the future holds, continue playing your role to keep the relationship afloat, and the rest will follow. Discuss your fears with someone you trust. Finally, if a deeper issue causes this fear, consider working through it with a therapist.

6. Fear of soulmate myth

The myth that soulmates exist keeps many people from dating. You worry that the person you desire may not be your destined soulmate. Or maybe you’re also afraid that, if you meet your soulmate, you might make mistakes that ultimately drive them away.

Dr Michael Arn, Psy. D. explains that the only way to deal with this fear is to forget the myth entirely. Arn says that there are plenty of great matches for you to choose from. To meet them, you just need to start dating.

Your dating fears may keep you from enjoying a world full of possibilities. They continually rob you of happiness and drive you on a self-critical journey that is not healthy. Remember that fears are just fears. Face them head-on and use these tips to overcome them so that you can start dating again!