I overthink EVERYTHING.
“What am I going to wear?”
“What if we have nothing to talk about?”
“Should I take a sedative beforehand, or have a drink? Or wait and see how I feel?”
“Does he actually like me, or is he just trying to sleep with me?”
“Is this even a date?”
“Okay coffee sounds innocent, but what if he slips something into my drink before I get there and tries to rape me? Or worse… what if he turns out to be a serial axe murderer?”
The possibility of having a panic attack at any moment.
Anxiety is a strange and unpredictable thing. Sometimes I surprise myself and I actually manage to remain composed when going on a date, but more often than not, I enter panic mode; I begin to feel nauseous, short of breath, and sometimes I even briefly lose consciousness as I become paralyzed with an irrational amount of fear. What can I say? I am a mess.
I am sure by now it is no surprise that I am a bit challenged when it comes to intimacy. If I am being completely honest here, I have never seriously dated anyone, and I have had only a few flings at most. I could blame all of my dating problems on men, but I must confess that I have a horrible habit of pushing people away. I believe my deep-seated fears of intimacy have made it especially challenging to have a meaningful relationship with anyone. I have an extremely difficult time letting people in completely. It is hard for me to believe that someone can actually love and care about me after all the pain and disappointment I have endured. It is hard to believe that someone can love me just the way that I am.
I am afraid of losing myself.
I am used to being on my own, and I have learned to take pride in being an independent woman. While I realize that dating and being independent are not mutually exclusive activities, I am afraid I will lose focus on the things I want in life apart from my partner. I do not want to just be someone’s wife or girlfriend. I want my own life and my own career.
It makes it hard to feel good about myself.
On one of the most recent dates I went on, my anxiety got the best of me, and my date definitely noticed I was acting strangely. I forced an uneasy smile to try to mask my anxiety, but it did not work out in my favor. When I tried to explain that I have really bad anxiety, he told me to “just relax.” He proceeded to call me a weirdo at least three times throughout the date and accused me of being a lesbian for not immediately wanting to dive into bed with him. He also thanked me for wasting his time. He apologized only when I broke into tears of frustration. He exclaimed, “Wow, I am sorry I did not realize you have serious issues.” Luckily, I can look back and realize he was just an asshole, and even laugh about this whole incident, but he definitely crushed my ego a bit.