Relationships 101: Calming your anxiety when you first start dating

Calming your anxiety when a relationship is beginning

if you don’t get into the habit of doing the mental equivalent of pulling over on the side of the road when you feel anxious and then asking you, “What’s really going on here?” and listening and calming you, you may be inclined to either continue on regardless of your anxiety or you might withdraw from dating/the relationship without truly understandingwhat is going on.

 

If something’s not right there is evidence of it somewhere – slowly play your mental ‘surveillance’ tapes back or evaluate how you feel, and if you can’t pinpoint what it is with this person, see if you can recall previous situations where you’ve felt or thought this and what your anxiety in these situations was regarding. It might be something big, it might not be, but ignoring your feelings actually makes it difficult to work how you feel and why when you really need to.

 

literally say to the spoiler, “Well hello old ‘friend’…. Funny that you should show up. I don’t remember inviting you. What’s that? You think this person is too good for me? You think that it’s all probably going to end anyway? Don’t be nasty. He/she’s not too good for me. I’m worthy of being with someone who __________. Now either say something nice or leave” and basically silence the hell out of it with evidence.

 

You always know that you’re ignoring your gut not the annoying guest (although you might make the mistake of treating your gut as if it’s an annoying party pooper guest), when you silence your gut with bullshit.

 

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If you’re worrying about whether it’s going to go ‘wrong’, it’s time to come back to the present and be more ‘mindful’ because you’re spending too much time worrying about what isn’t happening or trying to anticipate what’s next and forecasting doom.

 

You cannot do this – a relationship or dating – without putting your feet in. OK you can but then that just makes you like every other unavailable person on the planet – trying to skim off the fringe benefits with as little input as possible.

Be honest about where the anxiety comes from. If you haven’t been on a date yet or have only been on a date or few and you have a high level of anxiety, going on dates without being emotionally honest enough to recognise where these feelings originate is only going to compound it not relieve it.

  • If you feel desperate, why is that? If it’s, in your mind, really ‘that bad’, I would address why you’re desperate because otherwise this isn’t a relationship; it’s salvation.
  • If you feel scared, what are you scared of? What is the worst that can happen and how would you deal with it?
  • Do you trust you? If you don’t, why are you dating? Be honest because these are baby steps in listening to and recognising your needs.
  • If it is early days, this is a code amber alert to come back to earth and go on a fantasy diet – you’re getting carried away.

By far, judging people and situations on merit so based on reality, with checking in with you daily and having a respectful internal dialogue calms anxiety. You’re not exactly going to feel less anxious if you’re calling you “stupid” or feeding your mind with all sorts of drama scenarios!

 

***Be your own friend! Respect you even when at times you don’t make sense.

I’ve got to be honest – sometimes I’ve liked busying my mind with Dynasty levels of drama. It felt more comfortable to have something to be getting my knickers in a knot about but it’s one thing when you have evidence to feed drama (although you’ve got to act not stick around and complain / go into analysis paralysis) but when you stand to jeopardise your self-esteem or a good situation, it’s time to rein yourself in.

 

The past is useful for checking your mental database for comparing data where appropriate but it’s not useful if you’re still living in the past and cannot differentiate between what’s going on in front of/around you and the past.

Sometimes you just need some reassurance that you have your own back.

 

Regardless of the outcome of this involvement, you still need to be there for you and when that’s not in question, you can handle whatever comes your way.

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